Dear bosses: Grow up or get lost

To discourage the business owners' meddling, a techie tries to keep them occupied while the employees (gasp!) do their jobs

Let's say someone at your office is annoying, unprofessional, and an overall pest. Now let's say that someone is your boss -- in fact, your two bosses. How do you curb their shenanigans and let the staff get real work done? In this case, by taking extra measures.

I worked for a small corporate office out west for a time, building and maintaining the LAN, machines, website, servers, and so on. It was a small shop and poorly run, so I also handled tons of tasks outside of IT.

[ For more stories about exasperating IT jobs, check out "10 users IT hates to support" and "7 blowhard bosses bollix up IT." | Pick up a $50 American Express gift cheque if we publish your tech story: Send it to offtherecord@infoworld.com. | Get your weekly dose of workplace shenanigans by following Off the Record on Twitter and subscribing to the Off the Record newsletter. ]

But the biggest problem at the company? The owners. They were flakes who had poor management skills, to put it mildly. To give you an example of their inefficient business practices, they would come to me each week with a grand new business plan that would take four to six months to implement and demand I start working on it immediately. A week later they ordered me to stop work and focus my attention on the next grand new plan instead.

My response to all of this, eventually, was to file each grand new plan for one week to see if it survived. If so, I would start working on it. None ever made it that far.

Just. Go. Away.

But they had another, even more annoying habit. They rarely showed up at the office, but when they did, they were disruptive to the entire organization. They'd roll in on random days, shouting and carrying on like teenagers, interrupting business and making a nuisance of themselves. Thankfully, they rarely stayed long. We dreaded their visits and preferred to be left alone to do our work.

Then they got the bright idea to outfit their office, so they could hang out and "help." Each wanted a computer, of course.

They got to work outfitting their office space (complete with wet bar), and I started putting together their machines. Even before both projects were complete, they began coming in every day, making a mess with their micromanaging and distractions and driving employees to frustration.

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