Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Lower Wages and Productivity

I read an interesting article recently about wage pressures and productivity.  Apparently, increasing wages without a greater increase in productivity is bad for economic growth and results in that terrible thing we call inflation.  As said in the article:

"The Fed closely monitors developments in productivity and wages to see if inflation is getting out of hand.
While rising wages and benefits are good for workers, if those gains outstrip increases in productivity it can create serious inflation problems as businesses are forced to increase the cost of their products to cover the higher wage demands.  If workers are more productive, though, businesses are able to increase their pay and cover the costs with the increased output of goods and services."
So, increasing worker wages just leads to inflation, but increased productivity results in greater profits for the company.  This is in line with my experience.  It's best to pay your workers as little as possible.  Paying any more would be unpatriotic and bad for the economy by contributing to runaway inflation.  On the other hand, you really do need to squeeze as much work as possible out of every single worker.  This is where non-monetary motivational elements come into play.  Intimidation, micromanagement, emotional manipulation, and other PHB tools of worker control allow you to minimize what you have to pay in wages while maximizing the amount of work you can get out of your employees.  It's smart business, and it's good for the nation's overall economy.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Food chain

Chaining workers to their desks is against the law in this country, which is rather unfortunate.  You'd think that OSHA and Dept. of Labor would see the sense in boosting worker production by keeping them at their desks longer.  But short of using a physical chain to keep your underlings tied to their work, there are other subtle ways of implementing desk bondage.

One thing I've done at my company is to abolish lunch breaks.  I'm not actually legally bound to provide a lunch break, so I figure why waste the time and money paying for my workers to lolligag and eat?  Consequently, I don't provide a company kitchen, microwave, or a water cooler.  They can bring their own water bottles if they need to drink, and now with the invention of a USB powered microwave, they can bring their own microwave to work to reheat their food.

Now, don't get me wrong, I still don't like having my underlings eat on the job.  But this brilliant invention works as a nice way of virtually chaining the worker to his desk.  I allow food (but not breaks!) at the desk if it keeps the grunts at their desks longer and working longer.  Couple this baby with a usb powered water cooler and a usb powered toilet, and I may be able to keep everyone at work all the time!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Outsourcing for fun and profit

If there's one thing I hate about paying domestic employees, it's that I have to pay them.  Just about the only plus side to using an North American employee is that they usually have a good command of spoken English, but even that's not a given considering how poorly educated this country is.  Domestic employees are just far too expensive for what little work you can extract from them.

A better option for driving the success of your PHB aspirations is to consider foreign outsourcing.  Some people may say it's un-American to send money out of the country, but I say what can be more American than wanting to earn money and get ahead?  What is this country about if not for taking advantage of others for own own profit?  Overseas outsourcing is great for this.  Foreign outsourced workers answer your beck and call because your money is worth more than their third world currency.  They work long hours because you're in total control of their financial purse-strings.  And best of all, they're a hell of a lot cheaper than their domestic worker counterparts.  You can realize a 75% cost (or more!) in wage payment costs by just outsourcing and firing your domestic employees.

As a final note, you can save even more money by the fact that the foreign workers are overseas and highly unlikely to have any legal protections.  If they aren't protected by labor laws, you don't have to worry about regulations on their hours or their treatment on the job.  You don't even have to pay them on a regular basis since they are at your mercy. If you know you're going to drop them anyhow for another cheaper outsourced worker, you can just not pay the outsourced worker.  Just say that you'll pay after a certain milestone is met (which of course, you'll never do) and then switch over to the new cheaper worker.  You get continuity of work and minimal overhead from worker wages.  It's a PHB win-win situation!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Fake it 'til you make it

If you haven't achieved PHB status yet and fear you'll never get there, don't worry. You just have to apply some PHB self-esteem psychology to help yourself along. We've all heard the phrase before: "Fake it 'til you make it." What does it mean? Put simply, if you want to become the big hot shot, you've got to get into the right mindset and get the proper big shot PHB attitude. Dream big. Act bigger.

When I was first starting out, I wasn't the queso grande that I am now. I didn't command my horde of underlings yet. What I did was envision myself as the boss commanding everyone to do my bidding. Then I went out and registered and incorporated two companies: Systema Intelligentsia Micro (IMS) and Fungal Merge Research Institute (FMRI). I promptly made myself president and CEO of both companies. That gave me my own companies and gave me important high level positions in those companies. Nobody but me had to know that I was the only person in those companies. They were perfect resume fodder. And the chicks totally dig it when I tell them that I'm a big shot CEO of a company.

