Thursday, July 8, 2010

Incompetence Makes The World Go Round

Today we are going to discuss incompetence. Professionally and generally. Why? Because its hot out and my tolerance for heat, my ability to be happy, tops out at 25 degrees. What do you want from me? I'm from Holland. Where the f*ck you from? (by the way, that's not me being rude, thats the title of a song. A great song. So its me being cheeky)

So incompetence. It makes the world go round doesn't it? Because if everyone else were as competent as you and me, what need would there be for folks like us?

It really burns my a$$ to have to work with incompetent people. Especially when those people make more money than I do. It begs the question: who's running things around here? For the answer to that question you need only look at who is actually running the show and you will most likely find that its more incompetence. Because if competent people were in charge, performance evaluations would get done on time, raises would go through, benefits would be in place immediately and you wouldn't spend at least half your day pulling out your hair.

And then where would we be?

Let's face it. If everyone were competent to do their jobs, we wouldn't know what to do with ourselves! How much of your workday is taken up by completing tasks other people didn't finish? Or taking on projects that your co-worker is too "stacked" to complete (incidentally, last time I checked "stacked" didn't mean that you were too busy...)? Exactly. How often do you find yourself making excuses for someone else's deficiencies like "well its really busy in here today" or "he's really young"? When can we stop making excuses for those that cannot do and just tell them to smarten up and get sh*t done already?

I will give you some examples. Because I? Love examples.

Let's say that you have been at your present job for about 6 months, and your probationary period is over. Let's say that in the past 6 months you have taken on the work of 2 people because you were short staffed but that you're not a pushover and the time has come to address the workload, hours and pay scale (since you're doing the work of at least 2 people, a pay adjustment should probably be made). Your manager is supposed to be the one initiating a discussion about the end of your probation, but since he hasn't, you do.

Does your manager:
a) Tell you that of course he hasn't forgotten and did you want to do that today? Nothing to worry about, just a formality of course!
b) Tell you that you passed, and he wants to go over everything with you but he's leaving on vacation and unfortunately it will have to wait until he is back. He's sorry for putting you out.
c) Tell you that he's going on vacation for 2 weeks after this week and it will have to wait until he's back.

If you guessed C, you work in an office! I would congratulate you, but it depresses me too.

It would take way too much of your manager's time to just tell you that you passed your probationary period. How can you make such demands of his VIP time? You will just have to keep doing the work of 2 people and wait until he gets back. Because he is a manager, and that's how he rolls.

Let's say that your company is going to be laying off everyone in your department. The staff probably has a lot of questions about the kind of severance that will be paid out, timing, benefit limitations etc. Why would the company have a pow wow with the managers about all of these issues before the managers lay everything out for the staff? How does that make sense? They can't possibly know what kinds of questions people will ask. They aren't psychic. The managers will just have to do their best at looking like they know what they are talking about and hope that the actual policies back them up when they check them out later. Duh.

Finally, you recently bought an apartment so the one you're renting now needs to be shown and rented out again. The property management company lets you know the day before that the next evening they will be showing the place at 5.30. At 5.25 on the day, the rep comes to the door, all nervous and fidgety-like I think he's trying to tell you that he's come up without the people just to see if you are home or not. And he will go downstairs and wait for them now. I think that's what he's saying. Its hard to know for sure- his wrinkled blazer, turned in collar, untucked shirt and unshaven straggly face are kind of distracting.

Ten minutes go by without the reappearance of the disheveled rep. Finally another knock on the door announces the arrival of 3 girls and a guy, clearly students. No rep. They say they are sorry they are late for the 5.15 showing (what 5.15 showing?) and can they see the place now? Uh, aren't you kids missing the guy who's showing the place? He's waiting in the lobby but they didn't see him. The lobby is the size of a closet. You cannot miss another person waiting there. And how did you get onto this floor without a fob? They leave to find the rep. Come back, rep in tow, you leave to wait outside (relishing the opportunity to make this showing awkward) and the rep turns and asks you if he should lock up. Yeah, you're not going anywhere. Its not a big apartment, you can probably see it all in 5 minutes. So no, you don't need to lock it up (imagine you trusted him with your home security?).

Just before they disappear inside, the rep turns to you again and asks if they can see the bedrooms?

No. They can't. They must decide if they want the apartment based solely on the common areas.

You wait outside for 5, 10, 15 minutes. Start to wonder if they got lost in your 20 room mansion.

Finally, they are done. As the students leave, one turns and asks if the unit is air conditioned? Are you serious? You realize you live in Vancouver right? Not Miami? That hallways might be air conditioned but units rarely are? That this is actually a rainforest? Winter Olympics were held here?

I worry for the future.

I don't think we need to discuss the round of 20 questions with the rep after the students left about all the things that went wrong with the apartment when it was first lived in. You guys don't talk to each other? Have files you can look this stuff up in?

On the bright side, if he can get a proper job, that means that I shouldn't really have any difficulty doesn't it?

Incompetence ladies and gentlemen. It makes the world go round.


  1. 1. I fully thought it said "Impotence makes the world go round" and I was going to have to go right ahead and disagree.

    2. The number of times a day I shake my head and think "god damn, people are idiots" is too high to count.

    3. thank you for this hilarious post - may just get me through my day

  2. You know this post made me want to be a property manager. By the sounds of it I could do it part time while collecting a full time wage and still be the best damn property manager in the world. Seriously this sounds like easy money. "Hello I'd like you to manage my property" "uhh ok I'll show up for the viewings" "You have other things to do besides just be there..." "Shhh I'm playing XBox!"

  3. Ooooooh, this rings sooooo true!!! I've just watched, dumbfounded, as those in upper-level positions, spout orders that I've already completed...over a week ago. Ugh. It's so aggravating. Great post and blog! Look forward to reading more!