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Shyheels

Life in Lockdown

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So how are people getting by in this weird new age we're living in? In some ways my life remains unchanged - I have been working from a home office for many years, when I'm not travelling on assignment, that is. When I'm home, and not travelling, I tend not to see much of anybody except family and so sheltering-in-place is almost my regular lifestyle. Of course now I have the rest of the family home as well - wife and I both working on the kitchen table (se with a salary and me...well...) and the kids home from university and school.

I get out on my early morning bicycle for rides - for now at least, until they decide to tighten the restrictions further - but otherwise never leave the house, ordering food on-line and getting back to cooking which is something I enjoy doing anyway. Been buying books for Kindle on Amazon's 99p special deals - taking advantage of the low price (scarcely that of a newspaper) to sample books I might not otherwise ever read, and am eyeing the rich selections of box-set TV series on BBC iPlayer.

So far it has not been at all disagreeable - as the New Zealand police put it in a clever Tweet the other day, here's a historic opportunity to save humanity by sitting around, ding nothing and watching TV; let's not mess it up!

How is everyone else getting by?  

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At the moment I,m still having to go into work. Not sure if that good thing at the moment. Supervisor is being a right jerk at the moment. It the way he speaks to some members of staff at the moment. He,s always been bad for this but he,s worse at the moment. He,s having ago at staff for no reason. Truth is I,m looking into this as this can not go on.

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Yes some employers are being total jerks about this - my wife’s head of Department was keen on business as usual, requiring people to continue coming to work even when they’re displaying symptoms, but she was overused by the governmental decree (this was a civil service job) and had to pull in her horns. 
 

The government really needs to come down hard in this. Instead of getting their knickers in a twist about people walking their dogs on quiet trails in the national parks looking hard at workplaces and unnecessary risks of contagion. 

Edited by Shyheels

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If the supervisor starts on me for no reason there be trouble. Supermarkets are starting to sort them out with allowing afew in at a time etc. Problem is that everyone else has the same idea about walking the dogs in parks and end up meeting other people. Some of my friends have motorbikes and cant go out on their own.

 

 

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From what I have seen in my outings on my bicycle, most people are trying to do the right thing as regards outings and exercise - maintaining distance and not trying to take the mick. Still, it is hard to manage given the numbers of people involved. In some cases driving to a quieter area is probably better than strolling in your local park or village square.

Members of a cycling forum to which I contribute are becoming worked up about how long one should or should not be out of the house exercising, arguing like Talmudic scholars. I go for a 25 mile ride - my daily ride anyway, and done at an hour when nobody else is around.

Edited by Shyheels

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I have what is considered an "essential" job, so I'm still going in to work. I live alone, so the whole "isolation" thing is just life as usual for me. We've been taking the necessary precautions at work for weeks and everyone has remained healthy so far.

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I'm retired, so work in the conventional sense is not an issue, but much of my time in recent years has been spent on property renovation around the family.   (No, we are not property tycoons - but several of my close relatives have an investment property in addition to a residence.)   That work is sporadic and has not been too demanding or critical recently, so nothing much to abandon or postpone at present.   My wife does admin for a charity one day each week but that is now shelved.

So, my time is almost entirely spent on indoor home-related tasks at present (with some outside decorating lined-up when the weather is milder) plus reading (including hobby-related researches and a little writing), TV, puzzles and the like.   Whether I will survive like this for possibly several months remains to be seen!

Going out is currently limited to essential shopping (wife and I take it in turns) and a modest exercise walk every couple of days, if possible combined.   I totally agree with the view taken by Shyheels above that it would be more sensible and less risky to all to drive (isolated in one's car) a few miles to some uncrowded and more remote place for a solitary constitutional, rather than walk through local streets to a nearby park with the probability of meeting/passing quite a number of other people.   The Police allegedly take a different view - challenging people found more than a mile or two from home or driving/parking outside their town and even 'moving on' or threatening anyone seen taking a brief rest during a walk, as some may have to in order to catch breath.    One eminent lawyer has already challenged the legality of such 'exercise' restrictions, without suggesting that we should in any way start mixing again.

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Yes, the police have really taken to being a law unto themselves in many places. Nowhere in the lockdown regulations (thus far) is there any stipulation about the length or duration of the daily exercise, nor is there anything about not driving somewhere to take your exercise. There is a rule against non-essential travel but if taking exercise is seen as one of the activities for which you are allowed to leave your home, then presumably one could argue that travelling to do that is essential. I see also where police have set up roadblocks in places and have been using drones to harass dog-walkers - who were apparently solo and keeping distance from other walkers.

