The Inefficiency Expert speaks: Paths To Inefficiency

Gather ’round all ye deluded paper-pushing slugs.

I am here to speak and enlighten. Loosen your full Windsors. Take a deep breath, and turn those reprehensible Blackberry’s off.

Gather and listen.

I know your gig. I am on to you!

You plot and scheme behind those pampered beady eyes. You ruffle your MBA’d feathers behind a litany of illusory proclamations about how you will streamline and improve the “process.” You organize meetings, you interview employees (while discreetly nudging loudmouths with profuse ammo in your quest to find out who the real loudmouths are, the ones who will give you all the dirt), you draft memos and write reports and strut around with your company-issued laptop and compile reams of bullshit while hiding behind the mask of hard work. You presume to understand the organization despite the fact you are a miserable outsider who can never truly live the intricacies of the organization by flowcharts and disaffected word of mouth. You create a nefarious buzz and foment the culture of dissatisfaction because the escalating tension justifies your existence. If there is nothing to “fix,” you are out of a job. You disregard the fact that any organization composed of hundreds or thousands of fallible humans is inclined to occasionally run at less than optimum efficiency. This is human nature, my friends. Did they teach you how to alter human nature in business school? If so, implement that you overpaid white-collared non-producing piece of crap. Human nature, to repeat, runs less than optimally in a vast organization of interconnected roles and complementary positions. You are essentially reinventing the wheel and it is in your best interest to elicit disgruntled workforce attitudes which are simply petty complaints rooted in a displaced sense of common frustrations at having to work with other flawed people. Expressions of frustrations carefully noted in meetings and emails and transcribed to your trusty conjoined laptop twin and are the building blocks of your ignoble goals around this place. Your measly existence revolves around the presumption that 100% efficiency is possible if only people would abide by your trusty process improvements best suited to a mechanized assembly line. You people would gladly kick humanity to the curb if doing so would conclusively expand your production and profit through the death knell of automation. You’ve made enormous strides toward this goal but there are still many, many, positions in the economic assembly line that require a human touch. Yes, that sucks, I know. But consider…without humans, we don’t need you either. Your existence is built upon the zero-tolerance modern MBA dorks possess for human, and thus, structural, imperfection.

Everything must be fixed, even if it operates within acceptable boundaries of efficiency.

You create objects that are broken. This is your skill. You take an organization that was running well and conjure issues and latent inefficiencies with your meddlesome roadblocks. You elicit problems. You dig them up, you fabricate them. That is your job. Your justification is the masquerade that you will fix these problems with your precious and forthright wisdom. You singularly justify your place in the company by creating problems and embarking on fixing them. You have a monopoly on the Cause and the Effect. Yet, nothing is ever fixed because the corporate bureaucracy is so congealed with disorder. Meetings breed meetings, bullshit bequeaths bullshit, and employees still do what they were doing before.

What bothers me is not what you do, but how you do it.

I hate the disingenuous nature of your practices.

Don’t get me wrong, efficiency exists in theory, and it can always be improved in the group dynamic. But you disgrace effciency becuase you care about it insofar as your bonuses and pitiful financial well-being is concerned. You don’t care about the mindful principle of true human efficiency. It’s a ploy for your soulless ambition. If you would be honest about what you do, I’d respect you a lot more.

With that said, I would like to unveil a new framework of inefficiency.

Rather than attempting to quantify efficiency, we would be better off focusing on inefficiencies as they apply to the modern American work environment. In this manner, we can head off that which fuels inefficiency. By curtailing inefficiencies does efficiency increase. You see, there is no such thing as efficiency, there is only minimization of inefficiency.

But you have to be brutally honest and everyone in the organization must realize the bullshit stops here.

Those seeking to spotlight the insidious destroyer of cohesion, inefficiency, should pay heed.

