April 21, 2017

The Naked Dance of Increments and Promotions

In many organizations, especially small-sized and stooge-infested ones, there is this naked dance of increments and promotions that is repeated every year.

The naked dance is carried out like a tribal ritual in a total unprofessional and even obscene manner by all concerned - the pack of joker-like executive management, the top dog and his pet coterie and the lesser mortals.

The lesser mortals erupt in elation and joy or anguish and sadness when they get the letter, depending on what the letter of increment contains.

The naked dance follows soon thereafter!

The lesser mortals are distributed the letters in a company-wide meeting where the top dog calls out the names of the lesser mortals and hands them the letters.

The CEO is such companies is nothing short of a Joker-like Lunatic (JL) who along with his Nasty Stooge (NS) decides who gets what.

And this meeting is as funny as one can image it could be!

Or, in some other crap organizations the lesser mortals are sent emails with the letters (in electronic format with password) copied to one of the coterie of the top dog.

Department heads and managers in both such organizations are basically made to look like fools.

There is no meeting, no discussion with the department head. In fact, they are not even informed about what transpires in the secret, dirty meetings of the top dog and his pet pups.

The emails that go to the lesser mortals is based on the discussion of the MD in such companies who are basically viciously stupid (VS) and carry out their con jobs using the person taking care of such matters who is a rat-like scoundrel (RS).

The mails are not copied to the department heads and managers but to the stooges who form the coterie of the top dog.

Those in the coterie come in many forms. There are those who are experts in toxic silence (TS), or like a maverick kid (MK) or a piddly pest (PP).

The above characters in these organizations make the performance appraisal process which should ideally be handled in an immaculately professionally-run manner culminate in the naked dance of increments and promotions.

So do you see naked dance of increments and promotions in your organization?

If no, lucky you.

If yes, you are in a bad company. Period.

And if you know what situation you are in, and you are a real professional and not a stooge who is a part of the coterie you should remain that way.

Don't get up and do the naked dance.

Remain professional.

Don't even join when others are doing the naked dance.

Lala Company, Top Dog, Cronyism, Mediocrity and Stooges

Question: What is the common thread across these - Lala Company, Top Dog, Cronyism, Mediocrity and Stooges?

Answer: These are tell-tale signs that if the company you are currently working has any one of the above attributes, it will really have all.

In any case, if you are smart, you will figure this out on your own!

So what are the points you need to keep in mind while working in such a company?
  • If you are not one of the stooges of the top dog in such a company, you better be on the lookout to move on sooner than latter.
  • The top dog and his stooges have special privileges like "unofficially declared" reserved parking slots (despite the top dog claiming to be otherwise), being served some of the menu items in a plate on the lunch table itself, secret meetings that only the cronies attend.
  • The performance appraisal process is run by the top dog and his cronies. Other senior professionals are made to look like fools in the entire process.
  • The top dog would blatantly ask you to involve and keep in loop his stooge for that area. Yes, he will appoint stooges to oversee areas where professionals are working and not his cronies.
  • The top dog is expert in creating a beautiful facade of professionalism and progressive thinking but scratch the surface and what you see beneath is a dirt-laden, toxic lala company with stooges in key positions, and a company full of cronyism and mediocrity.
  • Such a company proudly announces that X% of employees are there with us for more than 10 years, Y% of employees are there with us for more than 5 years and similar nonsense. What it won't tell is that most of such employees are good for nothing, can't find another job and are basically living a retired corporate life in that company. And no wonder, this list will include the top dog, his stooges and his cronies.
  • The HR in such a company is not trust-worthy. On any issue the stand of the HR head will be the stand of the top dog and this will be so since HR head will be a key stooge. In fact, the HR head has no stand, the top dog will ask him what exactly to do (including when to wag his tail, when to bark and when to bite).
  • The top dog and his trusted stooges will go for lunch together and never mingle informally with other employees over then lunch table. However, in official parties they will come across as over-casual and totally ludicrous that at times may border on sheer non-sense.
  • The top dog will promote his stooges and cronies based on loyalty. Mediocrity is the true name of the game. In such companies merit has no place and those who say "yes sir" more number of times get promoted!
  • The stooges are not really that competent and are there in the good books of the top dog only due to blind loyalty. And they remain in the good books by being a nice puppy to the top dog and follow his orders to the hilt (including when to wag the tail, when to bark and when to bite).
  • When someone resigns in such a company, the HR, the stooges and the top dog, secretly work like mad behind the scenes (the actual head of department is not kept in the loop - he can as well go get lost!), do some non-sense to retain the employee and then claim that they have done a fantastic job in employee retention. What they forget is that such a thing never happens in a professional company.
  • The top dog maintains a facade of openness, transparency and professionalism on the surface that may mislead you completely at times about what is truly under and inside the facade. But if you provide him a different perspective and are not his "yer sir" stooge, he will discard his layer of artificial professionalism in no time and show his true, ugly side.
  • The stooge appointed by the top dog in your area will remain silent most of the times not because he wants to but because he is simply incompetent. However, when the top dog has an axe to grind against you he will use the stooge as his henchman.
  • The top dog and stooge will force you to take someone in the team who is as incompetent as them in that area. This person becomes their informer and can make life hell for you. For the top dog and the stooge this gives them secret power over you. Your position is always kept weak so that you always remain unsettled.
Well, there are certainly many more points one can talk about. The above provide a good glimpse into the aspects you should consider when working in such a company.

