1. Always be honest. Without honesty, everything you say is considered a lie. When they ask, “how do you know he was lying”, the answer shouldn’t be, “his/her lips were moving”!
2. Stop giving all the awesome perks to your favorites. Management requires that you treat all your employees fairly. Discrimination is illegal and favoritism plants seeds of disgruntlement. Disgruntlement leads to anger and that can lead to someone going to prison.
3. Don’t be racist! We’re all related if you go back far enough.
4. Don’t gossip with your employees, about your employees. They talk, everyone knows what you said.
5. If you agree to something, follow through with the agreement. See #1
6. When you discipline someone for a problem, wipe the big grin off your face. Most people who enjoy giving others pain are in prison.
7. Sometimes employees need help. The people you “fired” were crying out for help, not punishment.
8. Don’t begrudge people for taking their breaks and lunch hour. It is time allowed by the company. The time belongs to them not you!
9. Give up the infallibility impersonation. You are not the Pope and you are not God!
10. Take a personality profile. Discover who you really are and realize that we are all different. Different people can all work together with each one’s ability complementing the team effort.
11. Learn the difference between employee and slave. You have employees to supervise. You do not have slaves to whip!
12. Don’t live in the state of denial. If most your employees are leaving, requesting a leave, quitting, or being fired – it is you that needs correction, not them!
13. A promotion to management by a friend doesn’t necessarily mean you are qualified. It may only mean you support his college football team. Keep honing your skills, especially if the role is difficult for you.
14. Let’s be honest, there are dingbat customers out there. There should be some loyalty to your employee, versus an angry customer. Dismissing someone over a minor accusation in an impulsive manner, should never happen! Also, if you survey most customers, your chances of locating the dingbat increases exponentially.
15. You will ultimately have to use company tools/reports to grade employees. Many of those are subjective and don’t always paint a true picture. Your views of people are self-fulfilling. The opportunity is there to make the employee look as good or as bad as you desire. Don’t fall for that trap. Clear your mind of past/present prejudice and be honest. It is an employee’s career which may be on the line. Other people/families are always affected.
16. The bonuses the company promises to pay you each year, do not give you the right to do anything wrong to obtain it! It isn’t worth losing your job over.
17. Management is like life. Every decision you make will be judged based on what is truly right and wrong. The rewards of eternity are just not worth losing. Think before you act. If the commands given to you from higher managers violate your conscience and God’s laws, you have a decision. “Choose you this day who you will serve” Joshua 24:15
In the book, Principled Centered Leadership, Steven Covey writes; Principle-centered leaders are men and women of character who work with competence “on farms” with “seed and soil” on the basis of natural principles and build those principles into the center of their lives, into the center of their relationships with others, into the center of their agreements and contracts, into their management processes, and into their mission statements. The challenge is to be a light, not a judge; to be a model, not a critic.
Hi, I’m an employee of AT&T and the following is my opinion as to why technicians are consistently rated “unsatisfactory” in the company grading system called MSOC.
I have written several blogs about MSOC and how I believe it is designed more as a management whip rather than a tool. Let’s take an imaginary employee, named Johnny, and see why he can’t reach the required “satisfactory” promised land. First of all, this will not be an exhaustive list. Roadblocks come in all fashions and it seems to only be supervisors that do not understand how technicians are slowed in their daily progress.
It may be Johnny’s manager who is at fault. Johnny may have repeatedly asked for tools or test equipment which have not been supplied. I, for example, have to install or repair bonded pair Uverse service without a bonded pair test set. I only have a single pair meter and have to jump through hoops to make it work on long loops. Often, only the proper meter will sync when the loop has odd characteristics. A technician may find that all the work done to correct a problem, wasn’t the problem at all, because of the wrong test equipment. I also work on IPDSL at times. It requires a different meter entirely and guess what? I don’t have an IPDSL meter either. I was given an old DSL meter recently by a service technician who had a spare, but it won’t work on the newer technology. Johnny could be having the same trouble.
Johnny may also lack training in certain areas even when he has requested such training. I, for example, have never had any DSL or IPDSL training. You might think it strange that a technician would work on a product and yet does not have the proper equipment or training required. You would be correct, it is strange. Yet, trained employees and untrained employees have the same requirements.
Johnny may also be using an outdated laptop, which cannot work correctly or is very slow. I, for example, have constant cell connection issues in poor coverage areas. Often, even with good coverage, the signal will drop off and I’ll have to reboot or hibernate several times to communicate again. All that eats time that would be better spent elsewhere. Two of our technicians have the newer tablets which seem to work excellent with little or no delays.
