The World’s Grumpiest Boss

I have been a little tardy of late and, as a result, not written words of wisdom for you, my dear Institute of Mediocre Management members. My poor excuse is that that unfortunately, due to a number of unenforced management errors, my global empire has of late taken a battering. But luckily we have managed to steady the ship and the share price by re-organising, thus maintaining our salaries and bonuses. This was quite simple, we just fired a lot of people. The downside was the paper work, they wouldn’t go without a fuss, thus wasting my management’s time and more seriously mine, so I was not able to update this collection of excellent and enlightening essays . So blame them.

‘The World’s Grumpiest Boss’ dies

It was with great sadness that I read about the recent death of Mike “Do your jobs and keep your mouth shut!” Davies, who was a spiritual mentor of mine.

Mike Davis was a former chauffeur before he became a Houston oil and gas magnate. But he earned an even greater measure of notoriety as the author of blunt and widely circulated office memos that earned him the unofficial title “world’s grumpiest boss.” “There will be no more birthday celebrations, birthday cakes, levity or celebrations of any kind within the office,” the boss wrote on Feb. 8, 1978. “This is a business office. If you have to celebrate, do it after office hours on your own time.”

I had the pleasure of meeting him once and he repeated verbatim the memo he once sent famously  to his employees at the Tiger Oil company in the 1970’s

“Do not speak to me when you see me, if I want to speak to you, I will do so. I want to save my throat. I don’t want to ruin it by saying hello to (all of) you.”

I took that to heart and Anglicised that, telling my associates   oiks to  “Shut up and know your place” – I’m sure that those I haven’t ‘let go’ yet still think of this with some amusement.

grumpy-boss

As a boss,  Mike lead from the front screaming, hung around the middle yelling, whilst pushing from the back swearing. Had he been in management 20 years later his enlightening, challenging and witty epithets would be adorning the walls of most of our major corporations as ‘Motivational Posters’.

His memos (for those under 40 – a memo is what your grandad used instead of email) included:

ON NOTES THAT WEREN’T TYPED: “Handwriting takes much longer than a typewriter. You’re wasting your time, but more importantly, you’re wasting my time. If you don’t know how to type, you’d better learn.”

ON RUNNING OUT FOR CIGARETTES: “I suggest that you people buy enough cigarettes to keep here for yourselves to smoke because, by God, you will not go and buy them on my time.”

ON TAKING THINGS FROM HIS DESK: “I do not appreciate people coming into my office and helping themselves to my candy, cigars, medicine and other personal items … I don’t mind giving, but I would like the privilege of knowing and giving it myself.”

ON HIPPIE-STYLE LONG HAIR: “Anyone who lets their hair grow below their ears to where I can’t see their ears means they don’t wash. If they don’t wash, they stink. And if they stink, I don’t want the son-of-a-bitch around me.”

ON LANGUAGE: “I swear, but since I am the owner of this company, that is my privilege, and this privilege is not to be interpreted as the same for any employee. That differentiates me from you, and I want to keep it that way. There will be absolutely no swearing, by any employee, male or female, in this office, ever.”

We can all learn from his leadership skills, although nowadays you need to be a little less direct due to the namby-pamby HR centric rules that seem to be prevalent in this neo- socialist society that we live in. To cover your tracks just stick up a motivational poster or two like this.

work-hard

The final word must come from Mike and of course I’m sure that I.M.M. members could use this wisdom almost verbatim when addressing colleagues  resources about holiday entitlement.

tiger2

 

And don’t forget this incredibly informative and hugely invaluable book is still available from Amazon UK  and Amazon US  eBook and for posh people in print as well.Book Fan small

 

 

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Employees are a profit centre if managed correctly

The I.M.M. recently brought in a Change Management consultant to review our employment philosophy guidelines and he came up with a ‘New Thinking’ proposal. As the precocious stripey-shirted oik was charging us a significant percentage of the National Debt per day to come up with this information, initially we had to take it seriously. His report, a 521 page Powerpoint ‘deck’, remains unread, it’s mostly a cut and paste for something he did for B.P., but we did read the executive summary. Well most of it anyway.

Rufus , our MBA qualified Intern has now transposed this onto a single slide with the Institute’s comments. We apologise for the tardiness of the response but our Chairman was concerned about the font and the shade of red used and whether this was ‘on brand’ or not.

New thinking

As you can see from the above,  we will be continuing to used the tried and tested I.M.M. thinking which has worked very well for our members, mostly ‘C’ level execs who all successfully rode out the recession. This thinking is also supported by the vast majority of the FTSE 250 roster whose executive pay has also managed to keep pace with top end house price and luxury car inflation which is awful. “Oh to live in a two up two down in Bolton, so much less hassle” is a common refrain at the Club.

The New Thinking concept is prevalent mainly in new start up companies that tend to locate themselves in Shoreditch (in an industrial estate bordered by an abattoir and London’s largest squat). They all sit on Bean Bags full of Fairtrade Llama fur and play table football while eating Quinoa wraps. It’s a wonder they find time to drag their brains from FaceChat to do any work.

In the end, the only person to make any dosh out of this type of enterprise, will be the founder and his mate. Having borrowed 13 squillion pounds to create an App that links together people who have an unhealthy interest in Armadillos with others who are similarly inclined but also vegan, they then sell out to a multinational techie conglomerate who are desperate to acquire the next new thing and have plenty of spare cash because they don’t pay any taxes.

Therefore our conclusion, unanimously agreed over a rather pleasant lunch at our corporate hospitality box was to leave things as is.  Far less work.

Change

Brian’s report, which he has now modified, to reflect what we thought in the first place,  is available to all our members. It is on the website but of course we can fax it over if you prefer and for our luddite contingent a typed transcript is also available. For really busy Thought Leaders a single 3 bullet point summary may also be requested.