Ideas For Bad Managers: Terry Tate

Life in a work place can be challenging. There are rules – formal and informal – to follow; processes that make things work more or less efficiently; and then there are the humans. For Bad Managers, the workplace’s humans are a constant source of confusion and disappointment. They rarely perform exactly like the case studies in Personnel Management text books, so all of those scripts that Bad Managers memorise to deal with pesky HR issues are basically useless.

Enter Terry Tate: Office Linebacker. This Reebok commercial from the Super Bowl back in 2003 shows that Terry Tate always knows what to do. Adding Terry to a workplace (maybe just offices, not factories or building sites #safetyfirst) could be just the thing to kick start productivity improvements and help to leverage synergies. Terry Tate’s tactics have stood the test of time, and his methodology is as relevant today as it was almost 15 years ago.

Terry Tate was a disruptor, innovator and change agent, transforming businesses way before all of those words just became meaningless hashtags. You want to talk about operational efficiency? Or staff engagement? Or paradigm shifts? I suggest that you bring in Terry Tate and see what happens.

Posted in Ideas For Bad Managers

Ideas For Bad Managers: Meeting Invitations

Today, an idea for Bad Managers who are struggling to get that one member of the team to attend regular team meetings. You know the one – they are either “too busy”, or “too sick”, or “leaving early”.

It could be because your meetings are a waste of time, Bad Manager – you let people waffle on without getting to an actual point; the agenda is  hijacked by the loudest person in the room; people dial in to the meeting and forget to mute their phones, thereby sharing the sounds of barking dogs and supermarkets and cyclonic winds. And everyone wears their busy-ness like a badge of honour – we get it, but WE’RE ALL BUSY, CAROL.

Anyway, if you’re a Bad Manager and there’s someone who keeps outwitting you and avoiding the team meetings, here’s an idea. Make them feel welcome, and special, by issuing them with an old school, handwritten invitation. That way, they’ll think your meeting is actually a super fun party (that may even have cake and gift bags) and you will trick them into attending.

And if you want to take it to the next level of passive aggressive bad management, you might consider using Princess invitations, to really reinforce your point. “Join us for our weekly team meeting” sounds just as exciting as “Join us for Taylah’s 5th birthday” when you put it on an invitation like this. Especially if you use a glitter pen.


[These invitations are by Jot and Mark, and you can buy them on Amazon.]


Ideas For Bad Managers: An Honest Meditation

Today’s Idea For Bad Managers is a personal favourite. When I first saw this back in 2015, I knew straight away that it was an idea whose time had come. And its time is still here. In this crazy mixed-up world, I think we can all use some time out to relax, reflect, and meditate.

There are a lot of wellbeing and workplace wellness programs and practices out there. A Bad Manager can harness a lot of good information and helpful tips (a lot of it even costs nothing) to use to develop and support their team. Or, they can use this guided meditation, which is a little bit different.

Given that it contains swearing (the title is the first hint of that), it’s best to listen with headphones. But Bad Managers probably won’t take heed of that, and will launch it on their phone (without headphones) while on the bus, or on their laptop (at full volume) in the workplace. And then they will turn around and blame ME, for sharing it with them in the first place.

Posted in Ideas For Bad Managers

Ideas for Bad Managers: The Sloth

It is a fact of working life that not all managers are great. In fact, in my expert opinion, I would say that the majority of managers are not great. That doesn’t mean they’re bad people, of course, but that reassurance doesn’t really help you when you are working for one – or if you are one, and you know it.

Here at Work Tips For Humans, we’re always looking for ways to help, whether you are/have a good manager or a bad manager, or no manager at all (#holygrail). So, today begins a potentially regular series of Ideas For Bad Managers. If you’re looking for a passive aggressive, conflict avoidant, sneaky way to deal with the humans in your workplace, these should provide some inspiration.

Today’s Idea For Bad Managers: this sloth (official etsy title – Sloth Felt Face).

Sloth Felt Face by Felt Beasts on etsy

This Sloth Felt Face could be the workplace equivalent of a perpetual trophy or award that no one wants. The opposite of the Player of The Week trophy that gets passed around the Under 6’s football team throughout the season. In true Bad Manager passive aggressive style, this Sloth Felt Face wouldn’t be presented in public. It would be left on the workspace of the recipient in the dead of night – a stealth Slothing, to maximise the shock and awe when it is discovered.

Because the message behind this cute Sloth Felt Face is clear – to the recipient, and everyone else who sees it. YOU ARE THE SLOWEST AND LAZIEST CREATURE HERE. Now, some would say that’s de-motivating. But I suggest that there’s nothing more motivating than a workplace warning (with a cute face), encouraging the recipient to up their game and get the sloth off their back (so to speak) by proving they can work harder and faster.

And then next week, the Sloth Felt Face might go to someone else in the team. But if the same person is getting slothed three times in a row, it’s definitely time to call in HR. Or, you know, maybe even try to have a direct, honest conversation with the person yourself, Bad Manager. That’s another idea you might want to consider…

[You can buy your very own Sloth Felt Face from the excellent Felt Beasts store on etsy. It even comes with a cool little plexiglass display stand.]