Author Topic: My manager - "You don't seem stressed enough, I want to see you stressed."  (Read 23721 times)

chrisdurheim

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Re: My manager - "You don't seem stressed enough, I want to see you stressed."
« Reply #50 on: February 08, 2016, 10:20:14 AM »

I once had a coworker who would just lay his head down on his desk (or maybe he had a small pillow?) and nap for 15 minutes.

Smart man! I think a quick power nap is likely the greatest thing workers can do to improve their productivity and happiness.

One of the biggest cultural surprises on my end from my trips to China for work was that this is what 80-90% of the workforce in our Chinese office does during lunch break - eat then power nap - it's amazing to see.  Wish it was a bit more socially acceptable here :)

coolistdude

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Re: My manager - "You don't seem stressed enough, I want to see you stressed."
« Reply #51 on: February 08, 2016, 11:09:07 AM »

I once had a coworker who would just lay his head down on his desk (or maybe he had a small pillow?) and nap for 15 minutes.

Smart man! I think a quick power nap is likely the greatest thing workers can do to improve their productivity and happiness.

One of the biggest cultural surprises on my end from my trips to China for work was that this is what 80-90% of the workforce in our Chinese office does during lunch break - eat then power nap - it's amazing to see.  Wish it was a bit more socially acceptable here :)

If you have an office, it is possible. Sometimes I do this for just a minute (work is often busy). It really helps with wearing contacts since I work in tech.

mm1970

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Re: My manager - "You don't seem stressed enough, I want to see you stressed."
« Reply #52 on: February 08, 2016, 11:24:42 AM »
This shit is why I love being self-employed. The only office work I have ever really done was super-hourly - the building was literally locked at 5pm. I think my hatred of it started at school. If you finish all your work early, you get...more work! If you're a good, quiet student, you get paired with the most disruptive one in the class. You are punished for being clever and hardworking.

If this kind of crap ever happened to me, though, I have a conversation prepared.

Boss: [excellent performance review] but we're concerned that you're not putting the hours in. You always leave at 5pm.
Me: I don't think that's true. [cites examples of genuine work emergencies when I stayed late]
Boss: Sure, but we're really looking for employees who put the company first.
Me: Sorry, are you saying I'm not getting enough done?
Boss: No, but--
Me: Or that I'm underperforming?
Boss: No, no, we're very happy with your work.
Me: Then what's the problem?
Boss: We need you to be present in the office. X and Y are always here into the evening.
Me: Do they get more work done than I do?
Boss: No, but--
Me: It sounds a lot like you're trying to punish me for being productive and efficient.
I remember that conversation, or something similar, in my first post-military job.

Manufacturing, open 24/7.  Engineering. A coworker (who was my age) was the type of guy to work late into the night.  He was a "super star" loved running experiments.  So, he'd roll into work at around 10 am or so.  But he'd easily work until 8 or 9 running his experiments, writing up his results, etc. Company LOVED him.  (He was kind of an ass, really.  But sharp.)

Boss-man "so, we need you to be at the 7:15 am production meeting for the fab"
Eng: "No."
Boss: "Well, we really need you to be there"
Eng: "okay, I can be there, but I'll be leaving exactly at 5 pm every day"
Boss: "well, but no.  I mean, you do good work in the evenings, but we may need you to stay later than 5 pm"
Eng: "You cannot have it both ways.  If you are going to specify that I need to be here at 7:15 am, then I am leaving at 5 pm.  I will not work overtime for free.  If I am allowed to set my own hours, then I will not be at the 7:15 am meeting"

Yeah, he wasn't at the 7:15 am meetings.  He did get promoted to take the boss's job (boss got laid off).

dragoncar

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Re: My manager - "You don't seem stressed enough, I want to see you stressed."
« Reply #53 on: February 08, 2016, 07:49:20 PM »
This shit is why I love being self-employed. The only office work I have ever really done was super-hourly - the building was literally locked at 5pm. I think my hatred of it started at school. If you finish all your work early, you get...more work! If you're a good, quiet student, you get paired with the most disruptive one in the class. You are punished for being clever and hardworking.

If this kind of crap ever happened to me, though, I have a conversation prepared.

Boss: [excellent performance review] but we're concerned that you're not putting the hours in. You always leave at 5pm.
Me: I don't think that's true. [cites examples of genuine work emergencies when I stayed late]
Boss: Sure, but we're really looking for employees who put the company first.
Me: Sorry, are you saying I'm not getting enough done?
Boss: No, but--
Me: Or that I'm underperforming?
Boss: No, no, we're very happy with your work.
Me: Then what's the problem?
Boss: We need you to be present in the office. X and Y are always here into the evening.
Me: Do they get more work done than I do?
Boss: No, but--
Me: It sounds a lot like you're trying to punish me for being productive and efficient.
I remember that conversation, or something similar, in my first post-military job.

Manufacturing, open 24/7.  Engineering. A coworker (who was my age) was the type of guy to work late into the night.  He was a "super star" loved running experiments.  So, he'd roll into work at around 10 am or so.  But he'd easily work until 8 or 9 running his experiments, writing up his results, etc. Company LOVED him.  (He was kind of an ass, really.  But sharp.)

