Author Topic: Overheard at Work  (Read 5897919 times)

dycker1978

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12150 on: January 28, 2016, 09:54:11 AM »
I agree that driving with the flow of traffic (on multi lane roads) if it's faster than posted speed limits is probably the best way of avoiding or causing a problem. I would also like to point out that construction zones are reduced speeds for a reason. There are HUMANS with life's and families waiting for them when they get of work. These people are tasked with maintaining the condition/safety of the road while allowing the minimum amount of interference with traffic and provide for their safety. I implore you to please respect construction zone speed limits and set a good example. I know it is a PITA to slow down a few mph for a couple of miles but if it allows a dad or mom to go home to their family at the end of the day isn't it worth it?

Where there are actually construction workers I agree. But I've seen places where the speed limit drops from 75 or 70 mph down to 45 mph where there is no change to the road surface or shoulders, no construction workers present, and it goes on for 10+ miles. In these sorts of sections I still slow down (to maybe 10 over the limit) for fear of getting a ticket but pretty much everyone else keeps doing 70 mph. I've also seen stretches of road where they've clearly already finished (all the cones and stuff are gone too), but they left up the construction signage...
Here they have changed the law.  The company repair the road is required to move the signage as they make progress, and remove all signage when the work is complete, or the workers are not present, like at night, as long as it is safe to travel at the speed limit.

If the company does not follow the guide lines that are set up, they face fines.  Seeing as the fines are payable to the same group that pays the construction costs, it really seems to work.

TravelJunkyQC

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12151 on: January 28, 2016, 10:01:41 AM »
Overheard a gem yesterday between two people at work:
(They were going to visit a client the next day)
CW1: Whose car should we take?
CW2: Doesn't matter to me, you?
CW1: Do you mind driving, my car is starting to have a lot of miles on it.
CW2: No problem, I'd rather drive, the more miles I add, the faster I get to change my car! (This is a new Mercedes *bought* in the last year - it is NOT a company car)


GuitarStv

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12152 on: January 28, 2016, 10:18:40 AM »
First of all, speed does not kill. If it did, no astronaut would make it out alive and landspeed records would not be in the 700 MPH's. It is the difference in speed that kills; moreover, it is the highest average difference in speed that kills.

I didn't say that speed kills (although I wouldn't use astronaughts or people breaking land speed records as great examples of safe activities).  Driving at higher speed leads to more accidents, and the accidents are worse when they happen.


There is greater aggregate danger created from someone going too slow. And speed limits don't really have any effect on the speed people drive, as referenced above.

If a single person is going too slow, this can be a problem.  That shouldn't be the case though, everyone should be going the posted limit.  You're saying that because people commonly break the speed limits (due to poor enforcement, fines that are too low, and social acceptance of speeding) a few people going the limit can be a problem.  You have it backwards though.  The people breaking the speed limit are the problem, not the speed limit.

Better enforcement and more stringent penalties would make roads safer, rather than our current accommodation of people who have decided that the rules don't apply to them.

mtn

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12153 on: January 28, 2016, 10:26:19 AM »
First of all, speed does not kill. If it did, no astronaut would make it out alive and landspeed records would not be in the 700 MPH's. It is the difference in speed that kills; moreover, it is the highest average difference in speed that kills.

I didn't say that speed kills (although I wouldn't use astronaughts or people breaking land speed records as great examples of safe activities).  Driving at higher speed leads to more accidents, and the accidents are worse when they happen.


There is greater aggregate danger created from someone going too slow. And speed limits don't really have any effect on the speed people drive, as referenced above.

If a single person is going too slow, this can be a problem.  That shouldn't be the case though, everyone should be going the posted limit.  You're saying that because people commonly break the speed limits (due to poor enforcement, fines that are too low, and social acceptance of speeding) a few people going the limit can be a problem.  You have it backwards though.  The people breaking the speed limit are the problem, not the speed limit.

Better enforcement and more stringent penalties would make roads safer, rather than our current accommodation of people who have decided that the rules don't apply to them.

Yes, they would. But it would make for a lot of unhappy people and the laws would get changed again.

The fact is that people drive at the speed they're comfortable driving at for the particular roadway. Speed limits have little effect on it. You can argue it until you're blue in the face, but you really can't change human behavior.


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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12154 on: January 28, 2016, 10:26:46 AM »
If a single person is going too slow, this can be a problem.  That shouldn't be the case though, everyone should be going the posted limit.  You're saying that because people commonly break the speed limits (due to poor enforcement, fines that are too low, and social acceptance of speeding) a few people going the limit can be a problem.  You have it backwards though.  The people breaking the speed limit are the problem, not the speed limit.
You can say it all day long, and it's true, that if everyone were to go the exact same speed, and if that speed were a safe and reasonable one dictated by law, we'd be safer.

It's never going to happen. This lovely hypothetical scenario can never serve as an excuse for policies that ignore well-founded research data in the real world.
Quote
Better enforcement and more stringent penalties would make roads safer, rather than our current accommodation of people who have decided that the rules don't apply to them.
Nope.

Under certain ideal circumstances, they would.

