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Did you ever work some place where they promoted the best workers into supervisory positions?

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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-10 01:59 AM
Original message
Did you ever work some place where they promoted the best workers into supervisory positions?
Edited on Sun May-30-10 02:01 AM by NNN0LHI
No where I worked did that ever occur. Not once can I remember one of our better workers going into supervision. They were too valuable doing the job they were already doing. It was usually the fuck ups who were promoted into supervisory type positions wherever I worked. Those were the ones we could afford to lose from the work force. They were pretty useless anyway. At least they wouldn't be getting other workers hurt on the job.

Was it that way where you worked too?

Don
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-10 02:01 AM
Response to Original message
1. No and back in my salad days, there was no way
a woman got that job no matter how good a worker she was.
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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-10 02:04 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. A woman who hired into Ford about the same time I did is the plant manager there now
True story.

Don
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Cleita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-10 02:12 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. When was that? Things opened up for women in management only
in the late sixties and I also should have said that no black person would get those plum jobs either. What happened though is that all the young women who entered the work force at that time got the promotions leaving behind the women who were ten years older than them and left in menial jobs. This is why a lot of baby boomer women think they don't have to fight to keep this right because they don't know it wasn't always this way.
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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-10 06:16 AM
Response to Reply #3
22. She hired in with me in 1973. I don't recall the month?
I hired in May, 1973. She hired in either the same month as me or the month after?

And I think what you said is true about the baby boomer women think they don't have to fight to keep this right because they don't know it wasn't always this way.

Don
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raccoon Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-31-10 01:54 PM
Response to Reply #22
61. Both you and CLeita are wrong. This one knows it wasn't always this way. nt
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ohheckyeah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-10 02:17 AM
Response to Original message
4. It was usually the suck ups that got promoted. n/t
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LibDemAlways Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-10 02:31 AM
Response to Reply #4
6. Yep. Those with their lips firmly affixed to the boss's ass got the nod.
Edited on Sun May-30-10 02:32 AM by LibDemAlways
In my husband's long engineering career he was forced to work for a series of incompetent boobs who got their jobs by kissing up. It's rarely what you know that gets you anywhere. It's how much of a brown noser you are.
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ohheckyeah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-10 02:33 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. And they wonder why good
workers get disillusioned and quit giving a shit.
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Lorien Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-10 02:43 AM
Response to Reply #4
8. Yep, unless I was the one doing the promoting
I've promoted people who were doing their best to get me fired so that they could take my job. I promoted them because they were capable of taking on the additional responsibilities, and the positions needed to be filled. In the end they got what they wanted; their back stabbing made it so unpleasant for me to be there that I left. They took my job after sucking up to my superiors, exactly as planned. However, at this point of the game I've developed all kinds of work experience with various companies. There are periods of unemployment, but I survive. They, on the other hand, have only one set of skills in a field that is swiftly becoming obsolete. Within two years their company will eliminate their jobs and they'll have no place to go. Karma is sometimes slow to arrive, but when it does....
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jillan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-10 03:12 AM
Response to Reply #4
10. Bingo!
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Bitwit1234 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-10 07:51 AM
Response to Reply #4
23. Or where my son works the boss's girl friend
All the employees know but his wife and her hubby don't.
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olegramps Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-10 09:42 AM
Response to Reply #4
24. This is my experience:
During the earlier years of my employment, I was an Electrical Engineer, I saw that the most competent engineers were promoted to management positions because of their expertise.

This change dramatically when our corporation began recruiting graduates from business schools for lower management jobs. The concept was that these people didn't require technical expertise, but ability to manage people. These people had a completely different mind set than those who had come up through the ranks. As this bases was expanded and the older executives retired they were pushed up through the ranks until they dominated the company.

We in fact became two companies; one composed of technical people and the other "professional" managers. It was a dramatic change and one that wasn't for the better. As a junior engineer, I could seek advise from my supervisor to resolve a problem and we worked as a team. As I grew in knowledge I was promoted to a position as team leader. This concept of how to manage a project was abandoned with the advent of the professional manager philosophy that only regarded those with an MBA as being capable of managing. In regard to the new improved managers, you had to painstakingly attempt to explain the problem as they looked at you with a blank stare. Their ignorance of what they are managing is very evident during congressional investigations when the captains of industry are asked technical questions and they stammer something to the effect that they will get back to them with an answer.