I go out on my bicycle rides - typical length 25 miles, which is what I do anyway, on dead-quiet country lanes, and typically before dawn. Otherwise I don't leave the house. We have groceries delivered. Spend my days writing a novel - here's an opportunity - and reading novels. Contemplating starting a blog of book reviews given all my reading. So far I'm not the least bit bored. 

 

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About two miles from my home is a 'forest' which is open to the public for recreational walking; it has no other facilities apart from a couple of bins for dog's mess!   I had never been there, although my wife has on one of her regular pre-virus exercise walks with a friend.   We decided that it would be a good place for solitary exercise yesterday, and so it proved.   We drove there, and parked outside the main gate at 9.30am.   We then walked around the perimeter, covering a little more than three miles in about 80 minutes.   We passed or saw no more than 10 couples, half-a-dozen solitary dog-walkers and a couple of small family groups.   Almost everyone greeted us on passing, at the prescribed distance, and the whole experience was enjoyable - the forest was quite dense but easy to navigate on well-trodden paths and with a refreshingly peaceful atmosphere; I shall go again.   I dropped my wife at the small supermarket about half-a-mile from home so she could pick up milk, a newspaper and a couple of other essentials and she told me that there was no queueing or other problem there.

We had gone out for our walk quite early in the belief that the forest would be busier (if never exactly 'crowded') later in the day, given the fine weather.   But I see from the TV news this morning that other areas (such as the Brighton seafront, and along the river or in the park at Richmond) were very busy yesterday with whole groups of people inevitably failing to distance themselves, on the move or otherwise.   It was hardly surprising that the Police were taking action.   What will happen today, with even better weather, remains to be seen but I'm doubtful that Joe Public as a whole will be taking proper notice of the 'instructions'.   I shall remain at home; there are useful tasks to be done in the back garden.

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I,m lucky if I wanted to go for a walk I could walk right my out front gate into a forest path within about 50 meters. When I used to take my dogs for a walk on this path it was very rare that you would met someone. 

I,ve started shopping at my local Tesco Express in the evening now and been able to avoid having to queue up.

At the moment I,m working but at the moment not sure for how long. Work has sort of dried up so I don't know how long the company can stay open for.

 

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My work has dried up big time - no possibility of assignments with international travel locked down. We get our food delivered mostly. I had to go out to our local Asda yesterday and it was a zoo. Nobody paying the least attention to maintaining distance and separation, neither shoppers nor staff. It was like nobody cared or believed any of it.

I am luck as far as exercise goes as I can go out in the lanes on my bike - which I do. It is the only outing I make, except for my one shopping trip yesterday. So far staying healthy. 

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My experience in local supermarkets has been generally positive in the 4 or 5 visits I've made in the last fortnight.   The small Tesco nearby had an orderly queue outside when necessary and controlled entry.   It is obviously almost impossible for people to browse, select items and walk around without at times passing briefly closer to others than 2m, especially where aisles are fairly narrow, but I detected no blatant disregard of the precautions; people did their best.   Some of the checkouts had been disabled to give greater separation, although no screens had yet been fitted.   The Aldi I also use was easier to navigate safely (wider aisles and less-cramped checkouts) and, here again, entry was being 'controlled' effectively.   Both stores had sanitiser or soapy solution to permit trolleys, baskets and hands to be cleaned, and most people were using them.   I have no intention of using delivery services (even if available, which is doubtful) unless this becomes unavoidable.   At least the fine weather allows (indeed encourages) some work and a little relaxation in the garden, which largely makes up for 'outings' being restricted to a combined newspaper/grocery shop and walk locally. 

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Why would you not use the delivery services? We use them regularly, and did before the Coronavirus outbreak, and have found them to be a great convenience and, in the lockdown, a great way to avoid mingling. I am quite certain that the only risk I have taken since this began was my trip to Asda. My only other outings, on my bicycle rides, all take place long before dawn on empty country lanes.

 

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Delivery services scarcely necessary when several supermarkets within reach, not all of which deliver anyway.   And I wouldn't be sure of getting what I wanted (too many substitutions etc), quite apart from the extra cost.   I don't dislike grocery shopping (pre-virus, anyway), often with opportunities for bagging bargains.   If I'm too busy, I send my butler.

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I have my butler go on line and order - or rather he tells the housekeeper who instructs the senior footman and the senior footman instructs the junior footman.

