A Quiet Disposition March 31, 2012Posted by humbug27 in General, Life, opinions, people, thoughts.
Tags: Extraversion and introversion, life, observations, people, society
If you know someone with a quite disposition, appreciate them. Not everyone is comfortable in the spotlight. We don’t all seek to be the center of attention. For some people, talking comes as naturally as breathing, while others prefer to measure their words and choose carefully before they speak. Quiet people are often labeled as being shy, introverted, anti-social, and even weird. It’s unfortunate that such labels have become stigmas. The “extrovert,” however, is revered and honored in the format of our schools and workplaces. Students’ seats are neatly arranged in pods to encourage expression and the workplace relies heavily on networking and collaboration. While these skills are valuable in their own right, they aren’t the end all. What about people who work best alone? What about people who prefer to express themselves through writing? If they don’t conform, they will likely be ostracized. Conform or be rejected. Is that really the most effective way to encourage people to be their best? It’s ironic because we also value originality. That rare and refreshing person who doesn’t seem like another cog in the machine. Imagine if Albert Einstein had yielded to those who insisted there was something wrong with him. Of course there was something wrong with him; there is something wrong will all of us. The sooner we embrace this, the better.
Where Conventional Wisdom Fails March 17, 2012Posted by humbug27 in Company, conventional wisdom, General, Life, opinions, other, productivity, Uncategorized, Work, workers.
Tags: Company, Employment, Productivity, work, work ethic, Workforce
Conventional wisdom says that a higher rate of productivity is always better and that employees should try to be more productive workers. I don’t necessarily agree with this philosophy because it doesn’t always favor a highly productive worker. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that a strong work ethic is meaningless, but in some cases, it can work against you. For example, suppose that worker A and worker B, work for Company C. They both perform the exact same job for the same duration at the exact same pay rate. They are the only two people in their department and they’ve been with the company for the same amount of time. Let’s imagine that they work in a distribution center and their jobs consist of packing and shipping boxes. Each day, the men are required to meet a specific quota, which never changes (for sake of this argument). Since joining the company, they have managed to meet their daily quota without fail. If the workers were to miss their quota, they could lose their jobs. Consequently, both workers have an equal stake in the work. However, each worker does not produce the same volume of work.
Each day, worker A produces 20% more work than does worker B. All physical capabilities being equal, worker A is simply more productive. Yet, he makes the same wage as worker B because they perform the same job. In this case, I would say that worker A is penalized for being more productive. Oops, that isn’t supposed to happen. Suddenly, doing more work doesn’t seem like such a good idea. So, what advice would you give to worker A? Would you tell him to slow his pace because it’s unfair that he does more work for the same pay? The downside to that strategy is that he may lose his job if he slows down and misses quota. Of course, Worker A could ask worker B to increase his pace in order to meet worker A in the middle. That seems reasonable to me, but in that case, each person is pulling more weight that person B was originally. In the end, it would probably come down to worker A leaving the company in search of a better opportunity. Meanwhile, company C let’s him walk because they are cheap and refuse to pay their employees more money. They probably don’t realize just how valuable worker A was to their company in the first place. Like so many companies, they see a number on a balance sheet and completely disregard the actual value of the employee. If worker A leaves, it is completely possible that company C will hire someone to fill his spot and that person will not be as productive (at least in the short run). Meanwhile, person B will probably continue to work at his normal capacity, which will result in the company failing to meet the quota that was achieved when worker A was there.
In the end, company C loses because they failed to recognize that a job is more than an hourly dollar amount. It’s about value and recognizing workers who produce at a high level. Only when a company recognizes and rewards hard work are we justified in continuing to outperform our peers. Otherwise, it is a lost cause and it seems foolish to cost yourself in the name of pride. All that matters is that my example illustrates how it would be difficult to justify worker A continuing to work harder for the same pay. I do understand that my example illustrates an extreme set of circumstances. I am also not suggesting that a good work ethic is worthless. I believe that most of the time, good workers will eventually be recognized and rewarded, but this is not always the case. It is a reminder that we should try to look at things from different perspectives if we are to get the best picture.
