Thursday, November 26, 2009

The PHB Gratitude List

What am I grateful for this year? It may not be my lazy, incompetent employees, but there are things I am grateful for:

  1. Outsourced labor.
  2. Not having to coddle my employees.
  3. Free intern labor from the bad economy.
  4. Increased employee control.
  5. Becoming boss without actually being competent.
  6. Self-appointed importance.
  7. Most importantly, it's just good to be the boss.

Happy Turkey Day to all the PHB's in training out there. Hopefully, you've managed to get time off by assigning extra work to an underling.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Appreciate what you soon won't have

You really don't appreciate what you have until you've lost it... or at least until you think you're about to lose it.  A recent study has shown that people who perceive an experience as about to end will enjoy the experience more.  Rather than becoming sad from knowing that the party is almost over, people begin to savor the little that is left.  It's counter-intuitive, but it makes perfect pointy haired sense.

If you give your employees too much time off, they don't actually enjoy their free time.  You have to create a scarcity of free and personal time amongst your workers so that they learn to efficiently use and truly appreciate their time off.  Even better is calling them in the middle of their off time and letting them know that they need to come back to work early.  They will savor and better enjoy their off time.  It's a double benefit for you the PHB and the employee: you get your employee working more hours, and the employee gets more concentrated enjoyment out of their scarce time off.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Multitasking your free time

Multitasking is the single biggest tool for boosting productivity at work. Why do just one task at a time, when you can split your attention to multiple tasks and get several things done at once? It's a winning proposition all around.

Then I read about multitasking in another realm: media entertainment. People are increasingly overlapping their entertainment options. They can surf the internet and watch t.v. at the same time. Being more efficient with your entertainment is a great idea! I don't know why I didn't think of it earlier, or even made it company policy yet. Once everyone can be more efficient in the downtime, they won't need quite so much time off. That leaves more time for getting work done.

Other increased efficiency multitasking ideas that I like are:
  • Handling phone calls and text messages while driving to and from work. That driving time would otherwise be non-productive time, but the cell phone allows that time to be work time.
  • Working at the dinner table, especially if you have a chalkboard table where you can continue writing down your ideas and to do list while eating. Note that eating at a dinner table should only happen on the weekends. Employees should be at the office over dinner time during the week.
  • Showering and eating at the same time. Both of those tasks take away from the workday. There's no good reason the two can't be combined.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Live to Work

The most important thing in life is getting work done.  You may work to live, but more importantly, you need to live to work.

In a survey of working Americans, 65% of workers say they "live to work."  I don't know why none of those workers are in my company since I mostly see lazy, unmotivated workers not getting their assigned tasks done.  But overall, the dominant (and right) attitude is that life is about working.  If you're not being productive for the company, then what are you wasting your time doing?

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pfft... Europeans

Apparently, Europeans are too busy in their evenings socializing and having dinner to be using their computers.  Unlike their American counterparts, European internet use peaks around 7 p.m. and drops off sharply afterwards.  Adjusting for the time zones, that would be around 2 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

That's just plain unacceptable.  American companies need to be working at least until 8 p.m. EST (to match up with the west coasters), and ideally even later.  If the snooty Euros are already lounging away before the North American workday is even half over, how can they expect to do any business?  There's a good reason the hard working Protestants left the Old World.  They're just a bunch of carefree, lazy people over there.

Friday, November 6, 2009

No excuses

If a quadruple amputee can be a dancer, then worker underlings have no excuses for not getting their assigned jobs done.  Not having enough time, resources, or training is not a valid excuse.  For Christ's sake, a girl with no arms and legs is dancing at Juilliard.  How hard can it be to get a simple software package programmed when I want it?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Keepin' it fresh

A key to my success as a PHB has been learning how to squeeze the most out of people.  Motivating people to work harder and longer for the same amount of pay gives the company far more bang for the buck.  But it's also important to keep fresh blood talent coming in at all times.  When multitudes of fresh minds are brought in to work on the company's projects, our products become that much better.  From the work of many rises the higher quality product.

Some might argue that building continuity is more important.  There is some truth to that statement, but it's far less important than people think.  Programming is a commodity task--it's just easy grunt work.  You can hire anyone to do it.  That's why I hire freelancers and outsource all the programming details.  You can easily drop people periodically and hire someone new; that keeps the cycle of fresh minds working on a project.  You can work the fresh freelancer harder, get the most out of him as possible, and then bring in someone new again.

The management is the part of the team with the vision and the ideas.  The PHB is where the continuity comes from.  With hands on micromanagement, the PHB is familiar with the entirety of the project and can assign the detail work to the constantly changing worker pool.  The ever changing company workforce keeps the company on the cutting edge.

Joseph M. Scandura, incompetent moron, idiot, pompous, stupid, failure, asshole, arrogant, bullshit, micromanager of the year, technologically clueless, ignorant, condescending, senile, dementia