I am about to explode with my boss(176 Posts)
I am feeling stabby and want to kill him. Several weeks ago, he asked me and a colleague to organise an awayday for our team. He said it should build on the last one. OK, we said, we can do that, but people will want some fun activities as well. He, and another colleague, have emailed us a vast list of "helpful" suggestions as to what we might do on the awayday. We realised there were some politics here, so said yes, how helpful, we will look at these and see what we can come up with.
We came up with several options for the day using the Shit Sandwich approach - a fun, team building warm up exercise, which will take around 45 minutes, then a quick coffee break, and onto the next exercise, which is his serious work one, finishing with a fun, but relevant activity after lunch.
He has vetoed every single fucking suggestion we have come up with, both for the fun activities and the serious bit in the middle. We are now a week away from the awayday, and I cannot tell you how much time we have wasted on this, as he won't consider ideas, but wants concrete plans, set out in writing.
We have come up with what we thought was a good plan, still using the Shit Sandwich approach. I have emailed him to tell him our latest suggestion which is exactly what he said he wanted for the serious bit. I have said that I don't want to divulge details of the two "fun" exercises, as it is important that everyone comes at these "blind" and doesn't have time to think about them.
I've just got an email (yes, sent this evening). He has vetoed our serious activity and has said we don't seem to have thought about Susan's suggestions. We did think about them, but Susan is as mad as a box of frogs and her suggestions were too. He has also vetoed our "fun" parts to the day, unless we can tell him concretely what they involve.
We have one week to go.
AIBU to tell him to shove the whole thing up his arse and he and Susan can come up with something between them.
And then to crack his fucking head open with an axe and leave the building?
Taking a practical approach, I would be tempted to go directly to Susan (assuming she is not in bed with shitboss) and see if the women can't stick together on this one behind the scenes and get it sorted based on 'blokes are rubbish at this stuff'.
Would not be my usual style but needs must in some cases.
I made it to senior management level using this tactic occasionally (probably quite often when I think about it!).
Oh, and make sure you amend any refs to shitboss in your e mail!
Ah, Euphemia, but we won't be spending any money on ours.
Fairyloo - I will PM you, but don't get too excited as the level of fun is really quite low (although doesn't involve Elefun or Twister).
Well you will, really, because the company is paying you all to piss about rather than do your jobs.
Our department's 'away day' consisted of two days of ppt presentations (delivered by us) in one of the conference rooms at work and a game of golf. I wouldn't have minded Elefun...
OMG. Another freelancer here who left my office job coming up to 17 years ago because of exactly this kind of outrageous crap.
Leave, go freelance, never look back!
Oh and carry on slagging him off as you're making me giggle on a train!
Present a selection of final ideas with a note explaining that he gave you ideas x, y and z and you have incorporated them in a, b and c ways. Having worked these up in a number of ways you would be pleased for him to make the final choices and adjustments to finesse the programme. You are copying to Susan, asking her to send her comments direct to him. You have spent quite a bit of time on this and need to turn your attention to other work (insert something important) as you're sure he'll agree. Step away, he must take responsibility for this.
He sounds like someone who can't articulate his ideas, so has a vague notion which he's sure is better than anything you've suggested but he can't explain how to do it. That's why you need to reflect his ideas back to him, so there's no question you have worked with what you were given. He'll enjoy 'finessing', being such a creative perfectionist.
Or, talk to Susan, incorporate her ideas in some / one version and let him choose.
Am I being too serious here? I want to hear what happens when you throw his ideas back in his face and leave him to it (go on)!
Darn it, I'd missed page 2! Do update us, won't you?
On the topic of dreadful awaydays my old company had the worst EVER. So bad it made the national newspapers!
Basically as the culmination of a day of training about management courage and teamwork they had arranged for a 'walking on hot coals' finale. The sales director had done it once and said it was brilliant. The problem was he had done it on a beach. Nice warm dry sand underneath. They chose to replicate it in a wet field. Apparently if you walk on hot coals with wet feet all the hotcoals on the top stick to the soles of your feet and burn, burn, burn
so, sales director goes first and toughs it out to the end. At some point he must have realised it was wrong and not like his last experience but he didn't say anything as it had been his idea.
