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Things That Are Bothering You, Got You All Hibbeldy-Jibbeldy, or just downright pissed, RIGHT NOW!

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Bergdorf Goodwill, Feb 7, 2007.

  1. edinatlanta

    edinatlanta Senior member

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    Not being punctual is one of the worst things you can do. If you are late by five minutes and five other people have to wait for you to get started, you're already looking at half of a man-hour wasted. Showing up on time is showing that you care. Regardless of if you're an automaton running five minutes late, calling says to people that you care. It might be toolish to some of your peers but that is vastly outweighed by the benefits.
     
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  2. otc

    otc Senior member

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    I need to start getting to work on time...I've been slipping. When I was on the junior staff, I was always early (but I was paid overtime too...). Of course, the people I was doing work for often didn't show up until 9 or later...and then still wouldn't have something for me right away. Now I am one of those people. I keep being late, but nobody says anything since often they aren't there either.

    I need to change something since I personally don't like being late to things (and thus feel hypocritical about being late to work)...but as far as the way my team works, this is the kind of work where stuff doesn't start first thing in the morning, but it frequently extends past the end of the day. That is to say, the end of the day flexibility is much more valuable than a rigid start time for the beginning of the day.

    For meetings and stuff...hell yeah, always be on time.
     
  3. Gibonius

    Gibonius Senior member

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    I'm a peon, so I don't necessarily have the perspective here, but it really seems to depend on your corporate mission and desired culture.

    All the research organizations I've been in have extremely lax policies on arrival times. We don't even have a set time when you're supposed to arrive. Our jobs are very independent, we spend a lot of time working alone, and you're not going to get any benefit from forcing people to show up at 8:30 on the nose and trying to enforce it. It would come off as demeaning, and the managers don't want to do that anyway. We're expected to wear our Big Boy pants and get our job done without being monitored. Unless we have a meeting, I'd be completely wasting my boss's time to call in and tell him I'm going to be late.

    Other people here (the machinists, plant people, secretaries, etc) show up and leave at fixed hours. But that's necessary for their jobs, and not for ours.
     
  4. Douglas

    Douglas Senior member

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    I promise I'm not trying to be a dickhead and overpress you on this. But I do run a business (sounds like you are also in sr. management, please don't take any of this as disrespectful) where I am obsessed with positive, Lean, world-class values and philosophies. So I'll just ask some questions; you can throw them away or discard them and I'll shut up from here on out. I'm not in this to win, or even get into, an argument, I promise:

    - Is your goal to have shorter meetings, or more effective ones?
    - Does a running clock incentivize shorter meetings, or more effective ones?
    - If you are losing significant amounts of time to "bullshit," what is the root cause of that?
    - Does the running clock solve that root cause?
    - If not, is programming and setting the clock before each meeting, no matter how simple, the most effective use of your time?

    Believe me, I also understand that if these people suck and you don't have the ability to fire them, then you are definitely over a barrel, at least in some way.

    Cheers.
     
  5. in stitches

    in stitches Senior member Moderator

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    i think the bold sums it up.
     
  6. Douglas

    Douglas Senior member

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    +1 google plex

    It is about creating a culture of accountability and cooperation.


    This counterexample, if I am not mistaken, is from a place you have described as just about the shittiest place to work ever, correct?


    I do find it amusing that the two conservatives in this discussion are the ones most obsessed with equality of treatment across job types and pay grades.
     
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  7. js4design

    js4design Senior member

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    I had fallen into the trap after 3 years at my current company of getting to work later and later. In my department it was the norm so I didn't think much of it. Got a shot across the bow in the form of an email to our entire department from the president about our flex scheduling and getting in by 8:30 so that our working hours more closely align with other departments for increased productivity. There weren't many who made changes but I took it as a chance to change and also reclaim part of my day. Getting into work at 9:30 meant working to 6:30, followed by a long commute and an hour in the gym, and my day wasn't done until 8:30 at the earliest. Now I'm in at 7:30 (the earliest allowable) and out by as early as 4:30 and done with the gym by 6:30 . It makes less difference when it gets dark so early, but it should be really nice in the summer. Now, the only drawback has been that my boss still comes in at 9, and often times he wants to pow wow around 4:25 for an hour or so, so I end up working later anyway. Although day like that are the exception, not the norm.
     