Generally, in real life, they don't, and there are other approaches that are proven to be more effective with actual human drivers. Do you, like your government, insist on ignoring "is" for the sake of "should"? You're far more rational on other topics, in my experience.
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dycker1978

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12155 on: January 28, 2016, 10:26:46 AM »
First of all, speed does not kill. If it did, no astronaut would make it out alive and landspeed records would not be in the 700 MPH's. It is the difference in speed that kills; moreover, it is the highest average difference in speed that kills.

I didn't say that speed kills (although I wouldn't use astronaughts or people breaking land speed records as great examples of safe activities).  Driving at higher speed leads to more accidents, and the accidents are worse when they happen.


There is greater aggregate danger created from someone going too slow. And speed limits don't really have any effect on the speed people drive, as referenced above.

If a single person is going too slow, this can be a problem.  That shouldn't be the case though, everyone should be going the posted limit.  You're saying that because people commonly break the speed limits (due to poor enforcement, fines that are too low, and social acceptance of speeding) a few people going the limit can be a problem.  You have it backwards though.  The people breaking the speed limit are the problem, not the speed limit.

Better enforcement and more stringent penalties would make roads safer, rather than our current accommodation of people who have decided that the rules don't apply to them.

You have built some what a straw man here.  You are correct that it is the speed differential that causes the issues, not the speed limit.  You state that it is the increased speed of the people not obeying the limit that causes this differential.  This is not true, here anyways, we routinely have people that travel much slower then the posted speed limit.  This causes the same differential but the people doing the speed limit are the ones driving quicker.  This is not enforceable with the current laws here.

This is typically caused by elderly on the freeway sections of our city.   

horsepoor

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12156 on: January 28, 2016, 10:54:55 AM »
Oooooh the horse thing reminds me of something I overheard at work years ago.

This guys was complaining about his teenage daughter's equestrian hobby.  Apparently, she got good at it and her coach recommended she buy a horse.  He was freaking out because the daughter wanted a horse that cost something like $25K, not even talking about the cost of feeding and housing it.  This guy was working as a technician and had no degree, so he wasn't making enough to support that type of hobby for his kid.  I didn't have kids but I remember thinking "Whatever happened to not putting your kids in hobbies you can't afford?" 

Now I have a teenage daughter and still feel the same way.


Eh, horseback riding is like sailing, it can be really cheap, or hyper expensive.  My sister rode horses growing up, it was basically free (after buying various pieces of clothing/equipment) because she worked in the barn shoveling shit to offset the price of lessons.  One doesn't need to own a horse to be in the hobby.

Yeah.  I got pretty good, but that doesn't mean $25K horse and going to expensive shows.  It was more like learn to ride this unbroken $500 horse, then maybe you can sell it and buy a better horse.  My first horse was $350.  I trained it and then traded it for a nicer untrained horse that the owner couldn't handle.  Mostly learned on my own and with free 4-H group lessons and mucked lots of stalls and exercised horses with absentee owners to pay for equipment, caught rides with friends who had trailers, sewed my own show clothes etc.  If you're actually "good" people will take notice and let you ride THEIR $25K horse for free, or even pay you for the service. 

Buying the kid the $25K horse just takes away lots of opportunities to learn resourcefulness, work ethic, entrepreneurship and perseverance.

BDWW

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12157 on: January 28, 2016, 10:58:45 AM »
Interesting results of Montana's speed limit experiment.

https://www.motorists.org/press/montana-no-speed-limit-safety-paradox/


LennStar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12158 on: January 28, 2016, 11:01:00 AM »
No, you cause severe speed differential problems between unthinking idiots who blindly follow the law and intelligent people who can do their own risk assessment on what a safe speed to travel is.


You say intelligent people are those who drive riskier (and faster is riskier compared to slower, always) to break the law and dont expect other people to adhere to the same law?

Our definition of intelligent seems to be quite different.

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Canada's relatively low speed limits don't stop it from having 2x the per-capita traffic deaths of autobahn-happy Germany.
How many of them are under snowy conditions?
Also a lot auf Autobahn has speed limits.

Quote
And speed limits don't really have any effect on the speed people drive, as referenced above.
The solution to that is quite easy: If you get cought 3 times in one year going too fast you lose your drivers license.

You know, your only point for "slow drivers are more dangerous" is that the others are idiotically faster. I dont think that is reason to blame the slower drivers.

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but you really can't change human behavior.
Yes, I see that every day when slave owners whip their slaves smoking big tobacco leaves on their horses while their wives are bustling at home with their 12 children.

Quote
This is not true, here anyways, we routinely have people that travel much slower then the posted speed limit.
This is typically caused by elderly on the freeway sections of our city.
Yes, that are the most experienced ones, the ones who - and I quote here - intelligent people who can do their own risk assessment on what a safe speed to travel is.


At this point you have basically lost the argument, because the "let every driver decide on his speed based on their assessment" points and derivatives cancel each other out and we are back to physics and biology were faster is more dangerous.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12159 on: January 28, 2016, 11:01:34 AM »
This is typically caused by elderly on the freeway sections of our city.

This is also a generalization that may be showing an ageist bias.  Around here the vehicles going below the speed limit usually are the big-rig trucks going 60-65 and the Prius (or similar) drivers going 50-55 in the 75mph zones. 

