Boss is horribly disorganized and unprofessional.

46 replies
Perhaps its my fault for working with the company, the thing is I like the guy. And he has an insane ability to manipulate people and build rapport over the phone. When I watch him close people its just on a whole nother level.

The problem is. He's a salesman that just happens to own his own business. A great salesman. But he absolutely sucks at running a business. He is disorganized, always has 50 post notes scattered all over his office. Doesn't write things down in software, doesn't organize things or batch phone calls. And he can very often act like a 5 year old making fun of people when we're trying to discuss important business things like our new ad in x magazine/newspaper.

I laughed a bit the first week I was there. Then I realized its this lack of professionalism that is the reason my boss has become so desperate. We try to explain it to him and various "friendly" ways, but he either goes straight to getting offended and it seems impossible to get the message across.

Now he's looking for an investor because he's blown so much money on horrible advertising. I have actually been preventing him from doing any more advertising so he pulled out of valpak, the clipper, etc just to save money.

I figure it would be better for someone (me) to learn how to write some decent copy before we put any more ads out again. But still, he's NOT EVEN FOCUSED on LEARNING how to WRITE BETTER ADS. Hes more focused on just spending money on so many different things and w/out a system, w/out organization, w/out tracking results... this companies bound to go into the ****ter at some point soon.

I have tried my absolute best but really. What would you vets/experts do?

Does he need like a "buisness intervention"? I've even had comments from some very professional guys saying my brother should run the business, because he has much more business common sense. I don't want to see this company fail, and just do not know how to address a problem when that problem is essentially the business owners personality.
#boss #disorganized #horribly #unprofessional
  • Profile picture of the author BackLinkiT
    Phew, thought you might be an employee of mine for a minute there
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  • Profile picture of the author specialized
    Get paid as long as you can, and then jump off of the burning wreckage just before it hits the ground.

    In all seriousness, I wouldn't be able to stomach that situation unless the pay was REALLY good. Good luck to you, it sounds like you'll do well at your own things.
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  • Profile picture of the author massiveray
    The problem here is that it is his business and not yours, although you may care about it and not want it to fail, you actually have no input.

    Let this guy do whatever he wants (which is in reality what will happen whether you give him advice or not) and if his business fails, learn from his mistakes, open your own business and run it the way you want (I can guarantee that your employees will think they can run it better, they always do).

    If you make a successful business then maybe you can hire this guy if he is as good a salesman as you say he is.

    Alternatively, ask him if he would consider hiring a full time marketing person, then let that person run your advertising etc
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  • Profile picture of the author JOSourcing
    Banned
    I recommend you "Show Him The Money." That is, chart- diagram- color pencil- (whatever it takes) an easy-to-understand report that shows him where and why the company is losing money. Financial losses always seem to scare people straight.

    If you prefer a more positive route, turn the chart upside down (jk), and tell him where and how the company can make more money just by eliminating some of his bizarre behaviors.
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  • Profile picture of the author RedShifted
    /\ Thats a really great idea actually people definitely do seem to learn better visually afaic. So that will be the first thing I do today when I get into the office.

    Aside from that I also love the comment about employees always thinking they could run a business better. And that was something I myself definitely needed to hear.

    Maybe yeh he is disorganized but he obviously had some type of skillset that has helped him stay in the game this long (been about 10 years now in a home improvement business). I think we just need a simple approach. Write down all the things that are hurting the company. Stop or drop those things. Find out the right way to do those things, then give them a proper shot.

    What pissed me off was he just dropped another 6g's on advertising 2 weeks ago and guess how many phone calls we got? 0

    This is probably the 3rd time this has happened where he contact these magazines/theclipper/valpak and the deadline for the ad is always so short, they we never have time to write a proper ad up.

    I felt like I knew before that ad went out that it was just burning money. And of course the results showed exactly that. We're just burning money.

    I had started by buying that book "tested advertising methods", and already I've been able to point out in our last 3 ads what was wrong. I mean we just really suck at writing ads its unbelievable what this book is saying. So maybe if I just follow the book, get some organization going on, MAYBE we'll have better results to look forward to.