Johnny may also be unable to verify exactly why and even which troubles he received repeated reports on or which work assignments were delayed past the required time. I know I’ve asked for assistance in verifying which troubles I’ve gotten “repeated reports” on, but have yet to receive a list other than the daily RATS report which reflects repeats for the entire crew. That list is not employee specific and is not one that most of us dwell on very long. We are bombarded with emails each day and are not given any time to read them. Are we supposed to use the fifteen minutes we have during our morning huddle with the supervisor or the fifteen minutes we are finally allowed to stock our trucks before leaving for home? Reading emails have to be pushed way down the priority list.
Johnny could possibly be delayed or even unable to complete a job because of customer access or order errors from the business office. If access is required, and the customer isn’t home, why do we punish Johnny? If the business office makes an error which causes delays or cancellation, why do we punish Johnny? If the home or business has an old style flat drop, new guidelines say it must be replaced even if there is no trouble in it. If Johnny fixes a cable trouble then has to spend an hour and a half replacing an aerial service wire, that extra time is lost and is punishing Johnny on his numbers. Johnny may be a little frustrated that he is doing everything the company requires of him but is unable to make the required “satisfactory”. It may be that Johnny, like me, has had management ride with him and critique every job that day, yet not give him any pointers to better his time. On the day I had a rider, I asked upon completion what did they see that I could have done better or could have done faster. The answer was that they didn’t see anything that would have bettered my results. I failed my numbers that day as well, with obvious management approval!
Johnny may be delayed quite often by customers calling him for questions not even related to the service he provided. Johnny now has to leave a “pledge sheet” with his cell phone number and his manager’s cell phone number with each customer he visits, unless that customer is a wholesale/resell customer. I mentioned that to a Cisco employee recently and he couldn’t believe the company would use technicians for support calls during their work day. Johnny could be fielding calls concerning how to set up a modem, router, or could he come by and hang a new rope on their flagpole.
Let’s say Johnny is a very good technician. He has received four or five-star ratings out of the year but yet also received two counseling entries in his personnel file for lack of reaching his numbers for two months out of the year due to roadblocks. Johnny is a little confused why he gets a sheet of paper for commendation which means little. But the entry keeps him from even trying to reach a job he might be more capable in. Personnel entry’s lock Johnny into his current job. Managers who want to keep Johnny from transferring will refuse to remove those. As evil as this seems, it happens extremely often.
Johnny will get little or no help from the company and often none from the union. I came across this link from CWA local 3204 which might help Johnny and any others who are faced with this dilemma. Johnny wants to believe that his company would never do anything on purpose to get rid of him. That they would never grade him by a system which was grievously flawed on purpose. Johnny and the company agreed once that he would do everything they asked him to do and they would pay him the proper wages that job required. They would also train him for any new tasks which would be required. Let’s home both honor the agreement.
Hi, I’m an employee of AT&T and the following is my opinion.
I was told recently by a member of management that the company wanted my opinion on MSOC. Someone from Atlanta would be calling me and I was encouraged to be honest and cooperative. I was stunned by the announcement since my opinion and beliefs can be read at any time from my earlier blogs. Supposedly, they didn’t mind my blog and thought it was one of the better ones out there. Needless to say, no one called me about anything. After thinking about it for a while and willing to give that party the benefit of the doubt(as I know they would do for me), I decided to make sure that everyone understood my thoughts about it.
As I believe it today, MSOC, the system used to rate technicians on their job performance, is merely a job termination program. I believe it can be structured, not only to target specific groups, but to target individual employees for removal from the company. Older workers are especially susceptible to being unable to make the benchmarks set by the system. Older workers typically cost more in salary and benefits than younger workers. However, cutting older workers constitutes illegal age discrimination.
There is a leadership plan called a vitality curve or “rank and yank” by others. It seems to have originated with Jack Welch and supposedly gets rid of the bottom 10% of any workforce, the underperformers. The plan gained GE a 5-fold increase in revenue between 1981 and 2001. Mr Welch admitted that the judgments were “not always precise”. An understatement I’m sure! MSOC seems to be structured in a similar fashion.
It is certainly a fact that everyone works harder to keep their job! The problem I see with MSOC is that the system itself has so many flaws in applying it to telecommunication outside plant as to render it unusable. I will say that it is very useful in the hands of unscrupulous managers who have personal differences with individual employees. A little tweaking and anyone will fail their daily and monthly numbers. Keep me on chronic troubles all month and I’ll fail repeats. Keep me on service orders and throw in a few chronic troubles and I’ll fail also. Keep whipping me about dispatch efficiency and I’ll fail quality. Make me gold plate everything to satisfy quality, and I’ll fail efficiency. The criteria for rating are fuzzy and subjective. It paints rural technicians and those in the city in like manner, even though of the two, the rural ones have much longer time/task. Adjust the time I’m allotted for a job, and guess what, I will fail. Have the IT department to put roadblocks in the software we use or just don’t fix the problems in the system we have now, and we fail… The list goes on and on.