Specify no substitutions. It's beluga or its nothing. 

The groceries are delivered to the gatekeepers house and he informs the chauffeur who comes down to collect it and make the long drive back up to the  main house, dropping it off at the servant's entrance, by the rear garden, where the sous chef sees to the storage and putting away.  

Or so they tell me. I've not enquired further, just so its done...

 

 

  • Confused 1

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Oh dear!   We are close to having the sort of 'I lived in a cardboard box and survived on a bowl of warm gravel every fortnight' type of one-upmanship!   (But that might be fun ...!)

To clarify my earlier comment, there is nothing wrong with getting groceries delivered, if that is one's preference (or need).   I prefer not to (unless it becomes unavoidable because of isolation etc) and would not wish to deprive those in need of a delivery slot, which I gather are hard to come by.   I have three doctors and other NHS staff as near neighbours and they have greater need than most of us.

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We much prefer it. But then we've been doing this for quite some time anyway and have pair for a year's delivery anyway.

My wife has an essential job - she sources PPE for various emergency services.  

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Not sure how to go about.on this forum about whats been going on at work. So give a litte time write thngs down.. There is a them and us at work..  I get to work and stay in the tea room till its time to work, along with my brother and one other. The others goes into the supvisor's office. Two Driver's and 3 factory workers.  Them and us.  I had a big argument with the Supvisor on Tuesday. .As I mentioned before the supvisor was being a jerk.  At the start of lock down brother took a phone call for the supvisor. Well my brother  thought it was the supvisor GF. It turned out to be the GF sister. Supvisor had a go at him for that. .

It turns out  the comany has an issue with how fast my brother works and that when he gets help he slows down even more.  He packs items that been worked on and then gets sent back to the customer.  He has to check and clean every item before it gets packed. It can be a slow job at times. There more work for one person but not enough work for 2 people full time.  He does not stop work all day. The others get to stand about chatting while they doing their job. It the same with me I have to stay with the machine to make sure to keeps working. but I work outside in a shed on my own.

I finish what I could do in  my shed and went back inside the factory.  This was about 45 minutes before time to go home.. I know the supvisor dont like me standing around doing nothing. Which if fair enough so I went to pack some simple item for my brother. My brother was doing some paperwork. One of the drivers had come back early and was also packing.  Supvisor came over and stood watching us for a few minutes.  He then asked my brother why he was doing  paperwork while he to guys packing for. He kept asking the same qustion over and over again did not allow my brother answer.   Supvisor walked away, my brother reacted in a bad way. I could tell my brother was upset about this.  This was when I walked over had a right go at the supvisor for what just happened. . I can not see what my brother is doing wrong. Will add to post If I think its ok to do so.

Edited by Heels

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13 hours ago, Heels said:

Not sure how to go about.on this forum about whats been going on at work. So give a litte time write thngs down.. There is a them and us at work..  I get to work and stay in the tea room till its time to work, along with my brother and one other. The others goes into the supvisor's office. Two Driver's and 3 factory workers.  Them and us.  I had a big argument with the Supvisor on Tuesday. .As I mentioned before the supvisor was being a jerk.  At the start of lock down brother took a phone call for the supvisor. Well my brother  thought it was the supvisor GF. It turned out to be the GF sister. Supvisor had a go at him for that. .

It turns out  the comany has an issue with how fast my brother works and that when he gets help he slows down even more.  He packs items that been worked on and then gets sent back to the customer.  He has to check and clean every item before it gets packed. It can be a slow job at times. There more work for one person but not enough work for 2 people full time.  He does not stop work all day. The others get to stand about chatting while they doing their job. It the same with me I have to stay with the machine to make sure to keeps working. but I work outside in a shed on my own.

I finish what I could do in  my shed and went back inside the factory.  This was about 45 minutes before time to go home.. I know the supvisor dont like me standing around doing nothing. Which if fair enough so I went to pack some simple item for my brother. My brother was doing some paperwork. One of the drivers had come back early and was also packing.  Supvisor came over and stood watching us for a few minutes.  He then asked my brother why he was doing  paperwork while he to guys packing for. He kept asking the same qustion over and over again did not allow my brother answer.   Supvisor walked away, my brother reacted in a bad way. I could tell my brother was upset about this.  This was when I walked over had a right go at the supvisor for what just happened. . I can not see what my brother is doing wrong. Will add to post If I think its ok to do so.

In other previous lifes, I have been a shop steward (car factory) and a staff rep (another manufacturing company).

