Work Myths

We live in a world of appearances. Hindu mythology calls it maya. A more contemporary view would be to view it as a matrix. Appearances dont seem to be what they are. And it is the same in the work world. People say something and mean the other.

Dilbert is probably a very true (in an exagerated way) view of how the work world works. However, many people consider that a cartoon strip only. But the myths exist, and its easy to fall for the traps. So, here are a few myths you should be careful of.

Open Door policy

This is a big favorite of the big people. The higher up the chain a person is , the more likely they are to say it ! But does it really mean something ? Consider the CEO of a company who says he has a 'open door policy'. What if a new joinee wants to talk to him. Can he ? No way ! The big man is usually too busy juggling millions of dollars and planning his next vacation to be able to able to really listen to him ! But, they have to say it anyways.

The interesting thing is that gullible new people really believe it ! So, off they march into the boss's cabin "hey boss!" - usually to be met by a big frown with 'i am too buzy for you little man' written all over it.

Oh well - there goes the policy of open doors.

Some even keep the doors open - literally. However, a forcefield , magnified by the 'frown' keeps errant people at bay. The downside of this is, that if you are on the same floor, you have to keep your voices down.

We don't shoot the messenger.

Yeah right ! Don't ever fall for this one, unless you want to be branded as the negative. Lets see when someone says 'we dont shoot the messenger'. Now a messenger with good news is favorite of everyone. However, most people don't even want to hear bad news - which is quite unfortunate since you cannot fix something unless you know what is wrong. However, the people who are most likely to say the above are the most likely who dont want to hear the bad news. However, the cannot go back on their words. So, if you go to them with problems, you get branded as a negative person. So, watch out what you say.

Appraisals are fair

Mostly, appraisals are fixed. That is, even before you fill up your appraisals, your rating has been done by your manager. There has been a lot of effort by various companies to overcome this problem, but it still persists.

Most of the time a person who is from the same geographical area from the boss, or who does everything a boss man says (ass kissers to be blunt) are the persons who get the better appraisals. A person who is quiet and goes about his work with dedication, is most likely just to get an average rating.

So, dont invest your time in writing out much in your appraisals. Its not a big puzzle as to why the maximum attrition happens just after an appraisal cycle. A person can get a better hike by job switching than by getting a hike by diligently working - and getting an appraisal which says that he is no big deal!

Everything is fine

How do you tell when things are going to go wrong (or some changes are in the offing) ? That's when the management is going all out with sunny smiles an saying 'everything is fine' !

You have been warned !

Work Life Balance

Another myth perpetuated by the HR departments. Work Life balance does not work.

Either you do a lot of work, slaving away getting that release out time after time , again and again and rise up in your work ( notice I did not say life), or you chill out, and have a good life. Its an either or. You cannot do both.

If you don't believe me, take some time out to read 'Winning' by Jack Welch. Arguably one of the bonds of corporate life. Made millions, but always was left with the regret of not being with family when needed.

Its a choice you need to make. You can become a workaholic, or a lifeaholic.

Ok. So, these are the myths I have noticed around. Do you have anymore to share ?