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Old 06-11-2010, 11:29 AM   #101
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I think there are a lot of gvmt workers who do not get overtime... and they work 8 to 5 or 9 to 5 (in NY)...

But there are enough that do get overtime... police and fire... there were a lot of NYC police that retired a year after 9-11 because of all the overtime they got that year... if they waited to retire, they lost a lot in their pension... (not specific knowledge... just reading about it in the news)...

And then you can do 'other things'... if you are a teacher... work summer school... go to training that pays you... etc. etc.. not really overtime, but extra work that last year or two to boost the pension...
If you want me to join you in complaining about abuses, no problem.
But please include discussion of severance pay and golden parachutes. and relocation payments etc.
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Old 06-11-2010, 01:57 PM   #102
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Proper system design includes response time. You don't put the nurses or the crash cart 10 minutes from the patients. The mission drives the system design, not the other way around.
Why doesn't the concept of triage apply to IT support? It's cool though if I have to wait 3 hours to see a doctor when it's not life or death, but a doctor should NEVER have to wait 10 minutes to use a printer or whatever...
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Old 06-11-2010, 02:47 PM   #103
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I can't work OT. Well, I guess I could, if there were $ and I asked for prior permission from a huge pile of managers up the chain.

Our fire department crew has mandatory OT. They do 24 hour shifts or something.

Oh stupid ideas:
TQI
TQM
then Baldridge
now
"Whole Goal" WTH is that?
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Old 06-11-2010, 02:55 PM   #104
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If you want me to join you in complaining about abuses, no problem.
But please include discussion of severance pay and golden parachutes. and relocation payments etc.
I don't think these are exclusive of the private sector...


And I just read the article of Westernskies...
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Old 06-11-2010, 02:57 PM   #105
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I can't work OT. Well, I guess I could, if there were $ and I asked for prior permission from a huge pile of managers up the chain.

Our fire department crew has mandatory OT. They do 24 hour shifts or something.

Oh stupid ideas:
TQI
TQM
then Baldridge
now
"Whole Goal" WTH is that?
OMG - we do Baldrige at work.... I had forgotten. We actually won one year. I think they're going for it again this fall - yet another reason to not be there! Taking a company and making it have a whole theoretical mission (and then only following through in theory and not in reality...?) Too much blather. I'm too concrete - get the job done. Shut up about the mission statement and the lofty ways we are empowered...

Love the emoticons so here goes how I feel (in case it wasn't obvious):

'cause I'm gone soon!
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Old 06-11-2010, 03:17 PM   #106
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OMG - we do Baldrige at work.... I had forgotten.
Yep, been there, done that, won the award, went as a co. representative to DC to get it, shook hands with the President, got my photo in the 2003 Baldrige Criteria booklet (page 42) - retired in 2005.
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Old 06-11-2010, 03:32 PM   #107
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Dang. I had to go and read this thread and be reminded of Malcomb effing Baldridge, which brought SIX SIGMA to mind and ruined my whole day.
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Old 06-11-2010, 03:47 PM   #108
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Dang. I had to go and read this thread and be reminded of Malcomb effing Baldridge...
How can you speak so disrespectfully of a man who died in the saddle...and he wasn't on top.

COMMERCE CHIEF DIES AFTER RODEO ACCIDENT
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Old 06-11-2010, 03:55 PM   #109
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Great idea, we had loads of turkeys that deserved being thrown out of a helicopter
We had a corporate HQ that overlooked ponds that attracted geese. "You know, the place with the geese outside and the turkeys inside!"

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I've mentioned this before, but at MegaMotors they got the great idea that a mandatory 10% must get unsatisfactory ratings and no more than 10% could get top ratings. I don't have to tell you that the sacrificial lambs in the unsatisfactory pile were overwhelmingly over 55 years old. Two unsatisfactory ratings in a row meant termination or demotion and one unsatisfactory rating meant no raises or profit sharing and w*rking to an "improvement" plan.

It was abandoned after one year, but not before it launched a bunch of lawsuits. For a manager that w*rked diligently to maintain a staff of top performers, it forced one to really screw over a couple of people that clearly were not unsatisfactory and also inadequately reward others that would have normally have gotten a top rating, totally killing any loyalty or sense of opportunity. On top of all this it demoralized the whole company and spread an atmosphere of fear and intimidation. Other than that it was a great idea.
We had management that wanted every department to have its own bell curve. Since this was statistically insane, we would meet as a group of peer managers and trade data: You have a 4? OK then I can have a 1!
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Exactly. We had wave after wave of cutbacks and lay-offs so that we were running with minimal staff but by corporate law we still had to apply the bell curve on appraisals and p-off some really hard working folks.
Yes after several years of downsizing, we started causing good people to leave (not that there was anything wrong with that!).
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Arggghhhh...appraisals and A&Ds (acheivement and development).

