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Test: Is Your Boss a "Brasshole"?
Old 09-03-2010, 04:45 PM   #1
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Test: Is Your Boss a "Brasshole"?

Find out with the Boss Reality Assessment Survey System (BRASS), a 20 question test from the book "Good Boss/Bad Boss" by Robert Sutton: Good Boss, Bad Boss

Since I haven't had a boss other than DW for the past five years, I was unable to take the survey...
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Old 09-03-2010, 04:57 PM   #2
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I tried to answer the quiz based on my second to last boss (the one that was so awful). But none of the questions asked if the boss in question was a complete and utter sociopath leaving a trail of psychological abuse and destroyed employee careers behind her everywhere she went, or if the boss in question was completely unqualified for the job and made great efforts to hire/applaud/promote the few people on earth who were less qualified than she was.

One of the best days of my life was the day she was promoted to a position out of my chain of command, and my best friend became my new boss.
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Old 09-03-2010, 06:46 PM   #3
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My boss has 5 of the 20 flaws, IOW he's a good boss. What the quiz doesn't test for is influence. A boss who treats his people like gold, but doesn't have much influence with his peers in the organization and therefore can't get much done in the end, is unfortunately not a good boss after all. Oh well, the quiz was entertaining...
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Old 09-03-2010, 07:01 PM   #4
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I tried to answer the quiz based on my second to last boss (the one that was so awful). But none of the questions asked if the boss in question was a complete and utter sociopath leaving a trail of psychological abuse and destroyed employee careers behind her everywhere she went, or if the boss in question was completely unqualified for the job and made great efforts to hire/applaud/promote the few people on earth who were less qualified than she was.

One of the best days of my life was the day she was promoted to a position out of my chain of command, and my best friend became my new boss.
I have always been convinced we worked in the same branch but just never ran across each other at the coffee pot.
My "she-devil" was transferred to a dead-end job approx 2 weeks after I resigned. It may also have had something to do with the 20 or so valid AFGE union complaints lodged against her.
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Old 09-03-2010, 07:03 PM   #5
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At my last job they did surveys where the employees rated their managers. Then we had to review the results with our boss, and the department VP. It was so cool because the scores from my staff came back great, in fact much better than the scores my boss got. That was a really awkward discussion because she was supposed to be giving me feedback on how well I related to my direct reports when her results were not too great, and my answers about her were a part of her scores.

All in all though it was way cool. I wish every place did reviews like that.
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Old 09-03-2010, 09:07 PM   #6
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But none of the questions asked if the boss in question was a complete and utter sociopath leaving a trail of psychological abuse and destroyed employee careers behind her everywhere she went, or if the boss in question was completely unqualified for the job and made great efforts to hire/applaud/promote the few people on earth who were less qualified than she was.
I am now sure somehow, someway, we worked for the same boss.
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Old 09-03-2010, 09:11 PM   #7
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I tried to answer the quiz based on my second to last boss (the one that was so awful). But none of the questions asked if the boss in question was a complete and utter sociopath leaving a trail of psychological abuse and destroyed employee careers behind her everywhere she went, or if the boss in question was completely unqualified for the job and made great efforts to hire/applaud/promote the few people on earth who were less qualified than she was.

One of the best days of my life was the day she was promoted to a position out of my chain of command, and my best friend became my new boss.
Then there was the ignorant Luddite misogynist who would call up a man to confirm what I said concerning IT because he was $%^& ignorant concerning computers.
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Old 09-03-2010, 10:56 PM   #8
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I've been at my new job 6 months. It's not going well as my boss is a jerk who is in way over his head. As a human being he's not too bad, but as a leader, he has no clue.

I have worked for over 30 years and he is the worst boss I have ever had. I am 51 and he and I are probably about the same age. He has been with the company for 30+ years (not all at this location), working his way up from the manufacturing floor. Originally, from some side of Boston.

No leadership skills. No concept of being part of a greater team. He sucks as a manager. "Fart on a skillet" and/or "seagull" management style.

We had some strong words yesterday around an issue that started with him totally misunderstanding an email response I had sent him. Directly told him he was "very rude." Also told him he should "take corrective action" if he was not satisfied with my progress since being hired 6 months ago. Said we needed to go to lunch and talk. Not likely.

There was a reason no internal candidates filled this position when it was posted and it became an external post that allowed me to get the job. I got the job because he was an ass but now I have to deal with him. How fun!

The test ranks him as borderline "bad boss." He does usually have our back so I suspect that's what saves him in the test from being a really bad boss.
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Old 09-03-2010, 11:41 PM   #9
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What is this boss person of which you speak?

It sounds familiar. Maybe it was part of my former life, the one I had before I took the vows and joined the brotherhood of those who voluntarily became unemployed for life.

It seems so unimportant now.
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Old 09-04-2010, 12:00 AM   #10
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Leonidas - The bookings for 2011 are way down so I'm hoping to be on the list of people they decide to lay off. We had a small layoff 2 weeks ago which freaked out all the high year people (i.e. virtually everyone) because a 40-year person got laid off. It was so cool to have no emotional reaction to a layoff other than jealousy.

