Signs of Boss Who is a Saboteur


You had been a good worker, then suddenly you found yourself being fired. You could have been sabotaged by your immediate boss.

Silent Rules of Good Employees

A lot of us are brought up, sold on the “ rules of being a good worker”:

  • We keep our boss informed when our staff or staff in other departments is causing trouble. We try to analyse to determine the cause of the trouble and suggest solutions.
  • We don’t talk about our job or our boss to our boss’ superior.
  • When the work tasks or processes give problems, we are the first to roll up our sleeves and fix them.
  • We make suggestions for problems brought up by our boss or our colleagues at meetings which our boss is present. We also to take the time to explain our solutions and share our experience.
  • When we see a problem coming (anticipate a problem); we inform the boss and discuss with him on how we should prepare for it.
  • We keep things to ourselves.
  • The best of us go the extra mile: we do more than we should have; and we regularly volunteer our help.

What We Expect From A Good Boss

We are our expectations of a good boss:

  • Able to bring his training and experience to bear on the job.
  • Take responsibility for his instructions.
  • Give credit to suggestions that proved to be successful in implementation.
  • Great listener.
  • Stands up for the staff if was not the staff’s fault.
  • Treat people as people. Does not get angry easily.

What Makes Up a Bad Boss?

A bad boss just guards his own job. He take credits for your good ideas and good work. We are the expendables.


  • He does not have the width and depth of experience to do the job. He will wait for what other said at a meeting; paraphase what was, draw his conclusion and make his decision. If you are working in the Human Resource Department, just check his resume.
  • He asked you whether you have the experience in firing staff. He tells you that he has a hire and fire management style. He treats people as things. He do not value that other people hold the job to make a livelihood.
  • He cannot do his own job so he delegates his job to other people. He wants the high pay but do not welcome hard work.
  • When the staff in his department gives trouble, he lacks patience; do not coach; do not counsel; and ask you to discipline or even fire his staff. When the staff retailates, he do not claim responsibility. Instead he hides and shift the blame to you.
  • Misplaced ego.
  • Salesman mouth. Work experience likely to be in mass communications. He flatters his bosses. First he does when he comes on the job is to have coffee with them.

Biggest Sign: He Avoids Accountability

The biggest sign is that your boss will seek all means to avoid accountability on his part.

Smoke Screens

Your boss can still throw smoke screens by seemingly praising you in front of other people; so that he appears to the “good guy”. Yet you lost your job because of him.

How Your Boss Can Sabotage You

Your boss can push all blame to you. He can make up stories to his bosses behind your back and you never know it. So you lose your job even though it is not your fault.

Because he is the boss, and has the official authority,

Our School System Have Conditioned Us

Probably the way that we are as good workers is similar to us being conditioned as good students.

The Lesson I Learnt from Others

The main lesson is to minimise work where it needs approval by the boss or the boss needs to be notified simply because the boss shuns accountability.

  • If in the course of our work, we discovered that something is broken, we don’t report it.
  • In meetings, unless we are asked, then we can decide whether to speak up. The rule is not to open our mouth. Also in that way, the meeting ends earlier and we get less work.
  • Do not bother to give suggestions or sound the bell when we anticipate something coming.
  • Don’t keep records or don’t manage records.

Why Management Jobs Are Useless


Supervisory work exists for centuries. It was lording over slaves and servants. That is completely different from management in companies.However, it was Peter Drucker that popularise the concept of management.

He never realized that one word could cause so much grieves to the human race.

In any organization that use levels of persons overlooking another persons, there is always opportunities for opporession and intimidation.

All That Glamour; It is A Lie

They call it the corporate ladder. The message companies sell you is: Work hard, be smart, adapt to the culture and you will be promoted to a higher level job. You have more authority (power and control) and more pay. You will have more people, who are doing smaller jobs, less well paid to do your bidding. This is the glamour that you are being sold and it is a lie. This send you studying, gaining work experience in order to apply for a manager’s job.

Pilots and Tuition Teachers Are Better Paid

Middle manager that are country managers are paid $6,000. Pilots and sometimes the really good tuition teachers are paid better, and they do not have to deal with all this shit.

