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Professional Confessional
 Working to Resolve (not Absolve) Workplace Wickedness

Unintended Consequences

by The Confessor

I'm a very honest guy. Maybe too honest at times. When I say that I'll do something, I tend to do it. I don't treat others unfairly because that's the way I expect- nay, demand- to be treated.

That's why some of the rules and regulations that I encounter are so irritating. Deposits for this and that, incessant background checks that rival what my father went through to get national security clearance in the 1950's, and so on. Disturbingly, abusive companies and former bosses can utilize these checks to effectively "blackball" you out a job or even career, with little or no worry of retaliation. In fact, telling them to back off will probably result in even more trouble.

The latest wrinkle is the credit check. Not just for loans, but for jobs as well. Seems that people with bad credit are more likely to steal from their employers. Sigh....

The worst are the arbitrary work rules you have to deal with. Having to sign out a single stick pen worth 2.3 cents. Signing and resigning documents at one agency I worked for because then no one could deny that they hadn't seen or read the latest directive from on high.  Being required to respond to pages within a couple or minutes, no matter what.

This last one is interesting, since I almost always respond to my pages right away. However those in authority or their lackeys almost never did. In one notable case, my former boss and his evil henchmen ignored pages that allies in the agency HQ sent them indicating that an "firing squad" was on the way to remove them from their positions.

I'm not sick very often, but when I am I always call out way in advance. Wonder why your business may have complex call-out rules? It's because others have abused that practice.

We've all heard the adage, "one bad apple spoils the whole bunch". But should it be allowed to?

I had one enlightened supervisor who put it this way: if office supplies are being stolen, a manager has two choices. He can implement a rigid sign-out system and institute a pages-long manual on  how and when such items can be procured.

Or, you can find out who the thief is, and fire them.

I agree. I also believe that not doing so merely hides the real perpertrator, and allows them to continue.

Got any feedback? I'd love to hear it!


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Corporate Ladder Rung: Middle ManagerFreedomringer (05/18/2007)
This is a sticky situation. Should one rotting apple spoil it for the rest? I don't think so. But if we turn on the spotlight and illuminate who the thief is how do you do it with out violating personal rights? Sticky question. I will admit, that people are crazy and most of the time just thinking of themselves and what they want than to worry that they are ruining it for the rest of us. Maybe a good old fashioned, military style blanket party for the guilty party! I have given up on mankind, I am still looking for deep cave to live in.

Corporate Ladder Rung: CIOthe confessor (05/18/2007)
This has always been a nagging question in my mind as well. In the past, shaming the wrongdoer worked well-the person was literally shunned in public. However, the shaming sometimes went too far, including things like sexual preference and interracial dating.
I've also always wondered why some people equate the ability to "mess up" things as the equivalent of personal power that others respect. Whether trashing an hotel room or public toilet, or acting as a spoiler or wet blanket in business or private matters, these people seem to say, "I screw things up, therefore I am". Ludicrous!!

Corporate Ladder Rung: Mailroomold Nurse (05/22/2007)
The sad part of this is, in some cases the quality of the people hired for these management position. Example :
A young executive was leaving the office late one evening when he found the CEO standing in front of a shredder with a piece of paper in his hand.
"Listen," said the CEO. This is a very sensitive and important document here, and my secretary has gone for the night. Can you make this thing work?"
"Certainly," said the young executive. He turned the machine on, inserted the paper, and pressed the start button.
"Excellent" said the CEO as his paper disappeared inside the machine. " I just need one copy."


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