I had one boss that would make me write my own appraisal and he'd sign off on it. Of course I couldn't get away with all positive remarks about myself, so I had to come up with areas where I needed improvement.

I had to whack my own fanny.

I learned well by putting myself down.
Actually I found doing the appraisal very helpful. It was more accurate than any other one and it had a positive effect on me.
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Dang. I had to go and read this thread and be reminded of Malcomb effing Baldridge, which brought SIX SIGMA to mind and ruined my whole day.
I turned over a company to another hired gun CEO and he set about achieving industry certification on quality processes. Fortunately, the company was acquired before he could inflict any real damage.
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Old 06-11-2010, 05:11 PM   #110
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Why doesn't the concept of triage apply to IT support? It's cool though if I have to wait 3 hours to see a doctor when it's not life or death, but a doctor should NEVER have to wait 10 minutes to use a printer or whatever...
Our printer has been malfunctioning all afternoon. After attempting to find the paper jam, my assistant threw her hands up, called IT, and went home. I, however, needed to print something important before the weekend. It took me 5 minutes to find the jammed paper, remove it and get the printer working again. I called IT to cancel the repair.

For this I went to medical school.....
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Old 06-11-2010, 05:18 PM   #111
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Our printer has been malfunctioning all afternoon. After attempting to find the paper jam, my assistant threw her hands up, called IT, and went home. I, however, needed to print something important before the weekend. It took me 5 minutes to find the jammed paper, remove it and get the printer working again. I called IT to cancel the repair.

For this I went to medical school.....
I'm really surprised they included 'how to clear a paper jam' in the medical school curriculum...
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Old 06-11-2010, 05:23 PM   #112
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I'm really surprised they included 'how to clear a paper jam' in the medical school curriculum...
Not specifically, but problem solving was in there somewhere.....
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Old 06-11-2010, 05:30 PM   #113
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I'm really surprised they included 'how to clear a paper jam' in the medical school curriculum...
A paper jam is akin to constipation, right?
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Old 06-11-2010, 07:46 PM   #114
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You have my sympathy!

I agree that 10 minutes is a lot of time in the clinical world - but they put the IT staff a 10 minute walk from where the doctor was. Even if they located IT staff closer (using up expensive hospital space) it still would take quite a while to reach some parts of the large hospital. There's really no good solution. This was a hardware problem so someone had to go to the PC.

We have a lot of software that isn't great - but is very expensive. I feel like we do the quality testing of the software, not the vendor.

We have 24/7 support although certainly it's less available at night. They don't pay shift differentials to IT staff - we get called at home if it's urgent and the help desk can't fix it. Shift differentials might make some people willing to actually work a night shift in IT .

We try to have workarounds in place. Actually where I work is very high-tech for a hospital/health system. But they moved the main IT support out to the suburbs to save money leaving only a few on-site people at each location and most of us are not. We can remote in and see the PC issue, though.

I mostly work on the financial programs so don't have too much contact with the clinical side. Which is okay with me, fewer night calls...

Another favorite call (not from a doctor) which has happened many times is the one we get at around 4 PM on a Friday - the caller says "this has been happening all week but I thought I should report it before I leave for the weekend."
I hear you on the beta testing, we have been doing that for Cerner for years. Every time I hear someone talking about how computer order entry will cure part of what ails health care I cringe.

Our IT are also off site and remote in...eerie watching your cursor moving around doing stuff and you're not touching the mouse.

DD
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Old 06-11-2010, 07:48 PM   #115
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Our printer has been malfunctioning all afternoon. After attempting to find the paper jam, my assistant threw her hands up, called IT, and went home. I, however, needed to print something important before the weekend. It took me 5 minutes to find the jammed paper, remove it and get the printer working again. I called IT to cancel the repair.

For this I went to medical school.....
...and residency.

No unit coordinator last night. I got to answer the phone all night. I found it doesn't bother me too much if I remind myself that they are paying me close to $200/hr to do it .

