(dedicated to frustrated techies everywhere...)

Management Quotes

Recently, a magazine ran a contest. They were looking for people to submit quotes from their real-life managers. Here are some of the submissions:

1.  As of tomorrow, employees will only be able to access the building using individual security cards. Pictures will be taken next Wednesday and employees will receive their cards in two weeks. (This was the winning quote from Fred Dales at Microsoft Corp in Redmond, WA.)

2.  What I need is a list of specific unknown problems we will encounter. (Lykes Lines Shipping)

3.  E-mail is not to be used to pass on information or data.  It should be used only for company business. (Accounting manager, Electric Boat Company)

4.  This project is so important, we can't let things that are more important interfere with it. (Advertising/Marketing manager, United Parcel Service)

5.  Doing it right is no excuse for not meeting the schedule. No one will believe you solved this problem in one day! We've been working on it for months. Now, go act busy for a few weeks and I'll let you know when it's time to tell them. (R&D supervisor, Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing/3M Corp.)

6.  My boss spent the entire weekend retyping a 25-page proposal that only needed corrections. She claims the disk I gave her was damaged and she couldn't edit it. The disk I gave her was write-protected.  (CIO of Dell Computers)

7.  Quote from the Boss: "Teamwork is a lot of people doing what I say."   (Marketing executive, Citrix Corporation)

8.  "How About Friday?" My sister passed away and her funeral was scheduled for Monday. When I told my boss, he said she died so that I would have to miss work on the busiest day of the year. He then asked if we could change her burial to Friday. He said, "That would be better for me." (Shipping executive, FTD Florists)

9.  "We know that communication is a problem, but the company is not going to discuss it with the employees." (Switching supervisor, AT&T Long Lines Division)

10. We recently received a memo from senior management saying: "This is to inform you that a memo will be issued today regarding the subject mentioned above." (Microsoft, Legal Affairs Division)

11. One day my boss asked me to submit a status report to him concerning a project I was working on. I asked him if tomorrow would be soon enough. He said "If I wanted it tomorrow, I would have waited until tomorrow to ask for it!" (New business manager, Hallmark Greeting Cards.)

12. Speaking the Same Language: As director of communications, I was asked to prepare a memo reviewing our company's training programs and materials. In the body of the memo one of the sentences mentioned the "pedagogical approach" used by one of the training manuals. The day after I routed the memo to the executive committee, I was called into the HR director's office, and told that the executive vice president wanted me out of the building by lunch. When I asked why, I was told that she wouldn't stand for "perverts" (pedophilia?) working in her company. Finally he showed me her copy of the memo, with her demand that I be fired - and the word "pedagogical" circled in red. The HR manager was fairly reasonable, and once he looked the word up in his dictionary, and made a copy of the definition to send back to her, he told me not to worry. He would take care of it. Two days later a memo to the entire staff came out directing us that no words which could not be found in the local Sunday newspaper could be used in company memos. A month later, I resigned. In accordance with company policy, I created my resignation memo by pasting words together from the Sunday paper. (Taco Bell Corporation)

13. This gem is the closing paragraph of a nationally-circulated memo from a large communications company: "(Company name) is endeavorily determined to promote constant attention on current procedures of transacting business focusing emphasis on innovative ways to better, if not supersede, the expectations of quality!" (Lucent Technologies)

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Men think computers should be referred to as females, just like ships, because:

1.  No one but the creator understands their internal logic.
2.  The language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else.
3.  the message "bad command or file name" is about as informative as "If you don't know why I'm mad at you, I'm certainly not going to tell you."
4.  Your smallest mistakes are stored in long term memory for later retrieval.
5.  As soon as you make a committment to one, you spend half your paycheck on accesories for it.

Women think computers should be referred to as male. Here's why:

1.  They have a lot of data but are still clueless.
2.  They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time they are the problem.
3.  As soom as you commit to one, you realize if you had waited a little longer, you could have obtained a better model.
4.  To get their attention, you have to turn them on.
5.  A big power surge will knock them out for the rest of the night.

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     A young engineer was leaving the office at 6:00 pm when he found the CEO standing in front of a shredder with a piece of paper in his hand.
     "Listen," said the CEO,  "this is important, and my secretary has left.  Can you make this thing work?"
     "Certainly," said the young engineer. He turned the machine on, inserted the paper, and pressed the start button.
     "Excellent, excellent!" said the CEO as his paper disappeared inside the machine.  "I just need one copy."

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Comprehending Engineers

     An architect, an artist and an engineer were discussing whether it was better to spend time with the wife or a mistress.
     The architect said he enjoyed time with his wife, building a solid foundation for an enduring relationship.
     The artist said he enjoyed time with his mistress, because of the passion and mystery he found there.
     The engineer said, "I like both."
     "Both?" the other two echoed, surprised.
     "Yeah," the engineer explained.  "If you have a wife and a mistress, they will each assume you are spending time with the other woman, and you can go to the lab and get some work done."

     An engineering student was walking across campus when another engineer rides up on a shiny new motorcycle. "Where did you get such a great bike?" asked the first.
     The second engineer replied "Well, I was walking along yesterday, minding my own business, when a beautiful woman (!) rode up on this bike. She threw the bike to the ground, took off all her clothes, and said ' Take what you want.' "
     The first engineer nodded approvingly. "Good choice," he agreed.  "The clothes probably wouldn't have fit."

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Are you planning on flying somewhere in the near future?  Know your pilot!

Pilot:  November 123 on a very short final, understand I'm cleared  to land?
Tower:  Oh, who's talking?
Pilot:  Me!