  8. Piobaire

    Piobaire Senior member

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    :fistbump:
     
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  9. VLSI

    VLSI Senior member

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    You guys are really helping me appreciate my job.
     
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  10. Blackhood

    Blackhood Senior member

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    I've since left this place (a financial services and advisory company) and now work in Tailoring where things are much nicer!

    Both and not either. I hate the wasteful "I must speak up to be valued, even if I'm talking shit" attitude, and in an environment where many of the staff are incentivised based on company profit it makes (made) a startling difference when they can see their key metric for success burning like a fuse.

    IME (and I must emphasise that it was entirely down to the culture that these things were happening, not a global truth that they must happen) meetings aren't the place the hammer out the 500 details of a plan. By running the clock people tend to raise genuine issues, good or bad, and leave out the stuff than can be sorted out down the food chain.
    For me that is an increase in effectiveness. It also stops the "lets break for a few sandwiches and come back to the issue later" mentality that was so pervasive in that company.

    If I'm brutally honest I think the root cause of needless pontificating in group settings is dual:
    1. The need to be heard and to be seen to be thinking critically, even if it raises tiny issues.
    2. The casual and friendly nature of the office, where people feel that any meeting can be treated the same way as if they were talking at their desks.

    Neither of those problems could be solved without being quite a big dick about things, and saying "Nice thought, but its flat-out unimportant at this level" a hundred times a meeting. While that works once or twice, you end up being a hugely negative influence on people's willingness to contribute genuinely important opinions.

    By asking people to self-censor by asking "Is my thought worth the 5 minuets or £150 to discuss or can I handle the issue with my immediate team?" they then to play smarter. These were all finance guys, so money and value were big tipping points for them. I'm not sure the same would be true for all personality types.

    As I mentioned above, I wasn't exaggerating when I said it took half an hour to make. I don't know how technical you are, but I'd wager that without any training you could make one in Visual Basic in Excel in under an hour.

    Even if you take the total time invested into its creation and use, the change in culture that it forced was worth it, IMO.

    It is worth saying that I hate meetings. Unless you are at Start, Key Point, or Close of a project I firmly believe that small groups solve problems more effectively than large ones. If it must happen then everyone turns up 5 minutes early with their own copy of the agenda which has a list of goals and time-allocations, says what needs to be said, shuts up when they have nothing to offer, then goes back to their desk to play Angry Birds or what ever time-sink they love, and leave me to get on with my work.
     
  11. L'Incandescent

    L'Incandescent Senior member

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    I don't know if there's anything of any value left to contribute to the discussion about time, but I'll just share my experience because I find it involves a combination of almost all of the points of view described so far. On the one hand, I am unusually anal about time. When I teach classes, I begin at exactly the beginning time and end at exactly the end time because that is what the students signed up for. And I would not dream of showing up to a committee meeting or department meeting late. I get frustrated with others when they are late because it signals a disrespect for others' time.

    But besides teaching and university administration, my other major responsibility is to produce research. And the nature of producing research is just different from the nature of other tasks. If my university told me I had to arrive at my office at a specific time and do research for a specific span of time, it would be counterproductive. On research heavy days, I spend some time doing what looks like no work at all. But what I'm doing is trying to ease myself into the mindset I need to be in to produce my best work. It's not always easy to get into that mindset, but once I do, I'm going to be very productive. Of course I am still very conscious of the clock, but not in the same way I am when I teach or attend meetings.

    I've griped about this a little before, but I am way, way, way more productive than the vast majority of my colleagues. But there are some people who still think of me as a bit of a slacker because I don't produce that work on a 9-5 schedule. (There are really some people who think of me both as a slacker and as a workaholic. That is weird.)

    EDIT because now I am on a roll of being annoyed: sometimes I come into the office at 2:00 and people laugh and say "Just starting your day? hehehe!" And in my mind I am all like "Goddammit no I am not just starting my day, I am starting the second phase of work for the day. I will be here until midnight, when you are slumbering of lazy."
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2014
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  12. Blackhood

    Blackhood Senior member

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    Re-reading your comment it seems like the mechanics of the business were slightly different to yours; for that company almost all profit came from advisory services, so there was maximum capacity for filling up unallocated time with water-cooler talk.

