Thursday, February 16, 2006

I'd Like to See You in My Office

Okay – I'd like to start out with a disclaimer. I am not a manager. I don't aspire to be a manager, and I have never been a manager.

It is more because of employee self-preservation than anything else. You see, were I a manager, I think I would be an awful manager because of my faulty logic. You see, I would look at my pool of employees as subjects meant to do my bidding. I would think to myself, "My car needs a fresh coat of wax. Either I could spend my valuable time performing this menial task myself, or I could order one of my employees to wash and wax the car myself. And since I am a manager instead of a serf, the car would be really nice and need waxing. I would not think about how the serfs would take my commands.

"You, 23-year-old hunk of an accountant, take off your shirt and wax my car."

See, I would understand that having the cute blond waxing my car adds to the bottom line of the company because I could be doing my creative thinking for the company. My employees, however, would soon ban together and form a plan to kill me, disposing of my body in a local lake. This would suck because, among other things, I would not be able to drive my freshly waxed car. So I don't want to be a manager.

That being said, the one phrase that makes me almost want to wet myself is when my manager says, "I'd Like to See You in My Office." Now I don't know about you, but when my manager says that phrase, I am seldom thinking, "Oh, crap, my manager is going to shower praise on me again." It is more along the lines of thinking about what evidence still exists and how I can shift blame to my co-worker with the perky breasts. My thought is, "God needs to even things out a bit more around here."

And I don't think most managers understand this. They think to themselves that they are being professional, making sure that the conversation occurs behind closed doors. Do they get the same feeling when their bosses say that? Do they pee in their britches?

And speaking of these behind closed door tongue lashings, what I don't understand is that more women don't, upon exiting the meeting, don't pull their blouses out from their skirts and stagger out, saying, "Mr. Martin attached me in there."

Getting back to my little statement about praise, I find it interesting that managers who have a responsibility for the success of their unit give such little praise. I mean, it is the employee-serfs that are carrying the rocks, breaking their backs. And the manager gets the credit for assembling the team, motivating, whatever. How often do you think you succeed at work in spite of your manager? Your work can be quantified in many instances – and to some extent, your manager's contributions to the company are less critical, less quantitative. I know a lot of managers read these blogs – because they have the time. And there are good managers everywhere. But it seems that the good manager is the exception rather than the rule. Can you imagine a conversation that starts, "I'd Like to See You in My Office," and ends with "Here is your raise, you deserve it." The middle of the conversation containing specific examples of how the employee contributes to the success of the company. And that type of conversation being expected so that an invitation to be seen in an office is not followed by feelings of dread or dirty panties.

19 comments:

Georgiapeach said...

Regarding comment on my blog: That's not right Leesa...rofl. You didn't have to call me out like that..lmao.

Bruce said...

The last time I heard that phrase, I was fired...

Georgiapeach said...

This post was hillarious. Are your posts meant to be this funny? Because sometimes I think that something is wrong with me when I finish reading your post and I am laughing hysterically but your visitors leave serious yet appropriate comments.
This post made me think of the movie called Secretary. Have you seen it before?

Leesa, I am the receptionist at my job. I work very closely with the principle/president and the vp's who all happened to be male. And let me tell you, I often feel bad for them because they don't have the pleasure of fanatasizing about banging the hot secretary. I am young (23) african american, and they are over fifty white and the sexual chemistry just isn't there. I know sometimes they wish that they would have hired some one they are more sexually compatible with or at least someone that is down with that kind of stuff. However, I am sure the President's wife who works here as well sleeps a lot easier.

Leesa said...

GP: How did I call you out? I didn't mean to.

bruce: here, they escort people to the door and take away their keys. Usually on a Thursday - just in case they think it will happen on a Friday.

GP: the humor was intentional. Thanks for getting it; I sometimes feel my humor is really bad - as most don't comment on it. Thanks for your comment. That may mean that your sense of humor is warped, too.

LocuTus of Borg said...