Feel free to contact me via the messaging system if you want a more personalised reply, as there is no mention to the company and its make up. (No mention of how supervisor fits into the management structure; if there is HR (unlikely these days); if this is a multi-national; etc.)

Your brother appears to be suffering from a bullying supervisor. This is difficult because there is precious little to no legal definition for that. Harassment however, less difficult and doesn't require the person being harassed to make a complaint. Harassment in the workplace can be a prosecutable offence. (Racist, homophobic, and derogatory slurs based on physical or mental handicaps, being typical causes for prosecution.) 

Smaller companies, with smaller groups of employees are difficult ensure respect and tolerance is shown to all employees. This is especially true where managers or supervisors have no professional training for that role. There is a feeling amongst workers, that anyone can be a manager, and sadly that just isn't true. Most people have less than perfect personalities, and when those imperfections are allowed to run in a management role, it's possible for someone who otherwise seems like a decent person, to become a complete arsehole.

Without knowing further detail, it sounds to me like the supervisor is trying to make your brothers life uncomfortable in the workplace, and encourage him to leave. Sadly, you must assume this is the case, and work on the expectation some effort might be used to bring this about. Your best hope in the long term, is a claim for "constructive dismissal" (if he is forced out of his job and leaves) or "unfair dismissal". This is where you might be able to claim some compensation for loss of employment.  

The very first thing you must do is to keep a diary of what happens, and when. Get yourself an A4 diary, and write down everything you can, about each work day. Write down facts, and outcomes. This may become the only 'hard' evidence you can use in a claim. On the upside, the supervisor will not be keeping a similar diary, so in terms of what happened and when, you will have the upper hand.

There are no circumstances where you becoming incensed would be justifiable in a review situation, either with the company concerned or third party ombudsman. If you or you brother do get upset - either angry or tearful - these events must be included in your diary to reflect honesty of your reporting. It might be you have a diary for each of you if there is a need. (Again, not enough detail to indicate if this might be the case.) Remember that aggression shown to a supervisor, might well be a reason for dismissal. If the company want that, best not to play into their hands.

If there are performance issues, requesting training both formally (if there is a company scheme) or informally and should be done with witnesses. If equipment used for cleaning is faulty or unreliable, the same is true. One of the biggest defences for employers in being letting staff go through poor performance, is "no one mentioned there was a problem". This is often the case when employees are swamped with work they have no chance of completing. Maybe not the case here, but managers don't know employees are 'swamped' unless it is mentioned. Again, if it is mentioned, "I need help" write it up in the diary, and the response.

 

During these difficult times, many companies are and will continue to go to the wall. On their wind down, many individuals may be pushed out of the business in cost cutting exercise. Encouraging people to leave of their own accord is better than sacking and better than redundancies, especially if the job isn't going to go but they plan to bring someone cheaper in. Inefficiency (if there is any) is harder to hide or disguise in smaller companies. "Favourites" are also a problem there too, as there is less accountability to higher management, if indeed there is any accountability at all.  If I suggest the term "fighting for his job", I am in no way suggesting you or he actually start or infer a fight might be in the offering. But these days no-one has a job for life, and even with us leaving the EU, there are still plenty of people around looking for work and likely willing to do the same work as you for less remuneration. It's important you don't provide anyone with a reason to want to dismiss you or your brother. Following on from that, I am concerned about the 'them and us' situation. Not sure why the others congregate in the supervisors office (even if there's room to social distance - which I doubt) and you three don't. I can guess why, but that itself suggests poor working relationships exist aside from anything personal. I hope you are able to interact with the factory workers and drivers in an amiable way. If there are disfavourable comments made by other workers at the company, who said what and when, must also go in the diary. This is especially true if those comments are made in front of the supervisor. This will not look good for him in an assessment situation because if he hasn't pulled up the person making the remark, he has by default, condoned the remark.

 

In short:

Do what you can to be efficient and sociable at work. Identify problems to your efficiency if there are any. Ask for training if it will make you more efficient. Any problems, voice them, but never get angry, never be insulting. Always be respectful, even if others aren't. Don't provide opportunities for criticism. Don't provide opportunities for dismissal.

Keep an accurate diary of events in the workplace. Be factual. Be balanced. Don't involve opinions - facts only. 

 

P.S. Don't pick up other people's phone calls unless expressly told to do so. This invites problems mostly to do with privacy, or what looks like in this case, personal calls taken on company phone lines. (Though on a gossip level, I'd be interested to know why the supervisors girlfriends sister is phoning him at work.) 

