Friday, September 15, 2006

Things that bring down morale

I produced my extensive document on morale at the Help Desk and sent it up. Actually, it was two documents; one for "general" consumption sent to both D**** and the Site Manager and the other ABOUT D**** sent only to the Site Manager.

In the first document I mentioned no raises, no bonuses and the disappearance of the incentive program. I mentioned the regular confusion about holiday staffing. I covered no one being willing to admit to making the decision that I would not longer be the trainer. I went over illegal activities such as requesting that we not evacuate during fire drills and not paying taxes. I enlightened them about the big raise the CEO got last year when the Corporation had big losses. And finally, I brought up the lack of any results having said all this before when The Corporation sent an auditor to ask about morale.

"The evidence has lead me to believe that the management here at the Help Desk lacks the power to make the necessary changes."

After I came back from lunch, the Site Manager stopped by my cubicle and agreed with everything I had said. He confided in me that previous morale surveys had also listed the local Management's lack of power as one of the issues. Corporate's response was to ask him why that is.

"Because you're not lying well enough to deflect blame away from them," I explained. He shook his head in agreement. He is sitting in that hotseat where he knows he has no authority to make real decisions and his managers apparently want to know why he's not taking the blame.

The second document was sent just to the Site Manager and, in some ways, had the same answer.

"If I were asked what was the one thing that could be done here at the Help Desk to improve morale on a daily basis I would say “Fire D****.” Every interaction I have with him is riddled with nothing but stress. Other analysts regularly comment to me about his bullying tactics and micromanagement. “Petty dictator” is one of the kinder descriptors I’ve heard. Expletives make up a good percentage of other comments."

The Site Manager said that he had attempted to address that issue but that he was "deterred" from taking action. It all starts to fall into place and I see how it all happened:

Last year about this time, a trainee reported to Management that I had been bad-mouthing D****. T***, the Site Manager at the time, being the screw-up that he was, didn't exercise any authority but merely reported it up the chain. It would surprise me if D**** didn't have a part to play in this. Perhaps the trainee went to him directly. In any case, Corporate sent word back down that I was no longer to be the trainer. As has been typical with communications here at the Help Desk, no one wanted any sort of confrontation or really wanted to take responsibility (which, by rights, wasn't theirs anyway) so I was cut out of the loop. I was told nothing as if I wouldn't notice. When I did notice, everyone I asked could honestly say that they didn't make the decision.Unfortunately, they also lacked the guts to honestly tell me what had really gone on.

The Site Manager again registered his disappointment that my transfer over to The Pharm had fallen through. He thought the reasoning was "bullshit" and this time gave me the impression that, if he had it his way, I would be a Team Lead instead of D****.


"On 8 February 2006, a Corporate auditor came to the Help Desk asking what we needed to succeed. In my meeting with him I detailed many of the things I have stated in this document. Given that seven months later I am going over all this again says to me that little or nothing was actually done with what was said in that meeting. I feel I wasted my time then and am likely wasting my time now as I honestly expect nothing to be done."

Later in the day, D**** responded to the document I sent him:

"I just read your email...... and I'm speechless...... It's unfortunate that I never asked you for this in the past...... you bring up extremely valid issues."

Speechless. He would have an aneurism if he saw the OTHER document I created and sent to the Site Manager.

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