Author Topic: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74  (Read 1254686 times)

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Ryuugan80

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #2910 on: October 20, 2012, 11:59:15 AM »
On a project i worked many years ago, I had a particularly difficult supervisor to deal with.  I was working on a special assignment and did what I thought was a fine job producing an excellent deliverable.  My supervisor disagreed and we had some words over it.  He ended with "Look, I can get a chimpanzee in here to do your job by tomorrow.  Now get back to your office!"  I bit my tongue and went back.  He was gone less than a month later.

Fast forward 18 months.  I'm in a hiring position on another program and interviewing.  Guess who walks in all dressed up in his Sunday best looking for a job?  Yep!  He took one look at me as he placed his resume on my desk and said "This isn't going to go well, is it?"  I just smiled sweetly and said "Sorry, I'm full up on chimpanzees! But thanks for coming in!" as I very visibly dropped the resume into the trash can at the side of my desk. 

I know, that was entirely unfair to chimpanzees everywhere and I apologize to any I offended with my actions and re-telling of this story.
This strikes me as retaliatory rudeness. Instead of returning his insults in kind, I like to show people like this a more graceful behaviour , in the hopes they will learn something. I am not saying you should have hired him, but I wouldn't have left him feeling the burn either.

While it was certainly retaliatory, it kind of made a point. The fact that he remembered her after 18 months and immediately knew it wouldn't work well (without her saying anything at first) meant that he KNEW he had been in the wrong before. That they BOTH knew what kind of worker he was and that it simply wouldn't work out (especially if he hadn't changed much). 
"Yo, those kids are straight up liars, man. All I told them to do was run product. And by product, I mean chewing gum."  - Lie to Me

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Jocelyn

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #2911 on: October 20, 2012, 01:05:55 PM »
Absolutely- if he'd acted as if they'd had a good relationship, one might think he really didn't understand the heinousness of his actions. But he instantly 'got it'.

Midnight Kitty

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #2912 on: October 21, 2012, 01:25:48 PM »
I vote "not retaliatory rudeness."  Just plain Karma.  I enjoy hearing about someone who burns bridges they need later.  In this case, he abused his position of power to belittle a subordinate.  JustCallMePat handled it well, IMHO.
"The first rule is to keep an untroubled spirit.  The second is to look things in the face and know them for what they are."

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ladyknight1

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #2913 on: October 22, 2012, 09:58:03 AM »
LOL! I've had managers who said "You can be replaced!"


Not too long later, Office Mgr hired a second assistant because the workload I was handling solo had greatly increased.  Office Mgr said she was hiring based on personality because anyone could be taught to do what I do but that it was hard to find a good personality.  I'm really not surprised that the brokers 2nd Admin supported were really frustrated because she didn't know how to do anything (a 20-something recent college graduate who didn't even know how to use the tab key in Word, rather than using the spacebar -- this was 2002 so not that long ago and not unreasonable that she should've known how to use a computer reasonably well).  2nd Admin didn't last very long either but, fortunately for her, she resigned of her own volition (nice girl but really had no business doing computer-based tasks).

Snip

I am responsible for training our administrative clerks. We have never been successful at hiring someone based on their personality. After multiple failures, we hire for skill set. I have now experienced two people who were incapable of learning how to use a database, even after 7 months of intense training.

I don't hire based on personality, but I do hire based on soft skills - things like communication style, empathy, conscientiousness, attitude towards work and colleagues etc.   Those things are important to success and can't be trained, so I'd rather have somebody with the right attitude who needs a bit of training, than have somebody with the right skills but poor attitude.  They'll perform better in the long run.     

