Author Topic: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74  (Read 1321207 times)

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Ginger G

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3285 on: January 17, 2013, 08:56:21 AM »
Quote
As a parent of any child, I'd be on the phone with the principal if a teacher destroyed my child's property. Absolutely unacceptable.

This brings back unfortunate memories of my third grade teacher, someone who SHOULD have been subjected to Professional Darwinism (in my opinion).  For some reason, this woman decided she didn't like me.  I have no idea why, I was a pretty shy kid and did fairly well in school.  I had changed to a new school that year and didn't have any friends to act up with yet either.  Anyway, a couple of events from that year stand out in my memories.  One time, we were getting ready to start a math subject and she told us to get our rulers out.  These were wooden rulers that had holes spaced along them for some reason.  Pretty much every student in the class proceeded to stick their pencils in one of the holes and twirl the ruler like a helicopter blade.  Wanting to fit in with my new classmates, I of course did the same thing.  Out of a class of 20+ students, she walks up to me, snatches my ruler and breaks it into pieces.  I was humiliated and had a difficult time not crying in front of everyone.  I told my mom I lost it so I could get another one.

The second event, and this one I did tell my mother about...It was a "free period" and everyone was working on various things.  Prett much everyone was talking, and some kids were out of their seats, milling about.  The boy in front of me turns around and starts talking to me, I couldn't hear him due to the noise in the classroom, so I stood up to lean forward to hear what he was saying.  She comes up out of nowhere and HITS me, hard, on my bottom.  Once again, she singled me out for punishment in front of everyone.  This time I was so upset, I told my mother about it when I got home.  She was infuriated and immediately called the school.  The teacher ended up having to apologize to me and she left me alone after that.

Hazmat

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3286 on: January 17, 2013, 09:15:22 AM »
Quote
As a parent of any child, I'd be on the phone with the principal if a teacher destroyed my child's property. Absolutely unacceptable.

This brings back unfortunate memories of my third grade teacher, someone who SHOULD have been subjected to Professional Darwinism (in my opinion).  For some reason, this woman decided she didn't like me.  I have no idea why, I was a pretty shy kid and did fairly well in school.  I had changed to a new school that year and didn't have any friends to act up with yet either.  Anyway, a couple of events from that year stand out in my memories.  One time, we were getting ready to start a math subject and she told us to get our rulers out. These were wooden rulers that had holes spaced along them for some reason. Pretty much every student in the class proceeded to stick their pencils in one of the holes and twirl the ruler like a helicopter blade.  Wanting to fit in with my new classmates, I of course did the same thing.  Out of a class of 20+ students, she walks up to me, snatches my ruler and breaks it into pieces.  I was humiliated and had a difficult time not crying in front of everyone.  I told my mom I lost it so I could get another one.
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Kaora

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3287 on: January 17, 2013, 02:55:44 PM »
... and tell Tim, "Your arteries are jumping for joy."

Tim told me that he is a "fat freak" who "can't eat any more donuts." 

I don't see how Tim made this leap?  I agree the teacher handled this poorly, but she made no comment about his weight.

I can see it.  I'm PDD-NOS (Pervasive Development Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified, or, high functioning on the autistic spectrum), and I've always had self esteem issues.  I once had a really mean third grade teacher who just decided she didn't like me, and when she asked me of my opinion on a field trip to the BLM [Bureau of Land Management] Office and I was quite honest with her.  I said it was "Boring."  Blunt honesty is an autistic trait, though I've learned differently later. :-\

Let's say she got angry at me for some reason I still don't understand, that she sent me home right there and then, and told me I was going home.  My third grade mind didn't connect home with office, so I started walking him, taking the literal interpretation.  My mum found me, crying, and I'm not kidding if I said it was in the middle of a rainstorm.

Generally, she just singled me out on a lot of things, but that really stuck out.

If its any help, though, I ended up getting the stomach flu the same year.  I ended up barfing six or so times in her classroom.  I didn't mean to, it happened, but I'm a tiny bit giggly of it now.

jayhawk

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3288 on: January 17, 2013, 04:57:24 PM »
Well-played, Kaora.

