Ramblings from the Desert

The man who trades freedom for security does not deserve nor will he ever receive either. ~Benjamin Franklin

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Location: New Mexico

Author of the urban fantasy novel, The Music of Chaos, and the paranormal romance, The Canvas Thief.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

How To Make A Million

Cater to the oversensitivity of American workers, package it as a "problem," and sell seminars on the problem to big goverment installations and corporate America. Anyway, here's the topic of an upcoming seminar at a certain National Lab.

MicroInequities: The Power of Small

Nope, not an empowerment seminar for men with small dicks, this is the search for tiny (need an electron microscope to find 'em) insults in everyday conversation.

Other than having friends in high places, the presenter has no real qualifications:

Stephen Young is a foremost expert in the world of organizational leadership and is a dynamic presenter who comes highly recommended by Tom Hunter (SNL President), Frank Figueroa (VP 10000), Lockheed Martin Corporate, and others at Sandia who have had the opportunity to hear him speak. His dynamic style, profound topic and connection to the realities of the workplace makes him one speaker you will never forget!

Young displays more English creativity than Bush:

"Typically, we send between 2,000 and 4,000 positive and negative micro-messages each day. These have a powerful influence on driving the behavior of all those with whom we interact. Repeated sending or receiving of negative micro-messages, MicroInequities, results in exponential erosion of workforce effectiveness. Well-crafted constructive micro-messages, MicroAdvantages, have an equally powerful positive effect."

Get a load of what constitutes a MicroInequities:

Listening with your arms folded, losing eye contact with the person you are speaking with, ignoring a younger colleague’s success while rewarding another co-worker’s same accomplishments -- these are all examples of small, yet powerful, biases communicated in the workplace.

Apparently, this is the latest in thing in fluffy management theories.

A senior manager for a big accounting firm promised she will treat her latest team member better, despite the newcomer's reputation for being slow to finish projects. "I already have devalued her," the manager conceded. But thanks to the workshop, she will ask the staffer, "What other things can I do to make you feel more included?"

If a manager asked me an asinine question like that, I'd lose all respect for them. And laugh my ass off.

The seminar takes place during the work day. Your tax dollars at work. If attendees attend the optional discussion session afterword, they will spend the entire morning on this crap. This is presented as part of Diversity Week. Is it any wonder that real management problems aren't taken seriously?

Here's an idea. "Value" me by paying me more money. Easy-peasy.

Pat K.

(Added: The biggest problem with this sort of behavior modification bullshit is that even when people buy into it, there is no long term behavioral change. Fresh from the seminar, they may make an attempt to practice what they learned. But, as time goes by, the majority fall back into their old habits.)


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