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Subject: Office Politics rss

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Christopher Seguin
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Sorry to hear that. I kind of like our office manager around here.
 
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Paul DeStefano
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I've worked in companies ranging from 4 to 520 people.

Never met an office manager...
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jimbrax wrote:
I think they get confused about the 'manager' part. They don't realise they are there to manage the office, not the people.


People are part of the office. Without the people, there's just an empty set of rooms.

That said, I've never worked at an office with an Office Manager either.
 
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Josiah Fiscus
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I did B2B telemarketing for years, and Office Managers were by far the worst people to talk to. Owners, CEOs, CFOs, and even their personal secretaries, receptionists, etc. all tended to be pretty down to earth. Office Managers just seemed to love to pull rank though and let you know how important they were and how unimportant you were.

EDITED to add this quote from The Office:

"I've never seen so little power go to someone's head."
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I employed an office manager when I had an office that needed to be managed. The position required everything from scheduling of 40+ employees to travel arrangements to ordering of supplies all the way down to dispensing and verifying petty cash. It's a crucial role when there are lots of people who work either remotely, travel a lot or have differing schedules and tasks.

My office manager was ruthless in many ways and also acted somewhat as a gate keeper for me. I assume she "felt" more powerful than some of the people but she really wasn't powerful as much as she was vital. She was excellent.

Then, in the 90's, I sold mainframe software for a local company and they had a similar position. Because there were multiple sales teams, half a dozen programmers and constant shipments of update tapes (remember tapes for mainframes?) and multiple daily conference calls to oversee, she was crucial. She was also important and perhaps she even felt powerful. I never asked. She couldn't fire me or in any way make my life hard unless she too was willing to suffer.

I think the position is needed for certain types of businesses... primarily sales and service types.

Maybe in England office life is more dreary and regimented but my experiences here have all been pretty good. In fact, now that i think about it, when I worked for 5 years as a trainer there was a woman at the home office who was office manager. I only went there a few times a year but somehow all my tickets, money, training materials and so forth all ended up where they needed to be whether in America or internationally. I never thought of her as anything more special than maybe a set of lungs or a pulse.
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Drew1365 wrote:
Everyone likes our office manager.



Type a 'W' if you are under duress.
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Tim Thorp
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Quote:
Office Managers - Power-hungry crazy... with an over-inflated sense of their own worth and a completely misguided perception of what their job actually entails.


My wife runs an office, and I can assure you she isn't even remotely like that. Not until she gets home.




Come on, you know I'm kidding. Besides, she'll never see it.
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Kevin Keefe
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berserkley wrote:
Quote:
Office Managers - Power-hungry crazy... with an over-inflated sense of their own worth and a completely misguided perception of what their job actually entails.


My wife runs an office, and I can assure you she isn't even remotely like that. Not until she gets home.




Come on, you know I'm kidding. Besides, she'll never see it.


You are a brave, brave man. Or foolish.


Nevertheless, as a married man, I lol'ed hard.
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Drew1365 wrote:
chaendlmaier wrote:
Drew1365 wrote:
Everyone likes our office manager.

You're the office manager.


And everyone likes me!


True. Especially here in RSP. You're like the fan favorite.
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Mandiekinz
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Funny story: I strongly dislike my co-workers in my department, except one nice old lady. She attracts many nice people so I tend to hang around with her. I can talk politics, religion, relationships, etc., and not feel pressured from her even though our beliefs are so far apart from one another. We tend to stick to daily news and personal life mostly, but we always have an enjoyable lunch (except yesterday when I spilled a bowl of soup on her! blush )....
My manager tries to be nice and relatable but it's hard to see the relatable part when I got in trouble for missing one day every month five months in a row, yet she misses days at a time every month. I get my work done on time, isn't that what's important? My occasional absence for a sick day shouldn't matter tremendously. Anyway, that's my only gripe about my manager. And the favoritism. But no job will be without that.
 
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Josiah Fiscus
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violintides wrote:
I got in trouble for missing one day every month five months in a row


FWIW, I've never had a job where this would be considered acceptable.
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Office managers are typical people, who do a typical job.

