Comment On Difficult Personality

It was Steve's first week on the job, and he had plenty of questions about the code base and the new features he was supposed to implement. He muddled through for most of the week, but Friday morning he hit a brick wall and needed to talk to Bill, the architect. [expand full text]
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Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 12:18 • by Richard (unregistered)
378845 in reply to 378828
Zapp Brannigan:
Richard:
Robyrt:
This is why the musicians' union mandates a quick break every 90 minutes: that's about the amount of time you can expect full productivity from people before they start getting bored or squirrelly.
If it truly makes people more productive overall, the union wouldn't have to mandate it. The employers would require it, in their own self interest.
If employers weren't sometimes their own worst enemy, unions wouldn't be needed.
Let's imagine two companies, Acme and Bozhead. They make the same product. Acme arranges the pay, breaks etc. to maximize employee happiness and productivity. Bozhead is run by a-holes.

1. Wouldn't the best employees gravitate toward Acme?

2. Wouldn't that leave Bozhead staffed mostly by losers?

3. Wouldn't Acme's happier smarter more productive employees be able to produce more product at a lower price than the grumpy Bozhead losers?

4. Wouldn't Acme succeed and Bozhead fail?

So why do we see so many Bozhead companies? There must be something interfering with the natural, necessary process that allows Bozheads to fail.

A. Bailouts (taxpayer funded).

B. Gargantuan bewildering regulations (enforcement taxpayer funded) that present a huge barrier to entry, ensuring that once Bozhead gets a foothold in a particular market, Acme can never come along and challenge them.

C. "Intellectual property" laws (enforcement taxpayer funded) that ensure no two companies can sell the same product, thereby eliminating competition and preserving a-hole companies.

Can anyone start to see a theme here?

Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 12:21 • by D-Coder
378846 in reply to 378834
B00nbuster:

OH YEAH, YOU'RE SO ROCKSTAR DEVELOPERS. WHY NOT HAVE TWO BARELY DRESSED WOMEN WHO FEED YOU A COCKTAIL AFTER EVERY LINE OF CODE? ARROGANT ELITISTS.

You mean... you don't?

Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 12:28 • by Jellineck (unregistered)
378847 in reply to 378825
Richard:
Robyrt:
This is why the musicians' union mandates a quick break every 90 minutes: that's about the amount of time you can expect full productivity from people before they start getting bored or squirrelly.
If it truly makes people more productive overall, the union wouldn't have to mandate it. The employers would require it, in their own self interest.


That is not a productivity issue. There are physical limitations to the amount of time you can play. Pull too many 8-10 hour sessions without any kind of breaks and you'll be lucky to be able to continue your career.

Hell, you'll be lucky to be able to hold that mop.

Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 12:38 • by Mason Wheeler
378849 in reply to 378825
Richard:
Robyrt:
This is why the musicians' union mandates a quick break every 90 minutes: that's about the amount of time you can expect full productivity from people before they start getting bored or squirrelly.
If it truly makes people more productive overall, the union wouldn't have to mandate it. The employers would require it, in their own self interest.


You're assuming that employers are 1) rational and 2) well-informed. You really should know better than that...

Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 12:40 • by Dave (unregistered)
Seriously? I'd have stopped Frank right in the middle of whatever and announced that I just got a very urgent GFY memo.

Frank, of course, wouldn't know what that is and when he asked, the reply would have been a very simple, yet painfully audible, rendition of what GFY stands for.

Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 12:41 • by Mr Glass (unregistered)
378852 in reply to 378834
I kind of agree, I've never understood why it's so horrible to sometimes do something different than your job description. To stack boxes or whatever once in a while is just fun, and if done in groups, quite social. However what I don't like is people who think that you should work non stop and I the same tempo. Some days, I end up doing almost nothing. Other days, I do a weeks worth - that's just how it is. What I spend time on shouldn't be their concern, as long as I deliver -- which I do, and more often than not beyond what is expected.

Having a boss that understands this is what really makes the difference when deciding where to work.

Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 12:44 • by Dave (unregistered)
378853 in reply to 378808
This must - MUST - not apply to drummers. Drummers don't understand the concept of "stop playing", especially if people are talking, tuning, or, I dunno, breathing.

Then again, I've never played with people professional enough to have a union.

Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 12:54 • by radarbob (unregistered)
378854 in reply to 378834
I think we're missing the dripping irony here... The boss rails against breaks because he thinks they crush productivity; yet he has them mop the floors.

The boss of course is just a OCD control freak with no concept of how to run a slave galley.

Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 12:58 • by corroded (unregistered)
378855 in reply to 378834
B00nbuster:
csrster:
A highly-educated friend once got a job designing exhibits for a science museum. On the first day they handed her a mop "because of budget cuts". It was also her last day.


I'm astonished by the arrogant attitude here. As a highly paid individual, when your boss gives you a mop you do that cleaning work. It's his decision.

I'd fire people with such an attitude just because of their sheer arrogance. If you are too good to wield a mop, you're certainly not good enough to develop my software. People like this can certainly not be trusted to do the dirty work when things take the wrong turn.


If it's not in my job description, and I don't want to do it, you can fucking well ask someone else... or do it yourself. Since you're a manager, clearly, you're probably the most useless twat in the building, so why don't you mop.

Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 13:19 • by Paul Neumann (unregistered)
378856 in reply to 378845
Richard:
<snip />

So why do we see so many Bozhead companies? There must be something interfering with the natural, necessary process that allows Bozheads to fail.

A. Bailouts (taxpayer funded).

B. Gargantuan bewildering regulations (enforcement taxpayer funded) that present a huge barrier to entry, ensuring that once Bozhead gets a foothold in a particular market, Acme can never come along and challenge them.

C. "Intellectual property" laws (enforcement taxpayer funded) that ensure no two companies can sell the same product, thereby eliminating competition and preserving a-hole companies.