Boss-man "so, we need you to be at the 7:15 am production meeting for the fab"
Eng: "No."
Boss: "Well, we really need you to be there"
Eng: "okay, I can be there, but I'll be leaving exactly at 5 pm every day"
Boss: "well, but no.  I mean, you do good work in the evenings, but we may need you to stay later than 5 pm"
Eng: "You cannot have it both ways.  If you are going to specify that I need to be here at 7:15 am, then I am leaving at 5 pm.  I will not work overtime for free.  If I am allowed to set my own hours, then I will not be at the 7:15 am meeting"

Yeah, he wasn't at the 7:15 am meetings.  He did get promoted to take the boss's job (boss got laid off).

So this hell meeting was EVERY DAY?

Goldielocks

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Re: My manager - "You don't seem stressed enough, I want to see you stressed."
« Reply #54 on: February 08, 2016, 08:09:58 PM »
Science (or at least the New York Times) agree that the way we're working isn't working:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/01/opinion/sunday/why-you-hate-work.html?_r=0

Frankly, I find it really difficult to take a truly relaxing break at work. Maybe because I'm an introvert, so chatting with coworkers is actually draining instead of recharging. I'm still trying to figure out an acceptable way to nap on my lunch hour -- I know that would help me be more productive in the afternoon.
Ah, yes, finally -- and EXCELLENT reason to drive a car to work. Private space at lunch.
I don't do this, but I know someone who does.  They simply pack their lunch and quickly eat and sleep in their car.  Tinted windows and strategic parking and none the wiser, he has been doing this for years.

nobodyspecial

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Re: My manager - "You don't seem stressed enough, I want to see you stressed."
« Reply #55 on: February 08, 2016, 09:56:07 PM »
I once had a coworker who would just lay his head down on his desk (or maybe he had a small pillow?) and nap for 15 minutes.
If you have an office, it is possible.
That's what meetings are for

Tyler

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Re: My manager - "You don't seem stressed enough, I want to see you stressed."
« Reply #56 on: February 08, 2016, 10:57:06 PM »
Although the other day I think he was trying to phrase that in a way that made me cringe. "You exceeded all your goals without stressing out or pulling longer than 40-45 hour weeks. I want to see how you handle having too much work and not enough time."

Of course that's with no mention of pay increases, promotion or anything.

I have a friend who got his MS in Engineering Management.  He likes to joke that the degree is basically "reading a hundred books about how to trick people into working harder." 

From conversations I've had with him, I'm fairly confident that your boss is simply using a management technique from some of these books.  The basic theory is that in order to maximize productivity, a "good manager" knows how to keep his employees at a sustainable level of low-level persistent stress.  Too high, and they'll burn out and quit.  Too low, and you can probably get more out of them if you just push harder. 

FINate

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Re: My manager - "You don't seem stressed enough, I want to see you stressed."
« Reply #57 on: February 09, 2016, 12:22:26 AM »
From conversations I've had with him, I'm fairly confident that your boss is simply using a management technique from some of these books.  The basic theory is that in order to maximize productivity, a "good manager" knows how to keep his employees at a sustainable level of low-level persistent stress.  Too high, and they'll burn out and quit.  Too low, and you can probably get more out of them if you just push harder.

Which is fine as long as there's a realistic expectation that growth and more output will lead to higher compensation. If not, this can backfire...

I remember my first job out of University. As is often the case for new grads, I was inexperienced but highly motivated. Worked my ass off, always taking on more and bigger/more complex projects. I was eager to save, invest, and purchase a house, so I wanted to eventually get promoted even though I knew this would take time.

All was going well until, after about 2 years into the job, I heard some disturbing news through unofficial channels. As part of performance evals the Sr Engineers individually recorded their perceived level for each lower level engineer, then managers would use this to figure out who was over- vs. under-performing. I learned that all the Sr Engineers had me at 2-3 levels higher than my actual level. However, the company had a promotion freeze in place, so when I asked about promotion I was told flat out that there would be no promotions for an unspecified length of time. I promptly cut back on my hours (salaried) and started planning my exit. When I announced my resignation they offered double my salary to stay, but that just pissed me off even more (you mean you've been paying me just 50% of my worth?).

Leaving that place was the best decision of my career.

Making Cookies

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Re: My manager - "You don't seem stressed enough, I want to see you stressed."
« Reply #58 on: February 09, 2016, 08:36:39 AM »
Science (or at least the New York Times) agree that the way we're working isn't working:

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/01/opinion/sunday/why-you-hate-work.html?_r=0

Frankly, I find it really difficult to take a truly relaxing break at work. Maybe because I'm an introvert, so chatting with coworkers is actually draining instead of recharging. I'm still trying to figure out an acceptable way to nap on my lunch hour -- I know that would help me be more productive in the afternoon.

I don't do this, but I know someone who does.  They simply pack their lunch and quickly eat and sleep in their car.  Tinted windows and strategic parking and none the wiser, he has been doing this for years.

I once had a coworker who would just lay his head down on his desk (or maybe he had a small pillow?) and nap for 15 minutes.

I have an office and I often lock the door, turn off the light and nap during lunch. Sometimes stream a bit of TV (headphones) and eat with a small lamp turned on that doesn't make enough light to be noticed through the office door window (frosted).

When the weather is nice I get out for a stroll around the neighborhood.

