RE: Like long hours?

Subject: RE: Like long hours?
From: jgarison -at- ide -dot- com
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 8 Aug 2002 16:00:23 -0400


Looks like this thread just will NOT die ...

I agree with virtually all that Andrew says in this post. I have worked for
a startup the last 3.5 years, and it is much as he describes it: a small
group, highly motivated, all focused on a single goal, all willing to work
hard and do whatever it takes to achieve that goal. We have a CEO who is
capable of rallying the troops and leading them into battle.

What we make is a software application. We are not manufacturers (i.e., we
don't paint chairs). We design and develop software. We work hard, but
rarely do we work more than 50 hours a week, even in crunch mode. If we did,
we would not have been able to produce high quality software for very long.

Some days it's a slog. Other days, it's a joy. Most days, it's just plain
work. But we like what we do, we like each other, and we cooperate to get
things done. We ship three or (usually) four releases a year. We always hit
our delivery dates. We take everyone's effort into consideration when we're
building our plans. And it works. It ain't easy, but it works. We don't get
stressed out, we deliver.

And ... if/when we succeed, we will ALL share in the rewards.

So ... let's all get back to work here. I'm deleting this thread from
tomorrow on. I can't think of much new that's been said lately.



-----Original Message-----
From: Andrew Plato [mailto:gilliankitty -at- yahoo -dot- com]
Sent: Thursday, August 08, 2002 2:10 PM
Subject: Re: Like long hours?

--- Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com> wrote:

> At the same time, I do think it's important to recognize that most of
> these companies are taking advantage of employee's enthusiasm and
> dedication. Too often,they promise pie-in-the-sky in the form of stock
> options or future benefits that never materialize.That's a form of
> hypocrisy, and hypocrisy deserves debunking.

It can be hypocritical. But it is also natural for a new company or has a
idea for the executives to be very optimistic about the results. Hence, they
expectations high. They want to encourage the employees to join in on their
optimism. And some people are willing to do that. If they believe in it,
will commit to it.

But sometimes it doesn't always work. And everybody gets hurt. Thats
Not every new thing works. Some do. If you get into something that does
work, all
that hard work and sacrifice can pay off in the long run. But, the majority
new ventures will fail. And anybody who walks into a new company has to
that concept.

environment suits their needs.

> Personally, I try to take this responsibility. However, I would be
> mistaken if I assumed that, because I can, that everybody else can or
> will. Necessity constrains a lot of people.Many, too, are unaccustomed
> to take such responsibility, afraid to take it, or even aware that they
> can take it.

Therefore, the ideal situation would be to help empower those individuals
the education/training they need to negotiate and analyze their work

> I don't believe that most employers consciously cause low morale among
> their employees. Yet, if they act only in their own short-term interest,
> low morale may very well be the result.An employers' long-term interest
> is best served by being aware of employees' interests, and being aware
> that they will sometimes conflict with the company's.

Yes. I would completely agree with that. But when employee and employer have
conflict of interest, the default answer is not "its the employer's fault."

> I agree. The balancing act is difficult. But too many managers aren't
> even aware that it's necessary.

Its not their job. They are busy balancing their own lives. Why should they
be tasked with balancing your life. I believe it is an individual's
responsibility to handle the balance in their life and work with their
to get an arrangement that suits that balance.

> In particular, from my experience as a university instructor and as a
> sometime executive, I've observed a very basic fact: people hate taking
> orders. As they mature, they learn not to let this resentment rule their
> actions, but the resentment is there. Too many people in management are
> unaware of this fact. Some even act as if employees are a different
> species that won't react the same way that managers would.
> Obviously, a manager can hardly avoid giving orders. Yet giving too
> many, or giving them at the wrong time or (worst of all) giving orders
> than can't be carried out is usually self-defeating.All these mistakes
> only rouse that dormant basic resentment.

Again, I think this is mostly a personality issue. Some managers are not
adept at delivering expectations and orders to their employees. And as such
do so
in a clunky and sometimes demoralizing manner. That really becomes a
function of
a bad management.

> Yet an employee who works over-time is arguably equally deserving of
> those perks. An employee's contribution may be different from an
> executive's, but it's at least as necessary.

Not necessarily. A single well-placed, capable executive can motivate and
drive a
company to much greater profits. A single executive can bring in customers
previous jobs and business relationships. The average employee rarely can
the company in this way.

Andrew Plato

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