2 amusing things

by Ask a Manager on August 8, 2012

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I have been watching this video over and over and laughing hysterically at it. Please watch it immediately.

Also: In the process of looking for an old post on something else, I came across the one below. I am reprinting it here in its entirety because it is so wonderful.

* * *

angry boss writing angry memos

OCTOBER 4, 2010

A reader sent me a link to these fantastic memos from a Tiger Oil CEO in the 1970s.

They are awesome.

Some excerpts:

“I swear, but since I am the owner of this company, that is my privilege, and this privilege is not to be interpreted as the same for any employee. That differentiates me from you, and I want to keep it that way.”

“I have noticed the rugs throughout this office are very dirty from people spilling things on them. I will have them cleaned (which will cost me $1,000.00); and, in future, if people cannot carry their coffee without spilling it on my rugs, we will do away with the coffee pots entirely just as we did away with the food.”

“Do not speak to me when you see me. If I want to to speak to you, I will do so. I want to save my throat. I don’t want to ruin it by saying hello to all of you sons-of-bitches.”

And there’s plenty more. Read them immediately, preferably from somewhere where you can gasp loudly and laugh without disturbing anyone.

(I always suspect things that are slightly too awesome of being a hoax, but as far as anyone seems to be able to tell, these are real.)

{ 52 comments… read them below or add one }

Lexy August 8, 2012 at 6:06 pm

lol @ “You get what you pay for” too true chill dude… too true.

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Ask a Manager August 8, 2012 at 6:07 pm

“Two grand is not enough to get that kind of work done right!”

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Josh S August 8, 2012 at 6:13 pm

Beat me to the quote!

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JT August 8, 2012 at 7:28 pm

OMG I just spit up on my keyboard.

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Jamie August 8, 2012 at 6:47 pm

Definately should have outsourced!

And YAY to Tiger Oil memos! I’ve had these bookmarked since the first run – never fail to crack me up.

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Shane August 8, 2012 at 6:55 pm

I am loving those memos. I am not sure whether I would love or hate to work under the guy…

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jmkenrick August 8, 2012 at 7:04 pm

In a werid way, it sometimes can be amusing to have someone in your life for you to marvel at/commiserate about with other people.

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Ask a Manager August 8, 2012 at 7:35 pm

I would kind of like to try it for a few months.

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Jamie August 9, 2012 at 8:23 am

Actually – when you look past the batcrap crazy communication style he has some definite good points:

Communication:
- He understands the value of clear communication (insistence on typing)

Pay/Perks/Benefits:
- He provides daily lunches both prepared in house and catered
- Two weeks vacation after the first year and an additional two weeks for each year thereafter. That’s a pretty generous vacation policy.
- Seems to pay well – willing to pony up to get people to work and it will balance out.

Employee Relations:
-Doesn’t mind sharing candy, cigars, medicine, and other personal items – just asks that people not rifle through his desk drawers to help themselves.
-Wants to be notified at any time in case of death…so no sleeping through a fatality for him!
-Insists that the employees treat each other, customers, and business partners with courtesy and respect
-Employees aren’t forced into awkward workplace birthday celebrations or uncomfortable small talk with the boss.
- Public praise of valued employees and understands the value of a good auditor/accountant and troubleshooter.
- Open to suggestions (as long as they are signed and sent via registered mail)
- Doesn’t let the employees walk all over the receptionist.

Good Business Practices:
- Buy what you need and utilize what you have is the heart of Lean manufacturing before it had a name.
- Inventory, receipts, invoices, POs dont properly – and 5S
- Cracks down on fraud in expense accounts, but doesn’t quibble about legitimate expenses.

Safety:
- Big on equipment inspections which results in safer working conditions.
- Allows drivers to assist motorists who are stranded or who have been in accidents. Concern for public welfare.
- Opposed to speeding due to the dangers to employees, the public, and equipment.
- Insists on only skilled welders
- Insists that his drivers get 6 hours of sleep for every 24 hour period. This ensures safety for his drivers and the public at large.
- Most importantly of all is adamantly opposed to drivers drinking or taking medication while on duty – and doesn’t care what they do on their days off.

My husband’s SUV is in the shop, so we carpooled into work today…so since I wasn’t driving I had time on my hands to apparently write an analysis of my favorite memos ever to show you can spin anything – just depends on how you choose to look at it.

I know this sounds crazy, but I wouldn’t mind working for him for a little while either. Not a career, but I would think a few months would give you stories for a lifetime.

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Sparky629 August 9, 2012 at 11:09 am

ITA with your assessment, even though I couldn’t put my finger on the specifics like you did. But the entire time I was reading the memos, I was shaking my head in an agreement and thinking that he has has some really good points.
IMHO, I would totally love love working for him (maybe it’s the whole military thing he has going on in the way he runs his company).
I can take rough/gruff presentation of his management style, I just hate incompetence and laziness disguised as ‘being a nice person’.