Edited by FastFreddy2

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At the moment there is not always any one in the office.  There is a phone on my brother;s work bench so that he can take messages from customers when no one  answers the phone in the office. He has been told  to answer the phone. The supvisor has two nephews also working in the factory.  He does seem to get afew phone calls from  family members. Why they cant ring him at breaktime on his own phone I dont know.

I pm you the rest

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5 hours ago, Heels said:

At the moment there is not always any one in the office.  There is a phone on my brother;s work bench so that he can take messages from customers when no one  answers the phone in the office. He has been told  to answer the phone. The supvisor has two nephews also working in the factory.  He does seem to get afew phone calls from  family members. Why they cant ring him at breaktime on his own phone I dont know.

I pm you the rest

Seems odd the supervisor would complain if your brother is supposed to answer the phone?

I'll wait for your PM. B)

 

Here's a thing though...... Everybody complains about the workplace and the people in it, often the supervision/managers. It might be part of "us", in that it's part of our nature and how we read things going on around us. Do we prefer living with the situation, or would we actually do something about it if given the chance? My experience suggests people mostly are inclined to suffer and vent. Which of course, changes nothing.

I once worked for a fella who was fairly entrenched in the company. I was brought in to do a specific job, and (of course) I like to think I did it well. But this fella was a real pig to everyone (bar me) possibly because he was an a-hole first and a manager second. Not sure how long I lasted, I think under three months having proved I could do the job (and learned faster than expected) showing I could predict manufacturing requirements better than the sales or operations directors, but just couldn't work for this animal of a manager. I left, just as I went on holiday for a week. By the time I got back I regretted leaving, but the job had gone.

Some years later, I rang the fella I was supposed to be replacing to ask if he would give me a reference for a job in a similar line - obviously in another company. He was happy to. He asked me if I'd heard what happened to the bully/animal manager? I responded 'no'. Seems everyone knew why I left, including the ops director (his boss). They weren't overly happy they'd got a trained replacement, only for them (me) to leave because of an unpleasant (unprofessional) manager.  They gave the bully my job. He'd been in the company close to two years at that time. He just couldn't do it. Manufacturing planning isn't for everyone, and it certainly wasn't for him. After a production meeting where his ineptitude at his new role showed itself once again, he was given 10 minutes to clear his desk. (Boy, did I thank Karma for the visit.)

Losing that job did put a dink in my self-confidence for a short while, but, you get back on the horse. My point really, is that sometimes self-sacrifice is necessary not just for you, but for the greater good. 

 

About 5 or 6 years ago, I was told about a  situation where employees were being bullied by one manager, and three of her next tier supervisors. It was all there. Individuals getting ganged up on, favourites getting recommended for raises. I can't know this sort of stuff goes on without doing something about if the opportunity arises, and I'm not adverse to making an opportunity. In this instance, I made sure the top-banana got hold of a whistleblowing letter from me. I spoke to two people after that, one of whom told me they would ensure the matter was dealt with. The ringleader was let go the first chance the company had to get rid. The second left (seeing the writing on the wall). The third joined the ranks, and the fourth still has a job. The difference now, the last one in the group with supervisory powers is kept on a very short leash and EVERYONE in management knows about her. If there are any more redundancies, she will be first out the door - and she probably knows that too. 

In a highly competitive environment, bullying and harassment is probably a fact of life. ("If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen".)  But companies are aware of the power of social media, and the damage it can do to reputations. If I had a FB page back in the 1990's and told the story above about the fella I worked for, he likely would have been hauled up in front of his boss and been read the riot act or just fired. Same is true of my whistleblowing story, although others might have gone if the sources were known. (To this day, no-one involved is aware of what I did, nor anyone from the company who was involved with the letter and phone calls.)

 

The take away from this is:  Do nothing, and nothing changes. So something and things have to change. The challenge with the 'do something' option, is doing the right thing. ;)

 

Edited by FastFreddy2

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I cannot say that I have ever been in a job where there was obvious, sustained and unchecked bullying.   Indeed, I can think of very few situations where I have witnessed, or experienced, anything more than a relatively mild element of irregular and unjustified harassment or criticism; perhaps I have been lucky.

But what I have often experienced is the so-called 'manager' (or someone given at least a supervisory or commanding position) who was barely capable and was regularly 'carried' by his or her staff.   That is particularly true of those who have essentially man-management responsibilities over a raft of skilled (often very skilled) technical or professional people.   A major sub-set of this group is the person who is judged (and in turn judges) by the length of time spent at a desk, rather than the volume or quality of the work actually done; such people are often over-promoted on perceived merit and 'dedication'.   

