The Monkeybrain Manager

Thoughts on Mismanagement in the Workplace

Monkeybrain is ubiquitous, multifarious, and many-headed. We all know him, but how do we pin him down in words. This is one attempt. All characters are ficitious, of course, bearing no resemblence to the living or dead.

Definition of a Monkeybrain Manager

  1. A manager who hears nothing, sees nothing, and knows nothing about management.
  2. A manager who, if he had the slightest inkling of what it was to be a manager, wouldn't be interested. (For every he, read he/she, for it is widely known that Monkeybrains have no respect for gender.)
  3. One who muddles management, simulates a simian, and is, by and large, largely brain dead.
  4. A manager whose primary concern is his own concern.
  5. A manager who leaves you with one important thought. That if you can survive him, you can survive anything.
  6. A manager who can change his opinion in less time than it takes to say, “Duh ....”
  7. A manager who knows nothing, basically knows he knows nothing, but persists in the pretense that he knows everything.
  8. A vacuum that has risen from the status of a cipher to achieve the notoriety of a nonentity.

Monkeybrain's Responses to a New Idea

  1. But ... but ... but ...
  2. If only, you know ... (closing his eyes in deepest thought).
  3. As a matter of fact, we had thought of that.
  4. If only we had the people ...
  5. If only we had the finances ...
  6. Looks like rain.
  7. Why don't you talk to, ahhh ...
  8. Interesting.... But you'll never guess who I bumped into the other day?
  9. There are two ways of looking at that. Neither of which are ... that is, both of which are ....
  10. Funny, I was just thinking of that.
  11. Say that again.
  12. There was a guy before who thought like you.

Monkeybrain's Principles for Handling Staff

  1. Steer clear of anyone who knows his stuff; if he knows his stuff, he is likely to know yours, too.
  2. There two kinds of people: those who can be made use of and those who cannot. Telling them apart is easy: those who can be used are generally useless; those who cannot be used are generally useful.
  3. Find people with weaknesses, and exploit them.
  4. Wait for the lazy, the lacking, and the lamebrained. They'll come to you like ducks to water.
  5. Never utter a kind word without an ulterior motive; and even then, think twice.
  6. Never praise anyone's work unless there's something in it for you.
  7. Do nothing that lacks political pinnings.
  8. Performance evaluations should never made on their own merits, but closely tied to political objectives.
  9. Foster dissension among staff to forestall feelings of solidarity.

Monkeybrain's Rules for Survival

  1. Strive to keep people ignorant of your ignorance (if they are not ignorant of it already ... or whatever).
  2. Occasionally impress by uttering a word of wisdom (ignoring agonized eyes).
  3. Carry the Director's briefcase whenever possible.
  4. Carry the Director's briefcase for as long as possible once glomed onto it.
  5. Carry the Director's briefcase in such a way as to suggest that one's life would be too small a price to pay in its defence.
  6. See that the Director appreciates how highly your staff regard you.
  7. Agree, with seemly reservation, with all negative comments made by the Director about other people.
  8. Agree, with increasingly seemly reservation, with all positive comments made by the Director about other people.
  9. Let the Director know, in the most circulatory way, that you feel he is doing an exceedingly wonderful job.
  10. When the Director says something, laugh, smile, and look solemn, as circumstances dictate. Then, as circumstances dictate, laugh, smile, and sook solemn.
  11. Never forget that the most noteworthy detail of the day may lie in the crease in the Director's pants.

Monkeybrains in Conference

Monkeybrain and Zen Riddles

General Thoughts on Monkeybrains

Monkeybrain's Innermost thoughts

Monkeybrain Laws of Management

  1. My policy is no policy ... always has been, alway will.
  2. There are no new ideas. I had them all twenty years ago.
  3. Beware of those with ability. Befriend those with inability. All else ignore.
  4. When in doubt do nothing. When not in doubt, do something dumb.
  5. All meetings can be conducted using the following words: ah, uh, and zzz.
  6. Ignorance is bliss. Make the most of it.
  7. Anything worth doing is worth doing wrong--repeatedly.
  8. If there is a right way and a wrong way of doing something, choose the easier course.
  9. Up is down, and down is up. Right is left, and left is right. Good is bad, and bad is good. (You get the general idea.)
  10. If you have a new idea, bring it to me. I'll make it a memorable occasion.