Goons at work

Hiring my friend – E

A good measure of the satisfaction of employees of a company is the average tenure of its employees at the company. In this department, the employees of my company demonstrate high levels of dissatisfaction; this month and next month, two employees are leaving after a short spell. Subsequently, the goons need to fill in the holes that these soon-to-be past employees leave behind fairly quickly. And the process of doing so, of course, involves idiocy.

So… like many times at this office, this past week,  this was what I was doing:

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Out of the blue, T-goon starts rushing in:

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“Didn’t you say you have some friend that was interested in working here?”

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“Uh… yeah? Did I?”

The problem with T Goon… or let me rephrase… among many problems of T Goon is his utter disregard for explaining context or description of the situation. He just intrudes without an explanation and demands a retort that is sometimes just hard to pull out of your brain when you were either doodling or facebook-ing. In hindsight, I know exactly what he was talking about. He was talking about E, my close friend who expressed an interest in working at the company. E is one of my best friends – we’ve had some awesome adventures together (more on this perhaps some other time). Personality wise, E is a laid back, smart guy with lots of upside to him and I will never wish him agony to work at this god-awful place so I said I’ll put in a word – without expectations. Life works in mysterious ways, however, because the departure of the two current employees suddenly sparks interest of the Goons and he is on the top of the list to be interviewed.

I, somewhat flabbergasted, tell T Goon I will contact him and see where he stands. I want him to be aware of what he is potentially facing so I describe the Highs and Lows of the job.

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He finds the company intriguing and finds some merit in the experience and goes into it. Consequently, he rocks the interview and the goons evaluate him. 

In the line of work we do at my office, we need some competency at a particular area. Therefore, the goons decide that they should give E a homework to be completed in one day and see his response to make the final call. Of course, the idiot of the group T Goon is assigned the task to convey the daunting task that nobody can possibly do. In fact, it was too daunting for him to even do:

“I think you should send him the homework, get it from him and once you got it, you can give it to me.”

“Uh… what?”

” I know you guys are good friends so why don’t you do the correspondence with him?”

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I think about this for a moment. T Goon is in charge of HR. And he’s giving me the duties of such to a potential employee, who is my best friend.

WTF

Standards and liability issues apparently do not register in T Goon’s brain. To state the obvious, I tell T Goon the following:

“You realize that this is a perfect setup, if I wanted to just do the homework for my best friend and tell you that he sent it to me and give you the homework, right?”

“Well you know I think it is important to have connections and utilize them so if that is what may be done, I think it should be considered as his ability.”

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“… don’t you think that has potential liability issues…. for instance, if Boss Goon finds out?”

“Ok. I’ll send it to him. “

So the task was done. E finished the assignment and they were impressed and the offer letter was sent by T Goon  – with grammatical errors. Love this company! I can’t wait to have E on board!

So what we learned today:

1. Idiots around you are not necessarily evil but become evil because their idiocy affects people around them. 

2. Absolutely do not, I repeat, do not use common sense logic or assumptions in the office. Use what motivates the idiots – like what they can actually see and feel. Asking foresight to idiots is like trying to teach quantum physics to cows. 

Until another episode, so long! and hang in there office goons!

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Goons at work

Boss Goon Strikes Again – make it pretty!

The Project

At work, there is this particular project that the Boss Goon is obsessed with.

We have a potentially lucrative opportunity at hand with a very well-known (anybody will know) company and somehow, someway the incompetent us, secured a meeting with a senior-level decision maker at the company. Obviously the boss wants to make a pitch at the meeting… with substance and panache. Being the Boss Goon, he thinks it is a great idea to make the presentation in paper form, not a digital format.

“Write it out in 3 pages with 2 separate chart pages and I’ll present it with everyone at the meeting holding a copy of these pages”

“But wouldn’t that be really distracting? Looking at the pages and listening to you explain it?”

“No this is more formal and the people at this company are formal. Thus we do it this way.”

“… but that seems pretty out-dated way to present data and results… (also you are committing a classic logical fallacy – equating apples and oranges)”

“That’s the way its going to be. So………………”

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You see, communication and logic pretty much goes out the window in my office. Thus, the project is ‘How do we make a presentation… written out?’

The Task

I was given the honor of making this presentation. Delightful! I wrote a meeting agenda, the content and results, tussled over the data set and we go back and forth endlessly so I can produce something the Boss Goon wants. He is a terrible communicator, however. Subsequently, confusion ensues.

Boss Goon, I finished the results for the data. Here is the awesome (terrible) summary of what we were researching.”

“But this is NOT the data. Where is the data?”

“You mean raw data?”

“Yeah the actual numbers”

“Well that has more than 3000 data points. At a senior level meeting, that is redundant to present. Why not just send them a digital copy if they request it?”

