Wednesday, July 2, 2014

The Panda Bear on the Emperors Clothes and The Light in the Managers Office

The Panda Bear Blog seeks to expose the social truths that people experience but like the people in the Han Christian Anderson's fairy tale The Emperor's New Clothes are afraid to express for fear of seeming to be unfit.  The Panda Bear is a humble office worker who is unafraid of telling the truth as she experiences it.   Most of the time the Panda Bear thinks she has a valid point of view.  If the Panda Bear is wrong she hopes her readers will pity her and help her see the world in a clear fashion.

The offices where the Panda Bear works are full of falsehoods that the organizations' leaders create.   The untruth that the Panda Bear wishes to explore in this post is the light in the manager's office.   The Panda Bear has experienced this phenomenon in several organizations she was worked in with different supervisors so she thinks this is the way mangers are told to deal with their employees.

What the supervisor does, when he/she is out of the office for part of the day, the supervisor leaves the light on in the office so their employees think the manager is still around.   The Panda Bear admits she has been fooled by this maneuver more than one time.   However, usually another employee will blurt out to the Panda Bear that the manager does this when he/she is out.    Sometimes the Panda Bear herself has caught on that the light is on the manager's office when he/she is out.   Often supervisors will answer e-mails from home and not admit that he/she is not in the office.

The Panda Bear and her coworkers chuckle with each other.   Doesn't the management realize that we are on to them and know they are not in the office?  Do they think we are that stupid?  (The Panda Bear suspects the answer to the last question is yes). There are differing opinions on why our supervisors want to create the illusion that they are in the office when they are not in the office.  One of the Panda Bear's coworkers thinks it shows they don't trust us.   Another coworker thinks that the managers think the workers will fall apart if they are not there.

The Panda Bear privately rejects both theories on the grounds that it seems to take the management along while to go after supervisors who really do have problems being at work when they are supposed to be there; if was really that necessary for the supervisor to physically be there these problem supervisors should have been sooner told to leave.     Also many supervisors now can supervise remotely and from long distances with modern technology.  Thus, Panda Bear rejects the notion that upper management feels that workers need a supervisor to be physically present.

Instead, the Panda Bear thinks the management is on a different kind of schedule then the workers who are on some version of nine to five.   The Panda Bear is aware that many of her supervisors have worked nights and weekends and they may get some additional time off as compensation for the additional hours worked.    She also thinks the management has a much greater flexibility then the workers in terms of hours worked.   The Panda Bear thinks the managers don't want disclose that they are on a totally different type of work week then the workers they supervise.

However, the joke is often on the management.  Many workers are convinced when the managers aren't there during the day they are being delinquent in the job duties which they may not be.   To the Panda Bear it shows that supervisors can lie about small matters when they could be telling the truth.   Supervisors aren't to be trusted.

Of course this longstanding illusion that when the supervisors aren't at work, the workers don't realize it persists because workers are afraid to bring to the management's attention that they can see through this manipulation.   The management would discipline the workers.

However, outside the workplace in the presumably free United States, the Panda Bear thinks we should not be afraid of speaking out against untruths as we perceive them.


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