I have been a manager for a number of years .. so to add two comments:

- When I had to talk to people in my office, I usually never closed the door or just closed it slightly, but still left it open. I luckily always was in places where I there were not people around that could "listen" in. Plus the fact, that usually when there had to be a "talk" most of the time everyone else knew about it already!
- I regularly brought my employees into my office to give them praise. When they finished something, I would use that same exact phrase. They always thought it might be something bad, but then when I said, "Thank you for getting that done so quickly ..." Kinda took them by surprise. Of course, when I did have to give bad knews it threw them off as well ;)

Sonya said...

LOL! The hunky accountant story is great!

Sheen V said...

I've found that many managers have not had any training on how to manage people. Sure, they are great project managers, but when it comes to dealing with people, the less they say the more comfortable they are. I worked for two managers at the same time a while ago. On my performance review one manager just made the comment "Ok." on my accomplishments. The other said lots of good things, things I wasn't even aware of.

Shannon said...

I agree with you.. it is not often that anyone comes out of their boss's office smiling...

A boss is only as successful as his/her employees.... I think if some boss's (Not all) made more effort to make their employees feel appreciated.. work would be alittle less of a drag...

Ohhh and that line about messing up our shirts when we come out of their office was classic lol..

Rob said...

Leesa, when I read the title of this post, I couldn't help but think back to that time you dressed up like a Catholic school girl and had to report to Principal Rob's office after class to discuss the length of your skirt and the way you kept distracting the boys by showing off your panties! No wonder you still get wet when you hear the words, "I'd like to see you in my office!" ;-)

Leesa said...

locutus of borg: I find it interesting that most employees, even one in your example, are surprised by positive comments.

sonya: hunky accountants are all fictional, I am afraid. Most have trouble stapling pages together.

sheen: agreed. Most promote based on operational merit.

shannon: "A boss is only as successful as his/her employees." I think bosses need to post this in their day planners.

rob: As I recall, after you chastised me because of the shortness of my skirt, you actually lifted it up and paddled my little ass. And, as I recall, you dripped right through your pants by the time you were done paddling me. Of course, clean up was fun!

~Deb said...

I never forgot the time I was working for this large corporation--and seeing my manager (who is a woman)....we were having an affair.

Well the BIG boss says to me, "Deb, can I see you in my office?"

~^~CRinGE~^~

He asked me, "You and your supervisor have been seen at a gay bar and restaurant. Is this true?"

So I pointed out the fact that HE was seen in the most sadistic club ever in New York. True too. He shut the f*** up and never said a word after that.

People amaze me. So yes, those words, "Can I see you in my office?" Makes me wanna shit a pickle!

Rob said...

Yes, I knew you wouldn't forget, Leesa! It was pretty intense -- but that was the best part. I think we BOTH enjoyed the clean-up; I know I did! ;-P)

Crassius Maximus said...

It seems that when companies make cuts, middle management is always the first to go. That says it all.

MyUtopia said...

Can I hear an AMEN?

Leesa said...

~deb: I would think the manager would have been in more trouble than you.

crass max: also, when one buys a company and middle management is let go, the company is often worth more.

myutopia: amen!

The Godfather said...

I want to have sex with you.

Goddess said...

I had to go see my boss yesterday..... how appropriate this post was! (Er, yeah) My supervisor told me, "at 1 oclock we have to go see the BIG boss" and I asked her why and she wouldnt tell me. OF course, for the next 4 hours I was panicking. It never sounds good when you have to go talk to the big Boss.

Leesa said...

godfather: I imagine you want to have sex with all women, conscious or otherwise.

goddess: sorry for the trip to the boss's office.

Grant said...

My last trip to the boss's office did end with "Here is your raise - you deserve it."

As a former manager, I can say that I was aware of the fear it inspired when I called my employees onto the carpet, but I spent all my time being a good guy trying to protect them from the crap rolling downhill so I decided I was due for a little fun.