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What Does Being a Manager Mean?

In my life, I’ve seen lots of managers, and interacted with hundreds of them. Some came in the form of the highest ranking representative (next to the owner/director, which are very few) that a company can assign to deal with me as a customer, or a prospective business partner.

I’ve also dealt with them in my career, when I was a subordinate. However, I never needed to have one-on-one sessions with my former managers. When I was an unenlightened worker, fresh out of college, I thought that this was because it was due to some “corporate culture” thingy… or perhaps even segregation of working class castes… or something.

As I got older, and wiser (at least operations-wise), I found that the only reason why I have virtually zero interaction with my managers was that they have done their jobs properly… in turn I too have performed very well.

When I started working life in Malaysia, I found that many young managers (20 somethings, mostly fresh grads) have no bloody idea what being a manager is all about. Many see it as a title which provide decorative letters in their name cards. Many more think of themselves as a worker who’s paid more than the average worker.

Pathetic dimwits… and these are so called “educated people”, sure, they have degrees and whatever paper credentials, but they surely have jack shit business sense.

At best, they know that Management Functions are Planning, Organising, Leading and Controlling (which any first year student of tertiary education level business related discipline will know)… but when asked to implement them, they respond with dumb questions such as, “Ehh! Must do planning, aaa?! How aaa? I don’t know lahh… ask the workers to make their own plans can or not?” . I must have resisted many, many urges to wring their bloody necks.

Ahhh… sometimes I wonder why did I leave the peaceful world of systems administration and got myself into this mess. Patching hundreds of PCs against the Windows worm du jour is definitely much, much easier than handling half a dozen dimwitted clowns who think business is completing their MBA or whatever.

Here’s some food for thought… how many business or management lecturers in Malaysian university have even ran their own business? Heck, I don’t even know any engineering professors who was an engineer at any point in their lives…

Perhaps the Malaysian education system is simply screwed… Like the age-old computing term goes; Garbage In, Garbage Out.