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Thread: When is enough actually enough?

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    Senior Member RobotChicken's Avatar
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    Re: When is enough actually enough?

    :hat Just after your 'project' augers in short of the runway???

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    When is enough actually enough?

    Scenario: You have been given a TOP PRIORITY by your leadership. As AoD would say "Do it to it and git 'r done". Then you get a short suspense project, then you get another priority which makes it impossible to do the TOP priority.

    Sounds like a typical day in the AF, right?

    Let's also say you are chugging right along...no one has said anything to you. Questions get ask, you answer them...keep on going. No one says "Hey, your fucking up" or "I don't like the way you are handling this", so you keep on going all while they keep piling it up.

    You mention this to a few in your chain. "Hey these short suspenses are getting a little too much" or "All my guys are working on this one" and the answers are usually "Ok don't worry, if you can't do it you can't do it...just do your best". But they still throw hissy fits anyways.

    When do you draw the line and start tap dancing on a desk saying "TOO MUCH"?

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    Senior Member RobotChicken's Avatar
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    Re: When is enough actually enough?

    :hat Just after your 'project' augers in short of the runway???

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    Senior Member giggawatt's Avatar
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    Re: When is enough actually enough?

    Another "upgrade" that made the forum worse.
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    Re: When is enough actually enough?

    Quote Originally Posted by giggawatt View Post
    Another "upgrade" that made the forum worse.
    No joke! :nerd
    "If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep the streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep the street so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well. "

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    Re: When is enough actually enough?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drackore View Post
    Scenario: You have been given a TOP PRIORITY by your leadership. As AoD would say "Do it to it and git 'r done". Then you get a short suspense project, then you get another priority which makes it impossible to do the TOP priority.

    Sounds like a typical day in the AF, right?

    Let's also say you are chugging right along...no one has said anything to you. Questions get ask, you answer them...keep on going. No one says "Hey, your fucking up" or "I don't like the way you are handling this", so you keep on going all while they keep piling it up.

    You mention this to a few in your chain. "Hey these short suspenses are getting a little too much" or "All my guys are working on this one" and the answers are usually "Ok don't worry, if you can't do it you can't do it...just do your best". But they still throw hissy fits anyways.

    When do you draw the line and start tap dancing on a desk saying "TOO MUCH"?
    Knowing the back story... you know I think you were doing the right thing and at any point, if your leadership though you were off track, there were more than enough opportunities to correct your course.

    Just another example of why it is important to get orders in writing, request feedback from supervisors who are too lazy to give it AS REQUIRED, and to cover your ass if you think you're being set up for a fall.

    Hang in there and fight the good fight!
    "If a man is called to be a street sweeper, he should sweep the streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep the street so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well. "

    Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.


    Chief Runner Amok of the Troll Cabal

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    Re: When is enough actually enough?

    I don't post much and when I do I am usually being an ass. But I will refrain this time because I feel the same as the OP. I must admit that I once I put on TSgt and began to see a little bit more behind the curtain I'm not impressed with "leaders". Perhaps I have expectations that are too high? But I expected more, I expected to have supervisor that would positively motivate me. Instead I've had supervisors that only provide the motivation I need so that I am not bothered. I only work so that I don't have to listen to the verbal masturbation spew from their mouths. As of now I do not supervise anyone primarily because the section I work in is filled with civilians and I am the only AD member. I give 100% and am task saturated by a boss (retired CMSgt, GS-11) that has his nose firmly planted between the cheeks of our "deputy commander" (civilian GS-13). His boss flings every extra duty to him, who in turns flings it to me because the other civilians in my office can't do it because it isn't in their job description. I am complaining a bit, but I have learned an incredible amount about Software Management, PWCS, EE-SOHMISS, DTS, R-14'S, TCO...but I spend more time updating slides than I do my primary job. There is no direction and when I request feedback I get the most cookie cutter response I am amazed that I am speaking to a retired CMSgt.

