Monday, September 1, 2008

The Ole' Timer

Ok fellow Turtles. It's been a long long time since I posted and I'm very sorry. I have some new material to post that I think you will all enjoy. So let's start in with my bounce-back post below:

I've been at my new company for almost 8 months and it's taken that long to really get the lay of the land. My new company is way better than my past company by far. However there are still the a few characters lurking around that are sometimes amusing and other times annoying.

There is one character at my new company that I'm sure many of you have at the company you work at. This character though is very rare but if you're lucky enough to have an "ole' timer" at your company you know just how hard it is to work with them.

The ole' timer at my company is 66 years old and has been working at my company for over 48 years. Side note: It's kinda creepy when you have someone working at a company for longer than you have been alive. She began working at my company right out of high school and has just hung on over the years.

This lady is completely untouchable as she as seen by the owners of my company as a good and loyal employee. The reality is that she completely annoys the shit out of me and everyone else. Her job title is "unknown" as she is dispatched to do things that no one else wants to do. The best is that she combats any change with a reference of how things "used to be done" back in the stone age. She is so beloved that she even has a reserved parking space right next to the door.

The topper of it all though it how this lady dresses. She is a cross between a biker chick and a hippy. During the summer she wears halter tops without a bra and believe me she needs one. Her boobs actually scare me as they dangle near her waste and flop all over the place yet she is never told about her attire or lack of "support".

If you have an ole' timer at your company that is as beloved as the one I have I have some simple advice for you. You can't possibly ignore someone like this but what you can do is passively listen. This technique, if utilized effectively, makes it look like you are really listening to the ole' timer, but in reality you are not. As the ole' timer is talking make sure you nod or shake your head in agreement. Throw in a "good idea" or "wow" every so often to really make them thing you are interested in what they are saying. You must maintain a balance of this though as you don't want the conversation to draw out. Once you have passively listened enough and given you audible and non-audible acknowledgements kill the conversation by thanking them. If this doesn't work you can also use the "bathroom" or "late for a meeting/appointment" ending.

The passive listening approach when dealing with an ole' timer lets you go away a winner as the ole' timer believes you have "heard" them out and will actually speak highly of you to others, which alleviates you from any bullshit. Now if you have a female ole' time with large, un-ruley boobs like mine also avoid looking at the boobs. The boobs can be like Medusa's hair and paralyze you in fear as they shift and shimmy. Maintain eye contact at all times to avoid this. Remember you are a turtle and you must keep to your turtle principles. You don't want to get drawn too far out of your shell!!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Damn Klingons

I know...I's been way too long since my last post. Things are still great and I'm thriving as a wolf. A recap of the past 5 months in my new job at my new company include:

  1. Being given an IPOD Touch for "doing a great job"
  2. Being promoted to VP for "doing a great job"
  3. Being given a $9k bonus for "doing a great job"

I'm seriously very lucky to be in the position I'm in. I bust my ars day in and day out, but finally the rewards and recognition are there! I wake up daily ready and willing to go to work and make a difference.

However as things continue to go well at my new company the klingons from my past company keep calling. Yes, I receive almost daily calls and emails from people from my former company asking me to "get them a job" or "put in a good word for them". I was in a meeting and was paged, picked up the phone and it was one of my former co-workers "trying to get a hold of me". Ridiculous!

I don't mind helping people, but I earned what I have. The one guy who keeps calling me basically wants any open position at my company and wants me to "get him in". The problem is that he isn't qualified for any of the position. The other problem is that he only bothers me to ask me to get him a job.

I'm sure many of you Turtles out there are shocked and upset that I wouldn't help. I would, but I'm not going to be phone and email stalked by people who really don't deserve what I had to work hard to get. I have hired on people that I thought were a good fit for my new company, but I'm not bringing on klingons from my past to bring aboard the old bullshit I used to deal with.

It's frustrating, but yet another example of the benefit of being a wolf. When you're a wolf you make your opportunities, you don't expect others to make them for you!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Dead Weight

A Turtle becomes a Turtle because of "dead weight" surrounding them. The several clueless and unproductive co-workers or idiotic fat cat boss drive a Wolf (high performer) to become a Turtle as there is no reward for high performance in dead weight work environments.

