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Old 04-22-2020, 11:28 AM   #41
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These posts bring back so many memories...
And they would rotate back every few years, same idea, different name
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Old 04-22-2020, 11:34 AM   #42
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I wonder if any of them are re-thinking the concept of open cubicles in light of COVID-19. Maybe having some cubicle walls protected people a bit better during flu season.
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Old 04-22-2020, 12:32 PM   #43
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One of the last one of these trainings that I want to when I was in financial services was how to work collaboratively and try all ideas. They showed various clips from the movie Apollo 13. A week later when asked by a manager what I thought of the training, I replied "why did everyone keep referring to it as a movie" I got the blank stare look. Some people really just thought it was a movie.

I was too old for the place and moved on.��
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Old 04-22-2020, 12:36 PM   #44
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They don't call them "soup of the day" programs for nothing. I usually came away with a few good nuggets from some of the programs but most of the programs were just downright BS busy work that helped some else achieve their performance target.
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Old 04-22-2020, 12:42 PM   #45
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Remember the TQM (Total Quality Management) phase. Company flew the whole sales organization to Portland, OR for a 2-day TQM training. This was before cellphones were a thing and pay phones in the lobby of this facility were off-limits. Drove the salespeople crazy. At the end of the 2nd day, as we exited the facility, my sales partner took the binder with all the training materials and dropped it in the trash can out front.
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Old 04-22-2020, 01:05 PM   #46
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Nightmare memories of management's latest motivational books. Purple cow, Who moved the cheese, Eat that frog....why all the weird animals?
I wrote a short story based on the "Who Moved My Cheese" parable. Instead of blaming those lazy workers for being such a bunch of whiners, in my story the skilled, hard-working professional cheese makers had their factory shut down and equipment all shipped to some offshore location where low-wage workers could use it to make Cheeze-Whiz. The skilled cheese makers were out of a job, the customers couldn't get real cheese and the owners got rich.

I was kinda proud of it at the time. But looking back, it was probably WAY too cynical for publication.
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Old 04-22-2020, 03:08 PM   #47
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In medicine they call it CQI. Continuous Quality Improvement. It became a requirement to maintain board certification. We are required to do a project twice every five years. Fortunately I was actually involved in two studies which met qualifications. For the third, I was supposed to self-evaluate myself for handwashing. Actually my patients were supposed to evaluate me, but I was supposed have them fill out a questionnaire. Since I was already 100% for handwashing, there was nothing to improve. I ended up making up some numbers, since I was supposed to improve from 100%, I had to pretend like I wasn’t at 100% initially in order to “pass” through “performance improvement”.

I’m giving up board certification at the end of the year. They want another project, plus $1400. Not doing it.

All of this is a money-making racket for the performance improvement consultants. You know. Those are the folks that don’t actually do anything, but are handsomely paid to tell others how to do the thing they themselves are not willing to do. Which is: work.
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Old 04-22-2020, 03:23 PM   #48
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Old 04-25-2020, 03:57 PM   #49
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Our workplace designated itself as a Center of Excellence and more recently embraced the virtues of “kaizen,” a foreign word meaning “always improving.” I think it ended up making workers feeling underpaid.
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Old 04-25-2020, 04:20 PM   #50
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MBOs and 360 evaluations
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Old 04-25-2020, 04:24 PM   #51
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Haven't run across any old scraps of paper as I ditched all of it.

I am, however, reminded occasionally of our CEO's affinity for the phrase "quite frankly". During our mega-corp's biannual leadership symposiums (ugh) same CEO would give the keynote address. Several of us would play a game to try and guess how many times during his address he would say "quite frankly". IIRC, during the last address I attended, he used it 14 times in 30 minutes.
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Old 04-25-2020, 04:27 PM   #52
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About 30 years ago, my old company had for a few years an annual afternoon gathering for some rah-rah party whose purpose I can't really recall. Our company employees were split up between two locations at the time, one in lower Manhattan and the other in Rockland County (NY), about 35 miles north of NYC.


While a majority of the employees were in the NYC office, the Rockland County folks didn't like having to spend an extra ~2 hours on a bus to and from NYC after many of them had fairly long commutes. So one year they moved the party closer to Rockland County and we in NYC had the ride on the bus including a free bag lunch on the early afternoon trip there. I wanted no part of that as well as the bus ride back, so I told my boss I would take a half-day off and drive there midday (and eat lunch near the convention center). I also planned to meet a friend afterward to delay my drive back home until after the PM rush hour. Furthermore, because I was able to sleep in, I arranged to stay out late the night before even though it was midweek.


But the battle I had to face with my boss to get the half-day off was awful. For some reason, he was determined to make me take that awful bus ride. I told him if I were not granted the half-day, I would take the whole day off to avoid the party. He eventually caved (though for an unrelated reason, one I didn't approve of) and I got my half day. Good thing, too, because the bus ride back to NYC during the PM rush hour was long and terrible (then I would have my own ~1-hour trip on the trains). I learned later that I got home about the same time as some coworkers even though I spent a few hours with my friend and had a nice dinner out with him.


As for the big rah-rah work party, they never held another one again.
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Old 04-25-2020, 04:48 PM   #53
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Haven't run across any old scraps of paper as I ditched all of it.