    And if not, I guess I'll just ride the train till the rails melt away.
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  • Profile picture of the author Sillysoft
    I have to say this sounds exactly like the owner of the company I work for. Its hard to tell your boss he/she is doing it wrong, perhaps telling them with facts and the idea of making more money if you changed it to do it a different way. Sometimes the only message that gets through to people like this is money.
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    • Profile picture of the author rambo9600
      [DELETED]
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      • Profile picture of the author FredJones
        Simply look for another job, or own a business, or take over your boss' business if you can. Do you hope you change your boss? Possible but unlikely. I would not try it - these efforts are never of a great class and they tend to have limited success only.
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  • Profile picture of the author dwriter
    The training that you get from your perseverance will make you a great boss one day. At that point, your work mates will just be saying that they just cannot understand their boss!
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  • Profile picture of the author David Sneen
    I believe I have heard a principle...workers rise to their level of incompetence. This guy obviously has hit it!!!

    Sourcing has some good ideas. If they don't work, I would go with specialized's recommendation.
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  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    What's the point of this post?
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  • Profile picture of the author Cataclysm1987
    I would recommend you start running the numbers on everything, ever.

    I worked for a guy like this for a while. He was hard to keep track of and we had to force ourselves to intervene when he made bad choices.

    Sadly he kept making them anyways and is out of business now, but we stemmed some of the damage before it took him down.
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  • Profile picture of the author AlexC1
    You should never talk about it at work, or show that you think so in any way, if you don't want to loose your job. Plus, I think, it takes some level of organization and professionalism to become a boss. People always are complaining about their jobs, when in our days, we need to be grateful to have a job period.
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  • Profile picture of the author YasirYar
    Why cant bosses be held responsible for there verbal attacks. The verbal harrassment the verbal assults, and why cant there be LAWS to be PASSED for the way that workers are being treated??? Why cant there be LAWSUITS???
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    • Profile picture of the author Cataclysm1987
      Originally Posted by YasirYar View Post

      Why cant bosses be held responsible for there verbal attacks. The verbal harrassment the verbal assults, and why cant there be LAWS to be PASSED for the way that workers are being treated??? Why cant there be LAWSUITS???
      Because the employee can always quit, but the law is tyranny. At least, that's how I believe it should be.
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    • Profile picture of the author cjreynolds
      Originally Posted by YasirYar View Post

      Why cant bosses be held responsible for there verbal attacks. The verbal harrassment the verbal assults, and why cant there be LAWS to be PASSED for the way that workers are being treated??? Why cant there be LAWSUITS???
      I have experienced abusive bosses in the past, and I used to hear about it alot. One boss I had would confront me on the workroom floor (in front of the entire department) and cuss, namecall, and flail his arms in front of my face hoping for a physical response from me so he could fire me. I hardly ever hear about it happening anymore - I suspect many such bosses finally realized that goading an employee into getting himself fired is not worth a trip to the hospital when you harass the wrong person :rolleyes:
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  • Profile picture of the author chackett
    I'm amused at how some posts here bring out the best in people (or maybe the best people), and some threads bring out the worst.

    I can sympathize 100% with the OP. He described to a T a guy I used to work with. Key difference being that we were more partners than employee / employer. Although he was still paying me for my services. Anyway, he was a pure genius on the phone. He could thumb through the yellow pages, pick someone at random and literally in about 10 minutes he would have them buying $1,500 of whatever he was selling. It was really amazing to watch.

    But the rest of him was a total mess. His brief case was overflowing with loose paper and coffee stained notes. You couldn't see his desk for all the junk on it. If you opened the door to his car things would just fall out of it. Old fast food bags, soda cans, papers, who knows. He was a MESS. Absolutely no direction, no focus, no organization.

    I had casual conversations where I would lightheartedly suggest he ought to clean out his office so he can get some work done, or maybe clean out his briefcase so he could find things he needed. It never took. He would just laugh it off and run out the door to some important meeting where he was going to land an investor so we could do things right. The investors never came.

    I had a vision for how I thought the business could succeed and thrive on it's own. I saw a way for us to be self-funded. I wrote up a lengthy business proposal and laid out my vision for him in detail. I had a 12 week, week by week plan to get us from zero to operationally funded in 12 weeks. He read it and had little to say about it. He didn't bash me or "fire" me .. but he didn't take my advice either. I eventually left and went on to other things.

    The last time I saw him, he was checking people in at a local gym. I still like the guy, but he just can't get out of his own way. I hope he eventually succeeds with something that makes him happy.

