Probably the form of PD that irritates me the most, and has happened twice in the past year. As we're not a giant company, most staff have a bit of interaction with the CEO (my boss) but generally their jobs don't intersect a lot day by day. But occasionally I'll hire a staff member who for specific reasons has more interaction with her, for example an administrator who I assign to help boss with some paperwork. And occasionally, they seem to get it into their heads that sucking up to her is the way to success in their job. At the expense of actually listening to me, their manager, or following instructions I've given them. I guess it's a reasonable assumption - the CEO is also the founder and owner, so yes she has final say over everything here. But I have full authority over my department, and while I will take into account her feedback (as to whether she is getting what she needs from my team, and her observations) ultimately it's my decision who is hired and fired. My boss thinks this is important because how can she hold me accountable if she is constantly undermining me or making decisions for me? Plus she wants the company to run well, so even if she liked a particular individual she's not going to insist I keep them on if they're not doing their job.
The funny thing is that they don't seem to realise that tasks I give my staff have often come either directly or indirectly from boss too - so by ignoring my requests or failing to do what I ask properly they are annoying her as much as me! Plus, boss and I talk constantly about everything that's happening. So their attempts to suck up are actually professional darwinism. Remember the rule - if you want to get ahead in business make your boss look good! I'm not power crazy, and I don't need anybody stroking my ego, but for goodness sake if I tell you to do something either discuss why you can't or ask for help, don't ignore me. Because then I get frustrated and you get a black mark against your name for poor communication.
Don't get me wrong, my team overall is fantastic - I hire wonderful people and we give them lots of training and support to ensure expectations are clear and they enjoy their work - which they do, they have so much fun in there! And we weed out the bad ones very quickly as I don't think it's fair on anybody to have to work alongside people who are lazy or have a bad attitude.