What Does Managers Really Do?

Harold Koontz and Cyril O’Donnell, in their book,  Principles of Management: An Analysis of Managerial Functions describes the functions of management:

Planning, organizing, staffing, directing, delegating and controlling. These concepts are far from the truth. These writers are just writing about functional behaviors that everyone else has and nothing special to people in management. They get paid for it but they did not tell you what kinds of things managers have to deal with.

The truth is managers either do nothing much or they do shit work.Do not imagine that the operations of a business to go on smoothly. The problems are mostly traceable to human behaviors.

For the harding working managers, here are some the trash they had to deal with:

Left behinds

Staff in the past encountered a problem, but they kept quiet about it either because they do not want additional work or they do not want to be responsible for it.

Projects in the past were not properly managed. Things went wrong, contractors buried the problem.

No policies or procedures.

The Shit Always Falls From the Top

Management shits comes from having too many layers of management.


Source: Unknown

Order the Change But Don’t Want to Be Accountable

In most organizations, proposals that managers submit goes through their bosses before reaching a committee or the senior management for evaluation and approval.

The bosses make the changes to the proposal but it is still in your name. If the proposal turns out well, they said that it was their ideas. If something went wrong, they are the first to run. Do not expect them to stand up for you. More likely they will push the blame to you.

Make Changes to Look Like Some Work Is Done

Top management today changes the structure often or buy equipment to show that things are done. Today they say that it is better is centralize. Tomorrow they say it is better to decentralize.

What a waste of money paying such people who does not know what the lowest level of the organization is doing.

It is Human Nature: Resistance to Change

As a managers, when you are tasked to make changes. However human nature is that they don’t like change because they also need to make changes themselves as they to adapt. So they put up resistance by questioning and by complaining.

Substandard Work Life

As you work longer in a profession, the more different work situations that you encounter, the more solutions that you have devised and tries over the years, the better should be your work.

However, if you are working for someone else that is not always true. Here are some situations:

You have learnt from a past situation. You then encountered a similar situation and gave both feedback and suggestions to your boss to avoid the situation; but he disagree and you get dragged into it.If it is a proposal, sometimes your boss changes your proposal.

Your management tired to save costs and un-wittedly buy a new system that is worst than the existing system. Then you have to go through the pain of using a system that gives you nightmares.

When you change your employer; you may land up requiring to fo fix the same problems that you encounter in your current job.

What Are The Lessons Learnt

For the person making a career choice, choose a vocation where you can first gain skills, later knowledge, to make or build something.

If you run a business, here are some thoughts:

  • Keep the organization levels to maximum 4. Better still have a flat adopting roles rather than positions.
  • Matrix is a lousy structure.
  • Have as few managers as possible. It is possible to have none.


Career Advice for a HR Professional


The advice that I give here bores out of my own experiences. The statements here reflects my personal opinions. Your experience, perceptions, expectations may different. Do not take these writings at their face value.


One of my best advice that I think that I could give to a Human Resource professional, especially for someone looking for a management role, is not to work in an organization where the management authority (approval and control) is in the hands of volunteers.

Examples of Organizations

Such organizations include religious organizations; associations; alumni clubs; societies and charitable organizations. It could be the church, temple, trade association, YWCA, university related alumni club, golfing country club.These are normally not for profit or non profit organizations.

Main Challenge

If you are in a management role, two of your major competencies are decision making and problem solving. The two main initiatives you normally implement are new initiatives or initiatives to fix something that is broken. Usually, you are required to develop or amend policies and procedures and also obtain resources (such as money, manpower, space) in order to carry out your initiatives.

If you should work for a non-profit or not for profit organization, under such a working environment, you may find yourself reporting to or supporting to one or more than one committees. There could be a hierarchy of committees in such an organizations.

Structure of Organizations

Unlike a commercial organization, even if there is an Operations Director, General Manager or Managing Director that is a employee, he or she will not have the power to approve the provisions of resources for you to do your work and he or she will not have the power or authority to approve the policy, procedure or initiative that you propose.