I can't help from believing that this is a major contribution to the present disaster in the Gulf. Executive decisions are being made by managers without the expertise to grasp the complexity of the situation. As professional managers they make decisions based primarily on bottom line mentality that often has the opposite of the desired result. In this case with catastrophic results.
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LibDemAlways Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-10 11:29 AM
Response to Reply #24
43. My software engineer husband worked for sociology majors with
MBAs, English majors with MBAs, and business majors with MBAs. These people knew nothing about software or engineering and couldn't give him a fair performance review to save their lives, so they would end up downgrading him because he refused to kiss their stupid asses. The entire division of the company he worked for ended up closing recently because of the incompetence of the managers who couldn't attract any new business because they didn't understand the business themselves. His experience was similar to yours. When he started out, he worked for smart, technical people. As soon as they started being replaced by non-technical people, the whole thing began to fall apart. I would think it's obvious that an engineering company needs to be run by engineers, but I suppose that makes too much sense.

I agree that what's happening in the gulf is the result of a bunch of incompetent idiots at the top running around not knowing what to do.
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AdHocSolver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-31-10 03:14 AM
Response to Reply #24
47. This is my experience also.
Beginning about forty years ago, there arose the cult of management, as "bean counters" took over more companies. According to the cult of management, a "trained manager" can manage any kind of business. They don't need to understand the technical aspects of the business. They only have to know how to "manipulate the people who actually do the work", and the company will make profit.
(The quality of the product or service is irrelevant. Sales are handled by marketing, and customer "satisfaction" by public relations.)

This phenomenon arose at the same time as the "financialization" of industry. Manufacturing companies were bought by "investment" firms, actual manufacturing of a product was outsourced to slave wage countries such as China, and competing firms were bought and merged with existing holdings or simply put out of business.

New companies are often founded by entrepreneurs who want to "build a better mouse trap" or provide a better service. If the company survives and becomes profitable, the financial pirates zoom in and take over. The new management's sole aim is to squeeze the most profit out of the enterprise. Knowledge of the business is irrelevant to that goal.

Knowledgeable managers would not be effective in maximizing profits. An engineer, for example, might question a decision made by upper management on technical grounds. The manager with the MBA would merely tell his subordinates to "do whatever it takes" to accomplish management goals. If a competent underling might have the audacity to question a management goal on technical grounds, then the underling would be "criticized" for not understanding "the big picture". These are some of the techniques taught to future managers.

We can see the results of this business model in manufacturing, in banking, in health insurance, and most recently in oil exploration.
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CoffeeCat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-10 02:24 AM
Response to Original message
5. I am a stay-at-home mom...
...and everyone I promote is top-notch.

My nine-year old is vice president of setting the table. My ten-year old is
Executive Director in charge of loading the dishwasher--Midwest Division.

I worked in the corporate world (high-tech PR) for more than a decade, and I can
tell you that most of the seasoned professionals in middle management were less mature and had
weaker impulse control than my current VP and Executive Director.

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AdHocSolver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-10 03:10 AM
Response to Original message
9. No. The talent decreased as you went up the corporate pecking order.
The biggest group of incompetents inhabited the executive suites.

An incompetent middle management serves to insulate the higher ups from lower level employees, who may have some skill, from questioning the decisions of those above them. This is another important reason why competent people are seldom promoted.

Credit for a job well done always went up the pecking order, and blame for mistakes went to the low end of the pecking order, no matter what the reality.

We can see this kind of corporate model operative in the BP oil spill disaster.


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Violet_Crumble Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-10 03:17 AM
Response to Original message
11. Yeah, where I work it's based on merit...
But I'm in a large government organisation and just off the top of my head I can think of at least five instances where corporate psychopaths who aren't skilled at anything but stirring up trouble have been promoted into other areas because that's the easiest way for their manager to get rid of them...
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TlalocW Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-10 03:23 AM
Response to Original message
12. 12 years ago when I entered the "adult" workforce
First "real" job as a computer programmer. Within a week, I was going home stunned everyday at how real Dilbert was.