Ceallach

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3289 on: January 17, 2013, 05:28:08 PM »
The thing that disturbs me about a lot of the recent PD stories here, is that so far in many cases the darwinism part doesn't seem to be effective.  I gotta say, if the managers of those employees worked for me, it would be the managers who would be committing PD by their actions, or in this case lack thereof.   There is no excuse for ignoring such blatant performance issues, it's unfair to the other staff, unfair to the company (costing money & resources) and these incompetent ineffectual managers should all be fired IMHO.  It is their job to deal with employees who are not doing their job!

Management is not hard.   It's not for everybody - you have to be decisive, strategic, and not afraid to make the unpopular decisions - but it's not hard.    People seem to forget that there is no downside to performance management / coaching of staff!  There are 2 possible outcomes - either they improve and everybody is happy, or they leave (either voluntarily because they can't handle the coaching or because they don't improve enough and are terminated), so addressing problems is really a win-win scenario.  Now, I admit there are rare situations where an employee is so indispensable or have such criticial skills that a manager has to tread with care in performance management, and tolerate issues that wouldn't normally be put up with.   But that's unusual.    It blows my mind that there are so many people in management roles who are unwilling or unable to take such basic and necessary action to manage their companies and their teams effectively.
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Dr. F.

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3290 on: January 17, 2013, 06:31:31 PM »
The thing that disturbs me about a lot of the recent PD stories here, is that so far in many cases the darwinism part doesn't seem to be effective.  I gotta say, if the managers of those employees worked for me, it would be the managers who would be committing PD by their actions, or in this case lack thereof.   There is no excuse for ignoring such blatant performance issues, it's unfair to the other staff, unfair to the company (costing money & resources) and these incompetent ineffectual managers should all be fired IMHO.  It is their job to deal with employees who are not doing their job!

Management is not hard.   It's not for everybody - you have to be decisive, strategic, and not afraid to make the unpopular decisions - but it's not hard.    People seem to forget that there is no downside to performance management / coaching of staff!  There are 2 possible outcomes - either they improve and everybody is happy, or they leave (either voluntarily because they can't handle the coaching or because they don't improve enough and are terminated), so addressing problems is really a win-win scenario.  Now, I admit there are rare situations where an employee is so indispensable or have such criticial skills that a manager has to tread with care in performance management, and tolerate issues that wouldn't normally be put up with.   But that's unusual.    It blows my mind that there are so many people in management roles who are unwilling or unable to take such basic and necessary action to manage their companies and their teams effectively.

It's not hard, but it always astonishes me just how BADLY most managers do their jobs. The ones that do it well really stand out, at least in my experience.

snowflake

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3291 on: January 17, 2013, 06:48:25 PM »
The thing that disturbs me about a lot of the recent PD stories here, is that so far in many cases the darwinism part doesn't seem to be effective.  I gotta say, if the managers of those employees worked for me, it would be the managers who would be committing PD by their actions, or in this case lack thereof.   There is no excuse for ignoring such blatant performance issues, it's unfair to the other staff, unfair to the company (costing money & resources) and these incompetent ineffectual managers should all be fired IMHO.  It is their job to deal with employees who are not doing their job!

Management is not hard.   It's not for everybody - you have to be decisive, strategic, and not afraid to make the unpopular decisions - but it's not hard.    People seem to forget that there is no downside to performance management / coaching of staff!  There are 2 possible outcomes - either they improve and everybody is happy, or they leave (either voluntarily because they can't handle the coaching or because they don't improve enough and are terminated), so addressing problems is really a win-win scenario.  Now, I admit there are rare situations where an employee is so indispensable or have such criticial skills that a manager has to tread with care in performance management, and tolerate issues that wouldn't normally be put up with.   But that's unusual.    It blows my mind that there are so many people in management roles who are unwilling or unable to take such basic and necessary action to manage their companies and their teams effectively.

I'll amen this.  It might just be me but I actually held up my own career because I frankly would rather take Organic Chemistry over and over than have to manage.  And for me, organic chemistry ranks sort of between surgery and broken limbs.