    I wasn't the boss and certainly not high enough to directly crack whips over other departments, but the bugbear was the united aim of time-wasting. I don't believe that the clock-method (as I'm now calling it!) made meetings any better, but it helped to minimize the dragging-out of meetings unnecessarily.

    If a team is generally proactive then they shouldn't need such a tight watch. It was basically my way of saying "Shut up with your bullshit, every time you talk about some obscure and unlikely consequence of a change, I have to stay another 20 minutes finishing actual work" without getting arrested for being mentally unstable.
     
  13. Bhowie

    Bhowie Senior member

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    Your university is cool with u drinking port and crousing SF. . NICE
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2014
  14. in stitches

    in stitches Senior member Moderator

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    yes. but that was far more due to my employers than my employes.

    true equality is pretty much impossible imo. true fairness is not.

    this is how i see it:

    if you are a hard ass when its appropriate and when someone takes advantage of you that makes a better more meaningful mark than an un-empathetic unrelenting hard ass.

    if everyone knows that if they take advantage of a bosses good will they will get shit and likely suffer repercussions, but they also know that if worker B is always on time, and that being on time is important, and if one or two days a year worker B is a few minutes late he gets some slack, it should not make worker A think anything of it. and if he does, he is a fucking moron.

    if you are big boy at a big boy job, that should be obvious. and when a boss makes a stink about shit like that it creates an environment where people think the boss is a dick and cant be decent and no one wants to work for someone who is always ass like that. an unrelenting hard ass will always have less happy and by definition less productive and devoted loyal workers than a decent boss. ime.

    and note that i was in a position of manager where i was in charge of employees and i had the same outlook. it made my employees like me. they knew i was fair and understanding and they worked harder for me than the employees of the managers of others stores that were hard asses. i had less turnover, less habitual lateness, late whining, and a more get 'er done attitude from my crew than anyone else in my position.

    but really, i think its more of a personal thing. and if you personally do not accept any lateness ever without a real emergency, and you want to set that tone from the top, that is fine. and if everyone knows that is how the ship is run, so be it. you can be a fine boss that way. every boss has things they put high value on that other bosses may not. as long as your people know that you are overall a fair and understanding person.

    but, if time is one of your high value items, you better fucking be on time every fucking day. you cant be late half the week because you decided to take carpool for your wife and expect your employees to put any importance on being on time without exception.
     
  15. L'Incandescent

    L'Incandescent Senior member

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    They don't allow me to drink byrrh though buncha bull-crud.
     
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  16. GreenFrog

    GreenFrog Senior member

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    I agree with Piob and Douglas that you want to instill a culture of accountability within your firm. I would want the same in any organization I worked at.

    But I also agree with in stitches that extenuating circumstances can cause employees to be late, and not on their own accord. In those one-off cases, I'd like to think that I'd have the empathy to understand that sometimes shit happens, if I were in a managerial position, and not implicitly penalize that employee.

    At my firm, there is no culture of accountability for respecting meeting schedules at the senior level. All junior employees are always on-time, however, unless they were stuck in a prior meeting that went over time.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2014
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  17. L'Incandescent

    L'Incandescent Senior member

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    I requested some people to be my friends on Facebook website a little while ago. I got responses back that said "You do not meet the threshold of friend don't need you knowing about my lifeways. Friend request DENIED."
     
  18. edinatlanta

    edinatlanta Senior member

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    Only of one person needed for a good FB experience (me) and you've achieved that brilliance.

    So I found out now it will only be 4-6 weeks until I get my 2013 tax refund. which is funny because I went down to the IRS only a few days ago to ask about its status and now they have someone working on my case. Funny how that worked out
     
  19. L'Incandescent

    L'Incandescent Senior member

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    Also, Conne sends me links to photographs of sweaters that's pretty cool. Can't complain too much about Facebook!
     
  20. Connemara

    Connemara Senior member

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    WTF how did you file already? I haven't even gotten my W2s yet.
     

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