Foolproof Steps To Engage Inefficiency’s Scope In Your Organization

I suggest you make it a priority to generously disperse individual bonuses to all employees of management level and beyond. Better yet, make sure the bonuses are contingent upon incompatible bits of personal performance which intrinsically do nothing to further the health of the organization when under scrutiny. The bonuses must appear superficially beneficial to the company, but structured so that at their most basic level, are nothing but counterproductive self-aggrandizing snippets of HR platitudes. You must realize that individual bonuses trample all over the concept of “teamwork” and “organizational unity.” As applied to upper level employees, bonuses work to create a tiered structure of internal elitism. They solely serve to diminish any stake lower level employees have in the organization because the oblique goals contained deeply in their intricate web is contrary to the good of the company and subordinate employees. Note that personal bonuses reward the short-sighted impetus of immature, unseasoned managers. Personal bonuses reward the Now, not the Then. They reward non-contemplative abruptness. They reward impulsive decisions and marginalize long-term orientation. If bonuses are to be given out freely, they must reward departmental performance only. This reflects the spirit of efficiency whereas individual bonuses merely erect meaningless goals that the money-hungry swarm to while disregarding the wider good.

Organizations seriously striving to perfect inefficiency at all levels of employee staffing are advised to populate the payroll with primarily 25-year-old single women who have passed a set of stringent tests applied informally and invisibly during the initial face to face employment interview with the hiring manager. Best predictors of genuine and plentiful inefficiency are 25-year-old women who display all the varied attention whore traits including, but not restricted to, fastidiousness with personal grooming and cosmetics, especially when inordinate care and money is spent on shoes, nails, hair and make-up. An apparent addiction to a cellphone keypad, even if it appears unwisely during the interview, are key elements in predicting an inefficient employee. Such a narrow demographic is destined to bring a grand cornucopia of inefficiencies on said organization’s head. And if such employees are routinely promoted, given incrementally growing expectations of responsibility, whether warranted or not, the measure of inefficiency will skyrocket even further.

An organization that values inefficiency must foster a culture of “preferring to talk about work than actually working.” This is vital, and is greatly enhanced by drawing in groups of lower level employees into involuntary meetings which serves them no purpose by virtue of their attendance. Meetings serve many purposes in culmination of an inefficient office environment. They eat up time while nevertheless giving off the appearance to non-attendees that productive work is in progress behind locked doors. Meetings also allow vain managers to demonstrate a “leadership” vibe while taking the main stage so everyone can witness just how fabulous they are. Meetings are the great tool of inefficiency for they accomplish nothing that can’t be accomplished in a simple five minute conversation or simple 3-paragraph memo. Meetings must be represented by as many departments personified by a sea of deer-in-the-headlight expressions of captive non-entertainment. The successful meeting must terminate with the majority of participants walking away puzzled as to, 1) why they were included in the meeting to begin with, and, 2) what the meeting was all about other than listening to the manager’s/meeting organizer’s showboating and utterly empty pronouncements doomed to fall on deaf ears. Meetings must be ubiquitous and routinely scheduled as a contingent requirement of the aforementioned individual bonuses. The idle VP’s and department heads are delighted at the proliferation of meetings for it seems the air is abuzz with activity and movement when in fact, these are empty gestures of symbolic work. Meetings are the corporate dog chasing its tail.

Bloated self-importance
This is the most nebulous of all Paths to Inefficiency. Self-importance that feeds inefficiency has nothing to do with importance, per se. The President of the company is important within the context of the company’s structure, something most can agree on. Even the lowest mailroom worker is an important employee in theory, but acknowledgement of this will not find a common consensus. Any number of mid level types clog up the employee rolls, and each is important when defined within the abstraction as a representative of the organization. However, the advent of technology with its tethering nature has handed inflated levels of presumed importance to people who do not deserve it. Blackberrys, laptops, cellphones, ultra fast internet pipelines which enable employees to bring a horrid slice of work into their home…all this connectivity, this interconnected orgy of job duties, deludes idiots into adulating their own importance. I’ve seen complete morons at work who parade around with laptops and Blackberrys stuffed in an egregious cloud of self-awe. The gimmickry that laces the modern workplace is a like cocaine, a vicious narcotic that lulls people into such extreme measures of misplaced self-confidence and amazement (at themselves) that their day is spent circling the wonderment that is their own corporate existence rather than concentrating on being productive. That said, inefficiency can be greatly augmented by the tools of ostensible efficiency! All lackluster, mid level employees who have no need for such items should be issued standard company laptops, Blackberrys and connectivity to work software platforms from their home computer. Everyone will praise the efficiency of such a model, while in the background, unnoticed, the opposite effect is actually taking place.

Inefficiency is genius.