I don't tend to like most, but most don't temd to like me. It's the nature of their and my job, and as long as both parties see it that way... no problem.

Problems arrise when an office manager thimks he/she needs to manage all thepeople in the office. Micromanagement so to say.

Cheers, Haring
 
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Dave G
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happyjosiah wrote:
violintides wrote:
I got in trouble for missing one day every month five months in a row


FWIW, I've never had a job where this would be considered acceptable.


Hell no. I would tell an employee who missed that much time that maybe they should take one of those jobs they're obviously interviewing for.
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Lynette
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happyjosiah wrote:
violintides wrote:
I got in trouble for missing one day every month five months in a row


FWIW, I've never had a job where this would be considered acceptable.


Ummmm... why not? I guess it depends on why they are missing a day and if they have sick time available.

At my company they track sick time over a 13 month time frame. As long as you are below a certain threshold and your work productivity isn't impacted they don't care how your sick/personal time is taken. As long as your reasons are not a lie that is. I know people who get horrible migraines fairly regularly (several times a year) or who have several kids that get sick a lot or other sporadic things that mean you miss "days" rather than weeks and are genuinely unable to come to work because of illnesses.

I know many people who take one or two vacation days a month rather than taking off weeks at some point as well.
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Dave G
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Meerkat wrote:
happyjosiah wrote:
violintides wrote:
I got in trouble for missing one day every month five months in a row


FWIW, I've never had a job where this would be considered acceptable.


Ummmm... why not? I guess it depends on why they are missing a day and if they have sick time available.

At my company they track sick time over a 13 month time frame. As long as you are below a certain threshold and your work productivity isn't impacted they don't care how your sick/personal time is taken. As long as your reasons are not a lie that is. I know people who get horrible migraines fairly regularly (several times a year) or who have several kids that get sick a lot or other sporadic things that mean you miss "days" rather than weeks and are genuinely unable to come to work because of illnesses.

I know many people who take one or two vacation days a month rather than taking off weeks at some point as well.


Planned absences are fine. A monthly unplanned absence is far too frequent. Especially if (like most places I've worked) you only get five or six sick days a year. Using them all up in consecutive months looks like a problem from a management perspective.
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violintides wrote:
I get my work done on time, isn't that what's important?


It depends on the type of work you're doing, but that should be the mentality of management. Especially in salaried positions. As long as clear goals and deliverables are being set, if the employee is hitting those goals--or at least on pace to hit them--they should be able to take whatever time they need.

The whole 'you must be in the office at least this many days' is archaic and can run counter to actually fostering productive employees.
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Lynette
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djgutierrez77 wrote:
Meerkat wrote:
happyjosiah wrote:
violintides wrote:
I got in trouble for missing one day every month five months in a row


FWIW, I've never had a job where this would be considered acceptable.


Ummmm... why not? I guess it depends on why they are missing a day and if they have sick time available.

At my company they track sick time over a 13 month time frame. As long as you are below a certain threshold and your work productivity isn't impacted they don't care how your sick/personal time is taken. As long as your reasons are not a lie that is. I know people who get horrible migraines fairly regularly (several times a year) or who have several kids that get sick a lot or other sporadic things that mean you miss "days" rather than weeks and are genuinely unable to come to work because of illnesses.

I know many people who take one or two vacation days a month rather than taking off weeks at some point as well.


Planned absences are fine. A monthly unplanned absence is far too frequent. Especially if (like most places I've worked) you only get five or six sick days a year. Using them all up in consecutive months looks like a problem from a management perspective.



I guess I am just totally spoiled by being salaried and having full flex-time. Unless you were a secretary or worked a help desk were somebody needs to be there from 8-4 etc. most of the people at the lab don't have officially planned time off except for large chunks like weeks. You come and go as needed to get your work done and as long as you account for 40 hours during the week on average you are fine.

Wake up with a headache, call in and have your secretary put a note on your door that you are not coming in until noon. As long as you didn't have any meetings etc, nobody cares.

