Monday, April 18, 2016


Thanks to whomever invented ISO and all that crap we have turned into a corporate society of do more with less.  In theory it's a good idea: Get your front line people involved in the process because they know what the daily challenges are and can suggest how to fix them.  Of course the mainstay of being "lean" is that having more people is not an option.  By "leaning" in on the ideas workers at that level, corporate gets a good idea how to work the wrinkles out thereby reducing the workforce.  Sorry, but it's true.  The sad thing is that usually the higher ups parade the folks around like superstars and then walk over them once the task is done.  I've seen it happen in multiple settings over the years.  There is no team as such, just pick your people's brains, trot out some swag and claim one for the company.

I'm not much in the theory of employee management or finance but I have always held that happy customers equal a successful business and to have those satisfied customers your employees must give a shit about the mission, so to speak.  Satisfied employees ( or associates, if you will ) deliver in a way that attracts repeat business because of a good experience by the consumer.  If  your client/customer feels heard and validated and is handled with care, they will return and spend their money again.  When productivity becomes the issue that overrides customer satisfaction, you have a problem Houston.   I am told that a current work practice is to "manage up" meaning the middle managers are to take the mandates set down by administration and figure out how to get the restless mob to swallow it keep the heat off the higher ups who have much more lofty things on their plates.  It essentially cuts out the direct connection between leadership with a possibility of change and those who can make it possible.  In time, the worker bees lose faith in change and possibility and start performing their tasks for a paycheck rather than for the pride that can be found in a job well done.   They do not feel heard, empowered or valued.   Anything that is punitive rule wise serves as another straw on the camel's back.

At one time I was poster girl for Methodist Health Systems Dyersburg branch.  As a lifelong member of the UMC heavily involved in the community I was a familiar face to those who came to us.  Both of my parents served as volunteers there along with throngs of other retired locals.  We had a chaplain in house and a team of volunteer ministers who rotated call with him.  There was community involvement in a way that didn't remotely involve tailgate parties and free chairs.  It kept us kicking as a feeder for the Memphis market until their vision changed to transplant center and a partnership with UT.  That was when the sale happened not of just one facility but SEVEN in West Tennessee.  I was involved in the IS conversion and it was a freakin' nightmare logistically.  The installer of our lab software told me that front liners like me were doing what companies usually paid their people to do.  I'm talking clusterf**k.

Shortly afterwards the chaplain went by the wayside though we were told at sale that the position would remain active for 10 years.   Old timers like me lost half of banked sick hours which was a big chunk. Pension money was frozen if over a certain dollar amount and I'm drawing that slowly post-55.   The volunteers disappeared because the positions of coordinating the whole thing and local PR were either eliminated or combined with other facilities in the "region."  HR took on a lot of it along with every other detail of the workforce until FMLA and mental health were outsourced as well.  It's like pulling teeth to access either so called benefit.

This is a story that can be told time and time again in every 'burg of every state of every country.  When community fails us, we are doomed.  Deals are made on a level way higher than any of us realize between big Pharm, the government and corporate America.  The end result is that even the ACA is not a viable option because of the fact that self employed folks aren't in the loop without paying high premiums and ridiculous untouchable co-pays.  Hell if I didn't work for the place I couldn't afford to go there!  Sounds like I'm working my ass off for insurance and a write off.

The financial crisis that is *right now* has trickled down since 9/11 to almost 4:20 2016.   The war fueled it and the banks backed the whole deal, along with Cheney and his bunch playing big Ike and profiting from a war that destroyed an entire decade of dedicated people in government service.  Even though it pisses me off, I find some peace in understanding how the whole thing went down.  It almost makes me feel sorry for Petraeus but not quite.

Just another Marvelous Monday as Jerry used to say.  He recently retired as a field service tech for several of our analyzers and I miss his joy and his face.  Tomorrow will be Terrific Tuesday according to him.  That will keep me looking ahead anyways.

Faith ~

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