Friday, May 26, 2006

It's Back to the Real World

Remember back to any of your training sessions or seminars, at least the good ones that sparked your imagination or helped you see the light with a mental clarity never before experienced. You know that feeling of absolute, crystal clear, laser beam focus, sense of higher purpose type motivation that you felt. Do you recall those feelings as you left the session armed with your new insights and skills ready to put them in action? Then what happened? In many cases, that wonderful, burning passion is doused with the icy, cold water of reality. The reality back at your plant, your office, your company. It's back to the real world!

What is waiting for you is simple chaos. Your email inbox is filled with tons of new messages, most of which are not all that important and many requiring some sort of response upon your immediate return. Depending on the email culture within your company, it may take you the better part of the morning, if not all day to clean up the email aftermath of a prolonged absence. Not to mention, notes posted on your door to add to your "To Do List Upon Return". Then you have the line of people waiting days to talk with you about some problem, decision or assignment.

Speaking of assignments, a few of your project tasks got moved up and these tasks needed to be completed yesterday. Didn't you get the email? In addition, the priorities have changed on a couple of projects, all moving up naturally. Oh, we also have a new vision from corporate that needs to be incorporated into our overall strategic planning because we didn't hit our quarterly numbers. It's top, top priority.

On top of emails, you have a string of voice mails needing your attention. Some are extremely urgent among the marketing messages for renewing your free magazine subscription to Global Manufacturing World. Hurry, it's due to expire if you do not respond immediately. Buried in all the messages, several customer need you to contact them ASAP. Your new top priority.

Did I mention the snail mail piled on your desk or mail slot? But most of that can wait because the majority of it consists of junk mail anyway. For the most part, it's more free technical publications or some other form of direct attack marketing messages.

Of course your boss will need to speak with you immediately because something hot just hit the fan...and it's been smelling up the place for the past few days. You rush around trying to cover all the bases and before you know it, it's time to wrap up for the end of the day. You scramble to organize your revised "To Do List" for first thing in the morning. Just a few more quick messages to send out before you can shut down your computer.

As you slowly drag yourself to your car to head home for the day, you vaguely remember something. It seemed important. You can't quite put your finger on it. Oh well, tomorrow's going to be another busy day.

1 comment:

Chet Frame said...

You have tangentially framed another waste -"Education and Training that never gets used." Companies spend billions of dollars on education and training, and when the employees return from whichever event they just attended they get buried as you describe. They rarely have he chance to sit with their supervisor or manager and say, "I learned this new concept that I would like to try in this situation." Nor do the supervisors have the opportunity to ask, "What did you learn that would help us with our issue?" And we have wasted an opportunity for improvement.