Remember in school when they forced those damn story problems down your throat? It made you angry, right? Because you just knew shit like that would never apply to your life. What a monumental waste of time.
I woke up this week and somehow summoned the force of will to slog my pitiful self down to The Shithole.
Not long after I clocked in I began to analyze the scope of the day that lay before me. Mondays are never good. The shit piles up fast and customers are out in the world pounding their redial buttons on our voice mail until they get a human. When the phones roll over at 9am The Big Fist of Life says hello to your butt. Mondays are wonderful.
I was grappling with this sort of reality when the boss stopped by for a little chat. It’s never a good thing when you on one of the first things on his plate.
“Ummm. Yeah. I’m gonna have a little task for you. I sent it in email. If you could just go ahead and make that a priority that would be great. Thanks!”
Yes, for me, the movie Office Space is an autobiography.
The email delineated the boss’ needs for the day. It seems the so-called “management retreat” is coming up and the boss wants a little information in the form of some reports. This is so they can make the Big Decisions. You know, like the one’s they made at last year’s Management Retreat that got us deep inside our current pickle. It sure feels good knowing these brainiacs are in charge of the company’s destiny.
Anyway, I digress. The big retreat is Wednesday. He needs his reports no later than Wednesday morning. OK, let’s see what he’s asking for.
The boss wants 29 reports. Each report will contain monthly data (that will also be summarized) for 19 months. That is the 12 months of 2009 and the 7 months in the books so far for 2010. So that is 19 monthly reports for each of the 29 different category reports.
I need a calculator. I can’t do this in my head. 29 overall reports each containing 19 monthly sets of data that will need to be pulled. That’s 29 times 19 which equals … Five hundred and fifty one reports!
Motherfucka! Now that is a real life application of a story problem.
Not satisfied, though, I quickly extended that data out into some real-world numbers. Let’s assume each data set took me one minute to pull, copy and format. That would be of a minimum of 551 minutes for this task. 551 divided by 60 minutes per hour equals 9.2 hours! And my boss has thoughtfully provided lead time of two work days to get this done. Nice.
Here’s a little chart I made to estimate this task:
1 min per data set = 9.2 hours overall task time
2 min = 18.4 hours
3 min = 27.6 hours
4 min = 36.7 hours
5 min = 45.9 hours
Yes. If it turns out that it takes an average of 5 minutes to pull a data set then I only have to get 46 hours work of work done in the first two days of this week.
Presumably the boss has an actual “need” for these reports. (Laughable concept, I know.) That’s why this guy who walks around the office calling himself the “super genius” is so damn smart. “I know,” he wisely said to himself. “I have a 46 hour task for something I really need. Therefore I’ll give my ass monkey two work days to get ‘r done. Good thing I knew about this retreat months ago.”
I was supposed to be pulled from other duties yesterday to work on this all-important task. Yeah, right. We all know how that works. Employees disappear and then come to me and beg me to do their duties. “I’m busy. Can you take the order for this guy on the phone?” Also, “get out on the floor and wait on those customers.” And this was after the boss had told them to leave me alone! LOLZ! It was a typical Monday with the phones ringing off the hook. For added bonus we had a record number of in store customers who hit the doors the moment we opened and never stopped all day long. The other employees, who all have pressing tasks just like me, took the brunt. The boss doesn’t feel that we need dedicate personnel to cover the floor so when employees are out there for hours their other shit (like shipping orders) is not getting done. A lot of orders didn’t get shipped yesterday.
Oh yeah, Monday was a good day.
So I busted my ass, did what I could in the time allotted, and completed 12 out of the 29 major reports that he wanted. That’s only 41% progress on day one. I’ve got one day left. And I concentrated on the easiest reports first. This project ain’t getting done.
Guaranteed failure and putting your ineptness on display is a great way to demoralize and destroy your employees. Well done, Mr. Lumberg.
Well, at least you don’t have to make work for yourself.
Does this guy carry a coffee cup around with him all day and wander through the office staring at people?
Make work for myself? LOL! Good one. 🙂
I like to describe our office like this:
If the whole team pitches in and works together we can build one car every two days. So naturally the boss comes in every morning and says, “Top priority. Start a new car.”
That means the car we had half-way done is pushed aside and put on a back burner.
At the end of the year we have produced zero completed cars but we have about 200 half completed ones that nobody wants.
That’s the way things work around here.
Your guess about the boss is pretty accurate except you forgot to add how he says (out loud) “I’m a super genius.”
Reminds me of that song “you’ve been telling me your a genius ever since we were eighteen. In all the time I’ve known you, I still don’t know what you mean.” Of course, I think the guy was singing about his girlfriend, although it sounds like it would apply to your boss as well.
That was first thought reading “Umm…” Bill Lumbergh to the rescue. I love how his slacking creates a fire drill for you. Fan-freakin-tastic. And I bet he won’t (ahem, can’t) even read them. Meaning it’s just a colossal waste of time. That, and you’re making one hell of a reference book. Make sure to include a by-line.
Good point. We’re assuming the reports have some sort of meaningful relevance. They don’t.
The last “retreat” produced the current shitty year. I have similar expectations for this year’s “retreat.”
Ha ha ha ha ha!
Oooh, can you please post the search terms that lead people to this post? I’m thinking “Big Fist” and “butt” in the same sentence may mean some interesting google terms. 😉 Sorry your boss is a jack-knife. You could totally make shit up, it’s not like he’ll actually use them anyway, right?
Congrats. You have pinpointed the key phrase for this post. 🙂 That’s the part that really tickled me as I monkey-pounded this post.
So, how do you see search terms for a specific post?
Math gives me a rash. I have hives, now, thanks.
Seriously? Tell this jackwagon to haul his hanky over the Namby-Pamby land and get a personality!
Or, as the old saying goes “If Intelligence were within his reach, he wouldn’t have any f@#king arms.”
I was attempting to illustrate the vital need math will play later in life. So listen up youngsters! 🙂 Hives can be treated.
I love the saying. I’ve never heard that before! Woot.
Again. Your boss is crazy. Period.
At least he hired someone with good math skills … for me to poop on!
[…] Remember in school when they forced those damn story problems down your throat? It made you angry, right? Because you just knew shit like that would never apply to your life. What a monumental waste of time. Maybe not. I woke up this week and somehow summoned the force of will to slog my pitiful self down to The Shithole. Not long after I clocked in I began to analyze the scope of the day that lay before me. Mondays are never good. The shit piles … Read More […]
46 hours of work, 48 hours in two days…what is the man missing?