A Guide to Dysfunctional Management and the Evil Workplace
May 17th, 2013 by William

The Definitive Dysfunction Quiz

In my book Puttin’ Cologne on the Rickshaw, and in my many blog posts on this site, I provide insights into identifying workplace dysfunctionality. If you haven’t read my book you may be confused, or in doubt, about whether you work in a dysfunctional organization. So in the interest of helping you make that assessment I offer the following definitive quiz.

In this questionnaire we’ll take a look at your job from three different perspectives; your immediate boss, how you workplace makes you feel, and some general questions about where you work. All are true/false questions. Keep track of how many you’ve answered true. The key and recommendations follow the quiz.

This first set of questions is geared toward the perspective of your immediate boss.

Does   your boss play favorites or covet protected people?
Does   your boss keep promises–especially at performance review time?
Does   your boss listen, or interrupt and talk over people?
Does   your boss micromanage everything you do?
Is   your boss a workaholic and expect the same from you?
Is   your boss a clock-watcher–obsessed   with the hours you put in?
Does   your boss provide the resources that enable you to be a success?
Does   your boss play games like divide and conquer?
Does   your boss provide ongoing feedback and praise?
Is   your boss generally disagreeable and finds fault in everything?
Does   your boss dish out unconstructive criticism?
Is   your boss just not motivating, i.e., not a leader but a manager?
Do   you often feel that your boss could care less about you?
Does   he or she try to deceive you or make contradictory statements?
Does   your boss always have some crisis that must be addressed immediately?
Does   your boss make you feel guilty all the time?
Does   your boss make you nervous or anxious–do you dread meeting with him or her   especially one-on-one?
Does   your boss send incendiary emails at all hours of the day or night?
Does   your boss bring problems to you without any constructive advice?
Does   your boss constantly preach that you must have more of a sense of urgency?

The second set of questions focuses on how you feel about yourself and your job.

Does   everyone around you annoy you at some level?
Are   you mentally exhausted and drained by the end of the day?
Do   you hate getting up in the morning?
Do   you feel you get no respect or aren’t really valued?
Do   you feel you have no work-life balance and you’re married to your job?
Do   you feel like throwing up the night before the start of your work week?
Do   you lose sleep because you’re worrying about what you’ll face at work the   next day?
Do   your family members wonder why you act so depressed all the time?
Do   you try to deny the reality and rationalize your situation?
Do   you have skyrocketing blood pressure?
Do   you feel ashamed because you’re being controlled by another person and you   don’t know how to stop it?
Are   you not able to enjoy your time off because of worry about your job?
Do   you believe that you actually are inferior and have lost your self-respect?
Does   your boss make you feel like you owe him/her?
Have   you received a mediocre performance review despite getting rated outstanding   on previous reviews?

The third set of questions are general in nature about your organization as a whole.

Is   your company a fun place to work?
Do   many of your co-workers have their résumés on the street?
Does   your organization have a clear overall vision of how it wants the business to   grow over the short/long term?
Do   people trust and respect each other?
Is   communication lacking in your organization?
Are   layoffs and down-sizing a routine event?
Is   revenue and profit an obsession of management?
Are   revenue and profit on the decline or stagnant?
Are   customers truly happy with your product or service?
Are   departments hunkered down and acting in their own best interest?
Are   statements of organizational values on posters in the lunch room?
Are   there an incessant number of meetings where little is ever accomplished?
Does   management constantly preach the need for more accountability throughout the   organization?
Are   there many lessons-learned meetings yet nothing ever changes?
Does   management profess work life balance yet expect 12+ hour days?


Group #1 = 20 questions

Group #2 = 15 questions

Group #3 = 15 questions

Total  = 50 questions

If you scored:

30 – 50          It’s time for Puttin’ Cologne on the Rickshaw and finding another job

20 – 30          I suggest therapy or anti-depressants to make it through the day

10 – 20           You’re beginning to see the light about your situation and fate

10 & below    You’ve got a great job – don’t screw it up[1]

[1] Don’t be alarmed that you’ve had to answer some of the above questions true. Remember organizational dysfunction is a matter of degree. All organizations have some dysfunctional characteristics–that’s just human nature at work.


2 Responses to “The Definitive Dysfunction Quiz”
  1. Adalberto Proffit says

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  2. Daine Sholl says

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    Thank you so much!

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