A Step By Step Guide To Becoming A Great Boss


Congratulations, you’ve been promoted to a managerial position. It’s everything you’ve always wanted: higher salary, more prestige, additional responsibility. But there are also some hurdles. You’re the big cheese of the department now. Everything that goes wrong falls on you. Plus, that doesn’t even include the gossiping behind your back, pulling pranks in the office, and employees planning violent mutinies. Being the boss is hard, so if you want to crush it, you need to implement a few smart strategies.

1. Play favorites.

There’s only one way to get people to follow your every order, and that’s to show that following orders results in preferential treatment. You can’t be your eyes and ears all the time, which means you’ll need a small team of dedicated spies to make sure you know about every rumor and meme of you floating around the office. Some of it can be as simple as complimenting Barry’s work ethic in front of the receptionist he has a crush on. Sometimes you’ll need to be a little more secretive about it, in the form of bonuses and parking privileges. The key is that you don’t necessarily want to play up the favoritism in front of the other employees, as that will rally them against your handpicked group. You need them to still be accepted by the rabble. The quickest way to tank someone in an office environment is for everyone to think that they’re sucking up to the boss. If one employee in particular is giving you trouble, don’t discipline him and make him a martyr. Instead, do favors for him in front of the others, effectively alienating him from the group. Then, when you fire him under suspicious circumstances, no one will be outraged.

2. Allow drinking on the job.

You can’t just hope that your ability to weed out the troublemakers will magically solve all of your disgruntled employee problems. Obviously, you should go to the words of Juvenal (no, not “Slow Motion” Juvenile, the Roman satirist) and implement “bread and circuses,” the classic use of shallow desire fulfillment to placate a restless populace. In the workplace, this means booze. Alcohol makes everything better. Sure, some of your productivity may go down if everyone’s getting tanked, but I’m sure that there are enough responsible drinkers on your team who will maintain a nice buzz and still get their work done on time. For those people, they’ll look back on each workweek with fondness. Do you realize how many shitty parties you’ve gone to and not been aware of it because you were drinking? Work can be the same way. Play some tunes, let the liquor flow, and watch everyone flock to your side.

3. Let people sleep their way to the top.

I believe in sexual favors exchanged for career enhancement. I also believe that this practice should be entirely free from gender bias. On one hand, attractive women who rise quickly through a company will already have that stigma attached to them, so they might as well get laid in the process. On the other, I think attractive dudes should just as easily be allowed to increase their earnings flow potential via the increase in blood flow to their genitals. That’s not even an equality thing for men, it’s also for women. Why shouldn’t a female boss be permitted to exercise the same amount of ethical questionability by becoming sexually involved with her subordinates in exchange for the tacit assumption that it will result in a promotion? If the dudes can do it, the ladies should get to, too.

4. Sandbag your execs in front of the employees.

Don’t do anything that will get you fired, obviously, but show that you have a sense of humor about authority. Everyone loves the maverick politician who works “outside the system” for the good of the people (even though he’s just as corrupt and shitty as everyone else). You can be your office’s John McCain. And you can do it without enduring torture at the hands of the Viet Cong, at that! Be willing to do some eye rolling while standing behind the VP as he gives a speech to the muffled amusement of your underlings. Send out the sarcastic emails detailing new company policies. Sure, you’ll still enforce everything, but you want them to think that it’s because THE MAN is forcing you to, not because you’re actually just another managerial cog in the corporate machine.

5. Fire anyone who threatens your reign.

It’s the circle of authority. Unsatisfied people become dissenters. Dissenters become rebels. Rebels become generals. Generals become dictators, who then begin anew by making a whole new group of people unsatisfied. So nip everything in the bud. If you can’t manage to satisfy the perturbed, start watching them. You don’t want to wait until they have so much sway over the office that they’re unfireable. Everyone is fucking up something. Make a catalog of reasons to get rid of them, and for fuck’s sake, do it sooner rather than later. Hell, transfer them if you have to. The good thing is that you and Bill over in accounts receivable can trade dissenters between your departments. They’ll lose the goodwill foothold they have over the other employees in their offices, but you also won’t lose face by firing someone who’s well liked. You can even disguise it as a promotion. Give them more money and responsibility, but shove them away in a corner and bury them with work. Let’s see them organize a happy hour for all the low-wage folks to get together and bad mouth you and the other bosses when you’ve got their desk piled high with bullshit reports in need of a rubber stamp.

Riches will follow. Sic semper tyrannis, motherfucker.

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Randall J. Knox

Randall J. Knox (known colloquially to his friends as "Knox") left his native Texas a few years ago, and moved to Los Angeles in his '03 Buick Regal named LeRoi to write movies with his jackass college buddies. His favorite things in life include bourbon that's above his pay grade, mix CDs, and Kevin Costner films. He isn't sure what "dad jeans" are exactly, but he knows he wants a pair.

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