Another big risk in the freeways are the people talking or texting while driving.  They tend to weave in and out of their lane and/or slow down unexpectedly.  Then when you pass them they realize they are going slow and speed up again, starting the cycle all over again.

greytbigdog

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12160 on: January 28, 2016, 11:21:04 AM »
What could be the alternative?  That she impulsively bought a house?  ;-)

My Dad did this.  They were living in BC, Mum wanted to be closer to her family in Quebec.  Dad had job offers in Ontario and Nova Scotia.  He went to Ontario for a conference and bought a house.  After signing all the paperwork, he called my mum to tell her they were moving.

Also heard a story from friends this weekend.  They have decided to run purchases more than $250 by each other first (both FIRE at 40) after their neighbour surprised his wife by buying a bigger house one block away from their current house.  "But you wanted a bigger place!"  New house was more than $650,000.

GuitarStv

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12161 on: January 28, 2016, 11:28:14 AM »
The fact is that people drive at the speed they're comfortable driving at for the particular roadway. Speed limits have little effect on it. You can argue it until you're blue in the face, but you really can't change human behavior.

At one point people drove drunk regularly because they were comfortable driving drunk.  Better enforcement, stricter rules, and public information campaigns have radically improved cases of drunk driving.

Why do you think that there would be a difference with speeding?




Quote
Better enforcement and more stringent penalties would make roads safer, rather than our current accommodation of people who have decided that the rules don't apply to them.
Nope.

Under certain ideal circumstances, they would.

Generally, in real life, they don't, and there are other approaches that are proven to be more effective with actual human drivers. Do you, like your government, insist on ignoring "is" for the sake of "should"? You're far more rational on other topics, in my experience.

I guess the question to ask would be 'why'?  Is the problem that there is something fundamentally wrong with the way roads in North America are designed that needs to be corrected, or is it just that the right combination of enforcement/penalties hasn't been tried?



You have built some what a straw man here.  You are correct that it is the speed differential that causes the issues, not the speed limit.  You state that it is the increased speed of the people not obeying the limit that causes this differential.  This is not true, here anyways, we routinely have people that travel much slower then the posted speed limit.  This causes the same differential but the people doing the speed limit are the ones driving quicker.  This is not enforceable with the current laws here.

This is typically caused by elderly on the freeway sections of our city.

I agree with your point.  Penalizing people who drive below the speed limit is somewhat problematic though as you are supposed to reduce speed when weather conditions warrant it.  Even just keeping to the posted limit on a freeway when there's a blizzard is probably foolhardy.  A way to safely fix the problem with a great speed differential between slow moving traffic and faster moving traffic (that is going the speed limit) would be to further lower the upper limit.

Chris22

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12162 on: January 28, 2016, 11:29:52 AM »
No, you cause severe speed differential problems between unthinking idiots who blindly follow the law and intelligent people who can do their own risk assessment on what a safe speed to travel is.


You say intelligent people are those who drive riskier (and faster is riskier compared to slower, always) to break the law and dont expect other people to adhere to the same law?

Our definition of intelligent seems to be quite different.

And yet, statistically, I'm right, because some absurdly high percentage of people are breaking the law.  Faster is NOT always riskier than slower, go drive 25mph down your local interstate right not and tell me about how you're safer than those going 65-75 mph.
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maco

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12163 on: January 28, 2016, 11:31:57 AM »
This is typically caused by elderly on the freeway sections of our city.

This is also a generalization that may be showing an ageist bias.  Around here the vehicles going below the speed limit usually are the big-rig trucks going 60-65 and the Prius (or similar) drivers going 50-55 in the 75mph zones. 

Another big risk in the freeways are the people talking or texting while driving.  They tend to weave in and out of their lane and/or slow down unexpectedly.  Then when you pass them they realize they are going slow and speed up again, starting the cycle all over again.
I have a tendency to be the person in a Prius going 60 in a 65 (where everyone else is going 70-75) and then noticing it and speeding up after being passed. I'm just not looking at the speedometer, and I'm going "generally highway speed," which on most roads means speed limit 55 so go 60. On the couple roads with a higher speed limit, I forget I'm allowed to go faster.

Chris22

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12164 on: January 28, 2016, 11:32:54 AM »
The fact is that people drive at the speed they're comfortable driving at for the particular roadway. Speed limits have little effect on it. You can argue it until you're blue in the face, but you really can't change human behavior.

At one point people drove drunk regularly because they were comfortable driving drunk.  Better enforcement, stricter rules, and public information campaigns have radically improved cases of drunk driving.

Why do you think that there would be a difference with speeding?

Because it was easily shown how dangerous it was/is to drive drunk.  You can't prove that with speed, as evidenced by the fact that the death rate is constant or falling with massive amounts of speed limit noncompliance every day.  You can't get people scared of the bogey man when they can prove there is no bogey man.
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12165 on: January 28, 2016, 11:36:06 AM »
I guess the question to ask would be 'why'?  Is the problem that there is something fundamentally wrong with the way roads in North America are designed that needs to be corrected, or is it just that the right combination of enforcement/penalties hasn't been tried?


If we know what works, I don't really care to ask why it works (OK, I do, but it's an academic question for the sake of curiosity and deeper learning).

But the more important "why" is "why the fuck aren't we doing what we know works?"

Why do we have documentation of governments disregarding established engineering principles in ways that just happen to increase revenue but not safety? I mean, it's no shit, proven in some situations.
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Chris22

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12166 on: January 28, 2016, 11:38:39 AM »
Quote
Quote
Better enforcement and more stringent penalties would make roads safer, rather than our current accommodation of people who have decided that the rules don't apply to them.
Nope.

