Showing posts with label Dysfunction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dysfunction. Show all posts

October 13, 2020

Born or Trained In Crazy


 This was a funny sign at the store:

You don't have to be crazy to work here, we'll train you.

Some places they hire the crazies and other they train them to be crazy. 

Perhaps, it's a bad culture or some bad applies, but either way they can turn good, caring employees into some more crazies to add to the office's bunch of bananas. 

Fortunate is s/he who works in a normal, good workplace and can do "a decent day's work for a decent day's pay."  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


Share/Save/Bookmark

August 6, 2020

We Are Comm-unity!

I saw this painted on a storefront window. 
Community, United We Stand. 

With all the polarization these days, is this still true?

Unity is literally built into Comm-unity.

Divided, we tear each other apart. 

Instead, we could accomplish so much together.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

March 5, 2020

Dysfunctional Breeds Dysfunction

A colleague was telling me a while back about a dysfunctional organization they were in and how it made them feel...well, dysfunctional. 

I told them:
Never let the organization define you!  You are who you are. 

Honestly, I could see how this situation wore on them.

Then we met up again, and it was like they were a new person. 

I asked them what happened and they said how they made a change in their life and sure enough in a healthy setting and culture, they felt great again!

It's incredible the negative impact that a bad organizational culture can have on its people. 

But it's up to you to find the right place for you, so you can be who you are!  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

February 20, 2020

Wash Hands, Don't Touch Face

Everyone seems to be talking and concerned about the coronavirus.

Today, one of the people that clean the office told me to be careful and said:
Wash hands. Don't touch face!

Someone also questioned where fundamentally did this new killer virus come from:
Is this new virus really from eating exotic animals like they say or is it really something that escaped from a Chinese biological laboratory?
Since we are dealing with an origin of the virus that is from a Communist county that represses freedom of information, the Wall Street Journal raised doubts about the information we are getting:
As the outbreak was already under way, the local government did what Communist governments always do: cover up...[and even] China's president cannot trust the information he is getting. The lack of trust mean he must make decisions in the dark. No institution can function effectively this way.

With coronavirus more contagious than even SARS or MERS, perhaps the most important immediate questions is how far and deep will it spread?

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

December 23, 2019

Limp Noodles {SAD}

No, they're not noodles.

They are pencils in the museum. 

And they are certainly limp, if not completely dead. 

Who in the world would use a clown pencil like this?

This is some serious dysfunction. 

If I could, I would certainly prescribe some much needed Viagra for these. LOL

They are that sad! ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

November 12, 2019

Spider Man D.C.

This so reminded me of...
Spider Man, Spider Man, Does Whatever A Spider Can.

Veterans Day must be a great day to get your windows washed. 

Or to spin a web of intricate proportions in D.C. politics. 

Either way aside from the windows, what of significance is actually getting resolved in our partisan capital?

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

July 11, 2019

OOOC...Order Out Of Chaos

Life is not meant to be chaos (or partially that is). 

That's why G-d created a natural order and rules of nature. 

From the laws of physics to repeatable mathematical formulations, the universe may be infinitely large and complex, but it is not without standards of function. 

According to the Law of Causality, the world is a pattern of action and reaction (or effect), where everything is a consequence of something prior. 

Even in Chaos Theory, we find that in apparent randomness, there are underlying patterns. 

Absent a miracle, the sun rises every morning and sets every evening. 

Yet, nature and man can also bring catastrophe whereby the world seems like one big chaotic mess. 

Whether from illness, natural disaster, or conflict, our world, can in a moment be turned on it's head. 

Moreover, it's all predictably unpredictable. 

And it's up to us to make Order Out Of Chaos (OOOC). 

This is where many of us either sink or swim. 

When the chips are down, and all the world seems to be imploding with dysfunction, this is where we need to find and make sense and order.

Bad things happen even to good people. 

Good people need to find the faith and the strength, and with G-d's help, rise to the challenge. 

Easier said than done, for sure. 

