Bad Bosses Episode 18

What's Your Burning Platform?

By In Weekly Email 2 minute read time

Here’s a hilarious office story from one of our readers.  We send these every Friday in our newsletter, which is free to sign up for. 

Beyond Bad Bosses

Dear Kimono—

Thanks for helping me make it through another week of the grind. 

My Bad Boss story is three years old and I’ve debated whether to share.  Others have been brave so why not me. It’s going to feel good getting it out. 

I’m in the publishing industry.  Technology has and continues to kick our behinds.  Essentially, with the Kindle and the decline of paper magazines, we’re in a hurry to reinvent ourselves and find revenue from other avenues.  It’s been a mixed bag. 

Anyway, they sent my boss, Mark, for a conference on how to manage and lead change.  Mark was a loose cannon to begin with.  He came back unhinged and unglued.  On the Monday after his conference, he came to our staff meeting wearing a headband like the tennis or basketball players of the 1970s.  He also had his sleeves rolled up like Jim Cramer in Mad Money.  

Before we know it, he jumped up on the conference table and said something like only the strong survive and the strong survive because they change.  And then he yelled, “WE NEED A BURNING PLATFORM TO FORCE US INTO CHANGE!” 

He jumped off the desk, opened up the conference room door, and went to the fire alarm across the hall and pulled it!  There were about 15 of us in the conference room and we all felt like we were in an episode of The Office.  I wish I could’ve gotten a mural of our faces as he pulled the fire alarm.  Disbelief with a touch of shock. 

Well, we work on the 25th and 26th floors of a building in Manhattan.  They had to evacuate the entire building.  We spent two hours in the rain waiting for the ALL CLEAR signal.  When we were allowed to go back in, Mark’s placard next to his door was already taken down. 

We never saw Mark again.  He’s out of the industry and someone said he’s teaching goat yoga near Aspen, Colorado.

– Catherine

New York

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Written by Jay


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