Can anyone start to see a theme here?
Richard makes a valid point. It's all these damn taxpayers making our lives difficult. I've got half a mind to use my Medicaid card to ride the bus down to the Dept of Workforce Services and protest after I get my unemployment check. Maybe after this bucket o' chicken and the Rosie ODonnel show...

(Where's the postman with my Social Security check?! I WANT DOMINOES!!)

Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 13:20 • by geoffrey, MCP, PMP (unregistered)
378857 in reply to 378855
corroded:
B00nbuster:
csrster:
A highly-educated friend once got a job designing exhibits for a science museum. On the first day they handed her a mop "because of budget cuts". It was also her last day.


I'm astonished by the arrogant attitude here. As a highly paid individual, when your boss gives you a mop you do that cleaning work. It's his decision.

I'd fire people with such an attitude just because of their sheer arrogance. If you are too good to wield a mop, you're certainly not good enough to develop my software. People like this can certainly not be trusted to do the dirty work when things take the wrong turn.


If it's not in my job description, and I don't want to do it, you can fucking well ask someone else... or do it yourself. Since you're a manager, clearly, you're probably the most useless twat in the building, so why don't you mop.



I'm sure that team-player attitude has gotten you really far in life.

Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 13:23 • by DaveK
378858 in reply to 378845
Richard:
Zapp Brannigan:
Richard:
Robyrt:
This is why the musicians' union mandates a quick break every 90 minutes: that's about the amount of time you can expect full productivity from people before they start getting bored or squirrelly.
If it truly makes people more productive overall, the union wouldn't have to mandate it. The employers would require it, in their own self interest.
If employers weren't sometimes their own worst enemy, unions wouldn't be needed.
Let's imagine two companies, Acme and Bozhead. They make the same product. Acme arranges the pay, breaks etc. to maximize employee happiness and productivity. Bozhead is run by a-holes.

1. Wouldn't the best employees gravitate toward Acme?

2. Wouldn't that leave Bozhead staffed mostly by losers?

3. Wouldn't Acme's happier smarter more productive employees be able to produce more product at a lower price than the grumpy Bozhead losers?

4. Wouldn't Acme succeed and Bozhead fail?

So why do we see so many Bozhead companies? There must be something interfering with the natural, necessary process that allows Bozheads to fail.

A. Bailouts (taxpayer funded).

B. Gargantuan bewildering regulations (enforcement taxpayer funded) that present a huge barrier to entry, ensuring that once Bozhead gets a foothold in a particular market, Acme can never come along and challenge them.

C. "Intellectual property" laws (enforcement taxpayer funded) that ensure no two companies can sell the same product, thereby eliminating competition and preserving a-hole companies.

Can anyone start to see a theme here?
Yes, it's the very obvious chip-on-your-shoulder. Asshole bosses aren't assholes because government makes them that way, they're assholes because they are assholes and they like being assholes. Stop blaming society for their character defects.

And the reason that Bozhead companies are still around is because Acme can't go on expanding forever and as long as most firms are Bozheads and few are Acmes then most people apart from the lucky few will have to get jobs with Bozhead companies. And then the fat smug complacent self-regarding Bozhead CEOs will pat themselves on their fat smug complacent self-regarding backs and tell themselves that the company is thriving because of their asshole management technique.

Very many decisions in business are made based not on the nice rational Adam-Smith-ian principles that you imagine them to be, but on irrational and emotional grounds as a result of vanity and self-delusion by egotists who think of themselves as some kind of Nietzschean supermen.

Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 13:24 • by Bob Dole (unregistered)
378859 in reply to 378834
B00nbuster:
I'm astonished by the arrogant attitude here. As a highly paid individual, when your boss gives you a mop you do that cleaning work. It's his decision.


Miss the point much?

It's perfectly reasonable to ask engineers to help out with tasks that fall outside their professional training and responsibility when help is needed, however setting aside regular time for your "highly paid individuals" to arbitrarily perform menial tasks is called being a d-bag. Especially when there is already specific staff to do the work. The only motivation for this is to demean your staff and aggrandize your own ego. Period.

Your staff must really go to bat for you with such a myopic view.

Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 13:34 • by English Man (unregistered)
Something's wrong here. No way Frank would allow someone to be hired without being there to do an interview himself.

Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 13:41 • by JLC (unregistered)
378861 in reply to 378844
KattMan:
B00nbuster:

OH YEAH, YOU'RE SO ROCKSTAR DEVELOPERS. WHY NOT HAVE TWO BARELY DRESSED WOMEN WHO FEED YOU A COCKTAIL AFTER EVERY LINE OF CODE? ARROGANT ELITISTS.


Wait you mean most of us don't have barely dressed girls feeding us at our desks? I negotiated up, they aren't dressed at all.


That's just unsanitary.

Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 13:59 • by Nagesh (unregistered)
You're all ginoring me and it's because of my stealer acount :(. Dont be haters everybodies!

Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 14:00 • by Nagesh (unregistered)
378863 in reply to 378862
Nagesh:
You're all ginoring me and it's because of my stealer acount :(. Dont be haters everybodies!

I'm meking valid points also!

Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 14:00 • by KattMan (unregistered)
378864 in reply to 378861
JLC:
KattMan:
B00nbuster:

OH YEAH, YOU'RE SO ROCKSTAR DEVELOPERS. WHY NOT HAVE TWO BARELY DRESSED WOMEN WHO FEED YOU A COCKTAIL AFTER EVERY LINE OF CODE? ARROGANT ELITISTS.


Wait you mean most of us don't have barely dressed girls feeding us at our desks? I negotiated up, they aren't dressed at all.


That's just unsanitary.

It's all good. I'm naked from the waist down myself.

Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 14:10 • by Sociopath (unregistered)
378867 in reply to 378834
B00nbuster:
csrster:
A highly-educated friend once got a job designing exhibits for a science museum. On the first day they handed her a mop "because of budget cuts". It was also her last day.