But yes they definitely need to have the basic hard skills too!   Yikes at 7 months of database training, you must be going batty trying to deal with that.   :-\

My mind fled for a few days after the last one. It is very difficult for me to repeat the same training with the same person more than twice. A refresher session is fine, but when they do not recall any of the information from the first session, it is pointless.

greencat

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #2914 on: October 22, 2012, 02:58:54 PM »
My former boss attempted to hire a friend of his into the not-really-open third office assistant (really, medical receptionist) position.  We had just had an incident where the other office assistant was unable to come in for several days for legal reasons (she got set up in a scam and got arrested as a result.)  I wasn't able to come in full time due to classes, and my boss was understandably terrified at having to do actual work instead of reading CNN all day.  He wanted to bring someone in who would be able to drop everything last minute to come in in emergencies - and his friend was working as a substitute teacher, so she was ideal for that.  We had evidence that she knew how to use a computer - she had a laptop which she always brought with her.  However, trying to train her to do the computer-intensive office work was almost nightmarish.  Simple concepts, like double-clicking, opening e-mails, and changing sheets in an Excel document were absolutely beyond her.  The other office assistant and I marched into the bosses' office and informed him that she was absolutely not working out after we compared notes and realized that between the two of us, we'd trained her how to enter an appointment into Outlook (a fairly simple process, just filling out the fields in pre-made slots) five times in three days, with no sign of improvement.  The boss gave us a puzzled look and said, "But she's so nice and she's a teacher..."

pierrotlunaire0

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #2915 on: October 26, 2012, 04:07:33 PM »
Small BG:  At the DMV, we hire a fair amount of Short Term Workers (STW).  They are only allowed to work 1040 in a calendar year.  This is your toehold to get a permanent position within the DMV.  This is the best way for the employee to see if the job is a good fit for them, and for the State to see that they are working out.  If they don't work out, the State will not renew their Short Term contract when it expires.  Actually, a pretty good system.  End BG.

I received 3 brand new STWs in September.  One, Mindy, was a little "quirky."  She was giggly, and just a little too eager to leap into doing transactions on her own.  One thing I emphasize is that this is an extremely complex job.  Questions are not only expected.  They are encouraged.  I stopped her one day when I went to see how she was doing.  She was getting ready to issue a first time license, and I realized that I (as manager) had not signed off on the application -- major requirement.  So I am patiently saying that I have to sign off on ALL applications and that is when I noticed that the person had not taken either a written test or a driving test!  A teenager comes into the office, and Mindy is ready to issue a license, and the kid knows nothing! 

Mindy was not too happy with me, because I have corrected her in front of a customer.  I didn't scream at her, "Are you out of your mind?  You have to be able to demonstrate that you have some basic skills before you are granted the right to just drive by yourself."

But my problem got solved when last week the region manager transfers Mindy to another office.  I was overstaffed, and Mindy lived the closest to the other office.  And now the quirkiness turns into outright weird:
1. She is caught eating coworkers' lunches, and says she thought it was okay.
2. She tells a customer who complained about Mindy's rudeness that: "I am still learning, and so politeness doesn't count."
3.  The piece de resistance: Mindy, on her own authority, assigns herself to yet another office, telling the manager there that she had been assigned there because it was the closest to Mindy's house.

The State decided not to wait for the expiration of her contract.  She has been permanently assigned OUT of the department and into unemployment.
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RegionMom

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #2916 on: October 26, 2012, 05:11:45 PM »
That almost sounds like a set-up to get onto the unemployment roles-
Offering DL's jsut for walking in, getting free lunches, and choosing your personal work commute? 
Can I get in on that?
 >:D :o >:D
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nutraxfornerves

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #2917 on: October 26, 2012, 05:53:47 PM »
That almost sounds like a set-up to get onto the unemployment roles-
Offering DL's jsut for walking in, getting free lunches, and choosing your personal work commute? 
That reminds me of a similar employee we had. I'll call her Ethnica, because she ultimately played a race card.

Ethnica was part of our administrative staff. She mainly did typing (pre-word processing days). Her supervisor, "Martha," was in her late 50s, kind, motherly, and very exacting. She went out of her way to make employees comfortable and accommodate reasonable requests, because that made for a better workplace. She also demanded extreme accuracy and although never impolite, was firm in her demands. She also was so unbiased that she didn't even know a race card when she saw one.

Ethnica became an increasingly difficult employee to supervise. She made a lot of mistakes. She began taking a lot of sick leave for "stress," and after a few months, resigned. Martha wasn't too sorry to see her go.

About a year later, Martha got a call from a district attorney's office. She was going to be subpoenaed for a deposition about Ethnica. It seems that Ethnica was a serial worker's compensation and unemployment benefits fraudster. She would get a job, then suddenly resign, citing stress due to racial harassment and discrimination. She would deliberately set up situations where she could claim the issue was race. We were something like the fourth victim.

