Testy Copy Editors

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 Post subject: More management tips
PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2003 9:27 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 07, 2002 1:01 am
Posts: 8342
Location: Bethesda, Md.
Jill Geisler of Poynter writes:<p>Remember when your boss made a special effort to seek you out and praise your work?
I'm talking real positive feedback here:
--A description of what you did
--Specific details about why it was wonderful
--An explanation of how it helps the organization
--And every word of it was sincere
The conversation might have been brief -- maybe it was packed into a minute's chat or even a quick e-mail. But you remember it, don't you? <p>***Sorry, Jill, I really can't remember that offhand. I might remember it if it were accompanied by a big fat check, but that's not how it's done, is it?***<p>People thrive on sincere, specific, timely feedback. Good performance deserves applause.<p>Then why are some bosses so darn bad at it?<p>I call your attention to a specific category of offender: The "no news is good news" manager. I hope you haven't worked for this person, but I fear you might have, since we hear about him/her from journalists in Poynter seminars. <p>The No-News boss speaks this managerial mantra: "If you don't hear from me, assume you are doing a good job. I'll let you know if you screw up." Imagine. As a performer, you get no applause, but occasional booing after performances. Quite a motivational strategy, isn't it?<p>***Works for me, Jill.***


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 Post subject: Re: More management tips
PostPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2003 11:54 pm 
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Joined: Fri Nov 15, 2002 1:01 am
Posts: 3557
Location: Cusp of retirement, grave or both
Phil:<p>I'm starting to think you are a masochist.<p>Go to the dentist for fun much?


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 Post subject: Re: More management tips
PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2003 7:30 am 
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Location: Bethesda, Md.
<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Bumfketeer:
I'm starting to think you are a masochist.<p><hr></blockquote><p>You might be right. I just can't stop looking at Poynter. <p>David LaFontaine writes:<p>The best investment I ever made as a managing editor was in a bag of Halloween candy bars. I was going to take them home, but they sat in my bottom desk drawer. On a whim, one day one of my reporter's stories made me laugh out loud; I reached into my desk drawer, grabbed a candy bar, yelled his name, and winged the treat across the newsroom. "Great job!" I yelled. "Check it out, everybody." All the other reporters called up the story on their terminals, and my guy basked in their praise as they all started laughing too.
Later that day, another story came in with a lead that just sang - the kind of arrangement of words that's almost poetry, that you just know is going to stick in your mind. Once again, I hollered praise and chucked a little candy bar across the office. A tradition was born. My writers started busting their asses just to get a dinky freakin' candy bar. Well, that and some kind of public approval.


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 Post subject: Re: More management tips
PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2003 4:41 pm 
What a sadistic bastard. This isn't creative praise, it's abject humiliation disguised as a cute "tradition."


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 Post subject: Re: More management tips
PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2003 6:26 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 14, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 257
Location: back in D.M., funny enough
Somewhere there is a bulletin board, newsgroup or chat room for testy reporters. And in that forum is a posting about some dickhead who thought a fun-size Oh Henry bar was high praise. Asshole.


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 Post subject: Re: More management tips
PostPosted: Sat Jan 25, 2003 8:50 pm 
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Location: Cusp of retirement, grave or both
When I worked in Milwaukee, we got a chocolate Santa as a "Christmas bonus."<p>One copy editor sat on it for a whole shift and then kept the smashed remains hanging on his tube until a few days after New Year's.<p>He kept it in his desk drawer and hung it up every year at Christmastime...for years and years.<p>That's what they should do with their goddamned candy bars.


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 Post subject: Re: More management tips
PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2003 9:48 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 09, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 1286
Location: Saranac Lake, N.Y.
<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Bumfketeer:
When I worked in Milwaukee, we got a chocolate Santa as a "Christmas bonus." <hr></blockquote><p>Not as strange as the manicure you once received for working hard all summer on an understaffed copy desk.


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 Post subject: Re: More management tips
PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2003 4:47 pm 
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Location: Cusp of retirement, grave or both
I am afraid that I have to confirm ADKBrown's story. As reward for a brutal summer, copy editors here were once "treated" to manicures. They brought a couple manicurists in during the middle of the shift.<p>A couple people told the bosses to stick it up their asses, but it was so absurd that I could not resist taking advantage of it.


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 Post subject: Re: More management tips
PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2003 5:01 pm 
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Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 35
Location: Billings, Mont.
Wow. I would have preferred a pedicure, so I could jam my sleek, well-maintained foot up the boss' ass.<p>[ January 27, 2003: Message edited by: Craig Lancaster ]</p>


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 Post subject: Re: More management tips
PostPosted: Mon Jan 27, 2003 5:27 pm 
Here's Mr. LaFontaine's e-mail address: dlafontaine@lcwlegal.com<p>Drop him a note to let him know what a prick he is.


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 Post subject: Re: More management tips
PostPosted: Tue Jan 28, 2003 3:54 pm 
Here's Mr. LaFontaine's reply to my pissy missive. I believe it shows how utterly out of touch he is with his reporters ....<p>Well, you can't give a raise for every good story someone does. And
much as I would like it to have been the case, the purse-strings were
far, far beyond my reach. <p>And do you honestly think that it should all really be about money?
Dunno what newsrooms you've been working in - but I have left very
high-paying jobs because of the lack of any sort of positive response.
Maybe tossing someone candy was goofy, but the recognition & praise that
I gave my guys was not. <p>It was a more human way of dealing with good work ... unless you prefer
an environment in which all such good/bad things are dealt with
antiseptically at the end of the year, when you plunk down in the
uncomfortable chair in the H.R. Manager and go over a Performance
Evaluation Report where all your successes and failures are neatly
categorized, analyzed and reduced to little checkmarks in boxes. You
get a "1" for "Unacceptable" and a "5" for "Outstanding." The numbers
are tabulated, cross-referenced and at the end a score is arrived at
through plugging the figures into a scientifically derived formula,
whereby your merit raise is calculated. <p>Have a nice day, Revenue Producing Unit Number XB-405. <p>You may prefer that. You will not find me working at such a place. <p>>>> "Jim Thomsen" <newsboy65@hotmail.com> 01/27/03 02:31PM >>>
Is this for real? If so, you're a sadistic bastard. You want to
reward
writers for good work? Give them a raise ... or at the very least,
treat
them like human beings.<p>Jim Thomsen


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 Post subject: Re: More management tips
PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2003 2:37 am 
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Joined: Fri Jun 07, 2002 12:01 am
Posts: 840
Location: Ashland, Ore.
<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Jim Thomsen:
when you plunk down in the
uncomfortable chair in the H.R. Manager
<hr></blockquote><p>This sounds like a *very* uncomfortable chair, indeed.


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 Post subject: Re: More management tips
PostPosted: Wed Jan 29, 2003 12:43 pm 
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Posts: 3557
Location: Cusp of retirement, grave or both
<blockquote><font size="1" face="TImes, TimesNR, serif">quote:</font><hr>Originally posted by Jim Thomsen:
Here's Mr. LaFontaine's reply to my pissy missive. And do you honestly think that it should all really be about money? <p>
It was a more human way of dealing with good work ... <p>unless you prefer
an environment in which... the figures (go) into a scientifically derived formula,
whereby your merit raise is calculated.
<hr></blockquote><p>1. Yes, I for one happen to think it should be about money. I do this for a living, not for amusement.<p>2. Having people "bark" for treats is not a human way of dealing with anything, except possibly a cocker spaniel.<p>3. Actually, I prefer an environment in which I get a union-negotiated raise. But given the choice between money and candy bars, only an idiot
like LaFontaine would prefer candy. But of course, he's lying.


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