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Old 05-19-2011, 11:06 AM   #121
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When I w*rked at one of Unca Sam's three-letter agencies the non-fed amongst us tried rebelling against the mandatory daily supervisors meeting. The direct approach got no joy. But then we came up with the sneaky way. We just briefed the same thing every day, with minor variations. My immediate boss noticed it in two days, but the big boss, he of the mandatory meeting fame, it took him eight days. After some screaming we went back to once a week meetings.
We used to have "module" meetings every morning, wherein we reviewed a hold and down tool list that was several hours old at meeting time, in a futile effort to explain to the decidedly non-technical "manager" what the hell it was we did. The pat answer, aside from "it's been off hold for two hours" was "by noon"...
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Old 05-19-2011, 11:12 AM   #122
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Oh, a classic for the ages:

The Grand Poohbah has decreed that all meetings shall end 5 minutes early so that people are not late for their next meetings (which of itself speaks volumes). So what does a dysfunctional front line manager who I escaped last year do? Running from conference room to conference room climbing the furniture so that she can sync all the wall clocks with their Blackberry.

As Dave Barry liked to say, "I am not making this up."
That is the funniest real-life thing I have read on these boards or anywhere else. Does anyone else where you work realize how hilarious that is?
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Old 05-19-2011, 11:24 AM   #123
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After many, many, years in HR I observed that most people resign because of the way they are treated/the workplace functions than because they got a better financial offer elsewhere. Counter offers, unless expressly solicited, are a waste of time.
Agree completely.
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Old 05-19-2011, 11:56 AM   #124
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That is the funniest real-life thing I have read on these boards or anywhere else. Does anyone else where you work realize how hilarious that is?
Yes, my friends and I are well aware. But for us it has been a comedy/tragedy.
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Old 05-19-2011, 11:58 AM   #125
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The best thing about being one of the first out of a flaming blimp is you'll still have plenty of contacts back there to fill you in on the hilarity.
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Old 05-19-2011, 12:50 PM   #126
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We have people here in my government workplace that attend meetins all day, every day. I avoid all meetings. If they want me to come to a meeting I want to be driving the train or making decisions.
When I got my first bureaucratic job, my calendar was fully booked with meetings. I asked my secretary to immediately clear it and advise all organizers that I will not attend any meeting unless the objectives are received in advance.

Eventually I relented. I would send one of my directs and I would show up for the last 15 minutes and ask for the results. I would find that the business admin people were objecting to marketing stuff, etc. So I would say: "Do you have any objections to the bus admin aspects of thsi proposal?" When the answer was NO I would move on. We pushed our way through the red tape at record speed.

If the bus admin person persisted, I would say to take that up with the marketing guy before the meeting. If they wanted to escalate, I said fine but it has to be your boss talking to my boss. Never had an escalation.

