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Old 08-18-2008, 12:25 PM   #21
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I suspect there are a lot of people out there who consider any company that measures their employees contributions to the success of the organization to be a "kool-aid cult". In my experience, many times these are the same folks are the ones standing around the water cooler advocating a shorter workweek; complaining about their co-workers promotions, watching the clock with with their cars idling in the parking lot at 4:45pm; leaving early on Friday to cash their paychecks, and always unhappy with their compensation and career path.
And thanks so much for the broad brush assumptions there, big guy, not the case at all for me but I do appreciate your insults. The company in question went bankrupt 4 months after I left, due mostly to the kool-aid CEO siphoning money off the business for his own use.

Here's a good use of my new favorite sig line (courtesy of Harley): "A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort."
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Old 08-18-2008, 12:31 PM   #22
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The issue with the previous company is that I couldn't get the idiots fired or off of my projects fast enough... or I didn't have control over them. So, you literally spent all day working on something and then all evening making sure they didn't undo your work.

I'm now at a company that values contribution more than in-fighting and rewards performance more than perception.

Of course, when you're smart like me, you can do a heck of a lot in 30 hours.
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Old 08-18-2008, 12:59 PM   #23
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And thanks so much for the broad brush assumptions there, big guy, not the case at all for me but I do appreciate your insults. The company in question went bankrupt 4 months after I left, due mostly to the kool-aid CEO siphoning money off the business for his own use.

Here's a good use of my new favorite sig line (courtesy of Harley): "A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort."

Sorry, but this really wasn't intended to insult you. It was my observation based on 25+ years work experience-It seems that those who work the least usually complain the most. And forming an opinion about teambuilding based on a single kool-aid company with an irresponsible CEO is a broad-brush assumption on your part, IMO. Not all companies operate this way. I worked for a couple that did, and they ultimately didn't survive over the long term,or I didn't stay. Glad you got out of koolaid corp. before the fallout.

I always try to maintain a positive attitude.
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Old 08-18-2008, 01:13 PM   #24
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And about that kool-aid--everybody died who drank the kool-aid with Jim Jones, remember?
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Old 08-18-2008, 01:55 PM   #25
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And about that kool-aid--everybody died who drank the kool-aid with Jim Jones, remember?

Good point. And a lot of the folks who ate the Lays potato chips at Enron got sick, too. Unfortunately, people seeem to focus on their negative experiences at poorly-managed companies. But there are a lot of good companies out there who do try to foster teamwork, develop their employees, and build their businesses. They need employees who are competent, dedicated, hardworking, and loyal to survive in this "New World Economy". (You can call it "drinking the kool aid" if you want). I would prefer that employees who aren't work for my competitors.
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Old 08-18-2008, 01:58 PM   #26
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When I was in private legal practice as an associate (employee), I would often rack of the billable hours in exchange for what I subsequently discovered was a paltry bonus compared to my peers and an "atta boy" (i.e. you get to keep your job). My hours were basically 9:00 a.m. to whenever (typically 8:00 p.m. or later) during the week, plus at least 5-7 billable hours on Sunday. After I left, I calculated that I probably made them over $1.5 million in pure profit for my extra hours, of which I received NOTHING. After that, I swore off the billable hour and went in house to a company where I've been ever since.
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Old 08-18-2008, 02:04 PM   #27
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When I was in private legal practice as an associate (employee), I would often rack of the billable hours in exchange for what I subsequently discovered was a paltry bonus compared to my peers and an "atta boy" (i.e. you get to keep your job). My hours were basically 9:00 a.m. to whenever (typically 8:00 p.m. or later) during the week, plus at least 5-7 billable hours on Sunday. After I left, I calculated that I probably made them over $1.5 million in pure profit for my extra hours, of which I received NOTHING. After that, I swore off the billable hour and went in house to a company where I've been ever since.
Remember: One "Oh S!**" whipes out 1000 "attaboys".
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Old 08-18-2008, 02:08 PM   #28
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When I was in private legal practice as an associate (employee), I would often rack of the billable hours in exchange for what I subsequently discovered was a paltry bonus compared to my peers and an "atta boy" (i.e. you get to keep your job). My hours were basically 9:00 a.m. to whenever (typically 8:00 p.m. or later) during the week, plus at least 5-7 billable hours on Sunday. After I left, I calculated that I probably made them over $1.5 million in pure profit for my extra hours, of which I received NOTHING. After that, I swore off the billable hour and went in house to a company where I've been ever since.
On Skylab for every 8 hours of unpaid overtime - I got $1.50 to pay for my second shift lunch - luckily I skipped the lunches or I would have become very fat.



heh heh heh - .
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Old 08-18-2008, 03:03 PM   #29
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I have a friend here at Megacorp who went out on disability, then returned and asked for a "work accomodation" according to the Americans with Disabilities Act. What was the huge accomodation she asked for? Nothing more than a 40-hour work week.