Under certain ideal circumstances, they would.

Generally, in real life, they don't, and there are other approaches that are proven to be more effective with actual human drivers. Do you, like your government, insist on ignoring "is" for the sake of "should"? You're far more rational on other topics, in my experience.

I guess the question to ask would be 'why'?  Is the problem that there is something fundamentally wrong with the way roads in North America are designed that needs to be corrected, or is it just that the right combination of enforcement/penalties hasn't been tried?

Quite the opposite.  The "problem" with North American [interstate] roadways is that they are designed to be safe at 65mph or more, and that was when they were new in the 50s and 60s.  Stick a modern car on an interstate, and baring abnormal weather or congestion, it's wildly overengineered to maintain 65mph.  People know this, can feel and understand it, and therefore disregard the number on the sign that tries to convince them otherwise.  And the fact that they do it safely every day confirms their actions as correct. 
« Last Edit: January 28, 2016, 11:40:20 AM by Chris22 »
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ender

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12167 on: January 28, 2016, 12:38:46 PM »
Interesting results of Montana's speed limit experiment.

https://www.motorists.org/press/montana-no-speed-limit-safety-paradox/

Ahhhh yeah but why bother with evidence when we can argue instead!


gaja

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12168 on: January 28, 2016, 01:03:55 PM »
Of course, disagreement about the supremeness of laws is likely why I'm on this side of the pond and you're on that one ;)
One thing many British people find amusing about America is that you for you it's illegal to just cross the road wherever you feel like :-)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-AFn7MiJz_s

You obey the traffic lights? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mU35XlTkLnA
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GuitarStv

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12169 on: January 28, 2016, 01:49:00 PM »
Interesting results of Montana's speed limit experiment.

https://www.motorists.org/press/montana-no-speed-limit-safety-paradox/

Ahhhh yeah but why bother with evidence when we can argue instead!

I read the article that was provided, but didn't find it particularly enlightening.  Apparently the problems with it eluded you, so let me list some:

"The National Motorists Association is a membership-based organization dedicated to protecting the rights of the motoring public."  I'm not surprised that they published an article calling for removal of all speed limits on roads.  They also campaign against seatbelt laws.



Now let's look at the 'data' that we were provided:

Here we have the fatalities for traffic accidents in years without speed limits:
’94    111
’95    105
’96    114
’97    140
’98    113
’99    102

And a sample size of 1 with speed limits:
'00    143


How was the limit enforced?

How much did the number of cars on the road and miles driven been increase between '00 and '99?

How much did the number of cars on the road and miles driven been increase between '00 and '99?

Was '00 just a bad year like '97, or did this trend continue into the future?

What is the prevalence of accidents in Montana compared to the national average when there was no speed limit enforced, or compared to states with lower speed limits?  According to the data available from this website, Montana has consistently been one of the least safe places to drive in the US from 2005 - 2013 (http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/general-statistics/fatalityfacts/state-by-state-overview/2013)


The 'data' given in that article doesn't really prove anything close to a trend.  It seems like it has been cherry picked to support the writer's agenda.  If someone can find me some data for the following years, I'd appreciate it.

dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12170 on: January 28, 2016, 02:18:09 PM »
GuitarStv, you're right. But you're also wrong.

First of all, speed does not kill. If it did, no astronaut would make it out alive and landspeed records would not be in the 700 MPH's. It is the difference in speed that kills; moreover, it is the highest average difference in speed that kills.

There is greater aggregate danger created from someone going too slow. And speed limits don't really have any effect on the speed people drive, as referenced above.

Well if you are traveling at 700 mph relative to the entire earth, the average speed differential is very close to 700mph.  Hitting almost anything else on earth would kill you, and I'm not even sure hitting another 700mph car would be ok

But yeah, it's the stop that kills you

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12171 on: January 28, 2016, 02:41:59 PM »
So, anyone who doesn't work at Highway Patrol want to write something?

Speed discussion guys want to start a thread or PM or something? I think we're moving a little off-topic.
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runningthroughFIRE

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12172 on: January 28, 2016, 03:00:16 PM »
So, anyone who doesn't work at Highway Patrol want to write something?

Speed discussion guys want to start a thread or PM or something? I think we're moving a little off-topic.
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dragoncar

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12173 on: January 28, 2016, 03:45:44 PM »
So, anyone who doesn't work at Highway Patrol want to write something?

Speed discussion guys want to start a thread or PM or something? I think we're moving a little off-topic.

Any funny stories from your job at the Topic Police?

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12174 on: January 28, 2016, 07:10:04 PM »
I have kind of a sad one.

Over many discussions with one of the senior (equity) partners at my most recent employer (public accounting firm), I've come to the conclusion that he has very little in his life except work.

When he talks to the newer staffers, he mentions how much better the money is in public accounting.  He talks about working your way up in the firm to reach partner, "putting in the hours" and such.  He and his fellow partners did work hard to get to where they are.

What comes out more slowly is that they are all pretty miserable.  Half of them are divorced, and one of them is multiple times divorced.  During Tax Season they work 80-hour weeks.  During the balance of the year their weeks vary from 40 to 60 hours.  Their biggest clients have the partners' personal cell numbers and don't hesitate to use them.  They are always on call, even on vacations during times with no tax deadlines.