Usually, you will be required to write a proposal paper and he or she may deliberate such matters, including vetting and correcting your papers. This does not mean that you proposals will be successful when they are raised.

In fact, when you encounter a boss with a narcissistic personality, you may become a pawn in his or her game. Your boss may take the opportunity to change your proposal to suit the idea that he wants to put forward. If your boss is an incompetent, you may be over powered (simply because he is your boss) to put up an idea that you know from experience that spelt trouble. You may then arrange a meeting or circulate your proposal by email to your committee; but last minute he decides not to turn up. How are you going to explain or defend ideas that are his and not yours?

Your Boss

You will find such an Operations Director, General Manager or Managing Director sitting in so many committees. It may be so high sounding that he or she is sitting on such and such a board or committee, but the truth is that his or her energy and time is spread thin.

If you are reporting to such a boss, he or she will have little time or energy to deliberate on matters that you bring to his or her attention.

There are bosses who are great bosses and there are those the other extreme. The later will survive maybe 3 times just as long but you will also find that such an Operations Director, General Manager or Managing Director to have a big ego; to be incompetent; likely to suck up; likely to shift blame or shift potential problems to others; likely to push away difficult or sensitive human problems to others; likely to what people termed “a two headed snake”; likely to take credit for the accomplishment of other people.In another words, a narcissistic boss.

Instead of having face to face time with you, you will find that your boss will be on his email; his handphone; and his phone simply because he wants to be prompt of replying to the committee members that he reports to.

As you do not have the face to face time, you have no coaching on strategies and policies. As it is more likely that you have an incompetent boss, he or she would expect you to come up with the strategies, business plans, policies and so on. Even if you have the experience, you are only paid as a manager, should you over-step your functional area?

Sensitive Human Resource Issues

As a human resource professional, you are tasked to fire staff that reports to other department manager; you are tasked to discipline or counsel other department heads who are your peers simply because your boss do not want to do it.

When things backfire, he would either said that you are on your own or he would tag you as a trouble maker.

Waste of Your Hard Earned Experience and Qualifications

If you have a Master degree and is amply qualified, with plenty of work experience, you are better off working in the commercial sector, especially for a MNC. Here, in these organizations, they will just step all over you.

A Bureaucratic Machine

Where decision making is by majority, and there is so many committees, the organization is bureaucratic in nature. As such, decision making is ineffective.

It is more ineffective in non profit organizations than in not for profit organization.

In a not for profit organizations, the motto is “if is not broken or if broken but nobody cares about it, don’t do anything.”

In a non profit organization, the motto is “even if it is broken, don’t tell me. I don’t have time to look into it.” So, you can imagine, there are more operational problems with a non profit organization than a not for profit organization.

Behavior of Committee Members

 These groups of volunteers go by different names in different organizations, such as Committees and Councils. However, the behaviors as groups and individuals are the same.

Often these volunteers will be entrepreneurs, employees in other organizations, retirees. It is rare to find retirees who want to be volunteer, especially full time volunteers.

For volunteers who are entrepreneurs and who hold jobs, their time, energy will be spend in either their businesses or jobs. This is the reason why even they may be the chairperson of a committee, they frequently don’t turn up for higher level committee meetings that report into.

Volunteers do not get paid for holding roles. They join for the position that they may hold (prestige) such as chairman of such a committee. For entrepreneurs, it helps them become paid directors in the boards of other organizations. Others join because they can exercise a sense of control or power. In the non for profit organiztion, they may have a personal interest to join such a committee such is the case if they are paying members, such as in the case of a golfing country club. In the not for profit organization, like the church they may do it “just to be an extra pair of hands.”

The implications for such a structure are as follows:

(a) Volunteers are not likely to have experience in the area or committee they hold chairpersonship. Never the less that will not stop them from exerting their authority.

It means that even if you have more experience in your area, they will overwrite your proposals and decide on what they want to do. Your organizational function may become the test-bed of an idea they read something or an idea that they were rejected at the place they worked.