So if you observe any of the following in your current organization - Lala Company, Top Dog, Cronyism, Mediocrity and Stooges - you got to be alert and very careful.

When it comes to good, bad and ugly, you must remember that you should be prepared to come across most of ugly, lot of bad and little or no good when you work in such companies.

Of course, when they hire you the impression the top dog and the stooges will create is that most of it is good, a little is bad but no ugly.

Don't fall for the lie!

But in case you have already fallen for the lie - poor, wretched you.

You must get out, and that too very fast!

April 4, 2017

Laugh Out Loud - You are in a Bloody, Third Grade, Toxic Organization

Why laugh out loud?

Because if you are in a bloody, third grade, toxic organization, things cannot be any worse than what they are and hence can only get better here on.

So laugh out loud!

What happens in a bloody, third grade, toxic organization that makes it a bloody, third grade, toxic organization?

Well, many things and most of them bad.

Here are some such things that you will certainly come across.
  • The company is managed by a close-knit coterie comprising of third-rate, unethical, unprofessional and toxic people
  • The only factor that matters in such a company is loyalty to the chief of the toxic tribe and the prevalent toxic-laden tribal culture
  • The coterie manages through back-channel discussions and back-door machinations and manipulations
  • The HR in such companies is nothing more then a moronic stooge of the management. The only role of the head of HR in such companies is to work as a parrot of the top man
  • The head of HR in such companies is an expert in toxicity and adept in managing things through manipulation and sickening, unprofessional relationship with the top management and the coterie
  • Those in the coterie in such organizations behave as if they are the smartest folks on the planet. For them, everyone else is beneath them. Their toxicity and exclusivity is too evident to ignore.
  • Those in the coterie are put in the key positions by the top man. The reason for this to happen has nothing to do with their competency but just one thing - blind loyalty like a dog to the master, the top man!
  • If you are ethical and professional, you won't matter in such organizations. You will be like a golden fish in a  dirty pond. You will live but barely survive. Not to forget the bad smell you will have to live with due to the toxicity around you
  • You will be forced to report into an ass-licking, incompetent, childish, toxic, comical ass-hole and will have a tough time
  • You can't escalate the above issues to the top man as the top man himself will be like that. In addition, how can you expect the top man to listen anything about his pet puppies in the very coterie that he has fathered
  • While you stay in such a company you will have a bad ride due to the toxicity created and propagated by those in the coterie
  • Your views will not matter in the real sense. The coterie will finally have their way using back-channel discussions and back-door machinations and manipulations
  • You will be as good as a nothing in such organizations. You will not have much say in the affairs of the company. And even if you are heading a department you will be by-passed and humiliated and made to look like a fool. The coterie will do everything and make use of  back-channel discussions and back-door machinations and manipulations to make you feel so
If you can survive such a company, hats off to you!

It means a very good thing about you - you are truly a positive person and totally professional.

And yes, you should laugh out loud.

There's nothing you can do other than move on fast.

And till that time, just laugh out loud!

April 3, 2017

Is the HR in the Company You Work with Unethical and Unprofessional?

No. Maybe. Yes!

Well, whatever is your answer, you are right.

No, because if the HR in your company is unethical and unprofessional, they will never admit to it.

In this case the answer, the official one, will be - No.

Maybe, because HR is about confusing employees by interpreting the policies as per the liking of the management in such companies.

Otherwise, why do you think they will allow an unethical and unprofessional HR team to be there in the first place?

In this case the answer will be - Maybe.

Yes, because facts speak for themselves. This, unfortunately, is the true answer though.

However, no one will ever admit to it.

In this case the answer, the true one, will be - Yes.

So if you are in a bad situation in your corporate life where should you look at?

Company culture.

That's it. Nothing more. Nothing less.

In some sense a company with a bad culture will breed a bad HR and vice-versa.

How do you know the HR in the company you work with is unethical and unprofessional?

