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Should He Stay or Should He Go?


Should He Stay or Should He Go?

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sgmunson
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It's always a positive to find out someone cares about your frustration. I only have so much time in a given day, and getting half a dozen emails on a 3 year old topic that don't point to the addition of anything actually new on the topic is just annoying as all get out, as this is a topic I remembered well without even having to read through the 7 pages of posts. I certainly don't deny that people enjoy expressing their opinions, but Twitter is for twits with nothing better to do, and serves no useful purpose whatsoever. The last thing I have all that much interest in is 24 hours of opinion.... I have more than enough of my own to worry about.

As to duplication of answers helping to prove that the problem still exists, and that the concensus of opinions is indeed on track, I agree that such is true, but I'll claim it was also true as of 3 years ago, and because of the "timeless nature" of the problem, that, in and of itself, is kind of obvious. Thus, I don't really need to have the obvious re-stated several times over for a "timeless" problem. That's another feature of human nature... other folks repeating the mistakes of others because everyone hasn't learned everything yet. It's going to keep happening. I'm just standing up and saying "Hey, wait a minute! - Haven't we been down that road already?"


Jeff Moden (8/18/2013)
I guess it depends. I'm linked to probably 50 or 60 thousand posts where I get an email anytime someone responds to one of them no matter how old they are. It doesn't bother me because I have my email setup to sequester all email in one folder dedicated to receiving SSC email. Since each link in the emails takes me directly to the given post, I just sort by subject and descending date, pick the latest email on a given subject, and then scroll up once I've gotten to the post. It takes me about 5 seconds to see if I need to read more and only about 6 seconds to decide if I want to respond. It's just not a problem and duplicating answers is just proof that the problem still exists and that there may be a concensus on how to handle it. Deleting the posts by subject is easy to do en masse.

You're right. I have commented on the "problem" of people responding to old posts, in the past. My comment is normally directed to someone pointing out that the post is serveral years old and my comment is normally "So? It was a good subject then and it's a good subject now." :-P

Threads like this one deal with a timeless subject. I certainly understand when someone responds to express an opinion about it even if it has been said a hundred times already, especially if they're having the same problem right now. It's human nature to respond in such a fashion otherwise sites like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn would have never gotten off the ground. Although I don't always care for human nature, it only takes a couple of seconds to scan the titles and delete whole blocks of emails even if I take a quick peek at the latest post. That's a whole lot easier to do than to try to delete human nature.

The only reason why I responded to this one was because I saw a frustrated friend.:-)


Steve
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sgmunson (8/18/2013)
I think you've forgotten the purpose of tracking a discussion... to hear relevant points when they are made. I see no reason to have to go spend hours managing tracking subscriptions simply to eliminate hearing any more on a given topic, and I fail to see why I wouldn't want to hear something new on the topic. My only objection is to repeated, re-hashed, slightly differently worded treatises that clearly identify the manager as at least half the problem, if not more, and provide nearly identical reasons to dozens of prior posts that more than effectively communicate that concept. Rather than fingering me for being allegedly lazy, how about fingering the posters who seem to want to dredge up a dead thread by repeating what by now should be fairly obvious?

repeating what should now be obvious: well, the editorial asks people to give opinions for a poll - that appears to be in direct conflict with the idea that each comment should be new and different. Maybe you object to editorials that try to discover a consensus or a majority view?
And I suspect you didn't read the comments carefully; the comments since republication aren't all a rehash of what went before - in fact the proportion of boring rehashing is rather less than the proportion in the original 5 year old set of comments.

BTW, I hope you don't really believe that 2008 was only 3 years ago. w00t

Tom

Jeff Moden
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L' Eomot Inversé (8/18/2013)

BTW, I hope you don't really believe that 2008 was only 3 years ago. w00t


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Boy, a typo sure can bite you (Ouch! w00t ), and once committed, keep biting... Poor Jeff... his bite took out his CMOS battery...