Radar:  Flight 1234, for noise abatement turn right 45 degrees!
Pilot:  Roger, but we are at 35.000 feet, how much noise can we make up here ?
Radar:  Sir, have you ever heard the noise a 707 makes when it hits a 727?

Radar:  CRX 500, are you on a course to SUL?
Pilot:  More or less.
Radar:  So proceed a little bit more to SUL.

Tower:  N2234, are you a Cessna?
Pilot:  No, I'm a male hispanic.

Pilot:  ... request heading 110 to avoid...
Radar:  To avoid what?
Pilot:  To avoid delay.

Pilot:  Radar, this is Cessna 4675.
Radar:  Cessna 4675, go ahead.
Pilot:  Radar, I dont seem to be making much progress here.  How is my ground speed?
Radar:  Well, all depends. If you are a hang glider, you are doing very well.

Captain (after landing a bit rough):  Ladies and Gentlemen, it's happy hour. You just received two landings for the price of one.

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(Sung to the tune of "Gilligan's Island," more or less)

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale
Of the doom that is our fate.
That started when programmers used
Two digits for a date.
Two digits for a date.

Main memory was smaller then;
Hard disks were smaller, too.
"Four digits are extravagant,
So let's get by with two.
So let's get by with two."

"This works through 1999,"
The programmers did say.
   "Unless we rewrite before that
It all will go away.
It all will go away."

But Management had not a clue:
"It works fine now, you bet!
A rewrite is a straight expense;
We won't do it just yet.
We won't do it just yet."

Now when 2000 rolls around
It all goes straight to @#%&,
For zero's less than ninety-nine,
As anyone can tell.
As anyone can tell.

The mail won't bring your pension check
It won't be sent to you
When you're no longer sixty-eight,
But minus thirty-two.
But minus thirty-two.

The problems we're about to face
Are frightening, for sure.
And reading every line of code's
The only certain cure.
The only certain cure.

[key change, big finish]

There's not much time,
There's too much code.
(And Cobol-coders, few)
When the century is finished with,
We may be finished, too.
We may be finished, too.

Eight thousand years from now I hope
That things weren't left too late,
And people aren't then lamenting
Four digits for a date.
Four digits for a date.

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10. The monitor is up on blocks.
9.   Outgoing faxes have tobacco stains on them.
8.   The six front keys have rotted out.
7.   The extra RAM slots have Dodge truck parts stored in them.
6.   The numeric keypad only goes up to six.
5.   The password is 'Bubba'.
4.   There's a gun rack on the tower.
3.   There's a Skoal can in the CD-ROM drive.
2.   The keyboard is camouflaged.
AND the number 1 way to tell if a Redneck has been working on a computer is...
1.  The mouse is referred to as a 'critter'.

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If AOL Made Cars

The AOL car would have a TOP speed of 40 MPH yet have a 200 MPH speedometer.

The car would often refuse to start and owners would just expect this and try again later.

Anyone dissatisfied could return the car but must continue to make payments for 6 months.

The windshield would have an extra dark tint to protect the driver from seeing better cars.

The AOL car would have an AOL cell phone that can only place calls to other AOL car cell phones.

Anytime an AOL car owner saw another AOL car owner he would wonder, M/F/age?

AOL cars would come with a steering wheel and AOL would claim no other cars have them.

Every time you close the door on the AOL car it would say, "good-bye."

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Tech Support: "What does the screen say now?"

User: "It says, 'Hit ENTER when ready'."

Tech Support: "Well?"

User: "How do I know when it's ready?"

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    I was working the help desk one day, when one of the computer operators called me and asked if anything "bad" would happen if she dropped coins into the openings of her PC.
     I asked her if this was something she was thinking of doing.
     She said, "Never mind" and hung up.
     So I got out my trusty tool kit and paid her a visit. I opened her CPU case and sure enough - there was 40 cents.


     One of our servers crashed. I was watching our new system administrator trying to restore it. He inserted a CD and needed to type a path name to a directory named "i386". He started to type it, then paused, asking me, "Where's the key for that line thing?"
     I asked what he was talking about, and he said, "You know, that one that looks like an upside-down exclamation mark." I replied,
     "You mean the letter "i"?" I asked.
     And he said, "Yeah, that's it!"


     This guy had a broken lamp which he wanted to discard.  Unfortunately, the power cord ran under his refrigerator, making it impossible to move the lamp while the cord was attached. He decided to cut the cord, since the lamp was unusable anyway. He didn't remember to unplug it first. I found him in the hallway rolling back and forth.


    I was in a car dealership a while ago when a large motor home was towed into the garage. The front of the vehicle was in dire need of repair and the whole thing generally looked like an extra in "Twister." I asked the manager what had happened. He told me that the driver had set the cruise control, then went back to make a sandwich.

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     The German controllers at Frankfurt Airport are infamous for being a short tempered lot. They not only expect you to know your parking location but also how to get there without any assistance from them.  So it was with some amusement that we (United 747) listened to the following exchange between Frankfurt ground control and the pilot of a British Airways 747 (callsign Speedbird 206).
     Speedbird: "Good morning Frankfurt, Speedbird 206, clear of the active."
     Ground: "Guten morgan, taxi to your gate."
     The BA 747 pulls onto the main taxiway and stops.
     Ground (brusquely): "Speedbird, do you not know where you are going?"
     Speedbird: "Standby ground, I'm looking up the gate location now."
     Ground (with typical German impatience): "Speedbird 206, have you never been to Frankfurt before?"
     Speedbird (coolly): "Yes, several times in 1944, but I didn't stop."





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Last modified: December 22, 2003