The toxic boss' attempt to micromanage employees and blame them for his mishap blew up on his face.
Editor's Note: This article was originally published on December 30, 2021.
When a boss micromanages every minute detail of your work, it makes for a toxic work environment that in turn affects productivity. Trust is a key factor to enable people to manage their work responsibly. While some bosses get this, some refuse to even try to understand how micromanaging may be harmful. Reddit user PugC speaks of his boss who made his life a living hell by forcing him to write daily logs to document the progress of his work. Despite being informed that such detailed reports would consume a majority of his time and thus hinder actual work, his boss insisted that he write down every small detail happening in his team. The arduous task came in handy for the employee when his boss tried to pass off blame on a major issue at work on him and his team.
PugC had shared his story on Reddit, titling the post, "Micromanager got what was coming to him." He was working at a logistics facility and was a team leader, managing a shift of 60 workers. The team was functioning really well and no other facility or shift could match the work they were accomplishing. "I found the work to be interesting and challenging until I got a new manager who bent towards micro-managing. It didn't take long before he wanted me to write a detailed log of how I spent my days, hours and 1/4 hours. I told him this was a really bad idea, but if he wanted this, I would of course comply," wrote the team lead.
He made a log of events that happened every 30 minutes but his boss demanded they be more detailed and asked him to document every 15 minutes. His boss followed it up for the first three weeks but then gave up. The team lead realized his boss wasn't following up after he made a reference to the company failing that specific metric. The boss, not having read it, ignored it.
As the weeks went past, he started having his own fun with the logs. "I started adding a few tidbits of my own making. At first, it was a line telling him that if he used a certain phrase when talking to me the next week, I'd buy him a soda. He never used any of the phrases and thus never got free stuff. an example of a phrase could be 'Pineapples are best served hot' or 'Apples are sweeter than Oranges' General statements but unlikely to pop up randomly in conversations. Boss still claimed he read every single one of my reports and ridiculed me for claiming it was a bad idea," he wrote. While the team was having his own fun, he was also documenting potential problems and giving suggestions to solve the same. There was no response from his boss.
As it turns out the potential problem became a full-blown crisis and the micro-manager boss was in the soup. Instead of owning up to it, he shifted blame onto the team lead and his team. A big meeting was called involving higher-ups including several big brass people. His boss then decided to make him the scapegoat to escape blame. "He didn't hold back and really gave me his all to such an extent that several of the big brass started stirring uncomfortably. They could probably sense he was overplaying his hand. After the tirade petered out or he had run out of steam, I asked him if he was done. And if he was done, if I could reply? He agreed and leaned back in his chair confident in his character assassination of me," he wrote.
He connected his laptop to a big screen and pointed out he had alerted his boss of the problem months ago and even suggested potential solutions to solve the same. "I pointed out that they hadn't been opened in a while. My user was the only one that had made the logs, edited them, and saved them," he wrote. "One of the best moments was when I could show everyone that we had in fact suggested several solutions to the problem many times. I had also logged that we had several meetings discussing the problem, its causes and probable solutions," he added. There were no responses from his boss.
His boss was seething. "I can safely say I've never seen a face angrier than his. He was furious! His boss asked him if he had anything to say for himself, but he didn't really. The higher-ups even had a laugh at some of the jokes he had inserted in the logs. His boss ended up losing his job. "Micro-manager boss that was fired eventually found a new job at a lower level at another company, but only lasted about a year. Five years later I saw him selling used cars in a neighboring town. Life hadn't treated him well," he concluded.