The Bluetooth Wearing Mailman March 15, 2012Posted by humbug27 in Etiquette, General, opinions, Protocol, thoughts, Uncategorized, Work.
Tags: Bluetooth, cell phones, mailman, observation, opinions, standards, workplace behavior
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My mailman is always talking on his bluetooth headset when he delivers my mail. I don’t think it’s a coincidence either. He’s really loud too and I can hear him from inside my house. He’s actually startled me a couple of times. Sometimes I think he’s a stranger who’s about to kick my door in and ransack the place. I recently began to wonder if he’s breaking protocol with his cellphone chatter. In my opinion, he is. I may be alone here, but I don’t think he should be talking on his phone. Granted, I don’t supervise his entire route, but I suspect he’s doing plenty of talking throughout. Call it a hunch.
I understand that the argument can be made that it doesn’t matter because he works alone. However, whether he works alone or not, he’s still at work. Why should he be allowed to make personal calls at will? Most, if not all jobs, would rule it unsavory to make personal phone calls throughout the day. Why is being a mailman any exception? I don’t even know why it bothers me to be honest, it just does. I think it’s unprofessional and indecent in a way. Maybe it bothers me because I feel like standards in the workplace are slowly dissolving. It seems like the lines between our personal and professional lives are blurring. Oh, and let’s not forget the fact that you can’t tell who people are talking to when they walk past with their headsets in their ears. I find it to be pretty awkward when I acknowledge as though they’re talking to me, only to be ignored. Cast aside for the voice inside of their ear. It kinda makes me feel like I’m getting the short end of the stick…
A Clear Lack of Courtesy March 10, 2012Posted by humbug27 in Courtesy, Etiquette, General, Life, opinions, Patience, people, thoughts.
Tags: Courtesy, disrespectful, Etiquette, General, Inconsiderate, Manners, patience, Rudeness, waiting in line
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What does it mean to be courteous? One definition of the word courteous is: having or showing good manners; polite. Manners can be defined as: ways of behaving with reference to polite standards. Therefore, we can assume that a courteous person is someone who has good manners and behaves politely. By definition, it’s a pretty straightforward concept if you ask me. It doesn’t seem that difficult to accomplish. In theory, we could all be courteous people who are polite and considerate of others. However, we don’t live in theory; we live in reality. And in reality, there are lots of rude people who don’t give a damn about you, me, or the next guy.
My inspiration for this posting is a woman who I was recently behind at a fast food drive-thru. After this woman ordered, she pulled up just shy of the pay window and stopped. After about 3o seconds, I thought something was wrong with her car. Turns out, I was sadly mistaken my friends. Her car was fine; she just decided to stop and make a phone call. No problem, take your time… it’s not like there’s anyone behind you. Apparently she couldn’t talk and finish her transaction at the same time. Her phone conversation went on for over 2 minutes! That’s an eternity in drive-thru terms. Especially when you consider that she wasn’t waiting for ANYBODY! Now how do you think I reacted to this rude road blocker?
Did I yell at her from my window? No. Did I blast my horn until she moved? No. Did I push her car forward with mine? No. Did I drive off in a huff? No. I’ll tell you exactly what I did. I sat in my car and wondered who she was talking to. I wondered how long the call would carry on. I wondered what kind of phone she had. I wondered what was so important that she had to make that phone call. I kinda felt like I had a right to know. I wondered if she even noticed that I was behind her. I wondered if she wondered why I wasn’t honking. I wondered if she would have honked at me if we switched places. I wondered what food she ordered. I wondered if this was the first time she had done this. I wondered how long I would be willing to wait before I left. I sat there and wondered, patiently waiting for her. I was amused by her lack of courtesy. I couldn’t pull myself away. I had to see it to the end.