I actually left that job because my slimy manager had promised me a promotion and pay raise based on completing two goals by the end of a hiring freeze. When the freeze was over, I actually had an employee review with him, and at the end of it he asked me if I had any questions, and I mentioned the raise/promotion. He got the look of a cornered animal on his face and said he would have to get back to me on that. He sent me an email basically telling me that it wasn't going to happen. I went back to his office for an explanation (of course nothing he said was going to be good enough for me), and I essentially wound up impugning his morals, ethics, and managerial ability, after which he threw me out of his office. I turned in a 1 week notice the next day, and he actually tried to make me feel bad that I wasn't, "Manning up," by sticking around to work harder and that if I couldn't I should at least give 2 weeks. I essentially reiterated my feelings that there was no way I was going to move ahead when my manager was a weasel, and he didn't deserve even 1 week. Got thrown out of the office again. :)

What was cool was that at the end of the day, my team lead, who actually had more clout in the company than our manager, went and read him the riot act over his being a weasel.

I miss being younger, skilled professional in a good economy where I could tell a manager to piss off. :)

TlalocW
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LibDemAlways Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-10 11:18 AM
Response to Reply #12
42. I hate being lied to, and it happens all the time. My husband's
division of his company was running out of work and he was assigned to a project in another division 90 miles away with the management promise that if he did a good job, he'd receive a permanent transfer. For 5 months he worked his ass off, driving 180 miles a day, working long hours and some weekends to prove his worth to the slimy bastards. The guy running the project was a slavemaster who kept threatening the workers with their jobs if they weren't putting in a full twelve hours. They were told to take shortcuts and do whatever was necessary to meet deadlines. The week before the project was up my husband was called in, thanked for his contribution, and handed a lay off notice. When he questioned the head honcho about the transfer he was promised, the guy developed an on-the-spot case of amnesia and shrugged his shoulders.

That was 5 months ago. My talented, hard-working 59-year-old husband who gave those fuckers 20 years of his working life has been reduced to looking for something, anything that will pay him enough to help get our teenage daughter through college starting next year. He can't collect social security so retiring is not an option. At job fairs recruiters won't look him in the eye because of his age. It's a horrible spot to be in, and it's partially due to his employer's lie - which kept him from actively looking for a job while he was still working.
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AdHocSolver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-31-10 04:33 AM
Response to Reply #42
49. I suggest your husband sign up with a select group of agencies that place people with his skills.
Before I retired, I worked as a contract programmer. I worked for companies on projects that lasted from three months to almost two years.

I actually preferred working as a contractor. Most of the projects were started in-house, but the local talent didn't know how to do the work, or the software they produced was pretty pathetic, and needed a lot of fixing up to make it usable (it needed "refactoring" in the current lingo).

Benefits of working contract:

You know the parameters of what is required. Few people locally know what you are doing so they don't bother you, and they let you do the job (usually) including whoever is your supervisor. In some cases, finding out what you are actually supposed to do requires some sleuthing. If you don't like the task, you can muddle through psychologically because you know when it will be done. If they like you and your work, they may offer to hire you. (Here is where you have to be careful about the agency. They will have you sign a contract agreeing not to work for the customer's company for one year after the project, except if you are placed by them. Read it carefully.)

In my case, I was better paid as a contractor, than I was paid as a regular employee. That is because the agency negotiates pay with the customer. (You have to watch out that the agency doesn't shortchange you.) As a contract employee, the customer doesn't have to add you to their health insurance group. Most agencies allow you to join their group health insurance, but you pay all the premiums. It is still a reasonably good deal as group rates are lower, and coverage is better. (However, watch out for agencies that underwrite their own insurance.)

Contract jobs are seldom advertised. Companies have their favorite employment agencies that they use. Contact employers in your area that hire people with your husband's background and ask them who are their preferred agencies for hiring temporary help.

Hiring companies are more lenient in their demands when hiring a person on a contract basis. Gaps in employment are less significant as every contractor has some. The company is hiring you for a specific task, and their main concern is can you do the job. They know that they can get rid of you at any time so they are more willing to give you a chance. several jobs (projects) in a relatively short time is much less of a problem. I got several good letters of reference from the people I worked for on various projects. If a situation doesn't work out very well, just forget that it happened.
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LibDemAlways Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-31-10 11:47 AM
Response to Reply #49
51. The first thing he did was sign up with a bunch of contract houses.
Edited on Mon May-31-10 12:08 PM by LibDemAlways
He heard the same thing from every one - "We have nothing right now."

