Life's like that!

October 21, 2011

Bad Boss Behavior

I love to read this blogger's column in the American Library Association's monthly magazine. Here is an abstract from his blog about bad boss behavior.

While many aspiring supervisors learn their supervisory behaviors from bad bosses, a few insightful staffers watch the bad boss and learn the “don’ts.” Here is where, with your help, this blog can be a great resource for the library profession.  Off the top of my head I am going to list some of the bad boss behaviors I witnessed in my working days.   Then in the comment section, I want all of you Unwinders to list bad boss behaviors you have seen.  Then on a sidebar I will compile the entire list and hopefully this list will make the rounds in libraries big and small and maybe we can change some bad boss behaviors.  Although, I have to ironically admit that one of the defining characteristics of a bad boss is an unwillingness to admit faults.  Oh well, let’s try it anyway.  Here are my DON’TS.
  • Don’t raise your voice when you are wrong.
  • Don’t ask for workplace ideas and then ignore them.
  • Don’t say you have an open door policy and then continually look at your watch when someone enters.
  • Don’t put up a sign on your office wall that says…WHAT PART OF NO DON’T YOU UNDERSTAND?
  • Don’t preface every meeting with an employee with the question: “Is this going to take long.”
  • Don’t put a bumper sticker on your car that says: MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY.
  • Don’t bring in a box of donuts on Friday and then eat half of them.
  • Don’t center your “morale program” around a pot-luck.
  • Don’t time your employees when they take a potty break.
  • Don’t send someone an e-mail to give them bad news when their cubicle is 3 feet from your office.
  • Don’t tell us about your PhD from the School of Hard Knocks.
  • Don’t ask for a doctor’s note when someone calls in sick.
Finally don’t say any of the following things:
  • This is the way we’ve always done it.
  • It is what it is.
  • If it ain’t broke don’t fix it.
  • That won’t work.
  • We don’t have any money for that.
  • This community is not ready for that.
  • A word to the wise: if you want to get ahead in this organization don’t make waves.
  • Our director is a Luddite.
  • We tried that 30 years ago.  It didn’t work then.  It won’t work now.
  • Don’t stir up a hornet’s nest.
  • Your idea has never been field tested.
  • Our patrons like things just the way they are.
  • Do you want to be branded a troublemaker?
  • This is the real world; not a library school classroom.
  • I love your enthusiasm, but your idea is impractical.
  • If you want to be a change agent go work the cash register at the circ desk.
  • Right now is not a good time for change.  Maybe later.
  • That’s an interesting idea, but let some other library implement it and work out the bugs first. We don’t like to be the guinea pig around here.
  • In my day we had to hand crank a ditto machine.   Our computer equipment may be old and out of date but it’s a heck of a lot better than what I had to work with when I was your age. Try stamping books all day with a hand stamp.
  • Have you thought about the unintended consequences of your idea?
  • This could be a CLM on your part….a “career limiting move.”
  • It’s too risky.
  • Don’t upset the City Council (Library Board…Board of Regents…School Board, etc.)
  • Folks around here don’t cotton to outsiders coming in and shaking things up.
  • This is a conservative town.
  • Put your idea down on paper then we’ll consider it along with 159 other proposals in our 2012 budget cycle.
  • Where is the money going to come from for this?
  • Rome wasn’t built in a day.
  • I’ll think about it in due time.
  • This is not a good time for me personally.  Do me a favor and don’t complicate things any worse for me. Forget your idea.  It’s just going to cause trouble.
  • As your friend let me tell you confidentially that your idea is idiotic but I’ll save you the embarrassment and I won’t tell anyone else about it.
  • You’re trying to make us look bad.
  • Don’t get all hot and bothered.  Your time will come….eventually.
  • Thank your lucky stars you have a job.  Don’t rock the boat or you’ll end up on a layoff list.
  • Patience is a virtue.
  • Things move slowly in government.
  • The status quo is good enough for government.
  • Let’s stick with what we know works.
  • That’s just change for change sake.
  • Been there done that.  It doesn’t work.
  • We’ve gotten along just fine without it.
  • I’ll get back to you on this.
  • Let’s put it on the back burner.
  • It’ll never fly with admin.
  • This dog won’t hunt.
  • Great idea but it doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in Hell getting past the City Council.
  • Pick your battles.
  • Don’t bend your pick on this.
  • Wait till the time is right.
  • Keep your powder dry.
  • Right now we’re just trying to tread water financially.
  • In life timing is everything and this is just not the right time.
  • We’re in cutback mode and you want to innovate?
  • Look, everyone here is already overextended.
  • That’s not in your job description.
  • We’ve heard this a million times.
  • Who the hell told you to do this?

Read the rest here.