How Bad Management Ruins the Job for Everybody

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Part 2 of How One Supervisor Ruined My Job in One Week

“Chad” had been my supervisor for a month and had somehow managed to chill the hell out. If you didn’t catch my first post about Chad, I’ll sum it up like this: Chad is a jerk. Or, was a jerk, I guess… Nah, he’s still a little bit of a jerk.

He’s still high-strung, but secretly I am too so I can only fault the guy so much for that. Not to mention at this point in time, one month into his job, he’s also doing two jobs he wasn’t hired for. Yup. Chad isn’t supposed to be the supervisor of my area! He was hired on to supervise a new area of the factory—which he is…as well as operating that area. So he’s in charge of two areas, and he’s also doing the same work as me. It’s pretty ridiculous.

Then another supervisor got hired on—let’s call him Biff.

Biff was to be the new supervisor of my area. On his first day, he immediately introduces himself to me. Normal, right? Biff really put me in a false sense of security with the introduction, because our first conversation continued on like this:

Biff: So, Becca, we gonna have any problems over here?
Me: Uhh… (I decide he’s talking about the machines) I mean, sometimes the machines mess up, but I’m getting better at fixing them.
Biff: Alright, alright—my philosophy as a supervisor, see, is that if you take care of me, I’ll take care of you. You see?
Me: (I just stare at him)
Biff: You take care of me, I take care of you–if the people on the top, upper management, got any kinda issues they gotta go through me and I’ll take care of that for you. You won’t gotta deal with nobody. You know? You got no problems, then I got no problems.
Me: (Wordlessly nodding, hoping he’ll go away soon.)
Biff: Yeah, cause, you gotta be careful because someone is always watching. (at this point Biff breaks eye contact to stare out blankly into the distance) Someone is always watching…might be upper management…might be a business partner….somebody……………I’ll talk to you later, Becca.

As you can imagine…I have some fucking questions. First of all, who does Biff really think is watching? Was he telling me that he was watching me? Does he feel that someone is watching him? Generally, feeling watched does not lead to good things and I have no idea whether to take Biff seriously or worry that he needs some kind of help.

Second, I’m pretty sure that, as my supervisor, his job is to take care of me regardless of whether or not I’m a jackass that can’t do my job. Their job is to literally check on us, get us anything we need, and document our paperwork at the end of the shift. So why is Biff trying to cut some kind of deal with me?

Chad. Of course it’s Chad.

The next day Biff goes to the woman who trained me and asks her about me. He specifically asks if I have been a behavioral issue. She defends me because, major plot-twist folks, I am actually a good worker! Biff doesn’t seem shocked to hear this, but instead outright says to her, “Yeah, I thought so too. Chad just has some kind of problem with her.”

At this point I’m ready to start a Work Fight Club and take Chad down like the nemesis he is. I’m also convinced this means that I’m going to have a good supervisor in Biff. I should have known better because optimism never works for me unironically.

I could break up The Adventures with Biff into a five part saga because this strange man turned out to be so problematic. Instead I’ll give you some of the highlights. The first being—I don’t see how Biff has any supervisor experience because it’s like he’s never had to talk to people before. When he makes his rounds to ask how you’re doing, he doesn’t listen for your answer and will walk away from you mid-sentence.

He stopped bringing anything to the girl in the area beside mine–she waited two hours for a replacement machine part before going to find Biff…asleep at his desk. He gave her the keys to the storage closet and had her do it herself. He no longer brings anyone anything. He’s caught asleep at his desk or hiding in the bathroom to nap at least once a day. He’s even been spotted holding his phone, on Facebook, while also asleep at his desk. It’s glorious. Biff could literally pull an Elvis in the bathroom, and none of us would notice that he was missing for at least two days.

By the time Biff had been my supervisor for a month, he still couldn’t remember what part I made versus the other two parts in the areas he supervised. He had no idea what our numbers were, if I didn’t know what I needed to run then neither did he. On more than one occasion he told me that I needed to run parts that aren’t even created in my area. He never gave us any paperwork that held new information, he never told us about any number changes. In his defense, I doubt he knew about them either.

It turned out that he was also no help to the other supervisors. He never answered when called on the walkie-talkies, he never showed up to an emergency or a broken machine, and he even skipped out earlier than everyone else when it was his turn to do the paperwork. He was an absolutely useless human-sloth! At least animal-slothes are cute to look at.

Last but not least, Biff had a particular interest in a girl that worked in area close to mine. I would notice that that area would get checks more frequent than others, and he’d be in that area twice as long. What I didn’t know until after the fact, was that he was also being inappropriate towards her. He was giving her his cellphone number, he was asking her if she was married, and he was prompting her to call him, “Big Biff.” (Gag me with a fork.) Completely unprofessional and disgusting considering that not only is this a workplace, he also technically has authority over her. She went to HR about it. Now, when I was hired I was told that our HR department had a no tolerance policy regarding harassment. Biff played innocent, saying he thought it was clear they were both joking around, and that if he had known she was uncomfortable with it he would have stopped immediately. According to HR, harassment occurs after you’ve asked the offending person to stop and then they continue. Because she never said anything to him, it wasn’t harassment. Biff got in no trouble, and they would do nothing about the fact that she was uncomfortable with him remaining her supervisor.