He's been following up every month or so - still nothing. He's also been checking out the ads for contractors on Craigslist. Part of the problem is that today employers are looking for such a specialized skillset that if you lack even one element, they'll look elsewhere. He had a phone interview with a guy from a small company who told him "You have 99% of the skills I'm looking for, but I'd like to find someone who's had experience with such and such." Husband assured him he could bone up on it and be good to go, but the hiring guy turned him down. There are so many unemployed technical people out there that the marketplace is brutal.

Nevertheless, he's been taking the time to learn some languages and technologies he never had the opportunity to use before, and he remains (somewhat) optimistic that something will happen.

If you remember the names of some of the agencies you worked with that were most helpful, please PM me. At this point he's ready to consider relocation if he has to in order to generate some income.

Thanks for your response. DUers are the best.
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Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-10 03:29 AM
Response to Original message
13. Are you kidding!? The merit system is dead, it is all about politics
and who can kiss the most ass. Reason our country is so fucked up imo. Got off the gold standard and kicked the merit system to the curb for brownie points!
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pundaint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-10 03:48 AM
Response to Original message
14. Ever hear of the Peter Principle? People keep getting promoted until they reach a position
Edited on Sun May-30-10 03:49 AM by pundaint
they can't handle, where they remain forever. A popular book about 40 years ago.
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bananas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-10 03:56 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. You might enjoy this: "The Peter Principle Revisited: A Computational Study (Two solutions)"
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pundaint Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-10 05:11 AM
Response to Reply #15
18. Couldn't read it, but from the abstract it sounds a little like that study where it was shown that
keeping all cars at 90 would reduce the accident rates. Thanks for the reference.
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TheKentuckian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-10 04:21 AM
Response to Original message
16. I'm stunned that ANYBODY thinks the BP management is good for anything
Edited on Sun May-30-10 04:22 AM by TheKentuckian
but hiding dirt, telling lies, sucking up wealth like vampires, and making dirt.

The people that think this way must have only worked for a salt of the earth small business person that knew well every job under them. Often in the corporate world there are people as low as directors with no functional ability or knowledge in the company and even with great regularity there are managers that almost worthless.

By no means is it a 100%, I'd like to think I've performed admirably in leadership roles but that also gives me enough insight to know there can be a lot of worthless people in the upper ranks.

The best and brightest might even be even distributed through an organization, though the well connected seem to clump up pretty good toward the top.

Does ANYBODY believe that Tony Hayward is some super genius? After listening to him and looking at the calls he and his cohorts have made, would it not be about equally likely that a lot of these bigwigs aren't that much different than our ex pResident. Just well connected worthless fucks that kinda fail upwards and as they do leave a wake of crappiness that infects the organization as the impact of their foot print increases???

Again, not always but more than the hope that hard work, determination, and brains will win the day can bear so it's easier to believe that "those guys are on another level" or some such shit.

Some of these folks mostly know about getting on boards and talk numbers or marketing. They are taken far too seriously by some.
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DeltaLitProf Donating Member (459 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-10 04:37 AM
Response to Original message
17. This is especially true at universities
. . . where the teachers who are the least effective and produce the least scholarship always know that the way upstairs is to suck up to the administration and to offer them intelligence about the people trying to change things. These bad teachers and bad scholars end up as deans, who make six figure salaries trying to get rid of people administration or themselves don't like. Most of the time the chairs are pretty decent, because deans have to respect the wishes of the department's rank and file when these are hired.
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Dr Morbius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-10 05:53 AM
Response to Original message
19. I hate to write this as it will seem like I am a defender of corporate types.
I've noticed that the best workers don't necessarily make the best managers. The best salespeople don't usually make the best sales managers. Just as in sport where the best players don't make the best coaches, the best workers don't always become the best managers. Management requires some skills which the best workers don't always possess.

I have from time to time worked for companies where the most qualified worker gets promoted. It's pretty rare, though. I have also seen situations where the best and hardest worker does get promoted... and then fails miserably at his new position. Who usually gets promoted? The one who's best at selling himself or herself; the one which displays ambition; the sycophant.