When non-experts are involved in decision making with regards to financial investments and capital expenditures, the results are often wrong decisions.

(b) Volunteers have no contractual obligations and they do not like to be held accountable for decisions that they make. This means you may find committee chairpersons not willing to look at your proposed policies and procedures because they just do not want to be held responsible for making decisions on them.

(c) Volunteers have no time to look at long proposals. They have time only to look at 1 or 2 page proposals, which are the the high level and have 2 or 3 items at most for approval. Do not expect them to read your proposals beforehand.

(d) Face is important to volunteers. Those join for status carry with them an ego. If they shall lose their posts or reputations because of you, they will abuse their power as a committee chairperson to get you out of the organization. It could be your boss who is doing this unknown to you; so giving feedback to your boss about how ineffective the committee is has its risks.

(e) Volunteers differ in their commitments.Some may hold posts but do not turn up for meetings.

(f) Meetings may be held quarterly or at best monthly. You will find that it is difficult to arrange ample time for discussions. If you have lots of things under your job function that are broken, you may find it challenging to get them resolved.

(g) Volunteers want their way. You are just a servant. If the organization hold a staff lunch, and the key committee members are invited, just know that they regard it as they have approved expenditure to organize a lunch for their servants.

A Private Club

In summary, all the volunteers behave like if they are part of a social group. They take everything personally. There are 2 faces people sitting in the same committee, that can be so agreeable with and backstabs another member on the same matter they agree to.

Where Do You Get These People?

Volunteers are acquired through network. They participate in church activities. Either they invite themselves or others invite them as volunteers. This is known as networking.

It is not easy to invite people and even harder to find people with the right expertise to serve.

Tapping for Revenues

Volunteers who joined are selective about which committees that they want to be in. If they are business men, they want to take up roles as the Chairperson of areas that relate to their business.In this way, they can be the first to know of any new services or products required by the organization and participate in the bid.

These businessman could be lawyers, architects, real estate valuers. For example, if the organiation is the head office of a group of churches and if the committee member is a lawyer entrusted with looking after the church’s properties. He may do some paperwork for free but he charges for other services. With the reputation that such a big group of churches is engaging his services as the church’s trustees, he is able to approach other organizations for businesses or they may approach him for help.

In another case, the businessman may use the reputation that he gained and find opportunities to be a paid director in the board of management in other organizations. He may realized that he can sit in many boards and get paid but in realities, he would not be swamped with meetings. It could be giving him a better income than his small business.

Ineffective Operational Management

Committees meet on a periodic basis. This can be on a quarterly basis. Personnel who are hire as staff of the organization are required to attend meetings held in the evenings or week-ends and take minutes of meetings.

Management staff are required to write reports or presentations for the Committee or for the office bearers.

At first it looks very orderly and proper especially when decisions and on going of meetings are recorded and filed. The truth is nobody bothers to earnestly follow up on the decisions. After a while, the records are stored away; sometimes they are lost; memories fads. When committee members leave or dies, nobody recall whether similar or the same problem has come up in the past, and who made what decisions and what were the outcomes.

However, valuable time is taken away from dealing with operational problems or carrying out action plans in order to write minute of meetings, reports and proposals. Staff cannot go home on meeting nights or weekend.

The Fakes

 The fakes are committee members that do not have the experience but pass comments or criticise because they want to give the false impressions that they are knowledgeable. However they will be the first to deny that ever said such and such a thing should there be somebody who is quick to point out that what is said is wrong.

No or Minimum Policies or Procedures

 Committee members may not be experts in their areas which they volunteer but they make the final decisions and have all the controls. This put the organization in trouble. Chief of this is that they will think that the approval of policies and procedures is operational work, which they are not interested in.They do not want to be held accountable on one hand and on the other hand if they make the decisions on such policies when they are not the experts, the organization’s operations will be in trouble.


Working in Non Profit Organization

It is A Social Group

When you work in a non profit organization or a not for profit organization where governance of the organization is based on volunteer help, you will face certain problems if you are working in the job of a department manager in such an organization.

