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Have you ever worked for a company where seemed to be too many unnecessary people in supervisory positions but with hardly anything to do?

Posted - February 19


  • 1323
    I briefly worked for Barnes & Noble Booksellers after college and to say that this company is top heavy with management is an understatement.  The store where I was employed had THREE (3) store managers, an assistant manager, a manager of music, a manager of children's books, a manager of gifts, a manager of magazines, a receiving manager, a café manager and no fewer than FIVE (5) lead booksellers all to oversee about 4500 ft² of retail space.

    This post was edited by bevo at February 19, 2022 8:21 PM MST
      February 19, 2022 7:36 PM MST

  • 13392
      February 19, 2022 7:51 PM MST

  • 8628
    Yes. Interestingly, all but one of the supervisors were men and basically sat in their offices and did nothing. 
      February 19, 2022 7:50 PM MST

  • 11128
    I spent 6 years working for the City of New York. All you need to know is that the city employs about 330,000 people and defines bureaucracy.
      February 19, 2022 7:55 PM MST

  • 16388
    Absolutely.  When my company was a regulated monopoly there were way way way too many management employees who were liked by higher management and positions created for them.....with nothing to do..... and not enough skillled, semi-skilled, and craft employees.  When deregulation came the company changed in many ways, and one of them was a true assessment and complete reorganization of personnel.  It was scary for all of us but it was proper and some of us ended up with promotions. 
      February 19, 2022 9:57 PM MST

  • 9850
    Yes.  It was called Ralphs Grocery (NorCal division).  They had more management than they did employees.  It eventually closed all its stores and slunk back to SoCal where it came from. 
      February 19, 2022 10:01 PM MST

  • 48814



      At the career I worked in, they used to hand out supervisory promotions like candy. There were practically no minimum standards for which employees could apply to advance to supervisory positions, most notably time on the job. People with two years or less would not only apply, but we’re often selected to be supervisors. Existing supervisors sat on the panels that decided which applicants to accept, so there was no doubt it was a good ol’ boy (or girl) sweetheart deal that was predicated on who you knew or who liked you. 
      As a result, some supervisors had less knowledge, skills, abilities, or experience than the very employees they supposedly “supervised”. This was magnified when they got transferred to a different office or unit or area of responsibility wherein they had never been before, and suddenly found themselves in charge of people who knew the job better than they did. It got so bloated with unnecessary supervisors that some units had more supervisors than employees, and some employees had two supervisors instead of one.
      I am a military veteran, I joined straight out of high school at age 18 and served three tours of active duty (over a decade), so I based much of my work ethic on that experience when I joined the civilian workforce. It made no sense to me that an organization would even consider promoting people who had not “been around the block”. Almost every time a supervisor position was announced at the civilian job, some of my coworkers would ask me (with great surprise on their faces), “You’re not applying? Are you crazy? You’d be perfect as a supervisor!”  Even though I was very competent in my job and I loved the work, I knew I needed at least five years OJT in order to learn as much as I could before even entertaining the idea of supervising, which would include moving around to different areas and sections/units.
      Not once in that career did I ever apply for supervisor. I saw how miserable they were: among others things, they were on call 24/7 with zero option not to respond, they had to deal with petty squabbles and personality conflicts between employees, they had to attend weekly meetings at the directors’ council where they got yelled at and cursed out for even the slightest transgressions of their employees, every incident or accident required hours and hours of report-writing, etc., etc., etc.

      June 23, 2022 8:38 AM MDT