I am, however, reminded occasionally of our CEO's affinity for the phrase "quite frankly". During our mega-corp's biannual leadership symposiums (ugh) same CEO would give the keynote address. Several of us would play a game to try and guess how many times during his address he would say "quite frankly". IIRC, during the last address I attended, he used it 14 times in 30 minutes.
Reminds me of the days of playing "buzz word Bingo". OMG I am glad I don't work anymore.
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Old 04-25-2020, 06:10 PM   #54
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And the latest - a huge, time-sucking, company wide "workplace culture initiative" wherein we are all expected to share all our little feelings about each other constantly, in an attempt to "improve the culture" (what could possibly go wrong?); wherein we are expected to care deeply about everyone's little personal problems (newsflash: I DON'T care about your personal problems); wherein we have already spent two full days at offsite "retreats" playing games (I kid you not) to bring more "fun" into the culture. Next up was going to be spending time in little groups doing exercises to teach us how to "deeply trust each other" on a personal level.

Mercifully, it appears that the lockdown/quarantine/stay-at-home situation has put all of that on hold indefinitely.

Apparently they realize that expecting us to play these little games remotely, while also dealing with a pandemic on a daily basis, scrounging for groceries etc. might just be a bridge too far.

8 more months.....8 more months.....
The stay-at-home deal did not dissuade my neighbor's company from playing touchy-feely games. Every couple months they have a meeting with all 80 people on his project to go over their workplan and new things they have to do for new customers. He says most times the meetings go smoothly and after the half-day meeting everyone can go back to work with minimal interruptions for the next couple of months.

But now with everyone at home, the 80 people have to meet online with Zoom, and the management thought they better do something for the "mental health" of the team. So the first 30 minutes of the meeting was splitting the 80 people into 10 different Zoom rooms, then every 5 minutes they were given a new topic to discuss in their subgroups.

-"Working at home makes me feel...."
-"The COVID-19 pandemic makes me feel..."
-"The one thing I miss the most now is..."
-"The one thing the company could do to help me cope better is..."

Then after each 5 minute therapy session was over, all 80 people were supposed to use the group chat to "share their feelings" about that particular topic.

In his subgroup of 7-8 people, there was almost no talking other than "what the heck are we supposed to be doing?" He told me it's now a standing joke when people join a meeting online for work that the first one in the meeting will say "Take 5 minutes to talk about how you feel..."
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Old 04-25-2020, 07:01 PM   #55
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The stay-at-home deal did not dissuade my neighbor's company from playing touchy-feely games. Every couple months they have a meeting with all 80 people on his project to go over their workplan and new things they have to do for new customers. He says most times the meetings go smoothly and after the half-day meeting everyone can go back to work with minimal interruptions for the next couple of months.

But now with everyone at home, the 80 people have to meet online with Zoom, and the management thought they better do something for the "mental health" of the team. So the first 30 minutes of the meeting was splitting the 80 people into 10 different Zoom rooms, then every 5 minutes they were given a new topic to discuss in their subgroups.

-"Working at home makes me feel...."
-"The COVID-19 pandemic makes me feel..."
-"The one thing I miss the most now is..."
-"The one thing the company could do to help me cope better is..."

Then after each 5 minute therapy session was over, all 80 people were supposed to use the group chat to "share their feelings" about that particular topic.

In his subgroup of 7-8 people, there was almost no talking other than "what the heck are we supposed to be doing?" He told me it's now a standing joke when people join a meeting online for work that the first one in the meeting will say "Take 5 minutes to talk about how you feel..."


Please tell your neighbor I can relate! If I wanted therapy, I would pay for it. Privately. And I wouldn't be sharing the sessions with my co-workers (some of whom have almost driven me into therapy over the years!)
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Old 04-25-2020, 08:02 PM   #56
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You haven't lived unless you worked for a company that spent the better part of a decade trying to win the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. No need to drink the KoolAid, it was supplied via an IV.
We won it! I think it was an accident 'cause no one really made any special effort and nobody even knew what it was at the time.
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Old 04-25-2020, 08:15 PM   #57
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We won it! I think it was an accident 'cause no one really made any special effort and nobody even knew what it was at the time.
That's hilarious! I have no idea how many $ our company spent in pursuit of the award, but I do know the amount was substantial.
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Old 04-25-2020, 10:31 PM   #58
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There is a company called Despair with some great de-motivational posters
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Old 04-26-2020, 04:06 AM   #59
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There were a couple of rings on this particular tree to deal with.

Periodic 'accountability' meetings between the management team and division president. Suck it up - walk the talk. Don't lose sight of fundamentals.

Within the management team - focus on the fundamentals and only then help each other survive the accountability meetings.

Corporate oversight of 'peer groups' in different geographic areas. Get off my back - I am focused on the fundamentals and not your hogwash of the day. Oversight repeatedly labeled me as the Taliban and not a team player. Interestingly, the different peer team managers would routinely call me for advice on operational issues even after seeing and hearing my pushback to the corporate weenies.

With my supervisors - break down the flavor of the day and figure out how to make the minimum effort palatable to the working teams.

Working teams - minimize the rah rah, do the deed of the day with a little passion by recasting flavor of the day into the fundamentals matching their work. Towards the end of career - there were email surveys to see if managers were 'penetrating' work team attitudes with the flavor of the day.

Saw many careers rise but later burn out because a leader embraced the BS of the day to the point that corporate saw their brilliance, but it would eventually be exposed that they did not understand the operational basics under their control.

Don't miss that crap at all, but I do miss the people.
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Old 04-26-2020, 05:14 AM   #60
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Quality Circles....Franklin Planners...a whole series about "The Customer". We did do some professional image public speaking stuff that was pretty good. I just has some flashbacks!
Fishbone charts, just remembered those.
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