In the chaos of things, time may stop and everything becomes a blur.  

We may become like a deer in the headlights--frozen with panic and truly not knowing what to do. 

But if we can just find which way is up. 

Then we can redirect ourselves--rising from the depths of despair to the surface, where the sun is shining and we can gasp a breath again. 

Even around our dysfunction is function to be had. 

Solve a problem, do something constructive, and help others...it's all part of making order out of chaos.  ;-)

(Credit Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

June 18, 2019

Beautiful Architecture, Washington DC

Check out this beautiful exterior architecture.  

This fine exquisite pattern is all around this building by Metro Center. 

I think this must've been restored over the last few years, because I don't remember it being this colorful and awesome in the past. 

Civilization can still create some amazing works...whether technology, medical cures, and even beautiful pieces of artwork. 

Now we just need to proceed with the positives of creativity and productivity without destroying ourselves with indifference, dysfunction, and mismanagement in the process. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

February 10, 2019

The Not So Civil Service

At one time, it was considered a great honor to work for the Federal government, and people fought for the jobs and to take the civil service exam. 

The Civil Service was not only a term, but also a reality filled with honor, dedication, and devotion to one's country. 

Working for the Federal government meant interesting and exciting work opportunities not only defending our great nation, but in making it just and prosperous, and literally a beacon of freedom for the world. 

While no one became rich working for the government, you could make a stable living, build tenure over your service, and finally receive a pension upon retirement. 

Over the course of almost 20-years of my federal career, I have had the opportunity to serve in positions that I only could have dreamed about as a child, and to feel such pride in serving. 

But it seems like times have taken a turn for the worse either willfully or through neglect:

- From Capitol Hill to the Executive Department, we see the extremus of polarization and endless obstacles to getting anything done.  

- With each change in administration, aside from a change of leadership and direction at the top of each Department, the workforce is seemingly accused of subversion for the other side and turned on itself. 

- Just recently, we've seen the longest federal government shutdown lasting 35 days and with hundreds of thousands of Federal workers required to work without pay at the time. 

- We have also seen many years of pay freezes--with not even a meager cost of living adjustment (COLA), while the overall economy is booming!

- The pay for grades at the upper levels are hitting up against the Congressional limits with multiple pay steps being the same pay and no increase for career advancement or growth of responsibilities. 

- Employees have been forced to endure the A-76 outsourcings, threats of disbanding entire agencies, demands to reduce the size of government, and hiring freezes even while serving a larger population requiring ever more services. 

- There have been limitations on the power of employee unions, and an ongoing series of tightening of benefits from CERS to FERS and continuing thereafter requiring greater employee contributions and what feels like ever less benefit payouts. 

- Staff are threatened with firing in a short(er) period of time for making a small number of mistakes to a host of "conduct" issues that may or may not be true, and may at times be the outcome of poor leadership rather than problematic employees.

- The system for employment grievances and judging these has gone without a quorum for the longest period on the books and the backlog of cases continues to build. 

While no system is perfect, and there are bad apples on every side, there clearly seems to be a devolution of the federal service, and what this means for governing and for our defense and prosperity is yet to be fully felt. 

For me, serving the Federal government has been one of the greatest honors and has been many of the best years of my life. My wish is for others going forward to have a positive and productive experience as well. 

Perhaps with an appreciation and true respect for the millions of good men and women that serve our country--from the front lines to the back offices--we can once again create a system that is equitable, fair, and just and that inspires the world-class results we needs for our nation and our people. 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

May 19, 2018

Not So Indispensable

So I heard a story from a friend and colleague that I thought was important. 

It was about someone in their organization that was being fired. 

The person who was going to be let go went up the chain to complain and said "if I am fired then everything in my subject area is going to fall apart and it will be disastrous to the organization.

The person in charge responded and said, "Listen, even if I were fired, things wouldn't fall apart; within 2 weeks no one would even remember that I worked here!"

Wow, that is a powerful lesson said that way. 

No one is so indispensable.

Everyone is replaceable.

Even the very top people!

