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The Squeaky Wheel Gets The Greasy Manager Fired

, , , , , | Working | June 8, 2022

I started a new job while the direct manager was on paid time off. I’d only met them for a short period of time during my application. I was hired for a vacancy that had been open for quite a while and the company just couldn’t get someone to stick it out with them. That was a huge red flag, but it was a very difficult and specific role and I’d done something very similar for a partner company, so I knew it was possible that they just hadn’t found the right person so far.

I started training under the supervision of my manager’s manager and a colleague who had done the job on top of her own for a time, and everything went well at first. It was extremely similar to what I had done in the past, and after just a few days, I was doing it on my own. The colleague was very relieved and complimented me, and the manager was satisfied with the positive feedback we got from the customers.

Then, my direct manager came back and I found out why all the others had quit.

Manager: “Did you do [task]? And why didn’t you send me a list if you’ve done it?”

Me: “I did, and the list is on your taskboard in the program.”

Manager: “No, that’s all wrong! I need that in my mail so I can print it out and check it! Don’t you know anything?”

Me: “We are not allowed to print that data! And what do you mean? Check it? There’s nothing to check. It’s just a list with all jobs done today, automatically documented by the system. What do you want to check on paper? Just do the final authorisation in the system.”

Manager: “I need to check if you’ve run all jobs! Are you stupid?”

Me: “Again, how do you do that on a printout? The list is generated by the system when a job is run through. A job that’s not on the list isn’t done and still stays in the inbox until it’s done. I finished all the jobs I could. The others are on ‘wait for reply’. They’re not authorized by the customer yet. So, what do you need that list for? Since we are not allowed to print that, there’s no way to get it out of the system into a list to send to you.”

Manager: “Then type it out and stop arguing. I need that list!”

He stomped off and I was stumped. I then wrote a mail to him, with his boss and my colleague in CC, telling him that I wasn’t trained in creating the list he wanted, asking how to get that data out since typing a list with hundreds of jobs wasn’t feasible, asking if there was any news about a change in data protection I wasn’t told of, and telling them that I didn’t appreciate not being fully trained.

I got the answer that there weren’t any changes in procedure and to just do my job as I was told and send in my list.

Five minutes later, my direct manager appeared at my workstation again and started berating me. In his opinion, I was belligerent and insubordinate.

Unbeknownst to him, his own boss, who had been in the loop during training, had appeared behind him not much later. He turned white as a sheet when he heard his boss quietly telling him to come into his office.

The next day, I got a message saying that, from now on, all processes would run directly through my boss’s boss, and my former direct manager was no longer responsible for me.

I was now directly supervised by my boss’s boss, and the coworker who trained me was then given the role to follow up and authorize the jobs I’d finished.

That wasn’t a problem for her to do since that last step was a mere formality; she was only expected to do a random test on a few of them and then mass-authorise them all — a job that could be done in thirty minutes tops.

In the following days, we could see our manager’s boss meandering through the department, speaking with everyone, asking them what they did and how they did it. After a few more weeks, my former direct manager was gone and my colleague was promoted to his role.

As we heard through the grapevine, that stupid moron had created tons of extra steps and “checked” all kinds of lists all day that no one needed with several colleagues who thought it was all authorized by his boss.

Somehow, he’d managed to convince his boss that all of them were needed because his employees were so lazy and constantly skipped steps. No one ever spoke up, so it went on and on.

But the person who had my job retired, and he tried to pull this stunt at that task, too, although it was impossible to follow his demand and the retiree didn’t do it, either.

But the new hires didn’t dare to fight that nonsense; they tried to type the list and finally quit in frustration since they couldn’t get any real work done because of that and got scolded. Neither his boss nor the colleague knew about what was going on.

Me not being able to keep it down and bucking against his insane demands exposed his practices. It turned out he’d barely done anything productive all day when others followed suit. I’ve always been a hothead, and it had gotten me in trouble before, but this time, it was just what was needed: a person without a filter!

Our big boss was now much more involved in our everyday work to not let something like that happen again. He mentored my former coworker much more closely and she became a great manager.

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