I finally bit the bullet and I'm making a go at it - and it's even harder than I though it would be.  The worst part?  HR!!!!  But to be fair, in the long run being a bad manager turns out worse for you than not wading in and tackling the problems head-on.

asb8

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3292 on: January 17, 2013, 07:14:54 PM »
The thing that disturbs me about a lot of the recent PD stories here, is that so far in many cases the darwinism part doesn't seem to be effective.  I gotta say, if the managers of those employees worked for me, it would be the managers who would be committing PD by their actions, or in this case lack thereof.   There is no excuse for ignoring such blatant performance issues, it's unfair to the other staff, unfair to the company (costing money & resources) and these incompetent ineffectual managers should all be fired IMHO.  It is their job to deal with employees who are not doing their job!

Management is not hard.   It's not for everybody - you have to be decisive, strategic, and not afraid to make the unpopular decisions - but it's not hard.    People seem to forget that there is no downside to performance management / coaching of staff!  There are 2 possible outcomes - either they improve and everybody is happy, or they leave (either voluntarily because they can't handle the coaching or because they don't improve enough and are terminated), so addressing problems is really a win-win scenario.  Now, I admit there are rare situations where an employee is so indispensable or have such criticial skills that a manager has to tread with care in performance management, and tolerate issues that wouldn't normally be put up with.   But that's unusual.    It blows my mind that there are so many people in management roles who are unwilling or unable to take such basic and necessary action to manage their companies and their teams effectively.

While I agree that you have made a lot of valid points, I don't agree that managment isn't hard.  Sometimes, it is very hard.  My own experience was rough, to say the least.  I ended up leaving the position over the challenges it presented and lack of support from upper management.  I was chronically understaffed and under tremendous pressure to keep costs as low as possible. This meant that I had no control over when new staff was hired, even when I needed them.  I was put in the position of having to keep on people that aboslutely should have been gone.  But this was a business where we had to have a certain amount of staff to operate daily. This was an enourmous amount of stress.  I eventually burnt out over it and I doubt that I'll be willing to work in a managment position for quite sometime. 

While I think there are of course some bad manager out there, I have to wonder how many of them are being hamstrung by their bosses.

greencat

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3293 on: January 17, 2013, 07:20:13 PM »
My managers are really incredibly kind.  I'm still waiting to find out if the come-to-deity meeting and retraining they had my errant coworker do (at the expense of the "good" employee, who put in a 20 hour day to both work his own shift that morning and be there for the other coworker's shift to do the training) has had any effect on his work ethic.

Ceallach

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3294 on: January 17, 2013, 07:30:18 PM »
The thing that disturbs me about a lot of the recent PD stories here, is that so far in many cases the darwinism part doesn't seem to be effective.  I gotta say, if the managers of those employees worked for me, it would be the managers who would be committing PD by their actions, or in this case lack thereof.   There is no excuse for ignoring such blatant performance issues, it's unfair to the other staff, unfair to the company (costing money & resources) and these incompetent ineffectual managers should all be fired IMHO.  It is their job to deal with employees who are not doing their job!

Management is not hard.   It's not for everybody - you have to be decisive, strategic, and not afraid to make the unpopular decisions - but it's not hard.    People seem to forget that there is no downside to performance management / coaching of staff!  There are 2 possible outcomes - either they improve and everybody is happy, or they leave (either voluntarily because they can't handle the coaching or because they don't improve enough and are terminated), so addressing problems is really a win-win scenario.  Now, I admit there are rare situations where an employee is so indispensable or have such criticial skills that a manager has to tread with care in performance management, and tolerate issues that wouldn't normally be put up with.   But that's unusual.    It blows my mind that there are so many people in management roles who are unwilling or unable to take such basic and necessary action to manage their companies and their teams effectively.

While I agree that you have made a lot of valid points, I don't agree that managment isn't hard.  Sometimes, it is very hard.  My own experience was rough, to say the least.  I ended up leaving the position over the challenges it presented and lack of support from upper management.  I was chronically understaffed and under tremendous pressure to keep costs as low as possible. This meant that I had no control over when new staff was hired, even when I needed them.  I was put in the position of having to keep on people that aboslutely should have been gone.  But this was a business where we had to have a certain amount of staff to operate daily. This was an enourmous amount of stress.  I eventually burnt out over it and I doubt that I'll be willing to work in a managment position for quite sometime. 