The rank and yank system is forced on management employees as well. In fact, if they don’t participate in playing god by identifying employees for termination, they themselves are terminated. So you see, it would be easier on them to use other criteria in choosing which employees are terminated. Those of a different religion, sex, political party, ethnic background, or culture can be arranged to fail first, keeping the heat off friends. Maybe they have blogs they don’t like or live in a better neighborhood. Good people are being hurt by this and for what reason? Yes, of course, its money. We need more of it to keep Wall Street happy. Also, if one company does something and makes more money, all the companies have to follow the same plan even though implementation is difficult and subjective and rife with problems.
I know that in the group I work with, it would be impossible for me to choose who to fail each year. I see good technicians who have been doing their job properly for a long time. They know how to accomplish their daily tasks but have to deal with a system that regardless of success will fail the bottom performers.
MSOC is a cruel and heartless system which doesn’t work well in the outside telecommunication industry. If I did the same thing every day, I could understand the measurement system. I’ve asked for explanations on the grading and the answers all sound like this, “its difficult to explain”. “It works on an algorithm, and I can’t explain it”. “Well, the mileage it subtracts isn’t mile for mile… but it’s right”. Every job I go on is different. Every customer requires different amounts of time to complete the task to their satisfaction. I complete every task the way I’ve been told to and yet, it doesn’t matter to MSOC.
It is my plea that we could return to the days we worked as a team to accomplish our tasks. Lets get rid of the brutal, merciless system we have in place that destroys morale and puts good people out on the street. There are technicians who work through their breaks and lunch, against federal law, just to make the numbers. Let’s stop that and get back to honesty and true customer service.
By the way, GE doesn’t use it any longer.
I firmly believe that God exists! Everything I’ve read about Him in the Bible seems correct. I find few conflicts in scripture and realize most to be only translation errors. It is for me, comforting and reasonable to trust in the intelligent design argument. The old adage that “a tornado in a brickyard doesn’t produce a building” is true and will always be true. The random chance that everything we see, touch, taste, hear, and smell happened by accident requires even more faith than mine. An incomprehensible design requires an incomprehensible designer.
I could quote scripture for my argument but atheists and agnostics are repelled by it and only adds to their confusion. They want theists to argue with both hands tied behind their backs and duct tape across their mouths. It is easier for them to win their argument by shouting down the competition and pounding the table loud enough that no one can hear the truth. If I were an atheist, that plan alone would be enough for me to explore the other side of the argument even quicker. My question would be, “have I been misled by an argument that was flawed beyond belief and one which has eternal consequences?
The decision of whether God exists or not is the greatest question you will ever face. It is a verdict that demands a correct answer because if God exists then He will expect honor and obedience from those He created. If God does not exist, then there is no hope for mankind. There would be no reason for goodness here on earth and no promise of a reward after death. It’s an eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die” kind of existence.
Much of western culture has gotten on the “godless train” and had their ticket punched to an unknown destination. Promises of free food and great fun encouraged even some of the faithful to get on board. Leaving the station, they all shout curses at Christians from their windows while we urge them to get off before it’s too late! It’s actually just the opposite of what happened in the Book of Genesis. Noah and his few faithful helpers built an ark as God planned to destroy mankind for wickedness. Their belief in God’s faithfulness was rewarded with life and not death. Only a few were saved in the worldwide flood that followed. If scripture is correct, and it always is, the majority will perish believing in a lie.
In America, the main stream media, our educational institutions, corporations, and the government have had tremendous influence in reshaping us from a Christian nation. I believe scripture teaches there will be degrees of reward after death and likewise, degrees of punishment. Many will suffer greater damnation for teaching and leading people to believe the lie that God doesn’t exist. If you are guilty of this heinous teaching, please repent. If you want to deny God exists, so be it, but don’t deceive others as well. If you are one of those who aren’t sure if you’re supposed to be on the atheist train, like the parable of the lost son in Luke 15:11-32, there is always opportunity to change ones path and come home to God! Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith no one can please God. We must believe that God is real and that He rewards everyone who searches for Him.” Then in Hebrews 11:1 we have the definition of faith, “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, a conviction of things not seen.”
If you’re a “prodigal son or daughter”, God loves you and knows that you really believe in Him. You’re frightened by the reaction of your peers if you acknowledge your mistakes and turn away from them to Him. Think about this, if your courage and change of heart saves others, they will thank you for an eternity! Those who reject you were not worth following anyway. God will take care of you. Be strong and be brave! Christians will be there to support and help you get back on the journey to Heaven.
