Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Dealing With Ineffective Employees

Years ago, I worked with a Manager who was completely ineffective.  We can call her Joan.   Senior Management really liked Joan because they thought she was smart, attractive and a constant talker about how smart she was, so much so that they gave her various "special projects" to complete for about five years.   Of course, Joan never accomplished anything important.  In fact, no one really even knew what Joan did for the company.  

I had the misfortune to sit between Joan and a very narcissistic salesman, let's call him Kenny, who was eventually fired, during a six hour cross country flight.   It was as though I was not even there as Joan and Kenny talked with each other the entire flight.   What I noticed was that neither of them was really listening to the other during their disjointed conversation.   It was so bad that if I could, I would have opened the plane door and jumped out.  I then had to sit through another few hours with them after we landed, when I realized that both of them were clueless and dumb as wood.   It was one of the most unpleasant days of my life. 

A Recession came and finally Joan was laid off probably because she had no real job, or function within the company.   The reason that became obvious was because once Joan was gone, no work needed to be transferred to anyone else; nor did anyone ask about Joan's whereabouts.   It was as though Joan never existed at all because she was never mentioned again by anyone within the company.  

There may be a Joan in every company.   If so, let's hope it doesn't take five years for Senior Management to figure out that they are employing a completely ineffective employee.   It is very difficult to hide in our company for very long because I often tell the Joan story to my Senior Managers.   I am not interested in having any Joan's on our payroll.   We employ people who have real work assigned to them; otherwise it is Bye, Bye. 

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