Logic – where are you? Are you out there? | HR Memories

Something that is often missing from the workplace is simple logic. In the business world it is related to judgment.

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…..

Clipart by canstockphoto.com

18 thoughts on “Logic – where are you? Are you out there? | HR Memories

  1. 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:

    This attitude prevailed among administrators of the Miami Dade school system in which I was a teacher for 33 years. The principal was more interested in exercising power and control rather than approaching things in a sensible way. Usually one of two things happened: If it was not the principal’s idea it was not going to happen or if you proposed something they would admonish you as being a troublemaker and employ the idea as their own.


  2. Speaking of non-logic today, at my office I was away from my desk for quite a few hours due to other tasks I had to do and lunch, and there were men installing lights in our office. Out of all the time I was away from my desk they could’ve worked on the light above my desk, but they didn’t decide to work on it until I finally returned. I swear, people seriously lack logic and common sense!


  3. Gah! People! What is wrong with them?! I knew this one lady, she was a computer programmer who was said to have 3 years experience in another company, who spent all day writing a small program. No wait, she didn’t write much at all, she just kept trying to run it while it gave her errors. She clicked on Run, it said Error. Run, Error, Run, Error. All day. She didn’t bother to try to fix it, or ask for help.


  4. Sometimes it takes all the patience I have to get through a day at work. But I can deal with lack of common sense far more than I can deal with laziness and the drama some of my coworkers engage in.


  5. My goodness, what is wrong with people? Those stories are something else!

    With the woman who wore the thong (why do people think that that’s appropriate to wear, period?!), they should’ve just blurred her out instead of getting rid of decent photos because of her.

    And regarding the woman who left after a week due to cockamamie nonsense, I don’t blame her either. Sounds like she was overqualified for that job and that mindless tedium was bound to get to her. I’m not sure of her situation, but with unemployment at a high I know that some people are willing to take any job thrown their way, but sometimes it’s just not worth it.


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