Shush! Don’t tell anyone what I’m about to share. This is secret. That’s why I’m only putting it on my blog.
I previously wrote a post entitled “How to destroy your employees.” It’s about the place I work and is probably one of my favorite things I’ve ever written. If you haven’t seen it I hope you’ll consider taking a look and letting me know what you think.
In that same vein…
There was a movie called “Training Day.” It starred Denzel Washington and Ethan Hawke. The synopsis: “On his first day on the job as a narcotics officer, a rookie cop works with a rogue detective who isn’t what he appears as.” Welcome to a slightly different version of that same tale.
Our company recently hired a new grunt to make our widgets. The company had wisely fired the previous grunt before hiring and training this new one. It turned out that New Grunt was a very young man, married, and his wife was pregnant. He also had a master’s degree in theology. And here he was in our humble little shithole accepting a minimum wage job. The young family needed a little extra income and jobs are damn hard to come by in our area so he took a job with us that was way below his pay grade.
It shouldn’t be too surprising that someone with a master’s degree in theology was filled to the brim with ethics and morality. If you’ve read my essay on “How do destroy your employees” then you know what that means. A guy with ethics and morality around here? Trouble!
New Grunt turned out to be a little slow to know but a great guy. Once I got to know him, though, I really liked him. He learned quickly, was highly intelligent, warm, personable, honest and very ethical. What’s not to like? We had some great discussions about a wide variety of weird topics like evolution to philosophy and more. I learned a lot from him.
He moved his way up the ladder very quickly. Soon he was presented to us as a “management trainee.” No, I wasn’t offered the spot. They know I’d hurl if asked and that I have absolutely no interest. The only other long time employee around here also has zero interest.
It wasn’t long until New Grunt found his way in the manager’s office with the door shut every day. Training had begun! They were going over all the secret stuff that makes this company so very, very special.
Things seemed to be going well until – POOF! One day New Grunt suddenly put in his notice. One week later he was gone. It all happened amazingly fast.
The company was now left with no one to make widgets. That can put a slight damper on the ability to turn a profit. The company went back to Old Grunt and asked him back. Suddenly they were willing to give him a “second chance.” Yeah, right. More like “get us through this tough spot then we’ll fire you again.”
I lost a lot of respect for the Old Grunt when he accepted and returned to our company.
So what was it that made New Grunt bail? I found out later that there was a certain aspect of his training he found a bit … unpalatable. It seems he was actually given training on, get this: how to listen to employee suggestions and pretend to give a shit. He was taught how to respond, what to say, how to feign appreciation, and that employee suggestions would normally not even be considered. Wow.
Tons of books on managing employees say your front line employees are a valuable resource and crap like that. Well, it sure as fuck isn’t that way around here!
I am not making this up. He was systematically and deliberately trained on the best way to be an asshole and that employees were basically the enemy. Surprisingly that sort of thing didn’t sit well with his highly-developed conscience so he simply split. Having a master’s degree gave him a few more options than the rest of us idiots.
One of my problems is that I’ve had real management training. So I know the difference and that what my company does is bad. When I was a manager if we pulled any of this shit we would have been tossed out on our asses.
And that’s the story of my company’s failed attempt to train a new asshole…