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Reflections of a Burned Out Manager
by Melissa Grunow

Rule #1: Do not sit unless invited to do so (and rarely will you be invited to do so). In fact, take that chair with you when I finally kick you out of my office in hopes of preventing other people from sitting.  

Rule #2: Do not express your concerns to me unless I am your direct manager, as I don’t have the authority to do anything about them. I don’t care that your supervisor is in a meeting or on vacation. Just because I’m closest to the door doesn’t mean I provide a service for all.

Rule #3: Do not ask me about an email that you just sent me and then proceed to tell me the contents of that email. I either already responded or I haven’t been able to deal with it yet (or I deleted it for being decidedly irrelevant).

Rule #4: Do not wander in to “just say hi” or anything else that requires me to conduct small talk. I am most likely working on a very important spreadsheet/report/training manual/Facebook status update that needs my undivided attention and relentless concentration. You are taking away time that I will never get back.

Rule #5: Do not ask me questions that you can figure out yourself (e.g., “How do I reset my password?” “Why won’t the printer print?” “Why does this copy machine keep jamming?” “Is that a Coke or Pepsi machine in the lounge?”). Demonstrate that I did not have a lapse in judgment when I hired you and seek out the answers yourself.

Rule #6: It’s not my job to fix the copy machine. Side note: Repeatedly slamming the drawers while you search for the errant crumpled sheet of paper will only anger the machine and cause it to jam again.

Rule #7: Don’t complain about your earnings. If you can make more money working elsewhere, then go work elsewhere.

Rule #8: Don’t “just take a second of my time” when I am on my way to the bathroom. I WILL PEE ON YOU.

Rule #9: Don’t linger in the doorway and chat me up under the guise of expressing interest in the agenda for the next department meeting. Nobody cares about the agenda for the next department meeting. I know you’re just trying to figure out if the meeting will end early so you can keep your dinner reservation. Stop insulting my intelligence.

Rule #10: Thank you for responding to my requests. But could you please do as instructed? You are not the only person who works for me. Compliance: We all have to do our part.