Journey of Life

the place formerly known as control your destiny


I am going to go a little off topic on this post but there are things I feel I need to get off my chest! (Hopefully at the end of it there may be a positive  outcome!!)

I am getting more and more frustrated with incompetent managers whose “job title” have gone to their heads as if that title gives them a license to treat everyone else as second class citizens. Even more frustrating is the fact that they serve no purpose other than to control a work force who, if were left and trusted to get on with their jobs wouldn’t need a manager in the first place!

I know there are exceptions and I am specifically talking about the leadership I have experienced in the industry I work in, particular my current job, so if you work as a manager please understand that this is not directed at you, and I am sure that you belong to the exception anyway.

I have been extremely lucky in some of the people I have had the pleasure of working with/for.

But my point is; what value does a manager actually bring to the table? They don’t create revenue as they are too busy managing (not sure what exactly) or in fact too busy justifying their own position by creating unnecessary work for the people below them to prove to the manager above them they have done something of value!! Who created this ridiculous system of so many levels of managers/directors/bosses who in fact manages nothing other than creating more unproductive work for the people they are allegedly managing?

What happened to putting trust in the people these “so called” managers employed in the first place to create revenue for the company/business? When they decided to offer the job to someone, they must have had some faith in that person’s ability to do the job.

What happened to leading from the front by showing your employees how they could better themselves by encouragement as opposed to  consequence management and micro management, which only results in paralysis of a work force because they end up being too afraid of making a mistake which cripples productivity.

What happened?

We can carry on blaming the current global financial crisis for all of this, but I am beginning to wonder if this weird system of having to constantly manage and control people at the bottom of the corporate ladder is part of the reason why we are in this financial mess in the first place!

I am fully aware that the main reasons for the situation we are all in has very little to do with this but then again, why is it that the companies who seem to be unaffected or less affected by the financial crisis  are the companies who treat their staff with respect and encouragement. And why is it that the companies that are having to cut back on costs are laying of the people who are bringing in the revenue?

I am currently working for a company who employs around 130,000 worldwide and to them I am nothing more than a number! Whenever I ring any headoffice department, the first question I am asked is: “What is your staff number? Never in my entire life have I had the desire to be identified by a number! I am not suggesting or even expecting that people on the other end of the telephone should instantly know my name, but surely there must be a better way than just a number!

What happened to individuality? Are we all reduced to being just a number?

I used to convince myself that the people at the very top knew what they were doing and that their vision was great but now I am at the belief that they have no concept of what actually happens in reality.

On a positive note,my immediate boss is actually wonderful and very supportive and I really am grateful for that. (i realise you may doubt that at this point!)

Then alongside of the management are the staff who are allegedly there to support you in your job (The ones that asks you for your number!!). I am dependent on these people to carry out my job properly, which frustrates me even more when they can’t even get the basic stuff right, which then lands back on my desk in the shape of another problem to sort out! I am sick and tired of having to solve problems created by people with no common sense whatsoever and no apparent desire to take just a little bit of responsibility for their own job.

Maybe I am the stupid one here! Maybe, if I employed the same indifferent attitude, I would be able to go home with peace of mind instead of feeling my blood pressure going up the scale faster than a rocket.

Sometimes I wonder if I am actually working for the same company as the support network at head office and the call centres, (which is seperate rant altogether) and also why the people who actually have the power to change and improve the systems continue to bury their heads in the sand. They all know there are systems and processes that do not work and yet they never do anything to change it. We just get presented with a load of excuses for why it doesn’t work, which does no one any good whatsoever.

I rarely get to the stage I am at right now and I fully realise that the main problem lies with how I “choose” deal with these frustrations and also the fact that I chose to think about all the things I thought were wrong with the people and systems. Since my last post I know that this is my perception.

Once the rant is over and I get it out of my system I can start to see it from a different perspective and I can begin to understand that the people I refer to as incompetent are doing the best that they can at that given moment. Their best may just simply be out of sync with what my expectations are. When I am totally honest with myself I realise that sometimes I too fail to get the basic stuff right, which then sometimes lead me down the path of procrastination where blaming everyone and everything seems like the best option, until of course I get some kind of wake-up call!

Sometimes I find it difficult to be totally honest with myself because when I can find someone else to blame at least I don’t have to admit that there may be things I need to work on!

I also realise that when I get into this kind of state, it’s because I react automatically or by impulse and blowing the problems out of proportion instead of taking  a deep breath and finding a better way of dealing with it.

Blaming others by saying that they are the reason I get frustrated solves nothing at all. In fact I am the only one to blame as I am the one letting myself get frustrated from other people’s behaviour.

Did the above rant solve anything? No not really, although I feel a lot better than before.

More importantly it made me realise that, despite the fact that I could have chosen to find another job at any time, I am still there, which makes me wonder why. The only answer I can think of is that I have more to learn and maybe my current job is the perfect training ground for some of the lessons I need to learn.


6 responses to “Frustration

  1. viv66 March 22, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    My own boss has been promoted to beyond her level of competency…. which brings a dilemma for us all. Do we help out when things get sticky or let things fall apart?
    I’d make a lousy boss myself so its probably just as well I will never get to that position…

  2. J March 23, 2009 at 4:57 pm

    I have had that dilemma a few times too and I have always wanted to help out rather than let things fall apart, but on reflection did I actually help out or disguise the fact that the boss in question was beyond his or her level of competency?

  3. viv66 March 23, 2009 at 7:23 pm

    I made a decision that where it is not in my own interest I will not help out. Things I might have done gladly just for the sake of being thought helpful are now out. I got phoned today to ask if I would (for free) talk to two classes of year 9 about why choosing a modern langauge is a good option. This is not even for the organisation i work for, merely the school we share premises with. I said no and said why I said no: ie if the teachers cannot put together a good enough case for their subject what use am I likely to be? Once I would have said yes, to be obliging, but now, no. I’d have had to write a script, do some research, give up most of my morning and get nothing for it.
    It’s a fine line between helping and between covering. I’ve done too much covering for people who would not do the same for me, and I am tired of being walked all over.

  4. shiona March 24, 2009 at 6:56 pm

    I had to wait for four days before I could express my view as this is such a painful issue with me that I find myself in a boiling fury every time the topic of incompetent bosses comes up.

    I honestly used to think it was something typical of this part of the world where I live, of former socialist countries where business people have not learned how to appreciate and stimulate their employees yet. But it’s probably all over the world.

    One thing I fail to figure out is how they expect you to be loyal and efficient when they treat you like an inanimate object created for the sole purpose of serving them? The science of psychology has provided substantial proofs that payment is hardly the most attractive aspect of a job. On the contrary, many would prefer to work for an employer with whom they would be paid less but treated in a way that makes them feel estimated and valuable to the company. It is only then that staff is ready to really contribute to the progress of the company they work for.

    Unfortunately, the majority of business owners in my country are very far from being able to realize this simple truth.

    • J March 25, 2009 at 6:04 am

      I don’t think this isssue is unique to any specific part of the world or any country. I think it happens everywhere to a certain degree.
      A company is only as good as the people they employ and the sooner they learn that appreciation and encouragement will achieve far better results, the better.

  5. viv66 March 24, 2009 at 8:29 pm

    “One thing I fail to figure out is how they expect you to be loyal and efficient when they treat you like an inanimate object created for the sole purpose of serving them?”
    Oh boy, you got it right there! I couldn’t agree more, Shiona!

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