While I think there are of course some bad manager out there, I have to wonder how many of them are being hamstrung by their bosses.

I agree it has a flow on effect.    Isn't this really the same thing though?   In your case the reason YOU couldn't do your job was because of other ineffectual managers.   It doesn't sound like you were incapable of making the decisions but simply you were hamstrung in your efforts to do your job - it wasn't the managing that you found hard, but the impossible working conditions and unrealistic expectations.   The point is that somewhere in the chain there's a bad manager who is impacting upon everybody else.    I still stand by my statement that "managing isn't hard" but I definitely agree that being in some management roles can be very, very hard.   

Sorry to hear that you had such a horrid experience.  My last role (which I only stuck out for 1 year) was similar - in my case my manager was such a micromanager that she hampered anything I tried to do with my team, undermining me constantly.  It was horrid and I chose to leave.   I've loved every other management role I've had, but it only works if my manager lets me actually manage and is a good manager themselves.
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asb8

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3295 on: January 17, 2013, 07:35:45 PM »
Yes, I agree that ultimately it was bad management, coming from above me in the food chain.  A combination of micromanagement, cost controls and lack of decision making authority conspired to create a very bad situation for me.  And I wonder how many of the people working under me felt the like the posters's we've seen on this board talking about their bad work situations. I did the best I could.  At the same time, I was forbidden to mention that certain things had orginated above me (understaffing, pay caps, working conditions, etc...)  I was expected to present the "unit front" with upper managment and I took a lot of blame for things I couldn't control. 

I actually had to stop reading this section of the board for a long time, because I was terrified I'd see one of my direct reports posting about me.

WolfWay

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3296 on: January 17, 2013, 11:47:29 PM »
Mr 16 Years has now resorted to some kind of meeting equivalent of the Cut Direct on senior analyst.

When senior analyst is talking, Mr 16 Years is staring at the walls or the ceiling, picking at his nails and just generally avoiding all eye contact with anyone and pretending he's bored out of his mind. When senior analyst turns away to address other analyst (and thus has her back to Mr 16 Years) he suddenly starts talking to project manager. When senior analyst turns around to focus on Mr 16 Years and listen to his input, he suddenly clams up again.  :o

Project Manager has arranged meeting with Boss to dicuss these attitude problems. Apparently it's almost impossible to fire someone for underperforming and they have to generate an enourmous trail of HR documentation showing performance management and councilling and HR intervention has failed. I think we're stuck with Mr 16 Years for some months to come.
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kherbert05

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3297 on: January 17, 2013, 11:49:29 PM »
My local grocery store has a group of PD specialists. Under the old management, a group of women in their 50's and 60's were hired. Three work in the deli and two work in the front, bagging and stocking shelves. These women are nearly identical in their appearance, and they all move at their own pace. The three in the deli are notorious to the customers and management alike for moving extremely slowly. The sales from the deli slow down 50% when one of them is working, because they have absolutely no reason to move quickly, and it takes 10 minutes to get a deli order filled.

The two that work in the front like to take a coffee break (while on the clock) and sit on the benches in the front, instead of in their employee break room. The new management is nearly at wits end in attempts to bring a new attitude in these employees rather than letting them go.
My grocery store once saw some very swift PD end. I walked in and two employees were on the bench at the front of the store. They actually hit me and a couple of others up for money complaining about how poorly they got paid. We told the manager - never saw the complainers again.
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ladyknight1

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3298 on: January 18, 2013, 11:50:00 AM »
Wolf woman, your PD 16 year person sounds like a lot of toddlers I know. "I can't hear you!"   >:D

gypsy77

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3299 on: January 18, 2013, 02:22:16 PM »
... and tell Tim, "Your arteries are jumping for joy."

Tim told me that he is a "fat freak" who "can't eat any more donuts." 

I don't see how Tim made this leap?  I agree the teacher handled this poorly, but she made no comment about his weight.

No, but she did make the comment "your arteries are jumping for joy".

Obesity is so commonly linked to heart disease, that it's not a terribly large leap from what the teacher said to "they called me fat".