It is funny, and appropriate, to me that each morning the last thing I pass before pulling in to the facility where I work, is a waste treatment plant. The pungent aroma of human waste perfectly sets the mood and prepares me for the bullshit I will deal with each day.
My workplace, like many others, has multiple layers of management. As best I can tell, the function of these people is to state the obvious, impede progress, negatively impact productivity, and attend meetings where they discuss how to more effectively accomplish the first three tasks.
I have a team lead. He has a manager. There are other teams with other leads, and they each have a manager. All of these teams do the same things, on the same contract, for the same customer. The location managers report to a state manager, who reports to a regional manager, who reports to a global manager. There are various and sundry other managers with various titles that intersect with this organization, but these folks I just described are my chain.
The manager for the location sits here, in a room downstairs. He sits next to the manager for a location miles away. They virtually never leave that room. Neither of them interacts in any meaningful or positive way with the people that work for them. They just send out emails all day requesting this and demanding that. They stop work in the middle of the day to have meetings to discuss how the work is going. They ask us to update our contact information, including our seat assignments and emergency contact info, sometimes three or four times a month. There is a list, and it is long, of the things that happen here that make no sense. But yesterday took the cake.
Several months ago my team lead came up with a form to better help us keep track of what we have installed and the state it is/was in. When you have 4-5 people installing hundreds of machines it can get a little complicated keeping track of what was working and what still needs to be looked at. So he developed a checklist. He then sent this checklist off to the state manager for approval to use it in our day-to-day operations. Why he didn’t just use it for our own purposes without saying a word I have no idea. Anyway…
Silence. No reply. For months.
Yesterday he received an email from the location manager. It was a copy of the checklist he had sent off to the state manager. The location manager informed my team lead that he had come up with a checklist and wanted the team to review and comment on it by COB because he wanted to get it implemented ASAP. He changed a few words, added a whole lot of unnecessary crap, and claimed it as his own. And now, after months of silence it was imperative that this checklist be implemented immediately.
You see…the state level management had changed which team reported to which location managers the day before, and it was important that this guy start making a name for himself right away. He had to put his name on our team. He had to generate some paperwork to demonstrate that he was doing something.
Meanwhile, several of the teams are short a man or two. But we are told there is not enough money in the budget to hire more people. We have however, plenty of money for managers.
People are stirring behind me. The time has come to start the day.
Time to inhale deeply and prepare for the bullshit.