How to Deal With a Robot Manager

February 29, 2008

A lot of people I know think, hey wow a robot manager that must be cool, all that polished metal and those bright LED eyes and that funky icy voice. Day by day though it’s a lot different. If you have a robot for a manager there a lot of things you will probably have to get used to. This post covers a couple of the items to keep in mind for dealing with a robot manager.

First off robots really, really don’t get going to the bathroom. I had this one robot manager once that had never even been in the restroom let alone knew where it was. It was always so embarrassing to be sitting there and hear some guest ask directions to the nearest restroom and my manager was just quiet and acting like he was processing data or doing a holographic capture of the white board. Tip one always answer these requests directly but also it’s best if you act like you’ve never been to the restroom but you only know about it from studying your site map in your spare time.

Second, you can get emotional but be careful with the whole sarcasm and irony thing. I read somewhere that nine out of ten robots still confuse irony and sarcasm and to generally pretty bad outcomes. You’re better sticking with opportunistic slapstick. Anytime you drop stuff or trip it makes a robot manager fell less self-conscious (or whatever it is they feel that to us humans would seem like self-conscious) about their awkwardness about tying knots and running down stairs.

Third, never I mean never make excuses that relate to being human. Robots are completely focused intense productivity engines. If you say sorry the report was late, we humans tend to get the flu about this time of year you may as well say because you don’t have an immune system you are going to have to pick up my slack and carry me along for a couple days of selfish time. Coughing, fever, aching and other stuff just doesn’t make any sense to a robot manager. You’re better off saying your limited buffer has become faulty and you need some downtime to upgrade your emotional firmware. It’s goofy but it seems to work.

No robot jokes – ever.

Fifth, there is no such thing as small talk. Most likely your robot manager has not left the building since he was installed. Weather is just another line item on the central web portal that he ignores. Your robot manager doesn’t have a family or vote or watch the Oscars or know how to cook anything. The only thing to talk to a robot manager about is work. It’s boring but the sooner you get this the better off everyone is.

Finally, your robot manager will probably be replaced in 2 or 3 years so really just be patient. There is always some new, latest model around the corner. Keep in mind this explains a lot about ‘the everything has to be different’ first year and the ‘we’re all buddies right?’ third year. I read somewhere online that the average robotic manager only lasts 2.6 years so if you get a model you can’t stand just hang in there and chances are the next model will be better. Or at least not that much worse.

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