She interviewed for any number of internal jobs -- simply could NOT find a single manager, in this massive company, to agree to this "hardship." Friday was her last day - they laid her off.
My perspective on this is that it had nothing to do with her unwillingness to work more than 40 hours a week. The ADA didn't cover her "disability" Whether she was a good worker, a good friend, or a perpetual screw-up wasn't the issue- she was toxic in that organization when she decreed that she would or could only work the minimum. By putting constraints on what she was and wasn't willing (or able) to do in the position up front, she was ensuring she wouldn't be hired for any postion in any department. Word travels fast, especially regarding personnel issues, and for good reason. Managers are accountable for results, and need people who can be counted on to deliver when the chip are down or an important deadline has to be met, not clock out and go home because they have their 8 hours in. Personally, I would never hire someone who told me in the interview that I could only count on them for the bare minimum, it would only be asking for trouble down the road. People never look better than when you are interviewing them. With her rigid approach toward finding a new job in the organization, it is not surprising she got swept up in the recent layoff.

Think about it this way- would you hire someone to remodel your kitchen by the hour if they told you they would only be doing the bare minimum each day to get paid, would be leaving promptly at 5:00 every day whether their scheduled tasks were completed or not, and didn't care if the job was done in time for your big Thanksgiving Day Dinner with your family and friends?
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Old 08-18-2008, 07:06 PM   #30
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With her rigid approach toward finding a new job in the organization, it is not surprising she got swept up in the recent layoff.
It wasn't her rigid approach, actually. It was her doctor's. She went out on doctor and company-approved disability for 6 months... but no job for her when she came back, unless she was willing to re-injure herself with 60-80 hours per week.
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Old 08-18-2008, 07:10 PM   #31
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50 hours a week is min. where I work. Events at work can drive it much higher with no advance warning. Whatever it takes to clear up the problem. I have worked 4 to 16 hours each weekend since mid July on top of my overtime during the week. There would be people standing in line to take my job if I quit. I dont like it but its better than being unemployed and although Im salaried I am paid for every hour I work. I could be working more hours and not paid any extra which is what most of my other salaried friends at other companies have to do.
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Old 08-18-2008, 07:51 PM   #32
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My perspective on this is that it had nothing to do with her unwillingness to work more than 40 hours a week. The ADA didn't cover her "disability" Whether she was a good worker, a good friend, or a perpetual screw-up wasn't the issue- she was toxic in that organization when she decreed that she would or could only work the minimum. By putting constraints on what she was and wasn't willing (or able) to do in the position up front, she was ensuring she wouldn't be hired for any postion in any department. Word travels fast, especially regarding personnel issues, and for good reason. Managers are accountable for results, and need people who can be counted on to deliver when the chip are down or an important deadline has to be met, not clock out and go home because they have their 8 hours in. Personally, I would never hire someone who told me in the interview that I could only count on them for the bare minimum, it would only be asking for trouble down the road. People never look better than when you are interviewing them. With her rigid approach toward finding a new job in the organization, it is not surprising she got swept up in the recent layoff.
The ADA may or may not have required the accommodation.

Someone who can only work 40 hours a week can still add value. When I managed our law firm we had an excellent legal assistant who went on leave for treatment of lymphoma, and when she returned she worked less than a full schedule. Still worthwhile to keep her and she is still there working about 80% time. Unlike this burnt out lawyer.

I didn't think of these things in terms of "counting on her for the bare minimum." That would be insulting to her and would minimize her contributions.

I also noticed through the years that there was a wide range in efficiency among lawyers. There are lawyers who can spend a lot of hours spinning their wheels. Others are simply more efficient. I cared more about results and appropriate hourly rates than how much face time was involved.
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Old 08-18-2008, 08:55 PM   #33
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I also noticed through the years that there was a wide range in efficiency among lawyers. There are lawyers who can spend a lot of hours spinning their wheels. Others are simply more efficient. I cared more about results and appropriate hourly rates than how much face time was involved.
True in my profession, too. I work fairly quickly and efficiently, but there are many pauses where forward motion stops to accommodate a moment of confusion, or emotion, or whatever.