The other important thing they said was:

"Don't think all people are in it to advance the organization; many are in it to help themselves first! Everyone is talking about their salary!  Their stock options!  Their bonuses!"

I guess it's not completely surprising right.  People do have to look after themselves and their families. But I suppose when you hear it so matter of factly, it sort of really makes you think about the functioning of our companies, agencies, and society.

How much are we getting from people for our organizations and missions vs. how much are people trying to "milk" the system for their benefit?

In the end, (almost) no one is irreplaceable on the job--except maybe a Steve Jobs-type--someone who is truly a one in a million leader. 

And if we see people aren't contributing their fair share and are taking more than they are giving or they are real jerks and hurting others--then why the heck are they still in place? ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

February 15, 2018

Change Everybody Loves To Hate

I thought this saying from a colleague was really astute.
"Everybody hates the status quo 
but nobody wants to change."

How's that for a conundrum. 

The question is are we more unhappy with the dysfunctional way things are or are we more afraid to make the necessary changes in our life?

I think that when the pain and dysfunction of the status quo are greater than the fear and inconvenience of changing, only then will people quite resisting and adapt to the new reality. 

Welcome to change!  ;-)

(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

January 21, 2018

1-2-3-4 Open Up The Government's Doors

1-2-3-4 Open up the government's doors

     5-6-7-8 Let our nation operate


1-2-3-4 Open up the government's doors

     5-6-7-8 Fix our broken directorate


1-2-3-4 Open up the government's Doors

    5-6-7-8 Better for us to negotiate


1-2-3-4 Open up the government's doors

    5-6-7-8 Get things done for Goodness sake


1-2-3-4 Open up the government's doors

    5-6-7-8 We have no more time to cogitate


1-2-3-4 Open up the government's doors

    5-6-7-8 Get the employees back to progress the state


1-2-3-4 Open up the government's doors

    5-6-7-8 Blaming each other only exasperate


1-2-3-4 Open up the government's doors


    5-6-7-8 Democracy means we must work it out


1-2-3-4 Open up the government's doors

    5-6-7-8 Polarized politics destroys our clout


1-2-3-4 Open up the government's doors
   
    5-6-7-8 The people are sick and tired of this useless way


1-2-3-4 Open up the government's doors

    5-6-7-8 Terms limits are needed to sway


1-2-3-4 Open up the government's doors

    5-6-7-8 Dysfunctional government can't continue unabate


1-2-3-4 Open up the government's doors

   5-6-7-8 We're sick and tired of ignoring realpolitik


1-2-3-4 Open up the government's doors

   5-6-7-8 Grow up and show some unifying leadership


1-2-3-4 Open up the government's doors

    5-6-7-8 Finally put people's needs first


1-2-3-4 Open up the government's doors

    5-6-7-8 Stop playing with our country's fate


1-2-3-4 Open up the government's doors

    5-6-7-8 National security and our economy depend on it


1-2-3-4 Open up the government's doors

    5-6-7-8 It's time to get things done and not wait


1-2-3-4 Open up the government's doors

    5-6-7-8 Serve the people and cut out the hate

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

November 29, 2017

Dysfunction Society

So the world is continuing to go nuts--and it's like everyone is behaving like Negan from The Walking Dead!

North Korea has achieved ICBM capability with a missile launch yesterday to 2,800 miles altitude—11 times higher than the International Space Station—giving Axis of Evil, North Korea the ability to now hit Washington, D.C.!

At the same time, a career civil servant tries to pull a fast one on the Trump Administration—challenging the President’s right to appoint an Acting Director over the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, which is part of the Executive Branch of government—and hoping that the Senate then won’t confirm Trump’s new appointee for Director, all of which would leave her in charge of CFPB for the next 3 years!  Of course, the courts don’t see it her way, but as the Wall Street Journal noted her coup attempt is definitely something to take note of in democratic, America.