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Anonymous August 8, 2012 at 7:07 pm

The memo post reminds me of a company I was interested in and after taking your advice on doing a background research on the company, I came across a bad e-mail the CEO of Cerner wrote to his employees. It’s a bit outdated but I believe its the same CEO today.

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Ask a Manager August 8, 2012 at 7:33 pm

I had to look it up. Here’s the link for others:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/1263917.stm

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Andrea August 8, 2012 at 8:25 pm

Two things—

1) I’m in KC, and that hitman thing happened a while ago–I think two years. I am not sure why it’s all over Gawker now. But yeah, hilarious. Also sound advice, I think, and though I do not plan to hire a hitman (or hitwoman) any time soon, if I ever do, I shall hire one from NY, and I will pay at least 10k. Thanks for the PSA, chill dude!

2) My husband also interviewed with and was offered a job with Cerner before I found that same memo online and showed it to him about a year and a half ago. He decided that it was not the place for him. They offered more money, and he still said no. We know several people who work there (including a neighbor), and they are indeed expected to be there a LOT. Apparently that is the only measure of productivity that is valued there. My husband’s an IT consultant for a locally-headquartered firm, and he works from home here with me about half the time, and the rest of the time, he’s at sites within 30 min or so from the house. Basically, he makes significantly more and works less than he would have there. But if he’d taken that job with Cerner….shudder. We’d never see each other. (In another time and place, he might have been working all the time, and I might have grown to hate him, and I might have needed to get in touch with a hitman. I think we’re all better off since I googled and found that Cerner memo, yes?). But it’s funny that Anon mentions it, too—wonder how many talented, skilled applicants with options refused to consider them after reading that Cerner memo?

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Andrea August 8, 2012 at 8:27 pm

Sorry–the Cerner thing was an email, not a memo like I said. Must have been thinking memo after reading those others.

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Ask a Manager August 8, 2012 at 8:45 pm

It would be really interesting to know what the long-term effects of that PR debacle were!

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Jamie August 9, 2012 at 8:51 am

I think Patterson himself has weathered it okay. He’s still there and pulled in 5.6 mil in compensation for 2011. This was about 10% more than he pulled in 2012.

He was also on Forbes list of Best Performing Bosses for 2010 (thanks, Wikipedia).

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Jungle Jane August 9, 2012 at 12:09 am

The owner of a company (also in the KC area) sent out a memo to stating that no cars older than a certain age could be parked in front of the building. Apparently he was offended by the beat up Chevy that was parked outside his corner window office. LOL

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Andrea August 9, 2012 at 8:47 am

Ooh—spill!

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irena August 10, 2012 at 1:37 pm

I would petition for a huge bonus for a new car so neither party will be offended ha ha. I agree with him that Ferraris, Lambos, Aston Martins etc would be such a nice view! LOL

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Two-cents August 8, 2012 at 7:16 pm

Re the “chill dude”, he’s right! Poor planning leads to poor execution. Pun intended. :)

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Steve August 8, 2012 at 7:47 pm

I like the Tiger memo on gossip.

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Ask a Manager August 8, 2012 at 7:50 pm

Also, the memo on birthdays, which prohibits “levity.”

Also, the one on Mr. Dick Phillips is amusingly mysterious.

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Jamie August 8, 2012 at 7:53 pm

My favorite is the one that ends forbidding people to speak to him because he needs to save his voice. And when he reiterates it in a later one because people are still inexplicably saying hello!

That may be one of the best things I’ve ever read.

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Jamie August 8, 2012 at 7:56 pm

I know he’s a jerk, but he really backs his auditor and I just have to love that about him.

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Ask a Manager August 8, 2012 at 7:58 pm

I also like “Just find the people you need, and if we have to pay more money to get them, it will balance out in the end.”

I seriously love these memos.

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Heather August 8, 2012 at 9:20 pm

And the woman who was hired to work in the kitchen

“if she’s there don’t loiter! Take your food and leave!” LOL

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JT August 8, 2012 at 8:06 pm

Some parts of those memos are quite reasonable. For example: “I don’t want any excuses about not being able to find anyone to work on rigs, drive tricks, or work in the yards — just find the people you need, and if we have to pay more money to get them, it will balance out in the end. “

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Ask a Manager August 8, 2012 at 8:09 pm

Yes! One interesting thing about the memos is that you can kind of see where the guy might be coming from, but then he just takes it into a crazy, insane direction.

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Lexy August 8, 2012 at 8:31 pm

I think Ed Mike Davis is the Honey Badger of CEOs.

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JT August 8, 2012 at 8:53 pm

+1

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Heather August 8, 2012 at 9:20 pm

Hilarious!

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Shane August 9, 2012 at 12:30 pm

I don’t think it is as much crazy insane as it is incredibly blunt and to the point. There is no flowery language at all and it is far more to the point than most people are used to (especially today).