Many a Turtle out there probably sees this and wonders "why the hell would a company want to keep around so many people doing so little?" This question is simple to answer. Actually addressing dead weight at a company is not pleasant and requires follow-up and work by a boss. Many bosses don't want to deal with the unpleasant thought of actually having to discipline or even fire workers that jerk around doing nothing all day. This lack of action over time creates the environment you're probably in now. One dead weight worker will bread other dead weight workers as they lack of action by the boss tells employees "it's ok to be unproductive and clueless."

In addition many dead weight workers are ass kissers and you know the incompetent boss likes his or her ass kissed and frequently, so now not only is the dead weight worker allowed to goof off all day, but somehow they get better raises and perks that you as a good worker don't get. It's truly amazing to see this environment and unfortunately at my past company I had to deal with it by implementing my Turtle Philosophy.

As you know I finally left my old company a few months ago and joined a really good company. My new company is trying to grow, has active management that understands that improvement is needed. An interesting thing is starting to happen as a result. For the first time in my career I'm seeing the "dead weight" get dumped. My new company realizes that every position counts and you can't have worthless dead weight employees cluttering things up and making it harder for people who want to try and succeed. This is a "wolf environment" and performance and results are the expectation and rewards follow.

I know it's only been a few months a my new company, but I am encouraged. It is great to have leadership that understands and is competent. I have been working my shell off and I finally feel I'm able to achieve. In my first few months at my new company I've received more positive feedback in encouragement than I have in the past 15 years I've been working combined. I'm a wolf in a wolf environment and dead weight just doesn't cut it. It's good to be a wolf!!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Life is Good!

I know it's been a while since my last post and I apologize to my fellow turtles out there. It's been over two months at my new job and life is very good so far!

A fellow Turtle commented in an earlier post and wanted to know the difference between my new job vs. my old job. Let me see....

New Job: Freedom to make real change vs. Old Job: Suffocation by lazy upper manager

New Job: I actually get feedback & encouragement vs. Old Job: Beatdown after beatdown

New Job: Paid What I'm Worth vs. Old Job: Paid like I was a grocery store bagger.

New Job: My boss is inspiring vs. Old Job: My boss was old, fat, stupid, lazy and demotivating

New Job: I can't wait to go to work vs. Old Job: I couldn't wait for the day to end

New Job: I'm a Wolf vs. Old Job: I was a Turtle

My advice to any Turtle is really explore and understand what kind of company, environment and work you are. It is only after you have done some self assessment will you be able to find a company that fits who you are and what you do. When I was looking to leave my past company I really wanted to make sure I didn't just jump from one bad situation to another (see post Out of the Frying Pan). I really sat down and tried to understand why I was unhappy and what would make me happy. I came to realize that working for large companies with too many chiefs (and not enough indians) was not for me. That was one of the major factors in finding my new company and making the right decision. My self assessment paid off because my mindset, personality and work style fit a smaller company. Hopefully this advise helps some fellow turtles out there.

Turtle King

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Exit Interview

Prior to dropping the Raid parting gift to my clueless ex boss I had my scheduled exit interview with Human Resources. I have written about the HR department at my old company in many posts and their tendancy for the bizarre and idiotic continued in my exit interview.

I first met with the HR manager to go over the exit interview form. In a nutshell the exit interview form is completely for show. You see the HR department at my former company has zero employees with any type of HR certifications. What they do is take ideas they see in HR magazines and implement them half assed, like the exit interview. There is zero understanding of how they can apply the exit interview information to improve the company, identify poor mangers, etc. In any case, I completed the exit interview assessing such areas as company culture, my boss, etc. Since I am competent and logical I provided actual written examples that supported my ratings of the areas of was assessing. Upon completing the form I hand it in to the HR Manager, who seeing low ratings for many of the categories seems astonished. She then uttered "Wow, I guess we really didn't do so well." "That's an understatement" I replied. Why the hell does she think I'm leaving? People don't leave places they like for the most part, they leave because they hate their boss. or their compensation or the company culture.

After a few minutes of mindless discussion the HR Manager sends me over to the HR Director. It's like going from dumb to dumber. At my past company, and probably the company you work for, the higher the title the dumber the person. The HR Director is no exception and I took advantage of her incompetence to identify why I was basically given a final written warning and poor performance review after having reviews of exceeding expectations. It was after about 10 minutes of discussion that the HR Director mentioned "this company is about face time." Viola!!! There it was. The reason why I was basically blackballed. You see at the company I left it's not what you did it's how long you were in the office. My idiot boss sits on his fat ass for 12 hours a day eating cereal and playing solitaire and was revered, yet I put in 8-9 hours and get significant results and I'm a lepper. Amazing!

