The 10 most INHUMAN bosses you'll encounter: A Reg reader's guide
A BOFH's guide to debugging the Anti-Managers from hell
9: The shouty boss
We all lose it occasionally and at one level, showing a bit of passion is better than letting things drift because he doesn’t really care.
You’re not naïve enough to believe the Error Box that pops up when a program dies asking if you want to help Oracle or Microsoft make their products actually work properly? I’ve never got anything useful back from this – nor have you – and HR departments are like that. As one HR director put it to me “my job is protecting the management from the staff.”
Memory protection in Windows/Linux is there for the O/S, not the apps who are terminated if they get troublesome. Recall a few years back when it was disclosed that no complaint for bullying had ever been upheld at the BBC, because as we know TV is such a supportive environment.
A good way of dealing with aggression is contagious sympathy. After a rant ask your boss if everything is OK; this may help you understand what the real problem is, but the payload is that unless he is beyond help, some internal consistency checks will trigger and he may moderate his behaviour.
But if it is getting that unbearable, mentioning gently to others that your shouty boss is under a lot of pressure and you’d like to work out ways of helping him is good team player simulation. Remember that you are being monitored, in the sort of environment where bosses dump this crap on you, and your words will be taken down and used against you.
10: The moron
This is actually the easiest to deal with, just so long as you never ever let them think you’ve worked out that this is their bug.
A good measure of intelligence is the number of things you understand and the depth to which you grok them so lack of intelligence is worked around by keeping the number and depth lower.
This expresses itself in a way familiar to those of you who’ve done search engine optimisation. Identify their buzzwords to work out what I call “Business Correctness,” the more lucrative sibling of the political kind. Despite their track record, Accenture get a lot of business by using words like “team” because managers like teams (defined as doing what they are told) and in your firm there will be terms like “risk reduction”, “delivery” and “cost reduction”. Some even still talk of “quality”.
All you have to do is note these terms and use them more often; firstly to make you look like a “good team player” and secondly as decoration on anything you want to make look better or worse, though in general positive BC words work better.
There are of course more types of AntiManager than this and feel free to share them in the comments below, but the point I’d like you to take away and use is that you can model their behaviour using skills you already have to turn their documented features into something useful.
Dominic Connor has been an occasionally competent CIO in the City as a mismanaged grunt programmer and as a City Headhunter attempts to atone for past misdeeds by helping people get better jobs, or at least less bad ones.