It makes me wonder…

…why, for “safety” reasons,  some workplaces insist on announcing the locations of fire exits at each and every meeting.  Even though everyone might work in that building anyway, which they somehow manage to enter and exit on a regular daily basis.

…when a company might blow countless millions on a mismanaged project, and they think they can help make up for this by giving up coffee at meetings.

…why the Safety Nannies will give out instructions on how to wash your hands, wear a hat outside when it’s cold, or eat properly during Christmas.   Yet it will take weeks to fix blatant safety hazards like broken steps or missing railings.

…why the food is cheaper at the restaurant down the road, where they come to your table and serve you, than it is at the company cafeteria.

…when Rocket Scientists come up with corporate acronyms that are 10-letters long, and assume this will make the ten associated buzzwords easier to remember.

…when it’s presumed that using double envelopes to ship a document improves security. (Because we all know that extra layer of paper will be more than enough to thwart any potential bad guys!)

…why Fearless Leaders feel the need to take 40 minutes (instead of 40 seconds) to explain to a room full of engineers the intricate concepts of using blue-boxes to recycle.

…why the air conditioning is still on when it’s 50 degrees outside.   Or the heat is still on when it’s 80 degrees.

…when a six-figure manager will spend $20.00 of their salary collecting old sheets and printing both sides, in order to save save 45 cents worth of paper.

…why they’ll change the name of a department, spending countless thousands of dollars on new letterheads, business cards, documents, etc.   Even though it’s the same people doing the same work as before.

What things do YOU wonder about…?

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35 Comments on “It makes me wonder…”

  1. Mike Says:

    … why “they” think they can save money by having all the employees clean their own spaces and take out their own trash, when each and every one of the employees make at lest two times the wage that the displaced janitorial contractors made.

    … how some people can never lose the baggage of past mistakes of years gone by when it comes to promotions and performance appraisals.

    … how some people seem coated with Teflon and get good promotions and performance appraisals despite recent “issues.”

    … making draconian get-well changes in all divisions to fix the problems found in a division that hasn’t implemented any of the past get-well changes.

    … how managers promoted from the ranks can forget what it was like to be in the ranks.

  2. Brett Legree Says:

    You forgot telling us six or eight times during the winter season not to slip and fall on the ice and snow (while promoting ski trips via the social club).

    Or telling us not to take wilderness walks because it is unsafe due to “wild animals”, and then later that year having a “fun run” named after said wild animals.

    (That one was hard to “bear” for me…)

  3. Friar Says:

    @Mike

    Uncanny. I swear, you and I must have been office mates in a previous life. Could it be we’re talking about the the SAME work place?

    I envy you for being retired!

    @Brett
    Ahh…yes . The “running of the critters”. That kind of took the credibility out of the animal cautions, didn’t it?

  4. Mike Says:

    … how the guy whose cubicle walls were plastered with Dilbert comic strips was slated for layoff under the most recent “right sizing,” was retained with a waiver at the last minute and then, two months later, ended up with a newly created director level position at corporate headquarters.

    Don’t get me wrong, John’s probably one of the most qualified for the position. I just had a hard time seeing his cynicism about management working well at corporate. However, as far as I know, he’s still there.

  5. Eyeteaguy Says:

    …why they keep asking me to cut, cut, cut and run lean and efficient but they want to access their email from anywhere and everywhere! (that costs money dude)

    …why we sell a plant and property because it will save operating costs and generate revenue, only for us to lease the building back when we need the space…at two time the cost of owning it.

    …why we embark on a project with which we have no experience and then wonder why it goes sideways. Then hire and fire 13 guys trying to get it right, only to end up with the guy we started with.

    Shall I continue? Maybe if I was running things I would make the same bone headed decisions and laugh at all the tiny minions who blog about it while I sip scotch infront of the fireplace at my country manor.

    Eyeteayguy

  6. Karen JL Says:

    …how you guys keep you sanity working in places like this.

    Yeesh.

  7. Brett Legree Says:

    @Eyeteaguy,

    You and I can fix this kind of stuff, you know. Hire ourselves out as consultants. And make a shitload of money. We’ll talk when I come to visit.

    @Karen JL,

    Alcohol.

  8. Eyeteaguy Says:

    I don’t drink….
    Or do drugs…
    Oh that’s right, I’m insane.
    That explains the nice young men in their clean white coats lurking in the bushes.

  9. Friar Says:

    @Mike
    Could be they planted the “Mangement Chip” into his brain, and made him happy!

    @Eyeteaguy
    I just heard about ANOTHER great one. To save costs, how about SHARING cellphones? (i.e. use the one that’s assigned to the department)

    Um…..doesn’t that…like….defeat the WHOLE PURPOSE of cell-phone technology?

    @Karen
    Oh…this doesn’t necessarily reflect my actual work place. (No sireee!) These are just “generic” examples of corporate mismanagement (yeah…that’s it…generic examples!)

    @Brett
    Speaking of which….we’re still on for tonite, I assume?