As a professional who was primarily carrying out technical work, I progressed from being the underling through to senior management without having (or needing) significant 'empire-building' man-management responsibilities - but (I hope) with awareness of the need to both lead by example and get the best from my colleagues.    But there were always a few exalted beings above me who could demonstrate how not to behave and the limitations of their own expertise in our work.   I well recall a situation in which I ran a self-contained section of a business that was nominally answerable to a manager elsewhere in what had become our parent company following an acquisition.   He was a couple of years younger than me but we got on well enough and there was never any real disharmony.   My work was largely technical and my qualifications, knowledge and ability in that regard were greater than his, which he recognised and rarely challenged.   However, he liked to impose his authority and what he perceived as the Group philosophy from time to time and to spend (waste) his budget on a few fancies, usually of a dubious marketing nature.   

On one occasion, his idea for promoting a new product seemed to me to be ill-founded and unlikely to be cost-effective and I challenged his plans.   Determined to have his way, his response was 'Well, it's my train set!' to which I felt obliged to reply 'When you have a little more maturity, you will recognise it as a model railway' - meaning that this was not something to be played with but treated as serious adult activity.   He had the good grace to laugh but went ahead anyway (with my supporting best-efforts); the project was not a success and time and money was wasted. 

On another occasion, he failed to spot a serious (and fairly obvious) technical flaw in a proposed product variant, although accepted this when I explained it.   Somewhat contrite, he said 'You must think I'm a complete c**t'.   The only truthful answer I could give was to say 'Oh no, I'm sure there's a bit missing' - which (perhaps fortunately) went over his head.

As you might guess, my position (and therefore my job) disappeared when a Group merger in turn merged my company's activity into the parallel activity managed by matey.   So, he got complete control but it wasn't long before most of the combined activity was progressively dismantled or lost to competitors - and he moved on to greater things in the wider Group (as I already had elsewhere).   Happy days - but since when did politics make for a successful and profitable business? 

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11 hours ago, Puffer said:

I cannot say that I have ever been in a job where there was obvious, sustained and unchecked bullying.   Indeed, I can think of very few situations where I have witnessed, or experienced, anything more than a relatively mild element of irregular and unjustified harassment or criticism; perhaps I have been lucky.

But what I have often experienced is the so-called 'manager' (or someone given at least a supervisory or commanding position) who was barely capable and was regularly 'carried' by his or her staff.   That is particularly true of those who have essentially man-management responsibilities over a raft of skilled (often very skilled) technical or professional people.

I think it makes a difference.

It would be churlish for me to suggest unskilled/semi-skilled or trades people have a completely different outlook, but there are marked differences. My take on a management role is that you strive to make yourself redundant in the general running of things. Training is important, to ensure those doing the work understand the demands, resources and tools needed and how to make them available to meet the challenge of the demands. Highly skilled, technical and professionals should not need training if they are paid to be in the positions they occupy. "Management" roles in those environs, is to do with managing resources from project to project as dictated by either the business or its owner. 

In the world of manual employees, which there is a significantly greater number, training and the lack of it is a serious problem. Both for the employee (who is usually rated by their performance in a job they have inadequate training for) and the employer who might waste time recruiting more than one person until someone who happens to arrive fully trained, is able to keep their position in the business. When everyone in the team is adequately trained, even in that environment a manager should not spend much time managing (interfering) in what would otherwise be a well run ship. 

In my experience, "managers" who repeatedly get 'involved' with workers, are people with little self-confidence which shows up in their work life.     

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For the avoidance of doubt, my career (and therefore the experiences recounted above) has been a white-collar one, spent in professional practice, manufacturing industry, small-scale retail/wholesale, financial services (in that order).   I ended up, after my second redundancy, as a self-employed technical consultant for some 10 years before retiring.   I cannot therefore speak in any detail about blue-collar 'manufacturing' activity as I was never a manager of such workers, apart from sharing in some very hands-on activity in the retail business (of which I was a part-owner).

I will add only that ongoing training is (or should be) very important to all professional and technical people, as otherwise they cannot keep up to date with developments in their field.   Indeed, 'continuous professional development' (the title varies) is invariably obligatory to retain a professional qualification, as I well know.   Some of my time as both an employee and a consultant was spent in training others and in writing or editing technical matter for publication.

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