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    Re: When is enough actually enough?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drackore View Post
    Scenario: You have been given a TOP PRIORITY by your leadership. As AoD would say "Do it to it and git 'r done". Then you get a short suspense project, then you get another priority which makes it impossible to do the TOP priority.

    Sounds like a typical day in the AF, right?

    Let's also say you are chugging right along...no one has said anything to you. Questions get ask, you answer them...keep on going. No one says "Hey, your fucking up" or "I don't like the way you are handling this", so you keep on going all while they keep piling it up.

    You mention this to a few in your chain. "Hey these short suspenses are getting a little too much" or "All my guys are working on this one" and the answers are usually "Ok don't worry, if you can't do it you can't do it...just do your best". But they still throw hissy fits anyways.

    When do you draw the line and start tap dancing on a desk saying "TOO MUCH"?
    I know exactly the type of situation you are talking about. I have actually seen it from 2 of the 3 avaliable perspectives. I have been the worker bee who worked in a section where the supervisor was working us to death trying to meet a suspense. I have also been the section supervisor who was told by management to meet a suspense at whatever cost. Both situations were the exact same situation just at a different location and I held a different perspective. Here is the backstory and I will tell you what I did and then give you some advice I was given by a Chief that I trusted.

    As we all know in Finance the processing of travel vouchers was transferred to the Central Processing Center at Ellsworth. What a lot of people do not know about is the mess that was made in the build up to transformation. In approximately 2007 FM leadership sent out requets looking for the "best and the brightest" who wanted to go to Ellsworth and help stand up the Processing Center. They asked for these volunteers to PCS to Ellsworth even though the workload would not follow until a later date. I was at a base with a heavy travel voucher workload. When we gave up the original bodies for the processing ceneter we were told their workload would follow in approximately 6 months. In the travel section alone we had around 15 people and that number dropped to around 6. The other problem is we were not recieving any new manning as most new troops were also diverted to the processing center. This left us without about half of the people we previously had still accomlishing the same workload. At the time our commander decided that "our customer will not suffer because of this" so we still maintained the 7-10 Business day payment timeline. All teh commander cared about was that when slides went up to MAJCOm our base could show we paid 95% or better of our vouchers within 7-10 days. He could not care less how that happened. As an Amn at the time I became extreemly burned out. Most every day we weer eworking from 0700 until about 1900. They actually were sending dorm Amn home form both a lunch and dinner break because they did not want to pay missed meals or give BAS. It totally sucked and completely killed morale.

    A few years later I put on SSgt and PCS'd to a different base. When the new base noticed my previous EPR and the amazing amount of tarvel vouchers I processed as an Amn I was a virtual lock to become NCOIC of Travel. I was actually excited for the opportunity because I wanted to make sure other Amn did not have to go through what I went through. I was pretty disappointed when management laid out the expectations. I explained those numbers were impossible with the manning I was given. I refused to burn my people and myself out just to meet impossible numbers.

    At this point I turned to a Chief I trusted for advice. He explained that what I needed to do was give an honest effort to meet the expectations without being unreasonable. When the first month of metrics come in at that point you have to explain thse are the numbers that are possible. The only way to do any better is to take dangerous shortcuts or work people ridiculous hours. This is the point when you find out what type of leadership you have. You will either have a boss who is willingt o stand up and explain why your metrics are not at the goal or you will have to a boss who tells you to "suck it up and do whatever it takes" If you end up with the latter you in are in a no win situation. If you work 80 hours per week and meet the standard that becomes the new expectation. If you refuse to work that many hours you become the guy who is not 100% committed to the mission. At that point you understand you have two options either sell out your family for job or do your best and be ready to explain that what you are providing is all you are capable of. If someone else is capable of more maybe they should be in charge.

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    Re: When is enough actually enough?

    I think many of us have had to deal with the same things and it's always frustrating.

