Nonsense At Work

Posts tagged employees

#937: Helpless employees come from parents who equate loving with doing

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Helpless-employeeDo you wonder where your ‘helpless’ employees come from? You know the ones — those who always wait for instructions, who never show initiative, who never volunteer, who never offer ideas, who never take responsibility.

Blame their parents. Specifically, blame their mother.

If you think I have a problem with mothers, then be disabused of that thought. I have loved more than one mother. I don’t even have a problem with mothers who love too much. But I do have an issue with mothers who equate loving with doing.

Take my wife. My wife does not know how to drive a vacuum cleaner because her mother regularly vacuum her apartment. You call that love? I don’t.

So, if you are over-helping with homework, picking up toys and clothes, doing things that Little Offspring should be doing, then know you are creating the next helpless employee.

We in management thank you very much.


Every week, and often every day, the Chief Nonsense Officer expresses his opinion on a regional public radio (NPR) station somewhere. The above podcast is the radio version.
© 2016 James Henry McIntosh – nonsenseatwork.com

#661: Grateful to the rude and the insensitive

insensitivePlease allow me to thank all rude employees, insensitive bosses and over demanding customers everywhere. Thank you for creating and sustaining an industry that has ensured employment to many a management consultant, organization development specialist and behavior coach.

(Oh, and let’s not forget the legal profession which scores big in the process of healing the pain, irrespective which side of the desk pays them.)

And then there’s little old me. Where would the Chief Nonsense Officer be without all the nonsense flowing from rudeness, insensitivity and plain incompetence in managing human interactions? Without a reason for being, that’s where.

Actually, not quite. I work with a few enlightened managers who believe in prevention. They understand that our parenting and schooling have failed to ingrain in us that mutual respect is critical to healthy societies and flourishing economies.

Them I thank warmly for maintaining the balance, no, for trying to tip the scale in the right direction.

You can listen here to the radio version of Grateful to the rude and the insensitive (10 most recent radio files)

© 2012 James Henry McIntosh – nonsenseatwork.com

#641: Off the cliff into the toilet

Is the economy going over the cliff or down the toilet? Right now it’s not doing either, so focus on what you can do. And right now you can get off your cliff and fix your toilets.

The state of your toilets can predict whether your company is going down the toilet or not. It reflects how much you respect your employees and vice versa.

People judge a restaurant by its food and service. I judge it by its toilets and coffee. Toilets and coffee are after thoughts. You ask for these at the end of your meal, when you have already committed your wallet. That’s why so many restauranteurs skimp on toilets and coffee. If they do that, I don’t go back.

Some companies skimp on toilets. If employees had more power, I’m sure they won’t go back.

Come on. Give your employees an unexpected bonus. Freshen up those toilets. Oh! And give them decent coffee.

You can also listen here to the radio version of Off the cliff into the toilet (10 most recent radio files)

© 2012 James Henry McIntosh – nonsenseatwork.com

#612: Employees are not guilty

During this weird political time of taint and blame, I cannot help but remember Akio Morita, the founder of Sony. Actually, every time I hear about layoffs and job losses, I think of him. And every time I read about another CEO taking a bloated pay cheque with one hand while passing out pink slips with the other, I think of him.

Why is the instigator behind the Sony Walkman (ask your father) so often on my mind? Because of what he once said. Aloud; where he could be heard; by other CEOs.

He said: “If we face a recession, we should not lay off employees; the company should sacrifice a profit. It’s management’s risk and management’s responsibility. Employees are not guilty; why should they suffer?”

What a pity that so many CEOs never heard what he said. Or maybe they did hear him and now choose not to understand him.

You can also listen here to the radio version of Employees are not guilty (10 most recent radio files)

© 2012 James Henry McIntosh – nonsenseatwork.com

#445: This cubicle can predict whether a business will sink or soar

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bathing-roomDo you know that the state of a certain cubicle in your company can predict whether your business will soar or sink? This cubicle shows how much you respect your employees and visitors, and how much they respect your company.

Yes, I’m talking about that cubicle, the one confusingly labeled the bathroom or the restroom.

Let me explain. Many people judge a restaurant by its food and service. I judge it by its toilets and coffee. Toilets and coffee are after thoughts. You ask for these at the end of your meal, when you have already committed your wallet, which is why some restauranteurs skimp on toilets and coffee. If they do, I don’t go back.

Some companies skimp on toilets. If employees had more power, I’m sure they won’t go back either.

Come on! Give your employees an unexpected bonus this holiday season. Freshen up those cubicles. Oh, and please give them decent coffee.


Every week, and often every day, the Chief Nonsense Officer expresses his opinion on a regional public radio (NPR) station somewhere. The above podcast is the radio version.
© 2016 James Henry McIntosh – nonsenseatwork.com

#379: In the land of the free, workers are not

In the land of the free, workers too often are not. Even the Department of Labor knows this, hence their new campaign called ‘We Can Help’.

The problem is that abused workers are the ones least likely to ask for help. Let me remind you why not.

Workers are at the lowest output producing level. At this basic level, they are mere commodities – plentiful, cheap, inter-changeable and disposable. When there is more work, more workers are hired; when there is less work, workers are discarded until the number of workers matches the work to be done.

In other words, a worker is perceived as a cost and not as an asset. And we all know that a cost is a ‘bad’ thing which must be minimized.

Before you blame this on capitalism and not on the evil with us, let me remind you of a Polish proverb: Under capitalism man exploits man; under socialism the reverse is true.

I’m James McIntosh at nonsenseatwork.com

Listen to the radio version of In the land of the free, workers are not (10 most recent radio files)

James can be heard on Public Radio: Monday – 7:19am and Saturday – 8:19am
88.9 FM WCVE, Richmond VA | 89.1 FM WCNV, Heathsville VA | 90.1 FM WMVE, Chase City VA

© 2010 James Henry McIntosh – www.nonsenseatwork.com

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