Help! My boss is nuts: Bouncing-ball management

May 17, 2007, 3:15 PM UTC

In their own words, readers talk about the bullies, narcissists and other crazy bosses they spend their working days with.

A reader from Atlanta writes:

For 20 years, I managed a department in a division run by Mr. Crazy. He always used the bouncing-ball management style, aka, choosing the Enemy of the Month. Woe betide the manager chosen for this dubious honor. It was a matter of surviving until the ball bounced onto someone else.

Insecure and domineering, Mr. Crazy took credit for every major accomplishment in the division. In one major project I conceived, he set out to oppose me at every turn, even ridiculing the project in the presence of my fellow managers. But when the project turned out to be a major money-maker, Mr. Crazy quickly downplayed my own contribution and took credit for conceiving and executing the project.

My two decades at that firm were about 19 years too long under this nut. I took early retirement as soon as I became eligible. Two years after that, apparently Mr. Crazy’s superiors had had enough of him. He was shoved out the door into forced retirement, much to the relief of the subordinates who remained. Life lesson: if you find yourself working for Mr. Crazy, get out ASAP. You will never get credit for your accomplishments, but you will bear the blame for everything that doesn’t reflect great credit on him.

What do you think? Is this boss crazy?