Random & Incoherent
Monday, April 10, 2006
  Time is on your side
It’s taken me about a week to fully digest the “conference” I had with my boss regarding time management. And that’s the nice way of saying it. I had been chastised for being “late”. Late for what, I ask? I don’t do shift work. I do not punch a clock. I am, what is referred to as, a “management employee”. And since I have no direct reports, no people that I manage, what does that leave? The only thing left is for me to manage is myself, my work, and my TIME!

I don’t work in a call center doing shift work, expected to pick up a phone at a certain time every day. Hell, all of the work that I do could be done from home. I have an internet connection, a printer, and a fax line. But every other week, when I once again naively inquire as to the possibility of telecommuting, I am informed that it just wouldn’t be the same if I weren’t in the office. No further explanation given. And I know from the few times that I have worked from home, I am exponentially more productive then when I am forced to deal with the mundane inanities of the workplace.
Now, had I been late to a meeting or a conference, I could understand the need for that to be addressed. Any time restrictions that are placed upon me are simply a way of being observed. Making sure I’m a good little cube farmer, cultivating my cube, making sure it gets eight hours of Kevin so that it can grow big and strong. And per usual tactic, when pressed about why this was so important, the blame was shifted to a higher level of management. The old “it’s not me that cares when you come in to work, it’s upper management”.
I asked what it mattered as long as the work was getting done. If there were no complaints about the work being accomplished in a timely manner, than why did my shining visage even need to be seen at all?
There is no logical answer to that question. But there is a corporate one. Not one that’s written in any employee manual/handbook. Just an unwritten, unspoken rule. If you can’t be physically seen, you can’t possibly be productive. Logically, if the work load is being completed, it shouldn’t matter if it takes 4 hours or 8 hours or even 18 hours. Is the job getting done? Doesn’t matter. Apparently, as long as I show up at a predetermined time every day, without being late, I can basically sit around and look like I’m working without actually getting anything accomplished and all’s well.

I counter with: “I haven’t been to a meeting in 5 years that’s started on time”. At a minimum, every meeting I’ve been to in the last 5 years has started 10 minutes late. Now, 10 minutes doesn’t sound all that bad. But when you compound that 10 minutes by the number of people in the meeting, that adds up quick to a boatload of lost (possible) productivity. But nobody has been sent through the wringer for showing up late to a meeting, at least not that I know about.

I would hate to see what a company looks like when it is run efficiently and fairly. Might even turn a profit and not be forced to downsize every year.

Let the countdown begin
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Kevin O'Mellan (Whittington Appraisals): Appraiser in Salisbury, Rowan County, North Carolina

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