These volunteers can be members of the organization, for example members in a golf country club or an alumini club or they could be members of a community such as members of a religious group.

Volunteers may join the governing committees for various reasons. In religious organization, one reason is to serve God. It could be for status, power (sense of control).

You may be doing your work. You may be hard-working. You may be very profession in your job. You may be devoted to the organization, in trying to fix what is broken and preventing problems that are appearing in the horizon.

However the Committee or Council that you are serving may not be seeing things that way. First, in concept that the Committee or Council members should have accountability, in real life that is not true. They will vary in their commitments, especially if this is not a job that pays them an income. So if you proposals that are time consuming such as policies and procedures, it is likely that you will get little help because they have no time to discuss and deliberate on them.

Second, a common issue is that members that joins a particular Committee or Council may not have the required or relevant experience or qualifications or at an in-depth level. So they cannot understand your operational problems or your proposals.

In such a case sometimes to save face, they may resought to abuse of power, to thumb you down so as to silent the enthusiastic you.

The other problem is these Committee or Council behave more like a social group than a professional team. At one extreme, they may behave as an informal group to protect their own interests rather than uphold justice, righteousness or fairness. The group members probably share common characteristics such as selfishness, self serving and lack of empathy.

In another situation, members may appear to agree with each other at meetings or behave cordially with each other when they meet but they secretly back-stab each other, even when they make a decision together but a member may not agree but had to agree just to save his reputation.

In a third situation, the members may take up a task together because they already agreed to meet regularly and they reluctantly allowed a task to fill their time. You may think you are doing work by taking initiative to raise problems and even provide the solutions to them. Your thought your hard working nature will help keep you in the job or even ensure that you get a pay raise. However, nothing can be further from the truth.During the meeting, you could find the Committee lash at you because they do not care about you as a person. You are treated like a servant. Even if you bring improvements, they just see these as your work that you are paid to do.

Herd Mentality and Ego

It is this herd mentality or ego that you are up against.If they are against you, it is a better approach that you appeal.

They Put the Blame on Staff

It is not their fault. If you are a staff, the fault is yours. They behaved like royalties; above the laws. They simply do not want to be held accountable.

False Notion

These members or your boss may try to sell to you to work for to make the organization great.

Your Boss

Your boss may have an egoistic personality. He maybe incompetent but holding all the power and wanted the status and money. He may hire experienced people so that he can push both work and accountability to them.

If he wins the favors of the Committee members, they will side him, especially those that hire him. So never attack your boss as a person. Should you do so, your job gets killed immediately.

Keeping Quiet and Sweeping Under the Carpet

The reason why such places experience decays over time is when staff realized that they are not rewarded or even recognized for their efforts, they lost all care and not care about doing anything to maintain the legacy, such as keeping records in order (proper documentations)

It is Worst Than Matrix Reporting

In matrix reporting, you report to 2 persons. Here, you report to 1 person on 1 hand and a committee on another hand.

You Are Just Another Face

The committee behaves like a social group and you are just a waiter serving them. If they do not like you, they will not hesitate to fire you.

On Trial


Some new jobs carry a probation period in their contractual agreement. There is 2 ways that you can handle your probation period:

Option 1

Go all out to do your best for the company (and let nothing stand in your way) with the hope that you will be successful during your probationary period. Give your opinions, recommendations and suggestions. Look out for problems and act to solve them (fix the broken wheels). Work late if necessary to do your best.

Option 2

Just do your job. Watch the clock. Do not fix the broken wheel but make a note that it is broken, and keep that to yourself. Continue to send out your resume and go for other job interviews.

Which Option Would You Choose?

The probation is also for you to check if your new workplace is suitable for you for the long term. The most important is whoever you report to or send up your proposal to: how do they treat your colleagues and you.

The for profit corporate world use a hierarchical structure and the non-profit uses a committee structure. Both can be unfriendly structures.

Although there are a lot of top level managers, leaders are a rare breed. Managers got their jobs either they enter as young managers or they rose because their skills. Few managers have acquired the skills to handle people.