Believe me, I've been in the other situation where the company has "plans" for you. 'Tisn't any better.
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-10 05:55 AM
Response to Original message
20. my experience is that suck-ups, spies, & machiavellian types do well in the
Edited on Sun May-30-10 06:08 AM by Hannah Bell
promotions department.

earnest hard workers typically get low-level promotions but not high-level ones.

but, having been there, i can also say that most lower-level workers seem to prefer in some way to be managed by someone who projects the image of power -- whether they're actually competent or not in fact. that was one of things that creeped me out about being in management. it's a horrible place to be if your interest isn't power. it's a hard line to walk & keep one's principles. and forget about friendship or solidarity. maybe in a small workplace with less fixed role boundaries.

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Dr.Phool Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-10 06:09 AM
Response to Original message
21. Where I worked on the railroad, it was the finks, the suck-ups, and the stoopid.
The "promotion" to yardmaster came with a slight pay reduction. Somebody who was really good, who wanted the job badly, could get it if they wanted it, but most didn't.

We were pretty much self supervised. A crew would get their work for the day, and if they could knock it out early, they could leave early, with full pay for the day, and sometimes overtime. The yardmaster with the pay cut, had to stay.
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Urban Prairie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-10 10:18 AM
Response to Reply #21
28. I also worked for a railroad (Penn Central/Conrail)
Edited on Sun May-30-10 10:19 AM by Urban Prairie
From 1975-85. Due to cost cuts and layoffs, I found myself bidding for jobs on the graveyard shift by 1980. That spring, two very attractive women were hired by management as executive secretaries, and both soon were promoted into management. One of the women managed to get a supervisory position on the shift that I worked, and said to me: "Now I can get a suntan like you have!!" (I took advantage of the shift I worked that summer to get exercise by going swimming at a lake near my apartment, and also often by riding my bicycle at a park nearby)

This of course was back before tanning beds had been invented. I looked at the woman incredulously, and replied: "I am working this shift because I have to, not because I want to, and what are you going to do in the fall and winter? Get promoted back to the day shift?" :crazy:
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immune Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-10 10:10 AM
Response to Original message
25. Back in the day
when no one was allergic to smoke in the workplace, I once hung a note on the cigarette machine that said "promote this machine, it doesn't work".

My experiences have been similar to yours.
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tabasco Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-10 10:12 AM
Response to Original message
26. The Army.
In the private sector, I have seen some of the most horrendous management imaginable.

The Army is infinitely better with personnel management.
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Edweird Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-10 10:18 AM
Response to Original message
27. The 'Peter principle'. The best workers need to be Lead/Fore persons.
The best leaders need to be management. Those traits are not mutually exclusive, but one isn't indicative of the other.
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slackmaster Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-10 10:20 AM
Response to Original message
29. I've seen that most often in large, publicly-traded organizations like banks
Not so much in privately-owned companies.
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pipi_k Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-10 10:23 AM
Response to Original message
30. Sometimes, but not always
Most of the time it was just the way you described.

In fact, there was one place where I worked that a coworker who seemed to have pretty lax work habits was promoted and it always pissed me off as long as I worked there. She was in another department but was friends with my office/cubicle mate. She would come by and stand around talking for ten minutes, then announce that it was "time for my break".

I doubled up on my production, working like a maniac. It was a pretty liberal company, but somewhat...how should I say this...elitist. Meaning that if you had a degree in anything you stood a better chance of being promoted internally than someone who worked like a dog. If they couldn't find anyone "qualified" enough to promote internally, they would hire someone with a degree that had nothing whatsoever to do with the job.

One time I applied for the empty Claims job. They hired a girl who had a degree in Marine Biology.

Anyway, I worked there, driving myself crazy for a few years, then had a serious illness and had to quit. I heard from one of my friends that they needed three people to do my job.

One of the instructors in Business School told us to NEVER give 100% on the job. NEVER.

I didn't follow her advice and made myself sick.

I never gave 100% again.