Despite the light off, locked door I've had people knock relentlessly to summon me for stupid info that could have been relayed to me after lunch. Even had a co-worker let himself into my office (unlock the door) to deliver a message that also could have waited. I put a stop to that!

Am also an introvert that can play the extrovert game for only so long before I need a recharge. I also use lunch to recharge a little somedays.

Its not the end of the world but there are days when "Office Space" and "Office" seem real.

MgoSam

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Re: My manager - "You don't seem stressed enough, I want to see you stressed."
« Reply #59 on: February 09, 2016, 09:01:54 AM »

Despite the light off, locked door I've had people knock relentlessly to summon me for stupid info that could have been relayed to me after lunch. Even had a co-worker let himself into my office (unlock the door) to deliver a message that also could have waited. I put a stop to that!


Wow, that would really piss me off. I have a salesmen that takes a 15 minute nap at his desk daily, which I am completely ok with. This same guy will bug me while I'm eating lunch to tell me something that could wait. The last time he did this I told him, "If you interrupt my lunch again with someone that can clearly wait, I will set off a foghorn the next time you nap." He hasn't bugged me since. I don't mind being interrupted during lunch if it's something that needs an immediate answer, but he was interrupting me to tell me things like, "Next week I have a dentist appointment."

mm1970

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Re: My manager - "You don't seem stressed enough, I want to see you stressed."
« Reply #60 on: February 09, 2016, 10:51:45 AM »
This shit is why I love being self-employed. The only office work I have ever really done was super-hourly - the building was literally locked at 5pm. I think my hatred of it started at school. If you finish all your work early, you get...more work! If you're a good, quiet student, you get paired with the most disruptive one in the class. You are punished for being clever and hardworking.

If this kind of crap ever happened to me, though, I have a conversation prepared.

Boss: [excellent performance review] but we're concerned that you're not putting the hours in. You always leave at 5pm.
Me: I don't think that's true. [cites examples of genuine work emergencies when I stayed late]
Boss: Sure, but we're really looking for employees who put the company first.
Me: Sorry, are you saying I'm not getting enough done?
Boss: No, but--
Me: Or that I'm underperforming?
Boss: No, no, we're very happy with your work.
Me: Then what's the problem?
Boss: We need you to be present in the office. X and Y are always here into the evening.
Me: Do they get more work done than I do?
Boss: No, but--
Me: It sounds a lot like you're trying to punish me for being productive and efficient.
I remember that conversation, or something similar, in my first post-military job.

Manufacturing, open 24/7.  Engineering. A coworker (who was my age) was the type of guy to work late into the night.  He was a "super star" loved running experiments.  So, he'd roll into work at around 10 am or so.  But he'd easily work until 8 or 9 running his experiments, writing up his results, etc. Company LOVED him.  (He was kind of an ass, really.  But sharp.)

Boss-man "so, we need you to be at the 7:15 am production meeting for the fab"
Eng: "No."
Boss: "Well, we really need you to be there"
Eng: "okay, I can be there, but I'll be leaving exactly at 5 pm every day"
Boss: "well, but no.  I mean, you do good work in the evenings, but we may need you to stay later than 5 pm"
Eng: "You cannot have it both ways.  If you are going to specify that I need to be here at 7:15 am, then I am leaving at 5 pm.  I will not work overtime for free.  If I am allowed to set my own hours, then I will not be at the 7:15 am meeting"

Yeah, he wasn't at the 7:15 am meetings.  He did get promoted to take the boss's job (boss got laid off).

So this hell meeting was EVERY DAY?
Yes.  It coincided with shift change, sort of. So production and engineering could know the plans for the day.  (But you really only needed *one* engineer there - at most two - and I was always there.  I'm a morning person.)

At my current job, we also had a 24/7 fab for awhile.  Our engineering manager left, and they were choosing a new one.  The VP took over temporarily.  When I didn't get the job *right away*, I knew it wasn't going to be me, regardless of what hoops I jumped through (I was already doing 2/3 of the job and the leaving manager recommended me.  However, the VP and I did not see eye to eye.)

Among the "requirements":
1.  Attend the morning epi meeting (another group) - at 7:15 am EVERY DAY.
2.  Attend the morning production meeting (8 am)
3.  Attend the evening production meeting (6 pm to 6:45 pm)

Fuck that.  My coworker actually did it.  He got promoted about a month before we closed the fab doors.  But he did it for a YEAR before he got promoted.  Although the morning 7:15 am meeting only lasted about 4 months, he still had to attend the 8 am and 6 pm meetings for a full year.

mm1970

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Re: My manager - "You don't seem stressed enough, I want to see you stressed."
« Reply #61 on: February 09, 2016, 10:53:27 AM »
From conversations I've had with him, I'm fairly confident that your boss is simply using a management technique from some of these books.  The basic theory is that in order to maximize productivity, a "good manager" knows how to keep his employees at a sustainable level of low-level persistent stress.  Too high, and they'll burn out and quit.  Too low, and you can probably get more out of them if you just push harder.

Which is fine as long as there's a realistic expectation that growth and more output will lead to higher compensation. If not, this can backfire...

I remember my first job out of University. As is often the case for new grads, I was inexperienced but highly motivated. Worked my ass off, always taking on more and bigger/more complex projects. I was eager to save, invest, and purchase a house, so I wanted to eventually get promoted even though I knew this would take time.