Here are some signs that you can watch out for:
  • They talk to an employee who has resigned behind the back of the reporting manager. They just want to show how smart they are in retaining employees. They think reporting managers are fools and can go to hell.
  • The head of HR carries a sick, condescending attitude. He thinks that only he is the smart person around. Others don't know much.
  • The head of HR is unethical to the core. He is an ass-licker and keeps the management in good humor. He thinks employees are like tissue papers and hence no point in wasting your energy on addressing their genuine concerns.
  • They get all kind of rituals started in the organization like 1-on-1, skip level meetings, group meetings, open forums, open house, all hands meeting and what not. The intent is not to change anything but to confuse everyone.
  • They allow the management to put in place a reporting structure that breeds coterie culture. In fact, the head of HR in such companies is part of the coterie and does all non-sense to perpetuate coterie culture.
  • They communicate to employees using funny language when ever something at their end goes really wrong. Instead of owing their mistakes and saying "Issues have been reported" they talk like clowns and say "We have been given to understand".
  • They write disparaging and unnecessarily long emails on trivial issues. For them 0.01 difference between two numbers on a scale of 1 to 6 is something of a big concern and they create big, bad scene about it. 
In case you are stuck in such an organization, you will find yourself in humiliating situations very often than not.

You will be getting unprofessional and childish emails from time to time.

You will be getting to hear humiliating comments from time to time.

You will see silly acts being performed by the coterie every now and then.

You will see the head of HR behave like a schoolboy in front of the principal, the top man!

In such situations, you must plan to leave immediately.

However, make sure you remain ethical and professional till you are not able to move on.

Remember, ethics and professionalism do matter, in the long run and in the good organizations.

Don't become a pig in the dirty pond you might be in right now.

Stay put. 

But remain ethical and professional. 

April 2, 2017

When the Person You Report into is Mean and Manipulative

What happens when the person that you are forced to report into (let us say P) is totally incompetent, unprofessional, unethical and a spineless creature?

Such a person will hold on to his position and comfortably remain in the good books of the top man by being a blind loyalist to the top man.

How do Ps in the corporate world survive?

First and foremost, they are blind loyalists of the top man, never take a stand and always stay in line without thinking of ethics and propriety, those can very well go to hell.

For them the top man is like god. And like a dog follows his master, whatever the top dog says, they will obey like an obedient puppy.

So, really speaking, they are are like corporate puppies wagging their tail behind the top dog.

In addition to the above, here are other ways they "somehow" manage.
  • They are mean and manipulative
  • They do not share relevant information with you
  • Even if they share the information it is never on time
  • They play dirty tricks behind your back
  • They are totally unprofessional
  • They are unethical
The Ps use the above techniques and manage to survive but only in certain types of organizations.

So what kind of organizations breed Ps like a swamp breeds mosquitoes?

Here are some characteristics of such organizations.
  • In such companies merit has no place, only loyalty to the top man matters
  • Such companies are managed by a coterie consisting of the top man and his stooges
  • Such companies have unprofessional reporting structure
  • Such companies have highly manipulative HR, where the HR head is a part of the dirty coterie, is extremely manipulative and carries a condescending air when dealing with employees
  • Such companies have certain people who are beyond the policies and procedures
  • Such companies are manged by the coterie of founding members who are unethical and unprofessional
  • In such companies when someone resigns, the coterie plays tricks behind the back of the actual head of the department to show as if they are the most caring lot
  • In such companies the hiring and HR folks are masters of double-game. They tell different stories to different people and keep the non-coterie stakeholders in the dark
It is easy to now imagine what would happen when you are forced to report into a P in such an organization?

Anything is possible other that what is fair, professional and good.

The P is well-entrenched in the system and is cool about that in a very cunning way along with the others in the coterie.

So what are the typical attributes of a P?
  • He is mean and manipulative
  • He is a slave of the top man
  • He is a good pal of the others in the dirty coterie
  • He comes to office when he wants to
  • He shares information when he feels like
  • He knows very well that he will never get fired (after all he is not in the company he is the company along with the coterie).
  • He is a master manipulator
  • He is incompetent but knows how to manage without doing anything
  • He comes to office essentially to pass time and does so very cunningly by involving himself in corporate social activities, sports clubs, exercises classes, gymnasium, etc.
  • He is asked to look after areas where he knows nothing due to this loyalty
  • He gets promoted due to loyalty and not merit, which he doesn't have even an iota of
Handling a P who is mean and manipulative is very hard. He will do all the wrong things but can make it appear as if the other person did those wrong things.

He is more cunning than a fox and more poisonous than a snake.

The smart thing is to stay alert and stay away as getting involved in a fight could have disastrous consequences for you.

The reason for the above is that P is a blind loyalist of the top man. So if you talk to the top man, you know what will happen - nothing.

Also, P is a good friend of those in the coterie including the head of HR. So if you think talking to HR will help, you could not be more wrong.

Best strategy is to stay away from Ps to the the extent you can.

However, stay put till you get an option to move on to.

Do that fast. Handling Ps is tough. And the Ps are not going away any time soon!

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