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"(Office Story) "But it wouldn't be "fair"...." Topic

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842 hits since 22 Jan 2014
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Murphy Sponsoring Member of TMP22 Jan 2014 6:28 a.m. PST

Normal disclaimer applies….

Okay where do I begin?

The company I work for has over a dozen facilities across the US, (most of them based on the West Coast along with Corporate HQ based in Good Old Southern California), and is expanding as we speak.

Each year we have a "Corporate Awards Gala", in which among other things, the prize for "Top Plant of The Year", is given.

Top Plant of The Year is essentially a nice crystal trophy and recognition, and I think they might give us a free lunch or something….howver it DOES recognize the achievements of the facility and the people.

The Indiana plant that I have been at has been open for three years now, (we are going into our fourth year this year). So for the past two years, the Indy facility has taken "Top Plant of The Year". We had a meeting last week and ran the numbers about four times. Every way we ran the numbers across the board, we were top plant again.
1: Highest Production: us
2: Highest volume shipped: us
3: Highest fill rate: us
4: Lowest employee turnover: us (Corp HQ has a higher turnover than we do).
5: Lowest accident rate: us
6: Highest safety level: us

All the way across the board our numbers simply blew the other plants out of the water….

So last night, when they awarded "Top Plant of The Year", it went to……The Dallas Facility….


We went back and checked the numbers….yeps…their stuff was nowhere near ours.

So later that evening while in an online web discussion meeting with Corp execs and their flunkies, the flunky explained that "No plant has ever won Top Plant three years in a row, and if Plainfield did it again this year, it wouldn't be "fair" to the other plants, so they reviewed all the data and then decided randomly which plant was going to win it."

My Plant Manager then said: "So you are telling me that the productions numbers didn't matter at all because in the interest of being "fair", you just decided to give the award to a site that didn't deserve it, just to keep them from having hurt feelings??.."

The flunky said "Essentially, yes…"

So the next question was asked: "So why even have this if it's not going to be judged correctly? In the interest of it being fair then, shouldn't ALL plants get a trophy to keep their feelings from being hurt and to make it "fair"?"

I could hear the Corp flunky's head spinning. My PM had gotten her painted into a corner. Her final answer was "Well, the Corp Executives made the decision, and that's that."


My PM just shook his head….

So…lessons learned….

Sometimes the right thing is overridden by someone elses decision on what is "fair"….which may NOT be right, but in this case "right" doesn't matter….

It's all about "feelings" ya know….

Submitted respectfully;


Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP22 Jan 2014 6:32 a.m. PST

So there.

They do realize that this totally invalidates the "award" and makes it pointless to any rational being. Don't they?

ming31 Inactive Member22 Jan 2014 6:39 a.m. PST

Tell them your feelings are hurt and production will fall and protests burnings etc etc will ensue

Personal logo Doms Decals Sponsoring Member of TMP Inactive Member22 Jan 2014 6:58 a.m. PST

Dear bosses, we feel it's unfair to mislead the Dallas plant in this way, so will be dropping our productivity until they actually are better than us. In the interests of fairness. Lots of love, Plainfield…. ;-)

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP22 Jan 2014 7:42 a.m. PST

Work less well and you might get to be the best again next year.

That's what "they" want you to do – it seems. Although I suspect "they'd" deny it ! wink

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP22 Jan 2014 7:42 a.m. PST

fair. adjective, fair·er, fair·est.
1. free from bias, dishonesty, or injustice: a fair decision; a fair judge.

2. legitimately sought, pursued, done, given, etc.; proper under the rules: a fair fight.

3. moderately large; ample: a fair income.

4. neither excellent nor poor; moderately or tolerably good: fair health.

5. marked by favoring conditions; likely; promising: in a fair way to succeed.

… definition four, maybe?

Personal logo Dan Cyr Supporting Member of TMP22 Jan 2014 7:58 a.m. PST

Sounds like small child sports leagues where every kid gets a trophy, regardless of skill or team winning percentage.


Ed Mohrmann Supporting Member of TMP22 Jan 2014 7:58 a.m. PST

Prior to retirement, I (and my employees) had 'custody'
of the Employee of the Month program at our facility
(about 450-500 employees).

I naively drew up a set of criteria and established
that anyone in my employ was not eligible for the award
(in the first place, ALL my employees met the criteria,

HR howled the 'unfair' word, so I rescinded the
ineligibility for my folks, who promptly won the next
three months' awards (as decided by the Site Manager).

HR decided that they should have 'custody' of the
award, since it was 'only fair to spread it around.'

