Friday, July 11, 2008

Too Many Managers and Not Enough Worker Bees

My latest client isn’t a shabby deal – when I first showed up, they had recently moved into nice posh digs. All the furniture is brand new – I even had to unwrap my chair. First time in all the years I’ve been working that I had to do that!

Problem though, everyone wants to run the world, and few want to do the work. Sure, being “the boss” sounds all impressive – but it requires hard work, dedication and know-how just like being a non-manager-type. The boss may make more, but they are supposed to know more about managing people, projects, and resources. That’s why they are given more responsibilities and in turn, more money.

People that want to be the boss but aren’t the boss are pulsating sores, just waiting to pop in the work world. Not only do they alienate and offend those they order around without reason, but they don’t take on the responsibilities which a real manager would. And, when they finally do get up off their lazy butt and do some real work, it isn’t very good, because they don’t really know how to do the work in the first place.

At my latest contract site, there are far too many wanna-be bosses and not enough worker bees. This creates a very hostile and unpleasant environment, where everyone wants to have it their way, and there is very little give and take. In fact, I don’t seem to get much work done, unless the rest of the “team” is away.

I say “team” because it really isn’t a team. If everyone wants to be the boss, then no one is working together in a team environment. So, you end up with a bunch of individuals, all wanting things done exactly their own way. When all these individuals get together, they spend more time butting heads, arguing for their own individual positions, and in many cases taking things way too personally for a professional workplace, all while the project fails to get completed.

That’s why I don’t get much done unless they aren’t around. When I do attempt to do anything, someone always comes by to “check-up” on me, and tell me to do it another way. After about 10-people telling me to do the same thing 10 different ways, I eventually just stop working, and in many cases just goof off.

What else can one do?

There isn’t any point to trying to do anything, because as soon as I get started, I’m being told to do it a different way.

Funny thing, as a consultant, I’m supposed to be “the expert” and regarded as knowing how to do my job. But when everyone wants to be the boss, it doesn’t matter how much of an expert I am, there will always be someone around to criticize and tell me how to do my job. And trust me, these people aren’t experts – when I tell them that’s not the professionally accepted standard used ‘round the world, they give me a hairy-eyeball stare challenging my point of view. Then they pause, and make up some excuse for not doing it my way – despite my way being the way it is done everywhere else.

I’ve just begun this contract, and already I’m looking forward to it’s conclusion!

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