In the background, the Democrats and Republicans continue to beat each other silly and senseless, and not only with stalled legislation on almost every front from Healthcare to Immigration, but now minority leaders Schumer and Pelosi are even refusing to meet with the President over enacting a government budget leading us to another looming government shutdown in December…we can’t seem to keep the government functional or even running for the most powerful nation on Earth.   

Finally, Bitcoin—an artificial computer-generated currency, advanced 1,000-fold this year to hit $10,000! Talking about another financial bubble reminiscent of the manic investment in tulips in the 17th century. What’s the value of Bitcoin or sunflowers? Whatever you want it to be! It’s not about the technology, which may be great, but rather the phony valuing of cryptocurrency, which few understand, and we all know how these bubbles end.  

So overall, we have national security, the administration of our government, and economic stability all in grossly abnormal territory. 

When things get this crazy, eventually you can be sure that something will first start to crack and then potentialy really break, and when it does, will we see more Negan with his brain-bashing baseball bat, Lucille? ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

July 21, 2017

Killer Organizational Sharks

There are sharks out there. 

And it's not just in the oceans. 

There are plenty in your organizations. 

They make for lots of dysfunction and conflict. 

The organizational sharks see themselves as the bigger and more important fish in the sea. 

They look for weakness in others---they smell blood and when they do, they usually follow it to the kill!

These sharks are the types of people that attack their colleagues when they should be assisting them. 

Not only do they lack respect for others, but instead see them as the enemy and eat them as prey, when instead, they need to be chewing up the outside competition.

It's an attitude of us versus them misplaced within the organization, rather than external-facing. 

These organizational sharks could be in leadership positions, in which case, their attitudes filter down infecting the rest of their staffs. 

Instead of unity, cohesion, and working together to get the mission and job down, the sharks are selfishly worrying about and working to build their own power base. 

It's a dysfunctional culture that allows these sharks to exist and swarm in their organizational waters. 

Sharks for some reason fail to see that their boats are hitched to everyone else in the organization, and that all the organizational boats rise together or fill with polluted water and sink to the bottom.

As leaders, we need to focus and agree on supporting each other to achieve the success of all. 

Even sharks should learn to be nice and play together with all the other fish in the organizational sea. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

June 1, 2017

Is Our Democracy Failing Us?

The latest was Kathy Griffin grotesquely holding up a decapitated and bloodied head of the President of the United States, Donald Trump.

Before that was Stephen Colbert uncool, profanity-laced barrage against the President.

Even Madonna lost her sh*t and threatened to blow up the White House at the mass women's march earlier this year. 

But all this is still only the tip of the iceberg, as liberals "resist" him and extremists even riot and commit acts of violence; the investigators look to impeach him; the mass media lynches him daily; witches try to cast a mass spell on him; and even late night comedians make him into the butt of every joke and asses wisecrack. 

No respect anymore.

No genuine dialogue.

No negotiation.

No compromise.

No problem-solving.

No putting the nation first. 

The glove are off as tempers and politics are boiling over in Washington, D.C. and all across the nation.

As liberals and conservatives battle it out for the direction of our country.

Some may say that this is what democracy is supposed to do...

But at this extreme, this is how nations self-destruct, not govern!

Who is laughing?

Certainly those that would threaten our way of life:  Russia. China. North Korea. Iran. ISIS and Al-Qaeda. 

Only sane Americans are crying out for leadership to stop killing each other and instead coalesce--irrespective of right and left--and to move this nation forward stronger in the world--militarily, economically, and socially.

As we continue to beat each other senseless with new revelations of debauchery and corruption every 5 minutes on TV, our politicians are black and blue, their agendas are dead on arrival, their proposals are torn to shreds, their votes are filibustered, the parties are deadlocked, the government nearly shutdown again, and progress is nowhere to be found.

As some states talk of succession, some nutty people out there are advocating for violence to our elected leaders, and others are even calling for civil war, should it come to it. 

As many have commented, civility is gone from political discourse, and instead angry and violent discord rules!

This is not a healthy democracy, but a political system being torn apart by extremists and haters.

