Jon Taffer calls him a Stupidvisor. But I'd like to think that's what you call a phony supervisor.

But is there a more direct word to refer to a phony manager?

I mean my work has phony supervisors and phony managers. I say that because only the owner can fire/hire so we don't listen to them. We like to call the supervisors; Stupidvisor. But I would like to call the managers a different name, to distinguish them.

  • I don't think that's an unusual situation, but for things to work well, the owner has to actually listen to the supervisors and make decisions with their input. My supervisor in my office could never fire me, but he could get me fired if he had serious complaints and expressed them to his own boss.
    – frances
    May 8, 2014 at 18:50
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    This isn't really about English Language. May 8, 2014 at 19:01
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    Taffer doesn't call the guy a 'stupidvisor' because he can't hire and fire. He calls him that because he hasn't been given authority to do his job. Two very different things. Plenty of organisations don't give hire-and-fire power to their first level of management, but believe me you had better not ignore them. May 8, 2014 at 19:03
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    So, maybe what's really being asked here is whether there's an existing English word that expresses what "Stupidvisor" does, without having to invent silly mash-ups.
    – frances
    May 8, 2014 at 19:18
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    This question appears to be off-topic because, as @DJClayworth says, this isn't really about English Language. It's about how the "chain of command" works in some organisations. May 8, 2014 at 19:56

2 Answers 2


I think you could call that person a functionary. That term is defined as:

a person employed as an official in a bureaucracy (usually corporate or governmental) who holds limited authority and primarily serves to carry out a simple function for which discretion is not required.

You could argue that it takes discretion to hire or fire people.

If you want to just modify the word supervisor, I think you could call this person a powerless supervisor.

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    A functionary works in the sub-sub-basement of the Law Library at Yale re-shelving archival microfiche, and has an annual budget of $40, mostly for photocopier paper and the occasional BIC pen.
    – IconDaemon
    May 8, 2014 at 21:13

How about calling him/her a "dupe-a-visor?"

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