The company I work for has many branch locations across my city. Each branch is managed by its own manager. At my branch our manager is rarely present and entirely un-involved in managing the work of our branch. She does not check in on what is going on, and what we need, or monitor problems occurring managerial wise. For instance, the branch is dirty, to the point of being unsanitary, dust on counters, stains on tables. Work spaces are messy with staffs' things stacked up randomly, partly from the culture of sloppiness, partly from the lack of management establishing resources for the staff.

Her approach to staff meetings is dictatorial at times, and chaotic at other times--as she follows no rules of order (other than her own whims). This is a major point because she is also the Leadership trainer for the same company. In the Leadership training program (which I have taken) we are taught that all staff are "leaders" and that staff meetings are supposed to be run with collectively determined rules of order. We have never discussed or created such rules, nor enforced any rules. And she is the trainer for the Leadership program! She has a "spit" style of management where she spits out things quickly and tersely about what we should be doing. She makes rude personally directed remarks to other staff. One she refers to as "old", she considers me "weird". Come to think of it, she is worse than I even thought....

Do staff have any moral or business obligation to report this and how would one go about doing this?

  • 4
    find another job first and then do whatever you want
    – Kilisi
    Feb 4 '17 at 7:32
  • Without knowing her side of the story, perhaps she's waiting for staff to step in and rise to the occasion? Feb 4 '17 at 15:16

If your attempt to get her fired doesn't work, chances are that she'll try to retaliate and get you fired for having crossed her. It doesn't matter if you have the moral high ground or not, or have the interest of the company at heart or not. What really matters is your own self-interest and your own personal financial security.

Think of it like being on an airplane in trouble and putting your own oxygen mask before trying to help others who are not capable of doing it on their own.

You won't be able to help the company if you get yourself fired. And by keeping that manager on staff at a higher level than you are, while there are already some outward signs that things are not good, your company is already demonstrating a high degree of loyalty to this person.

For now, you should line yourself up another job and build yourself an emergency fund (in case things go bad before you're able to find something else).

Once you have another (equivalent or better) job offer on the table, then you may feel safe enough to tattle tell on this superior, but even then, if you don't have any power within the company, changing employer is almost always the preferred alternative to trying to change a broken company.


Normally if you have concerns about your manager's work, you would start the discussion with your manager. Typically you would stick to the most important point(s) and ask questions that address her work in the context of how it impacts your own. For example, you might say, "Last week when you were out for several days, the team could not progress on project x without your input. In the future, how would you like us to proceed when you are out unexpectedly?"

If you do not think she will respond productively, you could take up a similar line of questioning with her boss. Your focus should be on how to do your best in the given circumstances, leaving it to the listener to figure out what needs to be done about the circumstances themselves.

Sounds really horrible. Sorry!

  • Note that"her boss" is probably not the CEO. Don't use a nuclear flyswatter unless the alternative really is worse. Note that getting a branch manager fired may cause the branch to be shut down.
    – keshlam
    Feb 4 '17 at 21:47

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