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Getting the Best out of People


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60 replies to this topic

#31 dragonlady7

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Posted 13 August 2003 - 08:48 AM

How to get the best out of people: Don't take their stack of papers titled "Things To Do Before Site Launch" from their desk after they go home at night. If you do, put it back before they get in the next morning.
My notes are missing. My boss took my stack of notes on what was broken that I had to fix today before the site goes live in two days. I came in this morning and my stack of painstaking notes is simply missing from my desk and cannot be found in the surrounding area. Just spent an hour looking for it.

So, I have no constructive analysis to offer, just a mention-- Guys, don't do that. Now I don't know how to finish this project, and I'm pretty much out of motivation.

I'm going to write a book. Or a soap opera.

#32 mcanerin

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Posted 13 August 2003 - 08:55 PM

:applause:! You are taking this very calmly. I'd be wandering through the halls with blood in my eye and a heavy/sharp object in my hands....

Have you considered volunteering for peacekeeping duties in Iraq? it sounds less stressful and more rewarding....

Ian

#33 dragonlady7

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Posted 14 August 2003 - 06:34 AM

>peacekeeping duties in Iraq

No... my sister and her fiancee are both over there with the Army, and he e-mailed me two days ago and said it was 132 degrees. Also, he kept getting shot at. However, Iraqis can't shoot for crap, so all in all things were all right.
I don't deal well with heat, so I'm probably better off here.
My boss insists he didn't take the notes, but a complete search of both the office and my house has not yielded any clues as to the whereabouts of my notes.

So I've come to the inevitable conclusion that, since I didn't move them, and my boss would never lie to me or forget such an important thing (right?) that we must have either an international spy ring, or an infestation of pixies or some other type of mischevious small unfriendly spirit operating in our office. Perhaps leprechauns or brownies.
If it's an international spy ring, there's nothing I can do. So, I'm going to address a possible piskies-infestation instead. Unfortunately, a search on google revealed that not only are they mischevious spirits, they're also a punk band, so I'm going to have to put up wards that would simultaneously discourage spirits and punkers. Hmm... a stained-glass suncatcher of Michael Bolton would probably do the trick. *goes off to ebay*

I had hoped to post in here about how good a short vacation can be for increasing motivation, but I spent all Tuesday (first day back) in a sleep-deprived stupor, and all Wednesday looking for my freaking notes. So, not so much.
However, i did refresh my resume on monster.com, and thinking about all the things I'm learning at this job helped. So I'm trying to think of it from that way. At least the job is challenging and I'm learning new skills that will be very applicable elsewhere. Right? Yes. And once I've been there a year (or close enough to say so on my resume), I'll be in a good position to get a way better job.
We also have monthly meetings that are pretty good, and they give us bagels. One's coming up this Friday. I look forward to the bagels.

I don't look forward to re-creating my notes.

#34 stoli

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Posted 14 August 2003 - 07:37 AM

That is why I stopped writing notes to myself on paper. Now I write my "stuff "on a palm pilot. Since I spent so much money on the palm pilot, I am less likely to lose it or leave it somewhere where somebody can take it.

Paper notes are too easy to lose. They also make it easier to ignore. All you have to do is shuffle the paper somewhere you cant see it. You are now free to ignore it until it gets so old that it becomes irrelevent anyway.

I'll have to admit, when I go to Office Depot, I still have a hard time walking by the little post it notes without buying a pack. Old habits are hard to break.

:unsure:

#35 qwerty

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Posted 14 August 2003 - 07:43 AM

Dragonlady, have you sent out a "has anybody seen my task list" email to everyone in the office? It's possible somebody picked it up to look it over -- after all, you've got an awful lot of people who seem to think you answer to them. It's bound to be a topic of discussion at the meeting.

I'm leaning toward gremlins, myself. And by the way, the Pixies were not a punk band. They were "alternative," back when that word actually meant something in the radio biz.

