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  • January 16, 2018, 05:57:14 AM

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Author Topic: Pet peeves at work  (Read 53094 times)

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TheaterDiva1

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Re: Pet peeves at work
« Reply #405 on: December 22, 2017, 03:02:52 PM »
Warning: Sweeping Generalization Ahead.

In recent years we've noticed a really weird trend when hiring fresh-out-of-school millenials. We get new hires that — within their first two weeks on the job — deposit a multi-page memo on their managers' desks (sometimes even the CEO's) outling how we're doing everything wrong and how they have a plan to fix it. And in very aggressive lanaguage too "Make no mistake, we need to move forward on X, Y, an Z" as if the newbie is trying to re-enact his favorite scene from a movie where he is playing the CEO.

Observational bias: this has only happened with male employees, but we haven't hired enough female employees in that age bracket to know.

This just happened to me last week where a communication glitch in another department made some new guy think he was now in charge of a major project that belongs to my team (for which there has been years of research and testing). When told "Please don't start any on this. This project is assigned to other people and we need to clarify what is going on." I got an enormous mansplaining message back. Bascially, he still thinks he's been assigned a major project (he wasn't), but he has generously offered to collaborate with my team.  :o

Also, his overall message just higlighted how little he knows about our industry.

The only reason this guy is not Professional Darwinism is because one of the other two guys who did the same thing one turned out to be a good employee. He utterly withered in a meeting with the CEO, but was able to then learned how things really work. The other guy was just fired. This guy looks promising unless his manspplainy attitude does nto improve.

But I have never seen this kind of behavior before, and now it's like every new employee that age is a handful at the start.

I wonder if people first entering the work force now are being told to take initiative and be a leader right away, and some people take that advice a bit too far.

GreenBird

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Re: Pet peeves at work
« Reply #406 on: December 22, 2017, 03:05:01 PM »
Warning: Sweeping Generalization Ahead.

In recent years we've noticed a really weird trend when hiring fresh-out-of-school millenials. We get new hires that — within their first two weeks on the job — deposit a multi-page memo on their managers' desks (sometimes even the CEO's) outling how we're doing everything wrong and how they have a plan to fix it. And in very aggressive lanaguage too "Make no mistake, we need to move forward on X, Y, an Z" as if the newbie is trying to re-enact his favorite scene from a movie where he is playing the CEO.

Observational bias: this has only happened with male employees, but we haven't hired enough female employees in that age bracket to know.

This just happened to me last week where a communication glitch in another department made some new guy think he was now in charge of a major project that belongs to my team (for which there has been years of research and testing). When told "Please don't start any on this. This project is assigned to other people and we need to clarify what is going on." I got an enormous mansplaining message back. Bascially, he still thinks he's been assigned a major project (he wasn't), but he has generously offered to collaborate with my team.  :o

Also, his overall message just higlighted how little he knows about our industry.

The only reason this guy is not Professional Darwinism is because one of the other two guys who did the same thing one turned out to be a good employee. He utterly withered in a meeting with the CEO, but was able to then learned how things really work. The other guy was just fired. This guy looks promising unless his manspplainy attitude does nto improve.

But I have never seen this kind of behavior before, and now it's like every new employee that age is a handful at the start.

Yikes!  I wonder if there is some "Take charge of your career!  Make an impact at your job!  Don't wait for authority when you can just take authority!" fad of bad advice going through college career counseling centers that is leading these people astray. 

MrTango

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Re: Pet peeves at work
« Reply #407 on: December 22, 2017, 03:15:24 PM »
I've found that senior management is more likely to consider ideas if:
1) They are sent up through the chain of command, rather than a grunt sending a memo to the VP.
2) They are phrased diplomatically.  I've had a lot of success with "I see our procedures say to do X this way, and I'm wondering if we've ever tried doing it this other way."

Using that method means that if that other approach has been tried in the past, the manager now has an easy opportunity to mentor the new employee on why the other method didn't work or wouldn't be compliant with something or other.  If it hasn't been tried in the past, the non-aggressive tone is (at least in my experience) more likely to get the manager on the new employee's side in considering the new approach.

o_gal

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Re: Pet peeves at work
« Reply #408 on: December 23, 2017, 09:33:27 AM »
Warning: Sweeping Generalization Ahead.

In recent years we've noticed a really weird trend when hiring fresh-out-of-school millenials. We get new hires that — within their first two weeks on the job — deposit a multi-page memo on their managers' desks (sometimes even the CEO's) outling how we're doing everything wrong and how they have a plan to fix it. And in very aggressive lanaguage too "Make no mistake, we need to move forward on X, Y, an Z" as if the newbie is trying to re-enact his favorite scene from a movie where he is playing the CEO.

Observational bias: this has only happened with male employees, but we haven't hired enough female employees in that age bracket to know.

