Thursday, April 28

Share your MORON stories... please!!! 

I'm working on two new book projects, both with the themes of MORONS. Yup, we've got Dummies books, Idiot's books, and now... ta-da! The first two titles in a new series:

Moron Management
Moron Marketing

both written by yours truly. These two writing projects should last me until the end of 2005, but I NEED YOUR HELP.

Please (PRETTY please?!!) share with me your stories, comments, thoughts, or straight-up forwarded examples of moronic management or marketing communication. This could be in the form of your original firsthand experiences (you'll get full credit and a mention in the book - or NOT - your choice!) or simply forward me emails, ads, memos, sales letters, actual packaging, postcards, or anything else that demonstrates the dumb, ineffective, or counterproductive things that both managers and marketers do DAILY to degrade the quality of the universe we all live in.

Here are some of the submissions of actual comments, notices, and statements coming out of different companies (some names omitted by request):

As of tomorrow, employees will only be able to access the
building using individual security cards. Pictures will be taken
next Wednesday and employees will receive their cards in two
weeks. (This is my favorite so far from Fred Dales at Microsoft)

What I need is a list of specific unknown problems we will
encounter. (Lykes Lines Shipping)

How long is this Beta guy going to keep testing our stuff?
(Programming intern, Microsoft IIS Development team)

E-mail is not to be used to pass on information or data. It
should be used only for company business. (Accounting Mgr.,
Electric Boat Company)

This project is so important, we can't let things that are more
important interfere with it. (Advertising/Mktg. Mgr., UPS)

Doing it right is no excuse for not meeting the schedule. No
one will believe you solved this problem in one day! We've
been working on it for months. Now, go act busy for a few
weeks and I'll let you know when it's time to tell them.(R&D
Supervisor, 3M Corp.)

My boss spent the entire weekend retyping a 25-page proposal
that only needed corrections. She claims the disk I gave her
was damaged and she couldn't edit it. The disk I gave her was
write-protected. (CIO of Dell Computer)

Quote from the boss: "Teamwork is a lot of people doing what
I say." (Mktg. executive, Citrix Corporation)

My sister passed away and her funeral was scheduled for
Monday. When I told my boss, he said she died so that I
would have to miss work on the busiest day of the year. He
then asked if we could change her burial to Friday. He said,
"That would be better for me." (Shipping Executive, FTD

We know that communication is a problem, but the company
is not going to discuss it with the employees. (Telecomm executive)

We recently received a memo from senior management saying,
"This is to inform you that a memo will be issued today regarding
the subject mentioned above." (Technology company, Legal Affairs

One day my boss asked me to submit a status report to him
concerning a project I was working on. I asked him if tomorrow
would be soon enough. He said, "If I wanted it tomorrow,
I would have waited until tomorrow to ask for it!" (New
Business Mgr., Greeting card company)

As director of communications, I was asked to prepare a memo
reviewing our company's training programs and materials. In
the body of the memo one of the sentences mentioned the
"pedagogical approach" used by one of the training manuals.
The day after I routed the memo to the executive committee, I
was called into the HR Director's office, and was told that the
executive VP wanted me out of the building by lunch. When I
asked why, I was told that she wouldn't stand for "perverts"
(pedophiles?) working in her company. Finally he showed me
her copy of the memo, with her demand that I be fired, with
the word "pedagogical" circled in red. The HR Manager was
fairly reasonable, and once he looked the word up in his
dictionary and made a copy of the definition to send to my
boss, he told me not to worry. He would take care of it. Two
days later a memo to the entire staff came out, directing us
that no words which could not be found in the local Sunday
newspaper could be used in company memos. A month later, I
resigned. In accordance with company policy, I created my
resignation letter by pasting words together from the Sunday
paper. (Taco Bell Corporation)

I can't make stuff like this up - so please HELP ME with your stories, anecdotes, letters, emails, and anything else that you feel qualifies for inclusion in the upcoming "Moron Management" and "Moron Marketing" books. Thanks!!

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