What does this partner have to show for this?  He has a big, fancy house in Rich Part of Town.  He eats primarily restaurant food.  He has had Big Boat for going on 5 years now (looking it up, Big Boat probably cost almost $300K), which he has used a small handful of times.  He has a wife who works similarly excessive hours.  They have a few kids (who raised them?).  And now the health effects of his job are increasing more and more.  Wife wants him to retire.  He has no idea what he would do if he retired.  All his mental focus is centered around this business.

The partners don't understand the mentality of staffers who are NOT shooting for partner.  They seem to miss the value of staff who are willing to reach a mid-manager level and stay there.  They see it as disloyalty/slacking if a staffer wants to always be out the door on time (not early) to have dinner with family, even if staffer comes in early to keep up the hours.  And thus, only "superstars" who put in stupid-long, visible, late hours get noticed and rewarded.  Thus, turnover is really high.
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Larabeth

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12175 on: January 28, 2016, 11:06:51 PM »
"When I win the lottery ______"

These aren't people well on their way to independence that are having a little side entertainment.  These are people that live in the Birmingham, AL area and drive to Georgia or Tennessee to get lottery tickets.  But then they complain about their kids college and how much that will cost them. 

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12176 on: January 29, 2016, 07:01:05 AM »
The partners don't understand the mentality of staffers who are NOT shooting for partner.  They seem to miss the value of staff who are willing to reach a mid-manager level and stay there.  They see it as disloyalty/slacking if a staffer wants to always be out the door on time (not early) to have dinner with family, even if staffer comes in early to keep up the hours.  And thus, only "superstars" who put in stupid-long, visible, late hours get noticed and rewarded.  Thus, turnover is really high.
I can't figure out why this is such a sticking point. The value of an employee's time and the amount of it that they want to sell to the company are two different issues.

"When I win the lottery ______"

These aren't people well on their way to independence that are having a little side entertainment.  These are people that live in the Birmingham, AL area and drive to Georgia or Tennessee to get lottery tickets.  But then they complain about their kids college and how much that will cost them. 
*waves at you from the northern state line*

Any funny stories from your job at the Topic Police?
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12177 on: January 29, 2016, 07:56:40 AM »
The partners don't understand the mentality of staffers who are NOT shooting for partner.  They seem to miss the value of staff who are willing to reach a mid-manager level and stay there.  They see it as disloyalty/slacking if a staffer wants to always be out the door on time (not early) to have dinner with family, even if staffer comes in early to keep up the hours.  And thus, only "superstars" who put in stupid-long, visible, late hours get noticed and rewarded.  Thus, turnover is really high.
I can't figure out why this is such a sticking point. The value of an employee's time and the amount of it that they want to sell to the company are two different issues.

In certain businesses, such as public accounting, the business is essentially selling the time.  So yes, all things being equal, employee A who wants to sell 2080 hours is less valuable than employee B who wants to sell 2500.  And I don't get why rewarding guys who put in more hours is met with anger or disbelief.  Why shouldn't it be like that?  Work/life balance is just that, a balance.  If you want to spend more time on "life" the work part gets shortchanged.  There's nothing wrong with making the decision to do that, but it's a little disingenuous to not want to work as much as another and still want the same perks/promotions/etc.
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12178 on: January 29, 2016, 08:11:50 AM »
The partners don't understand the mentality of staffers who are NOT shooting for partner.  They seem to miss the value of staff who are willing to reach a mid-manager level and stay there.  They see it as disloyalty/slacking if a staffer wants to always be out the door on time (not early) to have dinner with family, even if staffer comes in early to keep up the hours.  And thus, only "superstars" who put in stupid-long, visible, late hours get noticed and rewarded.  Thus, turnover is really high.
I can't figure out why this is such a sticking point. The value of an employee's time and the amount of it that they want to sell to the company are two different issues.

In certain businesses, such as public accounting, the business is essentially selling the time.  So yes, all things being equal, employee A who wants to sell 2080 hours is less valuable than employee B who wants to sell 2500.  And I don't get why rewarding guys who put in more hours is met with anger or disbelief.  Why shouldn't it be like that?  Work/life balance is just that, a balance.  If you want to spend more time on "life" the work part gets shortchanged.  There's nothing wrong with making the decision to do that, but it's a little disingenuous to not want to work as much as another and still want the same perks/promotions/etc.
They're still making the same amount per hour, and arguably more per hour in the long run, from a guy who does quality work for 40 hours than one who overworks himself. The research data is out there on maximum vs. optimum work hours. Wanna sell more hours, get more people.

The point of a good work-life balance is to deliver the best value on both sides, not just to limit one. That's what workaholics fail to understand. I mean, as WTHerring said, the imbalance produces high turnover, which costs companies money. Yet they fail to factor that in, because their mindset is fucked.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2016, 08:13:35 AM by zephyr911 »
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12179 on: January 29, 2016, 08:15:45 AM »
Oh, and I wasn't suggesting people who do 40 hours and go home on time should get equal consideration for promotion, or that partners shouldn't favor workaholics for advancement. I specifically questioned just the idea that people who don't consistently work OT or otherwise go the extra mile are treated as inferior and disloyal.
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12180 on: January 29, 2016, 08:17:40 AM »
Hey Mister, TOPIC DRIFT KILLS! I saw a study that shows 30% more Internet users commit suicide in threads driven o/t by foamy black box trolls.

