* 2 min read

A few months ago our program manager said to me:

“You are lazy…No! No! You are lazy and don’t want to read your email.”

He said these statements out loud in a condescending voice while I was walking to my next workstation. I sat down and looked at him talking and forcing his argument on me, which was that I had to read every single email sent to me. I listened to him with a smile on my face. He finished, turned around, and walked back to his cubical.

A co-worker came out of his cubical, looked at me, and asked me what had just happened.

I said, “Apparently his wife gave him hard time last night, and he took it out on me.

“No seriously…what happened?” the co-worker replied.

I replied that we were arguing about an email that was sent about three months ago. It was one of those cc emails. I didn’t read it. He heard me asking our deputy program manager about our latest movement policy inside the Iraqi fortified Green Zone. He got upset and blamed me for not having a high sense of “situational awareness”.

The policy didn’t apply to us at the time I got the email. It was prior to our new housing location movement. Plus, we work in an environment where policies being updated on a regular basis. It is very hard mentally to keep track of all these policies. If I need to reference a policy I will go look up the most recent one.

In the past decade of my work experience, I have learned management lessons; many of them are “what not to do, if I was a manager”. That bad conversations will be remembered more easily than the good ones is a valuable lesson of management.

Some managers think that talking in a condescending way, screaming, threatening, or even bullying, are proper management techniques – a way to assert their authority.

This was a turn-off for me. I lost respect for that manager. In the end, our program manager who managed a multi-million dollar U.S. government contract couldn’t even manage his own eating habits. He was sent home to America recently for health issues.

At this point, the blog had ended. I sent it to a friend of mine who works at a different company, which has another multi-million dollar contract with the U.S. government, for his blessing and opinion before I publish it. His response was:

I like this one… maybe because it helps me realize that other bosses are idiots too – not just mine – and it gives me hope that my idiot boss might develop some form of serious health crisis….. hopefully it will be kidney stones.”

His response inspired me with a few extra writing points. Many managers are proud for their years of experience or their certifications in management. But they still continue to fail to manage their personal habits, which could be a possible future blog about these issues for me:

  • Transfer their negative emotions from meeting to meeting.
  • Mute their employee’s viewpoints.

The irony is that companies continue to offer “corporate ethic” training. Yet many employees remain silent to protect their jobs. I could’ve easily responded back at my program manager with insult. I was able to manage my personal emotions. Plus the story inspired me to make the following comic about the situation.

laziness in perspective


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