She walked out, and my respect for my company plummeted.

Biff was already useless and unhelpful, but now I knew that I didn’t want to interact with him at all. This was pretty easy, considering his fondness for napping. With all of this under his belt in under two months, you’re probably wondering: How is this guy not getting fired? That’s a good question that I also had! The people with authority in this place sure do love to gossip and share information that they shouldn’t, so fortunately I can tell you why! A manager mentioned to me one day at the start of my shift: Biff was here because another manager asked him to come and work for him. He had friends in high places, it seemed.

I never thought I could dislike someone more than I disliked Chad, yet the universe had provided me with the most unfortunate Messiah of Disappointment that is Biff. On the other side of that coin, I don’t think Chad thought he could dislike someone more than me, but Biff was a Messiah for all. Chad loathed Biff with even more vigor than I could muster.

Our hatred bonded us more than any polite conversation could have.

We were no longer enemies and I was even purposefully going to Chad for any issues that I had. Less than three months working here, and I had watched the incompetency of our workplace kill the light from Chad’s eyes. I won’t lie, I still get a chuckle out of it. I think Chad had finally seen what it was like for us and had realized: it’s total bullshit. I can’t go into all the details of the problems of my workplace, but the hiring of Biff feels like a good visual metaphor for all of the decision-making that happens here.

In the end, Biff transferred to third shift because he wanted his Friday afternoons free. Oh, the sweet irony of the relief and happiness I felt when I got Chad back as my supervisor. The personification of life has to be a woman because she is a sneaky gal that knows it all in the end.

Now, if I could just shift the subject?

I’ve been seeing even more media coverage about the laziness and entitlement of millennials these days. It’s such a trope it’s no longer just a meme to complain about them. At 23, I’m a millennial. Chad is actually the same age as me. (Another piece of irony is that I actually have more management experience than Chad, there were just no open positions when I needed a job) At my current place of work, Chad and I ended up bonded not just in our hatred but our disenchantment. What was Chad guilty of? Taking his job way too seriously? At least that’s not laziness like Biff. Biff is twice our age by the way. And the management that hired him is three times our age. But that’s a rant for another day.


Thank you to everyone who took the time to read my story!
As of last Thursday Chad quit.
So now I suffer all alone,
but I hope he loves his new job.
Share your own work experiences below!
All comments welcome & appreciated~
♥Becca N.

One thought on “How Bad Management Ruins the Job for Everybody

  1. It’s everywhere, unfortunately.

    I’m a school lunch lady and I ended up having to quit my job in the middle of the year last year and go back to being just a “sub” (same as a teacher sub..they call say “can you work on X date at Y school for Z# of hours?” and you say yes or no) because of a bad manager.

    The year before, I had worked part time for her and I was her fucking golden girl. I couldn’t do anything wrong. She was constantly telling me how awesome I was, etc.

    Last year? Head office demanded I step up the number of hours I was working to almost full time (going from 20 hrs a week to 35). My manager was constantly on my ass, bothering me and telling me she had to tell me the same thing every damn day (she didn’t have to. She CHOSE to) which pissed me off but I couldn’t say anything. She had me doing so many tasks that I almost couldn’t get them all done in the amount of time I had in my damn shift. It caused my anxiety (which was untreated because of insurance at the time) go to right off the damn scale to the point that I ended up quitting mid-year because I damn near had a nervous fucking breakdown.

    It took some begging and pleading on the part of a friend of mine (also a kitchen manager in my district) and her entire fucking staff to get me to come work in their kitchen. And I like it, for the most part because my coworkers are awesome and I’m back to working only 20 hr a week which is what I wanted to begin with. But it’s still rough because upper management is MAKING it rough..on me and everybody else. They come up with stupid rules and regulations that MUST be followed (since they have field officers pop into the kitchens at random whenever they fucking feel like it) that make plenty of sense (I’m sure) when you’re sitting behind a desk but not when you’re sweating your ass off in a broke ass kitchen with AC that doesn’t work right, equipment that doesn’t work right (we’ve had our steamer units fixed 3X this school year alone, one oven doesn’t work right and the dishwasher regularly breaks down) and trying to serve more kids than you’ve ever had to serve before because the school is full to bursting. They’re just sticking bandaids on everything until they can get the two new planned middle schools built (supposedly two years from now) but not actually fixing anything. It’s frustrating as hell.

    My husband, who is a retail manager, was practically forced out of a job he’d had for more than 15 years because of a bad store manager who treated him (and the entire staff, apparently) like fucking garbage. It was doing serious damage to his mental and physical health and it worried the shit out of me to see him breaking down because he would work a 10 hour closing shift only to have to turn around in less than 5 hours and go back to work a 10 hour opening shift the next damn day. When a friend of his offered him an out, I told him he needed to take it because the way things were going, he was going to work his ass right into the fucking grave before he turned 50 (he’s in his mid-40s now). And yet upper mgmt wouldn’t fire the bad store manager because they didn’t have anybody to fucking replace him with. It’s the same at my job…we can barely keep our kitchens staffed with regular line workers (like myself) and if a manager quits/gets fired, there’s nobody to fucking replace them with. So bad managers get moved around, but they never really get fired.

    Like

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