The Managers

My father instilled in me a somewhat suspicious attitude regarding managerial types. He was a very good engineer at Boeing for 35 years and on occasion would come home after a long day and inform us that he had been offered a position in management, but had again told them to pound sand. It was just not in his nature to tell others what to do or how to perform their work. In his view, your work spoke for you. Results were what mattered, particularly in an exacting field like engineering, and if those results were not forthcoming, a manager was the last one you went to for a solution. He thought that once you removed yourself from the everyday hands on aspect of whatever job you were performing and concerned yourself  more with managing those who performed it, your knowledge of that work and what it took to get it done steadily regressed until you became a detriment to the project. A negative factor inserted into the equation. An obsticle to be worked around rather than a part of the solution and he wanted no part of that.

The Mayor of our small town paid a visit to my office the other day and while she seemed a very impressive woman, running last November as an independent on a platform of pragmatic fiscal restraint after the previous democratic administration had broken ground on a new fifteen million dollar(?!) city hall to serve our hamlet of eight thousand, she was surrounded by the usual gaggle of brown nosing bureaucratic apparatchiks who answered every question put to them in the typical language that even small town politicians seem to either master quickly or were born with. That of the double speak, answering questions with questions, talking much but saying little, always with an eye on the boss to gauge her satisfaction or non-satisfaction with their level of obfuscation. The quintessential middle managers.

On occasion, when the sun is shining and I’m feeling especially optimistic, I think that maybe I should quit bitching in this blog space and actually go out and get involved in helping to get representatives that reflect my political views elected to local office. These optimistic moments are tempered however by scenes such as the one above and in the realization that to get involved would mean dealing with these middle managers of other people’s lives on a daily basis, and in the further realization that to join with them is to face the very real prospect of becoming them. 

Bollocks to that.

Update: Hmm…the embed’s not working, but you can view the vid on youtube by hitting the link on the screen.

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10 responses to “The Managers

  1. I love those guys. Their material is always funny and fresh, makes me miss Seattle.

    Think I’d like your Dad too.

  2. We have a few of those where I work. Thankfully, though, they don’t last long. A few years tops, till someone gets tired of covering for their ineptitude, then they get hung out to dry.

  3. Yes, managers are all too easy to criticize, much like politicians. But it’s oh so hard to find a good one, that’s willing to do a thankless, frustrating, usually low paying, job like that. As it has been said: Any politician who wants that job, should be instantly disqualified – just for wanting it. The same goes for middle managers.

    In thirty years, I’ve only worked for a few people other than myself; and the best people manager I ever worked for (Richard Tait,the Cranium guy)….kind of fired me,… I think…..I guess It’s safe to say I don’t make a very good employee. Mostly because I don’t trust anyone else to run my shit for me. Hell, I barely trust myself at times…

    But once I appoint someone (or elect them) to do a specific job, I have to let them at least try to do it to the best of their ability. If they hang themselves, fire ’em, then find someone (hopefully) better for the next round.

    Leslie and I have five full-time employees at the shop right now; and we’re still the lowest paid people in the joint. But, I don’t see anyone else stepping up to run things for us….. As they say: It’s a lousy job, but someone’s gotta do it. You’re either an employee or an employer – by birth I think.. Lead or get out of the way and all that crap.

    Dad wasn’t a manager, or a complainer, he was an engineer. And he wanted to continue engineering things, not managing a bunch of complaining engineers….. He was smart.

    My advice to complainers is the same I have for people who don’t vote and then bitch about their elected officials: Get off your arse and go get involved – or pipe down. If you think you could do a better job; then by all means…..

    Do it, get involved. I may disagree with how you say some things, but at least you have something intelligent to say. That’s a lot more than I can say for most people who are out there running things today.

    Brian

  4. Ha, ha, I don’t have a single chotchkie or do-dad to my name and if I did, I’d certainly throw them away before you could inherit them. Some day, hopefully not too soon, you may come to realize that the only thing you really have is your family. Ban the Daphnes and Morgans, they sound like a couple of morons.
    I spent several years in management for the same company you work for. I quit and went back into sales and was very happy and successful until your wonderful, intelligent father drank himself into a stroke.

  5. Harpy says:

    “Mark? Have you thought about about banning your brother?”

    Spoken like a true Psycho….

    “A shame his wife doesn’t have large dick to fill his mouth.”

    Oh yeah, I almost forgot: Ick.

    Have a good weekend, (except for Harpy)

    Brian

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