Monday, August 06, 2007

Tyrant Bosses

When I worked at studios, I can't say I had a boss who was an over-bearing jack-ass. Eccentric? Hard-charging? Yeah, probably those things, but never was I gifted with a 14-carat jerk who made my life miserable.

But it seems there's a lot of louts out there, and they appear to thrive:

In the study to be presented at a conference on management this weekend, almost two-thirds of the 240 participants in an online survey said the local workplace tyrant was either never censured or was promoted for domineering ways.

"The fact that 64.2 percent of the respondents indicated that either nothing at all or something positive happened to the bad leader is rather remarkable -- remarkably disturbing," wrote the study's authors, Anthony Don Erickson, Ben Shaw and Zha Agabe of Bond University in Australia...

There are horror stories about evil supervisors in every corner of the workplace. As a guild rep, I often get a bird's eye view of good and bad work situations. I've encountered supervisors who are way less than perfect.

There was a department supervisor who came back from lunch every day drunk, and drove his staff crazy with emotional, semi-coherent rants.

Then there are directors and supervisors that can't decide what they want until they see it, and make artists change the board or design multiple times until they get something they're happy with (lots of post-its on the drawings.)

And finally there are the bosses who are big on publicly humiliating underlings. Those types are always a delight.

(The estimable Pam Thompson, who has worked in animation a while now, has some fine tips on how to protect yourself from much of the abuse here.)

14 comments:

Floyd Norman said...

As artists, we all can utilize a powerful tool. Draw gags about the SOB. It's always worked for me.

There is a downside, however. Some bosses actually enjoy being portrayed as mean. They actually seem to get off on being seen as an overbearing jerk.

Anonymous said...

Yeah... right... that'll teach them.

Anonymous said...

this topic actually ties in with the whole unpaid o.t. debate.

part of the problem are these producers or show creators who are so full of themselves that they dont care if their workers are miserable.

all they care about is their little slice of fame and their own ego gratification so they use whatever manipulative means they can (sometimes cruelty and bullying, sometimes intimidation disguised as friendship) to make themselves look good.

Anonymous said...

I deal with a supervisor that cannot make up their mind to save their life. This person has the ability to draw but has gotten so lazy ever since they received their Big award. when a quick sketch would make things easier and They get what they want. Instead I have to deal with vague descriptions and ideas and try and guess what this person is looking for. Needless to say, I have to redraw and make corrections countless times until they see what they want. A job that should take less than a day ends up taking over a week. They work my nerves to where I just want to start kicking something.

Anonymous said...

"As artists, we all can utilize a powerful tool. Draw gags about the SOB. It's always worked for me."

The pathetic equivalent of a waiter spitting in a customers soup.

Robert Peterson said...

Hello there, I'm trying to contact one of the contributors of this blog. I'm working on an animation news website which reports news on Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Disney, Anime, and CG movies like Shrek and I need reporters and reviewers and anyone who can help out the site in anyway. The site isn't finished yet but with the right help I hope it can become well known if not popular. Please get back to me on this, thank you.

Anonymous said...

"This person has the ability to draw but has gotten so lazy ever since they received their Big award."
Just ask Mr.Bird to draw a sketch for you.
;)

Floyd Norman said...

Aw, alright.

Get a tire iron and beat the crap out of them.

Steve Hulett said...

I'm trying to contact one of the contributors of this blog.

Easy as pie. There's this little envelope icon at the bottom of posts? With an arrow?

Try clicking on that.

Steve Hulett said...

I deal with a supervisor that cannot make up their mind to save their life. This person has the ability to draw but has gotten so lazy ever since they received their Big award. when a quick sketch would make things easier and They get what they want.

This is a problem I see at different studios.

But the quick sketch thing isn't always a great solution. Woolie Reitherman used to paste scribbles over story sketches at Disney, and the story artists were more confused after the scribbles than before.

Woolie got a little sloppy (rusty?) in later years. Because he'd been one of the primo Disney animators in his time.

Robert Peterson said...

I still can't reach anybody mr. hulett

s.r. hulett said...

I still can't reach anybody mr. hulett

I replied to your e-mail and got a bounce back.

Don't know what else I can do.

Sorry. TAG's phone # is available through various directories.

Steve H.

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Asher Adelman said...

You can now rate toxic bosses anonymously at eBossWatch dot com.

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