Study Confirms Your Boss is an ApePE
Ok, so there isn't really a study that actually confirms this, but the Wall Street Journal did have a an interesting article on the predictable nature of primates (yes, even you). Your Boss may not be an actual ape, but he behaves like one and you behave just like a primatologist would predict.
When a subordinate chimpanzee grooms a dominant one, it often does so for a long time and unsolicited. When it then requests to be groomed in turn, it receives only a brief grooming and usually after having to ask a second time. [and more specifically...] The asymmetry in length and speed of reply correlates with dominance.
This same pattern is seen during the basic interactions of junior and senior colleagues. Ever get an unintelligible 4 word e-mail from your boss? Check. Ever get hand-written changes on a Powerpoint slide that made your handwriting in kindergarten look like calligraphy? Check.
I guess this is all much more predictable than I thought. I remember it even went so far that when I was in banking, one of our Managing Directors (nicknamed "The Terrorist" because he would randomly call you at 4am to make some minor edits of a random pitch with no chance!!) was notorious for leaving cryptic scratch all over the pitch book. Due to the fact I was on two live deals with The Terrorist, I soon became the bullpen's expert at decoding these hieroglyphics. Now I know why he was so careless - he was the dominant BSD and we were his "underlings", to put it nicely.
I would give his handwriting a 1.8 on a 1-10 readability scale. What about you primates? Does your boss send you e-mails that make no sense and hand written notes that look like they actually were written by an ape?
Some typical email from my past VP:
pg 3 industry lined plus t2oters
hrer now, coffee
cash swp revolver with tlA not pay?
Or if we're talking about PPT, you think the slide below is bad? You haven't worked in investment banking.