Pardon me while I dip into my past for today’s blog. I was part of the church of Christ for about forty years. My parents and grandparents were members as well, hence my indoctrination of strict beliefs and Biblical interpretations. The church of Christ is one of several groups who are under the false impression that heaven waits for members of their sect only. I know that sounds harsh but it is true. They see themselves as being on the spiritual ark with the door already shut. God has protected them against the cultural waves of sin that are drowning the rest of humanity.
I believe I’ve always doubted that idea, but it would have been heresy and sudden expulsion if a verbal confession had been made. So, to let everyone know where I stand today is important. There will be souls in heaven who have given their lives to Jesus from many different religions. Obviously some will be there who have gone against the wishes of the denomination they belong to. That is, in reference to following manmade creeds established by men either to hold onto power or oppress the masses by their power.
It is belief in Jesus that saves! We are probably nearing the end of existence as we know it here. The “last days” have been going on for a while now. If Biblical prophesy is correct, and it always is, there are very dark days ahead for us all. Christians will suffer as well as non-Christians but there will be rewards for the faithful.
Ephesians 4:3 says “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” That verse has been used, quite often to keep dissenters in line with current church views. I believe that verse should be applied along denominational lines. It is time to tear down the walls that separate the family of God. We need to look for things to unify us as Christians. Lets face it, Biblical interpretations of first century writings have quite a few gray areas. We were not eyewitnesses of the way everything was done, so drawing lines in the sand may not be appropriate when it comes to salvation. For example, you may believe in the Lord’s Supper each Sunday, but don’t condemn another Christian who doesn’t.
In Acts chapter 15 there is great discussion about the burdens placed on people to be Christians. Verses 10 & 11 say this, “Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? No! We believe it through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.” I especially like verse 19, “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.” I would say the same rule should apply today among churches. Ease up on the requirements and focus on Jesus. More emphasis should be placed on John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that WHOEVER believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” and less on church dogma.
Jesus said in Mark 3:23-30 that a house divided against itself cannot stand. and that “no one can enter a strong man’s house without first tying him up. Then he can plunder the strong man’s house.” Our denominational differences have “tied us up” so much that the church is being raped and plundered by the culture we live in. Christians are no longer even a force to be reckoned with by American politicians. Islam seems to be the new driving force.
We have no one to blame but ourselves. Our house is divided and beginning to crumble. We need to repent and preach unity before it is too late to reach the masses for Jesus. Please pray for eyes to be opened and hearts changed. If I can be led to see the truth, anyone can!
I’ve written a long manuscript about my personal journey out of the church of Christ which is ready to be published. I know God has directed my steps just as he will direct yours. Change isn’t always easy and encouragement is usually hard to find. I am encouraging you to meet your extended family of Christians. They are everywhere. Try visiting a different church nearby. Preachers and Pastors, why not have a joint service with the Baptist or Methodist. Be different for a change. Lets preach unity that all may be saved!
Just like me, many of you received socks as a Christmas gift. By now you know the true meaning of the Mayan calendar. It was not the end of the world, just the end of getting a pair of socks that fit.
I was raised in a time when you could purchase American made socks, that, no matter your age, the sizing chart was correct. A size eight shoe size meant that any eight-ten sock size would work fine. Not any more… George Bush and Bill Clinton saw to that by sending all our sock jobs to China and Indonesia where people with tiny feet construct our socks to their size worldview. NAFTA, GATT and all the other charitable giveaways have put Americans and western civilization as a whole in an awkward situation. The elves that construct our socks are squeezing us to death!
Honestly, the last three packs of socks I’ve opened have all been two sizes too small. Of course, as a gift, they have to be worn. So you pull on these new socks which are beyond skin-tight, they are blood vein tight. If you can stand the full foot pressure all day long, by the time you take them off, your feet are on the way to Geisha size. Let me illustrate my belief with a picture. Here is a normal size sock size 8-12.
Here is the same size from our tiny footed sockmakers.
And a proper comparison…
I have noticed however, that If you wish to pay three times as much, the sock sizes correct themselves. This is obviously a mind trick to make us send even more money overseas. Not only are profits higher due to less material being used to make a proper size for the masses, the top 10% are suckered into the scheme as well. A cash pyramid plan where the remaining American dollars(those left after buying Arab oil) are transferred for poor quality socks. A financial Armageddon would follow bringing down the western world. Our soldiers couldn’t even fight due to their squashed feet. How evil and diabolical is that?
We must cancel the sockalypse! Write your congressman now and demand a return of sock manufacturing to American soil. Since foreign graft and corruption rule Washington, go immediately to plan B. Buy all your socks two sizes larger. We’ll show these tiny people they can’t fool us all the time, just most of it.