Are You Trying To Make Your Employees’ Lives MIserable?

by Evil HR Lady on August 18, 2010

White uniforms for people who deal with bodily fluid all day? What other things do managers do that make their employees lives miserable?

Are You Trying to Make Your Employees’ Lives Miserable?

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Henning Makholm August 18, 2010 at 1:58 pm

What’s wrong with white uniforms for people who deal with bodily fluid all day?

As a patient, if I go see a health professional, I bloody much hope that if they’ve gotten poop on their clothes earlier, the CAN see it and thus know to change into clean ones. One would assume they do have a stash of clean lab coats somewhere, right? That’s sort of the point of not working in street clothes.

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Class factotum August 18, 2010 at 2:57 pm

Make blanket changes rather than deal with the problem.

I took a dance class once where the teacher looked at the ceiling and said, “SOMEBODY is not rocking back on the two count.”

The 8 other students and I (yes, I was unpartnered, which meant she made me stand by myself in the corner to practice alone, instead of rotating partners as every other teacher does) all looked at her and at each other and at our feet, wondering just which one of us she was talking about and why she didn’t just tell that person s/he was doing it wrong. We were grownups. We were paying her to learn to dance. We could take it.

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Anonymous August 18, 2010 at 4:38 pm

Managers should be required as part of their job function to work as an “employee” for at least a week to understand what employees face and what the day to day challenges are vs. looking at spreadsheets in the corner office.

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Amy August 18, 2010 at 5:56 pm

I’m guessing Henning doesn’t have to do the laundry to get all the stains out of the white clothing! Also – nurses do not have the opportunity to run & change everytime something gets on them (they’re lucky if they get a food break and/or a bathroom break during their shifts)!

My issue (which is mentioned in the article) is when managers refuse to work on professional growth with an employee, because they don’t want them to be promoted into a new position – it’s either keep me here, albeit doing something different – or lose me forever!

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ALC August 19, 2010 at 6:43 am

My first issue is a manager who has a rule that none of the employees are to check/update their facebook accounts during work hours. Almost all of the computers in the place have this and a few other sites blocked. Most people do have facebook accounts, but simply check it from home or where ever. Many of these employees are also ‘friends’ of the boss on FB. This boss checks her account, updates her status, posts photo albums, etc. All while sitting in her office and everyone else is busting their (you-know-whats) out on the floor.

Problem number two is when a manager won’t brag on a person or department to the ‘higher ups’. The only things that are ever mentioned are those involving the manager – even when the recognition is an industry wide publication

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Charles August 19, 2010 at 6:46 pm

I’m with Henning on this – I prefer to see if the healthcare provider is in fact covered with “filth” or are their clothes clean.

If they don’t have time to change into a clean smock (lab coat or whatever) did they take the time to wash their hands before examining me after having their hands in the previous patient’s wounds, etc.? Are they going to make me sick by spreading filth? Hospitals are notorious for spreading “super” bugs. Maybe now we know why – nurses and other healthcare providers are complaining about having to change dirty smocks between patients.

Evil, while your article has some good points using the nursing whites as a “bad management” decision is false to me. Having been in a healthcare setting as a patient who was receiving emergency medical care it didn’t help when those healthcare providers looked unprofessional (i.e. jeans and t-shirts, long hair not tied back).

Seriously, what is wrong with a dress code in any setting? Don’t corporations expect executive staff, customer-service staff, etc. to “dress the part”?

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Evil HR Lady August 19, 2010 at 7:06 pm

I have no problems with dress codes. I have no problems with health care workers wearing white. What I have a problem with is people who do not have to live with the consequences of a decision making the decision without input of those who do.

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Anonymous August 19, 2010 at 11:44 pm

My aunt was a nurse for 40 years. She said that they were told, way back in nursing school, that they wore white so that they could easily bleach things out their uniforms.

I heard that’s the same reason that chefs wear white smocks.

I don’t care, as long as I’m getting cared for =)

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Mike August 23, 2010 at 4:47 pm

Look, regardless of the example used, for me this post directly addresses some of my biggest frustrations at work and I greatly appreciate it. I wish more employers would take the time to remember that even though the economy is terrible that employees are human beings too.

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Unanimously Anonymous October 1, 2012 at 7:17 am

Yep, my company’s CEO is definitely trying to make his employees’ work lives miserable. Suzanne’s pegged him on three counts:

(1) Managing by fiat: he’s fond of making snap decisions about both product mix and marketing strategy (his background is IT, by the way), accepting no dissent and disregarding the advice of subordinates who’ve been working on those product lines for up to 20 years;

(2) Making blanket changes rather than dealing with the problem: he rammed through a series of reorgs that have doubled the workload in many departments – and then issued a blanket “no overtime” policy, despite damaging the rank and file’s ability to do the reorganized jobs effectively and efficiently in a 40-hour workweek

(3) Make employees suffer in bad times, but not profit in good times: he’s always making noises about the need to be “innovative” and to “tighten our belts” in the current crummy economy…but all of us worker bees remember damned well his screaming “poverty” at annual-raise time a few years back despite then-record profits.

Our only hope for the future is the fact that this tool is getting close to retirement age. Unfortunately, our corporation doesn’t have a mandatory-retirement age for the top dogs…

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