This just happened to me last week where a communication glitch in another department made some new guy think he was now in charge of a major project that belongs to my team (for which there has been years of research and testing). When told "Please don't start any on this. This project is assigned to other people and we need to clarify what is going on." I got an enormous mansplaining message back. Bascially, he still thinks he's been assigned a major project (he wasn't), but he has generously offered to collaborate with my team.  :o

Also, his overall message just higlighted how little he knows about our industry.

The only reason this guy is not Professional Darwinism is because one of the other two guys who did the same thing one turned out to be a good employee. He utterly withered in a meeting with the CEO, but was able to then learned how things really work. The other guy was just fired. This guy looks promising unless his manspplainy attitude does nto improve.

But I have never seen this kind of behavior before, and now it's like every new employee that age is a handful at the start.

It's not just people who are brand new to working in an office.

My software project has been going for 30 years, against all predictions that it was going to be shut down, and against all the people along the line who have tried to destroy it so they can "save it" by implementing their own software. There is a staff of about 60 in my company to support it and keep making improvements, plus about 10 staff at our customer who are dedicated solely to this software. So all kinds of policies and procedures have been in place for (literally) decades. And they all work well.

We went through a hiring period about 3 years ago, and a lot of people came to work on this project from another project (which was also my previous project.) One of the early hires was Bob, who has 20+ years of experience. Bob is a developer, but he's not a "power" developer, who just loves to code. So Bob likes to look for ways to "improve" things. You have to have a certain mindset in my project, and it's a good mindset - we get permission to make certain changes, and all of that is well documented. If you are working on a screen and you see something else wrong, you don't touch it. You bring it up to management and they will put it on their list of things to improve. You only change what you have been assigned to change. Bob can't handle that - he wants to change the process so that if we see something wrong, we change it and add it to the unit test. Management has to shut him down on that.

Next, Bob wants to change what documentation we produce. Nope, we always do this documentation, in this format. That's what our customer needs and no, we're not going to change it.

Finally, Bob doesn't want to work the same core hours as everyone else. He wants to come in around 10 or 11am, and work until around 8 or 9pm. In our time zone, 8pm is also Zulu midnight time. That's when backups run. He keeps getting forced off the servers. So instead of asking around, he words a very sharply critical memo of our long established backup processes. He sends it to the head of engineering and copies a whole bunch of people on it.

He's not employed by my company anymore, just because he wanted to get back to the type of work he was doing prior to coming here, so he found another company that would hire him for that role. I'm sure that management breathed a sigh of relief when he left.

jedikaiti

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Re: Pet peeves at work
« Reply #409 on: December 24, 2017, 04:03:39 PM »
My company just did a major renovation of our breakroom. It's beautiful. Ice machine, vending machines with snacks, industrial-size fridge, keurigs, three microwaves, sink, tables and chairs.

But why wouldn't they have a garbage disposal?  Everyday i see someone removing the strainer from the sink, rinsing out their lunch dishes, and shoving the food bits down the drain.   >:(

Same here!  No garbage disposal.  It's probably considered a liability. 

I also want to know when they are going to finish the little things on our floor.  Under the mirror in the bathroom are these ugly wooden blocks that are mostly hidden by a stack of paper towels.  I hope that isn't the permanent fix.  And give us back the full length mirror!

No garbage disposals in our sinks here either. I figured it had something to do with how the plumbing is set up in a multi-story building, but that's completely a guess on my part.

I work on the 9th floor of a 10-floor building, and I believe we have garbage disposals in our break room.
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Dazi

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Re: Pet peeves at work
« Reply #410 on: December 24, 2017, 06:13:07 PM »
<sigh> Heard this gem from another shift manager. A new employee was hired with supposedly all this experience in the field. SM was scheduled to train new employee. It is woefully obvious either new employee does not have the job experience described or cannot retain information from the other job. The employee does not know the basics for this position, let alone have the knowledge to be considered "skilled and/or knowledgeable" in this field. The thing is, there is no reason to lie, my employer is more than happy to train those without knowledge in this field if they think they are a worthwhile investment. 
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DanaJ

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Re: Pet peeves at work
« Reply #411 on: December 29, 2017, 05:06:18 PM »
Yikes!  I wonder if there is some "Take charge of your career!  Make an impact at your job!  Don't wait for authority when you can just take authority!" fad of bad advice going through college career counseling centers that is leading these people astray.

Since I've been looking for a new job, I've been working with the career couseling services of my alma mater (they work with alumni as well for a very reasonable fee). I did actually ask about this and my univeristy certainly does not encourage that kind of behavior. She thinks it's because there are a lot of recent grads suffering from an "overdose of self-esteem" and over-estimate their abilities.

