Author Topic: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74  (Read 1245694 times)

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TeamBhakta

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5490 on: March 05, 2014, 12:18:24 AM »
A school out here recently had a bat problem. Which the higher ups try to brush off with "the bats are only in the roof, we'll put an exit only entrance up there, etc." Except, you know, kids were going home & telling their parents "a bat flew through our class today." And the local news team filmed lots of bats flying around outside. Yeah, oops  ::)

Dazi

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5491 on: March 05, 2014, 05:30:15 AM »
...(I usually say "secretaries rule the world." :)) ...

They really do!  I remember one time in college chatting with one of the department secretaries while she rearranged my class schedule for me after classes had started.  Another student came up, ignoring that she was already doing work for me, and demanded that the secretary rearrange her class schedule for her.  Of course she had no way of knowing that the secretary was already doing precisely that for me.  The secretary said completely deadpan that it was completely impossible since classes had already started.  Stranger then walked into the department heads office and demanded that her scheduled be rearranged.  Head asked secretary if it was possible, and she said no.  The head shrugged his shoulder and went back into his office.

HA!  My job isn't exactly as a secretary, but it's close enough (think clerical support staff with a spiffier title).  One of the people I work for was asked something and told the person asking he'd have to check with his boss.  The lady looked puzzled, probably thinking he doesn't have a boss, and then he pointed to me.  I did a quick finger wave with a smile and she started laughing.

He tells people he has no delusions about who really runs his life, me and his wife.   ;)
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Free Range Hippy Chick

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5492 on: March 05, 2014, 08:27:24 AM »

HA!  My job isn't exactly as a secretary, but it's close enough (think clerical support staff with a spiffier title).  One of the people I work for was asked something and told the person asking he'd have to check with his boss.  The lady looked puzzled, probably thinking he doesn't have a boss, and then he pointed to me.  I did a quick finger wave with a smile and she started laughing.

He tells people he has no delusions about who really runs his life, me and his wife.   ;)

Yup. Do you want to speak to the man in charge or to the woman who knows what's going on?

And never, NEVER get on the wrong side of the person taking the minutes in the management meeting. That's a quick way to finding out later that the minutes say:

Item 4: Really Horrible Task. Free Range Hippy Chick to action by Ludicrously Tight Deadline.

and discovering that it must be true, because it's in the minutes, even thought you thought that Other Colleague was dealing with it.

blue2000

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5493 on: March 05, 2014, 08:54:05 AM »
Can a school commit professional Darwinism?  I don't know if this quite fits, but I don't know where else it would.

My MIL is a teacher at a private school.  A month ago, she received a group email, sent to all the teachers, that said that it was the last day for one of the teachers.  She was surprised, as she hadn't heard anything about him leaving (although she knew he wasn't performing all that well).  Turns out he'd been given two days notice.  Even with a teacher who isn't that great, schools usually prefer to keep them until the end of the year to give the students continuity, and then they don't renew the contract.  So it was surprising.

So then this past Friday after school, she received another group email saying that it was the last day for another teacher.  She couldn't believe it, because just that *morning* she'd been talking to that teacher about something they were planning for next week, and he hadn't let on.  So she went to see him, and asked him what was up.  He had no idea what she was talking about.  She asked him if he'd read his email.  He hadn't.  She gently told him what was in it and encouraged the shell-shocked man to go see the administration and figure out what was going on.

Seriously?  You email the entire teacher list to tell them that somebody is being fired... before the person is told?  And you don't tell the person until the end of the day on their last day on the job?  As far as my MIL knew, he didn't have any performance issues major enough for other teachers to know about.  And it's March!

Somehow I don't see good things for this school's teacher loyalty/retention in the future.  I don't know if it will lead to the end of the school, but something that shakes up the teachers and maybe causes the best of them to look elsewhere is not generally a good way to keep your school going well.

I've seen that before. It never ends well. :-\
You are only young once. After that you have to think up some other excuse.

