Friday, April 22, 2016

Dear Managers, Don't be so damn lazy or cheap!

Lazy

Group punishment

"Team, do this. Team, do that. Team, you're all punished." Will an extra minute kill you to do your job properly? Stop generalizing us as a team when we all know who you are talking about except for that one guy you are actually trying to speak to, especially when it is something negative.

We have this new guy on the team. He came in late, left early, and did poor quality work. What made him especially hated was how pro-active he was about looking like he was always available to back up people, knew how everything worked, etc. but never backed it up (he missed his own calls, had earphones on while in training, caught snoring on a conference call). And that is just the tip of the iceberg of issues.

Sadly, this is not even my issue about work because there is always someone like him in the corporate world. My beef is actually with how management deals with this.

We used to be allowed to work remotely twice a week. The new guy abused this system. So management's solution was to have a team meeting to discuss how the remote work is being abused and now is now only once a week. On top of that, notifications are now required the prior day. Not only that, there was an issue that we must be at work on-time and not to leave early.

We are not a large team (5-7), so we all know each others work schedule pretty well. Two of the members are always in early by an hour. Two of us always stay late at least an hour later. So it is very easy to know exactly who this was being addressed to, yet we are all being punished for this? I barely even work remotely even once a week yet I felt slighted by this rule change. My commute is pretty bad, yet I make it in on-time almost everyday. I used the remote work when I see that there was an accident.

After a couple months of this in place, there have only been two people who have been consistently late and leaving early... the new guy and the manager. And this was not even a slip from good behavior, they violated the new rule since day one. Both were late, both left early, although the new guy checks to see that the manager leaves before he leaves. Both have sent notices the day of, and sometimes no notices at all.

And to kick us while we're down, the manager labels this as a corporate-wide mandate as if we don't speak with anyone else in the company. Our jobs has us speaking with a lot of people, so we know that none of the other groups have even heard of those restrictions.

General Fear Tactics

As if my respect for management could be any lower, they threaten us with a question: "what is the difference between off-shoring our jobs and letting use work remotely full-time?" Yea, good luck finding a comparable off-shore resource. First, if that were true then there is even larger cost benefit to replacing someone who works on premise than someone remote. Second, management barely understands when someone speaks with an accent. Either they waste all of our times asking to repeat themselves 20 times or they pretend to understand than waste my time later to explain or worse misinterpret what was said. Last, management is going to stoop so low to use fear as their tactic to keep us happy? That is the best weapon they can use. I barely see my manager or anyone on my team. I actually go out of my way to see my colleagues just to make use of going to the office. I know none of them ever goes to see anyone else. For meetings, they are all over phone or online so it is basically like working remotely anyways. And then at the end of the day, who do you not see in the office most of the time? Management... of course.


Distribution Blast

We all dread doing timesheets. We hate them. What does management do when there are violators of not submitting your timesheet? Why don't we blast everyone that there is a minority of people that are not submitting their timesheets? Not only are they the minority but they are the multiple offenders. So let us just waste everyone's time to recheck that their timesheets are submitted.

OH! It is month end, let us send another blast that these timesheets are extra important to be submitted.

OOPS! If you are going to be out of the office, another email to remind you that you should know that you took time off and do your timesheets earlier... JUST IN CASE that you didn't read the previous emails that came in the last 10 minutes that your timesheets are due.

OOPS AGAIN! If you are working tonight or the weekend, you can submit it later. Well, if we can submit it later why do we need to submit it now? 

Then I have to get another email from my manager that there are some timesheets not submitted. COME ON! There are only 5 people in your team. I know two of them submitted, and I know I submitted. That leaves only 2 people left and I am pretty sure he also submitted it. You could not spare 10 seconds to just address that one person?! Of course, I had to triple-check just so that I didn't have to eat my own words later.

On a side note: Is there no one in upper management that finds it so damn stupid on how you expect to get a report on hours worked before the end of the time range but yet ask us to submit our hours as precisely as possible? For example, upper management always require an EOM report on the last day of the month. Why not the day after when the month actually ended?!? This simple logic does not even include the amount of time and effort that it takes to build some of those reports, so in reality the reports are built almost a week early so the report is either missing a week or estimating a week. Then they complain why the report is not accurate and puzzled when we explain that there are estimations needed even though we explain this same thing every month for years. To top it off, they don't even need the report immediately. That is corporate America for you.

Cheap

Candy

The other day, I won a raffle (first time in my life). I do not each chocolates and a colleague mentioned that the executive VP really liked one of the containers of chocolates. So I gifted it to him through his secretary.

I do not interact with him at all. I am pretty sure that he does not even know who I am. I thought he would have at least shared it with his functional area. Nope... he just brought it home and shared it with his wife. What did I get? Not even a thank you, a pat, or a handshake. Didn't even bother to know who I was.

I am not sad or angry over this, but I surely lost a lot of respect for him. At least I can see why management is the way it is. I believe that values and culture starts at the top. Clearly, no respect for the small people (although there have been many other red flags, imo). I have crossed paths with him and direct reports multiple times, and they also do not care to know who I am.

I shared the rest of the basket to the people in the company. Sometimes, I wonder if I am just double damning myself by making other people feel better about the company at my expense. Then, I feel guilty that even crosses my mind... because there does not need to be a reason to be good.

Food

We had a company day and everyone was excited about the free lunch. In my opinion, it was a measly lunch: sandwich, cookie, chips, and a drink. We could buy it for $5 at most, so I'm sure it cost the company less than that per person. AND... my problem is not even that it is a cheap lunch.

My issue was that there were some speeches from the CEO, COO, and CFO. Most of the people left after some time and went to get food. While a few of us remaining stayed to listen (the speeches were bad and boring). When the speeches were done, we went to get food but they had run out of food. They ran out of food well before we even got there. 

The silver-lining was the amusement because the speeches were about how well the company was doing: record profits, record growth, and thanking us for our contributions and loyalty. 



Rant

Sorry, there may be a lot of grammatical errors and other mistakes especially when I think faster than I type. As you can tell, a lot has been festering in the back of my mind. As much as I try to be positive, there is still a part of me that is constantly disappointed by people who are more fortunate.