Here's a collection of lightly edited expressions of frustration, disdain, and disbelief about jobs today, and about how people in those jobs are managed. Some are based on specific reports that have come my way, and some are mixtures of reports from several people. Any similarity to your situation is both coincidental and unfortunate.
- Twice they've laid off my best friends. Time to go.
- Whenever layoffs happen, I get more work and no raise.
- I used to "stretch" to deliver superior performance, only to be rated "meets expectations." I thought, "What a lie," but now I realize that stretching myself was their expectation.
- The only thing I hate more than being told to undo what somebody just finished is being told to undo what I just finished.
- I take that back. I hate even more being told to do something that I know somebody will have to undo as soon as I'm finished.
- If meetings were any more mind numbing, they'd be classified as illegal drugs.
- I used to trust my boss to tell me what was really going on. I now realize that he doesn't actually know.
- I liked my old boss better than my new boss. Neither of them knows what they're doing, but my old boss at least knew that he didn't know.
- I don't know what's worse: (a) my boss making decisions about stuff he's clueless about, without consulting us; or (b) my boss asking our advice, and then not taking it. Wait, it's (a). At least with (a) he doesn't waste our time before making the wrong decision.
- Two things are If meetings were any more mind
numbing, they'd be classified as
illegal drugs.mysterious about Steve: (a) how he spends his time, because he sure doesn't do his job; and (b) how he gets away with it.
- Only one way the cafeteria could be worse: if they raised the prices. Ah. They just did. Never mind.
- I stuck sticky notes on my wall with fake passwords to fool password thieves. Then IT ran a surprise inspection and wrote me up. I told them the passwords were fake, but they said no passwords on the walls, real or fake. The I in IT must stand for idiotic.
- I got used to my boss not keeping her promises, but I can't get used to her denying she ever made them.
- I have so much work that I can't focus on anything long enough to remember where I was when I had to drop it to do something more urgent.
- I used to tolerate the bad parts of my job because I loved the good parts of my job. Now I don't even know what the good parts of my job are.
- Why am I classified as a "resource?" I'm a human being.
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More articles on Personal, Team, and Organizational Effectiveness:
- The Mind Reading Trap
- When we think, "Paul doesn't trust me," we could be fooling ourselves into believing that
we can read his mind. Unless he has directly expressed his distrust, we're just guessing, and we can
reach whatever conclusion we wish, unconstrained by reality. In project management, as anywhere else,
that's a recipe for trouble.
- Trying to Do It Right the First Time Isn't Always Best
- You've probably heard the slogan, "Do it right the first time." It makes sense for some kinds
of work, but not for all. For more and more of the work done in modern organizations, doing it right
the first time — or even trying to — might be the wrong way to go.
- Our Last Meeting Together
- You can find lots of tips for making meetings more effective — many at my own Web site. Most are
directed toward the chair, or the facilitator if you have one. Here are some suggestions for everybody.
- The Questions Not Asked
- Often, the path to forward progress is open and waiting, but we don't recognize it, or we convince ourselves
it isn't there. Learning to see what we believe isn't there is difficult. Here are some reasons why.
- Sixteen Overload Haiku
- Most of us have some experience of being overloaded and overworked. Many of us have forgotten what it
is not to be overloaded. Here's a contemplation of the state of overload.
Forthcoming issues of Point Lookout
- Coming September 27: Meeting Troubles: Collaboration
- In some meetings, we collaborate not in reaching objectives, but in preventing our doing so. Here are three examples of this pattern. Available here and by RSS on September 27.
- And on October 4: Meeting Troubles: Culture
- Sometimes meetings are less effective than they might be because of cultural factors that are outside our awareness. Here are some examples. Available here and by RSS on October 4.
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- The Power Affect: How We Express Our Personal Power
- Many people who possess real organizational power have a characteristic demeanor. It's the way they project their presence. I call this the power affect. Some people — call them power pretenders — adopt the power affect well before they attain significant organizational power. Unfortunately for their colleagues, and for their organizations, power pretenders can attain organizational power out of proportion to their merit or abilities. Understanding the power affect is therefore important for anyone who aims to attain power, or anyone who works with power pretenders. Read more about this program.