I have no fear of being unemployed (please, take me!) so it's going to get very interesting if my boss insists on asking questions for which he really does not want answers. I am too old and experienced to be afraid or to be quiet. Maybe I can save others from the pain.
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Old 09-04-2010, 12:10 AM   #11
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I have no fear of being unemployed (please, take me!) so it's going to get very interesting if my boss insists on asking questions for which he really does not want answers. I am too old and experienced to be afraid or to be quiet. Maybe I can save others from the pain.
When you can snatch this pebble from my hand speak the truth to your boss - it will be time for you to leave that place.

Pick your battles, and even then sometimes walk away rather than fight. After all, once you're gone, what will it matter anyway what goes on in the place you left? Even if you tell them the truth - would they recognize it? Would they care?

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Old 09-04-2010, 12:22 AM   #12
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Probably more powerful to leave without saying a word.
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Old 09-04-2010, 06:52 AM   #13
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I guess I've been very lucky, having run into very little of those issues all my life.

The worst was when I was 18, unloading trucks at a department store chain. Never since have I worked in an environment that was so hostile, petty, and bickering. That may have something to do with why that chain no longer exists.

But the lesson was an important one - bail out of a toxic environment.
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Old 09-04-2010, 07:02 AM   #14
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I was lucky. Of probably 20+ bosses over the years I had some good hearted losers but only one who would score high as a brasshole. That guy may have been a sociopath but he self destructed shortly after coming into my chain of command before he had time to ruin my life. It was a few months I will never forget
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Old 09-04-2010, 07:40 AM   #15
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Probably more powerful to leave without saying a word.
In 2007 I was sole software support for a Publishing Company (32mm/yr sales) in Mason Ohio along with 1 network admin and 1 computer operator. Management decided to get an ERP system in which I helped with the decision. They then decided to make the Network admin the project leader. He had 2 years experience and 1 bankruptcy under his belt. I calmly told the President and VP that I had 20 years experience and had worked at P&G, AK Steel, Square D and others and you don't put an inexperienced hardware guy to run this project. (Nice to be FI) They both said they were 'more comfortable' with him. The project leader never invited me to 1 meeting, but I was assigned and completed all of extracts and loads for the new system. I got a letter in October stating I would be laid off at the end of the year with $10K for staying. I was OK with that because I would have stayed for free just to watch the show unfold. First week of December rolls around and the VP calls IT staff and Finance staff in to ask opinions on if it a go for the first of the year. Myself and computer operator say NO, since they had yet to run an order all the way through to shipping and invoicing. I explained to VP that they will fall into IT abyss because nothing was done about our web and EDI interfaces. He told me I had sour grapes, I smiled and said, "Everything you know is wrong". (Did I mention it is nice to be FI). New system comes up.

They could not cut an invoice for 6 weeks. Used to cut 2500/night.

Web orders that used to be processed in 2-3 hours were printed out and re-typed in new system on Saturday with overtime pay.

EDI orders from top 30 vendors were not interfaced for 2 years.

President and VP were fired in 04/08. Network admin 2 months later.

I work part time supporting EDI at one of their previous large customers and they still want nothing to do with them. I don't need a test to spot the idiots.
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Old 09-04-2010, 11:09 AM   #16
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?...the boss in question was a complete and utter sociopath leaving a trail of psychological abuse and destroyed employee careers behind her everywhere she went, or if the boss in question was completely unqualified for the job and made great efforts to hire/applaud/promote the few people on earth who were less qualified than she was.

Well, whaddya know?! Apparently we worked for the same person!
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Old 09-04-2010, 12:44 PM   #17
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Took the quiz. I had to answer everything as "False" and was told what I already know...that I had a damn good boss and had better treat her well. I love her. She is very good-natured, intelligent and witty. She would not ask anyone to do anything that she would not do herself. She is a big reason I keep working as it is a pleasure to be in her company every day. I have told her only partially in jest that the day she announces she is retiring, I am giving notice the next day. Gee, I should maybe bring her a big bunch of flowers and leave them on her desk anonymously next week.
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Old 09-04-2010, 01:02 PM   #18
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You have a pretty good boss. You could do better, but could do a lot worse too...

This is what it said when I answered the questions. I took the quiz based on the last boss I had in 1998. I guess my boss was ok for the most part. The issue I had with him that would drive me nuts is he'd tell me what he wanted in 25 words or less, hand over a pile of folders, wave his hand and say "Make it so." That was the end of the 'discussion'.




I had to affiliate bill Megacorp in regards to his services and mine. He was higher on the totem pole than yours truly, however my services were listed at $140 an hour and his were $90 an hour.
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Old 09-04-2010, 01:42 PM   #19
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Then there was the ignorant Luddite misogynist who would call up a man to confirm what I said concerning IT because he was $%^& ignorant concerning computers.
This used to get to me too. If for no other reason then I was the man who had to confirm what my female colleague had just said to the client. This wasted my time their time and in general was annoying.
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Old 09-04-2010, 06:19 PM   #20
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My last boss was probably OK. I didn't bother using him in the quiz. His predecessor was another matter, and the one before that was just as bad. They scored 18 and 19 "bad points".

While I reported to "bad guys", I noted a couple of articles:
I didn't report to the diseased CEO, my "D*ickhead boss" did BW Online | April 1, 1991 | CEO DISEASE
Another and I thought I could answer yes without reading the article. Opinion confirmed on reading. Real lives: Is your boss a psychopath? | Society | The Guardian

Isn't mega-corp grand. Enjoy.
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