I read another article that suggested reading the article while driving above posted speeds and dodging people driving below posted speed limits, this article claimed that 47.35% of gun owners never cause car accidents.

Source - NRA.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12181 on: January 29, 2016, 08:21:00 AM »
Ehhhh...  I'd argue that if you are working 80 hours, they likely aren't all productive hours due to fatigue, unhappiness, and loss of focus.  Most of the time when I see people who work a lot of hours I generally think they aren't being very efficient and are probably wasting a lot of time. 

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12182 on: January 29, 2016, 08:28:46 AM »
Ehhhh...  I'd argue that if you are working 80 hours, they likely aren't all productive hours due to fatigue, unhappiness, and loss of focus.  Most of the time when I see people who work a lot of hours I generally think they aren't being very efficient and are probably wasting a lot of time.
...and lest our musings be dismissed as mere speculation, I present... EVIDENCE.

http://www.cnbc.com/2015/01/26/working-more-than-50-hours-makes-you-less-productive.html
http://www.businessinsider.com/working-more-than-40-hours-a-week-is-useless-2012-3
http://www.paceproductivity.com/files/The_Inefficiency_of_Overtime.pdf
http://www.del-mar.com/Templates/Overtime%20and%20Productivity.pdf
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HairyUpperLip

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12183 on: January 29, 2016, 08:34:30 AM »
Ehhhh...  I'd argue that if you are working 80 hours, they likely aren't all productive hours due to fatigue, unhappiness, and loss of focus.  Most of the time when I see people who work a lot of hours I generally think they aren't being very efficient and are probably wasting a lot of time.

A lot of my team mates that seem to be in the office after hours tend to spend most of the day socializing and bullshitting. No surprise they "stay late" to get things done.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12184 on: January 29, 2016, 08:35:17 AM »
Ehhhh...  I'd argue that if you are working 80 hours, they likely aren't all productive hours due to fatigue, unhappiness, and loss of focus.  Most of the time when I see people who work a lot of hours I generally think they aren't being very efficient and are probably wasting a lot of time.

Quite possibly, but they're wasting BILLABLE time.  I agree, if you are interested in getting an effective project done, sitting everyone in a room for 80 hour weeks is dumb.  But if you want to maximize hourly rate * hours billed, it kind of is the way to get the most bang for your buck.  Only works until the customer wises up, but who are they going to go to, the guys down the street doing the same thing?


(not defending the practice, necessarily, but framing it so we can understand the motivations)
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Tabaxus

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12185 on: January 29, 2016, 08:36:57 AM »
The partners don't understand the mentality of staffers who are NOT shooting for partner.  They seem to miss the value of staff who are willing to reach a mid-manager level and stay there.  They see it as disloyalty/slacking if a staffer wants to always be out the door on time (not early) to have dinner with family, even if staffer comes in early to keep up the hours.  And thus, only "superstars" who put in stupid-long, visible, late hours get noticed and rewarded.  Thus, turnover is really high.
I can't figure out why this is such a sticking point. The value of an employee's time and the amount of it that they want to sell to the company are two different issues.

In certain businesses, such as public accounting, the business is essentially selling the time.  So yes, all things being equal, employee A who wants to sell 2080 hours is less valuable than employee B who wants to sell 2500.  And I don't get why rewarding guys who put in more hours is met with anger or disbelief.  Why shouldn't it be like that?  Work/life balance is just that, a balance.  If you want to spend more time on "life" the work part gets shortchanged.  There's nothing wrong with making the decision to do that, but it's a little disingenuous to not want to work as much as another and still want the same perks/promotions/etc.
They're still making the same amount per hour, and arguably more per hour in the long run, from a guy who does quality work for 40 hours than one who overworks himself. The research data is out there on maximum vs. optimum work hours. Wanna sell more hours, get more people.

The point of a good work-life balance is to deliver the best value on both sides, not just to limit one. That's what workaholics fail to understand. I mean, as WTHerring said, the imbalance produces high turnover, which costs companies money. Yet they fail to factor that in, because their mindset is fucked.

That ignores overhead cost of additional people (which can be  extremely significant, because actual compensation per hour worked tends to decline in most of these jobs and increased personnel has various other costs); slower development of technical skills (it's absolutely true that efficiency drops off, but until you're at ridiculous hours, it doesn't go to zero); lack of sufficiently qualified people (firm I'm at has $25k-50k referrak bonuses for a ton of positions right now, but can't find the right people); slower client development; increased need to lay people off when work slows down; and various other factors.  "Just hire more people" isn't a sufficient solution.

Also, unless clients cut back the hours/compensation (some are getting better about this, some aren't), it's no skin off the company's back if efficiency isn't at peak.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12186 on: January 29, 2016, 08:48:51 AM »
They're still making the same amount per hour, and arguably more per hour in the long run, from a guy who does quality work for 40 hours than one who overworks himself. The research data is out there on maximum vs. optimum work hours. Wanna sell more hours, get more people.

No, they're selling hours worked, period (in public accounting and big law).  You sell more hours, you make more money. 

Quote
The point of a good work-life balance is to deliver the best value on both sides, not just to limit one. That's what workaholics fail to understand. I mean, as WTHerring said, the imbalance produces high turnover, which costs companies money. Yet they fail to factor that in, because their mindset is fucked.