I'm astonished by the arrogant attitude here. As a highly paid individual, when your boss gives you a mop you do that cleaning work. It's his decision.

I'd fire people ... (snip trolling) ...

I'd take the mop, start mopping the floor, slip on the wet floor, and sue the company and my boss personally, for the injuries I sustained while being asked to do something outside of my job description that I had no experience doing and wasn't trained to do.

We'd probably settle out of court for ten times my annual salary, plus my legal expenses. Or, I'd own more than half of the company and "fire" the boss. Either way, I'm not too arrogant to take advantage of this asked-to-mop thing. It could be quite lucrative.

But, if you want to mop the floor, be my guest. I love to put dirty footprints on newly mopped floors.

Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 14:11 • by Franz Kafka (unregistered)
378868 in reply to 378845
Richard:

C. "Intellectual property" laws (enforcement taxpayer funded) that ensure no two companies can sell the same product, thereby eliminating competition and preserving a-hole companies.

Can anyone start to see a theme here?


Dick, that's not how IP laws work.

Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 14:30 • by Matt Westwood
378869 in reply to 378811
ffelthc what:
Anon:
TRWTF is that the begin part about trying to get a meeting with Bill seemed to be completely unrelated to the rest of the story. Seriously, WTF?!?

Oh, wait, it started with him trying to setup a Friday meeting, and then he couldn't because he had the Friday mop-and-slop. So he lost an entire Friday and part of Monday.

I should really read more carefully.


I understood that Bill wasn't willing to spend time educating the newbie until after the Friday afternoon cleaning session, because the chances were so high it would be wasted time when the newbie didn't come back on Monday.

Personally, I wouldn't have the slightest problem with cleaning the office. You're getting paid developer money to wander round with a mop daydreaming on Friday afternoon, resting up for the weekend, instead of trying to cudgel a last bit of work out of your tired brain at the end of the week? Sounds great to me. It's not like there's suddenly going to be a rush surprise clean-up job keeping you at your desk all evening.

So the brand new graduate turns up to work on the first day and was introduced into the office of the managing director.
"Ah! You're our new hire!" beamed the boss, coming out from behind his desk to shake hands warmly with the new boy. "I've been waiting for you to turn up - I've got a job for you to do."
The boss led the new boy down the stairs into the basement where he handed him a broom. "I want you to give the floor a jolly good sweeping."
"But I'm a university graduate!" bleated our hapless hero.
"Oh dear me, I never realised," said the boss, obviously discomfited. He stood awhile in thought. "Tell you what, give me the broom, I'll show you how it's done."

Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 14:41 • by Audrius (unregistered)
378870 in reply to 378857
geoffrey, MCP, PMP:
corroded:
B00nbuster:
csrster:
A highly-educated friend once got a job designing exhibits for a science museum. On the first day they handed her a mop "because of budget cuts". It was also her last day.


I'm astonished by the arrogant attitude here. As a highly paid individual, when your boss gives you a mop you do that cleaning work. It's his decision.

I'd fire people with such an attitude just because of their sheer arrogance. If you are too good to wield a mop, you're certainly not good enough to develop my software. People like this can certainly not be trusted to do the dirty work when things take the wrong turn.


If it's not in my job description, and I don't want to do it, you can fucking well ask someone else... or do it yourself. Since you're a manager, clearly, you're probably the most useless twat in the building, so why don't you mop.



I'm sure that team-player attitude has gotten you really far in life.


But he has a valid point. If it is not in my job description - I do not do it. I had too many examples where being "team player" adds additional responsibilities outside of your job description. If company is nice, team and especially management staff are good lads then yeah I could *help* with something different. Making it mandatory, especially it it is coming from the individuals like Frank, and you obeying it does not make you *the* team player.

Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 15:02 • by da Doctah
The charred remains of what dental records were able to identify as Frank's body were found Monday morning in the break room. And there was much rejoicing.

Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 15:20 • by herby
Frank is why BOFH's were invented.

Now where is the elevator shaft?

Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 15:22 • by geoffrey, MCP, PMP (unregistered)
378873 in reply to 378870
Audrius:
geoffrey, MCP, PMP:
corroded:
B00nbuster:
csrster:
A highly-educated friend once got a job designing exhibits for a science museum. On the first day they handed her a mop "because of budget cuts". It was also her last day.


I'm astonished by the arrogant attitude here. As a highly paid individual, when your boss gives you a mop you do that cleaning work. It's his decision.

I'd fire people with such an attitude just because of their sheer arrogance. If you are too good to wield a mop, you're certainly not good enough to develop my software. People like this can certainly not be trusted to do the dirty work when things take the wrong turn.


If it's not in my job description, and I don't want to do it, you can fucking well ask someone else... or do it yourself. Since you're a manager, clearly, you're probably the most useless twat in the building, so why don't you mop.



I'm sure that team-player attitude has gotten you really far in life.


But he has a valid point. If it is not in my job description - I do not do it. I had too many examples where being "team player" adds additional responsibilities outside of your job description. If company is nice, team and especially management staff are good lads then yeah I could *help* with something different. Making it mandatory, especially it it is coming from the individuals like Frank, and you obeying it does not make you *the* team player.


Do you think Bill Gates or Steve Jobs hid behind their job descriptions through their careers? This is what separates the wheat from the chaff. The wheat only acknowledges one universal job description for any job -- "I do work my employer needs; my employer pays me."

Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 15:24 • by B00nbuster (unregistered)
378874 in reply to 378867
Sociopath:
B00nbuster:
csrster:
A highly-educated friend once got a job designing exhibits for a science museum. On the first day they handed her a mop "because of budget cuts". It was also her last day.


I'm astonished by the arrogant attitude here. As a highly paid individual, when your boss gives you a mop you do that cleaning work. It's his decision.

I'd fire people ... (snip trolling) ...

