Working in a bureaucracy is learning to deal with MULTIPLE managerial styles. For example:
Manager #1: Can you make me some tomato soup?
Me: Sure. Is it okay if I use a milk base?
M1: Why would you use milk in gazpacho?
Me: I thought you asked for tomato soup…
M1: No, gazpacho, cold tomato soup.
Me: Here is the gazpacho you asked me to make.
M1: Thanks. This needs some work. I’m going to give this to your coworker to spice up because she’s so good at it instead of telling you what I want changed so you can learn for next time.
Manager #2: You will make some tomato soup. I need it now.
Me: Okay. Here is the tomato soup. I used all four tomatoes you gave me, but I had to chop off some moldy bits so it’s really only 3.75 tomatoes.
M2: OMG! Why did you put mold in the soup?!
Me: *face palm*
Me: Hi Manager #3, here is the tomato soup our client requested awhile ago. I was waiting for some feedback from you but didn’t hear anything for two weeks, so here is what I came up with.
Manager #3: Thanks. Sorry I didn’t see your email(s). We actually need to put some jalapeños in here based on a private conversation I had with our client and forgot to tell you. But it’s really tasty!
Why these current managers (yes, I deal with all three of them right now) are still better than my previous manager…
Manager #4: I need you to make some tomato soup on top of the six-course banquet you normally prepare (and I critique to death). I won’t tell you all the ingredients, but it’s sort of based on that squash soup you normally make, so you’ll just have to wing it.
M4: Why is the soup not done yet?
Me: I had to pour it into a container so you could carry it with you. Here is the soup.
M4: This soup has chunks of tomato still in it. I wanted it super creamy. Plus it needs salt. I’ll fix it myself.
Me: I thought our client had high blood pressure and couldn’t take a lot of salt.
M4: Well, he’s wrong, it needs salt. And why haven’t you found out if his boss likes more pepper?
Me: Because our client told me his boss liked this much pepper and I believed him…
M4: *Long sigh* Well, I’m now out of the office for the rest of the day. I’ll be back at 10pm tonight to critique your work, and I expect edits by tomorrow morning.
Too many cooks in the kitchen, for sure.