(Whether people are working from home, as many have been for the past year, or on-site at the job, there is one constant truth: Many, many managers are the worst. Here’s my take on that reality.)
According to its website, Inc. is a business magazine founded in 1979 and “the only major brand dedicated exclusively to owners and managers of growing private companies, with the aim to deliver real solutions for today’s innovative company builders.”
Inc. publishes six print issues annually, as well as daily online articles and videos.
It was an Inc. article that was attributed as the source for a newspaper piece I recently read, that had me shaking my head in both wonder – and disbelief.
Here’s the headline:
Seriously – is this Fantasy Island?
Managers don’t care, “genuinely” or even disingenuously.
Not about employees.
Managers care about scheduling their next golf game, their next three-hour martini-laden lunch, about the gift they need to pick up for their lover spouse.
Managers care about squeezing the maximum amount of work out of the minimum number of employees for as miniscule amount of money possible, to score points with their managers.
Let’s look at a few of the Inc. tips for those “innovative company builders”:
“Chatting with them about things other than work”? Isn’t that what managers get annoyed about when they spot employees chatting with each other about things other than work?
Manager: “Ruth and Nathan, it sounds like you’re rehashing the 49ers losing streak on company time. So I assume you’ll make up the time by working through lunch?”
But who knows? Perhaps an inexperienced manager will take this advice to heart, and try something like this:
Manager: “Chris, how’s that hideous cat of yours and will that report be on my desk in an hour?”
Another tip from the article:
You know and I know that when you look up “oblivious” in the dictionary, there’s a picture of a manager.
It’s highly unlikely that a manager is going to pick up on an employee’s “going through a rough time.” It’s even less likely a manager has the slightest interest in being “an ear”:
Employee: Ms. Crain, I’m really struggling with making my rent and my car payment and staying on top of my mother’s hospital bills and –
Ms. Crain: And this pertains to me…how?
This isn’t the article’s last piece of advice, but I’ll close with it, anyway:
Stop. I mean it.
OK – let’s pretend that the manager pretends to be interested in pretending to care about an employee’s career goals because the manager read about doing that in the Inc. article:
Employee: My career goals? My only goal, career or otherwise, is to get the hell out of this sewer of a company and the hell away from you!
Manager: Good, good. Will that report be on my desk in an hour?
What’s it all mean?
The U.S. workplace is no Fantasy Island.
Managers won’t read the Inc. article because they already give themselves an “A” for performance and, well…everything.
And that’s why we’ll keep seeing articles like this: