How did you learn how to tolerate dumb stuff/people at work?

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Dalar
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How did you learn how to tolerate dumb stuff/people at work?

Postby Dalar » Thu Mar 12, 2009 7:13 am

Really, how? I have guys who blame me for not training them correctly when they can't do the easiest stuff that I've showed them how to do many times. I understand I should start doing e-mails to reference conversations. My real worries is that I'm basically turning into Dartan at work. I'm not callling them flat-out Cofens, but I have said things like "wow, how long have you worked here?" when they do something incredibly dumb like not know how to something they were trained to do on day one and do at least once a month. Woosah?
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Re: How did you learn how to tolerate dumb stuff/people at work?

Postby Gormal » Thu Mar 12, 2009 9:53 am

Make sure you document anything that could make you look bad but isn't your fault in some way. An email about training you've given works. Then just find a couple people you don't want to kill and use your collective hatred to amuse yourselves behind closed doors.
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Re: How did you learn how to tolerate dumb stuff/people at work?

Postby Kifle » Thu Mar 12, 2009 10:34 am

I'm just condescending, and that usually seems to help. Also, like Gormal said, make fun of them around the watercooler with other people who aren't complete morons. You could also start complaining to higher-ups so they have some idea that it isn't you being lazy in the training process. It is usually against company policy, but try to get in good with some of the human resources people as well.
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Re: How did you learn how to tolerate dumb stuff/people at work?

Postby Corth » Thu Mar 12, 2009 1:49 pm

I'm going to stick with your mud analogy.

When you played the mud you did it a lot different than most of us. You came at it like an engineer.. trying to figure out the game mechanics first and foremost.. why they worked in such a way. You were likely the best player I have ever seen on this mud. Not because you played your class particularly well.. there were others who played the game technically as well. Rather, because you provided insights that allowed the entire group to improve its approach and succeed. You intuitively understood the game quicker, and at a deeper level than just about everyone else I've run across.

Another thing about you as a player. You were an excellent 2nd in command type. You did not always commmand the respect or loyalty of other players - especially those you felt were inferior (and let them know about it). On the other hand, if you were friendly with the leader of a large group, and he/she was receptive, you would provide all sorts of good insight and advice. Getting a large group onto the same page was not your strong point, though in most cases you were adequate when you lead. When you lead small groups with people you trusted, you were quite good at it.

The essential problem is that you are several orders of magnitude smarter than most of us. What might seem easy and obvious to you, often flies over the head of lesser talents. And that frustrates you because you don't understand why.

So you are in a leadership position at work, and frankly, I'm not surprised that someone on your team feels like you didn't sufficiently prepare him, and you think thats absurd. If this team is supposed to be stable and work together for an extended period of time to accomplish a task, your goal should be to get rid of this guy. Your best chance at succeeding is when you have people surrounding you that are able to work at a high level. On the other hand, if your job is more focused on training people rather than accomplishing a goal of some sort, then (based on my experience), the likely problem is you. Actually, under those circumstances my advice would be to find a job that better suits your personality and skill.
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Re: How did you learn how to tolerate dumb stuff/people at work?

Postby Ragorn » Thu Mar 12, 2009 2:16 pm

For me, it's all about perspective. I'll continue with the MUD analogy.

When I started Wanderlust Excelsium, one of the core tenets of the guild was that no one person achieved anything by himself. When we zoned and scored equipment, every piece of gear that made someone more effective helped elevate the power of the entire guild. When Selias received a titanium ring, it meant that Wanderlust as a collective entity gained power because one of our Enchanters was less likely to die from area spells. When Aedarton picked up a hit/dam bracelet, everything that Wanderlust did became slightly easier because one of our hitters did more damage. Coming at the game from this angle was really effective in solidifying our group, enhancing team play, and eliminating competition or bickering among members over rewards. I don't recall even ONE instance of an argument between guild members over equipment. It just never happened.

My suggestion would be to try to view your work team in the same light. When someone on your team needs training, then when you impart information to them, you're making the team more effective as a whole. It's not a question of how many times you've told them before... or how long they've worked there, or whether they should know it already. It's not even a question of who is smarter or better trained than whom. When you have an opportunity to increase the power of your group, do it.

There are lots of things that I do once a month that I need a refresher on now and then. In my job, I have so much going on that I don't always remember the proper format for a monthly bulletin, or I forget to include key people on a monthly report. It happens.
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Re: How did you learn how to tolerate dumb stuff/people at work?

Postby shalath » Thu Mar 12, 2009 8:13 pm

Corth wrote:I'm going to stick with your mud analogy.

When you played the mud you did it a lot different than most of us. You came at it like an engineer.. trying to figure out the game mechanics first and foremost.. why they worked in such a way. You were likely the best player I have ever seen on this mud. Not because you played your class particularly well.. there were others who played the game technically as well. Rather, because you provided insights that allowed the entire group to improve its approach and succeed. You intuitively understood the game quicker, and at a deeper level than just about everyone else I've run across.

Another thing about you as a player. You were an excellent 2nd in command type. You did not always commmand the respect or loyalty of other players - especially those you felt were inferior (and let them know about it). On the other hand, if you were friendly with the leader of a large group, and he/she was receptive, you would provide all sorts of good insight and advice. Getting a large group onto the same page was not your strong point, though in most cases you were adequate when you lead. When you lead small groups with people you trusted, you were quite good at it.

The essential problem is that you are several orders of magnitude smarter than most of us. What might seem easy and obvious to you, often flies over the head of lesser talents. And that frustrates you because you don't understand why.

So you are in a leadership position at work, and frankly, I'm not surprised that someone on your team feels like you didn't sufficiently prepare him, and you think thats absurd. If this team is supposed to be stable and work together for an extended period of time to accomplish a task, your goal should be to get rid of this guy. Your best chance at succeeding is when you have people surrounding you that are able to work at a high level. On the other hand, if your job is more focused on training people rather than accomplishing a goal of some sort, then (based on my experience), the likely problem is you. Actually, under those circumstances my advice would be to find a job that better suits your personality and skill.

That's a very good analysis Corth. I am impressed.
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Re: How did you learn how to tolerate dumb stuff/people at work?

Postby kiryan » Thu Mar 12, 2009 11:55 pm

It took me a few years to realize that most people are actually stupid. I used to think that everyone was capable of average work and thinking ahead and understanding the consequences of action/inaction.... but most can't.... seriously.

Corth's advice is good. My advice to you is this.

First be introspective and objective. You work with other people, being a genius is a hinderance not a help if no one has the skills to follow where you are leading. My favorite interview question is what do you do if you have a disagreement with someone on how to do something. My answer is you make your case and try to roll them but if they refuse to listen then take stock of the situation. If 80% of the people are behind the 90% solution and 20% are behind your 95% solution, go with the 90% solution. You'll make up that 5% in soft costs and you may get an opportunity to lead them down that road later.

Second, realize that not all criticism is weighed the same. Don't feel the need to fight every battle with every person because your reputation or skill is being impuned; 9/10 of those battles can only bring you down if you engage and will be like a fart in the wind if you keep your head. You can't "win" anything other than satisfaction that you won and all you do is galvanize the hatred.

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Re: How did you learn how to tolerate dumb stuff/people at work?

Postby amena wolfsnarl » Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:36 am

My suggestion would be to sit down with these people and ask "okay what do you feel i didnt cover in the training?" Reshow them how to do the things that they fuck up on, give them reminders of how it was covered the first time. If they still fuck up all the time find a way to skid em, dont waste anymore time with em, they've proven that thier dead weight.
Remeber its cheaper to try and retrain these people than it is to hire new and train from scratch. I know it might feel like beating your head against a wall but it may save some time and money if you try retraining.

If that dont work see if you can get involved with the hiring of thier replacements so that they dont stick you with some morons again.
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Re: How did you learn how to tolerate dumb stuff/people at work?

Postby Sarvis » Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:38 am

Dalar wrote:Really, how? I have guys who blame me for not training them correctly when they can't do the easiest stuff that I've showed them how to do many times. I understand I should start doing e-mails to reference conversations. My real worries is that I'm basically turning into Dartan at work. I'm not callling them flat-out Cofens, but I have said things like "wow, how long have you worked here?" when they do something incredibly dumb like not know how to something they were trained to do on day one and do at least once a month. Woosah?


You might be better off trying not to be so critical of your employees. I just started reading "How to Win Friends and Influence People" and that's pretty much where he starts the book. He even describes a couple situations similar to yours, where employee performance was boosted considerably by praising the good things they've done and giving them good reasons for doing what you want rather than berating them for their mistakes. Meanwhile criticizing them makes them defensive and resentful, which is almost certainly not helping your cause.

I don't know, I'm not an expert on social skills... but it certainly seems to make sense.

You might also try documenting less frequently used processes, and yes once a month is infrequent, so that these trainees have a reference and don't need to bug you. Putting them on a web server or something so they can't be lost is even better, if only so you know who's truly so lazy they can't even look something up themselves! :P
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Re: How did you learn how to tolerate dumb stuff/people at work?

Postby Kifle » Fri Mar 13, 2009 10:10 am

I don't get it. Why are you people advising him to take the blame for something he didn't do? If somebody didn't learn something in their training, but they apparently signed off on it, it is not Dartan's fault in the least. If they had trouble with his explanation during the training process, it is their responsibility to acknowledge that during the training -- not make up some BS later about not being trained on the subject. First of all, it makes Dartan seem like a liar. Second of all, it makes Dartan culpable in the fuck-ups of his underlings rather than them taking responsibility for their own fuck-ups.

Corth, I would agree with you if these people were asking questions during training; however, it doesn't seem like they are. If Dartan is explaining things in his own way, to where he believes it is simple rather than it actually being simple, then they are still responsible for their part of the learning process. That is why language also employs the interogative.

Dartan, there is nothing wrong with letting people fail who do not want to help themselves. I'm sure if they had questions, you could think of another way of explaining something to them; yet, for some reason, these people are expecting you to take the fall for them. It is not fair to somebody who actually learned the shit rather than blaming their trainers for their own mistakes.
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Re: How did you learn how to tolerate dumb stuff/people at work?

Postby Ragorn » Fri Mar 13, 2009 1:52 pm

Kifle wrote:Dartan, there is nothing wrong with letting people fail who do not want to help themselves. I'm sure if they had questions, you could think of another way of explaining something to them; yet, for some reason, these people are expecting you to take the fall for them. It is not fair to somebody who actually learned the shit rather than blaming their trainers for their own mistakes.

Disagree. If people on your project fails, your project fails. If your project fails, you fail. And if you fail, and you come back to your boss and start blaming the people who didn't pay attention in training or didn't ask the right questions, you EPIC fail. As a manager, it's your job to make your people succeed... not point fingers when they underperform. Performance in management has very little to do with your own personal skill and accomplishment, it's all about how well the people under you perform.

It's not always fair that you get judged by people who do nothing and don't care... but eh, that's management.
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Re: How did you learn how to tolerate dumb stuff/people at work?

Postby Kifle » Fri Mar 13, 2009 2:25 pm

Ragorn wrote:
Kifle wrote:Dartan, there is nothing wrong with letting people fail who do not want to help themselves. I'm sure if they had questions, you could think of another way of explaining something to them; yet, for some reason, these people are expecting you to take the fall for them. It is not fair to somebody who actually learned the shit rather than blaming their trainers for their own mistakes.

Disagree. If people on your project fails, your project fails. If your project fails, you fail. And if you fail, and you come back to your boss and start blaming the people who didn't pay attention in training or didn't ask the right questions, you EPIC fail. As a manager, it's your job to make your people succeed... not point fingers when they underperform. Performance in management has very little to do with your own personal skill and accomplishment, it's all about how well the people under you perform.

It's not always fair that you get judged by people who do nothing and don't care... but eh, that's management.


I understand how management works, I just don't think Dartan is a manager per se. I thought he was just somebody on the same level as these other people he's training. The only difference being that Dartan has seniority and probably does a good enough job that his bosses use him to train the green workers. I could be wrong, in which case I completely agree with you, Rag.

Either way, I think this is what they invented beer for.
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Re: How did you learn how to tolerate dumb stuff/people at work?

Postby Sarvis » Fri Mar 13, 2009 2:55 pm

Kifle wrote:Corth, I would agree with you if these people were asking questions during training; however, it doesn't seem like they are.


What are you basing that on? All he said was that he trained them... he didn't discuss HOW he trained them at all, and some trainers don't encourage or give time for the students to ask questions. In fact, they are asking questions after the fact and he's clearly criticizing and giving them attitude for it.

People forget things, people need help and have questions. People will usually get better and start performing well, but they need to want to... and constantly putting them down, discouraging questions and criticizing them doesn't make them want to.
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Re: How did you learn how to tolerate dumb stuff/people at work?

Postby Ashiwi » Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:00 pm

Employees are a lot like kids. You get out what you put in. There are the occasional limp biscuits you need to carve off, but more people are capable of more work than you give them credit for.

A good manager gets good work out of most of the people he has. A good manager/trainer recognizes that not all people are the same, and not all people learn or advance in the same way. If a trainer is incapable of being flexible enough to learn how to train his employees, then that company is in a lot of trouble, because they're going to have to find employees who can only learn the one method the trainer uses to teach, and that's a lot to ask of a Human Resources department. The HR department hired these employees for a reason, and if you lose a large chunk of your staff because they can't learn what they need to know, eventually Human Resources is going to ask for a review of the problem.

