Management by Kemske-ing Around

Sidebar: Meet your Worst Corporate Nightmare


How do you spell coercion? M-A-N-A-G-E-M-E-N-T.


“It’s not just a feedback system anymore,” she said. “It manipulates people.”

Donald looked at her as if he despaired of her ever understanding. “What do you think management is, Linda?”

“That’s no management,” said Linda. “That’s fascism.”

The ghost of a smile appeared on Donald’s mouth, then vanished. “Fascism, manipulation, management. I can’t make these fine semantical distinctions. Does it matter what you call it if it works?”

— “The Virtual Boss”

The most perceptive and effective managers tend to be the most brutal.


“A remarkable employee,” said Pierce. “I am afraid I managed her rather badly though.”

Norman recoiled from the body.

“I don’t know what you’re afraid of, Norman,” said Pierce. “A dead person? She’s been dead for nearly a week now, and you haven’t let it bother you very much. You’re not what I would call one of those sensitive managers, you know. One would hope that most supervisors would take some notice of problems troubling their subordinates. But your principal subordinate has been dead for a week, and you haven’t even tried to get her into the Employee Assistance Program.”

— “Human Resources”

If you want to make an omelet, you’ve got to break some eggs

“Some of us in Operations are glad you’re coming, Gene,” said Faith said in a hushed but confident voice.



“We need your help, Gene.”

“Is something wrong?”

Gene wondered if she’d had one of those personal development courses in which they teach you to repeat people’s names a lot.

He looked at Faith. Before she answered, her languid eyes searched his face … He saw something stir in the depths of Faith’s eyes, and he thought how little appearance has to do with management, despite every manager’s preoccupation with it.

“We want you to kill Larry,” she said.


— “Lifetime Employment”