How do we get the destructive abnormal new normal back to a fruitful normal is normal again?

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

April 20, 2017

Nuttiest Duck In DC

Just when I thought I'd met all the nuts in this town (Washington, D.C.)...

I ran into this one in the Capitol Reflecting Pool on the Mall. 

Check this out!

The duck is head first waddling away it's feet in the air like a lost puppy.

Reminds me of too many folks who don't want to deal with the many consequential problems that our nation faces (fortunately, there are also many good folks that do!).

From the imminent dangers of North Korea, Iran, and ISIS to our staggering national debt (all of which I wrote about yesterday) along with other critical issues such as healthcare, immigration, and jobs, jobs, jobs. 

Then there are the all too frequent projects that are out of control and funding that is flushed down the proverbial $4,000 toilet. 

A history of dysfunction, fraud, waste, abuse (along with an assortment of personality disorders) have ripened for the picking in the election famous "Swamp"--that we've been promised will be drained!

Maybe that's what this duck is wading into...and what do you think he will find? 

This nation can no longer afford to go head in the sand unless we are looking to be a good-for-nothing dead duck rather than a thriving democracy and beacon of freedom to the world. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal
Share/Save/Bookmark

April 14, 2017

Inspector Inspects Starbucks

This was the first time that I have ever seen an inspector in Starbucks...

See the lady in the white lab coat with hair cap and gloves...

Ah, she stands out like a saw thumb in contrast to the other staff person in the traditional green Starbucks apron. 

So I would imagine that she's not a doctor moonlighting as a barista!

She was checking here, there, and everywhere. 

At this point, she was taking out the milk and looked like she had some thermometer like device to make sure it was cold enough and not spoiled. 

Honestly, I was impressed that they have this level of quality control in the stores. 

We need more of this to ensure quality standards as well as customer service -- here and everywhere in industry and government. 

There is way too much dysfunction, inefficiencies, politics, power plays, turf battles, backstabbing, bullying, lack of accountability, unprofessionalism, fraud, waste, and abuse, and mucho organizational culture issues that need to be--must be--addressed and fast!

Can the inspector that inspects do it?

Of course, that's probably not enough--it just uncovers the defects--we still have the hard work of leadership to make things right--and not just to checklist them and say we did it.

I wonder if the Starbucks inspector will also address the annoying long lines on the other side of the counter as well? ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

December 3, 2016

Dysfunction Is The Starting Point

A very smart speech today in synagogue by Rabbi Haim Ovadia. 

He connected to this week's reading from Genesis in the Torah.

It was a commentary about our forefathers and mothers and what the stories in the Bible teach us. 

As we know, these people while righteous and holy, were not perfect people or families. 

Thinking about these, some examples that come to mind about the many tests, challenges, and tragedies in their lives:

- Adam and Eve eating the forbidden apple in the Garden of Eden

- Noah getting drunk and his son, Ham, seeing his nakedness and telling his brothers

- Abraham and Sarah's doubting (i.e. laughing) that G-d would give them a child

- Isaac lying to Avimelech about Rivkah being his sister (similar to what Abraham said about Sarah)

 - Jacob buying the birthright and stealing the blessing from Esau

- Shimon and Levi killing the people of Shechem for Hamor raping their sister

- Joseph's brothers being jealous of him and throwing him in the pit and selling him into slavery

- Judah sleeping with Tamer, the wife of his firstborn 

And so on. 

Rabbi Ovadia said we should keep 4 things in mind about the Biblical figures and families to learn for our own:

1) Context - There is a context to what we do. We all have histories that involve difficulties, challenges, illness, abuse, PTSD, and so on.  The things we do and how we react later in life are anchored in this context. 

2) Dysfunction - Every family (and I would add person, organization, and institution) is dysfunctional.  There is no perfection out there (except G-d). Functional would mean like a computer, we input-process-output towards a certain function.  However, as people, we are not automatons, but instead work out our dysfunction through our striving to love, have relationships, learn and grow. 