Twik

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5494 on: March 05, 2014, 09:33:04 AM »
Actually, that would make me suspicious, if I were a parent, that something very bad had been going on. Because yes, who fires a teacher in the middle of the semester, unless there's virtually no choice?
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ladyknight1

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5495 on: March 05, 2014, 09:43:14 AM »
My bosses husband was the head master for a private religious school. The board was very bad about managing money and the school was consistently near default.

He left when they didn't pay him for a month, and told him to trust in deity that he could pay his bills. He is still trying to get paid, 6 years later.

Winterlight

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5496 on: March 05, 2014, 09:45:12 AM »
Young ladies (and gentlemen) might do well to remember how their dates treat the wait-staff.   As a PP said, someone who is rude to a person they perceive as "inferior" is a rude person, who will eventually treat YOU like that. 

I remember DD1 landing on her young son with both feet, because he was rude.  Her son said, "But Daddy says it's OK, because she's just a waitress."  ::)  Yeah, there's a reason that Daddy is Mommy's EX husband.

That's long been one of my dating criteria. If he's sweet as peach pie to me but snippy to the waitress/security guard/receptionist, that tells me everything I need to know about his character- or lack thereof.
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To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
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lilfox

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5497 on: March 05, 2014, 11:33:49 AM »
Young ladies (and gentlemen) might do well to remember how their dates treat the wait-staff.   As a PP said, someone who is rude to a person they perceive as "inferior" is a rude person, who will eventually treat YOU like that. 

I remember DD1 landing on her young son with both feet, because he was rude.  Her son said, "But Daddy says it's OK, because she's just a waitress."  ::)  Yeah, there's a reason that Daddy is Mommy's EX husband.

That's long been one of my dating criteria. If he's sweet as peach pie to me but snippy to the waitress/security guard/receptionist, that tells me everything I need to know about his character- or lack thereof.

I've been fortunate to not have had a date mistreat waitstaff.  However, when I arrived a few minutes late to a blind date, I found that guy flirting with the waittress. Our own date didn't go as well.   :P

Reika

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5498 on: March 05, 2014, 12:42:36 PM »
Any time I'm in a position to mentor students or young workers, that's always always the information I pass on. (I usually say "secretaries rule the world." :)) Anyone who treats my staff poorly, I will know about it and it will affect my opinion of you. Support staff are hugely important and can make your life so much easier or so much harder after you're hired too! Always maintain a good relationship.

I've always known that truism from my maternal grandmother who was a secretary for many years. And because of that, I'm fairly certain I got a job because of one. I misunderstood what time my interview for a temp position was going to be and showed up an hour and a half early. There really wasn't any cafes I could hang out at, so the kind lady in charge of the front said it was fine for me to sit in the waiting area until my appointment. When she saw I was reading a fantasy book(I don't remember what it is now, just something I'd gotten from the library) she asked if I'd read specific authors. So in between her calls, talking to other folks, the two of us happily geeked out over books, movies and World of Warcraft.

When I had my interview with the recruiter, the interview made a casual comment about the good impression I'd made, unlike some others, and that it was rare for that lady to compliment someone like she did with me. I don't remember my exact response, but I do know I made the recruiter laugh. Besides, having been in customer service for so long, I know what it's like to get dumped on, I'm certainly not going to do to another person!

LazyDaisy

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5499 on: March 05, 2014, 01:27:56 PM »

HA!  My job isn't exactly as a secretary, but it's close enough (think clerical support staff with a spiffier title).  One of the people I work for was asked something and told the person asking he'd have to check with his boss.  The lady looked puzzled, probably thinking he doesn't have a boss, and then he pointed to me.  I did a quick finger wave with a smile and she started laughing.

He tells people he has no delusions about who really runs his life, me and his wife.   ;)

Yup. Do you want to speak to the man in charge or to the woman who knows what's going on?

And never, NEVER get on the wrong side of the person taking the minutes in the management meeting. That's a quick way to finding out later that the minutes say:

Item 4: Really Horrible Task. Free Range Hippy Chick to action by Ludicrously Tight Deadline.


and discovering that it must be true, because it's in the minutes, even thought you thought that Other Colleague was dealing with it.

