The Man is the Chief Executive Officer of the company. He is intelligent and has an air of authority about him. He has been in the industry for a long time. Most employees believe that this is a guy that can fire them on the spot for little to no reason. These same employees want and need his approval from everything from their work performance to their life choices.
Employees usually will take one of two approaches with this guy.
- They will either spend an inordinate amount of time telling him how great he is, or
- They will avoid him based on their fear of him.
The Man is a human with his own set of insecurities and quirks just like the rest of us, and you can use these insecurities and quirks to your advantage. Just remember if he senses that you fear him, you have already lost. If you try to impress him by knowing something that he doesn’t know, he will destroy you.
But I thought I was being paid to come up with new and innovative ways of providing services to the Clients?
This is true.
The Man needs to feel the power of being in charge every minute of every day. Any challenge to his authority is viewed as an act of war. In a dysfunctional workplace, a challenge to his authority can be anything from having a really good idea to parking in his unreserved parking space. Yes. I said UNRESERVED.
The trick is that the Man has to believe that any new innovative approach to a problem originated from him. If you pitch an idea and you want it to succeed, you have to make the Man believe that this new idea would not have happened without him.
For instance, say you wanted to streamline the way that a report is prepared in order to reduce the labor hours. Once you have all the pieces of your idea in place, find the Man and get him started talking about how these types of reports were prepared when he was starting off in his career. The Man likes to talk about his career and his successes. Now be prepared to listen to how he once prepared 200 of these reports over a 36 hour period where his boss would not let him have food, water, or sleep until the reports were done and how he had did all of this while he was suffering from a Super Flu.
He will need to tell you how employees today have it so much easier. He will also throw in how employees should appreciate the fact that he is nothing like his old boss.
Please know that you must be able to keep a fascinated and interested look on your face during the entire conversation and be able to hold down anything that feels like it is rising in your esophagus.
Never under any circumstances do you ask the Man to read anything, provide feedback, or assist you in any way. Disagree with nothing that he says. After the discussion is over, do not vent to anyone about his absurdities or brag to anyone about your face time with the Man.
Keep in mind that over your career you may only meet a handful of coworkers, employees, or bosses that will not repeat absolutely everything that you say.
A violation of any of the previous will result in penalties which can range from the Man ignoring you to placing a cap on your bonus check for the remaining time that you are employed. There is one employee here that has been paying for his wife expressing a different opinion than the Man’s wife at a Christmas Party that happened 10 years ago. This employee should be making three times the bonus check that he has been pulling in over the past years, but the Man will never let it go. Ever.
You need to know what your up against beforehand. If you really want to make a change or a difference, you have to know everything about the blockades that are in your path or you will never be able to maneuver around them, mow right through them, retreat from them, or blow them the fuck up.
Scared shitless yet?
Good. Now let’s go get what you want.
When it is time for you to present your idea, you have to mention snippets from your conversation with the Man during the presentation. Then the Man will think that you would have never come up with the idea if it wasn’t for him and his counsel. If he believes that you think like him, your life becomes a whole lot easier.
By the way, it is best if you never fact check the Man’s stories. It will only lead to disappointment.
Regardless of what the other three senior managers tell you, ALWAYS start with the Man when you want something. The Man is the simplest to navigate of the senior managers, and he carries 50% of the vote. The three remaining managers are constantly jockeying for the Man’s approval or to seal their place as the Man’s Favorite. So, the three managers see all employees as potential threats to their positions and will not do anything that will allow someone else to share their spotlight.
Once you have the Man’s approval, you are already 50% of the way done in making your idea into a reality.
The next step is to get through the other three senior managers. At this point, you may want to say a prayer, meditate, or take a nap because the three remaining senior managers are real psychos. You are going to need all of your strength to deal with these three.
Until you decide to move on to the next chapter, here are some observations that I have made of the Man at this Company that you need to be prepared for.
He eats his own boogers. You heard me right. I have personally witnessed it on numerous occasions. I think he thinks that they are medicinal because he is really into super vitamins.
He really likes chicken wings. He is always emailing coupons to the entire office for free or discounted chicken wings. Sometimes we even get emails about chicken wing fun facts. I have no idea why.
He likes to periodically speak with a Chinese accent. Yet again. I have no idea why. He is not Chinese.
He listens to conversations outside of closed offices, and he will read anything that you print out on the printer. Sometimes he will stand at the printer and read, and sometimes he will take your documents back to his office to read and never return the documents to the printer. I always chalked this up to his paranoia about someone taking his company away.
He hates all birthdays, baby announcements, weddings, and especially, Administrative Professionals Day.
He sometimes brings his Doberman pincher to work and will walk this dog through the office using a metal chain as a leash. The dog is very friendly, but when he walks past your office with this dog, it does remind you of a prison guard doing bed check.
You will periodically see him sweeping the outdoor sidewalk, washing the vacuum cleaner filter, or toting a box of office brand toilet paper to his car to take home.
He cannot stand the sight of men’s toes. It grosses him out, and he will tell you about it.
He usually comes into work around 11:00 am and stays until 5:30 pm. He complains about anyone who leaves work before him.
He likes to talk about his military background and his time in minor league baseball. None of these stories are true. He actually was in ROTC in college, and he used to go watch minor league baseball games.
Above all, he ranks loyalty of employees to the company (i.e. Him) as the most important quality in an employee. Loyalty trumps performance, profit margins, and personal hygiene. So, if you are a lazy, never meet budget, employee with a slight B.O. problem, you will be fine as long as your loyalty to the Company comes first.