When I worked with people, I sometimes wondered if they checked their sense of logic at the door when they came to work. Here are some examples:
- At a company picnic, one woman wore a thong with low-waisted pants. In the course of the afternoon, everyone saw her thong. Had she checked her outfit in a mirror, she too would have seen that it was very noticeable above her waistband. However, she had a hissy-fit when she saw the company pictures and asked us to take down any that showed it. We complied but it required taking down great pictures of other people. What was she thinking?
- For a very good reason we had a no flip-flop rule for footwear. For our annual company picnic we relax our dress code. The picnic is on a workday. Everyone is allowed to wear picnic attire on that day. One employee slipped on spilt water in her flip-flops and hurt her back. She was out on short-term disability for a month. Personally, I would totally ban that kind of footwear even for picnics because of the liability. Had she worn sneakers she would have spared herself a lot of pain. I know it’s a picnic but it’s a business picnic that lasts about two hours on a traditional work day.
- An employee bid on an inside promotional position in a highly visible department of the company. She worked in a casual area where the temperature varied greatly. Consequently many employees kept a sweater in their cubicle to put on if it got cold. This employee chose to bring in a hooded, zippered sweatshirt rather than a traditional sweater. She went to the interview dressed very casually with this mismatched hooded sweatshirt and did not present a very neat or professional appearance. Despite the fact that I talked to her about it, she never understood the connection between how she looked and not getting selected. Your appearance is one of the few things you can control in an interview! Why not make it your best effort?
It’s not only limited to employees. Sometimes managers can lack logic too, especially if they are not receptive to suggestions from their employees. Here is one:
- We were very fortunate to hire a very qualified, experienced person to fill an entry level clerical position. She knew that she would move up fast and was willing to accept the job. She left at the end of one week. I met with her to see what had happened. Had we made a wrong decision to put an overqualified person in a position? As it turns out, the position was comprised of a lot of ridiculous redundant work. For example, she had to run a calculator tape to balance receipts at the end of the day. Then she had to photocopy the tape, trim it to size and attach it to another document. She suggested that they get carbonless copy calculator tapes which would eliminate a half-hour to an hour a day on the job. She had researched it and it wasn’t significantly more expensive. Considering the employee’s time, it was both less expensive and it relieved the end of day crunch to balance books. What was the supervisor’s response? Just do the work and stop thinking. She decided this wasn’t the kind of company she wanted to work for. Can’t say I blamed her.
There are tons of other examples such as taking a break in the middle of a rush project and maybe the biggest non-logical action of all time — not letting your supervisor know EARLY that there is no way you will make the deadline (and this goes for any level). Some employees prefer to wait until it’s too late to get the much needed help to make deadline. No one wants to deliver bad news but isn’t it bad news when you don’t make the deadline and blindside your boss?
So I say where is logic? Gone the way of the dinosaur…..
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