ARE YOU A TROUBLE MAKER?  WHO SAYS? Today’s  Daily question asks “What’s the most trouble you’ve ever been in?  The first thought that flashed  into my mind was being on a run away horse.   He had taken the bit in his teeth and was  determined to get back to his stall several gallops and a few roads away, my life was in danger.  That’s trouble.   After several terrifying minutes I remembered a trick I had been taught to snatch the bit back where it belonged.  So  I am here to  tell that story.

Many of my bosses have seen me as trouble and a trouble maker and that has gotten me v in trouble.  I have been fired once and almost fired another time.  I got fired after  telling a boss  during supervision that the job I was  trying to do was beyond my capacity and I was resigning.  Stupidly I didn’t put my resignation in writing.   The next day there was a letter on my desk firing me.  Sigh.  Lesson learned. The program involved running a group home for a combined population of disturbed and delinquent girls.  Two director’s later, the group home was closed.  Made me feel a bit better about being fired.

I am  prone to questioning things I didn’t understand or that I think violate most people’s values.   Here’s a good example of how that tendency almost got me fired.   I was at a training specifically designed to improve productivity of staff.  The model presented focused on  the Japanese method of raising the bar millimeter by millimeter.    Not a bad practice when combined with other elements of Japanese productivity efforts–lifetime employment, working in groups,  empowering employees, taking things slow,  respecting employees opinions.

The trainer was,  however, an American and his focus was not on employee empowerment, but increasing profits by increasing productivity.  He agreed with taking it slowly, but preached that by raising the productively goal bit by bit productively could be continuously raised.    “That’s how you train star athletes.?”

Now it so happens that my brother John was head of safety  at a large company using this model ; John  had complained that ever-increasing expectations eventually lead to more accidents and employee burnout.  Something he felt counter productive; but the bean counters  didn’t.  The bean counters and upper management preferred to fire any worker whose productively  didn’t continuously improve  and hire someone else.

So my brother’s experience pushed me to ask., “What happened if an employee id pushed beyond the level at which they could produce?”

“You take smaller steps, but you just keep moving them ahead,”  was the trainer’s answer.

I wanted to ask a follow-up question, but the trainer moved on to someone else, the topic was closed;  I wasn’t called on to comment again.  Moreover, the program’s big boss later told me I shouldn’t ask provocative questions during training.   I knew he also meant during staff meetings he was conducting.

Thereafter, this big boss went on a brief campaign to get me fired.  That lasted until my immediate boss  went on a campaign to get the bigger boss  fired.  I didn’t join her efforts.  She had bigger problems than the big boss.    Thereafter, I was seen by the big boss as a difficult but loyal employee.

As Mr. Big Boss said, “You manage upward well,  although you know you need to think more before you speak.”

So   I know I am troubling to bosses  and other authority figures.  When I point out inconsistencies or raise questions, I know it gets me into trouble.  Not the same as being on a galloping horse heading to a busy road, but trouble. I would probably have moved higher in the business world if I were more adept at going along to get along or thinking harder before challenging my bosses.

So it goes, the good and the bad, trouble and troubling, being you or going along to get along are all mixes.   Relationships are not easy .  Stay strong.  I try.

Topic 47 What’s the most trouble you’ve ever been in?

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