In public accounting (and big law) they absolutely factor it in, and plan on it.  They hire a zillion fresh college grads, and expect a certain (large) percentage to leave at every annual step.  The workers work their asses off, get a nice resume, and hopefully slide out into a cushier corporate or boutique firm job after a few painful years, and the firm knows there are always a nice fresh crop of college grads hungry for the experience ready to slide into their place.  The entire business model is built on this.  It sucks in some respects, but you don't HAVE to play the game. 

Also, generally you are busting your ass early on in your life/career, and if you're smart you can bank a ton of money because you don't have time for much else (and if you're on the road you have almost no expenses).  You slide out around 28/29, take that corporate management role for $100k, and slash your hours worked. 
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Tabaxus

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12187 on: January 29, 2016, 10:03:27 AM »
They're still making the same amount per hour, and arguably more per hour in the long run, from a guy who does quality work for 40 hours than one who overworks himself. The research data is out there on maximum vs. optimum work hours. Wanna sell more hours, get more people.

No, they're selling hours worked, period (in public accounting and big law).  You sell more hours, you make more money. 

Quote
The point of a good work-life balance is to deliver the best value on both sides, not just to limit one. That's what workaholics fail to understand. I mean, as WTHerring said, the imbalance produces high turnover, which costs companies money. Yet they fail to factor that in, because their mindset is fucked.

In public accounting (and big law) they absolutely factor it in, and plan on it.  They hire a zillion fresh college grads, and expect a certain (large) percentage to leave at every annual step.  The workers work their asses off, get a nice resume, and hopefully slide out into a cushier corporate or boutique firm job after a few painful years, and the firm knows there are always a nice fresh crop of college grads hungry for the experience ready to slide into their place.  The entire business model is built on this.  It sucks in some respects, but you don't HAVE to play the game. 

Also, generally you are busting your ass early on in your life/career, and if you're smart you can bank a ton of money because you don't have time for much else (and if you're on the road you have almost no expenses).  You slide out around 28/29, take that corporate management role for $100k, and slash your hours worked.

I know a ton of people who ended up with a rude awakening when they shifted from biglaw to in-house, took the giant money hit, aaand.... the hours didn't actually improve for them nearly enough to justify the pay hit. 

I'm holding onto my biglaw job for dear life as long as they'll keep me.  Which probably isn't too much longer, because I'm approaching the "up or out" years, but banking money in the meantime to buy that cardboard box I've always wanted...

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12188 on: January 29, 2016, 10:08:31 AM »
They're still making the same amount per hour, and arguably more per hour in the long run, from a guy who does quality work for 40 hours than one who overworks himself. The research data is out there on maximum vs. optimum work hours. Wanna sell more hours, get more people.

No, they're selling hours worked, period (in public accounting and big law).  You sell more hours, you make more money. 

Quote
The point of a good work-life balance is to deliver the best value on both sides, not just to limit one. That's what workaholics fail to understand. I mean, as WTHerring said, the imbalance produces high turnover, which costs companies money. Yet they fail to factor that in, because their mindset is fucked.

In public accounting (and big law) they absolutely factor it in, and plan on it.  They hire a zillion fresh college grads, and expect a certain (large) percentage to leave at every annual step.  The workers work their asses off, get a nice resume, and hopefully slide out into a cushier corporate or boutique firm job after a few painful years, and the firm knows there are always a nice fresh crop of college grads hungry for the experience ready to slide into their place.  The entire business model is built on this.  It sucks in some respects, but you don't HAVE to play the game. 

Also, generally you are busting your ass early on in your life/career, and if you're smart you can bank a ton of money because you don't have time for much else (and if you're on the road you have almost no expenses).  You slide out around 28/29, take that corporate management role for $100k, and slash your hours worked.

I know a ton of people who ended up with a rude awakening when they shifted from biglaw to in-house, took the giant money hit, aaand.... the hours didn't actually improve for them nearly enough to justify the pay hit. 

Do you do anything that could transfer to the gov't?   My sister left Big Law for a gov't agency, near the top of the GS scale.  she points out that her year group is now getting bonuses that are approximately her whole annual salary, but she works a pretty strict 40-45 hour work week so she's happy.
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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12189 on: January 29, 2016, 10:14:18 AM »
Quote
Hey Mister, TOPIC DRIFT KILLS! I saw a study that shows 30% more Internet users commit suicide in threads driven o/t by foamy black box trolls

Hey! It's not Topic Drift that kills! It's Topic Drift DIFFERENTIAL. If all the topics are drifting at the same high rate, that's way safer than having a bunch of fast drifting topics trying to dodge a few slow drifting ones.


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GuitarStv

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12190 on: January 29, 2016, 10:21:28 AM »
What seems to be needed is a strict upper limit applied to topic drift for the safety of all involved in this thread.

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12191 on: January 29, 2016, 10:32:03 AM »
What seems to be needed is a strict upper limit applied to topic drift for the safety of all involved in this thread.

We need a topic drift algorithm that will automatically flag posts exceeding preset parameters.  Some sort of black (or orange) box system.

mm1970

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12192 on: January 29, 2016, 10:49:15 AM »
Ehhhh...  I'd argue that if you are working 80 hours, they likely aren't all productive hours due to fatigue, unhappiness, and loss of focus.  Most of the time when I see people who work a lot of hours I generally think they aren't being very efficient and are probably wasting a lot of time.

