Saturday, May 29, 2010

In memory of...

Days when there weren't silly productivity killing holidays. Back in my day, Memorial Day wasn't a day where people slacked off and grilled. It was just a regular day like any other. It was a day where you know... did work! How is firing up the grill, heading to the beach, and lazing about supposed to honor fallen soldiers? Those soldiers fell in battle so that our great capitalistic nation could continue thriving. The best thing we can do to honor their memory is to keep working. What makes this country great is supposed to be that Protestant work ethic to get things done.

Thursday, May 27, 2010


This is precisely how I feel about employee productivity.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Help yourself

"God helps those who help themselves."
As a devout Catholic boy, I believe those are words to live by. As boss, it's my responsibility to help myself. My employees are there to help me, and I am obligated to take full advantage of them. It says so in the Bible. My underlings are under my management because it is the natural order. They're too lazy to be anything except low level employees. As boss, I was the one who worked my way to the top and thus deserve to give orders to those who can't help themselves.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Good Boss, Bad Boss

Ever see the "good cop, bad cop" routine? One cop comes in to question the suspect, acts like a total hard-ass and roughs up the suspect a bit. Then, the next cop comes in and pretends to hold back his overzealous partner from throttling the suspect. It's really quite a brilliant routine. And it works exceedingly well in a company setting.

In my decades of running successful companies, I've used my psychology training to implement a "good boss, bad boss" style of management. You always want to extract the maximum amount of work from your inherently lazy employees, so you want to crack the whip most of the time. But don't crack the whip all the time. Even the smart slave driver needs to know when to back off so as not to take the slave out of commission. Every so often, pretend to be pleasant. Give your grunt workers a brief glimpse of light before bringing down the hammer. Back off just before crushing morale and spirits (good boss), but keep rapping their knuckles to get work done (bad boss). It's the fine balance between keeping your workers from becoming too uppity and not completely crushing them. When you find that balance, you can maximize the productivity you get from them.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

We're jamming

The NTIA is evaluating technologies for jamming contraband cell phones in prisons. The first question that comes to my mind is why are the prisons so incompetent that they can't prevent a cell phone from being smuggled? Really, is it that hard to blast all prisoners and visitors with a huge electromagnetic pulse? Phone fried, prisoner colon fried, problem solved. If you're lucky, you might even be able to kill two birds with one stone. And why aren't the prisoners being monitored more closely? If I have to constantly monitor my employees to make sure they're actually working, I assume the prison warden needs to constantly watch the prisoners to make sure that they're not up to no good. The prison system is essentially a free source of incarcerated labor. The prisoners should be constantly working and thus under constant supervision. The incarceration system is borken if they can't even keep the prisoners busy enough to not have opportunities to use their contraband cell phones.

Even so, I'm curious as to what solutions will be presented. I can monitor company e-mail and company phones to prevent employees from wasting time and misusing company resources. But they still have those wretched cell phones. If I can just jam them, I could prevent those personal calls from interfering with the productivity. Maybe then I could get them to do some actual work.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Power of subtraction

Count your blessings. If you think you've got it bad, you can consider how things would be if you something didn't exist in your life. Consider the power of negative thinking to cheer up. For example, if you hadn't met your spouse or significant other, what would your life be like? Although that is perhaps a bad example. If you had enough time to meet a spouse, you're probably not working hard enough. But I digress. It's a thought experiment I like to partake in from time to time. What would my employees' lives be like without me? Judging by how little work they get done already, they'd probably just be miserable wasteful sloths. They need constant supervision to get their jobs done. My watchful eye is what ensures they get things done and maintain their productivity. That thought cheers me up immensely when I'm feeling down.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Panopticon Office

The panopticon was a brilliant idea conceived by Jeremy Bentham in 1785. The observer can observe everyone without the observed persons knowing if they are being watched. It's the perfect setup. Knowing that your company employees are probably slacking unless they are being watched, you need a system where you can watch all your employees without them necessarily knowing when you're watching--thus the company panopticon. The ideal setup is the worker offices being within view of the boss, who is shrouded by one way glass. Cameras throughout the office in a closed circuit monitoring system is also acceptable.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Greek Tragedy

I always thought that government employees were way overpaid. That's why they are all so lazy and inefficient. The latest news about Greek government employee salaries just reinforces that fact. Can you believe they get paid 14-months worth of salary for their European 10 months of work? Why in the world would you ever pay someone for time they aren't working? If you overpay, you can expect problems not just with the company finances but also with employee productivity. You get more out of your employees by underpaying them as much as possible. When they need that next paycheck, they are beholden to you. That's when you extract the most productivity out of your employees. If you pay them enough to be comfortable, then they slack off. It's simple psychology and economics.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Remote Monitoring

There was a recent uproar locally about the school district performing remote surveillance on its students. The sensationalists headlines include "Laptop took thousands of images" and the like. Big deal. So images and screen captures were taken for many students. It's not like the students were working on computers they owned. These were laptops issued by the school district. They have every right to monitor the students. The laptops were meant for productive work. These kids need to get used to the fact that there's no expectation of privacy in the working world when working for someone else or using someone else's equipment. As I noted in my guide to telecommuting, I expect to keep constant electronic tabs on all of my workers. Other corporate environments will be similar. These kids need to grow up and learn that this is how the world operates.

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