I'd take the mop, start mopping the floor, slip on the wet floor, and sue the company and my boss personally, for the injuries I sustained while being asked to do something outside of my job description that I had no experience doing and wasn't trained to do.

We'd probably settle out of court for ten times my annual salary, plus my legal expenses. Or, I'd own more than half of the company and "fire" the boss. Either way, I'm not too arrogant to take advantage of this asked-to-mop thing. It could be quite lucrative.

But, if you want to mop the floor, be my guest. I love to put dirty footprints on newly mopped floors.


lol, you're probably American. Won't work in most of the world. Only in insane America it's possible to sue people for that much. Plus, in other countries, you'd be expected to be able to perform such simple tasks, even if you weren't trained for them. Because, you know, other countries expect that people aren't mindless, stupid zombies.

Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 15:26 • by B00nbuster (unregistered)
378875 in reply to 378870
Audrius:
geoffrey, MCP, PMP:
corroded:
B00nbuster:
csrster:
A highly-educated friend once got a job designing exhibits for a science museum. On the first day they handed her a mop "because of budget cuts". It was also her last day.


I'm astonished by the arrogant attitude here. As a highly paid individual, when your boss gives you a mop you do that cleaning work. It's his decision.

I'd fire people with such an attitude just because of their sheer arrogance. If you are too good to wield a mop, you're certainly not good enough to develop my software. People like this can certainly not be trusted to do the dirty work when things take the wrong turn.


If it's not in my job description, and I don't want to do it, you can fucking well ask someone else... or do it yourself. Since you're a manager, clearly, you're probably the most useless twat in the building, so why don't you mop.



I'm sure that team-player attitude has gotten you really far in life.


But he has a valid point. If it is not in my job description - I do not do it. I had too many examples where being "team player" adds additional responsibilities outside of your job description. If company is nice, team and especially management staff are good lads then yeah I could *help* with something different. Making it mandatory, especially it it is coming from the individuals like Frank, and you obeying it does not make you *the* team player.


Yeah, I agree that it shouldn't be that way. But if it's necessary, under whatever circumstances, and you bitch about it, that's a minus on your bonus imho.

Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 15:53 • by Born Texas Proud (unregistered)
You guys have it all wrong. Start up here, and you can get mop work done for below minimum wage.

Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 16:14 • by Richard (unregistered)
378878 in reply to 378858
DaveK:
Asshole bosses aren't assholes because government makes them that way, they're assholes because they are assholes and they like being assholes.

I agree. Government doesn't make them that way. Government stands in the way of the good, and protects the bad, allowing them to prosper even though they're assholes.
DaveK:
And the reason that Bozhead companies are still around is because Acme can't go on expanding forever

Why not? If they're making a better product at a lower price, what's stopping their expansion? (Hint: usually it is the government protecting the incompetent somewhere.)
DaveK:
Very many decisions in business are made based not on the nice rational Adam-Smith-ian principles that you imagine them to be, but on irrational and emotional grounds as a result of vanity and self-delusion by egotists who think of themselves as some kind of Nietzschean supermen.

Again, I agree. The puzzle is why so many irrational decision makers thrive. (Hint: usually it is the government protecting the incompetent somewhere.)


Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 16:16 • by Nagesh (unregistered)
378879 in reply to 378878
Richard:
DaveK:
Asshole bosses aren't assholes because government makes them that way, they're assholes because they are assholes and they like being assholes.

I agree. Government doesn't make them that way. Government stands in the way of the good, and protects the bad, allowing them to prosper even though they're assholes.
DaveK:
And the reason that Bozhead companies are still around is because Acme can't go on expanding forever

Why not? If they're making a better product at a lower price, what's stopping their expansion? (Hint: usually it is the government protecting the incompetent somewhere.)
DaveK:
Very many decisions in business are made based not on the nice rational Adam-Smith-ian principles that you imagine them to be, but on irrational and emotional grounds as a result of vanity and self-delusion by egotists who think of themselves as some kind of Nietzschean supermen.

Again, I agree. The puzzle is why so many irrational decision makers thrive. (Hint: usually it is the government protecting the incompetent somewhere.)


DaveK, take own advise and stop promoting own coments.

Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 16:17 • by ObiWayneKenobi
378880 in reply to 378852
Mr Glass:
I kind of agree, I've never understood why it's so horrible to sometimes do something different than your job description. To stack boxes or whatever once in a while is just fun, and if done in groups, quite social. However what I don't like is people who think that you should work non stop and I the same tempo. Some days, I end up doing almost nothing. Other days, I do a weeks worth - that's just how it is. What I spend time on shouldn't be their concern, as long as I deliver -- which I do, and more often than not beyond what is expected.

Having a boss that understands this is what really makes the difference when deciding where to work.


Simple: It's insulting to a trained professional to ask them to do "grunt work" that is typically performed by unskilled and uneducated laborers.

You don't ask nobility to do the job of a peasant.

Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 16:22 • by s73v3r (unregistered)
378881 in reply to 378801
Don:
Nagesh:
ubersoldat:
New blood gets mop duties.

OMG, so epic!!! Now run!!!


Wow I don't believing this at all. In India we have cleaning crew coming in every day twice to clean floor and carpet. Is this America or some other god forsaked country?

Erm what's the difference between the two??


More missiles, and more Reality TV.

And some kick ass natural beauty, with a huge range of variety in terms of terrain and biome.

Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 16:26 • by Sociopath (unregistered)
378882 in reply to 378874
B00nbuster:
Sociopath:
I'd take the mop, start mopping the floor, slip on the wet floor, and sue the company and my boss personally, for the injuries I sustained while being asked to do something outside of my job description that I had no experience doing and wasn't trained to do.

We'd probably settle out of court for ten times my annual salary, plus my legal expenses. Or, I'd own more than half of the company and "fire" the boss. Either way, I'm not too arrogant to take advantage of this asked-to-mop thing. It could be quite lucrative.