“No we need to give them those data.”

“We definitely can. Via cloud/email whatever source they desire.”

“No we need the data at the meeting”

“We can pull it up in a laptop”

“Damn it we need it!”

“You mean hard copy?”

“Yeah paper!”

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What is funny is that he is presenting and I am making it. How do I know what you want in the presentation? He says just do it.  Classic Boss Goon.  I went to a PhD program under one of the most respected research scientist of his generation and he always told me: “you need to prepare your own presentation that you chewed threw over and over again. Because you are going to panick and you are not going to be able to explain it under pressure.” Well that doesn’t happen in my office. During our final rounds to finishing up this highschool report, Boss Goon has interesting ideas.

“You deal with the contents and data. Finish it up and send it to me via email. I know somebody who can make things pretty and appropriate.”

‘Hmmmm…. interesting. An external professional who makes things pretty?  I guess I can’t make things pretty. But less work is good so I’m just gonna do whatever he says.’

Therefore, I just did exactly that and sent him the word document and the results of the data along with the raw data.

Colleague C gets the full throttle!

Typical morning. Coffee, useless email checks and websurfing. The Goons seem to hustle and bustle around another futile idea. Then, suddenly T Goon appears out of nowhere humpty-dumptying around the corner of the cubicle, without any notice, any lead that he is there and intrudes my colleague, C

T Goon: “I know you are the best at using Office programs”

C: all flabbergasted, “I… what?”

T Goon: “I know you are the best.”

C:  with his expression ‘what do you want me to do, you asinine goon!?’

T Goon: “I need you to complete an important project, that the Boss Goon wants you to complete”

C: “Ok, what is it?”

T Goon: “Make things pretty on these files, they are already in your inbox”

Without any further explanation T Goon leaves…

At this point, I just feel bad for because he has some tedious, text work to do.

Me: “What was that about?”

C: “I don’t know… Some fool didn’t do his job to make ‘things pretty’ so I need to do it.”

Me: “What an idiot!”

C: “I know. Plus, what the heck is making it pretty mean?”

Me: “Have no damn clue! Good luck man!”

Time goes by and after lunch C suddenly realizes something. 

C: “Wait, weren’t you involved in that big company project?”

Me: “Yeah”

C: ” I think these are your files…”

WTF

The  imcompetence and the lack of understanding of team work was evident. But not understanding leadership and clear communication just seeps through with Goons in these examples.

So in summary:

a. I could have given C directly if you wanted HIM to work on ‘making it pretty’.

b. What on Earth is making it pretty? On an Agenda? On bullet points? Also on raw data sheets?

c. Why are you giving a presentation with paper when  you have charts and data results in the 21st century? And making it pretty is going to make a difference in the critical mistake you have made in the first place: wrong method of presentation?

Until another episode, the Goons keep marching on…

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So who are these Goons?

May I introduce you… the goons!

I need to lay out some background information of my office!

Obviously, I will not reveal the company, the line of work, the specific individuals at my office. However, I do think they deserve nicknames! So let’s start.

idiotCAST: 

Boss Goon – is short and short-tempered. He is the leader without leadership! He is unable to motivate his crew, extravagant in some ways and stingy in others. He has a very peculiar way of preparing his cup of coffee – black with tons of real sugar (>3 spoons).

Painting : Napoleon at Fontainbleau

Silver Goon – acts slick,  and tries to mitigate the potential problems in the office. Seems to do a lot of work – but this is just because he calls his friends on the phone all the time. Among the main goons, the most amicable.

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T Goon –  is equipped with Border line  personality disorder, can’t win an argument but loves confrontation, loves formality without function and a nemesis to almost everyone at the office.

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And many haphazard goons throughout stories – at which, I will introduce them to you!

Interesting point: 

-There are a lot of foreigners at the office. This, becomes a great point for hilarity (I will not be making any fun at the nationality or the culture of which the goons come from . I myself, is an immigrant!)

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What is Office Goons?

Office Goons- what is it?

Ok so you are a white collar worker.

9-5.

Coffee breaks here and there.

You can’t wait to bust out of the door. It is not like you don’t work hard; you do. And you’re good at the job. But you have fantasies of being Ed Norton’s character from Fightclub or be the protagonist of Office Space. I am the same way. And that is pretty depressing. How am I going to survive another work day?

In order to get over that monotony…

I decided, that while I am here, I can make the office a little more fun. You know, humorous by remembering and recording the hilarity that ensue in my office.

Thus, this is the outlet it which I will describe the idiocy and ridiculousness of the goons who are in my office. After all, you might as well enjoy it if you can’t avoid it right?

So here they are, the stories of the Office Goons

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