employer vs employee

We have some challenges going on at the office right now.

It brings to mind the differences between management and the front line employees.

Those of us on the front lines have basically two camps, the just do our jobs and get through the day, or people like me who are intrepreneurs. For those who are not aware of the term, an intrepreneur is an employee who has a mind set of an entrepreneur, watching for ways to make the company more effective or profitable as if it were their own.

For an intrepreneur, it is hard to watch what they perceive as managerial mis-steps. After all we are the ones on the front lines doing battle with the customers or the equipment (network in my case).

The employees who just keep their head down and just do the job may have less stress, just following the flock even if it leads to the pack of wolves. For me, I see shit and from my perspective I think I smell the wolves around the bend.

I know that the executives have their grand plans with spreadsheets and graphs, and they may be wonderful, but not to the people doing the labor.

Seems kind of like the 1% and 99% situation doesn’t it?

6 thoughts on “employer vs employee”

  1. I often wondering about things in similar lines.

    And, I really enjoyed reading this relevant passage from Frank Herbert's Dune series:

    From the fourth book of Dune:
    “The difference between a good administrator and a bad one is about five heartbeats. Good administrators make immediate choices.”
    “Acceptable choices?”
    “They can usually be made to work. A bad administrator, on the other hand, hesitates, diddles around, asks for committees, for research and reports. Eventually he acts in ways which create serious problems.
    … A bad administrator is more concerned with reports than decisions. He wants the hard record he can display as an excuse for his errors.”
    “And good administrators?”
    “Oh, they depend on verbal orders. They never lie about what they've done if their verbal orders cause problems, and they surround themselves with people able to act wisely on verbal orders. Often the most important piece of information is that something has gone wrong. Bad administrators hide their mistakes until it's too late to make corrections.”
    “Men of decision.”
    One of the hardest things for a tyrant to find is people who actually make decisions … Most bureaucracies before mine sought out and promoted people who avoided decisions.” (p240-1, God Emperor of Dune)

    God this sounds familiar!

    1. But then you end up with something in the middle, like the "boss" that recently took over my department. Or should I say, moved my operation to his department. Anyway, he only issues directions verbally, absolutely refuses to send them in e-mail, and usually calls one person aside to give them instructions "personally". Then when it is discovered that his decisions were wrong, he swears he didn't tell anyone to do it "that way".

      He's not very happy with me at the moment, I've taken to emailing my night shift counter part (who he never talks to anyway) as to exactly what he instructs, then I email him for clarification (he's Korean so telling him I had trouble understanding him isn't unusual). My next step, if he continues, is to start recording all conversations with him. I've gone to this extreme before so I have the equipment ready.

      1. ok, yes, and I am in a similar boat.

        there's no doubt a practical balance. I just latched on to the Herbert passage because I have actually both extremes in managers: Some who can't make a bold decision to save their life, and instead want to assign status report reminders that I don't take seriously because I know they won't get read anyway.

        And then others who are like what you describe… managers must lead by example including accountability.

      2. People like that can't stand to have their instructions dcoumented. Many years ago i started keeping a personal journal, log book if you will, of my work day. All the phone calls, all the instructions (word for word), exactly what I did hour to hour. You would not believe how many times it has saved my rear-end. My log book has even made it to the courtroom and saved our company thousands of dollars. Recently, in a huge argument with the boss, the reason I am now in the H-Hole I'm at, it saved my butt again, whereas I was able to go back about a year ago and tell him exactly what I did on a project that has gone south and I was being awarded the blame for it. He dropped that argument like a hot potato, however, here I am and here I'll stay until I retire. Oh well, at least I get my pay check whether I need it or not. Sometimes it is better to loose an argument. It's also hard to tell when to do that.

          1. Well, life is not fair. We just have to adjust to what it gives us. Or, change our own destiny by working out of it.

            That is exactly what I'm doing. It is going to take a while however.

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