Dartan, you're a brilliant guy, and you have to realize that very few people are going to grasp what you're telling them as fast, or in the same way, that you did. You have to be brilliant enough to analyze the people you're training and adapt your methods to what they need in order to do their job.

Remember, if you treat people like they're stupid, what you get is stupid performance, and a bunch of people who don't want to do anything for you. If they feel demeaned in any way, they may put up walls and be resistant to learning from you because they're being forced to be on the defensive. Your first step should probably be changing your attitude from "These people are stupid" to "Okay, these people are smart, but they're not understanding this concept, so what can I change in my methods in order to get the idea across to them?"

Otherwise you may as well just march down to HR and tell them that they're stupid and hired a bunch of stupid people. I'm sure they'll get right on hiring the replacement(s).
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Re: How did you learn how to tolerate dumb stuff/people at work?

Postby kiryan » Fri Mar 13, 2009 4:59 pm

Ashiwi, basically I disagree and the lower the wages (and thereby the caliber of people), the more I disagree... in general. I believe in trying on coaching people to be the best they can be, but mostly I work towards solutions and processes they can handle.

Kifle makes two excellent points. The trainees do have a responsibility to learn what they are being trained in. It's not all on the trainer, thats a weak excuse. If it was a formal training session, you may want to include a rights and responsibilities speech before beginning.

an excellent point BEER. Motivating people is the hardest thing a manager or a lead does. Often times, I have had great success getting people aligned to my objectives by engaging them outside of the work place. Whether its lunch or beers. I learned this in a game of monopoly, if someone doesn't want to trade with you because they don't like you; you can't make them.

You may be approaching these informal training sessions with an air of arrogance or aloofness that prevents you from cliquing. Spend the extra time to train them, to get to know them. If you are too busy, tell your supervisor hey I need to spend more time with these guys when I train and these complaints are evidence of that. If you want to spend as little time as possible with these losers, you probably need to think deeply about the direction you are moving in professionally. You can make a lot of money being technical without the bullshit of being a leader.

Sarvis. Its a good principle. I try to look at things from other people's perspective and try to say something positive given their point of view. Works wonders on most people. The way you find something positive to say is to look at why they do what they do. Few people do things for no reason at all. Then find something positive to say or at least affirm their approach given their point of view. Then suggest a different approach based on a different point of view.
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Re: How did you learn how to tolerate dumb stuff/people at work?

Postby oteb » Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:06 pm

INT: Perfect
WIS: Mundane
CHA: BAD

Reroll or pick different class imo.
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Re: How did you learn how to tolerate dumb stuff/people at work?

Postby teflor the ranger » Fri Mar 13, 2009 5:52 pm

For me, it was more a matter of excepting others to behave stupidly, rather than accepting that they do.

Being nice is its own reward? :\
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Re: How did you learn how to tolerate dumb stuff/people at work?

Postby Dalar » Fri Mar 13, 2009 6:30 pm

Thanks all for the great advice. In MUD terms, I'm going to reroll my stats and see what I can come up with.
It will be fixed in Toril 2.0.

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Re: How did you learn how to tolerate dumb stuff/people at work?

Postby Emarin » Fri Mar 13, 2009 7:50 pm

An opinion from the person who knows you best.

Corth might know you better than me? Either that, or he profiles people like crazy before he enters that court room. At any rate, He's probably 90% right about you if not higher. Nevermind any personal issues you might have with people there, what you need to focus on is your team and what it will take to get them to operate at a higher level.

Unfortunately, unlike toril, the work you do can't be twink'd to the point where it all gets done by you and allowing everyone to see your skills. Your work requires your team, and part of being a lead is knowing that your team operates at the rate of its slowest member, similar to RAM in a computer, a leg of a relay team, car of a convoy, etc. etc. What you might have to do is take a step back so you can move forward. Does that slow your work or your progress down for that day? Yes. May it improve the speed and reliability of your team in the future? Perhaps. Will those under you might accept you better as their boss, and not dread coming to work as much? More than likely.

The idea is, you may need to rally your team, and try to get them to know as many techniques as you do. Maybe create a ppt presentation, or some kind of documentation so that they may refer to that for future reference, and to cover your butt in case they are that inept. Remember, not everyone will be as smart as you or tackle a problem in the same manner as you, so you need to understand and be respectful of that.
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Re: How did you learn how to tolerate dumb stuff/people at work?

Postby ssar » Sat Mar 14, 2009 9:20 am

ROFL.

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