    @Eyeteaguy
    I agree with a lot of how you think…I guess that makes ME insane too.

  10. Eyeteaguy Says:

    Stop agreeing with me, you’re f**king up the dynamic.

    You say something witty.
    I say something snarky.
    You say something snotty.
    I laugh.

    Repeat. Got it?

    Eyeteaguy

  11. Friar Says:

    @Eyeteaguy

    Okay…here goes.

    I think you should show a bit more initiative at work.

    You know…stop bitching, and take one for the TEAM.


  12. I allways take one for the team. I take it right up the….
    What rating is this blog again? I wouldn’t want to offend your mom.

    Eyeteaguy

  13. Friar Says:

    @Eyeteaguy

    Yeah…we have to watch it. (Or I’ll get scolded for using “potty mouth”) 😉

  14. Captain Push Says:

    …why the Safety Nannies will give out instructions on how to wash your hands, wear a hat outside when it’s cold, or eat properly during Christmas. Yet it will take weeks to fix blatant safety hazards like broken steps or missing railings.

    Our “Safety Gash” insists we use sun-screen. When we asked for sun-screen she said we couldn’t issue it because somebody “might be allergic to it.”
    HQ said we should “work in the shade whenever possible.”

    That sounds good unless you work in the Mojave Desert as we do. There ISN’T any shade.

    I told her that it is impossible to sell a safety program when it’s managed by an “IDOCRACY.”

  15. Kelly Says:

    Friar,

    I see too much. I think I could play this game all night.

    It makes me wonder…

    … why SERVICE businesses fire their longest-serving employees, who “get” the company purpose, grew up with work ethic installed deep in their core, and eat Good Cheer-ios for breakfast, then complain that the new hires thrown in at half the salary don’t do a quarter of the work and drive customers away in droves.

    … why small business owners think treating employees “like family” is a good idea, then acted shocked when staff are disrespectful, slacking off, and barely listening to management.

    … how a certain nation can holler about Going Green and Paperwork Reduction, then insist that every time a regulatory agency hiccoughs, every financial, legal, medical, and non-profit firm in the country toss hundreds of thousands of forms instead of using a post-it or inserting an “oops” sheet to explain that the sentence should read “of” instead of “with” (yes, this really happens).

    … as I am knee-deep in yet another software bug—when did the consumer become the Beta Testing Department? And why can’t we be on salary for this?

    Oh, I could keep going and going, like the Energizer Ranter.

    I shall to bed, instead.

    Neat conversation-starter!

    Regards,

    Kelly

  16. Kelly Says:

    Captain—LOL at “idiocracy.” Great, great word.


  17. Kelly — Idiocracy is an excellent movie too. You should rent it!

    (Friar, I’ll be back with some sassy comments on this one…)

  18. Kelly Says:

    Ack! It’s a movie?

    *hangs head in shame at being out of touch*

    Going to search for it now…

  19. Friar Says:

    @Captain

    LOL!!! 🙂 “Work in the shade!”. That’s priceless!

    I’ve SEEN where you work! I don’t think there’s a shady place (or even a tree) within 60 miles!

    @Kelly
    Don’t get me started about extra paperwork and forms! (Didn’t they predict in the 1990’s that computers would lead to “paperless” offices?) 😉

    And I know this started a “big debate” on your blog last month, but I re-iterate, that there’s a correlation between quality and cost. You get what you pay for. Companies or businesses that pay their staff a mediocre salary, will get mediocre performance.

    I’ve heard a stand-up comic once describe minimum wage. It implies the boss wants to pay you LESS if he could…except it would be illegal. (Nothing like making you feel like valued worker, eh?)

    @Jaden
    Idiocracy? Like Kelly, I’m out of touch. (Brett’s probably seen it, though) Maybe he’ll bring it over one of these beer nights.

  20. Kelly Says:

    Jaden,

    Three whole years ago? I can’t possibly be expected to know about a movie from thee years ago. I’m old, y’know.

    ‘Course I was younger, then…

    Friar,

    It ain’t a direct line, but yeah. Correlation that can help us to make good guesses about quality? Definitely.

    I love that about paying less if it weren’t illegal. So true, so demoralizing. I will be using it in speaking to low-wage-paying complainers from now on (once I’ve checked their sense of humor). That’s one of the biggest “human resources” mistakes in small service businesses—and even big ones like McD’s.

    I don’t do their research, but It make me wonder… if they (and other low-paying Big Boys) cut their staff by 40% and upped their wages by 25%, could they get a productivity/ loyalty/ Experience boost that would blow the competition away?

    Later,

    Kelly

  21. Friar Says:

    @Kelly

    I also hear another funny quote.

    “Life is like a sh*t sandwich. The more bread you have, the easier it is to swallow”.

    Same thing applies for jobs, I think. If it’s a menial crummy job, the more you pay the person, the more it makes up for the fact that they have a menial crummy job. And you’ll get more out of them.

    Pay me $7.00 an hour, and if I slack off, I won’t feel guilty about it in the least.