So treat working with your new employer like visiting your friend at his or her parents’ place, talk less and keep criticisms, comparisons and comments to yourself. Note them down if you think that they are going to be useful information for you later on. Use more of your observations.

Before you joined your new employer, you would have checked that your notice period would be short during the probation period should you decide to join another employer.

The Promotion That Went Bad

In my working life, I have a chance to work with bosses or colleagues that failed in their job. One common reason is that they took on a promotion when they do not meet the requirements of the job. These are job requirements that you do not see being mentioned on job advertisements or that you could tell from a job title.

It resembles the case of the star salesman that was promoted to an inept sales manager. Sometimes, the person was not even a star employee but a job opportunity led the person to the job that they held when you first know them.

Companies sell the idea of the corporate ladder on the misperception that it is a path to fame and fortune. Often job incumbent that do not succeed in their job is because they let their ego to control them. They became so full of themselves that they did not realize that the new position that they are in is going to be a deep learning curve for them. They really thought “they made it” (to the top) once hired for the job.

Because they lack or do not have enough experience and training, they are unable to understand and cope with challenges, limitations and problems, or what is required to carry their team through in daily operations. They manage by means of demands and intimidations.

Because we are not the ones that had hired them, we only come to know through glimpses in the way they make their decisions and the way they treat other people. In this manner, they pose a great threat to us in losing our jobs.

Here are 3 truths in corporate life:

  • Leaders are found. You cannot get one by putting him or her through a leadership course.
  • Except for office administration, general management skills are too general for any specialized area of work.
  • A person’s character becomes even important as one rises towards the top of the corporate ladder.


Job Hunting: Fooled Again


If we are unemployed, our job hunting efforts can create false hopes in us; drag us through a long period of unemployment; and draw us closer to depression and a dwindling savings account.

The Lesson

When we keep our hopes high that we may land a job tomorrow, next week or 2 weeks after, we delay looking at and taking up other options that we either feel uncomfortable with; too afraid to spend the money on; not ready to pursue or is unfamiliar with.

The Job Market

What we see is a glimpse of the entire job market. We are never aware of:

  • How many jobs are going abroad?
  • Does job growth match skills availability?
  • Is job growth slowing down?
  • Are there more job applicants chasing lesser job vacancies.

So Many Job Postings

We see so many job postings on job boards and social media. We are never aware of:

  • The different job postings are about the same job.
  • The same job is posted repeatedly because the employer never seems to find the perfect person.
  • The same job is posted repeatedly because job incumbents kept quitting from the job.

You Kept Getting Calls for Interviews

Because you have good work experience, you kept getting calls for interviews. However, the employer has 1001 reasons not to hire you, including reasons that has nothing to do with your ability to perform the job.

The Headhunter Wants to Meet Up with You

In every interview with the headhunter, you are told that your resume would be surfaced to a prospective employer.

Promising Second Interview

This is about both the promising second interview and the illusive phone interview

  • You were told that you have been shortlisted for a second interview but it never came.
  • You always made it to the second interview but you were never hired.

We Will Let You Know in 2 Weeks’ Time

You dressed up in office attire, travelled 1.5 hours, sometimes you got yourself lost trying to find the place of interview; arrived early but had to wait for the interviewer; was interviewed for 2 hours and then was told that you are the job applicants that they saw or the headhunter had scheduled another few candidates that they need to see, and that they will let you know in 2 weeks’ time.

You got hold of the interviewer’s business card; wrote them a thank you note but 2 weeks came and went, you did not hear from them but they already hire someone else.

“You Are Unsuccessful”

In the old days, the interviewer was on time; they introduce themselves; they brief you on the structure and duration of the interview; and they kept you informed even if you are unsuccessful. However, those old days are gone.

The Truth

Let us face the truth: There are bad employers out there or there are employers out there that are trying very hard to keep afloat.

Why You Are Not Hired

You are wasting valuable time guessing the reasons why you were never hired.

How to Avoid Neglecting Other Options

As you send out your resume to hundreds of job postings, gone for lots of interview, the time just drift by quickly. If you had been prudent to put aside an emergency fund of 6 months of your salary, you would have slowly depreciated the fund over time.

