Is it ever ok to go over the bosses head?

Long long ago, in a company far, far away, I remember sitting in a room with my bosses boss, and several other wise advisers. The big boss had decided to replace some old equipment with new equipment. Good, right? New equipment needed to be tested and programmed. Could take months, and since we had never used that equipment before, it might prove unsuitable to the task. Well, still not bad, we could leave the old gear in place while we ramp up the new gear, right? Wrong.

No, big boss was going to remove the old equipment before the new equipment even arrived. Hmrmp… And, that equipment was heavily used, we could not afford to be without it. It would without question impact production.

Now this was such a bad decision, I was certain someone would be fired over it. Not necessarily the guy who made the call, but someone left holding the bag, likely me or my boss.

In the aftermath of this great disaster, it was suggested that one of us should have gone over his head, and said something to the plant manager. Unthinkable…but maybe not.

Having spent so many years in the Navy, I would never jump the chain. But maybe someone who had worked as a civilian all their life might have a different take.

What would I do if my division officer told me to go down in engineering and drill a hole through the bottom of the ship? Well, I would not do it. Probably not tell on him either though. Let him bring me up on charges.

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