One of the claims she made against us was that Martha asked "Is your name pronounced Eth-nicka or Eth-neeka?" That was obviously making fun of Ethinca's race. During the job interview, Martha had politely called her Ms. Smith, so hadn't needed the first name pronunciation until Ethnica was hired. Martha was utterly bewildered. She genuinely had had no idea how to pronounce it.

Martha corrected Ethica much more than other staff, not because Ethnica's work was bad (which she was deliberately doing to prompt the criticism), but because of Ethnica's race. And so on.

I never heard the details of the final outcome. Martha gave her deposition, but the case never went to court. Martha was just told that Ethnica had pled guilty to a felony and there would be no trial.

I doubt that this did Ethnica's career any god.

Nutrax
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JoW

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #2918 on: October 26, 2012, 10:24:56 PM »
I work in manufacturing.  Its fully staffed during normal business hours, with far fewer people at night and on weekends.  Some of the production people work unconventional hours.  Specifically, there's one group that starts at 5am. 

We have a guard service.  We call them Guards, but the duties are closer to Night Watchman.  Their duties include walking all over and around the facilities at night and monitoring the site on closed-circuit TV when they are not walking around.  They have a computer with email and internet access in the guard house by the gate.  The guards are allowed to use the computer for email and surfing the net to the extent it doesn't interfere with their job.  The guard house has large windows on 3 sides.

One day the 5am shift supervisor arrived at 4:30am, planning to do office work before the crew arrived.  Upon arrival the supervisor saw the guard in the guard house, watching p0rn on the computer and had his pants open.   The guard was fired later that week. 

White Dragon

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #2919 on: October 27, 2012, 12:57:06 AM »
DH is part of the team which hires new technical staff for his company.

Recently he and a colleague arranged a Skype interview with an out of town candidate.
The interview was going fine the candidate realized that the firm was located in City L and not City C.

No one is quite clear how a well educated technical specialist failed to notice the location of the job he applied for, nor why he didn't do even a bit of basic research on the firm, but his response was...odd.

DH says that as soon as the candidate realized the from was in City L, the connection terminated.

They tried reconnecting. They called. They waited to see if it was a connection issue on his end.
Nothing. He'd just...hung up on them.

Cause nothing says "I'm a professional in a technical community whose members will talk to each other about my behaviour" than being a boor to a possible employer.

Ceallach

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #2920 on: October 27, 2012, 10:33:38 PM »
DH is part of the team which hires new technical staff for his company.

Recently he and a colleague arranged a Skype interview with an out of town candidate.
The interview was going fine the candidate realized that the firm was located in City L and not City C.

No one is quite clear how a well educated technical specialist failed to notice the location of the job he applied for, nor why he didn't do even a bit of basic research on the firm, but his response was...odd.

DH says that as soon as the candidate realized the from was in City L, the connection terminated.

They tried reconnecting. They called. They waited to see if it was a connection issue on his end.
Nothing. He'd just...hung up on them.

Cause nothing says "I'm a professional in a technical community whose members will talk to each other about my behaviour" than being a boor to a possible employer.

Wow what an idiot.   For all he knew they could have another office in City C and he's just shot himself in the foot for other opportunities!

It's scary how many applicants fail to read ads correctly.  I frequently have people apply for jobs in locations too far for them to get to (without any intention of relocating), or for jobs with clearly listed salaries far below what they will accept (again, not just over qualified and willing to compromise, but legitimately failing to notice that they've applied for an entry level role paying $30k when they're currently in a role paying $55k).     It's one of the reasons I have a very detailed phone screen before I ever waste time on face to face interviews - best to iron out these "miscommunications"  before either of us waste our time.   (I say "miscommunications" but in reality it's applicants not paying attention to very clearly worded ads!)
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Slartibartfast

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #2921 on: October 28, 2012, 01:57:53 AM »
Companies could stand to be more clear, though, especially in job ads.  Is a "software engineer IV" more demanding than a "software engineer I?"  Around here there are two competing companies which number their job tiers opposite of each other - in one your job title number gets higher as you advance, but in the other it gets lower.  To make things worse, they use a lot of overlapping job titles (think "software engineer," "computer programmer," "database manager," etc.) which can all have interchangable qualifications depending on which company is doing the hiring.  If companies would be honest about salary and job duties upfront, some of the hassle could be avoided!

onikenbai

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #2922 on: October 28, 2012, 03:00:36 AM »
To make things worse, they use a lot of overlapping job titles (think "software engineer," "computer programmer," "database manager," etc.) which can all have interchangable qualifications depending on which company is doing the hiring.

