Monday, January 19, 2009

A Case Study: Bob

Here's a scenario, just for giggles:

Begin Scene.

Bob graduates college. Bob can't find a job because of the stupid economy. Well, let's give Bob a break, cause otherwise that would have been the end of the scenario. Maybe he lives in a place where the economy is soaring. So, Bob finds a job. Bob is a good natured guy, so he enjoys the first few months of his new job despite the lack of work for newbies. But after, say, 4 months, Bob gets restless. He spends most of his time memorizing Wall Street Journal articles to impress coworkers on thirsty thursdays. When will he be challenged, or even simply fully utilized, he wonders.

After a year or two, once Bob's reached a state frighteningly similar to a robot, he gets promoted. Finally, he's at a good place in his job and feels just swell about things.

Then, the New Guy is hired. Bob is his superior. Bob is in charge of what New Guy does. Bob feels slightly weird about the situation. He:

A.) Doesn't want New Guy to have the same, I-slowly-die-inside-every-day-I'm-here experience that he did. Perhaps he can take on a mentoring role, teach him the ways of the company, invest some time in New Guy and really help him advance. Even if it means spending extra time coming up with projects or things New Guy could do.

or, B.) Feels like New Guy should suffer as he suffered. It will make him stronger in the end. He needs to go through a "pledgeship" of sorts, not just be granted happiness the moment he walks through the door. This is the process everyone goes through. Besides, I have enough on my plate.

End scene.

Which one does Bob choose, you ask? I don't know, people, this isn't a real story. But, I bet you $5, maybe $10, that this scenario is a frequent one among responsible, caring, and smart professionals. Why would responsible, caring, and smart professionals choose B over A? Because people can be ridiculous and stupid sometimes.

And people that work under said people, tend to read and relate to my blog. And then send me emails, comments, and messages about how much they relate. Most of these come after a ballsy post. (Ballsy=what everyone is thinking but won't say. Or write). And I can't help but wonder (Hello Ms. Bradshaw, we meet again. I'm beginning to understand why Carrie used that line so many times. It just rolls off the, keyboard), if there are so many people twiddling their thumbs at work, don't you think people might, I don't know, change things up a bit? Invest more time in the newcomers, perhaps? I'm just throwing ideas out there...something to mull over for when YOU become the superior over the "inferior".

In the meantime, my blog is here :-)

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  1. LOL!

    As a HR Director, it's simply fascinating to look at things from the opposite end of the spectrum.

    I mean that in a good way.

  2. I gave you an award!! Go to my blog to get it!

  3. Your first experience in the workforce sounds so much like mine! The economy in the Fall of '93 was completely in the crapper. I took a job as a copy editor for $18,000/year, and I was thrilled to get it. Then an interesting thing happened - layoffs became vogue (sound familiar?). Soon, the new grad, now making a whopping $20,000/year, was running the in-house publishing dept because all of her seniors got laid off for making too much money.

    Hold tight, I imgine you will be busy soon enough. The economy will turn around, and you'll be managing people who make more money than you because the workforce can demand it. You'll want them to earn their keep. Try not to think of it as being bitter, more a life lesson.

    Finding an "A" manager is a rarity - but they do happen. I've been blessed, and I hope I have also mentored.

    "B" is the norm, and honestly, I think EVERY new grad needs a little helping of it :-)

    Just this old chick's two cents.