The OSS Guide To Toxic Workplaces

They called it sabotage.  Most of us, having to deal with it, call it Monday. How this OSS manual describes the toxic workplace perfectly.

(a.) Organizations and conferences.

(1.) Insist on doing everything through “channels.” Never permit shortcuts to be taken in order to expedite decisions.

(2.) Make “speeches.” Talk as frequently as possible and at great length.  Illustrate your points with long anecdotes and accounts of personal experiences.  Never hesitate to add a few “patriotic” comments.

(3.)When possible bring up all matters to committees, for “further study and consideration”. Attempt to make the committees as large as possible- never less than five.

(4.)Bring up irrelevant issues as frequently as possible.

(5.)Haggle over precise wordings of communications, minutes, resolutions.

(6.) Refer back to matters decided on at the last meeting and attempt to reopen the question of the advisability of that decision.

(7.)Advocate “caution.” Be “reasonable” and urge your fellow conferees to be “reasonable and avoid haste which might result in embarrassments  or difficulties later on.

(8.)Be worried about the proprietaries of any decision-raise the question of whether such action as is contemplated lie within the jurisdiction of the group or whether it may conflict with the policy of a higher echelon.

(b.) Managers And Supervisors.

(1.)Demand written orders.

(2.) “Misunderstand” orders. Ask endless questions or engage in long correspondence about such orders. Quibble over them when you can.

(3.) Do everything possible to delay the delivery of orders. Even though parts of an order may be ready beforehand, don’t deliver until it’s completely ready.

(4.) Don’t order new working materials until your stock have been virtually exhausted, so that the slightest delay in filling the order will result in a shutdown.

(5.) Order high quality materials that are hard to get. If you don’t get them, argue about it. Warn that inferior materials will mean inferior work.

(6.) In making work assignments always sign  out the most unimportant jobs first. See that important jobs are assigned to inefficient workers of poor machines.

(7.)Insist on perfect work in relatively unimportant products, send back those with the least flaw. Approve other defective parts whose flaws are not visible to the naked eye.

(8.) Make mistakes in routing so that part and materials will be sent to the wrong part of the plant.

(9.) When training new worker give incomplete or misleading instructions.

(10.)  To lower Morale, and with it, production, be pleasant to inefficient workers, give them undeserved promotions. Discriminate against efficient workers; complain unjustly about their work.

(11.) Hold conferences when there is more critical work to be done.

(12.)Multiply paper work in plausible ways.  Start duplicate files.

(13.) Multiply the procedures and clearances involved for issuing instructions, paychecks, and so on. See that three people have to approve things where one would do.

(14.)  Apply all regulations to the last letter.

(c.) Office Workers

(1.)Make mistakes in the quantities of materials when copying orders. Confuse similar names.  Use wrong addresses.

(2.)Prolong correspondence with government bureaus.

(3.) Misfile essential documents.

(4.) In making carbon copies make one too few so that an extra copying job will have to be done.

(5.) Tell important callers that the boss is busy or on talking on another telephone.

(6.)Hold up mail until the next collection.

(7.) Spread disturbing rumors that sound like inside dope.

(c.) Employees.

(1.) Work slowly. Think out ways to increase  number of movements necessary on your job: use a light hammer instead of a heavy one, try to make a small wrench do when a big one is necessary, use little force when considerable is needed and so on.

(2.) Contrive as many interruptions to your work as you can: When changing on which you are working, as you would on a lathe or press,  take needless time to do it.  If you are cutting, shaping or doing other measured work, measure dimensions twice as often as you need to. When you go to  the lavatory  take a longer time than necessary. Forget tools so that you have to go back and get them.

(3.)Even if you understand the language pretend not to understand  instructions in a foreign tongue.

(4.) Pretend that instructions are hard to understand and ask to have them repeated more than once.  Or pretend to be particularly anxious to do your work and pester the foreman with unnecessary questions.

(5.) Do your work poorly and blame it on bad tools. machinery or equipment. Complain that these things are preventing you from doing your job right.

(6.) Never pass on your skills  and experience to a new or less skillful worker.

(7.)Snarl up administration in every possible way. Fill out forms illegibly, so that they have to be done over; make mistakes or omit requested information in forms.

(8.)If possible join or help organize a group for presenting employee problems to the management.  See that procedures are adopted that are as inconvenient as possible for the management, involving the presence of a large group of employees at each presentation, entailing more than one meeting for each grievance, bringing up problems that are largely imaginary  and so on.

(9.) misroute materials.

(10.) Mix good parts with scrap and rejected parts.



The link

The PDF of the sabotage manual.



It pretty obvious that the people who came up with this have worked in some pretty toxic places.  How much have most people seen of all these things.  Without suggestions from the OSS.  It’s amazing that work gets done at all.





For more on the dysfunctional economy click Here or on the tag below.



  1. penneyvanderbilt · November 21, 2015

    Reblogged this on KCJones.


  2. qbzzt · November 24, 2015

    Reminds me of being in the IDF doing programming for 60 $/month.


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