Aside from getting away from my idiotic boss I realized after the exit interview how lucky I really was to be leaving. You see my past company has all the wrong values and culture. They believe in rewarding people for what they did 10-15 years ago (my boss is a prime example), not for what they do now or can do in the future. They also believe that "face time" means hard work. Maybe I should forward my post to the HR Director on a day in the life of my(former) boss.

Friday, February 15, 2008

The Bug: Burning Bridges

It's been a month since my last real post and I must again apologize for the lag. I've been really busy at my new job and had to adjust to not dreading going to work everyday.

I'll catch you all up on my last days as a Turtle at my old company. I've written in previous posts about what I would do or like to do on my last day at my old company. Leading into my final days I had kept it low key, without really stirring the pot. Three days before my departure my idiot boss enters my office. He decides to throw a few shots my way. His comments were meant to make me re-think my leaving and even feel anxiety at the thought of starting a new job. I deflected his comments like the Turtle I am by blocking him out by thinking about the positives of me leaving.

After he left my office I started to boil a little. The part Wolf that I am began to emerge. "Who the hell does that fat ass think he is?" I asked myself. This guy has been a complete dickhead for the past year to me. He's given me a written warning without explanation, a shitty review and an even worse pay increase. He's taken shot after shot on me and I've had to take it because I really had no choice at the time. The wheels began to turn and my thoughts started to focus on my last day revenge. I couldn't do something idiotic or violent, even though the thought of taking a dump in his office crossed my mind. Instead I thought of something that I could do that I and rest of my co-workers could joke about.

On my last day I reported into work with my plan in place. With me I had brought a gift for my clueless boss. I had gift wrapped it in nice paper and included a nice little note. I waited til around 3:00pm in the afternoon and went into idiot's office. I handed him the gift.

"What's this" my boss asked.

"A little parting gift that I thought could help you out." I replied

My boss look bewildered and began to open the box.

"A can of Raid? What is this for?" he asked.

I quickly replied "Well, I figured you could use it. Since you've had a bug up your ass for over a year I thought you could use the Raid to kill it. You know player just trying to help you out and save my former co-workers some stress. Later!" And I left his office, the building and never looked back.

I know you should never burn bridges but I figured why do I need a bridge, I'm looking ahead and never looking back!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Still a Turtle

Fellow Turtles,

I have not abandoned you. I apologize for the lag in posting. With starting a new job, I've been a bit overwhelmed. I will be posted some new entries in the next few days that will bring me up to date. I have a great story to tell about how I said goodbye to my boss.

I may be a wolf..but I'm a Turtle at heart!!!

Turtle King.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Resignation Reality: Escaping My Prison

One of my favorite books of all time is The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. If you've never read the book or seen the movie you should. Why? Because I liken the story to what I and probably many others experience at work. In the book a young man named Edmund Dantes is a 2nd mate on a ship and proves himself to be worthy of becoming a captain of a ship at a very young age. As he sees this success in front of him, which also includes wedding his beautiful young fiance, it is stripped from him by scheming so called colleagues and he is imprisoned unjustly. He eventually escapes, acquires vast riches and takes on the moniker of the Count, exacting revenge on those who imprisoned him.

Now you're probably thinking "what the hell is Turtle King writing?" Well, much like the character in the book I have been full of energy and skill, promised positions, and had them pulled from in front of me only to see my opportunities go to complete idiots. I have been trapped in my current job for a long 4 years, feeling imprisoned much like the young Edmund Dantes. But much like the character I have finally made my escape and am free from my work prison. I have resigned today to take a better job for more pay, better incentives and better benefits and I feel ALIVE!!

But what about the revenge? Unlike the good 'ole Count, I have chosen to take the higher road and not partake in revenge. My revenge is in escaping my goofy company, incompetent boss, and idiotic executives.. There are times that I really think about giving my boss a few verbal shots for all he stress and heartache he has caused me, but then I realize...I'm better than that! Even as he threw a couple verbal jabs at me today I stayed calm, like the Turtle I am, and let them roll off my shell. In my mind I just kept thinking what a sad individual he is. He's old (64), he's fat, he's bald, he's incompetent, and he never was and never will be even half the leader I am. I take his jabs with a smile on my face, which pisses him off even more, I can see it in his face. He can no longer get to me because he has nothing over me and it irritates the shit out of him.