Most people work more than 40 on average and during big tests we often work 70-90 hours in a week but it is rare than anybody is micromanaging our time enough to even notice if we took a day a month off. Heck many people have schedules that they specifically set up to have two days a month off. We call them 9/8's. M-Th you work 9 hours, Friday you work only 8, but you also have every other Friday off. (Assuming your work is done/deadlines met) So you work 44 hours one week and 36 the next. But some people use that model to set themselves up so that they have every other Wed off or whatever.

The manager who signs our time-cards every week often doesn't even see us for weeks at a time. Depending on where our office/lab is located in comparison to his/her. I have had managers I only saw a dozen times a year total. Their secretaries saw me much more often than they did.

It is a goal oriented organization rather than a schedule driven one.

So I guess I am out of touch with how other places run.
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Dave G
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das Andere wrote:
violintides wrote:
I get my work done on time, isn't that what's important?


It depends on the type of work you're doing, but that should be the mentality of management. Especially in salaried positions. As long as clear goals and deliverables are being set, if the employee is hitting those goals--or at least on pace to hit them--they should be able to take whatever time they need.

The whole 'you must be in the office at least this many days' is archaic and can run counter to actually fostering productive employees.


In real life applications it's frequently difficult to set and measure those goals, so time in the office stands as a proxy. In a revenue-generating/profit center position, you're never really "done" generating revenue as far as your employer is concerned. In support jobs (HR, IT, maintenance, etc.) your job is to be in available when needed. The only places I can see this kind of philosophy working are either contract jobs (you do the work I hired you for and you're done, the faster the better) and low-level non-salary type positions (you're not making me any money, it'd be cheaper for me to send you home.) Otherwise I'm not sure I buy this idea as anything more than a utopian ideal.
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Meerkat wrote:
djgutierrez77 wrote:
Meerkat wrote:
happyjosiah wrote:
violintides wrote:
I got in trouble for missing one day every month five months in a row


FWIW, I've never had a job where this would be considered acceptable.


Ummmm... why not? I guess it depends on why they are missing a day and if they have sick time available.

At my company they track sick time over a 13 month time frame. As long as you are below a certain threshold and your work productivity isn't impacted they don't care how your sick/personal time is taken. As long as your reasons are not a lie that is. I know people who get horrible migraines fairly regularly (several times a year) or who have several kids that get sick a lot or other sporadic things that mean you miss "days" rather than weeks and are genuinely unable to come to work because of illnesses.

I know many people who take one or two vacation days a month rather than taking off weeks at some point as well.


Planned absences are fine. A monthly unplanned absence is far too frequent. Especially if (like most places I've worked) you only get five or six sick days a year. Using them all up in consecutive months looks like a problem from a management perspective.



I guess I am just totally spoiled by being salaried and having full flex-time. Unless you were a secretary or worked a help desk were somebody needs to be there from 8-4 etc. most of the people at the lab don't have officially planned time off except for large chunks like weeks. You come and go as needed to get your work done and as long as you account for 40 hours during the week on average you are fine.

Wake up with a headache, call in and have your secretary put a note on your door that you are not coming in until noon. As long as you didn't have any meetings etc, nobody cars.

Most people work more than 40 on average and during big tests we often work 70-90 hours in a week but it is rare than anybody is micromanaging our time enough to even notice if we took a day a month off. Heck many people have schedules that they specifically set up to have two days a month off. We call them 9/8's. M-Th you work 9 hours, Friday you work only 8, but you also have every other Friday off. (Assuming your work is done/deadlines met) So you work 44 hours one week and 36 the next. But some people use that model to set themselves up so that they have every other Wed off or whatever.

The manager who signs our time-cards every week often doesn't even see us for weeks at a time. Depending on where our office/lab is located in comparison to his/her. I have had managers I only saw a dozen times a year total. Their secretaries saw me much more often than they did.

It is a goal oriented organization rather than a schedule driven one.

So I guess I am out of touch with how other places run.