All was going well until, after about 2 years into the job, I heard some disturbing news through unofficial channels. As part of performance evals the Sr Engineers individually recorded their perceived level for each lower level engineer, then managers would use this to figure out who was over- vs. under-performing. I learned that all the Sr Engineers had me at 2-3 levels higher than my actual level. However, the company had a promotion freeze in place, so when I asked about promotion I was told flat out that there would be no promotions for an unspecified length of time. I promptly cut back on my hours (salaried) and started planning my exit. When I announced my resignation they offered double my salary to stay, but that just pissed me off even more (you mean you've been paying me just 50% of my worth?).

Leaving that place was the best decision of my career.
That's par for the course for almost every engineering job I've had.

boarder42

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Re: My manager - "You don't seem stressed enough, I want to see you stressed."
« Reply #62 on: February 09, 2016, 11:24:50 AM »
This shit is why I love being self-employed. The only office work I have ever really done was super-hourly - the building was literally locked at 5pm. I think my hatred of it started at school. If you finish all your work early, you get...more work! If you're a good, quiet student, you get paired with the most disruptive one in the class. You are punished for being clever and hardworking.

If this kind of crap ever happened to me, though, I have a conversation prepared.

Boss: [excellent performance review] but we're concerned that you're not putting the hours in. You always leave at 5pm.
Me: I don't think that's true. [cites examples of genuine work emergencies when I stayed late]
Boss: Sure, but we're really looking for employees who put the company first.
Me: Sorry, are you saying I'm not getting enough done?
Boss: No, but--
Me: Or that I'm underperforming?
Boss: No, no, we're very happy with your work.
Me: Then what's the problem?
Boss: We need you to be present in the office. X and Y are always here into the evening.
Me: Do they get more work done than I do?
Boss: No, but--
Me: It sounds a lot like you're trying to punish me for being productive and efficient.

yeah i dream of the day that some management company launches software that quanifies work.  In school if you're smarter and efficient you get more free time.  in the working world you're just always looking over you shoulder hoping someone doesnt see you not doing work b/c it takes you 25% of the required hours you're to be there.

dragoncar

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Re: My manager - "You don't seem stressed enough, I want to see you stressed."
« Reply #63 on: February 09, 2016, 11:27:56 AM »
Although the other day I think he was trying to phrase that in a way that made me cringe. "You exceeded all your goals without stressing out or pulling longer than 40-45 hour weeks. I want to see how you handle having too much work and not enough time."

Of course that's with no mention of pay increases, promotion or anything.

I have a friend who got his MS in Engineering Management.  He likes to joke that the degree is basically "reading a hundred books about how to trick people into working harder." 

From conversations I've had with him, I'm fairly confident that your boss is simply using a management technique from some of these books.  The basic theory is that in order to maximize productivity, a "good manager" knows how to keep his employees at a sustainable level of low-level persistent stress.  Too high, and they'll burn out and quit.  Too low, and you can probably get more out of them if you just push harder.

Sure, but you aren't supposed to come out any tell the employee outright.  You are supposed to use vague platitudes to motivate them

chrisdurheim

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Re: My manager - "You don't seem stressed enough, I want to see you stressed."
« Reply #64 on: February 09, 2016, 11:46:58 AM »

I once had a coworker who would just lay his head down on his desk (or maybe he had a small pillow?) and nap for 15 minutes.

Smart man! I think a quick power nap is likely the greatest thing workers can do to improve their productivity and happiness.

One of the biggest cultural surprises on my end from my trips to China for work was that this is what 80-90% of the workforce in our Chinese office does during lunch break - eat then power nap - it's amazing to see.  Wish it was a bit more socially acceptable here :)

If you have an office, it is possible. Sometimes I do this for just a minute (work is often busy). It really helps with wearing contacts since I work in tech.

Actually, that building (and pretty much all of our buildings worldwide) was a cube farm - so if you could see over the cube tops, you would see 100+ people all napping in one big room just separated by the short half-walls between them :)

Making Cookies

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Re: My manager - "You don't seem stressed enough, I want to see you stressed."
« Reply #65 on: February 09, 2016, 01:25:04 PM »

I once had a coworker who would just lay his head down on his desk (or maybe he had a small pillow?) and nap for 15 minutes.

Smart man! I think a quick power nap is likely the greatest thing workers can do to improve their productivity and happiness.

One of the biggest cultural surprises on my end from my trips to China for work was that this is what 80-90% of the workforce in our Chinese office does during lunch break - eat then power nap - it's amazing to see.  Wish it was a bit more socially acceptable here :)

If you have an office, it is possible. Sometimes I do this for just a minute (work is often busy). It really helps with wearing contacts since I work in tech.

Actually, that building (and pretty much all of our buildings worldwide) was a cube farm - so if you could see over the cube tops, you would see 100+ people all napping in one big room just separated by the short half-walls between them :)

You need a tiny drone to fly over everyone's cubes and take their pictures... Blackmail!

Just kidding...

Telecaster

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Re: My manager - "You don't seem stressed enough, I want to see you stressed."
« Reply #66 on: February 10, 2016, 10:37:47 AM »

Sure, but you aren't supposed to come out any tell the employee outright.  You are supposed to use vague platitudes to motivate them

Lol!  Or put up inspirational posters. 