    But pay me $100 an hour, I’ll make sure my boss gets every minute worth of my time, or my conscience will probably start to bother me.

    Somewhere in between these two extremes, there’s a happy medium.

  22. Eyeteaguy Says:

    So true, look at the auto workers. I could not understand why they got $35/hr. So I went there and saw what they did all day. $35 ain’t enough. I would not be able to do that for very long.

    That is why they call them the golden handcuffs. Most of these guys would never get a job paying half that. The trick is to get them to buy into the “quality” goal. Toyota has it licked and I think Ford is doing ok. But I’d never buy a GM or Suzuki.

    Eye yuy yuy yuy teaguy.

  23. Friar Says:

    @Eyeteaguy
    I worked on an assembly line for 4 months, when I was student.

    Never been so BORED in my life. I put together windshield wipers. 8 hours a day. 5 days a week. For four months. I estimated I put together over 200,000 wipers, in total. But the money was good, at the time.

    That being said…the job took ZERO training, and ZERO skill. A five year old could have learned it in 20 minutes.

    Granted, the workers deserve SOMETHING for doing a crappy job like that. Japan apparenlty pays the equivalent of $16 an hour (or something like that). Fair enough. That’s why Toyota is not floundering.

    But these GM workers, making $35 an hour. Piss me off!

    It took me mutliple engineering degrees and many years of work experience before I started making that kind of dough!

    Sorry, boys. I have no pity.

    In today’s economy, working a zero-skill job with a Grade-8 education and making $70K is just NOT gonna happen anymore. The GRAVY TRAIN is OVER!

  24. Eyeteaguy Says:

    All I can say is its a good thing you don’t post your address on this site. Your house would be fire bombed.

    Oh wait a minute. I think I have your address here.

    Edwin “Friar” Goodwin
    275 Elm St.
    Splat Creek, ON
    P0L 1N5

    I don’t have your phone number handy but I’ll post it when I get it.

    I hope your fire insurance is paid up.

    Anything else I can do to help?

    Eyeteaguy

  25. Kelly Says:

    ROFL. You’re a mean one, Mr. Francis Grinch.

  26. Eyeteaguy Says:

    But I think that the most likely reason of all may have been that his heart was two sizes too small.

    Heh, heh, heh. <– That is the Brett Legree evil laugh for all of you who were wondering. If you ever hear Mr. Legree utter it…. its too late.

    Eyeteagrinch

  27. Brett Legree Says:

    It works like this:

    *BANG*

    heh heh heh

    (you never hear the “heh heh heh” unless I’m really close to you)

    But about wages – companies pay the lowest possible amount for the work you do. It is the same as how we generally pay as little as possible for a pair of shoes (okay, not everyone does this, but then again, not all companies are like this – just most of them).

    If we think we’re getting paid a crap wage, then it just might be true – we might be the cheapest person they could get to do that job.

    So what to do? Make ourselves more valuable so that we can be the “higher paid bargain” somewhere else!

    Easier said than done perhaps 🙂

  28. XUP Says:

    I wonder about people who call and leave messages asking you to call them, but don’t explain what they want or who they are. Why would I call them back? Especially when chances are they won’t be there to answer their phone so I’ll have to leave them a message and then they’ll leave me another message cleverly calling it “phone tag”. There should be a rule clearly explaining that “leave a message after the beep” doesn’t include, “call me”

  29. Friar Says:

    @Eyeteaguy

    Anything you can do to help? Yeah…get me a job that pays $35 with the pension and benefits GM workers have.

    @Brett
    I dunno about the lowest possible rates. Maybe for engineers. But for other Factory jobs, there are some pretty sweet deals going on.

    For example, they’ll pay laborers $32-38K to START. (Just to move boxes and push a broom). And you only need a Grade 10 edu-ma-cation to do THAT.

  30. Friar Says:

    @XUP

    Yeah…doncha just love that. The person calling is the one who wants to get in touch. But they play the game…and put the responsibility right back on YOU…to call them back.

    Umm…if it’s so important, then why don’t they leave a message saying what it is…(i.e. your house is on fire or you’ve won the lottery).

    Versus just “call me”. That’s LAME.

  31. Eyeteaguy Says:

    I can get you that job……but I’d have to lay you off right away, we’re restructuring.

  32. Friar Says:

    @Eyeteaguy

    Not if you make me an executive…then I’d get a bonus and a raise!

  33. Brett Legree Says:

    @Friar,

    Oh, I agree with you about the manual labour job pay being good. Where we are is unusual that way, a throwback to the 50’s and 60’s.

    It isn’t like that anywhere else. And if the Factory gets “restructured”, “right sized” or “strategically partnered” with some megacorp from our Southern Friends, say “bye-bye” to those high-paying trades jobs. They’ll lay everyone off and use contractors for everything…

  34. Amy Says:

    I have too many things to add. I think my brain might explode.

  35. Friar Says:

    @Amy
    No…be strong. HOLD IT IN!!! And tell us!


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