I think it is really rude to assume that all bosses and managers are so incompetent that "secretaries rule the world," and the bolded above would be Professional Darwinism as it would get the immature minute taker fired in a heart beat. Their task is to record what is said, not editorialize on their personal opinions about tasks or who was assigned the do it. Support staff plays an important role in the operations of an office or business, but make no mistake so do all of the other positions including the boss. I've met some pretty incompetent secretaries in my 17-year career (including many I have to work with now). Some so daft that I wonder how they manage to dress themselves in the morning. My father, the senior VP in his office before he retired, was the first to own and operate a computer and had to repeatedly show his secretary, who was a dear sweet lady but never tech savvy at all, how to do simple tasks like saving reports after she had typed them up. Luckily my father was reluctant to fire her, and "covered" for her until she was able to retire.
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Elisabunny

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5500 on: March 05, 2014, 04:42:36 PM »
Yes, there are incompetent secretaries, but those who are not have far more power than their pay grades would indicate, because they are the gatekeepers, and they have influence.
You must remember this: a ghoti is still a fish...

TurtleDove

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5501 on: March 05, 2014, 04:50:02 PM »
I think it is really rude to assume that all bosses and managers are so incompetent that "secretaries rule the world," and the bolded above would be Professional Darwinism as it would get the immature minute taker fired in a heart beat. Their task is to record what is said, not editorialize on their personal opinions about tasks or who was assigned the do it. Support staff plays an important role in the operations of an office or business, but make no mistake so do all of the other positions including the boss.

POD.  I agree it does not speak well of a person to be rude to support staff, but it doesn't speak well of support staff to retaliate either.  I have had significant experience with administrative assistants, both working for me and working for my colleagues.  Some have been wonderful to work with; others clearly are irritated that they have to do their job, which includes being subordinate to people who are younger than they are, with "less experience."  I think some (not all) administrative assistants forget that their job only exists because of the people they support.

Hillia

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5502 on: March 05, 2014, 05:05:03 PM »
I didn't take the meeting thing seriously; it's a pretty standard joke in every office that I've ever worked in that anyone who's not in the meeting gets assigned the least desirable tasks or the majority of the action items.  I don't think an admin person would really fabricate assignments, unless the overall environment was extremely dysfunctional so that behavior was acceptable.

Admin people are usually the ones who know all the details of day to day life in the office. documented or not.  How do I get a refund for my lost change in the soda machine?  How do I arrange business travel?  Where are the office supplies?  What do I do when the printer is out of order/needs toner?  Who is the best person to talk to in Other Department to get  Task accomplished?  It doesn't mean that a manager who doesn't know these things is incompetent; they just don't fall in the manager's realm of daily responsibilities.

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Ceallach

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5503 on: March 05, 2014, 05:18:11 PM »

HA!  My job isn't exactly as a secretary, but it's close enough (think clerical support staff with a spiffier title).  One of the people I work for was asked something and told the person asking he'd have to check with his boss.  The lady looked puzzled, probably thinking he doesn't have a boss, and then he pointed to me.  I did a quick finger wave with a smile and she started laughing.

He tells people he has no delusions about who really runs his life, me and his wife.   ;)

Yup. Do you want to speak to the man in charge or to the woman who knows what's going on?

And never, NEVER get on the wrong side of the person taking the minutes in the management meeting. That's a quick way to finding out later that the minutes say:

Item 4: Really Horrible Task. Free Range Hippy Chick to action by Ludicrously Tight Deadline.

and discovering that it must be true, because it's in the minutes, even thought you thought that Other Colleague was dealing with it.

Ah, clearly my sex explains why I'm the exception - I'm both the person in charge AND the woman who knows what's going on!  :D    (My excellent PA is also female but I assure you I'm not some incompetent, bumbling manager stereotype who can't manage my own calendar.   She's just the wonderful icing on the cake who makes my life easier and frees up my time by doing the running around and odd jobs for me).   
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TurtleDove

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5504 on: March 05, 2014, 05:24:38 PM »
Exactly, Ceallach!