Sunday, December 21, 2008

Obstacles in working life - 拌 脚 石

拌 脚 石"Stumbling block, Obstacle"
Bàn jiǎo shí

知 足 者 常 乐"Easily satisfied brings everlasting happiness"
Zhī zú zhě cháng lè

锦 山 添 花"a flourishing scene of numerous success and prosperity"
Jǐn shàn tīan huā

知 错 能 改, 善 莫 大 焉"know the mistakes and is able to change, is the greatest thing"
Zhī cuò néng gǎi, Shàn Mò Dà yàn

富 有 的 人 不是 因 为 他 拥 有 的 多,而 是 需 要 的 少"A person is wealthy not because he possesses plenty, but because his needs is little"
Fù yǒu dè rén bù shì yīn weì tā yǒng yǒu dè duō, ér shì xū yào dè shǎo

Obstacles in working life

Non-supportive action
Having proper tools and adequate time is often necessary to produce quality result. Unfortunately we are witnessing and experiencing the lacking of equipments and the required time to accomplish the tasks assigned. It is already obvious that current day’s management look for the required results without any responsibility to provide the important requisites. The assumption is that since "I am already having what I need, what you need is no concern of mine. I don't see any need for you to have any equipment or any more information. Just do the work and cut off complaining, there are thousands out there waiting to fill your space."

Procedures to suit the heavenly
Everybody wait for Somebody to prepare a heavenly procedure to suit their tasks. It seems that Anybody can do it but in reality Nobody dare to come out with a BETTER and SUITABLE procedures. Who wants to get blame for anything that is inadequate, incomplete, outdated, or inaccurate? It is always better to blame that Somebody whenever something imperfect is discovered. Then with a righteous and saintly behaviour proceed to suggest something better, but most likely won't be implemented.

The true meaning of "Superior" and "Subordinate"
If the subordinates are brave and resourceful enough to initiate a change, they will be promptly shot down and declared as terrorist. If none of the subordinates has any action then they are considered "lacked the essentials for getting the work done". Understand this: Subordinate does not have the authority but are expected to shoulder full responsibility. Those higher up the ladder are immune to any failures because they have to cover very large area$. After all, their task is "to observe or to monitor" - a very complicated task.

Lack of clear and accurate job aids, reference guides and online assistance
The ancient grandmother problem of lack of space on paper still exists. Illustrations using photos are still presented in so small a format that the normal naked eyes will have problem identifying what is in it. Using the magnifying glass is still not sufficient to see the minute details. Asking for the soft copy is equivalent to committing an criminal offense. Any mistakes may takes decades to be noticed and another few centuries to be corrected.

Methods to do the task becomes more and more tedious, time-consuming and more noisy
Everybody knows and expects tasks to be done in as simple manner as possible to achieve the same result. However there live this sophisticated group of philosophers who insists on more complex, noisy and health threatening process. The life of those performing the tasks is simply not worth anything.

Unattainable deadlines or workloads
Erratic plans and schedules are constantly produced such that people need to work like a runaway train and ending with all parts damaged. All tasks are pronounced “VERY URGENT”. One may wonder why there is the need to plan; there is no way to meet the “Scheduled Date of Release”.

Barbaric animal instinct

The tasks are allowed to accumulate if the equipments break down. However once the equipments are up, then hell breaks loose. People wished that they are death rather than going through the suffering. All the lifeless tasks suddenly make to rear up with urgency. Why are people so barbaric?

Information sharing are non existence
Any request to have shared info, will be met with “access to relevant data is on the way”. Just that and no more. All are trained experts to share others’ data but not sharing "their owns". Relevant “authorities” also agreed to that. Prevalent attitudes: "Why bother about the others’ needs when mine is met?"

Duplicating of administrative tasks
Almost every level requests for the same tasks and hours spent by each subordinate. Each request is accompanied by a different set of forms and formats. There are too many unnecessary headaches for the same amount of pay. Each time the managements meet; more tasks are delicate downward. There is very poor cooperation between the managements but the subordinates suffer.

Individual methods to overcome the obstacles
  • Be easily satisfied to obtain everlasting happiness (while others press and press?)
  • Engage in other activities that bring success and prosperity (greener pasture ?)
  • know the mistakes and be able to change (over-serving character, inherited from slave or the historical serving generation?)
  • Note that a person is wealthy not because he possesses plenty, but because his needs is little (how much is consider little?)
(The contributors apologize if the contents are provocative beyond endurance. No malice intended, just thinking aloud.)

References and Appreciations
  • Philips' colleagues (both young and old)