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TransitJohn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-10 10:24 AM
Response to Original message
31. Hell no.
We are relegated to 'top' positions in technical disciplines, where we make our mid level management bosses look good to their upper level management bosses.
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Hubert Flottz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-10 10:26 AM
Response to Original message
32. Usually the back stabbers and rats and the ones who took credit
for the things that other folks had done well. Look at the Generals that were left after the Bush Cheney Purge...Ass kissing yes men!
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madokie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-10 10:31 AM
Response to Original message
33. So that explains it
why I pretty much always was a supervisor. I worked construction for the most part and every job I stayed at for longer than a week or two they would say hey we want you to take this group here and get 'r done. Sometimes wearing a tool belt often times not. I go to Navy boot camp, go back to Navy boot camp helping to train new recruits, go to SERE school, go back to SERE school helping in training the new students. So in my world I didn't see what you're saying at all.
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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-10 11:16 AM
Response to Reply #33
41. Weren't you a working supervisor though?
Edited on Sun May-30-10 11:31 AM by NNN0LHI
I worked construction before and on every site I was on the supervisor was the one who worked the hardest.

At Ford when someone went into supervision they called that leaving the tools. Because once someone became a supervisor they never touched their tools again.

Don
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madokie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-10 02:09 PM
Response to Reply #41
45. Sometimes yes
It most always meant less physical labor for me but the work would be more demanding as I'd be responsible for myself and all the others working with/for me. I always believed that a person would produce more if they were having a better time than if they were having a bad time so I'd always try to make their days more pleasant by doing the little things and pitching in where needed. Its amazing the power a good laugh your ass off joke has and how long that feeling last. I miss working more than anything, the camaraderie, the feeling of accomplishment and the feeling of belonging, being a part of something.
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treestar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-10 10:34 AM
Response to Original message
34. Sometimes
To some degree. I worked in places where people who did not look conventional went upward since they had ability.

Appearances are too important. We'll pick the person who looks the part in this society. We need to learn to focus more on substance.
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seabeyond Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-10 10:35 AM
Response to Original message
35. well ya. i had a number of places i worked where the best, hardest worker got the promotion
i have been luky in that most of the places i have worked are good working environment. thinking.... i say most, i cant remember a work environment that wasnt good. i would have to put thought into it.
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Madam Mossfern Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-10 10:49 AM
Response to Original message
36. I work in a government/civil service position
I am considered one of the best workers in the building. Each time there is a notice about a position, I apply and am more than qualified but then the position seems to disappear. I did manage to change position-a lateral move and was stunned that there was absolutely nothing to do most of the time. This was quality assurance! I've moved back since.

Upper management continually gives me extra work to do because I'm so "smart and efficient" and co-workers come to me with questions and problems rather than their supervisors. As far as I can see, the supervisors are for the most part incompetent and are only there because they passed a civil service exam, not because of their ability; and management are political hacks who don't have a clue as to what they are supposed to be overseeing. I have not seen one person at the top who came through the ranks and would understand what our program entails, or the day to day issues that if resolved on a higher level would make our office run much more efficiently.

My reward for hard work? More work. Management knows to ask me. The last assignment I was given, I finally complained about because I was the only person of my rank who was required to do this task. (reviewing proposals) I told management that I had no spare time during the day-not a minute to do this and would end up having to take the work home. I told him that of course I would get the job done, but it would be on my own personal time. I was told that they would 'take that into consideration'....yeah.

I still can not say no to my bosses, so maybe it's my fault. I feel that if I did refuse to do the extra work that I would suffer some sort of consequences. I could, like some of my colleagues, mess up or slow up on purpose, but it goes completely against my nature.

Sorry for the long rant.
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Synicus Maximus Donating Member (828 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-10 11:00 AM
Response to Original message
37. Read the "Peter Principle".
"in a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence". Basically it says that if a worker is good at a job he will be promoted until he reaches a job that he is incompetent to handle its duties and all work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet reached their level of incompetence.
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Greyhound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-31-10 02:11 PM
Response to Reply #37
63. The business world has change so much since then, I don't think it holds true any longer.
Nepotism and cronyism have ruled for most of my working life. The Golden Halo effect still holds true fro the general public, but my experience, both personal and observed, has been that id you're really good at your job, you get to do it for everybody else that isn't as good while they are promoted.

Once a co-worker that is not as good as you is promoted above you, get your resume together 'cause you are on your way out the door. They know you and they fear that you will expose their incompetence.


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old mark Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-10 11:01 AM
Response to Original message
38. No. I worked for the State of PA. The supervisors had some previous
connection with the organization-a parent had been a supervisor, etc, or had good political contacts. Civil Service rules are pretty much only a guideline for management jobs.

They DID really like to hire former union stewards for low level management jobs because they liked them to feel like traitors and have knowledge of the union's "tricks" (as they saw it).