RWD

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Re: My manager - "You don't seem stressed enough, I want to see you stressed."
« Reply #67 on: February 10, 2016, 12:38:32 PM »

Sure, but you aren't supposed to come out any tell the employee outright.  You are supposed to use vague platitudes to motivate them

Lol!  Or put up inspirational posters.


AZDude

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Re: My manager - "You don't seem stressed enough, I want to see you stressed."
« Reply #68 on: February 10, 2016, 01:00:19 PM »

Despite the light off, locked door I've had people knock relentlessly to summon me for stupid info that could have been relayed to me after lunch. Even had a co-worker let himself into my office (unlock the door) to deliver a message that also could have waited. I put a stop to that!


Wow, that would really piss me off. I have a salesmen that takes a 15 minute nap at his desk daily, which I am completely ok with. This same guy will bug me while I'm eating lunch to tell me something that could wait. The last time he did this I told him, "If you interrupt my lunch again with someone that can clearly wait, I will set off a foghorn the next time you nap." He hasn't bugged me since. I don't mind being interrupted during lunch if it's something that needs an immediate answer, but he was interrupting me to tell me things like, "Next week I have a dentist appointment."

This was probably one of the bigger challenges with Mustachianism that I faced(and still face sometimes)... If I'm not going out to lunch, where do I eat lunch that people will leave me the hell alone? Obviously a Mustachian People Problem, but still... nothing worse than someone asking you something stupid while you are trying to eat your lunch at a normal pace.

lhamo

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Re: My manager - "You don't seem stressed enough, I want to see you stressed."
« Reply #69 on: February 10, 2016, 01:06:03 PM »

I once had a coworker who would just lay his head down on his desk (or maybe he had a small pillow?) and nap for 15 minutes.

Smart man! I think a quick power nap is likely the greatest thing workers can do to improve their productivity and happiness.

This is such a thing in China you can find tons of pictures on the internet showing how it is done -- here is the link to some "office edition" samples. 

https://www.google.com/search?q=chinese+workers++napping&biw=1280&bih=590&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjB753v_u3KAhVX4mMKHaRdCVUQsAQIKw#tbm=isch&q=chinese+office+workers++napping

For a more diverse array of creative napping solutions, google just "chinese workers napping"

pdxbator

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Re: My manager - "You don't seem stressed enough, I want to see you stressed."
« Reply #70 on: February 10, 2016, 02:08:03 PM »
Wow. Some of these stories are so intense. Makes me glad I work hourly in medical. I make good money and once my 8 hour shift is up I'm out.

vern

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Re: My manager - "You don't seem stressed enough, I want to see you stressed."
« Reply #71 on: February 10, 2016, 11:50:19 PM »
I remember that Kevin Spacey line to his underling in Swimming with Sharks...

"You're happy...I HATE that!!!"

gt7152b

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Re: My manager - "You don't seem stressed enough, I want to see you stressed."
« Reply #72 on: February 11, 2016, 06:37:17 AM »
I had a manager that said to another employee: "My job as your manager is to create anxiety for my employees." I think he was just trying to kick him out of his laid back approach to work but thankfully I never got that speech. I did have this manager pull a project out from under my feet without even discussing it with me first. I just assumed I was going to be let go eventually but the pay was really high so I rode it out and had basically 0 stress until the entire remote office and most all the employees were let go more than a year later. Glad I held out for the nice severance package.

gt7152b

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Re: My manager - "You don't seem stressed enough, I want to see you stressed."
« Reply #73 on: February 11, 2016, 06:44:42 AM »
A quick power nap at work used to be the norm for me most days. I would feel completely burned out and exhausted beforehand and had a ton of energy and focus after. In my opinion they should be encouraged but I often wondered if anyone noticed and thought I was a complete slacker for it. I see most of my co- workers chugging coffee all day but I don't drink it so the nap was essential and probably more effective.

Making Cookies

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Re: My manager - "You don't seem stressed enough, I want to see you stressed."
« Reply #74 on: February 11, 2016, 10:25:03 AM »
This is such a thing in China you can find tons of pictures on the internet showing how it is done -- here is the link to some "office edition" samples. 

https://www.google.com/search?q=chinese+workers++napping&biw=1280&bih=590&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjB753v_u3KAhVX4mMKHaRdCVUQsAQIKw#tbm=isch&q=chinese+office+workers++napping

For a more diverse array of creative napping solutions, google just "chinese workers napping"

My brain is reflexively screaming "YOU ARE GOING TO GET CAUGHT! WAKE UP!"

BlueMR2

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Re: My manager - "You don't seem stressed enough, I want to see you stressed."
« Reply #75 on: February 14, 2016, 03:22:11 PM »
I used to be a believer in the minimum stress level to improve productivity.  For good reason, it really seems to work.  IF you just examine it by itself.  When you step back and look at the whole picture though, at the point of improving work performance you're ending up with employees that don't have anything left to give at home.  Home lives fall apart, which in turn causes work performance to suffer.  It's an excellent tactic to get a short term improvement in performance at the cost of destroying the employee and ultimately their contributions to the company.  As always, not measure the right things leads to bad policy...