“This is how things are unless Mike Davis says otherwise”

I also find it amusing that he refers to himself in third person to make perfectly clear who is actually calling the shots (rather than more ambiguous terms ‘I’ and ‘me’

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Anonymous August 9, 2012 at 1:33 pm

I think he tends to go on. He may not be “flowery” but he’s also not direct. Some of those things go on for 4 pages to say something that could’ve been said in 1 paragraph.

There’s obviously lots of drama that’s driving a lot of these memos. Instead of just telling the one or two relevant people to knock it off, he makes it a big public debacle with memos to everyone. Don’t make a new rule to address one or two people behaving badly – just deal with the people that are behaving badly. Make rules for issues that come up frequently or have a high impact.

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Kate August 8, 2012 at 10:03 pm

! I can confirm that these Tiger Oil memos are legit – I used to work with one of the people mentioned by name at a different company in Houston.

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Ask a Manager August 8, 2012 at 10:06 pm

What?! Details!

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Jamie August 9, 2012 at 6:44 am

Yes, details please!

I’ve loved these memos for so long to I’m dying to hear about a personal connection to them.

I’m such a fangirl…of memos. Yes, I know how weird that sounds.

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Matt August 8, 2012 at 11:34 pm

Cave Johnson’s voice is narrating those Tiger memos in my mind.

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Jungle Jane August 9, 2012 at 12:02 am

I wish all bosses where like this. He tells you exactly what he wants and the consequences for not doing them. No pussy footing around…!!

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Shane August 9, 2012 at 12:32 pm

Unfortunately the trends are in the opposite direction in favour of political correctness and trying to avoid hurting feelings… Sad really.

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Another Anonymous August 9, 2012 at 1:08 am

LOL! I think my supervisor took lessons from this guy. The difference is that she is too smart to document her insanity. She does a lot of talking – so we have to give in to her unreasonable demands…but we can’t prove that she makes them. I absolutely believe this is real. Hopefully, I’ll find another job soon…in the meantime, thanks for the laughs!

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Deirdre August 9, 2012 at 6:24 am

Brilliant. All of it.

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Jamie August 9, 2012 at 7:45 am

Link to article with comments from a couple of people who have worked with Tiger Mike Davis. http://www.epmag.com/Exploration/Tiger-Mike-stirs-fond-memories_41500

These are my two favorite parts:

“He was of slight build and reminded me somewhat of Woody Allen (but not the face).”

I totally did not get a Woody Allen vibe off of this guy.

“Tiger was a truly obnoxious individual especially with his Tiger Oil employees. He did treat his drilling company people differently because we had no fear of him. He needed us more than we needed him. I guess that is what made it work.”

Given how he treated the drilling employees, his auditor/accountant, and troubleshooter there is a lesson in there somewhere. Even with the most difficult of bosses the key to better treatment is making sure they need you more than you need them.

and finally…

Tiger had come out on his Lear jet out of Las Vegas with his briefcase full of $1 million in $100 bills and started handing bills out to the rig crews. He also liked to drop $100-bill tips for the local waitresses.

Just because that cracks me up!

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Jamie August 9, 2012 at 7:47 am

And that would be three, not two, favorite parts. I added the third one as an afterthought and needed to point out that I do indeed know how to count to three.

Seeing as I work with numbers for a living, it’s an important skill.

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Ask a Manager August 9, 2012 at 9:37 am

I like that he wore a light beige striped seersucker suit with a white belt and white shoes.

Oh, to have been working age in the 70s!

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Sparky629 August 9, 2012 at 11:32 am

My personal favorite, “If I don’t pay you enough money to do these things you want to do personally, then I suggest you ask for a raise or quit and get another job.’

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Jamie August 9, 2012 at 11:34 am

I love that – because I have a weird feeling that if you asked for a raise he’d consider it. If, after considering it, he didn’t agree he’d probably swear and throw you out of his office suggesting that you get another job…but considering it is better than the knee-jerk “no” a lot of people practice.

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Ask a Manager August 9, 2012 at 11:46 am

I agree! I am really enjoying picturing working for this guy.

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Anonymous August 9, 2012 at 1:35 pm

Except for the long run to the toilet, because heaven forbid that someone else use the boss’s personal toilet.

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Jamie August 9, 2012 at 1:38 pm

If a private bathroom was guaranteed I’d be doubling down on my ambition and working 24/7 until I got the corner office.

I couldn’t care less about benefits or vacation, but the right to never have to share? That’s incentive.

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Sparky629 August 9, 2012 at 1:40 pm

Yeah, he would probably throw you out but I could see him telling exactly why he’s not giving you a raise. Then you would know exactly what you needed to work on before you approached him the next time.

Also, it seems like if you are doing what you are supposed to be and doing by the deadline you wouldn’t need to ask for a raise because he recognize, valued, and rewarded a job well done.

*sigh* Some days, this is why I miss the structure of the military.

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Elizabeth West August 9, 2012 at 6:41 pm

HA HA HA HA!
That video was great!

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Blinx August 9, 2012 at 8:49 pm

Just a note of thanks for sharing the Letters of Note blog. What a treasure trove!

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