It is becoming increasingly obvious...

...that there is an entire class of management professional that do literally 'nothing' of any actual value for their organisation.

We didn't have any of the middle managers in the company here during proper lockdown, and output remained steady.

What the fuck do any of these people do except chat and send each other pointless emails?!

Like 'Do some fucking work....manual labour even?! Build a wall.'

Meetings is what they do rather well, and more meetings, and steering comitees , and task forces.

Hi! You called me? Sorry, I am terribly busy on back to back WebEx's at the moment. It's been manic...


this is one of the problems

I would say about 70% of jobs do not need to be done

the lockdown collapse is going to throw light on that

Yes, it's amazing. Recessions are meant to cull these layers but they grow back in the good times because everyone is up for high pay for no work.

I think the population is likely to decline significantly over the next twenty years so perhaps the problem will fix itself that way

I used to sit next to one and one day he was having a meeting to talk about a meeting where they would be discussing meetings.

Anyone whose job title includes the words "project manager" who works in an office and not on a building site or something is a waste of money and oxygen.

Whoa, whoa, whoa: Washed, I hope you asked if him if he really though it was wise to jump into a pre-meeting meeting without a  pre-meeting planning meeting first?

If not, he sounds like a crazy risk taker, and you'd be better cutting him loose.

We have a partner in charge of bids who is fucking useless and, worse, clueless. He will promise ANYTHING to anyone, without seeking opinions on whether x can be done or not. 

"Build a wall", you say.

Perhaps you could second them to Donald Trump!

I have a friend who runs a faculty at a university who apparently spends 6-7 hours a day on Teams calls

WTF do they talk about?!

the OP is a typical techie viewpoint

there's a reason u guys aren't allowed to make any decisions that matter

You aren't even allowed to make decisions that don't matter, laz 

  • If you think middle managers are bad, have a look at senior managers.

"I would say about 70% of jobs do not need to be done"

yet the majority of people remain 100% dependent on income from jobs to survive. If only there were some way to address this imbalance...

Are you talking about mass slaughter of the non productive Fritz? If so, I'm in.

Start with all management consultants at e.g. Deloitte whose entire job is to interrupt my working day to interview me about what I do, what could be more efficient, who faffs all day etc and then writes that up in some PowerPoint slides presenting my ideas as their own.

All at an hourly rate that matches decent MA rates.

As a "head of", there's a lot of times I think, wow..I'm overpaid for the effort I'm putting in. Then I have to actual manage people and projects and realize that no one else would be able to get shit done the way it has to be done.

I dunno. I make my middle management do work and review things submitted to them. Also, they do the useless admin tasks created by HR (manage annual performance reviews, absence requests, vacation cover, etc.) that I can't do with 50+ people under me.

As a middle manager I entirely agree.


trying to manoeuvre my way to senior management 

We had a meeting with a project manager today. Her bullshit bingo game was on another level. 

At one point she talked about creating a project delivery committee staffed with cascading project sponsors, senior stakeholders, SMEs and influencers. 

kind of hoping I’m tapped to be an influencer *poses with branded item*

PNHB if I’m making lots of decisions that don’t matter - why was I one of the only people not allowed to go on furlough or work from home?! That was a decision made by the directors!

You’re probably just another of these waddling management-speak teletubbies like a guy who I used to work with who would call us up and say ‘er, Jim needs a new iPad he’s dropped his in a bilge again’

‘what...?! What the fuck is he doing with them...,!? Playing frisbee with them...?!’

"I used to sit next to one and one day he was having a meeting to talk about a meeting where they would be discussing meetings."

It's tomorrow if you're interested. Zoom call to kick off a discussion if there's too many Zoom calls right now.

legal lactard, my point was rather that, under our current system, people without independent means effectively have to justify their existence via a 5-day working week, even though the overall demand for human labour is nowhere near that nowadays. If society were able to face up to this reality and make some adjustments (for example moving to a 4-day standard working week or some kind of basic income model), we could distribute the necessary work more evenly and eliminate the need for non-useful work. Everyone would get more free time and it would benefit the environment too.

Until then, middle management, outbound callcentres, never-ending unnecessary software updates (just when you learned how everything works), etc. are here to stay.

Does RoFing count as being productive?



4-day week. I'm in.

Roffing productive? No, but it's ok as a distraction a few times a day. I don't know how some of the regulars find the time, but at least some are amusing.

Tbh law firms are not generally as bad at this as many other orgs. The billable hour culture is a pain in the arse but it does usually focus minds a bit.

Big 4 for example are far worse.

I completely accept a big part of my job is non-useful. I would prefer not to do it. Am I able to do that and forgo the pay? No. I suspect it’s the same for many of us. And so the pretence goes on...

Big law firms are full these people. There is a whole layer of management which doesn’t need to be there.

Of the law firms I've known the major problem has been that they're managed by lawyers who've risen to the top not from being forward thinking business people but due to being able to churn work and having inherited important client relationships from their predecessors.