They were the worst group I ever worked for and it seemed like it went all the way to the governor's office. (Rendell)

mark
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undeterred Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-10 11:06 AM
Response to Original message
39. Suckups and Fuckups become supervisors.
Its the corporate way.
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Arkana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-10 11:07 AM
Response to Original message
40. Nope.
Edited on Sun May-30-10 11:08 AM by Arkana
Where I last worked, there were only two ways to be management: you were either a low-level schmuck who schmoozed and ass-kissed your way to the top or you were a completely unqualified dick who slept with the boss.
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johnaries Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-10 11:47 AM
Response to Original message
44. Actually, yes. The place I work now.
Although sometimes they will hire from outside occasionally, most of the management has come from the best and most peer-respected workers. There have been a few instances where "suck-ups" were promoted, but they didn't last long. In fact, 2 of our most effective Senior VP's came from the "front lines" and both were extremely hard workers and respected by all. And they haven't forgotten their former co-workers - part of which makes them so effective, now.
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kelly1mm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-30-10 04:38 PM
Response to Original message
46. Yes - the military. nt
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fleabert Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-31-10 03:23 AM
Response to Original message
48. absolutely.
am i biased a bit since i was one of those promoted? probably. but my peers were all hard-working and talented, almost without exception. We had an amazing team that, from the top-down, believed in training your replacement from the moment you assembled a team. If we fired someone it was considered a failure on our part, and were likely counseled on the matter.

i was lucky to stumble into the job at such a young age- 19- and it shaped my work ethic for the rest of my life. We used words like 'signature quality' and 'if you are early, you are on time, and if you're on time, you're late!'... and still had a blast working together.

:-)

the not-surprising part is that this was a one-of experience...sadly.
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uponit7771 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-31-10 05:24 AM
Response to Original message
50. Find this less true if you're a person of color, tolerance level of incompetence is low and sponsors
...don't want to be embarrassed.
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HipChick Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-31-10 11:59 AM
Response to Reply #50
54. just wow? play the race card much?... I've non-color incompetence promoted due to old boys network
and whatever networks were in place..people read into things that they want to see...
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Raineyb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-31-10 06:28 PM
Response to Reply #54
67. It's not a fucking card.
And the previous poster has a point. It's not an accident that we're taught that we have to be twice as good to be seen as half as competent.

And there's always some reason to undercut you. My last employer would only consider you for a higher position if you got a rating of over 4 for 3 consecutive evaluations. So of course after getting over four for two on the third one it dropped to a 3. (out of 6 rating) Why? Because I made people feel stupid. Am I supposed to pretend to be less intelligent to make imbeciles feel better about themselves?

I've seen it all to often where crap that white people get away with is considered a major offense when someone of color commits it so spare me the bullshit rhetoric about "playing the race card."

In fact, I'm writing off as a racist moron anyone who uses that phrase because belittling the real discrepancies that occur between how white people are treated and how people of color are treated is the type of bullshit racists engage in.
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Ohio Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-31-10 11:55 AM
Response to Original message
52. Yes, once
S2I/SSI in Worcester MA. We did Y2K work for six years then went out of business. Everywhere else I've worked was not like that.
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catzies Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-31-10 11:57 AM
Response to Original message
53. Well, as a non-degreed accounting-type person, I have always been in small businesses
Edited on Mon May-31-10 11:58 AM by catzies
which are usually family-owned, and what I see is mostly that small companies seem to exist as a method for giving useless family members jobs for life.

I will never work for another family's family business again.
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LibDemAlways Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-31-10 12:30 PM
Response to Reply #53
55. I've worked in two family-owned businesses. Impossible to
Edited on Mon May-31-10 12:31 PM by LibDemAlways
get ahead and treated like a servant. For awhile I worked for a small family run travel agency. One Christmas the owners decided to make the staff Christmas party an "open house" during office hours on a Saturday. You guessed it. Anyone who showed an interest in going anywhere was referred to me, and I ended up sitting at the computer booking tickets the entire time while they ate and socialized. Getting time off was problematic too. Their needs always came first. When my husband's grandmother died they made a big stink about me wanting a couple of hours off to go to the funeral because the boss's daughter had a hair appointment that day.

