Worst Sales Manager Contest

Last Updated May 3, 2007 11:01 AM EDT

I recently watched an online video listing the things that managers do that de-motivate employees. You might want to check it out before reading the rest of this post:

HOW BOSSES DEMOTIVATE PEOPLE.

While the behaviors in the video are common and annoying, some of that stuff seemed, well, kinda vanilla. Let’s face it: there are sales managers out there who make the bosses in that video seem like sweethearts.

I once wo...rked for a regional sales manager who ran weekly "status review" meeting where he’d pick a direct report at random and spend an hour tearing his head off. I’m talking in-your-face screaming while everyone else sits and cringes.  One time we had the meeting in the cabin of a tiny private jet.  Eight guys in a space the size of a wall closet and one of them screaming at the top of his lungs. After about an hour, I was ready to jump out the emergency exit, with or without a parachute.

My mother, for 20 years a sales rep at Bristol Myers, had a boss that she absolutely loathed.  Not only did he force the reps to push unsellable products into the channel to pump up sales figures, but he kept giving the team “motivational” talks that bordered on the psychopathic. One time he told his reps (including my mother, who’s basically a sweet grandmotherly type) that they should “get out there and rape and pillage and leave no wounded.”  Nice.

One of my best friends, a sales rep for trade magazines, had a sales manager who's definitely in the running for world's worst.  Here’s an edited excerpt from an email he sent me a few years ago:

Mr. OCD has a weight problem (he's a big, big boy) and yet he entertains us, almost every day, by wearing into work elastic banded short shorts. Hence when he sits in a chair away from his desk, we are all treated (his secretary especially appreciates this) to the sight of the silhouette – in full blossom, shall we say – of his “testicular pendula.” It was basically The Full Monty  without the Broadway songs. His secretary is thinking of doing an "Oedipus" and blinding herself with pins.

Now, that's de-motivation with a vengeance -- especially when you need the sales manager to go on a sales call with you. 

Anyway, my question is – can you top that?  Post or email me your worst sales managers stories.  I'll send a nifty prize (a professionally printed version of our "field guide to bosses") to the person who posts or emails the best story.