Friday, February 11, 2005

(mis)Management?

Why is it that some people would rather make their living by doing nothing. Merely making sure OTHERS do work. Is it because they're lazy? I'm going with that answer. Lazy and Stupid. I think this mostly because I've worked since I was 10 years old. That means 27 years for you folks that went to state schools. And during that time period (some of which was also spent in the military), I found that there are two types of supervisors: Leaders and Managers.

The ones I respect are the Leaders. They assume that you know what you're doing until you prove them otherwise. These are the people who are willing to get in and help do the work, and those who just stand aside and tell you how to do the job you've been doing for some time. I don't mind working for the former. Those are the folks who've worked their way up the ladder by doing things well, and have been promoted into leadership positions because of that. Those folks are the ones who know how you feel and don't micromanage you in your day-to-day operations. These are the people who can motivate you to walk through fire for them if you need to in your job. I realize there's not much call for firewalking in today's society, but if there WAS, these guys would be running the show.

Managers are the types that think that people are idiots and that THEY are geniuses. That people cannot do their jobs without the constant interference of managers. Now, while I'll agree that there are plenty of idiots out there, people aren't made to be managed. McDonalds hires managers. Grocery stores have managers. Most jobs where you don't have to really think, have managers. And if most people who work those jobs don't care whether you're managed or not. Hell, you probably don't even realize you're being 'managed'.

I like to refer to managers by another name...the pearls. Yes, the pearls, because they're basically just irritants. Yeah, maybe if you get a bunch of them together they may look pretty, but if you get right down to it, they've been formed from being irritating. They've never actually accomplished anything themselves, they just cause irritation, which causes the surrounding organism to have to do something to insulate that irritant.

Pearls are formed when an oyster gets a grain of sand or something inside it's shell. It forms a protective coating to keep the grain of sand from cutting it and infecting the soft inside of an oyster. Managers who are 'pearls' tend to be just that. The type of person who comes in when the job is going just fine, and has to insert themselves into the process just to show that they are actually doing something for the company. They 'add value'. (God I love buzzwords).

My opinion is that a couple of my eight bosses ("yes Bob, I have eight bosses"), are Leaders. The rest are just fucking pearls who get their paychecks for getting under the skin of my co-workers.

What we need to do is encase those dumbasses in a protective coating so that they don't hurt themselves. Or, better yet(for them), WE don't hurt them.

1 comment:

Fish said...

I was in "Management" for a few years, and have to agree with you on this piece. My system was to hire the right people and get out of the road. I figured if it was necessary for me to stand over them to get the work done, why not fire them and do it myself since I was standing there anyway. I let some go and hired others until I had a staff that could get the work done. I had enough headaches dealing with "upper management". I always put them in for the maximum raises each year, allowed them the freedom to manage their own jobs, and as a result the last nine years in that position I had no turn-over of personel. Great team.

I've worked for the other kind, but it is past tense. As soon as I could I'd transfer out of that department or out of that company.