The eye tries not to blink

This little warning hangs on my corkboard at work:

You Are Being Monitored

Should you, then, work from home? Bill Quick is okay with that:

If the manager is setting workproduct goals that correctly meet his expectations, and the employee is meeting these goals, why on earth does management give a damn what the employee is doing?

The real problem here — and why managers hate the idea of telecommuting — it that it deprives them of the ability to micromanage employees on a minute by minute basis. Absent such tangible evidence of their necessity to the work process, they become nervous at the notion that higher management just might notice how little they actually contribute to the overall work product.

This doesn’t really apply to 42nd and Treadmill, since (1) I have to turn out vast quantities of printed materials, which I couldn’t do from home, and (2) unlike some places, we are not blessed/cursed (take your pick) with an overabundance of middle management.

Still, I have this elsewhere on the corkboard, much plainer and much smaller: “1 manager = 1,048,576 micromanagers.”


  1. Tatyana »

    2 April 2013 · 9:35 pm

    I was told this cloud program allows you to print remotely. And first 3 devices are free.

  2. CGHill »

    2 April 2013 · 9:51 pm

    Great! Now tell me how to burst and distribute all this stuff from the back bedroom.

    (It’s an odd form of job security, but what the hell.)

  3. McGehee »

    2 April 2013 · 10:49 pm

    I can send print jobs to my printer by email.

    What I can’t do unless I’m in the building is collate and bind the output for distribution to the appropriate recipients.

  4. Bill Peschel »

    3 April 2013 · 5:56 am

    Not only middle managers have to wonder if anyone will notice their jobs are superfluous, but upper management as well. When they go on vacation, the jobs still get done. Not the other way around.

  5. fillyjonk »

    3 April 2013 · 7:27 am

    Having had situations of both hands-off “management” (inasmuch as campus administrators “manage” faculty) and incredibly detailed micromanagment, I can tell you, I am a lot more likely to work happily and productively when those above me assume I’m capable of doing my job and don’t bother me with daily e-mails or reminders that I should be doing it. (I wish I were making that up, it really was that way for a while). Micromanaging drains my morale like almost nothing else.

    I COULD work from home, but that would involve teaching online classes, something I am decidedly loath to do.

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