“Maniacal Operations” and Other Sad but True Tales

When it comes to management and organizational dysfunction, there’s little that surprises me anymore.

  • Asking a colleague about work, I got this description of the company’s new president: “I know all about his first marriage, his second marriage, his grandchildren, etc., but he doesn’t know anything about me. He dominates executive meetings with his talking but checks his cell phone when others are speaking.”
  • A participant in one of my recent workshops asked the group for ideas on how to help communicate the company’s top 20 strategic goals to employees.
  • A client told me she’s concerned about her daughter approaching job burnout. While the young woman loves her work, she’s trying to survive what she describes as a stressful environment of “maniacal operations.”

In an “ideal” world …

There’s so such thing. Here are more true office tales that may leave you shaking your head:

In the real world …

I’ve learned it’s healthier not to expend precious energy getting upset about such examples. It’s better to turn to people like Scott Adams (Dilbert creator), E. L. Kersten (Despair, Inc. founder), and Robert I. Sutton (author of The Asshole Survival Guide and The No Asshole Rule), who provide comic relief and guidance to help us cope with “maniacal operations” and other types of workplace absurdity.


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