I learned that listening is much more efficient than talking. Literally - more is accomplished in less time, and everyone's happier.
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Old 08-18-2008, 09:57 PM   #34
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30 years ago I was 1, so I can't comment much on corporate life back then.

I imagine it has to do a lot with the type of work you do.

Some people punch time cards and work exactly 40 hours.

I come and go usually at work sometimes working at home.

If I have a rough week and work 50+ hours as long as everything is done maybe I hit happy hour early the next week after 35 hrs.

-Raymond
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Old 08-18-2008, 10:00 PM   #35
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Normal in most of the tech companies I've worked at is 50-60 minimum, more for managers who are trying to advance. Once in a while I've run into managers who are pushing for even more and they usually start all kinds of counter productive desk-checks. Who's here by 8AM, who's stil here by 6PM, etc. Top programmers may prefer to work early or late or irregular hours and a really good one can do much more (like 10 times more) than an average one. Once the political posturing for visible hours at work starts, the best technical people often leave quickly and that only makes the pressure for hours greater. In the few times I've worked at a place where the managers understood this, there was focus on what got done by deadlines but never on how many hours someone was at their desk. At those places, the top talent loved to show off what they could do and as a result spent even more hours than any manager would reasonably ask for. The motivation was based on wanting to accomplish something, so the hours seemed like no problem.
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Old 08-18-2008, 11:48 PM   #36
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In my company we are generally expected to work 40 hours a week, 50 if in real crisis mode, but it's fairly rare. I think it's a really good environment and employees are happy. Sometimes there are unpaid "opportunities" to work on weekends but we avoid it like the plague.

I have seen other companies whose employees work much longer hours and are always traveling. They look totally burnt out. It seems that in order to show shareholders that things are being accomplished, they are always making deals, but don't have enough people to actually evaluate whether these are good deals worth making. Then because of these poorly performing assets, they are even more stressed out and short-staffed.
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Old 08-18-2008, 11:53 PM   #37
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At my employer ( Major Not for Profit Medical Center) Facilities Management was expected to "get er done". If that meant 60 -80 hour weeks to get ready for JCAHO or a contractor needed an owners rep on-site for after hours work then I was usually there. After a couple of years of this for a mid five figure income I'd had it. Told the Facility Manager that I'd do my 40 and that was it except for emergencies as I was on call 24x7x365. If they wanted more hours form me they could pay the 150 to 200K my position would be worth in Hospitality or the corporate world. They let me alone for the next 8 years.

BTW by industry standards for cost avoidance I saved the Medical Center over $500 million in required new revenue with process and cost reduction measures in 9 years. My reward a $50 gift certificate and a thank you note from the CEO. Oh yeah and an average 2% raise each year.
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Old 08-19-2008, 01:49 AM   #38
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When I was young and more stupid I w*rked overtime, never bothered me. At one place, the atmosphere changed at 5:00 p.m., party time, people started chatting and laughing, unusual place; I didn't last long there, couldn't understand the early morning hugs.

I had one j*b I totally loved, found every piece of paper that crossed my desk fascinating, the days flew by, usually w*rked from 7:45 a.m. - about 11:00 p.m., six or seven days a week. Pulled a few overnighters, that MegaCorp. considered that a rite of passage and would set up lunches for new initiates. Did that a couple of years and went on to another MegaCorp to a 40 hour j*b and thought, now that I know I can do massive overtime, I'm going to stop; never did it again.
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Old 08-19-2008, 03:01 AM   #39
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Economist would call it a productivity increase. Companies can get more done for less money if we all work 50 hours. America is very productive when it comes to getting things done fairly efficiently... we are not productive (compared to India and China) on a cost basis (i.e., Wages).


I intend to coast my last couple of years... no more 50 hour weeks for me if I can help it... I could care less about a another promotion at this point. My goal is to stop working as soon as I can.
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Old 08-19-2008, 07:16 AM   #40
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A 40 hour work week is one if the main reasons I work for the fed gov't. I can't work over 40 hours, unless I get approval from my supervisor. If I work over 40 hours I get comp time.

Now if I just could move closer to work and cut down my 1 hour trip each way I'd have a lot of time!
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