But, if you want to mop the floor, be my guest. I love to put dirty footprints on newly mopped floors.


lol, you're probably American. Won't work in most of the world. Only in insane America it's possible to sue people for that much. Plus, in other countries, you'd be expected to be able to perform such simple tasks, even if you weren't trained for them. Because, you know, other countries expect that people aren't mindless, stupid zombies.


I like you B00nbuster. I'd like to be your employee.

Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 16:31 • by s73v3r (unregistered)
378883 in reply to 378811
ffelthc what:
Anon:
TRWTF is that the begin part about trying to get a meeting with Bill seemed to be completely unrelated to the rest of the story. Seriously, WTF?!?

Oh, wait, it started with him trying to setup a Friday meeting, and then he couldn't because he had the Friday mop-and-slop. So he lost an entire Friday and part of Monday.

I should really read more carefully.


I understood that Bill wasn't willing to spend time educating the newbie until after the Friday afternoon cleaning session, because the chances were so high it would be wasted time when the newbie didn't come back on Monday.

Personally, I wouldn't have the slightest problem with cleaning the office. You're getting paid developer money to wander round with a mop daydreaming on Friday afternoon, resting up for the weekend, instead of trying to cudgel a last bit of work out of your tired brain at the end of the week? Sounds great to me. It's not like there's suddenly going to be a rush surprise clean-up job keeping you at your desk all evening.


1). I'm guessing there are developer tasks that would be a far better use of my time on Friday afternoon.

2). It's entirely possible that there are some fires that need to be put out, but because of the idiotic cleaning requirement, now you have to wait til the end of the day, and sacrifice your Friday night to fix it.

3). Frank already pays a cleaning crew.

4). I fucking hate cleaning. I hate doing it. I do it at home because if I don't, no one else will, and I'd rather not live in filth. But at work? When others are already being paid to do so? It's not in my job description, and had I known that it would be a requirement, my salary requirements would have just shot up $25k.

Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 16:33 • by s73v3r (unregistered)
378884 in reply to 378825
Richard:
Robyrt:
This is why the musicians' union mandates a quick break every 90 minutes: that's about the amount of time you can expect full productivity from people before they start getting bored or squirrelly.
If it truly makes people more productive overall, the union wouldn't have to mandate it. The employers would require it, in their own self interest.


Because employers ALWAYS do what is right out of their own "self interest". There's never any kind of micromanaging asshole employers like the ones in the story, right?

Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 16:35 • by Richard (unregistered)
378885 in reply to 378884
s73v3r:
Richard:
Robyrt:
This is why the musicians' union mandates a quick break every 90 minutes: that's about the amount of time you can expect full productivity from people before they start getting bored or squirrelly.
If it truly makes people more productive overall, the union wouldn't have to mandate it. The employers would require it, in their own self interest.


Because employers ALWAYS do what is right out of their own "self interest". There's never any kind of micromanaging asshole employers like the ones in the story, right?
Asked and answered, your honor.

Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 16:36 • by s73v3r (unregistered)
378886 in reply to 378834
B00nbuster:
csrster:
A highly-educated friend once got a job designing exhibits for a science museum. On the first day they handed her a mop "because of budget cuts". It was also her last day.


I'm astonished by the arrogant attitude here. As a highly paid individual, when your boss gives you a mop you do that cleaning work. It's his decision.

I'd fire people with such an attitude just because of their sheer arrogance. If you are too good to wield a mop, you're certainly not good enough to develop my software. People like this can certainly not be trusted to do the dirty work when things take the wrong turn.

Now I admit that you should spent 95% of your time developing, but it's just no attitude to be too good for any kind of work. I'd fire such arrogant pricks immediatelly.

OH YEAH, YOU'RE SO ROCKSTAR DEVELOPERS. WHY NOT HAVE TWO BARELY DRESSED WOMEN WHO FEED YOU A COCKTAIL AFTER EVERY LINE OF CODE? ARROGANT ELITISTS.


I'm fucking shocked by your feelings of entitlement toward your employees. Just because you say something does NOT mean you get it that way. I don't give a fuck if the boss said I should clean; it's not in my job description, and I don't want to do it.

Bosses do not have total control over their employees. Anyone who thinks they do or should is someone who needs to be busted down to assistant night manager at a Denny's.

Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 16:38 • by s73v3r (unregistered)
378887 in reply to 378839
ih8u:
Zapp Brannigan:
Richard:
Robyrt:
This is why the musicians' union mandates a quick break every 90 minutes: that's about the amount of time you can expect full productivity from people before they start getting bored or squirrelly.
If it truly makes people more productive overall, the union wouldn't have to mandate it. The employers would require it, in their own self interest.
If employers weren't sometimes their own worst enemy, unions wouldn't be needed.


If the individual employees made themselves worth something more than just another ___, they could negotiate their own terms or leave for a better employer.


So a bunch of people banding together to bargain is perfectly good and ok when they call it a "company", but when others band together for better bargaining power and call it a "union", then that's not ok?

Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 16:41 • by file minion (unregistered)
378888 in reply to 378878
Richard:
DaveK:
Asshole bosses aren't assholes because government makes them that way, they're assholes because they are assholes and they like being assholes.

I agree. Government doesn't make them that way. Government stands in the way of the good, and protects the bad, allowing them to prosper even though they're assholes.
DaveK:
And the reason that Bozhead companies are still around is because Acme can't go on expanding forever

Why not? If they're making a better product at a lower price, what's stopping their expansion? (Hint: usually it is the government protecting the incompetent somewhere.)
DaveK:
Very many decisions in business are made based not on the nice rational Adam-Smith-ian principles that you imagine them to be, but on irrational and emotional grounds as a result of vanity and self-delusion by egotists who think of themselves as some kind of Nietzschean supermen.