After a year I got sick of the conflict and moved on. But we accomplished a lot of stuff in that year.
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Old 05-19-2011, 01:44 PM   #127
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The fun continues. The two HR departments between where I am coming from and where I am transferring to cannot agree on how to do the hand-off and I am caught in the midddle. I just got asked if I could shorten the time between when I go and when I show up. No, you morons, I will be driving across the country with kids, dogs, cat, luggage, etc. I cannot get there by magic carpet.
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Old 05-19-2011, 01:50 PM   #128
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The fun continues. The two HR departments between where I am coming from and where I am transferring to cannot agree on how to do the hand-off and I am caught in the midddle. I just got asked if I could shorten the time between when I go and when I show up. No, you morons, I will be driving across the country with kids, dogs, cat, luggage, etc. I cannot get there by magic carpet.
Tell them that if they'll pay for a professional moving company to pack up and move your stuff that you will fly up there to start sooner, thereby solving their problem.
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Old 05-19-2011, 01:52 PM   #129
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Tell them that if they'll pay for a professional moving company to pack up and move your stuff that you will fly up there to start sooner, thereby solving their problem.
The movers are packing crap up and moving it on the company dime. But I still have to drive 2 cars 1800 miles and transport dogs and a cat plus the camper. And I need some time to get sorted out when I arrive and not show up to what will be a very busy first few months feeling like I just did a triathlon.
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Old 05-22-2011, 02:04 PM   #130
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I think you should start writing this stuff down. This would make an excellent book. Might even be worth movie rights.
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Old 05-22-2011, 02:39 PM   #131
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Got any vacation time coming? Maybe move your "last day" of work out a week or so, during which time you will be "on vacation" driving around with your dogs and cat so your official end date is closer to when you are actually on site at the new place. Or work from the other end, if you start by working one day remotely then take some "time off" while you transit. Usually we discourage that sort of thing, but if you can claim it was a previously arranged "vacation" then often people will accommodate.
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Old 05-29-2011, 01:55 AM   #132
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The fun continues. The two HR departments between where I am coming from and where I am transferring to cannot agree on how to do the hand-off and I am caught in the midddle. I just got asked if I could shorten the time between when I go and when I show up. No, you morons, I will be driving across the country with kids, dogs, cat, luggage, etc. I cannot get there by magic carpet.
Sounds like a great opportunity for your new boss to show you a little support. Or else award you a couple weeks' meritorious time off...
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Old 05-30-2011, 03:33 PM   #133
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Sounds like a great opportunity for your new boss to show you a little support. Or else award you a couple weeks' meritorious time off...
They sorted it out, with a little pressure from my new boss. Amazing stupidity.
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Old 05-30-2011, 03:58 PM   #134
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They sorted it out, with a little pressure from my new boss. Amazing stupidity.
I'm not surprised by the stupidity, let alone that your new boss had to get involved, but it's gratifying to see that your new boss didn't hesitate to get involved...
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Old 05-30-2011, 04:13 PM   #135
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I'm not surprised by the stupidity, let alone that your new boss had to get involved, but it's gratifying to see that your new boss didn't hesitate to get involved...
Actually, he appears to have called in some VP-level firepower to get the job done.

I am a little frightened, though. My buddy here was working with someone in the area I am going to and she asked if he knew me. He admitted as much and she went on to say that apparently word is spreading that the place I am heading stole me from the place I am coming to and it is a big coup because I know everything, can do everything, and will be making an entire career there. It is nice to be thought well of, but that is a lot to live up to. The key to happiness is low expectations...
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Old 05-30-2011, 05:10 PM   #136
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Actually, he appears to have called in some VP-level firepower to get the job done.

I am a little frightened, though. My buddy here was working with someone in the area I am going to and she asked if he knew me. He admitted as much and she went on to say that apparently word is spreading that the place I am heading stole me from the place I am coming to and it is a big coup because I know everything, can do everything, and will be making an entire career there. It is nice to be thought well of, but that is a lot to live up to. The key to happiness is low expectations...
Low expectations are easy to meet and exceed, but high expectations combined with a top notch reputation are good leverage and can be used to help further your own goals.
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Old 05-30-2011, 05:15 PM   #137
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Within reason, high expectations are a powerful tool.

When a team with low expectations runs into problems, the higher-up say, we knew they might mess up and they promptly pull the plug.

When a team with high expectations runs into problems, the higher-up say, this must be a harder problem than expected, what do we need to give them to succeed.
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Old 05-30-2011, 07:29 PM   #138
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Actually, he appears to have called in some VP-level firepower to get the job done.
He called in an air strike?!? Better & better.

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It is nice to be thought well of, but that is a lot to live up to. The key to happiness is low expectations...
True.

Another way to look at it is that you're coming into such a screwed-up position that anything you do will make you look like a one-eyed man in the valley of the blind god among mortals.

I once took over a job for a guy who'd started coughing up blood and who unexpectedly turned himself in to the medics for a psych evaluation. He hadn't been very effective in his administration, let alone as a custodian of nuclear missiles, and the command had been a tad unhappy with his performance. Let's just say that the turnover checklist had a lot of blank spots on it. But from the day I showed up I could do no wrong.

Maybe they're also encouraged by the fact that you have family connections to the area. That implies the possibility that you're not just bungee-jumping the career ladder.
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Old 05-30-2011, 09:28 PM   #139
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Yo, Brewer...

1. Relax
2. Be yourself
3. Good Luck
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Old 06-05-2011, 11:16 AM   #140
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Yo, Brewer...

1. Relax
2. Be yourself
3. Good Luck
What she said.
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