Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sunday Morning Inspirational Talk

Have you ever noticed in management when a new manager is assigned a team he feels he must do something pretty quickly to impress upper management. He has to make a big visual change.

I have noticed while working in the Postal Service we would change something drastically in the operation or the physical structure about every 6 to 24 months, that seems to be the life span of a line supervisor.

The bad thing, whatever is changed usually just change back to the way it was with a newer supervisor making his mark. And the cycle goes on and on.

One new supervisor thought he would give us cause to work harder if we knew more about mail operations. He would give herd us all together and educate us on the flow of mail – the only thing, he was fairly new and did not know much about the flow of mail. He said it was simple, our job was to get the mail from Point A (us) to Point B, the person receiving the mail. Somebody said, technically Point A would be the person mailing it and we would be Point B, and the carriers would be Point C and the postal patron would be Point D – then you have other points as well, such as primary – sorting the incoming mail, but first sometimes you have to unload airplanes or railroad boxcars, or 18 wheelers… us explaining all that to our new supervisor cost less mail to be sorted, so we had to work at the end, to make up for the unproductive time talking about points a, b, and so on, which was at the overtime rate.

One bright supervisor got the idea of not having scheme knowledge – when the mail came into the deliver facility, the first group would sort the mail aphetically and the next group would be divided into groups by the letters, that would look the name of the streets in the scheme books and sort to the carrier that way. It was very costly, paying much overtime and delaying the mail weeks – there were so much mail backed up, people could not move around to work. Then they decided to go back the way it was… that was a smart decision.

And all these noble experiments are costly, which are passed on to the consumer. Tch tch.

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Blogger kenju said...

It's the old "if it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

11:41 AM  
Blogger ET said...

I bet fixing unbroken things is another reason inflation happens.

11:51 AM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

This is only tangentially related to managerial inspiration, but I wonder what you think of Obama's pick for a running mate. I've heard a lot of grumbling, but I think he picked well.

4:36 PM  
Blogger ET said...

I think he picked well too. He picked an articulate man with experience who speaks his mind, and he has friends on both sides.
But saying that, I picked my nose well too.

4:41 PM  
Blogger Suzanne said...

Ah, but you probably found buried treasure.

6:15 AM  
Blogger ET said...

But who is treasure hunting?
Postal managers expect their's at the end of a rainbow.

8:16 AM  

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