Anyway, you appear to be assuming that the mere presence of a poll is justification to go ahead and post pretty much the same thing as most others. Given that the consensus was in existence 5 years ago, using the poll to bolster your argument doesn't do much for it. However, if you look at the most recent posts, and don't primarily see a rehash of the consensus reached 5 years ago, then there's not much point in continuing, as we're just not going to see eye to eye.

L' Eomot Inversé (8/18/2013)
sgmunson (8/18/2013)
I think you've forgotten the purpose of tracking a discussion... to hear relevant points when they are made. I see no reason to have to go spend hours managing tracking subscriptions simply to eliminate hearing any more on a given topic, and I fail to see why I wouldn't want to hear something new on the topic. My only objection is to repeated, re-hashed, slightly differently worded treatises that clearly identify the manager as at least half the problem, if not more, and provide nearly identical reasons to dozens of prior posts that more than effectively communicate that concept. Rather than fingering me for being allegedly lazy, how about fingering the posters who seem to want to dredge up a dead thread by repeating what by now should be fairly obvious?

repeating what should now be obvious: well, the editorial asks people to give opinions for a poll - that appears to be in direct conflict with the idea that each comment should be new and different. Maybe you object to editorials that try to discover a consensus or a majority view?
And I suspect you didn't read the comments carefully; the comments since republication aren't all a rehash of what went before - in fact the proportion of boring rehashing is rather less than the proportion in the original 5 year old set of comments.

BTW, I hope you don't really believe that 2008 was only 3 years ago. w00t


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sgmunson (8/18/2013)
Boy, a typo sure can bite you (Ouch! w00t ), and once committed, keep biting... Poor Jeff... his bite took out his CMOS battery...

Anyway, you appear to be assuming that the mere presence of a poll is justification to go ahead and post pretty much the same thing as most others. Given that the consensus was in existence 5 years ago, using the poll to bolster your argument doesn't do much for it. However, if you look at the most recent posts, and don't primarily see a rehash of the consensus reached 5 years ago, then there's not much point in continuing, as we're just not going to see eye to eye.

L' Eomot Inversé (8/18/2013)
sgmunson (8/18/2013)
I think you've forgotten the purpose of tracking a discussion... to hear relevant points when they are made. I see no reason to have to go spend hours managing tracking subscriptions simply to eliminate hearing any more on a given topic, and I fail to see why I wouldn't want to hear something new on the topic. My only objection is to repeated, re-hashed, slightly differently worded treatises that clearly identify the manager as at least half the problem, if not more, and provide nearly identical reasons to dozens of prior posts that more than effectively communicate that concept. Rather than fingering me for being allegedly lazy, how about fingering the posters who seem to want to dredge up a dead thread by repeating what by now should be fairly obvious?

repeating what should now be obvious: well, the editorial asks people to give opinions for a poll - that appears to be in direct conflict with the idea that each comment should be new and different. Maybe you object to editorials that try to discover a consensus or a majority view?
And I suspect you didn't read the comments carefully; the comments since republication aren't all a rehash of what went before - in fact the proportion of boring rehashing is rather less than the proportion in the original 5 year old set of comments.

BTW, I hope you don't really believe that 2008 was only 3 years ago. w00t


Waaaay to much whining. Steve, you're fired.

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Depending on the culture of the establishment, immediate termination may not be possible. Even still, I would question the competancy of Evelyn. Why would she allow this behavior to go on? I would question the competancy of the management in general. Why does a first-line manager have to wait for the annual review to address a personnel issue? Why aren't there regular one-on-ones between the manager and the direct reports? Why aren't there skip-level sessions with the leader's leader? I think there is more than what meets the eye here.
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First of all, gotta say Steve, I love your editorials and this is the first one on which I've commented. I hadn't read the comments on this forum or even seen Phil's keen analysis, but had posted my response at cio.com first since I didn't want your editorial to sway my decision. I agreed with most of what James Goodwin wrote. I hate to say it, but the article did say that he did his (core?) job well and with imagination. I felt he's just too difficult of a person to want to do the periphery and in the end felt like if he's really that good maybe he did deserve that promotion, but needs an assistant to keep him well-stocked with notepads.
djackson 22568
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I have had the misfortune to work with people like this. It can be significantly annoying to deal with issues due to management making a poor hiring decision. However, I have seen people make efforts to improve over time, sometimes years, receiving decent reviews all along the way, only to be fired for some BS reason later.

