Tuesday, May 3, 2011

WM #3: Tick Season

Weird Management #3

About two weeks ago I was bit by a tick on my left shoulder. Initially I thought the itchy irritation was from a bra that I hadn't worn in awhile (alas yet another petty annoyance of the female species - "bra rash") but when I woke up in the  middle of the night to scratch my right scapula region, sure enough, the little bugger was buried in deep and sucking my precious blood into its turgid little body - ICK! Nothing is more frustrating and embarrassing then having a tick embedded in your skin - on a rating scale of "icky-ness" it's verges on a 7 or 8 next to  a bad case of head lice! Okay - maybe not quite that bad - (both my daughters had head lice while we lived in Hawaii ten years ago and you'd think our house was quarantined for the Bubonic plague! I was surprised bright yellow tape wasn't strewn around my house with "crime scene" printed in bright bold red letters). Anyway - I plucked out the evil bugger and fell back to sleep thinking nothing of it except YUCK! 

A week went by and a quarter size rash developed around my bite area. Again - I attributed it to "bra rash" irritating the region. Then it grew to a half dollar size (for those of you who haven't seen or used change or coins except for an occasional penny on the side walk or a vending maching chocolate bar, it's roughly the size of those dandelions popping up on lawns everywhere). I showed the rash to my husband and he was like "huh - keep an eye on it." (This from the man who regularly bangs his arms, legs, and head into inantimate objects releasing a steady stream of blood into the surrounding region while calmy grabbing a paper towel to squelch the flow saying "OW!"). I had my "lice-free" 21 year old daughter take a look at it and she freaked! "MOM! you have to go to the doctor!" Okay so I took the middle-of-the-road approach and did nothing but decided, "If it gets bigger - Urgent Care - here I come!" It did get worse! Much worse!

So what does this little diatribe have to do with weird management -  so many employees who are poison to an organization and just "suck" the life out of an organization versus contributing and facilitating growth, team work, and comraderie. I have worked and consulted for several organizations that allow this type of ambivilent behavior to occur without taking the initiative or having the guts to rally these people out of the organization through accountability measures or firing them.  It's painful to watch and even more painful the longer an organization waits to do something (like my tick bite which eventually needed to be lanced to remove the ... well, you get the idea). While this may seem a very drastic metaphor for lazy employees it really isn't. Think about it - what is the repercussions to employees who contribute little to nothing to an organization. A culture of non-accountability, cognitive dissonance, low-performing workers and lack of buy-in to organizational mission (if there is one that is regularly touted and reenforced).

Case in point - most government organizations are wrought with a culture of entitlement rewarding employees for just sitting at their desk for the long haul. See the following article regarding longevity and Connecticut non-union state employees: CTNewJunkie.

Connecticut, like most other states, is in a budget crisis and they are doling out these bonuses like Halloween candy to "good workers" in a costume of longevity! REALLY! Longevity bonuses!? Do I get a bonus for being married to the same guy for 25 years? NO! Do I get a bonus for keeping the same car for five years? NO! Do I get a bonus for being a long time customer of a restaurant or frock shop (Well this is for another topic - YES! if you don't reward or recognize your customers some way then you have other issues to deal with). And the bonuses amount to MILLIONS! Wow! Freakin' terrible! Where's the accountability man!?

So just remember your Spring clean-up check up list:  check for "ticks" regularly, erradicate quickly, and keep the surrounding area clean of others who may have picked up bad habits or characteristics of the past tick! If you fail to do so - you may be dealing with a much BIGGER problem down the line! Now that's some WEIRD Management!

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