    I'm really surprised by some of the responses here. "He should fire you." Really? I know everyone has different management styles, but if you're strategy is to fire people who disagree with you or offer heartfelt criticism I fear you'll have a pretty thin team. And the team you're left with will be "yes-men" who who challenge you to get better. I'd also suggest that most true innovation doesn't come from management or executives. The first place it comes from is customers, and the close second place it comes from is employees .. especially the ones in the field or the ones closest to the customers.

    I think another response was something like "Guess what? It's not your business, you're not the owner, so you don't have any input." If you said he doesn't have any "control" I would agree, but what kind of boss or employer doesn't allow input? That's absurd. If you're a strong manager or boss, you can receive input from anyone. You don't have to implement it, or even like it. But if you want employees that want to work for you and want to do a good job for you, I think you're best bet is to make sure you're employees know and feel like you respect them, even if you don't implement their ideas. Most people just want to have a voice. Let them have it and I propose they'll be loyal.

    I guess that's probably more than my $.02

    Chris
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    • I can sympathize 100% with the OP.

      Nice for you, but irrelevant. We've all had bosses who weren't up to the task. And we've all had ice cream. Doesn't mean this is the place to discuss Baskin-Robbins.

      fLufF
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      • Profile picture of the author chackett
        Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post

        I can sympathize 100% with the OP.

        Nice for you, but irrelevant. We've all had bosses who weren't up to the task. And we've all had ice cream. Doesn't mean this is the place to discuss Baskin-Robbins.

        fLufF
        --
        So you're just complaining that you don't like this thread being in this forum?
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    • Profile picture of the author Kay King
      If this is, indeed, a water sealing business - no wonder the boss is frantic. If you want to help come up with ideas of other areas this business could branch into (pools/ponds/boats/. It doesn't help to be organized and neat - if no one is spending money on this business today...and they aren't.

      If he is "the boss and owner" and you are "an employee" - there are limits to what you can do.

      guys saying my brother should run the business
      How is your brother involved - does he work there, too? How long have you worked there? If the boss has been in business for years and you started working there a few weeks or months ago - he may know more than you think.

      Do YOUR job as best you can - help out where you can and where your help is welcome....that's really all you can do except look for another job.

      kay
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  • Profile picture of the author mikelukjaniec
    It's natural to feel concerned but this is his company and his responsibility not yours, so stay well out of it. If it's so stressful, my advice is look for another job!
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  • Profile picture of the author Zayne
    Remember its not your responsibility whether the company fails or succeeds, but you can do all that is humanly possible to show off to your boss (in a nice way) that you have a better way of doing things.

    Tempt him.

    Say to him "If you let me run this for a week, and you dont see results, I will never hassle you about it again."
    Tell him to take a week off or something.

    2 possible outcomes will happen
    -Your Boss will think you are a Godsend and promote you to run his business for him
    -You will make the comapny money and your boss will take credit for it, and then it will plunge the next week and he will run to you to ask for advice.

    I sort of see it as a win win situation!

    Tell me your thoughts.

    Zayne
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  • Profile picture of the author notek
    Originally Posted by Ken_Caudill View Post

    He should fire you.

    100% right
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  • Profile picture of the author lukemeister
    To the OP, you just described my first business partner. Things didn't get better until we parted ways. The guy will probably never change, if you can't work with it move on.
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  • Profile picture of the author Tadresources
    I feel for you, I think we've all had situations like that in the past. Thankfully mine were all pre-Uni.

    IMO learning a little about sales copy is always a good thing, even if this mess of a boss never lets you use it. It will become invaluable later on.
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  • Profile picture of the author James B
    I would look for another opportunity, because the stress seems to bad you have to actually vent on warrior forum, and make this thread.

    In a business perspective, the business owner can technically do whatever he/she wants as long he`s not racial profiling or any harassment.
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  • Profile picture of the author AC21DJ
    Get a new job. You don't own the business so who cares about his success. He doesn't care about yours I am sure.

    Weird post.
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  • Profile picture of the author TopBackBuilder
    There really isn't much you can do, he's your boss and you pretty much just have to swallow it.
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  • Profile picture of the author seobro
    Basically, in the 90's it was $100/week for an ad in the newspaper. You got 200 calls and had 20 prospects. Well, now the same ad is $200/week and you are lucky to get one. Call that is.

    Times have changed and for the worse. I would limit my ads in newspapers. Also, do not do magazines. People no longer read em. OK so instead do some Google Adwords and you pay approx $1 per click on keywords that are important to you. If I remodel a bath room my profit is approx $5,000 now. It use to be $15,000 years ago. However, my competition is a lot more severe now. Also, jobs are few and harder to pick up.

