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Being in an awkward position without support of upper management can really
suck. It is a common enough failing, unfortunately--and the "marketing
person manager" seems to be a manager in name only.
It is not something that takes a "publishing person" to understand--it is
pure human dynamics and should be treated as such by any competent
manager--no need for specialized knowledge at all.
Jumping into private conversations among members of another department,
being openly nasty to co-workers--especially to those of higher rank within
their own organization--is enough for immediate selection for the layoff
list in any group that cares about trying to maximize the morale of those
As for the teacher--I'm afraid the rules in many government bureaucracies
make life miserable for far too long before someone can be gotten rid of.
Note that it was not simply incompetence in that case--which *should* be
enough by itself for the individual seeking other employment, but too often
is not in our schools. Little wonder that public schools are in such a
tremendous mess--compounded in many states by union rules that keep the
incompetent employed for far too long.
(There is a rather infamous situation in New York City right now where truly
incompetent teachers go to what amounts to a "study hall" each day--at full
pay--because they cannot be fired due to union rules but are too miserably
incompetent to teach. This can go on for years--while the schools complain
of lack of funding. Similar situations, unfortunately, are too common in
California these days as well.)
In organizations having to reduce headcount through layoffs, though, there
seems no real excuse for tolerating the kind of conduct you describe,
especially by someone who can so easily be replaced.
All too often, though, the basis for layoffs is not at all by measuring
competence or ability to work well with others. More often, it's sheerly
organizational politics at work.
On Sun, Mar 7, 2010 at 19:19, Melodi Moran <diamondvapor5 -at- yahoo -dot- com> wrote:
> Hi David
> Wow this really helps. Thanks - and I appreciate the military info to -
> that is a helpful "reference pt".
> You are so right.
> Note that I did note this person's personnel file and also talked to upper
> management about it. It all got into her personnel file. However, the co was
> havig a series of layoffs and literally every week all the pieces shifted.
> So one miute I was thoroughly backed, then all of a sudden here is this new
> manageer, who, depsite the peper trail i was leaving, was completely
> oblivious to our departments as he was a marketing person and not a
> publishing/tech writing person. Once this person saw that, that is when she
> went open season on me, as she saw I had no protection. This ties in
> directly with the pt you are making - it goes back to higher management.
> My friend who was our supervisor - of the teachers - she DID document and
> as I said this guy was eventually fired. What was curious too was that he
> absolutely SUCKED at teaching. Whenever any of us got any of his former
> students, it was a nightmare because despite having been given straight high
> marks, they knew NOTHING. She came in to another bad experience as the
> previous supervisor had not done anything - just let everyone run rampant.
> Then she had to come in and do housecleaning, as well as tighten up on rules
> that had never been enforced.
> Thanks for the post
> Melodi ("M")
> --- On *Sat, 3/6/10, David Neeley <dbneeley -at- gmail -dot- com>* wrote:
> From: David Neeley <dbneeley -at- gmail -dot- com>
> Subject: Re: Jealousy in the TW Workplace?
> To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
> Date: Saturday, March 6, 2010, 11:41 PM
> I do not believe it is at all confined to tech writing and education.
> The same things happen in every field I can think of.
> It is also by no means confined to older workers who have not advanced as
> There are people with negative personalities, people for whom various
> kinds of adversity--including personal things that have nothing to do
> with work--may bring out a very bad side.
> In fact, he human condition is such that there are some who at one
> time or another will be far less than gracious. For a few, in fact,
> those times seem rather continuous.
> Often, it is a failure of management to permit this to go on once this
> kind of behavior rears its head. If someone has been promoted who is
> very junior in terms of age or experience but kept in the same
> department, it may take special vigilence on the part of senior
> management to be sure the transition is a smooth one, and that
> resentments don't get out of hand among those who consider themselves
> passed over.
> Too frequently, that kind of resentment can fester and even spread so
> an entire department is affected. Thus, it should be nipped in the bud
> before it becomes something that poisons the atmosphere completely.
> This is a relatively frequent thing in the military--a process
> sometimes referred to as "deep selection" when someone is jumped over
> other, more senior people. Quite often, the newly promoted individual
> is moved to a different command to reduce the likelihood of problems.
> In larger organizations in the private sector, this can also be a
> very good idea if it is feasible.
> However, no place is immune from the vagaries of human personality.
> What seldom works, though, is for senior management to simply ignore
> it and hope it goes away.
> >From your description, too, I would say you were entirely too nice
> with the individual who was so offensive. At the very least, after a
> couple incidents with commensurate warnings, I would have made sure
> her personnel file was updated with a full account both of the
> incidents and the warnings she had been given. That relatively quickly
> builds a case for termination if they don't cease.
> > From: false <diamondvapor5 -at- yahoo -dot- com<http://us.mc1116.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=diamondvapor5 -at- yahoo -dot- com>
> > To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com<http://us.mc1116.mail.yahoo.com/mc/compose?to=techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
> > Date: Sat, 6 Mar 2010 08:07:38 -0800 (PST)
> > Subject: Jealousy in the TW Workplace?
> > What is it about this field that seems to bring out the worst in people?
> Or so it seems. Maybe it is all fields. Come to think of it it may be just
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