Again, I agree. The puzzle is why so many irrational decision makers thrive. (Hint: usually it is the government protecting the incompetent somewhere.)


yeah, that makes sense because privatization always works so well

captcha : secundum - from lastum?

Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 16:44 • by s73v3r (unregistered)
378889 in reply to 378845
Richard:
Zapp Brannigan:
Richard:
Robyrt:
This is why the musicians' union mandates a quick break every 90 minutes: that's about the amount of time you can expect full productivity from people before they start getting bored or squirrelly.
If it truly makes people more productive overall, the union wouldn't have to mandate it. The employers would require it, in their own self interest.
If employers weren't sometimes their own worst enemy, unions wouldn't be needed.
Let's imagine two companies, Acme and Bozhead. They make the same product. Acme arranges the pay, breaks etc. to maximize employee happiness and productivity. Bozhead is run by a-holes.

1. Wouldn't the best employees gravitate toward Acme?

2. Wouldn't that leave Bozhead staffed mostly by losers?

3. Wouldn't Acme's happier smarter more productive employees be able to produce more product at a lower price than the grumpy Bozhead losers?

4. Wouldn't Acme succeed and Bozhead fail?

So why do we see so many Bozhead companies? There must be something interfering with the natural, necessary process that allows Bozheads to fail.

A. Bailouts (taxpayer funded).

B. Gargantuan bewildering regulations (enforcement taxpayer funded) that present a huge barrier to entry, ensuring that once Bozhead gets a foothold in a particular market, Acme can never come along and challenge them.

C. "Intellectual property" laws (enforcement taxpayer funded) that ensure no two companies can sell the same product, thereby eliminating competition and preserving a-hole companies.

Can anyone start to see a theme here?


Your entire premise is based on an ideal world, that quite frankly does not exist. Therefore, any conclusions you draw from your little experiment are not valid. It is NOT "government interference" that is the problem here. For instance, if Bozhead is still able to produce a cheaper product, odds are they're going to enjoy quite a bit of sales, simply because many consumers only care about things being cheaper. Therefore, they can still stay in business.

You're also assuming that it is completely painless and that there are no obstacles to overcome in trying to go from one company to the other. That is false; those obstacles exist. Because those obstacles exist, it is conceivable that not all of the good employees will be able to go to Acme. This might be an unwillingness to move, this might be social anxieties on behalf of the workers, a resistance to change, etc.

"Government Interference" is NOT the problem you're looking for in this situation.

CAPTCHA: causa - "Government Interference" is not the causa these issues.

Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 16:48 • by s73v3r (unregistered)
378890 in reply to 378873
geoffrey, MCP, PMP:
Audrius:
geoffrey, MCP, PMP:
corroded:
B00nbuster:
csrster:
A highly-educated friend once got a job designing exhibits for a science museum. On the first day they handed her a mop "because of budget cuts". It was also her last day.


I'm astonished by the arrogant attitude here. As a highly paid individual, when your boss gives you a mop you do that cleaning work. It's his decision.

I'd fire people with such an attitude just because of their sheer arrogance. If you are too good to wield a mop, you're certainly not good enough to develop my software. People like this can certainly not be trusted to do the dirty work when things take the wrong turn.


If it's not in my job description, and I don't want to do it, you can fucking well ask someone else... or do it yourself. Since you're a manager, clearly, you're probably the most useless twat in the building, so why don't you mop.



I'm sure that team-player attitude has gotten you really far in life.


But he has a valid point. If it is not in my job description - I do not do it. I had too many examples where being "team player" adds additional responsibilities outside of your job description. If company is nice, team and especially management staff are good lads then yeah I could *help* with something different. Making it mandatory, especially it it is coming from the individuals like Frank, and you obeying it does not make you *the* team player.


Do you think Bill Gates or Steve Jobs hid behind their job descriptions through their careers? This is what separates the wheat from the chaff. The wheat only acknowledges one universal job description for any job -- "I do work my employer needs; my employer pays me."


When it's for assholes like Frank? Fuck yeah that's the attitude. I'm not going out of my way for that little shit.

Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 16:51 • by Joseph (unregistered)
TRWTF is that I had to read 42 comments before any of you mentioned Office Space!!! Are you kidding me right now? This wasn't obvious as soon as "Bill Lumbergh" was named?? My God people, what is wrong with you?!

Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 16:51 • by Nagesh (unregistered)
378892 in reply to 378873
geoffrey, MCP, PMP:
Audrius:
geoffrey, MCP, PMP:
corroded:
B00nbuster:
csrster:
A highly-educated friend once got a job designing exhibits for a science museum. On the first day they handed her a mop "because of budget cuts". It was also her last day.


I'm astonished by the arrogant attitude here. As a highly paid individual, when your boss gives you a mop you do that cleaning work. It's his decision.

I'd fire people with such an attitude just because of their sheer arrogance. If you are too good to wield a mop, you're certainly not good enough to develop my software. People like this can certainly not be trusted to do the dirty work when things take the wrong turn.


If it's not in my job description, and I don't want to do it, you can fucking well ask someone else... or do it yourself. Since you're a manager, clearly, you're probably the most useless twat in the building, so why don't you mop.



I'm sure that team-player attitude has gotten you really far in life.


But he has a valid point. If it is not in my job description - I do not do it. I had too many examples where being "team player" adds additional responsibilities outside of your job description. If company is nice, team and especially management staff are good lads then yeah I could *help* with something different. Making it mandatory, especially it it is coming from the individuals like Frank, and you obeying it does not make you *the* team player.


Do you think Bill Gates or Steve Jobs hid behind their job descriptions through their careers? This is what separates the wheat from the chaff. The wheat only acknowledges one universal job description for any job -- "I do work my employer needs; my employer pays me."

geoff, you are obviose trol. In word of others, FOAD.

Ha!

Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 16:52 • by Jay (unregistered)
378893 in reply to 378858
DaveK:
Richard:
Zapp Brannigan:
Richard:
Robyrt:
This is why the musicians' union mandates a quick break every 90 minutes: that's about the amount of time you can expect full productivity from people before they start getting bored or squirrelly.
If it truly makes people more productive overall, the union wouldn't have to mandate it. The employers would require it, in their own self interest.
If employers weren't sometimes their own worst enemy, unions wouldn't be needed.
Let's imagine two companies, Acme and Bozhead. They make the same product. Acme arranges the pay, breaks etc. to maximize employee happiness and productivity. Bozhead is run by a-holes.

1. Wouldn't the best employees gravitate toward Acme?

2. Wouldn't that leave Bozhead staffed mostly by losers?

3. Wouldn't Acme's happier smarter more productive employees be able to produce more product at a lower price than the grumpy Bozhead losers?

4. Wouldn't Acme succeed and Bozhead fail?

So why do we see so many Bozhead companies? There must be something interfering with the natural, necessary process that allows Bozheads to fail.

A. Bailouts (taxpayer funded).

B. Gargantuan bewildering regulations (enforcement taxpayer funded) that present a huge barrier to entry, ensuring that once Bozhead gets a foothold in a particular market, Acme can never come along and challenge them.

C. "Intellectual property" laws (enforcement taxpayer funded) that ensure no two companies can sell the same product, thereby eliminating competition and preserving a-hole companies.

Can anyone start to see a theme here?
Yes, it's the very obvious chip-on-your-shoulder. Asshole bosses aren't assholes because government makes them that way, they're assholes because they are assholes and they like being assholes. Stop blaming society for their character defects.

And the reason that Bozhead companies are still around is because Acme can't go on expanding forever and as long as most firms are Bozheads and few are Acmes then most people apart from the lucky few will have to get jobs with Bozhead companies. And then the fat smug complacent self-regarding Bozhead CEOs will pat themselves on their fat smug complacent self-regarding backs and tell themselves that the company is thriving because of their asshole management technique.

Very many decisions in business are made based not on the nice rational Adam-Smith-ian principles that you imagine them to be, but on irrational and emotional grounds as a result of vanity and self-delusion by egotists who think of themselves as some kind of Nietzschean supermen.



You seem to have missed Adam Smith's point. He didn't say that all business owners are infinitely wise and intelligent. What he said was that in a free market, the businesses that are better run tend to prosper -- "better run" meaning able to produce quality products at a low price, retain highly-qualified employees, etc. -- and the businesses taht are poorly run tend to fail, thus freeing up resources to be made available to the better-run businesses. If ALL business owners were geniuses, most of what AS said would be irrelevant.

In real life, even in an ideal free market, the poorly-run businesses do not instantly fail because they rarely have absolute zero productivity. It is not a matter of some companies are 100% good and others are 100% incompetent. Markets are complex, so it takes time to shake out what works and what doesn't.

In Richard's scenario, when the government intrudes in the marketplace, it could theoretically help speed up the process of shifting resources to the more efficient businesses. But to do that, two conditions must be true:

(a) Politicians and government officials understand this particular industry better than the people who are actually working in it or consuming it's products. Government people tend to just take it for granted that one man who studied law in college and has spent his whole life in politics, and who just spent a few weeks (or a few hours) reading about the latest ideas in, say, how to produce energy, now knows more about it then the collective knowledge of a thousand people who have been actually doing it 40+ hours a week for decades. Oh, and that magazine article he read that he is basing all his decisions on was probably written by an academic who has never done any of this in real life either.

(b) We must assume that the government's goal is to improve efficiency or productivity. But of course 90% of the time that isn't the government's goal. The real goal is to pay back campaign contributors, or buy votes for the next election, or, at absolute best, to pursue some utopian scheme of how the politician wishes the world really worked. Like

Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 16:53 • by s73v3r (unregistered)
378894 in reply to 378878
Richard:
DaveK:
Asshole bosses aren't assholes because government makes them that way, they're assholes because they are assholes and they like being assholes.

I agree. Government doesn't make them that way. Government stands in the way of the good, and protects the bad, allowing them to prosper even though they're assholes.

Not in the least. Government has nothing to do with them staying assholes. It's just that way too few companies are good companies, so people are stuck at the asshole companies because they still need to eat. This would happen EXACTLY THE SAME under your "free market utopia". I'm sure there are asshole bosses in Somalia, too.


Richard:
DaveK:
And the reason that Bozhead companies are still around is because Acme can't go on expanding forever

Why not? If they're making a better product at a lower price, what's stopping their expansion? (Hint: usually it is the government protecting the incompetent somewhere.)

Again, you're making the assumption that Acme has a lower price. That's not valid at all. Odds are, Bozhead has the lower price, because they treat their employees like shit, and pass the savings onto you.


Richard:
DaveK:
Very many decisions in business are made based not on the nice rational Adam-Smith-ian principles that you imagine them to be, but on irrational and emotional grounds as a result of vanity and self-delusion by egotists who think of themselves as some kind of Nietzschean supermen.

Again, I agree. The puzzle is why so many irrational decision makers thrive. (Hint: usually it is the government protecting the incompetent somewhere.)

No. Again, you have absolutely no fucking evidence that the reason for these assholes thriving is government interference. None at all. You are drawing faulty conclusions based on irrelevant assumptions. Stop perpetuating this retarded meme until you have some cold hard data to back it up.

Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 16:54 • by Jay (unregistered)
378895 in reply to 378825
Richard:
Robyrt:
This is why the musicians' union mandates a quick break every 90 minutes: that's about the amount of time you can expect full productivity from people before they start getting bored or squirrelly.
If it truly makes people more productive overall, the union wouldn't have to mandate it. The employers would require it, in their own self interest.


If it truly makes people more productive overal, the unions would be fighting it tooth and nail.

Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 16:55 • by s73v3r (unregistered)
378896 in reply to 378885
Richard:
s73v3r:
Richard:
Robyrt:
This is why the musicians' union mandates a quick break every 90 minutes: that's about the amount of time you can expect full productivity from people before they start getting bored or squirrelly.
If it truly makes people more productive overall, the union wouldn't have to mandate it. The employers would require it, in their own self interest.


Because employers ALWAYS do what is right out of their own "self interest". There's never any kind of micromanaging asshole employers like the ones in the story, right?
Asked and answered, your honor.

Not answered to any satisfaction. Your reasoning is completely faulty, and based on the faulty and incorrect assumptions that all people are perfectly rational.

Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 16:58 • by Jay (unregistered)
Back in the bad old days, secretaries or other relatively-low paid people made coffee, tidied up files, and other such menial tasks, so that the higher-paid people could concentrate on their work. But today that is considered insulting and demeaning to secretaries, so now we have people being paid $50 an hour to make coffee and shop for paper clips.

On the flip side, nobody can really be productive for 8 or 9 straight hours a day with no breaks. So I usually don't mind taking a break from programming to do some menial work, just to clear my head.

Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 17:01 • by s73v3r (unregistered)
378898 in reply to 378893
Jay:
DaveK:
Richard:
Zapp Brannigan:
Richard:
Robyrt:
This is why the musicians' union mandates a quick break every 90 minutes: that's about the amount of time you can expect full productivity from people before they start getting bored or squirrelly.
If it truly makes people more productive overall, the union wouldn't have to mandate it. The employers would require it, in their own self interest.
If employers weren't sometimes their own worst enemy, unions wouldn't be needed.
Let's imagine two companies, Acme and Bozhead. They make the same product. Acme arranges the pay, breaks etc. to maximize employee happiness and productivity. Bozhead is run by a-holes.

1. Wouldn't the best employees gravitate toward Acme?

2. Wouldn't that leave Bozhead staffed mostly by losers?

3. Wouldn't Acme's happier smarter more productive employees be able to produce more product at a lower price than the grumpy Bozhead losers?

4. Wouldn't Acme succeed and Bozhead fail?

So why do we see so many Bozhead companies? There must be something interfering with the natural, necessary process that allows Bozheads to fail.

A. Bailouts (taxpayer funded).

B. Gargantuan bewildering regulations (enforcement taxpayer funded) that present a huge barrier to entry, ensuring that once Bozhead gets a foothold in a particular market, Acme can never come along and challenge them.

C. "Intellectual property" laws (enforcement taxpayer funded) that ensure no two companies can sell the same product, thereby eliminating competition and preserving a-hole companies.

Can anyone start to see a theme here?
Yes, it's the very obvious chip-on-your-shoulder. Asshole bosses aren't assholes because government makes them that way, they're assholes because they are assholes and they like being assholes. Stop blaming society for their character defects.

And the reason that Bozhead companies are still around is because Acme can't go on expanding forever and as long as most firms are Bozheads and few are Acmes then most people apart from the lucky few will have to get jobs with Bozhead companies. And then the fat smug complacent self-regarding Bozhead CEOs will pat themselves on their fat smug complacent self-regarding backs and tell themselves that the company is thriving because of their asshole management technique.

Very many decisions in business are made based not on the nice rational Adam-Smith-ian principles that you imagine them to be, but on irrational and emotional grounds as a result of vanity and self-delusion by egotists who think of themselves as some kind of Nietzschean supermen.



You seem to have missed Adam Smith's point. He didn't say that all business owners are infinitely wise and intelligent. What he said was that in a free market, the businesses that are better run tend to prosper -- "better run" meaning able to produce quality products at a low price, retain highly-qualified employees, etc. -- and the businesses taht are poorly run tend to fail, thus freeing up resources to be made available to the better-run businesses. If ALL business owners were geniuses, most of what AS said would be irrelevant.

In real life, even in an ideal free market, the poorly-run businesses do not instantly fail because they rarely have absolute zero productivity. It is not a matter of some companies are 100% good and others are 100% incompetent. Markets are complex, so it takes time to shake out what works and what doesn't.

In Richard's scenario, when the government intrudes in the marketplace, it could theoretically help speed up the process of shifting resources to the more efficient businesses. But to do that, two conditions must be true:

(a) Politicians and government officials understand this particular industry better than the people who are actually working in it or consuming it's products. Government people tend to just take it for granted that one man who studied law in college and has spent his whole life in politics, and who just spent a few weeks (or a few hours) reading about the latest ideas in, say, how to produce energy, now knows more about it then the collective knowledge of a thousand people who have been actually doing it 40+ hours a week for decades. Oh, and that magazine article he read that he is basing all his decisions on was probably written by an academic who has never done any of this in real life either.

(b) We must assume that the government's goal is to improve efficiency or productivity. But of course 90% of the time that isn't the government's goal. The real goal is to pay back campaign contributors, or buy votes for the next election, or, at absolute best, to pursue some utopian scheme of how the politician wishes the world really worked. Like


You mention that the "better run" businesses would prosper, because "better run" means being able to produce more products at a lower price, and retain better talent. But that can often be at odds with one another. Depending on what market you're in, often price is the only thing that consumers really care about. Thus, the one that can produce things cheapest will win, or at least have some significant market share. A lot of companies feel that treating their workers like shit allows them to make things cheaper.

I don't believe your assumption A is valid in the least. There's a reason Congress tends to hold lots of hearings on things.

As for B, I don't think perfect efficiency should be a concern to the government. China is pretty God damned efficient, but I don't think you'll see anyone here, at least who's not a member of the 1%, who would want to have labor conditions like China's. Government should care more about making things better for the people than caring about efficiency.

Re: Difficult Personality

2012-04-10 17:07 • by shadowman
As a general rule, anyone who uses the word "snowflake" in that context usually has their head up their ass. Likely belongs to the Misaimed Fandom of the movie Fight Club.
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