Making Cookies

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Re: My manager - "You don't seem stressed enough, I want to see you stressed."
« Reply #76 on: February 14, 2016, 07:16:07 PM »
Use 'em up, toss them out and hire another.... Never mind the reduced job performance and cost of training to get the new employee up to speed.

clarkfan1979

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Re: My manager - "You don't seem stressed enough, I want to see you stressed."
« Reply #77 on: February 14, 2016, 10:21:23 PM »
All of my co-workers have the relatively same workload. Some of them get it done in 30 hours and some of them get it done in 50 hours. I am not going to say which group I am in.

ender

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Re: My manager - "You don't seem stressed enough, I want to see you stressed."
« Reply #78 on: February 15, 2016, 06:17:06 AM »
I used to be a believer in the minimum stress level to improve productivity.  For good reason, it really seems to work.  IF you just examine it by itself.  When you step back and look at the whole picture though, at the point of improving work performance you're ending up with employees that don't have anything left to give at home.  Home lives fall apart, which in turn causes work performance to suffer.  It's an excellent tactic to get a short term improvement in performance at the cost of destroying the employee and ultimately their contributions to the company.  As always, not measure the right things leads to bad policy...

This works differently for everyone, too.

Some people do thrive on stress. I had a coworker who was far more this way than I was, loving the "chaotic mess with too many things to do" type of work environment.

Rollin

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Re: My manager - "You don't seem stressed enough, I want to see you stressed."
« Reply #79 on: February 15, 2016, 05:26:39 PM »
I've been accused of the same.  In my book, most stress is a result of piss poor planning. Next time tell them you are like a professional athlete, you only make it look easy because you are good! 


Red from Shawshank Redemption:

"He had a quiet way about him, a walk and a talk that just wasn't normal around here. He strolled, like a man in a park without a care or a worry in the world, like he had on an invisible coat that would shield him from this place."

What Red didn't know was Andy had a stache!

+1 very good!

Rollin

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Re: My manager - "You don't seem stressed enough, I want to see you stressed."
« Reply #80 on: February 15, 2016, 05:31:19 PM »
Well he also needs to look good (which probably involves the perception that he's squeezing every last bit of productivity out of you.  If you're not crying, he could probably work you harder.)

Option 1: make a big show of "doing more/working harder" and all the time and stress involved.  You may need to put in more face time and put up with more bullshit.

Option 2: find a new company to work for.  Your current employer has already formed the expectation that your awesome performance is only baseline for you.  They will naturally want more out of you.  A new place will be wowed by your normal efforts (and you can hold back a little so there's "improvement" you can show over time).  Possibly a pay raise or promotion in there.

I'd put some time and energy into exploring option 2, since your boss has shown himself to be a dickhead.

Option 3:  Keep doing what you are doing.  Don't ever buy into the BS.  I've been working for 30 years and never did. Payed more than 99% of my staff (only the boss above). Had I done so how many dinners with my (now deceased) wife would I have missed, or lunch with friends, weekends with the kids, or just necessary down time.  Had I missed all that and still ended up where I am I would be pissed!
« Last Edit: February 18, 2016, 11:59:30 AM by Rollin »

gliderpilot567

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Re: My manager - "You don't seem stressed enough, I want to see you stressed."
« Reply #81 on: February 18, 2016, 10:36:00 AM »
Last year my wife got switched from salary to hourly. This has worked out fine, except last week she told me that the VP called her in and told her that she isn't supposed to be working during lunch to try to make her day 30 minutes shorter. Grumble.


Different thing. Over the years I have learned there are four levels/combinations of stress v productivity and you generally progress through them as you gain knowledge and experience in your field.

1. low stress/low productivity. Figuring things out slowly, moving slowly, learning the ropes, not getting much done. Wading into new OJT, learning checklists, that sort of thing. This step is often skipped, but exists in a few occupations where you get some leeway time to figure stuff out.
2. high stress/low productivity. You've learned more than the new guy about the system you work in, but are not efficient, and still not very good at it. You know all the steps now, but flail around a lot and are very busy, and your work product is not yet where it needs to be. Many jobs start here. With practice, though, you quickly get to...
3. high stress/high productivity. You've figured out the ropes and can get jobs done well. Your work product is good and it shows. However you're still not efficient so you thrash and flail around a lot, always busy and racing to meet deadlines. Here you are at the intersection of very busy and very productive, so this is where bosses/managers want people to be.
4. low stress/high productivity. Finally, you've found all the efficiencies in your system. A seasoned pro, you can get tasks done with practiced ease, and even though work gets done fast it appears like you're very relaxed and always moving slowly. This is a great place to be until your boss finds out, at which time he will give you more work to kick you back to level 3.

jinga nation

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Re: My manager - "You don't seem stressed enough, I want to see you stressed."
« Reply #82 on: February 18, 2016, 10:49:31 AM »
...last week she told me that the VP called her in and told her that she isn't supposed to be working during lunch to try to make her day 30 minutes shorter. Grumble.
I've had bosses and levels above tell me that.
My reply: "Sure, if you can guarantee no one bothers me for 30 minutes. If you can't, then I'll continue working while I chow. Do have a problem with the quality of my work?"
Then I get left alone.
Because I've found out the hit my department will take if I leave.

FINate

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Re: My manager - "You don't seem stressed enough, I want to see you stressed."
« Reply #83 on: February 18, 2016, 11:01:47 AM »
Different thing. Over the years I have learned there are four levels/combinations of stress v productivity and you generally progress through them as you gain knowledge and experience in your field.