DD
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Old 06-11-2010, 07:57 PM   #116
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My recent fave was an initiative that was supposed to address employee concerns about how the place is run, culture, etc. They got a bunch of well-meaning dupes from the ranks to work up somewhat vague issues into concrete problems with proposed solutions. Said dupes then presented their findings at a division- wide meeting for comment and as a basis for further work. Right away, VPs stood up and started banging away at anything that was not complete pap. End result was that each of the teams of dupes were required to have a "sponsor" from senior mgmt who could more effectively gut what was supposed to be an employee-driven process. It continues today and every time they publicly present what they are doing it becomes more watered down. But they are "empowering" employees...
We have a similar system based on the Toyota Production System. It is supposed to be driven by the line workers with support by middle management. Instead middle management decides which problems to address and the solution. In the most recent cycle the "team" got chewed out for coming up with the "wrong" solution .

DD
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Old 06-11-2010, 08:47 PM   #117
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We have a similar system based on the Toyota Production System. It is supposed to be driven by the line workers with support by middle management. Instead middle management decides which problems to address and the solution. In the most recent cycle the "team" got chewed out for coming up with the "wrong" solution .
DD
I always have fun explaining to people how a research university works.I explained it once to the Board of Regents. I said the University was like a professional sports team. The Regents were the owners, their job was to provide the stadium. The Deans etc were the GM and coaches. Their job was to help us do our job. And the faculty were the players. No one pays to see the coach.

A university is effectively a giant consulting firm. Every college, department, institute, laboratory and even individual faculty members are running a business. Income is money and students and output is degrees and research. Like all faculty members I was in charge of revenue, production , sales, hiring and meeting teaching and research goals for my tiny shop.
To give some examples I never spent a dollar of ordinary university travel money in my entire career. I never had a computer that I did not raise the money to buy. I never had a graduate student that I did not support. I always raised my own summer salary . And my operation was small.
Other faculty ran much bigger operations. we had faculty bringing in and spending 5 million a year. In such an environment the job of the management is to keep the lights on (i.e. look after the shared resources), keep the undergraduates from burning the place down. keep the politicians off our back and raise "start up" funds for new activities. They get a percentage of what we bring in for their services.

"Managing" such a herd of cats is almost impossible. Inspired academic leaders, like good coaches, bring out the best in each faculty member. But every body knows who does the work
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Old 06-11-2010, 09:49 PM   #118
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My favourite IT comment was when we were unable to print prescriptions one night because of a printer failure and were told that there is no one available to fix hardware at night. We were asked if we really needed to print prescriptions for patients "late at night" .
Every prescription I've had was hand written by my doctor. Could a manual backup system have been improvised?
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Old 06-11-2010, 10:38 PM   #119
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I always have fun explaining to people how a research university works.I explained it once to the Board of Regents. I said the University was like a professional sports team. The Regents were the owners, their job was to provide the stadium. The Deans etc were the GM and coaches. Their job was to help us do our job. And the faculty were the players. No one pays to see the coach.

A university is effectively a giant consulting firm. Every college, department, institute, laboratory and even individual faculty members are running a business. Income is money and students and output is degrees and research. Like all faculty members I was in charge of revenue, production , sales, hiring and meeting teaching and research goals for my tiny shop.
To give some examples I never spent a dollar of ordinary university travel money in my entire career. I never had a computer that I did not raise the money to buy. I never had a graduate student that I did not support. I always raised my own summer salary . And my operation was small.
Other faculty ran much bigger operations. we had faculty bringing in and spending 5 million a year. In such an environment the job of the management is to keep the lights on (i.e. look after the shared resources), keep the undergraduates from burning the place down. keep the politicians off our back and raise "start up" funds for new activities. They get a percentage of what we bring in for their services.

"Managing" such a herd of cats is almost impossible. Inspired academic leaders, like good coaches, bring out the best in each faculty member. But every body knows who does the work
Excellent analogy!

I did a PhD and Post-doc before deciding the research career was way too much work and funding was getting very difficult. I was finishing up when they made the big changes to the whole R01 grant system in the 90's. Job security is much better in medicine.

DD
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Old 06-11-2010, 10:52 PM   #120
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Every prescription I've had was hand written by my doctor. Could a manual backup system have been improvised?
We do have such a system for when the computer system fails but there wasn't a prescription pad with the rest of the back-up paper system . Fortunately one of my colleague's had a pad stashed in their white coat.

DD
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