Never again.
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HughMoran Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-31-10 12:32 PM
Response to Original message
56. Nope - surpervisors were almost inevitably failures
Not always, and I worked for a genius type liberal for 15 years, but it's rarely the case.
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alfredo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-31-10 12:38 PM
Response to Original message
57. It was usually the drinking buddies and coke suppliers.
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ThomWV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-31-10 01:24 PM
Response to Original message
58. Generally speaking the best rose, but not as quickly or as high as ass kissing idiots.
In general the best people rose up the food chain, but they wouldn't make it to the top, that rare air was reserved for nosepickers of a very special breed.
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hobbit709 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-31-10 01:29 PM
Response to Original message
59. Way back when I worked for GTE
The story was that when you start working there, you get a bucket of marbles. Every time you fuck up they take one away. When you finally lose all the marbles, they make you a supervisor.
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ampad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-31-10 01:52 PM
Response to Original message
60. No
And in my honest opinion, I do not think the military has anymore of a fool proof fair system than civilian corporations. I'm not sure about the other branches. But I know about the AF and the Navy. With the Navy I believe the process of promotion is fair up until the individual moves on to the selection boards. The navy claims that the selection board process is fair but I do not believe that is the case.
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woofless Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-31-10 01:59 PM
Response to Original message
62. Yup.
I worked in printing factories for over thirty years. Those that knew how to produce quality and minimize waste ran the machines. Those who knew how to schmooze were supervisors. And don't think good performance got you a shot at day shift. "We need good people on all three shifts." Feh. I don't miss work at all.

Woof
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W_HAMILTON Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-31-10 02:14 PM
Response to Original message
64. The only major promotion I've seen at my recent job...
...came when the general manager of our property was promoted to a corporate position.

He was the most useless worker at the property, and most likely the highest paid.

He spent more time kissing corporate ass than running the property he was supposed to oversee.

It apparently paid off for him.

Lesson? Kids, be better at kissing ass than doing your job.
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Populist_Prole Donating Member (774 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-31-10 02:34 PM
Response to Original message
65. Generally NO, but not absolutely
Edited on Mon May-31-10 02:38 PM by Populist_Prole
Over the 25+ years in my industry of employ, if there's any one common theme I've found is that those chosen to be supervisors ( whether new hires or open job bids within the company ) are ones that ( and I've heard this scores of times ) "interviewed the best" regardless of their past performances. As a side note, a willingness to follow orders and/or basically tell them what they want to hear seemed to have strong overtones. This is may well be why being ex-military is seen as a plus.

It should be said though, that when I say "not absolutely", I mean to say that the ability to "interview" well is not mutually exclusive to having a good work ethic and working knowledge of what/who they're supervising; and I've seen some who worked out just great. Really made a difference and managed very effectively. It's just that I've seen so many more who were goldbricks who are good schmoozers with the gift of glib gab.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should say I never wanted ( nor presently want ) a supervisors position as it is to me ( in practicality ) a lateral career move: Small increase in pay, and the work is no longer physical, but more stressful due mostly to the fact you are responsible ( and answerable ) to many things you really have no control over. Not much a trade off to be salaried rather than hourly and be "in management".
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Brooklyns_Finest Donating Member (747 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-31-10 03:01 PM
Response to Original message
66. I am a supervisor
Edited on Mon May-31-10 03:03 PM by Brooklyns_Finest
I will admit that as a staffer, I was never the best employee, but I was competent. When it was time for promotions (and I was promoted very quickly), upper management was looking for a strong, energetic, organized, fair and competent person. I guess I met those requirements, because I was picked over people who had been around longer and who were more proficient at the job than I was. Now, don't get me wrong;I was a good employee and made few errors, but I was not an encyclopedia of knowledge like some of my peers. Then again, that is not what the bosses were looking for in a front line manager.

The managers role is far bigger than processing work. In my job I am tasked at reviewing the staffs work, insuring that goals are being met, setting up a training plan for new employees, dealing with customer complaints, paying employees, opening & closing the facility, massaging diverse personalities, setting up leads for new client base, dealing with any and all facilities issues, and a whole host of other task that come up daily. Many people want the job, but once they see what we have to go through on a day to day basis they tend not to even submit an application when the time arise. I wonder why.....

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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-31-10 06:31 PM
Response to Original message
68. my experience is the same as yours. nt
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