I think a lot of the problems that people come on here to complain about are caused by Humphrey Smith taking on unsuitable people in the first place, which then comes back to bite him several months down the line, which is when he uses any excuse to get rid of them. Some of the people that have come on the forum to try to get support for their grievances against HS have resorted to swearing, abuse and even the odd threat when anyone dared to disagree with them, which just tells me that their social skills are a touch lacking - not a good characteristic in a publican!
Most long-standing and experienced managers that just get on with the job seem to do alright, but as with any company, there are still going to be niggles.
That said, the common thread seems to be the unreasonable lack of staff hours, insistence on 5% stock surplus and making up any shortfalls.
Oh, and HS's demands on new managers to significantly increase business at a time where most operators (certainly in the north) consider it good performance just to be standing still, might be a real problem. It won't be easy - with a bit of effort the food offering can be made more acceptable and you won't have any TV or other entertainment to get punters in, but the low prices and excellent draught beers and lagers are a good selling point.