Working a flexible schedule is not what I perceived the post in question to be about. I agree with you about this part, my wife worked in a lab for many years. If you have a project-oriented business then which hours you work are less important than how many. Although if I were running a business where my people were getting their work done in less than 40 per week I'd expect to be able to give them more work or employ less people for the same workload.
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Mandiekinz
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djgutierrez77 wrote:
Meerkat wrote:
happyjosiah wrote:
violintides wrote:
I got in trouble for missing one day every month five months in a row


FWIW, I've never had a job where this would be considered acceptable.


Ummmm... why not? I guess it depends on why they are missing a day and if they have sick time available.

At my company they track sick time over a 13 month time frame. As long as you are below a certain threshold and your work productivity isn't impacted they don't care how your sick/personal time is taken. As long as your reasons are not a lie that is. I know people who get horrible migraines fairly regularly (several times a year) or who have several kids that get sick a lot or other sporadic things that mean you miss "days" rather than weeks and are genuinely unable to come to work because of illnesses.

I know many people who take one or two vacation days a month rather than taking off weeks at some point as well.


Planned absences are fine. A monthly unplanned absence is far too frequent. Especially if (like most places I've worked) you only get five or six sick days a year. Using them all up in consecutive months looks like a problem from a management perspective.

I am a woman. That's my reason.

I miss one day a month.

When it hits me hard, I can't even get out of bed sometimes.

I've seen a doctor and they changed my birth control pills now, so hopefully that'll keep my hormones in check (so far it hasn't really helped much).

Anyway, that was my reasoning for missing so much time (4 months in a row of inexplicable pain and then one day the next month to see a doctor for testing). So, no, I don't think I should get in trouble when I am AHEAD on my work and helping others with their work constantly.
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Mandiekinz
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das Andere wrote:
violintides wrote:
I get my work done on time, isn't that what's important?


It depends on the type of work you're doing, but that should be the mentality of management. Especially in salaried positions. As long as clear goals and deliverables are being set, if the employee is hitting those goals--or at least on pace to hit them--they should be able to take whatever time they need.

The whole 'you must be in the office at least this many days' is archaic and can run counter to actually fostering productive employees.

I work in Notifications for ADP, the payroll processing company. It's all paperwork and I don't even have a phone so it's not like I need to be here for phone calls. Hell, I could do this stuff at home, but since I don't have that luxury, I can't.
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djgutierrez77 wrote:
das Andere wrote:
violintides wrote:
I get my work done on time, isn't that what's important?


It depends on the type of work you're doing, but that should be the mentality of management. Especially in salaried positions. As long as clear goals and deliverables are being set, if the employee is hitting those goals--or at least on pace to hit them--they should be able to take whatever time they need.

The whole 'you must be in the office at least this many days' is archaic and can run counter to actually fostering productive employees.


In real life applications it's frequently difficult to set and measure those goals, so time in the office stands as a proxy. In a revenue-generating/profit center position, you're never really "done" generating revenue as far as your employer is concerned. In support jobs (HR, IT, maintenance, etc.) your job is to be in available when needed. The only places I can see this kind of philosophy working are either contract jobs (you do the work I hired you for and you're done, the faster the better) and low-level non-salary type positions (you're not making me any money, it'd be cheaper for me to send you home.) Otherwise I'm not sure I buy this idea as anything more than a utopian ideal.


As I said, and as you point out, it definitely depends on the type of work you're doing. Not being in the office doesn't work if your job involves being in the office.

But 'this idea' definitely isn't relegated to low-level non-salary positions. Advertising and web development, for example, it works well.

People enjoy freedom, and if you force them to sit in the office just because they didn't get approval far enough in advance rather than allow them to go take care of the things they need to take care of, they will not be as productive over the long term.

My team (of 5 people) has been setting the bar for productivity over the last few months, even though nearly every week has seen at least one or two people out of the office for various reasons, for a day or two. They notify how they can be reached if needed, but other than that, they're free to do what they need to. So, I would argue that it's not just a utopian ideal.
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