That may be right. Our CEO has been struggling when it comes to filling positions with younger applicants, because the applicants are making ridiculous demands and seem to have unresonable expectations for entry-level positions.

The other weird thing we've found from younger applicants are those who refuse to do skills tests. For example, back in the day, I had to take a timed test to verify my writing and proofreading skills (it was kind of fun). A few years ago, my DP's nephew was similarly tested by his employer to make sure he was as skilled in particular computer programming languages (half of it was coding some simple functions, half was reviewing deliberately broken code to see if he could identify and solve the problems — and how long it took him to do so).

But we're seeing new applicants refuse to do any kind of test and withdraw their application in a snit. Based on one person's comments: "I will not do free work for you!" we think at some point some local universities may have warned their students about scams designed to get unpaid labor.

The problem is that it's clearly not "free work", they are obvious tests. The writing test I did for example, would have been 100% unusable for the company I work for — part of it was writing a press release for a flying car that could also go underwater!

Sirius

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Re: Pet peeves at work
« Reply #412 on: December 29, 2017, 06:21:23 PM »
A colleague told me she'd had to take a spelling test of medical terms for one job she had, and the test-giver wouldn't believe she'd spelled "hemorrhoid" correctly until shown a tube of hemorrhoid cream the colleague had in her purse.  (I was nosy and asked why she'd had that in her purse, and she told me she'd been using it for a skin ailment.) 

I got a lot of that type of thing when I did medical transcription.  Some of our providers thought they knew more grammar and spelling than they actually did.  Fortunately I had a good medical dictionary and a copy of a grammar text book, because it helped if I could back up corrections I made in their transcribed dictations. 

Luci

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Re: Pet peeves at work
« Reply #413 on: December 29, 2017, 07:02:19 PM »
 A female doctor dear to me was in charge of new doctors. A pair of women interns tried to sue her for discrimination and one of the reasons to prove said prejudice was that she over supervised them and wouldn’t let them practice medicine without supervision, which of course part of the process. Also, they were of that ethnicity when Doc hired them. They did eventually see the light when they couldn’t get to. court with it and continued their education.

Just 2 years ago I also was misdiagnosed by two interns because they said I was just a dying old lady and mentally ill. They were reported by a nurse and were talked to and only observed my case handled by more experienced doc. Well, I lived and am perfectly fine running our home and hosting family dinners, etc., except for a little PTSD from that time.

So yeah, I am uncomfortable with overconfident new people, but respect their education and hopefully they are revisiting their willingness to learn.


So, this trend you are talking

BigBadBetty

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Re: Pet peeves at work
« Reply #414 on: December 30, 2017, 08:55:57 PM »
Warning: Sweeping Generalization Ahead.

In recent years we've noticed a really weird trend when hiring fresh-out-of-school millenials. We get new hires that — within their first two weeks on the job — deposit a multi-page memo on their managers' desks (sometimes even the CEO's) outling how we're doing everything wrong and how they have a plan to fix it. And in very aggressive lanaguage too "Make no mistake, we need to move forward on X, Y, an Z" as if the newbie is trying to re-enact his favorite scene from a movie where he is playing the CEO.

Observational bias: this has only happened with male employees, but we haven't hired enough female employees in that age bracket to know.

This just happened to me last week where a communication glitch in another department made some new guy think he was now in charge of a major project that belongs to my team (for which there has been years of research and testing). When told "Please don't start any on this. This project is assigned to other people and we need to clarify what is going on." I got an enormous mansplaining message back. Bascially, he still thinks he's been assigned a major project (he wasn't), but he has generously offered to collaborate with my team.  :o

Also, his overall message just higlighted how little he knows about our industry.

The only reason this guy is not Professional Darwinism is because one of the other two guys who did the same thing one turned out to be a good employee. He utterly withered in a meeting with the CEO, but was able to then learned how things really work. The other guy was just fired. This guy looks promising unless his manspplainy attitude does nto improve.

But I have never seen this kind of behavior before, and now it's like every new employee that age is a handful at the start.


I wonder if people first entering the work force now are being told to take initiative and be a leader right away, and some people take that advice a bit too far.
.
Where I work, leadership is the buzzword du jour. I am sure this has made its way to to career counselors

Twik

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Re: Pet peeves at work
« Reply #415 on: January 03, 2018, 02:06:37 PM »
Yikes!  I wonder if there is some "Take charge of your career!  Make an impact at your job!  Don't wait for authority when you can just take authority!" fad of bad advice going through college career counseling centers that is leading these people astray.

Since I've been looking for a new job, I've been working with the career couseling services of my alma mater (they work with alumni as well for a very reasonable fee). I did actually ask about this and my univeristy certainly does not encourage that kind of behavior. She thinks it's because there are a lot of recent grads suffering from an "overdose of self-esteem" and over-estimate their abilities.