1. low stress/low productivity. Figuring things out slowly, moving slowly, learning the ropes, not getting much done. Wading into new OJT, learning checklists, that sort of thing. This step is often skipped, but exists in a few occupations where you get some leeway time to figure stuff out.
2. high stress/low productivity. You've learned more than the new guy about the system you work in, but are not efficient, and still not very good at it. You know all the steps now, but flail around a lot and are very busy, and your work product is not yet where it needs to be. Many jobs start here. With practice, though, you quickly get to...
3. high stress/high productivity. You've figured out the ropes and can get jobs done well. Your work product is good and it shows. However you're still not efficient so you thrash and flail around a lot, always busy and racing to meet deadlines. Here you are at the intersection of very busy and very productive, so this is where bosses/managers want people to be.
4. low stress/high productivity. Finally, you've found all the efficiencies in your system. A seasoned pro, you can get tasks done with practiced ease, and even though work gets done fast it appears like you're very relaxed and always moving slowly. This is a great place to be until your boss finds out, at which time he will give you more work to kick you back to level 3.


FYI, this is essentially Situational Leadership Theory (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Situational_leadership_theory). When I was managing people this was a useful framework to help me anticipate the needs and capabilities of each individual on my teams.

Le Dérisoire

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Re: My manager - "You don't seem stressed enough, I want to see you stressed."
« Reply #84 on: February 18, 2016, 11:45:43 AM »
Here was a discussion at my first annual review at my first real job out of the university. This is 100% true with no exaggeration.

- Boss: We are really impressed by the quality of your work, especially since you just got out of the university.
- Me: Great! Thanks!
- Boss: However, we noticed that you take less time than what we usually see to complete the work you are assigned. You should take more time to do what you have to do.
- Me: Oh. Do you mean that I do things too fast and that the quality of my work suffers because of it?
- Boss: No, the quality is perfect. But other people take more time to do the same thing. You should take more time too.

Did I say that I was working in private law, billing by the hour but earning a fixed salary?

MgoSam

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Re: My manager - "You don't seem stressed enough, I want to see you stressed."
« Reply #85 on: February 18, 2016, 11:50:35 AM »
Here was a discussion at my first annual review at my first real job out of the university. This is 100% true with no exaggeration.

- Boss: We are really impressed by the quality of your work, especially since you just got out of the university.
- Me: Great! Thanks!
- Boss: However, we noticed that you take less time than what we usually see to complete the work you are assigned. You should take more time to do what you have to do.
- Me: Oh. Do you mean that I do things too fast and that the quality of my work suffers because of it?
- Boss: No, the quality is perfect. But other people take more time to do the same thing. You should take more time too.

Did I say that I was working in private law, billing by the hour but earning a fixed salary?

Sounds like they were asking you to pad your hours...without directly telling you to do so. Did your boss wink a few times at you?

It's like in "Knocked Up," where Hiegl's character is offered gym membership and she asks, "Do you want me to lose weight?" Her supervisor said, "We can't ask you to do that," and then proceeds to hint that they want her to do so.

Kitsune

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Re: My manager - "You don't seem stressed enough, I want to see you stressed."
« Reply #86 on: February 18, 2016, 12:07:38 PM »
I actually had a boss refuse to look at documents if he thought you hadn't taken long enough to work on them. (And we're talking project plans, here: if it's for the same client and essentially the same project, review the 12 pages of the previous versions, change the relevant sections, ensure all updated requirements are in there, and you're done. We're not creating a project plan from scratch every time, despite what he expected!)

So he'd tell me he expected this to take 12 hours, I'd get it almost done in 2 (so I could have it up on my screen and look busy), and then I installed the Kindle app on my work computer and proceeded to read novels for the next 9 hours. He thought I was super-productive by getting work done JUST that much faster than he expected.

I tried just bringing him the stuff after the 2 hours it actually took me to do them, and he turned me around and said that I clearly hadn't worked on it long enough and to go back and bring it back when I'd spent enough time on it.

Ok then. Kindle it is.

coolistdude

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Re: My manager - "You don't seem stressed enough, I want to see you stressed."
« Reply #87 on: February 21, 2016, 02:55:51 PM »
I actually had a boss refuse to look at documents if he thought you hadn't taken long enough to work on them. (And we're talking project plans, here: if it's for the same client and essentially the same project, review the 12 pages of the previous versions, change the relevant sections, ensure all updated requirements are in there, and you're done. We're not creating a project plan from scratch every time, despite what he expected!)

So he'd tell me he expected this to take 12 hours, I'd get it almost done in 2 (so I could have it up on my screen and look busy), and then I installed the Kindle app on my work computer and proceeded to read novels for the next 9 hours. He thought I was super-productive by getting work done JUST that much faster than he expected.

I tried just bringing him the stuff after the 2 hours it actually took me to do them, and he turned me around and said that I clearly hadn't worked on it long enough and to go back and bring it back when I'd spent enough time on it.

Ok then. Kindle it is.

What happens if you get caught?

pbkmaine

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The best way is to have your books on your own device. If people ask what's on your device, tell them it's your To Do list. If they ask to see it or reach for it, "accidentally" press the button to return to home, then show them a generic To Do list.

gliderpilot567

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The best way is to have your books on your own device. If people ask what's on your device, tell them it's your To Do list. If they ask to see it or reach for it, "accidentally" press the button to return to home, then show them a generic To Do list.