People rely on their income to pay their bills. I think it is wrong to punish the worker for a bad hiring decision. We tell them how wonderful they are as their probationary time ends, and provide employee reviews over time that tell him or her they are doing fine. Then out of the blue we decide to fire them?

The person in the article does not appear to be a great employee. Whose fault is it? Why the people who hired them and managed them over time, of course, telling him how he was great at what he does.

What should be done? Well, the current manager needs to work with the person and MANAGE. Work with the employee. Set reasonable expectations. Don't look for someone to go from a grade D to an A overnight. I know someone who progressed from a D to a C, then a B, but would never be an A employee. He worked his way through his issues and was doing a fine job for more than a year, and was then fired.

I know a manager who truly believes that every employee must be a star. This manager once graphed our department with stars in the upper right, failures in the lower left, and quite a few in the other two quadrants. This manager then explained how everyone except the stars was at risk of being fired. Seriously!

Above all, keep in mind that we are talking about people, people with families, expenses, lives that are made more challenging by the typically unreasonable demands placed on us by our employers. Before firing someone, do some critical thinking about yourself, and be honest about how your own faults led to the situation. If you have an employee who is failing, you need to manage that performance up or out. Give the person honest feedback over time. Give them a chance. If you see no progress over 90 days, a separation may be required. But the goals must be reasonable. If they improve but miss the goals, a fair assessment is in order. If they have worked for the company for 10 years and been fine all along, and can't hit goals in 90 days, the goals need to be adjusted. A new employee that is not meeting expectations that were CLEARLY laid out upon hire should understand why 90 days after hire they are being let go. Adjust the requirements based on longevity. I know another person that is truly incompetent in their position, but has worked for the company for more than a decade. This person knows they are unable to do their job, but continues to be reviewed as if nothing is wrong. Firing them would be wrong. Expecting a turn around in 90 days would be unfair.

Sometimes we have to pay the price of our mistakes, and that includes a company that promoted people into management when THEY weren't ready, and who are responsible for bad hiring decisions.

Dave
djackson 22568
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Jack Corbett (9/26/2008)
I guess I've been fortunate to have not had an "Eric" in any departments I've worked in, unless I was the "Eric" and didn't know it. I have had to deal with "Eric's" in other departments though and I don't recall any of them being fired. In this case I agree with most that "Eric's" deficiencies need to be documented, confronted, and a plan for change developed before firing takes place. While I am big fan of flex schedules, I really have a problem with an 11 am start time and then complaining when you have to be available for conference calls before that time, especially when you can do them from home. I'd let him know that he is required to be IN THE OFFICE for the calls and when he misses one he's done.


Hmm? What about the guy that has to be available 24/7/365? What about when that person ends up supporting an issue all night long? What about a person that works mostly later in the day so he is able to conduct maintenance on systems used earlier in the day?

Blanket statements about how one must always be available during certain hours may be fine for a development team. Those of us who support systems that developers failed to design and build properly tend towards understanding that life has unexpected things come up. Frequently we end up supporting systems that were so poorly designed that they require a twice yearly downtime because they cannot handle DST.

It sounds like your organization, your department, or your role, works well using standard work hours. Organizations that allow flexible work schedules have reasons behind them. Employees who are expected to be available at all times have legal rights to protect them, due to how so many companies have abused employees in the past.

Dave
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There is perhaps one advantage that you as an employer have when you're paying an employee more than he's worth... you have leverage. The employee can't easily bail and get a job across the street, because chances are he won't get paid the same money.


"The universe is complicated and for the most part beyond your control, but your life is only as complicated as you choose it to be."
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