If that job you wanted never came by the sixth month, you will be in trouble. It is time look for an alternative. Be prepared to change your mind set:

  • The size of income from the alternative source may never replace your former employment income.
  • The income may be erratic or irregular.
  • The income is likely to sustain only for a short term.

To avoid neglecting these alternatives, you have to schedule to work on them rather spending all of your time in job hunting for your replacement job. The earlier that you started, the better it would be.

Be Quick

Be quick so that you can seize the possibility of turning a negative situation into a positive one.

Let us say that $10 goes out of your pocket each day starting from the first day of the month. If you are able to put in $10 each day into the same pocket from second week, you would suffer an outflow of only $10 per day for 7 days.



5 Basic Truths about Employment

The 5 basic truths are:

When you work for an employer, you have only one customer. When you lose that customer, you lose perhaps your only stream of income.

When you work for an employer, you are working to build or maintain his business.

When you are in employment, you are exchanging your time for money. Sometimes you land up giving more time that you are paid for.

You are really your longest employer. You are your greatest asset. That is why you should always pay yourself first.

Between you and his business, the business owner care only about his business. Between you and his job, your boss care only about his job.

Dear Diary: The Thief Within


This is a write up about a real situation at work. It illustrates how little control we have over our own work life.

It has nothing to do with our own work performance. In fact we may even get into trouble if we did a good job. The situation leaves us cold, either out of a job or looking for a new one. When that happens, we cannot meet our family responsibilities or financial commitments.

There is no solution offered in this written situation. This article is just food for thoughts. A lot of us have been sold this idea of working at a job and building a career. It could be much better road if we had started our work life creating and building our own work.


It is your new job. It is a express courier service, where a big team of employees send documents by motorcycles within half a day or the next day around the island of Singapore. The company is a subsidiary of a logistics company that is in the cash management, supply chain management and mail room management business.

You have been hired as a Credit Control Supervisor. Your job is to follow up on payments due from customers. You report to the Finance Director. Both the previous Credit Control Supervisor and Finance Director left their job because they were not able to collect the large amount of receivables that is outstanding.

The company is managed by a General Manager. He is friend of the business owner of the logistics company. The General Manager is directly in charge of the sales team and he brought in the key salesmen into the company.

The Situation

As the Credit Control Supervisor, you have a team of 2 Credit Control Assistants. You got hold of the report on the 30, 60 and 90 days receivables and the list of phone numbers for the customers and start following up with them on the outstanding payments.

Some customers said that they had already made payments while others mentioned that they had never received specific invoices. You followed up with Finance Department on these feedback and resend invoices with a follow up call.

Money started coming in and the team is motivated. This has gone on for 3 months. Then suddenly you are called to the office and questioned by both the General Manager and the Finance Director and your services are terminated.

After the Situation

By chance you met one of your credit control assistant while you are waiting at a bus stop. You told you what had happened after you had left.

Your termination got the curiosity and suspicion of the business owner. This particular credit control assistant being vocal voiced to him “Why fire the Credit Control Supervisor when our team is doing a better than before job in collection?”

Eventually, the business owner took the General Manager to task and his friend confessed that he was running a similar express courier service behind the business owner’s back and was siphoning some of the sales takings into his own company. Of course, the business owner fired his friend in the end.

Musical Chair

In an organization, you can lose your seat (job) for 2 reasons. The first is the impact of the external environment on the business. The second is the musical chair played every now and then within the organization.

Here is what happens inside the organization.

The business changes:

  • People on the inside get mixed with new people from another company because of an acquisition or a merger
  • Business expands
  • Business shrinks
  • Business closes

People around you changes

  • Organizational structure changes.
  • Bosses, colleagues and subordinates come and go.

Your job changes

  • Your position becomes redundant.
  • Your regular job becomes a term job.
  • Your job is downsized and given to someone else.

How your boss treats you. This is probably the most important work relationship you have in the organization.

How well your subordinates work with and for or against you.