Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sleeping With Bread

The examen, based on the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius, helps a person hold onto what spiritually nourishes them by looking at what is giving them consolation in their life or causing him desolation. It allows someone to express his gratitude to God for the good stuff and turn to him for solace for the bad stuff. It is quite simple. You simply ask yourself, in the last day/week/month what gave me consolation and what caused me desolation.

So, without further ado ...

The Good.

1. I became an Iron Butt this week! It all started back in August when my brother, Sean, and I rode our motorcycles 1174 miles in one day from Norman, Oklahoma, to Lexington, South Carolina. That was more than enough to complete the 1,000 miles in 24 hours requirement for a "Saddle Sore" Iron Butt ride. The silver Honda Silverwing in front is mine. Sean is on his Yamaha FJR.

I found out this week that my application for an Iron Butt Association ride certification was approved. My membership has also been approved and entered into the Iron Butt Association's member database. I now have an official IBA membership number and it is exceedingly cool. I have made many long distance motorcycle rides before, but none of them met the requirements for IBA memebership. More long distance trips are sure to follow, so stay tuned. I might be riding through a town near you!

2. My son came back from New York today for Christmas. It's really nice to have him back for awhile.

The Bad.

A pair of Managers in the Evil Corporation.

... So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you ...

Maybe it's just me, but as far as Rules go, this one is pretty simple and seems to work 100% of the time. That 100% of the time certainly applies when one is put into a position to supervise the work of others, especially when dealing with our younger employees who need the same sort of compassion and mentoring that You managers received when you were starting out.

If an employee works full time, raises a family, maintains a marriage, AND goes to graduate school at night with her own money, HOW DARE YOU tell her that earning a technical Master's Degree won't do anything to help her do her job any better and that she should go on and get a SECOND Master's Degree (an MBA) because that might, possibly, one day, maybe mean something. If you've got something to say about her performance, by God, be man enough to just say it. Otherwise, be decent enough to recognize that determination, perservence and grit it took to achieve what she did. If you can't recognize an employee's legitmate achievements and accomplishments in their working life, then get the Hell out of MY corporation. Yes, it's MY corporation too!

If an employee accomplishes her assigned duties satisfactorily, AND performs additional duties for our superior organization, AND recieves public recognition and awards for her service, AND earns a particular "Engineer of the Year" award for our part of the Evil Corporation, then please tell why she was given exactly the same annual performance assessment as last year when she was still considered a trainee. Better yet, have the decency to tell HER what she actually has to do to earn even a smidgeon of a better performance assessment. HOW DARE YOU not tell her anything at all like that. What the Hell do you mean that you don't know what it is that she can do to earn more points on that assessment? You wrote the thing.

The Evil Corporation uses a very strange method of evaluating employee performance. To be sure, this method has some potential for positive change in the system. The problem is that in order for that positive, as small as it is, to be realized, Managers must have a spine, guts, heart, brains or whatever organ is the seat of justice, honesty, and decency in the human body. I'm afraid it sets the bar too high to ask that Managers have the courage to simply talk to people.

I've never asked anyone to be perfect. I know that's not possible. I've fallen short of that mark so many times my knees and elbows are literally covered with scars. That's the beauty of this Golden Rule thing. We don't have to be perfect. All we have to do is treat each other the way we want to be treated, and THAT is something I can do. It's something that YOU can do too. Will we always get it right? Hell NO! But think of all the countless times we will get it right for times we stumble and fall. It's worth doing and you know it's the right thing to do. So let's do it - starting right now!

What makes me saddest is that we are going to lose both of these employees.

Maybe that defines the difference between Management and Leadership. Maybe it just goes to show that some people have no sense of shame or decency in them.


Harshita said...

Congrats! for the membership, Skeeter. Will look forward to your trip story and pictures when you go for that long distance ride of urs next time again. :)

I loved the rule you mentioned:

"Treat people the way you want to be treated."

Thanks for sharing it :)

Katie said...

Sorry to hear about Sunshine. I hope that everything works out okay in the end. And she knows she's better than that, screw the bastards.

On an up note congrats for the iron butt! :)

zirelda said...


What an excellent post.

Congratulations on the Iron Butt thing and oh I so definitely agree with you on the performance assesment.

I hate those things. They always say the same thing no matter how much heart I put into my job.

You So Rock!

Technonana said...

What a Ride!! You WERE in a town near me!! Why Lexington,SC?
So the person who was the subject of your rant.. was that Sunshine?
It is a sad thing to say that many people climb the ladder by climbing up on the backs and necks of others!!and they could care less about others!! But you and I are held to a higher calling!! And You my friend, are the better man for it!! Keep living by the 'Golden Rule', it DOES pay!!
Keeping you in my prayers!!!
Merry Christmas My Friend!!

Leah said...

Oh how awful. Your analysis seems so right on target, though.

and p.s. I read and loved your answer to my Harry Potter question--I forgot to comment though.

and p.p.s. happy holidays to you and your home folks!

kylie said...

just want to wish you and yours a wonderful Christmas


Suzanne said...

*Runs full throttle towards Skeeter and plants a big one on cheek.* You're the best! A great hubby, a great friend, a great employee and a great rider. Oh, and if you head west on 80, go past Lake Tahoe and when you get to Carmichael, head south on my street and I'm the last house on the right before you get to Creekside. Yes, the pretty one! What? Did you expect less?

MERRY CHRISTMAS BABY!!! So glad your son's home. Hope you and the family have a beautiful time together.

Much love,

nebraska girl said...

Hey Skeeter,

Hope you had a Merry Christmas!

Just wanted to let you know I tagged you. Come visit my place for more info!


Kookaburra said...

Hey Skeeter,
Happy New Year to you and your family.

sharilyn said...

hey, skeeter! just wanted to wish you a very happy new year full of exciting adventures and amazing blessings! i hope your Christmas was full of joy!! sending sunshine (not Sunshine, of course!) from CA ~sharilyn

Suzanne said...


Maria said...

I've worked with some people like that and I just don't get them. What really irks me is when someone treats a new employee badly because they are new. It seems like it should be just the opposite, that we should show a bit more compassion to those newcomers.