Wednesday, October 24, 2007


EvilHRLady has a great follow up post to comments on 8 hours &lunch and HR Capitalist about overly family friendly workplaces.

She touches on one of my favorite topics---Choices and consequences. Every choice has some sort of consequence even if it is simply the "loss" of the road not taken. (Opportunity cost in economic jargon?)

Every day I say to the young offspring. "You are making your choice right now!"

They are beginning to get it---they choose to keep doing what they are doing at the moment (tormenting a sibling, jumping on the bed) and they will suffer the consequences. (cue evil laughter) It is usually enough to deter them.

Now I only wish that I could imbue the same conditioning in some decision makers who decide that simply choosing to change a policy or process in a vacuum can have some interesting consequences on an existing system.

"Ive decided to change the sick policy, we are changing the policy from an hours per hour accrual to an accrual that will accrue based on the lunar cycle and display in roman numerals!"

"You realize that it will take a wee bit of customization to do that, and since you chose to outsource all your system hosting and development it will probably take a few months to implement, test and put into production. Not to mention it will cost about 100K."

"Well, we've already published the policy"

"Good luck with that"

I wonder if a wooden spoon would work for them too?

Here's a bad choice in progress---I suppose overconfidence can lead to all sorts of interesting consequences.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


I was at a local Starbucks ordering a large regular coffee. I may have confused the barista: a non-complicated order and I was not on a cell phone while I ordered (don't own one).

I may be evil, with numerous flaws (my wife will corroborate), but rudeness* and self-importance are not among them.

Anyway, after I paid, the barista handed me the receipt with information on completing a customer service survey.

I like surveys.

I like designing them, I like reading them, I like completing them, and I even like analyzing them.

What I do not like is when well-meaning, but clueless management types decide to “do a survey” and do not consider what they are going to do with it once they get the results.

In the rare case they do ask me before they have written them and sent them out, my first question is: What type of reports/analysis are you looking to see once you get the results.
Yep, that’s right, think about the final process first.

You know you are in trouble when you get a stack of returned surveys with all free form questions like. (yep, its happened more than once at more than one place)

Tell us how you like working for PEBKAC Corporation? ________________________

What do you think we could improve at PEBKAC Corporation?____________________

Instead of
I like working for PEBKAC Corporation: strongly disagree, agree, strongly agree, ambivalent

Then the next question, “When can we get an analysis of this?”

Define analysis---- Your only option is to get a list of the answers. We can sort it by question though.

Well, off to complete my Starbucks survey. There is a chance at a cash prize, but the price is supplying personal information on “where to send it”. Sorry, but you will have to buy that outright!

*Note to any potential HRIS converts---you really can't be rude as an HRIS person; never forget that you are a customer service provider. Therefore, one of your core competencies will be to master the art of passive-aggression.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Still here

My posting frequency is not what I was hoping, but we have been acquired and Ive been busy with the assimilation. (resistance is futile).

Hey, who knows, I soon might have PLENTY of time to post. (and play with the kids all day--- that doesn't sound so bad until they actually want to eat and have a place to live. Demanding little urchins eh?)

One of our SaS providers also was acquired so now I get to play "educate the account rep of the week" on how their own system works for us.

Nothing is more fun than telling someone how our setup works on their service and then having to do it again in a week or three when a different developer or whoever is assigned. (then again, it is job security!)