    It should cost you approx $400 in clicks to get one remodelling job, but that is not all gravy. People do not like to pay. That means taking them to court and issuing a mechanical lien; as well as spending time going to small claims court and they never show up - it is a mess.
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  • Profile picture of the author cashcow
    I was thinking the same thing about my boss … and then I realize that I'm my own boss.
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    Gone Fishing
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    • Profile picture of the author larry65
      I hear the frustration and I've been there. I worked at a job for years and then when it got bad I would just go get another job, it ended up the same. I finally found that what I needed to do was to just make the step out and do something on my own. In a situation where the boss won't listen to reason and you really want to stay there, or in the same job, I would say start your own business. When you're boss sees you succeeding where he couldn't then you could hire yourself as a consultant and make even more money. True, the boss could've just paid you for doing the job, but if that doesn't work then make the money you could make and leave those that won't see reason in the dust with your success. Good Luck with it for sure.
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  • Profile picture of the author Charanjit
    Just my point of view, I have been on both sides now I rub my own business, if your boss lacks the brain power to address his personal forthcoming's their is nothing you can do. The first thing your boss needs to do is accept the fact their is a problem, once he does that then the boss can start looking at what is the problem then the third thing what can they do to over come the problem. You cant make him over come the problem with out him knowing their is a problem. If I was you, I would set up my own business in the same industry and show him how its done.
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  • Profile picture of the author Fraggler
    Yeah, I'd fire someone too who is concerned about the way my business is going (downhill) and wants to educate themselves to better the business and save me wasted money. I much prefer workers who sit back for a ride and only do the bare minimum.

    Why would a boss make their employee think that their opinion matters?
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    • Profile picture of the author Zayne
      Originally Posted by Fraggler View Post

      Yeah, I'd fire someone too who is concerned about the way my business is going (downhill) and wants to educate themselves to better the business and save me wasted money. I much prefer workers who sit back for a ride and only do the bare minimum.

      Why would a boss make their employee think that their opinion matters?
      Thanks for that!

      I couldnt Agree more.

      Better to tell the captain the ship is sinking than just sit in a lifeboat and wait for it...

      Zayne
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  • Profile picture of the author marketwarrior06
    Banned
    when any one gets more than he deserves, then this kind of S*** happens.
    he is born to be a sales man not a business owner. if i was you then i would just screw him off.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Ten
    One of my bosses can be unprofessional. I have been close to filing a formal complaint with HR... but not for now, and hopefully I will not feel forced into doing so. Wish me luck.
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    • Profile picture of the author gccalfeche
      As long as he's still paying you good, his business will remain none of your business. If not, better find a new job and hopefully a better boss.
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      • Profile picture of the author larry65
        Wow, when I was a boss in brick and mortar companies, I looked at this totally different. I valued the contribution of my employees if they had a valuable insight I had missed. Of course, it did depend on how they brought it to my attention as well, but one person can't possibly be aware of all that will happen in every part of a large business, so they rely on their quality people. If I had an employee telling me some of these things, I would look into them to verify and then fix them, not let my pride be the downfall of my business and possible income I could have. Some of the comments I've seen here kind of surprise me as well, because the whole job of having employees, good employees, is to be an extension of yourself so you expand your affect and increase your sales. Just my humble opinion.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    "The leads are weak..."
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  • Profile picture of the author Usmile
    That sounds very horrible and I don't think I can stay with that type of boss, well good for you that you are able to stand on his disorganized attitude. You are under a complicated situation, I suggest you to meet with the board and see what you can do.
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  • Profile picture of the author Carol_A
    I'm sorry that you're in such a stressful situation at work --> makes for physical symptoms if you're there for any length of time.

    I have a great need to "help" by way of using my talents and gifts to make a positive difference. I work from home, am my own boss, so I get to lavish all of my "help" on myself.

    Could you possibly transition to working at home in some capacity?

    Take Care,
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  • Profile picture of the author gentryliving
    I admire you being a good and concerned worker. How i wish i could have one like you.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dwight Anthony
    If you've got any decent online marketing skills, you can transfer a bit of these to the offline world and makes his advertising dollars actually start working for him and bringing in new business. If you don't frequent right now, check out the offline forums.
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    One thing you don't want to do is spoil your boss. Don't do all of his work (on top of yours), and allow him to leave the office early to go play golf with his buddies... all while you're holding the fort down yourself.
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