Saturday, January 9, 2010

Starting them younger

There seems to a debate on how young to start children in a formal school education.  I say the earlier the better.  Starting at 5 years of age is already too long of a delay.  We should start children as soon as they can handle solid foods.

The arguments for starting children in school later hold no water.  Spending more time at school than with family prepares children for the reality of working life.  The parents need to spend more time at work than with family, so there's no point in holding the children out of school for family life reasons.  Children become better socialized to the corporate social structure and disciplined into a hierarchy better the sooner they start school.  Acclimating them to this sort of social structure prepares them for working life sooner.  The sooner children start school, the sooner they can start learning skills that make them useful in the workforce.

Having the children in school earlier is also good for the parents.  With the children at home instead of school means that the parents can't be at work.  This is a serious drain on productivity.  The sooner we get children into schools, the sooner we get the parents back to full time productive work.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Modern Life

The fast pace of modern life has advanced society in many significant ways. Most of these changes have been great for business. Here are some of the realities of modern life that have made my life as pointy haired boss better:

  1. People getting married later. When employees aren't distracted by something as silly as a family, they can spend more time getting work done.
  2. Higher divorce rates. Again, without the distractions of a marital relationship and family, employees can better focus on the important things, like getting more work done.
  3. Fewer community ties and friendships with neighbors. It's much better that interpersonal interactions be work related. When there are relationships to people outside of the workplace, those are more distractions that take away from on-the-job productivity.
  4. Smartphones. I love my employees having these. That way I can e-mail and call them whenever I want something done. There's no reason I can't leverage their labor even if they're not in the office.
  5. The demise of the sit down dinner. Having an employee say they couldn't talk because the family was having dinner annoyed me to no end. Now that we've come to our senses and started ignoring the inanity of listening to what junior did at school, all my employees now have no excuse for not answering my calls at home.
  6. Fast food and prepackaged industrial foods. These have been a boon for my business. Having my employees waste so much time doing something as time-wasting as eating always annoyed me. With packaged and fast food, they can get their sustenance much more efficiently and get back to work.
  7. Internet. The internet has made it possible for me to outsource most of my development to overseas workers, who are far cheaper than the overpaid domestic programmers. It's allowed me to lower my costs and solidified my control over my remaining domestic employees; since they now know that they are so easily replaceable by outsourced labor, they don't complain about the extra workload I give them.

Some people may long for the "good old days." I say that today is pretty good.

Friday, January 1, 2010

External Control vs. Self Control

Studies show that self-control comes in limited quantities.  People can exercise so much willpower before it's exhausted.  This can be a decidedly bad thing for the workplace.  Workers are constantly tempted to chat with their co-workers, show up late, leave early, take long lunches, surf the internet, call their buddies on the office phone, etc.  There are just too many distractions that the hordes of underlings apparently can't resist.  From my own experience, most of my employees have pathetic willpower.  I ask them to work a mere 10-12 hours (not even half the hours in a day!), and they never make it.  They always make excuses of being tired, hungry, and burned out and start wavering in their duties.

But just because employees have limited self-control doesn't mean they can't have external will forced upon them.  If you learn to micromanage effectively, you can prevent your underlings from partaking in the distractions and keep them focused on working.  Where worker self control is lacking, external control can be imposed.

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