Friday, April 4, 2014
Reserving the Right Under Duress
I appreciate the wisdom you shared about enduring the torment of a bully manager. Our site is currently in the darkest of the darkness. In a matter of weeks roughly one quarter of our staff were fired or resigned. This came after years of what we already considered high turnover.
Our Branch Manager (BM) spun this as a combination of factors. First, it's people getting good career opportunities (that apparently aren't available internally). Second, it's problem people who need to be gone. Ignore the fact that, not long ago, these problem children were the BM's personal pick and "future saviors" of our site.
Corporate willingly swallowed our Branch Manager's two-fold con. Our emboldened BM laid out new rules. They stated many directly, while others were inferred from years of behavior.
1) Work concerns will be shared with your boss and only your boss
2) Personal concerns will be shared with your manager and no one else during work time
3) Employees with bad attitudes need to adjust their attitude
4) Personal concerns can be shared with employees with a positive attitude, but not during work time. "Chit chat" should be saved until after 5:00 pm (after 10:00 pm for employees performing two jobs).
5) Employees are not to meet with one another behind closed doors. A closed door means staff are being negative, especially about management.
6) Bosses can meet behind closed doors, as often as they want and for as long as they wish, because managers need to maintain confidentiality.
7) Employees need to use the proper code word to access their boss in critical situations. They did not choose "critical", as that implies criticism, which equals bad attitudes.
8) There is no logical basis for an employee to have concerns regarding their boss. Any judgements less than "leader perfection" show an employee's negativity, which requires instant correction.
9) Any concerns about the way work gets done are blatant criticisms of management. These are not to be expressed. If this rule is violated, the perpetrator is to be stomped down (and eventually stomped out).
10) Spontaneous gatherings of employees outside work are assumed to be anti-management "bandwagon" sessions. This includes baby showers, where wailing infants are indoctrinated against our Branch Manager and the company.
11) Employees should quit acting like babies and do whatever it takes to make our site successful, i.e. make the Branch Manager look good. This includes working extra hours for free and doing the job of two people for months on end with no recognition or reward.
12) Employees failing to perform two jobs well will be written up. Failure to do two jobs well for long enough will result in firing. This occurs only after the employee has trained their replacement.
13) Employees should know that any vague promises of promotion or reward are simply to get them hired. Once the employee is inside the system managers erase all memory of said promises. These promises remain in the employees' mind as a subtle form of torture.
14) Employees are hired for their hands, not their hearts or minds. Employee hearts and minds are strictly under the purview, i.e. direct control of management.
15) Any expectations of consistency are expressly disavowed. Management reserves the right to operate by whim. Any employee pointing out logical or ethical management inconsistencies needs to look in the mirror and say, "I have a bad attitude. Please forgive me. It is an absolute joy to work for you. Can I do so for free?"
16) Any expectation of privacy proves the employee is against management. If employees are not with management, 100% of the issues/100% of the time, then the employee is a mutineer. Any form of mutiny is expressly prohibited. Complete fealty to the BM is required.
17) There's really only one rule: "The BM's image must be maintained at all costs. Nothing is more important than this."
Pshaw! Horse hockey! Absolute absurdity projected from a false face.
In the face of these rules:
a) I reserve my right to support my co-workers.
b) I maintain my ability to use my mind to name that which should be named.
c) I encourage my heart to stay engaged in an environment that discredits such a thing
d) I will speak on behalf of patients and their families as this is more important than any manager's image needs.
For years Gentiva put the following in its SEC filings:
"The company believes its relations with employees are generally good."
It's clear the company and our local BM believe our site's employees are generally bad, thus the need for the "The Rules." It's their latest form of abuse.