#36 dragonlady7

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Posted 14 August 2003 - 07:45 AM

I just find it really soothing to organize my thoughts on paper. Then I can look at them when the computer's not on, and it's something to do that doesn't involve yet more typing. Also, if I get distracted, the window I'm composing in doesn't get buried. And if I forget to save, it doesn't matter-- they're in pen. Plus, I can doodle.
But, obviously, until the pixie infestation is under control, I'm going to have to compose my thoughts on the computer somehow, because I'm less likely to lose them there. So...
I highly recommend Stickies 4.0a if you're on a Windows machine-- by Tom Revell, http://www.btinternet.com/~tom.revell, I think-- I searched for "Stickies for Windows", I think, and got this. It's a great little program. Of course, Stickies is an old Mac program that's absolutely fabulous in OS X, but when I'm on a windows box-- they're really awesome. Post-It Notes, in your computer-- can be set to be always on top, can be put to sleep for a minute, an hour, a week, etc., can be emailed, can be saved, can be restored if accidentally deleted, and the program's like 400 kb or something. It's brilliant. They can be set to different color schemes and you can have saved styles for different purposes, and the like. The Mac one isn't even as good as this...
I hadn't been using it because it's just satisfying to physically cross something off a list. But I could probably print it out... Ugh, so wasteful of paper, but sometimes that's just how it has to be.

#37 dragonlady7

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Posted 14 August 2003 - 07:48 AM

Qwerty, I did actually ask everyone in the office, and they all thought I was barking mad. So... no joy there. (Actually it was an even split-- half thought I was loony, half immediately blamed my boss and told me how nutty he is.)

Apparently the Piskies (a Cornish spelling of Pixie) were a punk band, and the Pixies were alternative. So my anti-pixie remedy has to incorporate something that frightens both of those groups as well. Hmm... this'll be a real humdinger. Maybe I should start a thread on it down at the pub, get some suggestions... Plenty of surrealists hang out here. :unsure:

#38 mcanerin

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Posted 14 August 2003 - 02:56 PM

For Office users with Outlook (not Outlook Express, the real Outlook) you can make post-its on your desktop from the Notes option, And of course Outlook has a very good Tasklist system. Almost no one uses them, which is a bit of a shame.

Ian

PS I scrawl stuff on a piece of paper during the day while I'm working on things (faster and more organic), then put the stuff I haven't taken care of by the end of the day into Outlook or my Daytimer. It's the last thing I do before leaving the office, usually.

#39 Jill

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Posted 14 August 2003 - 03:21 PM

I do, I do! I love the Outlook notes and also the tasks. My favorite parts of Outlook.

The only problem with the notes is that I haven't found a way to keep a note "on top." Sometimes I want to have one open while also doing something else, and I want it on top of my browser or whatever. For instance, if I'm editing a page for 3 different keyword phrases, I want to "pin" the note on top with the 3 phrases there so I can keep looking back at it.

Do you know if it's possible to make them stay on top? I've looked through all the settings and it doesn't seem to be an option. :)

Jill

#40 mcanerin

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Posted 14 August 2003 - 03:32 PM

I haven't figured out how to keep them on top, sorry. I found an article on some ways to use them at Microsoft a while ago.

Ian

#41 patrickh

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Posted 14 August 2003 - 05:04 PM

check this out

#42 market seeker

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Posted 14 August 2003 - 05:35 PM

Dragon Lady

Here's what you should do.

Make a list of the things that bother you and then make a list of what you think you contribute to the company and what you think your job is.

Then you catch your boss on the side sometime when he's not busy and you ask him first if he thinks of you as an asset to the company and what you could do to do a better job.

Then you discuss with him your problems with the way things are and what it would take to improve your attitude.

do it in a professional way as if you were trying to gain a client.

#43 market seeker

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Posted 14 August 2003 - 05:46 PM

My boss takes the 4 of us (the CFO, the graphic designer guy, the customer fullfillment lady and myself) out every Thursday afternoon for lunch to "catch up on the week".  During that time we talk about our respective jobs during the past week and any issues we may have.

Sounds like your boss is on top of it. Communication is the only way to resolve problems. If there's no communication the problems just get worse.

#44 Jill

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Posted 14 August 2003 - 05:46 PM

check this out

Hey, that works! I downloaded the software you mentioned (Actual Tile) and it works! Has lots of other cool functions that integrate into Outlook and other things. Will have to see if it's worthwhile and what else it can do.

Thanks for the link!

Jill

#45 market seeker

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Posted 14 August 2003 - 05:48 PM

So, I have no constructive analysis to offer, just a mention-- Guys, don't do that. Now I don't know how to finish this project, and I'm pretty much out of motivation.

Is there ANYTHING good about your job? or your boss?
I mean it can't be about the money if you're grociery shopping with $3




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