It is an immutable fact of nature that everyone is smarter than their boss. Sure, there are exceptions, but not everyone can be Mr. Alley.
I remember when Google Maps first unveiled its satellite view. I entered the address where I was working, then called my boss over. “Hey, look. That’s our office!”
My boss stared at the screen in disbelief for a moment, then pointed at our building and asked, “Is this live?”
Before I could explain the complexity and expense of such a task, my boss added an even greater layer of stupidity. He looked up. At the ceiling.
To this day, I have no idea what he was expecting to see.
On another occasion, I was helping out our payroll accountant. She asked me to grab twenty checks from her drawer. I started counting by hand, but she stopped me and said, “Just use the check numbers. They’re in order.”
Ah! Great idea! I looked at the top number, then flipped through to the 20th one. I handed it over, saying, “Here ya go, checks 2046 through 2065.”
She gave me a disappointed look that told me I’d done something very silly. “Now, Anonymous, what’s sixty-five minus forty-six?”
“Um, are you telling me that, if I gave you one through twenty, that would be nineteen checks?”
She didn’t know how to respond. How could she? She was an accountant. Named Penny!
Today might be the most egregious example of a PHB in my young life. Last night, after most of the cast and crew and producers had left, we changed the front door lock to a key pad. This morning, my boss told me to write a memo to let everyone know the code.
So, they’ll all have a nice, neat memo, with the code to get into the building, waiting for them on their desk. Inside the building.
Have you ever worked for someone dumber than you?