Re: New TECHWR-L Poll Question

Subject: Re: New TECHWR-L Poll Question
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 08 Jan 2002 10:17:53 -0800

Reading the discussion on this question, I can't help wondering: does society place too much emphasis on getting along with everybody in the workplace?

In some ways, the emphasis makes sense. After all, at least part of the time, many of us spend more time with those we work with than with our friends and families. But how much of this emphasis is due simply to HR and executives adapting the latest flavour-of-the-month popular psychology? I often encounter people talking about the importance of building a team, but I can't remember the last time I heard or read someone worrying about how to make employees make better use of their time or more knowledgable about their jobs.

The assumption, I suppose, is that, if you can build a team, then better work habits follow. However, that isn't necessarily the case. A few years ago, I was working for a company whose team-building was second to none. Employees frequently socialized with one another, and all sorts of office traditions were established. Many employees said it was their dream job. But the company took twice as long as it should have to develop the second version of its main product, never had a clear business plan, and went bankrupt last year. Many of the employes still keep in touch with each other, so the team-building was obviously highly successful. Yet team-building didn't produce a sustainable company.

Personally, I can develop a decent working relation with almost anyone (or so I tell myself). But, given that the people I work with are chance acquaintances, what are the odds that I'm going to have a lot in common with more than two or three of them? Besides, one problem with socializing with people you work with is that you tend to talk shop in your leisure time, which isn't very restful.

Ultimately, companies are what Kurt Vonnegut called granfalloons: arbitrary groups of people with no real connection to each other. The people in them draw pay cheques from the same source, and work towards a common goal for a while, and that's it. So, as long as they're not assaulting each other in the aisles or sniping at each other verbally, why do we worry so much about how they get along?

Bruce Byfield 604.421.7177 bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com

"I have lead a good life, quiet and artistic,
Now I shall have an old age, coarse and anarchistic."
- Utah Phillips

Sponsored by eHelp Corporation, makers of RoboHelp. RoboHelp 2002 is now available! Get the very latest in Help functionality to create superior Help systems. Get special savings when you buy in January! Visit

You are currently subscribed to techwr-l as: archive -at- raycomm -dot- com
To unsubscribe send a blank email to leave-techwr-l-obscured -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com
Send administrative questions to ejray -at- raycomm -dot- com -dot- Visit for more resources and info.


RE: New TECHWR-L Poll Question - might be a rant ;-): From: Sean O'Donoghue-Hayes (EAA)

Previous by Author: Re: Client woes: a question to ask yourself...
Next by Author: Re: Client woes: a question to ask yourself...
Previous by Thread: RE: New TECHWR-L Poll Question - might be a rant ;-)
Next by Thread: RE: New TECHWR-L Poll Question

What this post helpful? Share it with friends and colleagues:

Sponsored Ads

Sponsored Ads