My Manager said, when it comes to managing your own company, trust your instincts above all. Don’t listen to what other Managers are doing with their employees, or how they run their companies, because well, they’re not you. They don’t have your same management style, nor do they have your employees. It is so true, such sage advice. And yet so much easier said than done.

Can someone tell me why is it that in our corporate society, it seems like the overriding motivation for all management practices seems to be keeping one’s employees out of therapy? I received a Management Practices Newsletter in my inbox today, and granted, I did sign up for it, but it’s tailored specifically toward my individual employee’s growth, and I have found it helpful, or at least interesting, in the past. Maybe it was just my mood today, but this particular newsletter annoyed the hell out of me. It basically pointed out several things that I seem to be doing wrong in managing my company.

One, I allow my employees to work with the background TV noise. Apparently background TV noise is the devil, and will inevitably result in ADD for your employee. Not to mention a childhood deprived of quality playtime. And lowered intelligence. Silly me, thinking it provides some much-needed downtime for my overactive employee.

Also, Management should never, ever refer to medicine as “candy,” in any way, shape or form. Because clearly this if you get the idea that medicine is CANDY, which=GOOD, which=NO MORE HURT, then they will turn to pills and other addictions later in life. And have an inadequate, unhappy adulthood, rife with problems, which will inevitably lead to one or more stints in rehab, and yes, THERAPY. And it will be all their Manager’s fault. Obviously.

And, by the way, candy—I mean, medicine—should be stored in a lockbox. Or a locked cabinet. Or a lockbox. A LOCKBOX. Guess what? At our company, we do have a supply closet containing medicines that is locked. But we also have some out on the counter, in plain sight. All with childproof caps. And all are OFF LIMITS to my employees, who know this rule quite well. My real, actual candy is in a cabinet with childproof latches. Because guess which one I think my employees are MUCH more likely to go after, if they were motivated to break the rules.

There was more, in the newsletter, but at this point I’m enjoying my wine too much to care. I’m just tired, so tired, of this prevailing sense of fear, doubt, and judgment that is fostered by the media in newsletters such as these, and then passed on to the masses, who then give you the stink-eye when you do something in your company that in their companies wouldn’t fly—because some media source told them it shouldn’t fly.

When, as Managers, we should all be proud of what we do, and supportive of the choices that we each make for our companies. Because whether or not those employees of ours do end up in therapy someday? Chances are we Managers, who care more than anything about our employees, are doing the very best we can, in the best way that we know how.

Keep in mind that it was a really long day at the office.

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8 peanuts:
  1. erin j says:

    i think you need an unapologetic post... i felt much better after i posted mine...
    i hear you and i understand!!! you are a freakin' GREAT mother!!! screw anyone that tells you differently!

  1. Erin Mc says:

    I spit out my coffee a little at the tv is the devil. You seem to be doing a wonderful job...

  1. penelope says:

    Thanks. :) I do try.

  1. Kurt says:

    The candy precaution seems like bullshit. The TV one may have some truth in it, but I assume you don't have the TV on all the time, so it doesn't apply.

    Here's an excerpt from an article I recently read that I found interesting:

    "Our culture...places high expectations on parents for the way children “turn out.” Irrespective of their children’s age, we question parents’ child-rearing skills when kids have problems. In fact, the way children turn out seems to be the only measure our culture offers for assessing whether men and women are good parents.

    Yet unlike other societies, ours offers comparatively little preparation for parenthood, and most parents raise their children in relative social isolation with little assistance from extended family members, friends, neighbors, and the larger community...

    Of equal importance is the need to take stock of and reevaluate existing cultural beliefs that children improve the emotional health and well-being of adults. These cultural beliefs—and our expectation that children guarantee a life filled with happiness, joy, excitement, contentment, satisfaction, and pride—are an additional, though hidden, source of stress for all parents. The feelings of depression and emotional distress that parents experience can cause them to question what they’re doing wrong.

    These negative emotions can also lead parents to perceive themselves as inadequate, since their feelings clearly aren’t consistent with the cultural ideal.

    Reducing the enormous and unrealistic cultural expectations we have for parenthood is as important as greater cultural recognition of the unrelenting challenges and difficulties associated with having children. Hallmark stores stock baby cards filled with happy wishes for new parents, celebrating their precious bundles of joy. Perhaps the selection should also include cards to acknowledge the difficult emotions that often accompany parenthood."

    - Robin W. Simon, from "Contexts"

  1. penelope says:

    Very cool. Thank you.

  1. Jami says:

    Ever heard of Hyland's Teething Tablets (if you haven't they are a God send) but my senior employee still refers to them as candy!

  1. penelope says:

    The Hyland's Calm is similar--and how the whole "candy" thing started here!

  1. Pamela says:

    My mother fed me candy as a meal at least once a day for 16 years and she used the television as a form of childcare for the majority of the time. I think I turned out ok. Well....strike that last sentence.