    We ended up with very low manning in my last shop but, of course, our RWP (recurring work program, Bob) had to continue. We could get 100% completed, but only by working way too many hours. Now, the best way to get manning increased is to show that you can't complete all of your work with the number of people you have. In my mind, this means that we should do what we could during the work week, account for our hours, and show that we could only reach 75-80% completion (while, of course, working "extra" hours for urgent/emergency stuff). We were actually told, by our leadership, that this is what they wanted us to do. They understood that we needed more people and agreed that the only way to do it was to properly account for man-hours (if you aren't familiar with IWIMS, it's a program CE uses to account for hours/manning and doesn't allow you to track more than 8 hours per day per person).

    This was all well and fine until it gets to the weekly schedulers meeting where the flight commander sees the stats on the slide. Even though he was the person telling us to properly track hours and do what we could, he would see red on the slide and start question why we weren't getting everything complete. There was no middle ground. He wanted both things at once. Justification for more manning while being able to show his boss we were getting everything done. It doesn't work like that.

    I've found that a lot of "leadership" want to help the shops get the manning we need but are too worried about covering their own ass to actually do what it takes to make it happen.

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    Re: When is enough actually enough?

    Quote Originally Posted by SomeRandomGuy View Post
    I know exactly the type of situation you are talking about. I have actually seen it from 2 of the 3 avaliable perspectives. I have been the worker bee who worked in a section where the supervisor was working us to death trying to meet a suspense. I have also been the section supervisor who was told by management to meet a suspense at whatever cost. Both situations were the exact same situation just at a different location and I held a different perspective. Here is the backstory and I will tell you what I did and then give you some advice I was given by a Chief that I trusted.

    As we all know in Finance the processing of travel vouchers was transferred to the Central Processing Center at Ellsworth. What a lot of people do not know about is the mess that was made in the build up to transformation. In approximately 2007 FM leadership sent out requets looking for the "best and the brightest" who wanted to go to Ellsworth and help stand up the Processing Center. They asked for these volunteers to PCS to Ellsworth even though the workload would not follow until a later date. I was at a base with a heavy travel voucher workload. When we gave up the original bodies for the processing ceneter we were told their workload would follow in approximately 6 months. In the travel section alone we had around 15 people and that number dropped to around 6. The other problem is we were not recieving any new manning as most new troops were also diverted to the processing center. This left us without about half of the people we previously had still accomlishing the same workload. At the time our commander decided that "our customer will not suffer because of this" so we still maintained the 7-10 Business day payment timeline. All teh commander cared about was that when slides went up to MAJCOm our base could show we paid 95% or better of our vouchers within 7-10 days. He could not care less how that happened. As an Amn at the time I became extreemly burned out. Most every day we weer eworking from 0700 until about 1900. They actually were sending dorm Amn home form both a lunch and dinner break because they did not want to pay missed meals or give BAS. It totally sucked and completely killed morale.

    A few years later I put on SSgt and PCS'd to a different base. When the new base noticed my previous EPR and the amazing amount of tarvel vouchers I processed as an Amn I was a virtual lock to become NCOIC of Travel. I was actually excited for the opportunity because I wanted to make sure other Amn did not have to go through what I went through. I was pretty disappointed when management laid out the expectations. I explained those numbers were impossible with the manning I was given. I refused to burn my people and myself out just to meet impossible numbers.

    At this point I turned to a Chief I trusted for advice. He explained that what I needed to do was give an honest effort to meet the expectations without being unreasonable. When the first month of metrics come in at that point you have to explain thse are the numbers that are possible. The only way to do any better is to take dangerous shortcuts or work people ridiculous hours. This is the point when you find out what type of leadership you have. You will either have a boss who is willingt o stand up and explain why your metrics are not at the goal or you will have to a boss who tells you to "suck it up and do whatever it takes" If you end up with the latter you in are in a no win situation. If you work 80 hours per week and meet the standard that becomes the new expectation. If you refuse to work that many hours you become the guy who is not 100% committed to the mission. At that point you understand you have two options either sell out your family for job or do your best and be ready to explain that what you are providing is all you are capable of. If someone else is capable of more maybe they should be in charge.
    Great advice!
    “To err is human, to blame it on somebody else shows management potential.” - Unknown

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