That may be right. Our CEO has been struggling when it comes to filling positions with younger applicants, because the applicants are making ridiculous demands and seem to have unresonable expectations for entry-level positions.

The other weird thing we've found from younger applicants are those who refuse to do skills tests. For example, back in the day, I had to take a timed test to verify my writing and proofreading skills (it was kind of fun). A few years ago, my DP's nephew was similarly tested by his employer to make sure he was as skilled in particular computer programming languages (half of it was coding some simple functions, half was reviewing deliberately broken code to see if he could identify and solve the problems — and how long it took him to do so).

But we're seeing new applicants refuse to do any kind of test and withdraw their application in a snit. Based on one person's comments: "I will not do free work for you!" we think at some point some local universities may have warned their students about scams designed to get unpaid labor.

The problem is that it's clearly not "free work", they are obvious tests. The writing test I did for example, would have been 100% unusable for the company I work for — part of it was writing a press release for a flying car that could also go underwater!

To be fair, when I started my work career 30 years ago (in the middle of a recession) I heard many employers say how much more *reasonable* prospective hires were now, compared to a few years earlier, when they all wanted the moon and sixpence (because, of course, there was a shortage of workers).

And I have heard of scams where employers would basically get someone to do a project for them as a "test" and then use their work. So I suspect they've been warned not to fall for that, but not given tools to tell between that and a genuine test of skills.
My cousin's memoir of love and loneliness while raising a child with multiple disabilities will be out on Amazon soon! Know the Night, by Maria Mutch, has been called "full of hope, light, and companionship for surviving the small hours of the night."

DanaJ

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Re: Pet peeves at work
« Reply #416 on: January 03, 2018, 02:50:37 PM »
And I have heard of scams where employers would basically get someone to do a project for them as a "test" and then use their work. So I suspect they've been warned not to fall for that, but not given tools to tell between that and a genuine test of skills.

I agree, they've probably been warned about those kinds of scams. But when there's a spelling/grammar test and you are asked to write ad copy for a flying car or a family pack of unicorn steaks, then you are either lacking common sense or you didn't actually read the test before deciding that it must be a scam to get free, usable work from you.

(They chose outlandish scenarios to see if you can properly structure content — clearly we do not sell unicorn steaks. Although we may eat underperforming new hires.  >:D )

goldilocks

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Re: Pet peeves at work
« Reply #417 on: January 03, 2018, 06:01:53 PM »
Actually in my case, it's the interns who do this type of thing!   We've had more interns than I can count put their foot in their mouth while explaining to the COO that our processes are out of day, and we must do X, Y and Z to survive.

Most of these interns are in their masters program, not sure if that is where it is coming from.

Years ago I worked with a man like this, he had somewhere been taught to play corporate games.  For ex, when entering a conference room, he'd always stop and minute and scan the room while figuring out the most important person he could sit next to.   

Once seated to VIP, he'd then pull him off into a side conversation, more or less implying that we little people could take care of the main meeting, the "big boys" were discussing "real business".

spookycatlady

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Re: Pet peeves at work
« Reply #418 on: January 04, 2018, 10:18:06 AM »
We had an intern five years ago who would repeatedly fail at tasks, refuse to correct mistakes, get into long arguments about procedures with the trainer, but would also repeatedly ask for more responsibilities during team meetings when we would discuss hiring new people.

When the boss told her that when her internship was over, she would not be asked back for the entry level permanent position (the normal transition here for many interns), she was shocked. Shocked, I say.

She tried confronting me with an accusatory, "Is there a problem with my work?"

"Well. Yes. Remember all those times, I pulled you aside and walked you through processes? And then you argued with me and refused to correct errors? And boss said you wouldn't get more responsibilities until your actual tasks were completed on time and error free? And you never did that? That was us telling you that there was a problem with your work."

Apparently, she felt that because she was getting a degree in our field, she was too smart for the grunt work and that's why she couldn't/shouldn't have to do that kind of thing. My colleagues with post-grad degrees did a year or more of the grunt work before they were allowed to tackle full files, but we just failed to see her genius.

Hillia

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Re: Pet peeves at work
« Reply #419 on: January 04, 2018, 11:03:34 AM »
It starts with the resumes - some college guidance offices are giving out shockingly bad advice.  HE's cousin lived with us for a few months in the hopes of  "making a fresh start" after flaming out of his grad program after one semester.  The guidance office helped him put together a resume.  Oh boy.

1.  I realize that the "one page maximum" doesn't always apply, but that's generally for people with extensive experience, research, publications etc.  Someone who staggered through a BA program in 6 years and has no work experience other than a few semesters as an RA doesn't have enough to warrant 6 pages

2.  The duties of an RA are basically the same semester to semester.  Listing each semester as a separate entry under employment history is obvious padding, and most employees will recognize it as such.