I actually have some of my technical manuals in my Kindle. Convenient for lookup when traveling for work, if I don't have my laptop handy.

LennStar

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Re: My manager - "You don't seem stressed enough, I want to see you stressed."
« Reply #90 on: February 24, 2016, 09:07:53 AM »
I once had a coworker who would just lay his head down on his desk (or maybe he had a small pillow?) and nap for 15 minutes.
If you have an office, it is possible.
That's what meetings are for
Just insert a "voluntary power meeting" for all your collegues once a day at a good time. You can even give it different topic (of what you will ignore the most).

Making Cookies

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Re: My manager - "You don't seem stressed enough, I want to see you stressed."
« Reply #91 on: February 24, 2016, 09:29:14 AM »
Free Linux KDE has a multiple desktops feature. You can tie that to a keystroke.

So, desktop #1 has work (spreadsheets, research, email, documents).

Tap that special key and boom - desktop #2 appears.

And on that desktop is your MMM, your frugality manifesto, your next big novel under a secret pen-name, and your pictures of your dog and the kayak, ---errr the wife and kids...   ;)

coolistdude

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Re: My manager - "You don't seem stressed enough, I want to see you stressed."
« Reply #92 on: February 29, 2016, 09:04:13 PM »
Free Linux KDE has a multiple desktops feature. You can tie that to a keystroke.

So, desktop #1 has work (spreadsheets, research, email, documents).

Tap that special key and boom - desktop #2 appears.

And on that desktop is your MMM, your frugality manifesto, your next big novel under a secret pen-name, and your pictures of your dog and the kayak, ---errr the wife and kids...   ;)

You are a beautiful nose. Seriously, this is amazing.

ender

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Free Linux KDE has a multiple desktops feature. You can tie that to a keystroke.

So, desktop #1 has work (spreadsheets, research, email, documents).

Tap that special key and boom - desktop #2 appears.

And on that desktop is your MMM, your frugality manifesto, your next big novel under a secret pen-name, and your pictures of your dog and the kayak, ---errr the wife and kids...   ;)

I've always wondered why Windows doesn't have a built in desktop manager like nearly all Unix systems have, this actually makes a lot of sense that it'd be the reason.

There are also desktop managers for Windows you can install, too. I used them for more productive reasons before :-)

LeRainDrop

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I've always wondered why Windows doesn't have a built in desktop manager like nearly all Unix systems have, this actually makes a lot of sense that it'd be the reason.

There are also desktop managers for Windows you can install, too. I used them for more productive reasons before :-)

Hey, what about Clippy the paperclip? [j-o-k-e]

TheGrimSqueaker

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Free Linux KDE has a multiple desktops feature. You can tie that to a keystroke.

So, desktop #1 has work (spreadsheets, research, email, documents).

Tap that special key and boom - desktop #2 appears.

And on that desktop is your MMM, your frugality manifesto, your next big novel under a secret pen-name, and your pictures of your dog and the kayak, ---errr the wife and kids...   ;)

You are a beautiful nose. Seriously, this is amazing.

I should give my computer a (Jethros)nose job.

Making Cookies

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You are a beautiful nose. Seriously, this is amazing.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zndGk0WVYQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SlmgwHAXgB4

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gaBInOSjcjw

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dohhz91OTPY

Okay, that ought to blow an hour of your time. ;)

For folks new to the concept of Linux, you just need to see it to really understand that there really is a free "public domain" alternative to Apple and Microsoft.

Works fine b/c I don't normally need elaborate MS Office documents or spreadsheets. LibreOffice does just fine. Interestly enough I helped a coworker a while back who couldn't merge content from two MS Office Word docs b/c the formating went bonkers. I don't put much stock into MS Office as the best solution. When I need to send out a document to other people where the formatting is important, I simply make a PDF and send that instead. I do have MS Office and heavy duty CAD software if I want to boot into Windows instead. (dual boot)

Multiple desktops are as complicated as you want to make it. Mine is simple. Two desktops. I have tied the desktop switch effect to Ctrl-Shift-D but I could tie it to any key combination. Mine rolls a tumbler looking effect. Desktop 1 and then Desktop 2 and then back to Desktop 1. Circular switching.

Like I said you can make it as elaborate as you want - fades, blinds, cubes - there are a dozen plus transitions available by default I think. Probably more if I wanted to crawl the 'net to see what the custom Linux folks do to push the envelope. 

There is also an option to tie it to my phone's bluetooth so as I walk away from my computer, it locks the computer and then unlocks when I return.

I have a coworker who is not in my chain of command that likes to come all the way into and across my office so that they can see what is on my computer screens. None of their business - it feels like they want to see if they could spot something there to gossip about. Been like this for more than a decade. A quick keystroke, and there is nothing but work to be seen on my screens. I get my work done in less time than I have to get it done just as others have described in their workplaces too. Always someone gossiping here.

Edited: typos and little word adjustments
« Last Edit: March 01, 2016, 02:24:21 PM by Jethrosnose »

MoonShadow

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and queue up e-mails at 4pm to press the send button at 6:30-7pm.

Actually, you can automate these to send at any time you like, if you know how to do it, which most people don't.  It's a trick I've used before, to send emails from work in the middle of the night, when I'm already at home & asleep.