Could you ever work a job where they watch the clock everytime someone goes on break?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Tapmyapple, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. Tapmyapple
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    I couldnt - have in the past and left. No way i could tolerate this, to me its basicaly saying you dont trust your staff and maybe its just me but doesnt it seem too much like pre-school? Watching the clock by the minute when everyone goes on break or lunch, like seriously? What you guys think of companies like this?
  2. Bob Maxey
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    We had a free and open, 'do whatever the hell you wanna do' kinda policy in our non-production departments. It started at 3Com and lasted until MSL bought us. We had a smoking patio, a lovely cafeteria with free stuff, people could come and go as they pleased, and we had fun managers and supervisors. When MSL took over, they promised we would not use time clocks and we would have a free and open policy based on immediate employee trust. They learned fast that employees cannot be given free reign.

    We were special and clearly above the production drones. I remember when I suggested we stop worrying about a new training program we were developing and have 3Com pay for a snowmobiling trip. A day of high-speed fun in the sun. Lovely idea, everyone said, and the next thing we knew, we were bring taken by hired livery to a nice area here in Utah for a day of fun. We got use to this endless and bottomless budget and it hurt when it went away. Some departments abused it because there were no budget watchers to say no.

    Then MSL management started reviewing who went where, for how long, and when they returned. We had electronic key cards that opened doors to and from every area. Some people made long lunches part of their workday. Other took dozens of coffee breaks and the smokers used the smoking area far too much. When word spread that Big Brother could tell when you took extra smoking breaks, people would time it so they could tailgate behind others and simply walk through the open door without using their key-card.

    Give a worker fifteen minutes for a break and they adapt. Give them fifteen minutes and then stop being concerned if they take twenty, they will take twenty and like lemmings, others will follow.

    Interestingly, someone discovered a glitch. If they clocked in a few minutes early, they were credited with fifteen minutes of overtime. If they clocked out a few minutes after their shift ended, they were credited with fifteen minutes of OT. Did people think this was unfair to 3Com, no. Word spread and people abused the system.

    When people had problems with their ESD equipment, rather than tell a supervisor, they either avoided testing and simply signed the log showing that they tested their ESD straps or they simply walked to their station and started working.

    We were given a nice, new cafeteria addition with something like 30 microwave ovens. All we were asked to do is not make a mess and if we did, clean it up. People made messes they did not clean up and eventually, we were threatened with the loss the ovens. Then we decided that with few ovens, people had a problem at lunch time because fifty people trying to use just a few ovens means trouble. Ovens were returned, we did not learn from the incident, and people adapted. They brought more cold items from home and some ovens were never cleaned. They were left to fester and grow new life forms.

    When you eliminate the watching, people abuse the system. So absolutely yes, I think people need to be watched because a few will abuse the generous nature of the corporation. This ruins it for others that think that Big Brother is watching Big Ben and the employee can’t be trusted. Sad fact is, many simply cannot be trusted.
  3. iLloyd
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    I used to work under conditions like this... Used to wait until the manager came to get me in person from the staff room lmao. Half hour breaks turned into 45-60 mins easily haha
  4. AdmiralAdama
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    As long as the work gets done I don't care how many breaks my staff take. AA
  5. Bob Maxey
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    And that's fine, I suppose. Although, ifyou talk to your HR person, (if you have one of those cretins) you might findthat there are problems with arbitrary break times. I always default to theEmployee Handbook. In several of my handbooks, breaks and lunch times areclearly defined.

    Youreally get into trouble when (using me as an example) Line One complains thatthe Rework Department gets an hour and a half for lunch... why not us? When Iwas reworking products, we were well behaved, we got our crap done and weworked extremely well together. We all had fine soldiering skills and productknowledge. All of us could troubleshoot to the component level and the Employeesworshiped me as a God. Not sure why, I was a minor deity at best.

    Sothe Supervisor would allow the occasional long lunch, because we knew our stuffand we got the job done. The supervisor was in the wrong, too.

    Youneed a set time not an arbitrary one and in my considered opinion, everymanager or supervisor must make sure they have the power to allow longer breaksand such. Is there a line in your handbook (assuming you have one) that says,"As long as the work gets done I don't care how many breaks my stafftake?"

    I just took a break. I will take another one in an hour or so to baste the birdand rinse out a few delicates.

  6. Bob Maxey
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    And that's fine, I suppose. Although, if you talk to your HR person, (if you have one of those cretins; they say you can't compliment a female worker on her lovely feet without getting sued) you might find that there are problems with arbitrary break times. I always default to the Employee Handbook. In several of my handbooks, breaks and lunch times are clearly defined.

    You really get into trouble when (using me as an example) Line One complains that the Rework Department gets an hour and a half for lunch... why not us? When I was reworking products, we were tight, we got our crap done and we worked extremely well together. We all had fine soldiering skills and product knowledge. My skills were superior in all the land or perhaps just at the end of Cell 5, near the docks, but I trained legions and they got on quite well. All of us could troubleshoot to the component level and the employees worshiped me as a God. Not sure why, I was a minor deity at best.

    So the Supervisor would allow the occasional long lunch, because we knew our stuff and we got the job done. The supervisor was in the wrong, too.

    You need a set time not an arbitrary one and in my considered opinion, every manager or supervisor must make sure they have the power to allow longer breaks and such. Is there a line in your handbook (assuming you have one) that says,"As long as the work gets done I don't care how many breaks my staff takes?"

    I just took a break. I will take another one in an hour or so to baste the bird and rinse out a few delicates.
  7. AdmiralAdama
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    No. My employees know what I expect of them and are professional enough not to abuse the free-range policy. In 20 odd years as a supervisor (non union) workplace, I've had maybe two cases of workers purposely slacking off. One saw it my way and flourished. I sacked the other one.
    AA
  8. Mtnmedic
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    I have and I won't ever again. Supervisors who feel they have to micromanage their employees' time in order to gain any edge of efficiency aren't managing properly In the first place. I've never felt it necessary to do that with my employees.

    Michael "Spam, spam, bacon, eggs and spam. Hold the bacon and eggs." Sent from my iPad 2 using iPF
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2011
  9. 55julie55
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    No .
    That why I work for myself!!!
  10. Kaykaykay
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    I don't want to watch people like a hawk because of the occasional bad apple. I also don't want to make rules because of the bad apples. I think if there's abuse, managers should deal with the people who are taking advantage, and not make rules that demoralize the good people.

    I say that as someone who manages professionals. In a factory situation, rules might be necessary because of the sheer numbers of people, but I'd still try to limit demoralizing rules and practices.

    Of course, I believe in screening job applicants really well, and then coaching, correcting and firing as needed.
  11. KevinJS
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    I hate working in an environment where I can't choose my own pace. I work to the limit of the law; 14 hours a day, 70 hours a week and try to put the maximum productivity into those hours. I don't take breaks because I find it easier to just work straight through. There is enough variety in my job that I don't get bored.

    Luckily, I answer only to myself and have nobody answering to me. I would not make a good boss, as I would expect the same performance as I try to give.

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