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Mistakes were made

New York City meets Munich

Executive Vice Pecker

January 29th, 2002 · No Comments · Uncategorized

Just because my company tries to do the right thing doesn’t mean there aren’t people who can find small, irritating ways to diminish the good intent.

While we’re bunkered down in the contingency center here in New Jersey, the company covers commuting expenses. For me, that’s $210 a month for New Jersey Transit. I buy a monthly pass, I get a single receipt, I fill out a one line expense with the one receipt, and I can get my money back.

My boss has to sign it, of course, but that’s not a problem. What’s silly is the President of our group has to sign it. This is a guy who’s only in the New Jersey office a few days out of the month. The rest of the time he’s in the temporary midtown office with the traders, or he’s traveling.

Since there’s no fancy office space available here in New Jersey, he camps out in an area of unused desks in our area, away from the rest of us peons. Since the we got space in the building next door, this room is mostly empty space.

I walk over to him at his machine.

“Pardon me, I need a signature for commuting expenses.”

He doesn’t even look up from the email he’s writing. “Come back later.”

I respect that he’s a busy guy. That’s fair. But it struck me as hugely inefficient, and somewhat insulting. How about he takes the form and deals with it when he gets a moment? That’s what an “in box” is for. I don’t expect immediate attention. But I also don’t expect to be blown off.

It reminds me of what makes a truly good boss/manager/executive/co-worker: do your job the way you’d expect other people to work. I’m amazed by executives who expect their staff to work one way, but they themselves act in a totally different way.

So now I get to play a stupid game with this jerk. I have to try to figure out a good time to approach him. So instead of focusing on my work, I have to keep looking up and trying to gauge whether its a good time or a bad time.

Yet another reminded that sooner I’m self-employed, the better I’m going to feel.

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