Yes, my fellow Turtles, I am free from my work prison! On to become a Wolf again!!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

The Name Game

I've written about my current boss more than a few times and if you are frequent visitor to this blog you've read these stories probably wondering the same thing I do. Almost each and everyday I ask myself "how the hell can someone at such a high level (my boss is a VP) be such a complete blithering idiot." We all have our bad days and moments in which we do something stupid, but this guy just seems to be amazingly consistent at being "out there".

Today as I sat in another pointless meeting my boss again proved that he is Captain Clueless. Each month he conducts a meeting to discuss issues with our company (note: nothing ever gets resolved in these meetings..shocker!!). It is at this monthly meeting that the name game begins. You see my boss doesn't really interact that often with other departments as he is too busy slurping down cereal, reading newspapers or playing solitaire to actually leave his office often. So in these meeting he constantly calls on people or refers to people incorrectly, many times confusing people's names or even coming up with a name that nobody in the meeting has.

For example he'll start of the meeting by discussing an issue. My boss today called on one of our managers, Greg, but he looked at him and said "Bill, can you give us an update?". The funny thing with this is that Greg, nor anyone else ever corrects Captain Clueless and instead answers by the name my boss called him. So Greg has now become Bill in the eyes of my boss. There are about 4 other people in these meetings that have an alias as provided by my boss and they never correct him either when he incorrectly calls on them by another name.

When my boss first started doing this it was especially difficult on me as he would ask me things about people in the meeting, referring to their alias name he had mistakenly called them. Rather than correct him, I stuck to my Turtle philosophy and rolled with it.

I just wonder when he discusses people with the other big shots if they can follow him or if they correct him when he errs in referring to someone by the wrong name. Most of the big shots at my company are 60+ years old and their brains have been inactive for years as they've coasted in early retirement mode. They probably don't bother correcting him either and thus the name game continues!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Dude..Where's My Car?

It was 12:30 and I was coming back from lunch. I was listening to ESPN radio and wanted to hear the latest football update. As I was waiting through the barrage of radio commercials I happened to see my boss wandering in the parking lot. He had his briefcase (a prop incompetent people use to look like they're important) and seemed to be in a hurry. He probably was in a rush to eat lunch as much like the Orca Whale, he needs to consume several times his own weight in order to survive.

Over the course of the next 25 minutes I watched as my boss aimlessly wandered the parking lot. At first I wondered what the hell he was doing, then I realized the idiot had forgotten where he parked his car. As he moved up and down the parking lot I saw him frantically hitting his car lock button on his keys in an attempt to locate his vehicle.

After watching my boss for a good 10 minutes, my attention then turned to trying to locate his car and see how far away he was from it. I found it almost immediately as he drives a white vehicle and there weren't many white vehicles in the parking lot at this time, so for me (being competent and logical) I was able to locate it fairly easily.

Several times he came within 10 feet of it, only to turn in the opposite direction, walking farther and farther way. He then decided that the car lock technique was not working and I watched him attempt to use the bumper of a pickup truck to try and survey the parking lot. I took great joy in watching him nearly fall on his ass as he misjudged stepping down, stumbled and nearly flopped to the ground.

He then seemed like he was on track as he was headed in the direction of his car. I thought for sure that he had found it and my entertainment was over, but then the amazing happened. He walked right past his vehicle. Again, his car is white and was the only white car in the area he was walking. In addition the back of his vehicle has an Ohio State football sticker with an Ohio State license plate frame. Surely he would have had to have seen these crystal clear indicators (white car, Ohio sticker and license plate frame), but amazingly he must did not. In fact he walked past his car 5 more times until suddenly he went back to the car lock button and his car beeped.

My boss is a complete ball buster and will take every opportunity to mow you down. He is a relentless prick and acts as if he is completely aware of everything that is going on. Yet, how ironic is it that this supposedly omnipotent uber boss has to wander the parking lot looking for his car because he can't remember where he parked it just a few hours earlier.

Next Post: Name Game

Newer Posts Older Posts Home