So in honor of that I am posting a column that I wrote years ago. And yes, it was based on someone's real experiences.
For Supervisors Only – Ways to Drive Your Underlings Insane
by Anna Maria Junus
*Note, this only works for those supervisors who have established themselves as indispensable to their bosses.
- Make friends with the person you will be supervising. Show him a good time. Be friendly. Tell him things about yourself and encourage him to tell about himself. Share confidences and complain about co-workers. Get this person relaxed in his job.
- Tell him all about the things that he’ll be allowed to do. Make sure you spend work time doing things not related to work. Like internet shopping and gossiping on the phone with friends. Do this in front of your employee.
- Explain to your employee that there are no real breaks. He is welcome to take breaks when he feels like it as long as his work is getting done.
- Is your employee relaxed and settled into the job? Good. You’ve done the preliminary work. Now the real fun begins. Make sure before you do any of the following that no one else is around. You don’t want witnesses.
- Catch your employee doing something that you had told him it was okay to do. Such as being on the internet. Now scream at him. Tell him his job is on the line and you’re thinking of reporting it to the boss. Get him to promise never to do it again. Remind him again, that there is no such thing as a break. Then go and play on the internet.
- Several hours later, laugh and smile at your employee and engage him in non-work related conversation. You have to mend fences here. Show him you are a true friend.
- Several days later when your employee is relaxed again but working hard and correcting his behaviour, make sure you bring up his past misdeeds. Remind him about this often. Especially during friendly conversations which you initiate.
- Be nice and friendly for a few weeks now. Let him relax into his job again. Note that he never takes a break and quietly chuckle.
- Encourage your employee to make his work area comfortable. Let him move his computer around and arrange things for his own comfort.
- Now act huffy about him moving things around. After all, it’s not the way you would have done it, which is the only correct way.
- Did you catch your employee playing on the computer or taking personal calls during his lunch hour? Sure you had told him it was okay. But that was then, this is now. Yell at him. Let him know he is doing something wrong. Make it clear that he can only do things that you want him to do on his lunch hour. After all if he insists on saving money and bag lunching it, he might as well work for you for free.
- This is really fun. By now your employee has a worried look on his face when he comes into work in the morning. By the way, even though you are on the exact same time schedule as he is, make it clear that you don’t have to be on time, but his job is on the line if he’s late.
- By this time either your employee is jumping out of his skin every time you come around, or your employee is displaying signs of resentment. You have got to put an end to this resentment. Watch him. If he forgets to say Thank you to you scream at him and demand respect. Tell him he is rude and ungrateful and insinuate that his job is on the line. Demand an apology. If he kisses your feet, cries or shakes uncontrollably, smile and forgive him for his sins. If he does none of the above but merely apologize, stomp away. After all, he is a nobody.
- One day, send an email requesting that your employee do something you know he doesn’t know how to do. Withhold important information from him. When he nervously come to you asking for information on how to accomplish your request, look at him with disbelief, shake your head, say his name several times in a sad tone and let him feel like a complete idiot for not knowing the answers. Reluctantly give him the information that he needs and let him know you are extremely disappointed in him. Watch him walk away in humiliation. Later, go to your employee and inform him that you purposely withheld information from him and that he did the right thing by coming to you and asking you for information. Tell him you want him to ask questions. That’s how we learn. Walk away chuckling. It sure feels good to feel superior. Besides it’s funny to watch someone squirm.
- If your employee manages to do something well, either don’t acknowledge it, or find a flaw in it. Especially if he doesn’t do it the way you would have done it.
- Make sure you point out flaws and mistakes as often as possible. If you can’t find new ones, bring up old ones. Or use things that he told you back when you were friends.
- Make every day a new adventure. Show your employee your emotional roller coaster ride. Be up and sparkling one minute, scream the next, and then collapse in tears. Then suddenly be bright and smiling again. Expect your employee to go on the ride with you.
- Your employee is either heading for the funny farm by now or ready to be your slave forever. This is good. You want him broken so you can mould him. If the employee chooses to ride your roller coaster with you, you’ve got a good employee that you have complete control over.
- Occasionally you might find an employee who won’t crack. They refuse to smile when you smile, and they won’t cry when you cry. Not only can you not control the strings on this person, but his work is suffering from the emotional and mental stress you’ve placed on him. This person must be gotten rid of. Get the boss to do it with some vague explanation as to why he must be let go. Don’t go into details. By this time the employee will be thankful to be fired and will happily head off to the unemployment office.
- So now, either you’ve got an employee you can control, or you get to start all over again torturing a new victim.
Who said the workplace couldn’t be fun?