20 May 2008

Long-Term Thinking

This past weekend, I worked both Saturday and Sunday for a total of about 22 hours or so. The project that I'm working on is behind schedule, so the natural response is to put more hours against it.

But is that really the best way? Why is the willingness to work longer hours seen as a desireable trait? I don't really understand that rewarding someone for being ineffective and planning poorly is done so consistently in our work society.

Don't get me wrong-- I'm not trying to get out of doing my job. Actually, I'm doing more than that. I'm trying to get out of doing my job poorly and inefficiently. I would think that, as an employer that is struggling to turn a profit in our current economy, my company would embrace my opinion and ask how we can do things better. But that's not happening.

It seems like this is yet another case when the necessity of the short-term goal (completing this project by a certain date) drives out any hope of addressing a long-term goal (how do we prevent this type of occurance from happening again?). But why should I be surprised? Isn't that the way our society works these days?

Look at our personal savings rates. Look at the current mortgage crisis. Look at what our politicians do and say while campaigning in a particular state right before its primary. Look at how our schools chase after any fad in the hope that it will "fix" our education system.

The Law of Unintended Consequences has proven true in situations too numerous to count. Yet we still continue to live in such a short-sighted way.

1 comment:

cristina said...

just found your blog via facebook...i look forward to checking it out...

funny this is one of the last frustrations i remember having before my "retirement"...i was expected to put in long work weeks for the sake of putting the hours in, not because i wasn't getting my work done. i remember telling my project manager that i was being penalized for doing my job efficiently. he wasn't the one making the request. *sigh*

it was about then that i realized i needed out of there. my life goals had NOTHING to do with spending more time at that job. :)