Personal logo Rrobbyrobot Supporting Member of TMP22 Jan 2014 8:50 a.m. PST

I think I would just work for the pay check. They can have their 'fair'. I want the money. And, if productivity should slip a bit, what the hell.

MahanMan Inactive Member22 Jan 2014 9:32 a.m. PST

Start referring to the award around your plant as the "First Annual Montgomery Burns Award For Outstanding Achievement In The Field Of Excellence".

jdpintex22 Jan 2014 11:03 a.m. PST

The Plant Manager should give everyone a free lunch anyway for their great performance. Employees should still be rewarded regardless of the morons in Corporate.

Then he should box up all the prior awards and put them in storage as they obviously don't mean anything. The silver lining is that now the Plant Manager has one less thing to worry/think about.

Personal logo T Callahan Supporting Member of TMP22 Jan 2014 11:10 a.m. PST

The company I worked for before retiring measured everything. The measures were generated by the computer. Numbers don't lie is the saying except when you find a way to fudge them. Usually manipulation entailed something being done with the input. But then if you can cheat with the stats a bright boy can find out how you cheated.


Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP22 Jan 2014 4:06 p.m. PST

Corporate HQ based in Good Old Southern California

'Nuff said.

14Bore22 Jan 2014 4:11 p.m. PST

Winners and losers are not what they were when I was growing up.

Streitax Inactive Member22 Jan 2014 6:19 p.m. PST

So tell the Corp Exec, that in the interest of fairness, all executive bonuses will be randomly assigned to members of the company. After all, that's fair isn't it?

charared Supporting Member of TMP22 Jan 2014 8:17 p.m. PST

After *YEARS* of this sort of BS where I am… Savor the memories of the free lunch(es) previously provided, DON'T take it personal… and perhaps with your Plant Manager (and other honchos on the property) spring the $$$ for an impromptu Pizza/Hoagie lunch for your fellow workers… Perhaps HQ will even help out with some $$ if it's explained as a "moral booster".

You and the PM AIN'T gonna' win fighting the suits and I'm SURE your PM's questioning the suits' "logic" is already noted in her personnel file for future review.

sad but true!


charared Supporting Member of TMP22 Jan 2014 8:23 p.m. PST

…And PERHAPS have the "Awards/Trophies" stored in a place on the property where they can get, er, "dusty".

Sue Kes23 Jan 2014 6:00 a.m. PST

Does your company have a newsletter that goes round all the plants? If so, I suggest your manager writes a piece for it thanking all her staff for achieving "the following results" and lists all the figures, with an added paragraph to the effect that "I'm sorry we weren't awarded the "Top Plant of the Year" trophy but hey, that's the way it goes!"

Mr Elmo23 Jan 2014 8:25 a.m. PST

Top Plant of The Year is essentially a nice crystal trophy

Unless it came with cash or lasting some bonus beyond a tax deductible corporate lunch, Elmo wouldn't care.

"Hey, you are employee of the month!"
Do I get more money?

Tom Bryant23 Jan 2014 9:59 a.m. PST

A couple of points here. First, if I read you correctly, you stated that you couldn't figure out why this happened when you also mentioned:

Corporate HQ based in Good Old Southern California

which kind of breaks the code right there. If corporate HQ is based in the Glorious Shining Peoples Democratic Socailist Warm and Fuzzy "Wow Man Totally Awesome" Republic of Southern California that should be a HUGE clue to the fact that the kipper ain't fresh in Denmark on this one.

Second point: SCREW 'EM! You're ex-military, you know that life (or bureaucratic organizations, for that matter) isn't inherently fair. As such the "best" we can do is to give our all in our work and be as effective and efficient as possible.

That all said, I'd advise you and you PM to keep your heads down, knees loose and ready to move whichever way the business conditions demand. Keep doin' what your doin'. If the economy tanks, or the company has a few down quarters and they are desparate for some up bounce, they'll come looking for real performers. Guess where they'll find 'em? The little crystal statue means nothing. As was once said in Treasure of the Sierra Madre, "Badges?! We Don't need no stinking badges!" BRAVO ZULU my friend. Keep up the good work sir.

Militia Pete Supporting Member of TMP24 Jan 2014 6:57 p.m. PST

Had that happened in my time at "Full Delivery Xtreme"
And it affected my bonus.
Had the best numbers during a Christmas Peak and Evil Boss ran down the great numbers and stated "Norfolk was the best" The Norfolk Station Manager corrected Evil Boss by saying that my station had whooped everyone.
Evil Boss stated on the conference call " They don't count"

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