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Showing posts from 2015

Ending the Toliet Paper Embargo of 1987: Treating People With the Respect They Deserve

I lived in the dorm during my first year at The University of Michigan.  It wasn't so new to me since I had started college the previous summer just after high school.  During that summer semester I lived in West Quad, and had a pretty decent introduction to college life and communal living.  I also had the privilege of having an older brother and sister who both attend U of M and lived in the same dorms. College dorm living is an experience all in its own, especially if you choose to room "blind" and live with a total stranger that the University pairs you up with.  Back then, most universities didn't use personality dimensions to pair up compatible roommates, and from the look of things, didn't really pair up people with any semblance of consideration at all.  Not only do you have to learn to live with someone that you normally wouldn't be friends with or hang out with otherwise, you also share a hallway and in my case, a communal bathroom with another f

Smart, Capable, and Competent People Get Fired Everyday

    Over six months ago I experienced something that I haven't been through since my very first job renting prom tuxedos; I was fired.  Don't get any gossipy ideas, I wasn't let go because of anything immoral, illegal, or unethical.  My employment was terminated for "not achieving the goals of my position".  This is a very nebulous statement, and one that is very common when you are in upper management or on the upper end of middle management.     There is a strata in middle management where as long as you are doing your job, and business conditions aren't disastrous, you are pretty secure in your position.  You will notice that your manager or boss doesn't enjoy the same flavor of stability.  In my 25 years in heavy industry, I have seen countless regime changes that have resulted in a purging of the upper management.  Are these managers incompetent? Not always.  Are they insolent and stubborn? Sometimes.  Most often, they don't have the trust of th