I had a dream about my old boss last night.
He would come over every hour and ask me what i'd be doing.
I would answer either 'drinking coffee' or 'fixing my portfolio'
Not even in my dreams does he have any authority.
My old boss was a 21 year old alpha male straight outta the army.
He thought authority was the ability to speak really really loud.
His interests were business n careers, sports n celebrity gossip.
I think we had an uh, communication problem.
'Whaddya think of this draft?'
'I don't like it.'
'Why don't you like it?' (is it the composition? maybe the font?)
'Because it's ugly'
'Why is it ugly?' (Maybe the colors should be taken down a bit, too contrasty, right?)
'It looks bad'
'Why does it look bad?' (Yeah, the typography can be cleaned up a bit, is it that?)
'I don't like it'
This thing worked itself out when I found out he liked a lot of black and red. I would just use those colors and he would love it)
He was assigned to fill a managerial position that wasn't there before. Us designers n programmers could well organise ourselves. Suddenly, if anyone had an idea they wanted to try, they were to report to him, if he thought it was a good idea, we could proceed. This was a bit of a contrast to the flat structure we were used to. It caused a lot of resentment towards him.
Not that he cared, I heard him being routinely rude, snappy, threatening and condescending. He was a 45 year old trapped in a 21 year old body. Every time I would feel the smallest tinge of sympathy towards him, he would say something racist, misogynic or just plain stupid that would justify my complete antipathy.
His coup the grace was when the company were having an xmas party. We were going out on one of those cruise boats from Helsinki to Tallinn. Excellent. A bunch of people in their mid twenties aboard a boat with unlimited free alcohol. This was on a thursday. Needless to say, events are a little blurry after leaving Helsinki. When the boat returned to Helsinki, there were some shaky feet stumbling off the boat.
That was when he ordered everybody back to work.
Yeah, nobody had been told. Everybody assumed that the next day would be off, for WHO IN THEIR RIGHT MIND WOULD THINK TWENTY HUNGOVER PEOPLE CAN DO ANYTHING PRODUCTIVE?
I guess what I'm trying to say with all this is:
1. You don't get real authority from business school.
2. Shouting at people is not authority.
3. Being a xenophobic scumbag won't give you the respect of your subordinates.
And of course, that my old boss was a bit of a dick.