So, I was faking it until I made it. In fact, I still fake it every day. It helps me dream big and feel as important as I deserve to be.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Divide and Conquer

Revolutions, coups, and other power deposements share one common trait: the unification of the rebel faction.  If you plan on keeping control of your minions, you need to keep this fact in mind.  Your employees are not your friends; it's a dog eat dog corporate world, and you will get steamrolled if you allow your employees to rally.

The usual rules apply for managing workers.  Bust up unions, make them sign contracts that bond them to servitude and relinquishes all of their rights, etc.  But once you have them through corporate doors, you'll have to maintain a divide and conquer strategy lest there be a peasant revolution amongst the low level workers.

Employees work on a need-to-know basis.  Don't give them any more information than they need to complete their task.  Discourage interaction amongst employees.  They don't need to know about anyone else.  In case they do start interacting, tell them to stop gabbing and get back to work.  You don't want employees talking amongst themselves because that means that they are: a) not doing any work and b) potentially plotting ways to circumvent your authority.

Insert yourself into all employee interactions.  Make sure no meetings are called except by you.  You can't have employees congregating for any reason other than your approved reasons.  We all know what happens when the commoners gather; letting the masses form groups (like unions, clubs, or social cliques) will only lead to long term uprising.  Quash the potential danger early and maintain your tight grip of the reins.

Finally, extinguish the spirits of the workers.  No one likes perky employees.  Happy workers are more likely to interact.  Isolate these problematic workers and do everything you can to stamp out their happy demeanor.  Somber, emotionless employees naturally maintain their isolation and obediently work without complaint.  These are your ideal employees.

Your employees can hurt the company with a mass revolt.  You can't beat back the superior numbers, but you can certainly keep them controlled.  Divide them first, and the conquering will be easy.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Bad economy = PHB advantage

The June unemployment numbers are in, and they aren't pretty.  Depending on how you crunch the numbers, the nation's unemployed are estimated anywhere from 9.5% to 16.5%.  While this may seem dismal and depressing, it's actually a boon for pointy haired bosses everywhere.

The job market is so weak now that people are desperate for work.  So desperate in fact that they are even willing to work as unpaid interns in hopes of landing a full time job in the future.  What could be better?  You're getting completely free labor!  All you have to give back in exchange is some work.  Sign me up!  I'll shift my workload over to an unpaid worker.  If you can manage to fly under the radar of the labor department, you could even start displacing your paid workers and reduce your wage costs.  The unemployment news sounds grim, but it comes with its own silver lining.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Dream the impossible dream

You have to dream big to be a success.  It's no different when you're already el queso grande.  If you don't envision anything but small peanuts, you'll never have anything more than mini nuts.  Be daring and bold!  Get some goddamn cajones.  Don't ever let negative words like limitations, feasibility, or practicality get in your way.

I'll give you an example from my own experience of dreaming big.  My programming team was having trouble getting our product launched.  They were whining something about it not being possible for the user input to be both yes and no at the same time.  I told the weanies, "to hell with you and your concern about logical fallacies!  Just get the #%!^@^$ program working!" They were being held back by what they saw as fundamental rules of logic.  I saw it as a minor speedbump on the street to my big pay day.  I was dreaming big on my goals and had the vision of the end product.  The programming team was stuck in the piddily little details like feasilbility and implementation.

Learn to dream the impossible.  Reality doesn't have to slow you down.  As the annointed PHB, it's your job to think big.  You pay the underlings to figure out how to make it happen.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Make Yourself an Authority

In a previous post, I talked about how competence was not necessary to managerial success.  One reason for this is because there are people who are experts in a particular subject or field.  You only need to give the impression of being knowledgeable and competent.  The art of misdirection is key here.

If you really research many so-called "experts," what you find is that the vast majority of them have no idea what the hell they're talking about.  Once you get past the superficial stuff, they're no more capable than the average Joe off the street.  What sets them apart is the aura of being an authority.

So, how do you make yourself an authority without actually going through the work of becoming a real expert?  First off, learn the lingo.  You have to sound sophisticated and in the know.  You don't have to know what the words mean, but you need to understand what contexts they sounds correct in.  Learn the fine art of technobabble b.s.

Next, invoke seniority and time in the field.  Nothing makes you an expert faster than having spent time in a field, even if you learned nothing during that period.  Spout off figures like "I've been doing XX for YY years, and this is how I know it's done."  The more years you can say you've been doing something the more authoritative you'll be.

Lastly, assert yourself.  Tell other people that they're wrong, and come up with reasons that you're right.  Be forceful and adamant.  If you seem to waiver in your convictions, you'll be perceived as a loud-mouth dunce.  Act like an authority and strong leader, and people will perceive you as such.

In the off chance you do run into an actual expert and authority, not to worry.  All you need to do is bring the other person down.  Criticize anything possible that you can think of and attack their credibility.  If you can't bring your perceived authority up, you merely need to bring everyone else's down.

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