Management Experience

Emails from my former employer, promotional things, keep arriving in my email inbox telling me about the great values in store. Okay, good to know the company is still churning along without me. Just, I’m not sold on their understanding of the world ‘value’. That was what hung with me as I clicked delete.

There’s an image that keeps making the rounds across FB about a company alienating a loyal employee. I completely understand that feeling. You get to the point that you come to work, do your job, attempt as little controversy as possible. You need the income and that’s the only reason who show up on time and work. But basically you could care less about staying later and busting your butt because it’s never rewarded and sometimes not compensated at all (as in schedule to work 55 hours, paid for 45 hours but expected to work 60 to 70 hours. That’s management. You’re salaried so labor laws in most places don’t apply to you as far as being compensated. So you’re abused, having to fill in and cover for the work hourly employees can’t accomplish within their 20 to 40 hour work weeks. Heaven forbid any overtime is accrued. But the work must be done. It’s that important. So the highest paid people in the building have to do it. Management gets paid the same no matter how many hours they work. And that’s what happened to me with two of my previous employers. From what I understand it is common enough as a practice int he modern business environment.

What it amounts to is a gross, flagrant lack of respect between upper management and front line salaried people. They sell the idea of achieving a bonus as a means of compensating of rate extra effort but then the bean counters set the targets at unrealistic levels so that very few managers will achieve them. That’s how the game is played. Stupid me.

Whenever I start out working for someone else it is a career thing and I fully intend to give it more than they expect for as long as necessary for me to succeed. Then politics interfere. People are people and eventually you learn who kisses butt and who the favorites are. You put up with it because you needed the job otherwise you would have never applied.

Everyone starts out wanting to do a good job and wanting to be trained properly to do his or her job. The last part is the business’ responsibility and, from my experience, it is a source of failure. Instead of properly training people, the business is more focused on covering butt for legal reasons.

One of the places I worked was obsessed with sending emails to have a record of informing everyone in the chain of command. I could understand that to an extent even though I received emails com the cubicle next to me. Hey, why don’t you just stand up, look over the short barrier and tell me to my face. No, have to have the proper documentation.

Regarding documentation: the process for getting rid of a troublesome employee was called ‘document and destroy’. Once someone had been with the company past the probationary period, management had to create a well documented paper trail prior to terminating the employee and that had to be submitted to corporate HR. I’m sure that was intended to protect someone from an vindictive boss but what resulted was a general lack of interest in terminating anyone who was an obvious piece of crap, careless and sometimes detrimental employee.

Of course HR always blamed the management for hiring the person in the first place. If proper procedures and background checks were performed… They always had an reason to blame lower management, though. But dutifully we called past employers and, generally, we were told ‘we are not permitted to give out that information’. Why? Because they didn’t want to risk the terminated employee finding out they black balled him or her.

So, it amazes me a good bit that a company would let a good, conscientious employee leave, but that happened in two past cases where I resigned. And I wasn’t the only one who resigned. Of course, those businesses would have a different opinion of my job performance. No doubt the personnel file has numerous documentations of substandard performance – some of those I was actually allowed to read. In both cases where I left the company, a new supervisor took over. The fact that I was not a butt kissing sort of guy factored heavily in the way I was treated: called in on days off, expected to come early and stay late. I wouldn’t have mixed doing that if there was an objective, a point I could foresee that, based on the effort I was putting forth the situation was going to improve.

Why did I quit? It’s called burn out. I got to the point that my health and personal life – which has largely become all about writing – were far more important to me than playing the corporate game.

Greatest People

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