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Author Topic: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74  (Read 3718473 times)

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asb8

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3285 on: January 17, 2013, 06:14:54 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 #3286 on: January 17, 2013, 06:20:13 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 #3287 on: January 17, 2013, 06:30:18 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.
"Nobody can do everything, but everybody can do something"


asb8

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3288 on: January 17, 2013, 06:35:45 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 #3289 on: January 17, 2013, 10:47:29 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 #3290 on: January 17, 2013, 10:49:29 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.
Don't Teach Them For Your Past. Teach Them For Their Future

ladyknight1

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3291 on: January 18, 2013, 10:50:00 AM »
Wolf woman, your PD 16 year person sounds like a lot of toddlers I know. "I can't hear you!"   >:D
ďAll that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost."
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gypsy77

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3292 on: January 18, 2013, 01:22:16 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".

Kaora

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3293 on: January 20, 2013, 12:47:40 AM »
I did catch a Wal of Mart employee shouting a certain, Scrabble act to a co-worker while we were in there today and making a joke about it.  It was loud enough I heard it from a good ten or so feet away.

I tried to get his name, but the nametag wasn't to be found.  However, I don't expect him to last long, either.

[[I figured he was a worker.  He was dressed in the uniform, and was talking to another employee.  I think I saw his nametag hanging from the hem of his shirt, but couldn't get it, it was flipped over, or else I would've reported it myself.  I mean, kid friendly Wal of Mart, and you don't refer to the act, out loud, by name. :o]]

WolfWay

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3294 on: January 23, 2013, 12:39:35 AM »
Update on Mr 16 Years:

He was pulled into a meeting with Boss and Project Manager yesterday. Apparently project manager told Mr 16 Years to "grow up", and learn to accept that when people in the team pointed out faults in his solution design it wasn't because we were being mean, it was because everyone in the deptartment was providing constructive feedback to get the best possible solution put into production.

Mr 16 Years is now talking to Senior Analyst again, with a rather horribly sweet nicey-nicey overtone that skirts the border of sarcastic, but at least he's talking to her again.

I greeted Mr 16 Years this morning with a cheery "Good morning" and was rewarded with a sullen "morning" accompanied by a face that looked like he was sucking lemons just having to be in the same room as me.

I continue to find the whole thing hilariously highschool in tone.  ;D
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AfleetAlex

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3295 on: January 23, 2013, 01:53:12 PM »
Please promise us, WolfWay, that you will continue to drive him crazy simply through cheeriness. I have to say, it passes the polite test but, well, it's also kind of fun to know it bugs him.  ;D
I have a chronic case of foot-in-mouth disease.

Ms_Cellany

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3296 on: January 23, 2013, 03:32:06 PM »
After I screwed something up at work, a co-worker gave me the silent treatment for about six weeks. I did a cheery "Morning, [hisname]!" every day, just to listen to him grunt back.
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Reader

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3297 on: January 24, 2013, 12:19:14 PM »
I work for a janitorial contractor.  At my office in our lobby is 2 cubicles to fill out applications.  Had an applicant come in this morning to fill out an application, with her small son under 5 with her.  Now normally we don't mind if you bring your kids in (some are just so cute and polite, plus well behaved), as long as you are keeping an eye on them, which this woman did not do.  Not only was I subjected to the kid's high pitched squeal, multiple times, (the lobby is less than 4 steps from my office), but then I heard a banging sound (did not find out what he did to cause it).  So I stopped the work I was working on to go check at this point, only to find he had grabbed two applications and scribbled on them rendering then useless and was playing with the pens we have to there for applicants.  What's mom doing?  Just filling out her application, and barely looks in my direction when I have to tell her kid no because he was about to start writing on the desk  :o.  I had to move the pens out of his reach.  She finishes and hands me the application and I watch her walk out to a running car that has someone sitting in the driver's seat.  Leaving me to wonder why the child could not have been left in the car.  Since I am the first point of contact for most applicants, my thoughts and recommendations weigh in on the possibility of them getting hired.  Having me have to stop destruction of our property, and getting a headache from the squealing, does not make me want to recommend the applicant for employment at this point.

RooRoo

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3298 on: January 24, 2013, 02:30:53 PM »
...and why do I think she might think that she could bring her child to work with her? After all, nobody will be there at night!  ::)

RooRoo, former late night trash emptier, vacuum shover, and mop-slinger
For in the fatness of these pursy times
Virtue itself of vice must pardon beg,
Yea, curb and woo for leave to do him good.
     Hamlet, Act 3, scene 4, lines 144-146
       (Pursy: wheezing)

BabyMama

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #3299 on: January 26, 2013, 10:01:06 AM »
My husband stopped at the grocery store last night and thoughtfully picked me up some flowers.

The employee asked him, "Gettin' lucky tonight?"

Whaaaaa. I can only hope next time his boss hears... :o