The Pecking Order



  • We've all been in a situation where the boss (upon needing to be away), delegated decision making authority to someone they trust.

    A very long time ago, when I was a newbie fresh out of school, my first job was working for a large military subcontractor with a fairly flat management hierarchy. After several months, I had earned a little respect from my boss, so one day when he had to be out, he gave me decision making authority. In retrospect, I don't think any actual decisions needed to be made, so he probably felt safe.

    Unfortunately, the big boss was also out and had delegated authority to his number-one, who had an emergency and delegated authority to his number one, who was out sick and so authority defaulted to his number-one, who happened to be my boss.

    Nobody realized it until an actual decision had to be made and they tracked the chain of command down to me. Being only 6 months out of school, I panicked and refused to put the company in my name (so to speak). The big boss' secretary insisted on me dealing with this customer issue. I made the, ahem, executive decision to find some high level manager in a different department to make the call and deal with it.

    But for a very short time, even if i didn't know it, I was The Man!

    * damn; why does the compose window eat line feeds on my iPad?

     

     

    mod: Why, I don't know what you mean, the linefeeds were just fine after I edited them! -dh



  • @snoofle said:

    * damn; why does the compose window eat line feeds on my iPad?
     

     

    becuase CS thinks you are editing html



  • @snoofle said:

    But for a very short time, even if i didn't know it, I was The Man!
     

    Were you able to launch nukes?



  • @dhromed said:

    @snoofle said:

    But for a very short time, even if i didn't know it, I was The Man!
     

    Were you able to launch nukes?

    no, but I suppose I could have ordered office supplies...



  • @snoofle said:

    no, but I suppose I could have ordered office supplies...
    That would also have dealt a crippling blow to Spain, or whoever the enemy was back then.

     



  • @snoofle said:

    @dhromed said:

    @snoofle said:

    But for a very short time, even if i didn't know it, I was The Man!
     

    Were you able to launch nukes?

    no, but I suppose I could have ordered office supplies...
    Woah! <jealous>

     



  • @snoofle said:

    fairly flat management hierarchy
     

    Please define 'fairly flat'. As I see it, you had at least four levels of bosses above you. That's not what I would consider 'fairly flat'....



  •  @ochrist said:

    @snoofle said:

    fairly flat management hierarchy
     

    Please define 'fairly flat'. As I see it, you had at least four levels of bosses above you. That's not what I would consider 'fairly flat'....

    half the Number Ones were on the same tier so it was really only 2 bosses above

     



  • @fairly flat: a place that size would normally have about 6-8 levels of management.



  • @snoofle said:

    @dhromed said:

    @snoofle said:

    But for a very short time, even if i didn't know it, I was The Man!
     

    Were you able to launch nukes?

    no, but I suppose I could have ordered office supplies...
    Placed the company into liquidation? Disposed of corporate assets?



  • @DaveK said:

    @snoofle said:
    @dhromed said:

    @snoofle said:

    But for a very short time, even if i didn't know it, I was The Man!
     

    Were you able to launch nukes?

    no, but I suppose I could have ordered office supplies...
    Placed the company into liquidation? Disposed of corporate assets?
    Called a mandatory poetry slam in the break room?  Changed the dress code to require hats with monkeys on them?  Invited homeless people in off the street for a huge "get to know us" open-house?

     



  • @da Doctah said:

    Called a mandatory poetry slam in the break room?

    Could be cool, as long as the overseas development and support team is invited. Beautiful poetry.



  • @ratchet freak said:

    @ochrist said:
    @snoofle said:
    fairly flat management hierarchy
    Please define 'fairly flat'. As I see it, you had at least four levels of bosses above you. That's not what I would consider 'fairly flat'....

    half the Number Ones were on the same tier so it was really only 2 bosses above

     

    Similar to a place where I used to work:

     

                    CEO
                      |
    VP --- VP --- VP --- VP --- VP --- VP

     

    With each VP having several mangers under them, so even though there were 6 VPs and a couple dozen managers, any given manager only had one person between them and the CEO.



  • @DaveK said:

    @snoofle said:
    @dhromed said:

    @snoofle said:

    But for a very short time, even if i didn't know it, I was The Man!
     

    Were you able to launch nukes?

    no, but I suppose I could have ordered office supplies...
    Placed the company into liquidation? Disposed of corporate assets?
    Fire your bosses for absenteeism?

     



  •  Last place I worked, we always got an e-mail when any of the bosses was taking one or more days off, naming the delegate assuming his responsibilities "except for staff additions and pay increases" in his absence.  Always wondered how that particular bit of boilerplate came to be, since apparently the delegate was still permitted to fire people or reduce someone's pay.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @da Doctah said:

    Always wondered how that particular bit of boilerplate came to be, since apparently the delegate was still permitted to fire people or reduce someone's pay.
    History of past abuses. It's always fascinating to look between the lines of such statements and speculate who it was tried that particular fast one...



  • My story has an added twist; I wasn't an employee. I'd been there for years and had a dozen people reporting to me, but I was still a 'temporary contractor'.

    One of the new sales guys was inches from closing a deal and wanted to run it by the CEO. He called the office and got through to me. The conversation went something like:

    "Sylvia's desk, this is NoOne." "NoOne? Well, uh. This is Steve, Steve from sales. Hmm. You're that skinny pot-head hippie, aren't you?" More than a little rude, so I responded in kind. "Yep. And you're the fat red-head fuckin' his cousin. Now that we've exchanged pleasantries, what can I do for you, Steve?" "Sorry! I'm confused. You fixed my PC last week, right?"

    My sigh was audible. I'd made a bad habit of fixing this and that if I wasn't busy, and now people tried to shortcut calling IT. "I'm sorry, but you'll have to put in a ticket. I don't mind doing what I can if I'm available, but Sylvia is out sick and I happen to be rather busy." "Okay, wow! I really was confused, I'm so, so sorry! Anyway, I've got the aerospace guys in at a total equipment cost of eighty-two five, and want to know if I can add a few million at their other plant. We'll load the other stuff up front so it looks better short term."

    "No. Hold on a second, I'll transfer you to your boss, Bob. He'll also tell you no, but it be authoritative coming from him. I don't work here."

    "Wait, you don't work here?" "No. Please hold for Bob!" <click>


Log in to reply
 

Looks like your connection to What the Daily WTF? was lost, please wait while we try to reconnect.