You are probably in the US but, in Canada, you absolutely cannot call yourself a "software engineer" without an actual engineering license.  There was a massive brouhaha a few years back when Microsoft rolled out one of its training courses that gave you the title of "Microsoft, something, something Engineer".  It wasn't that big a deal in the US, but they got taken to court in Canada and, to this day, graduates of the programme can use only the acronym and connot refer to themselves in any way as an engineer unless they've got an engineering degree and an active license on top of the training course.  Even if you got the engineering degree but never wrote the license exam, you will be fined somewhere between $10-25K for trying to pass yourself off as an engineer.  Canada is very strict on the use of professional titles.

So, in the off chance you're looking for a computer job in Canada, there will be a salary difference in programmers and managers vs. engineers.  It takes a minimum of 7-8 years to get an engineering degree and license here, so I would expect a major salary bump.

kherbert05

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #2923 on: October 28, 2012, 08:46:42 AM »
To make things worse, they use a lot of overlapping job titles (think "software engineer," "computer programmer," "database manager," etc.) which can all have interchangable qualifications depending on which company is doing the hiring.

You are probably in the US but, in Canada, you absolutely cannot call yourself a "software engineer" without an actual engineering license.  There was a massive brouhaha a few years back when Microsoft rolled out one of its training courses that gave you the title of "Microsoft, something, something Engineer".  It wasn't that big a deal in the US, but they got taken to court in Canada and, to this day, graduates of the programme can use only the acronym and connot refer to themselves in any way as an engineer unless they've got an engineering degree and an active license on top of the training course.  Even if you got the engineering degree but never wrote the license exam, you will be fined somewhere between $10-25K for trying to pass yourself off as an engineer.  Canada is very strict on the use of professional titles.

So, in the off chance you're looking for a computer job in Canada, there will be a salary difference in programmers and managers vs. engineers.  It takes a minimum of 7-8 years to get an engineering degree and license here, so I would expect a major salary bump.
This makes me wonder if there are similar rules here in Texas. After the New London School explosion in Rusk, the Texas legislature was the first state to require additives to Natural Gas so it could be smelled. They also passed the Engineering Registration Act. According to wikipedia in Texas the title Engineer is restricted to those professionally certified by the state to practice engineering.
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White Dragon

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #2924 on: October 28, 2012, 02:15:40 PM »
To make things worse, they use a lot of overlapping job titles (think "software engineer," "computer programmer," "database manager," etc.) which can all have interchangable qualifications depending on which company is doing the hiring.

You are probably in the US but, in Canada, you absolutely cannot call yourself a "software engineer" without an actual engineering license.  There was a massive brouhaha a few years back when Microsoft rolled out one of its training courses that gave you the title of "Microsoft, something, something Engineer".  It wasn't that big a deal in the US, but they got taken to court in Canada and, to this day, graduates of the programme can use only the acronym and connot refer to themselves in any way as an engineer unless they've got an engineering degree and an active license on top of the training course.  Even if you got the engineering degree but never wrote the license exam, you will be fined somewhere between $10-25K for trying to pass yourself off as an engineer.  Canada is very strict on the use of professional titles.

So, in the off chance you're looking for a computer job in Canada, there will be a salary difference in programmers and managers vs. engineers.  It takes a minimum of 7-8 years to get an engineering degree and license here, so I would expect a major salary bump.

Interestingly, the job in question was for an Engineering job - in Canada.

DH said that what was odd about the interview (hanging up aside) was that the candidate was even that great. It was for an entry to low middle position, so this wasn't a shining star who would be able to dictate terms.

I get that the candidate made what was probably an honest oversight in misreading the ad, but he handled his error badly.
Engineering firms -especially firms specialized in one industry, will often find themselves working together on mega-projects. So the firm you are rude to today may be the same guys you work with next month.