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How many bosses do you have?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Joseph K., Mar 23, 2007.

  1. Joseph K.

    Joseph K. New Member

    This ocurred to me last weekend when Comedy Central was showing "Office Space," and Peter was telling the Bobs that he has seven bosses. This made me laugh until I actually counted up my bosses. I'm an SE at a small daily, and I have five bosses. This usually isn't a problem except that they usually tell me different things (and one often forgets what he tells me and later questions me on his own previous decisions). This is my first paper, but four bosses seems excessive to me. Is it?
  2. John

    John Well-Known Member

    Peter Gibbons: The thing is, Bob, it's not that I'm lazy, it's that I just don't care.
    Bob Porter: Don't... don't care?
    Peter Gibbons: It's a problem of motivation, all right? Now if I work my ass off and Initech ships a few extra units, I don't see another dime; so where's the motivation? And here's something else, Bob: I have eight different bosses right now.
    Bob Slydell: I beg your pardon?
    Peter Gibbons: Eight bosses.
    Bob Slydell: Eight?
    Peter Gibbons: Eight, Bob. So that means that when I make a mistake, I have eight different people coming by to tell me about it. That's my only real motivation is not to be hassled; that, and the fear of losing my job. But you know, Bob, that will only make someone work just hard enough not to get fired.
  3. Joseph K.

    Joseph K. New Member

    Sorry. Eight bosses. Five suddenly doesn't seem so bad.
    Posting the whole scene did make me laugh, though. Thanks.
  4. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    I can draw a line from me to the Big Editor with only one inrtermediate stop in between.

    That said, there are a dozen people in the building who think they know better than me. Hell, maybe they do.
  5. Moderator1

    Moderator1 Moderator Staff Member

    I have ONE boss. But he has a boss and he has a boss and he has a boss. Our Big Guy is a big believer in chain of command. Some follow it. Some don't.
  6. Joseph K.

    Joseph K. New Member

    Fair enough. At least one of those, maybe two, aren't technically in charge of me. They just like to tell me what to do. If I took a stand against them once in a while, I'd probably be OK.
  7. ColbertNation

    ColbertNation Member

    I have four, not including our absentee publisher.
  8. Appgrad05

    Appgrad05 Active Member

    At the very most, I have three. The SE obviously have direct control and his boss, the paper's editor, usually just passes along information or gives "friendly advice." I talk to the publisher once every month or so and it usually is because of something inane. The worst thing I ever heard from him was he saw a grammatical mistake popping up in my copy that he wanted to point out.
  9. joe_schmoe

    joe_schmoe Active Member

    Four, technically...at least heircarchly. I have seniority over them all though.
  10. PHINJ

    PHINJ Active Member

    I have 4 1/2 bosses. That's not counting people like the CEO or the owner, or people like the ME of features or ME/Sunday. The 1/2 is an editor who technically could tell me what to do, but doesn't.

    The good thing is that my immediate supervisor is so well-respected that the bigger bosses pretty much let him do what he wants, or they do what he wants. And my immediate supervisor is great.
  11. brettwatson

    brettwatson Active Member

    It's awfully hard to keep more than 2 bosses happy. Indirect bosses are another story. To me a boss is someone in the newsroom who can second-guess you on any of the many decisions you have to make. If you are writer, it's probably only your editor and his superior. If you are a section editor, it may just be an ME and exec. editor. I don't think a publiisher really counts.

    And realistically, the person who does your review is the primary person to keep happy. If you have to try to appease two folks who have different views or expectations on something, go with the one who does your review. But make sure you explain to him or her the dilemma you face when there are conflicting agendas. They most assuredly find themselves in the same spot too and should be able to relate. Letting him know you chose to make him happy should gain you an ally.
  12. Walter Burns

    Walter Burns Member

    I'll tell you what. When I worked at something resembling a metro, that scene was my fucking manifesto. I did just enough to not get fired because there was no percentage otherwise...until I got moved to sports. I was a bulldog there, mostly because I knew how bad it was in other departments.
    Now, at a small daily, I have one boss. But he's been absentee or a micromanaging prick. I'm hoping the next one is a happy medium.
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