A lot of my team mates that seem to be in the office after hours tend to spend most of the day socializing and bullshitting. No surprise they "stay late" to get things done.

This is surely an interesting topic to me.  In one of my previous jobs, we were required to work at least 45 hours a week.  Actually more than one, but the Navy doesn't count.

The hours weren't necessarily set, and it wasn't really written down in company policy (because that's illegal for exempt employees), but I did find it on a power point file.  As my boss put it: "Studies show that people aren't productive 100% of the time.  However, if you are required to work an extra 5 hours a week, an extra hour a day, we KNOW we are getting a good solid hour there, because why else would you be working late if you aren't working??"  Ummm...many bosses at the job were like that and...honestly during my first review he dinged me because our VP and I would chat for the 5 minutes before our meeting started once a week.  "If you want to talk about personal stuff with people, you can do it for a few minutes first thing in the morning, or right before you leave.  But it's not good to do it in the middle of the day because it's distracting you from your work."  I shit you not.  Rather than argue (like wrestling with a pig), I just said "um, okay". 

I don't think he's that bad anymore, but I really don't know for sure.

In any event, I found efficiency to decline with increasing hours.  There was a period of time when I was working 32 hours a week, and they were solid hours.  I worked with one or two men who worked 50-60 hours a week ("worked" is a strong word), and they liked to TALK.  I would cut them off.  One of them made a comment loudly every Friday when I left at 4:30 to pick up my kids (but only if the boss were around), "Must be nice to leave at 4:30".  I said "Ed, it's not my fault that I get more done in 32 hours than you get done in 50."

Other studies have shown that working late is what helps get you promotions.  "Face time".  It doesn't matter if you actually get more done, the boss sees you working late.  The boss doesn't see me come in at 7:30 am.  It depends on the boss, obviously, but one of my previous bosses worked exactly this way - and I opted out of playing that game. 

JordanOfGilead

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12193 on: January 29, 2016, 11:24:21 AM »
First of all, speed does not kill.
"Speed never killed anybody. Suddenly becoming stationary, that's what gets you."
- Jeremy Clarkson

Joggernot

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12194 on: January 29, 2016, 12:55:17 PM »
I think I read that article.


Is that from the Onion?

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12195 on: January 29, 2016, 01:35:06 PM »

zephyr911

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12196 on: January 29, 2016, 01:48:37 PM »
No, they're selling hours worked, period (in public accounting and big law).  You sell more hours, you make more money. 
You don't think doing better quality work, on average, will ever result in the company getting a better rep that leads to a) more work, or b) better rates?
Quote
In public accounting (and big law) they absolutely factor it in, and plan on it.  They hire a zillion fresh college grads, and expect a certain (large) percentage to leave at every annual step.  The workers work their asses off, get a nice resume, and hopefully slide out into a cushier corporate or boutique firm job after a few painful years, and the firm knows there are always a nice fresh crop of college grads hungry for the experience ready to slide into their place.  The entire business model is built on this.  It sucks in some respects, but you don't HAVE to play the game. 
I understand that they accept turnover as a reality. I'm saying it seems shortsighted to count on always training new people instead of having policies that don't make the workplace a meat grinder. Do you think the above approach is actually sound and healthy?
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JordanOfGilead

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12197 on: January 29, 2016, 01:51:48 PM »


Guess again?

Awesome.
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Definitely keeping that one.

Joggernot

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12198 on: January 29, 2016, 02:04:30 PM »


Guess again?

Awesome.
Yep, that was great.  Gotta save it and send to the kids!
« Last Edit: January 29, 2016, 02:08:57 PM by Joggernot »

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Re: Overheard at Work
« Reply #12199 on: January 29, 2016, 02:08:51 PM »
Wow, I am loving the parody news clippings.

The partners don't understand the mentality of staffers who are NOT shooting for partner.  They seem to miss the value of staff who are willing to reach a mid-manager level and stay there.  They see it as disloyalty/slacking if a staffer wants to always be out the door on time (not early) to have dinner with family, even if staffer comes in early to keep up the hours.  And thus, only "superstars" who put in stupid-long, visible, late hours get noticed and rewarded.  Thus, turnover is really high.
I can't figure out why this is such a sticking point. The value of an employee's time and the amount of it that they want to sell to the company are two different issues.

In certain businesses, such as public accounting, the business is essentially selling the time.  So yes, all things being equal, employee A who wants to sell 2080 hours is less valuable than employee B who wants to sell 2500.  And I don't get why rewarding guys who put in more hours is met with anger or disbelief.  Why shouldn't it be like that?  Work/life balance is just that, a balance.  If you want to spend more time on "life" the work part gets shortchanged.  There's nothing wrong with making the decision to do that, but it's a little disingenuous to not want to work as much as another and still want the same perks/promotions/etc.

Employee A, who wants to have evenings with family, would work 6 AM to 6 PM.  Employee B, who wanted to become a partner, would work 8:30 AM to 8:30 PM.  Employee A gets treated poorly because A left in time for dinner.  Employee B gets praised because B is "putting in the hours."

And, before the question comes up, of the employees that fit either the "A" or "B" category, it was only one of the B employees who was known to spend MASSIVE amounts of time on personal things.
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