Despite him having 3rd degree burns at the other end the rest of the team followed! All the sales guys were in full competitive flow and had to show their mettle (or something, who knows why the hell people do stupid things sometimes). In the end i think about 6 or 7 guys did it. They all ended up in hospital, with third degree burns so it's sort of not really funny. But then it sort of is too, in a darwin awards kind of way. The worst off was the guy who was in so much pain he put his burning feet in the loo. He ended up with septisemia . bizarely he was the head of research and development. Basically a scientist. Which makes his decision re the loo especially mad.
I don't normally go in for gender stereotypes but yes, they were all men. I think it really does sometimes take testosterone to achieve quite such stupidity.
So wonderwoman how's that for a new plan? Fun fun fun!
Has he set you up to fail so Susan gets your job? You have resisted the homicidal urge splendidly btw.
Or tell him it's all sorted and ring in sick! YANBU and I'd tell him so.
Brilliant thread. I like the idea of kill him and have one of the team bonding exercises being spit roasting him and working in teams to make the best sandwich. Which you then eat for lunch. 3 birds with one stone and brilliant fun. Obv make sure to have a vegetarian option.
Watch Horrible Bosses. They had the right idea
There's definitely room for a team bonding exercise in here. Or maybe a generic (theoretically serious) group discussion on 'leadership traits and management training' in which you identify
a) which companies/competitors are doing well in your field
b) what they do differently (this is where you suggest 'management and development structures')
c) how you can implement some of these internally....
If that's too subtle, a group bonding initiative in which you throw rotten tomatoes at the boss could be good
ThinkAboutItTomorrow that is the stupidest, craziest thing I've heard in at least a week! I'm wincing just thinking about it.
I hate away days with a passion,. I accidently on purpose got lost in a big maze at a country house once, no one noticed I was missing for ages.
No amount of paper folding, quizzes, making spaghetti and marshmallow towers, dressing up in historical costume etc is going to make me like/work better as a team EVER.
Another at ThinkAboutItTomorrow's story!
I don't understand away days. A former boss organised one at a spa (all female team) that was utterly pointless and got her in trouble with the trustees so she tagged on a brainstorming exercise at the end then threw a bit of a sulk when her lack of structure meant we didn't know what we were meant to do. It struck me at the time that she probably didn't have many friends and hoped a girls day out would make us all magically bond. Funnily enough it just made us feel really uncomfortable.
My DP worked with a load of Finns once and they took him to a sauna as a team build. Sounds innocuous enough doesn't it? Now picture yourself sitting in a sauna with your colleagues drinking vodka. Now realise you are all stark bollock naked........
Think sounds like it would successfully break down barriers to communication.
I like my awaydays to be a bit tedious and unadventurous, I have to be able to look everyone in the eye the next day. We usually bonded over the shared memories of boredom.
This is a brilliant thread (except for poor OP of course)
I used to have a boss like this, it drive me mad. So mad that I, like others here, handed my notice in. Interestingly they then found they couldn't cope without me (turns out you do have to actually reach decisions at some point) and bought me back as a freelancer at a vastly inflated rate. I worked for them, from home and at hours that suited me, until the Chief Exec (my old boss) finally drove the whole organisation to financial ruin pursuing some pipe dream that was clearly never going to happen. Twat.
piprabbit I think there was a lot of eye contact in the sauna, where the hell else were they going to look?!
Brings a whole new perspesctive to the standard advice for coping with scary presentations "imagine the audience are naked"...no imagination needed.
Horrible Bosses - I'd forgot what a brilliant film that is! But don't watch it OP, it'll only give you ideas.
Someone mentioned marshmallow and spaghetti towers......ha, ha, I inflicted that on a load of guys I work with as a conference "warm up" (I planned it but wasn't there, thank goodness). Being nerdy engineers, most of them got seriously stuck into competetive tower-building, although a couple of teams just went "sod that", and ate the marshmallows.
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