3) Responsibility - Whatever our challenges and dysfunctions, we are responsible for what we do--our actions.  We can't just blame history or others.  Our role is to face up to our lot in life and take responsibility for what we do.  It our life and circumstances to make or break us. 

4) Communication - In dealing with life and it's challenges, communication is key to dealing with things. I would argue that communication is just a part of many critical success factors like trust, determination, hard work, emotional intelligence, being giving, integrity, etc.  But certainly, communication is a key aspect in how we work out our issues with others and try to build function from inherent dysfunction. 

The honestly of the Bible in telling us the flaws of it's heroes and heroines--our ancestors--is one of the things that make it such a source of wisdom for us as well as demonstrating the truthfulness of it being G-d given to us.

The bible doesn't sugarcoat who we are and what we have to deal with--it is the Book of G-d that is a roadmap for us to learn from and do good with in our own lives. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

November 2, 2016

Anarchy Sensing Opportunity

So this is what they are reading in Washington, D.C. now:

"To Change Everything...An Anarchists Appeal"

Anarchists and Anonymous are no longer underground, but are coming up and above it. 

Legions of people looking not to change the system, but to violently overthrow it. 

According to the anarchists' video propaganda:


"The more stable our structures, the less stable our lives...No piecemeal reform can fix this, we have to rethink everything to fix this."

They are advocating the power of the masses to overthrow ALL authority!


"The only way to secure the things we care about is to build a leaderless mutual aid network capable of self defense...to abolish domination all together...not to stabilize the system by reforming it. Rather than calling for more legitimate rules and rules...set our own agenda on our own terms...develop the power to act autonomously."

Unfortunately, with the extremely low ratings and low trust of the government, people are turning to anarchy instead:

"To change everything. Start everywhere."

The fearsome hacker group Anonymous's tag line is:


"We are a legion.  We do not forgive. We do not forget. Expect us."

So, while left and right are fighting and denigrating each other, the political system, and our institutions, and gridlock--rather than effective governance and progress--is the dominant force in DC, a frightening vacuum is opening up to those who seek chaos and mayhem.

Stupid, stupid, stupid!

Everyone is so busy fighting for a larger slice of the pie for themselves, that we are putting the entire societal pizza in danger of landing flat. 

It's not just Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, and ISIS taking advantage of the selfish and greedy aspirations of politicians and special interests in our society.

Those individuals and groups--internally--that distrust and dislike what they perceive as "Big Brother," and the arbitrary and abuse of authority, for power and money's sake, are sensing their chance to agitate, disrupt and overthrow the civilized society we depend on. 

Apocalypse is not just World War III, weapons of mass destruction, and earth-shattering disaster, but it can be the disaffected masses that decide there is no reforming the system, only overthrowing it and taking their chance at chaos, rather than continue to live with corruption. 

And if this is what people are reading in the Capital of the United States of America...if you are not afraid of this awful mess, you most certainly ought to be. ;-)

(Source photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark

August 24, 2016

Crazy World Of Work

This was a funny sign. 

"You don't have to be crazy to work here.
We'll train you."

Isn't that the truth too often. 

Work can frequently be like "Crazy World!" 

This is a place where there is a convergence of dysfunctional organizational culture, poor leadership, a lack of solid processes and sound planning, and plenty of wacky naysayers and obstructionists who together can bring the workplace to a virtual standstill or even a bitter downfall. 

Yeah, we will train you to do what?

- Follow some dusty and archaic, nonsensical policies that haven't been updated in 20 years.

- Force you into a mold of robotic groupthinkers who have abandoned any notion of exploration, discovery, innovation, and constructive change. 

- Do the minimum to get their paychecks, while staying off the grid and out of trouble, rather than satisfy in serving the mission and delighting their customers. 

This is perhaps why leaders frequently tout their credentials in transforming organizations, yet we still see endless legacies mired in status quo and a lack of any real results and progress. 

Lots of people talk the talk, but very few walk the walk, and that's because we've trained them so well to work here. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
Share/Save/Bookmark