There’s one person I know who works in every office. This type of employee can be found almost in every organisation.
Oh, I don’t mean ‘so and so of so and so title.’ I mean one person who is replicated in almost every working place. You know who I’m talking about?
No. Not the official office jester whose job it is to keep the lively atmosphere going. I don’t talk about the overzealous window-washer – the ‘eye-service’ employee.
No. All those guys are ‘innocent’ for now.
I’m talking about the employee who is still stuck in the past. The guy who would rather type and print out a memo – and then make copies for everyone in the office rather than email it. This guy who makes it a habit to wait for proper authorization and documentation before doing anything. The guy who keeps reminding you that ‘there is a proper way to doing things.’
Yup. The prehistoric employee: aka Mr. Relic, aka Uncle Dinosaur.
You know who I’m talking about now. Admit it. The moment you read the last line of my description, a name and face popped into your head.
Don’t worry. It’ll be our little secret.
What I find scariest about this person or people like this person is that they don’t think the way they do because of age. No.
I have met some young people who would rather take the long, slow and generally abandoned approach to things. And I look at them and despair. Is this the much-vaunted leader of the future?
I wonder, as I am sure you do, why management keeps this person around even though they are an obvious liability to the company. They slow things down and as a result, cost the company a lot of things.
Former company I worked in had to send a document to a client. They wanted hard copies for their records, but they also wanted a scanned version that could be quickly printed out for their boss who was traveling and needed to take it with him. Our dear Mr. Relic insisted on sending only a hard copy, saying that the client could scan and print themselves.
So we sent just the hard copy via dispatch.
Needless to say, the document didn’t get there on time so the boss had to travel without it. That earned us a huge talking-down to and nearly cost us the account.
And that’s just one of many examples.
After complaining and protesting about this man and it all fell on deaf ears, we started to bypass him on time-bound projects. Whenever we had something urgent to do, we bypassed him and went to the boss directly, only informing him on whatever the feedback was. When he noticed, he confronted us and asked why.
The response he got was direct: “Sir, you waste time.”
Maybe because of the industry I work in, an industry that prides itself on cutting through the red tape and bureaucratic formalities, I have little tolerance for diplomacy. Oh, I realize and respect the need to be respectful and so on, but when formality gets in the way of getting the job done, it’s anyone’s guess what loses.
I mean, no disrespect to anyone, but it’s 2021. Things are moving so fast. To blink is to miss out on a lot of things. It is important to slow down and smell the flowers every now and then. Like an artist is fond of saying, “Thank God for go-slow,” but not when it concerns getting things done, getting goals and dreams and aspirations achieved. Not in a world that is more competitive than ever. Not in a world where innovations are happened upon by the second.
Again, this is 2021. Get with the program or get out.
Now, as always, this is not an excuse to go all crazy and disrespectful all in the name of innovating. Everything has its place. There is a time to be slow and there is a time to be fast. Most things happen in the blink of an eye. Look too slow and you’ll miss it. A cog in a machine that slows that machine down or keeps it from working as effectively as it ought to should be gotten rid of.
That’s not meanness. That’s life.
Have you had any experiences with such employees? What was it like? Let us know in the comments!
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