The Old Man and the C(+(+))(*)

Believe me when I tell you that when blood and mud mix in the corporate world, just like that other context, it’ll be the people who are ready, willing, and able to “step up” that will lead the followers “out of the sh*t” and into prosperity.

During a discussion about technology evolution in American business, a subscriber on GaryNorth.com made a statement in passing. The subscriber is a professional software developer by trade:

“Corporate America does not love old people. Their loss.”

From https://www.garynorth.com/members/forum/openthread.cfm?forum=21&ThreadID=281000#281279   (Website subscription required.)

It would appear that this viewpoint is prevalent within the rank and file of American industry. But is it valid? Or to be more accurate, to what extent is it valid?

In response to the subscriber, I offered the following opinion…

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Selling Productivity By The Hour Versus Selling Results

“I want to know what to do if an employer increases your work time or load and continues to pay the same hourly rate for your additional time worked? Should you still try to limit your employment work to 40 hours?”

You’ve asked three related questions in the context of a fixed hourly rate. That is, three questions based on supplying resources by the hour:

1. “…if an employer increases your work time” (Applying more “productivity” resources, using per hour measurement for the resource.)

2. “…increases your work…load” (Requiring the resource to do more. That is, to be more efficient.)

3. “try to limit…to 40 hours” (Limiting – fixing – the supply of resources at 40 per week, using per hour measurement for the supply of the resource.)

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The Eighty Percent

If it’s required to deliver hours as part and parcel to the employment bargain, then pass. That is, if they will not budge off this requirement, then decline their offer. Then, ensure your career plan (primary position, secondary position, supplemental positions, etc.) is up-to-date, based on the assumption that their paradigm of requiring you to deliver hours will interfere with your broader career plan.

An observer’s opinion about a firm’s executive officers, posted on GaryNorth.com:

“In my view, the company is being run by dolts who are flailing around, looking for answers, and not knowing anything that Hobbes has presented here.

They will want more than 40 hours a week from you. Don’t sell it to them. Start a side business.”

Ask around about hours per week that managers are expected to deliver. If it’s over 40, tell them you are content in your present position.

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Management Bashing

…seemingly lost to the management bashers is the concept that, if management is the accomplishment of predetermined objectives through others, then it just might be profitable to be the other that accomplishes one or more predetermined objectives for management.

A recent discussion on GaryNorth.com regarding spending more than 40 hours on the job devolved into a commiserating denigration of management. The culmination of the commiseration fest resulted in:

When someone starts managing me, and telling me what to do, who is the age of my youngest child (now grown), there is a certain amount of subdued mental anguish that results.

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What Are We Paid To Do?

Being a sagacious manager, he wasn’t rubbed wrong and didn’t take offense that I had been majoring in minors off performance objectives, and spending company resources doing so, but merely informed me that being rubbed wrong and taking offense were not requirements of being herein employed…

A member of GaryNorth.com recently posed a question:

Should you call people out on email etiquette errors?
Example, there is a person I often work with in my company who:


1) Sent an email to me with a simple request, and CC’d my supervisor. My supervisor has complained to me in the past that he gets too much email. But now that he has been included in the chain, I have to include him in all replies — good etiquette. He doesn’t really need to know or care about this simple request sent to me and that fact that I have completed it. He’s delegated complete and total responsibility to me in this area. So when I have to include him in 3 or 4 emails back and forth, I feel like I am clogging his inbox. Now, if I had totally blown off the request (not even replied) and this person wants to email me a second time, and also include my supervisor — thereby properly escalating the issue, sure, that’s understandable. But including him on the first email is totally unnecessary, and, completely annoying.


2) Sent me an email, the first email on a new topic, by replying to an old email I sent, without changing the subject line of the email. E.g. new email is on “Topic B” and subject line reads “Topic A”. Again, a little frustrating when I see my inbox and I see “Topic A” in the subject line. My first thought is, “What now? I thought Topic A was resolved days ago!”

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Replace Thyself

Essentially, one prepares to turn over the job as one is learning the job.

A member of GaryNorth.com recently entered the workforce at entry level and has posed a question:

How would I know where I would be least replacable, especially as a young person with few (if any) highly developed skills? (Sic)

The question stems from earlier discussions about the desirability of being irreplaceable in one’s employment, to ensure that one’s employer will have reason to retain one’s employment in a recession economy.

However, irreplaceability is rarely a solution for someone who remains competitive.

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