"Don't take advantage of me, because I am going to be looking down your throat," Houston oil and gas magnate Edward Mike Davis wrote to his employees on Jan. 13, 1978. "You need the job — I don't!"
Davis — a former chauffeur with true grit, who launched his business with money from a divorce settlement — was not one to sugarcoat his advice. Office memos from his time as CEO of Tiger Oil Co. were blunt, to say the least, earning him the unofficial title of World's Grumpiest Boss.
On Sept. 26 The New York Times reported that Davis died at 85 in his Las Vegas home on Sept. 18 from complications of prostate cancer, yet he will be long remembered for his harsh "wisdom."
Although his company filed for bankruptcy in the 1980s when the U.S. oil sector crashed amid a global oil glut, his memos gained attention decades later when they were published on a blog called Letters of Note. The memos also appear (with Davis' blessing) in a recently published book by the blog's founder, Shaun Usher.
While Davis was not one for office cheer or the open door policy, his memos include many tips that still apply to the workplace — and employee-employee relationships — today. Whether you have a grumpy boss or not, it wouldn't hurt to keep these tips in mind if you want to be a boss one day.