Archive for the ‘Bad behavior’ Category

Service of Thoughtless Actions and Words

Thursday, December 30th, 2021

Image by InspiredImages from Pixabay

I’ve opened my big mouth at times off-putting others, though I try so hard not to. A friend reprimanded me, after we moved to Manhattan from Brooklyn, because I told him that our apartment was on “the wrong side of Park Avenue.” He said I sounded arrogant. And I despise arrogance.

I witnessed a woman who didn’t think when she sailed out of the hair salon last week, wishing all and sundry a Merry Christmas following up in a voice that could have been heard across the street saying “Gotta run: I’m off to get my hair cut.” When I asked the salon owner if she thought the customer noticed people cutting hair all around her she shrugged and said “she gets her manicures here.”

The owner shared an incident that did broil her about a customer with severely dry hair. She showed her three products that would reverse the problem and explained how and when to use them. “Let me photograph them so I can buy them on Amazon,” said the customer who knew that the salon also sold the products. The owner added that Amazon didn’t have all the experience she’d shared with the woman and admitted that she didn’t say this to her.

A friend who owns a New England shop told me that a customer walked in recently, looked around and said, “Is this all there is?” Another day she found a 30-something photographing her greeting cards. “I want to text the images to my friends,” she said. The shop owner asked the woman to stop. Did the potential customer [who bought nothing] think she was in a museum?

mage by kaleido-dp from Pixabay  haircut

We’ve come a long way from the days my mother asked me to take supermarket groceries home before buying the bread my dad liked at the neighborhood deli. [Supermarket bread tasted like cotton.] She explained that it was rude to enter a business with purchases from another.

You be the judge if the point of Melinda Wenner Moyer’s New York Times article is pertinent to the subject. It was Thanksgiving, she wrote, and her seven year old ordered her grandfather, whom she rarely saw, to “stop taking pictures and put down your camera.” 

Wenner Moyers wrote: “Children who feel comfortable challenging their parents or grandparents about rules and expectations, who occasionally say sassy or rude things, are, in essence, kids who know they are loved and accepted for who they are.”

At the end of the article she added “Do I wish my daughter had been more polite in asking her grandpa to put down his camera? Absolutely. But I’m also proud that she’s brave enough to advocate for herself, and that she knows she has a voice within our family.”

It was fun to read the comments linking to this article “Why Your Kid’s Bad Behavior May Be a Good Thing: The safer children feel, the more they can show their true selves — warts and all — experts say. And that’s good for their development.” I didn’t read them all but starting at the top, many expressed concern about the kind of adults these children will turn out to be.

Do you think there’s a connection between unfiltered words and actions and upbringing or is it more of a personality thing? Have you witnessed thoughtless speech or behavior?  Do you agree that a child’s bad behavior is a positive thing and is good for their development?

Service of Bad Business Behavior

Thursday, May 12th, 2016

Bad business behavior

I might have been at a rowdy sports event the other evening instead of at the opening of an elegant Manhattan showroom. The lack of respect to the gracious hosts, when they wanted to address their guests, was cringe-inducing.

It started well. The space was expertly designed to enhance a handsome line of hard goods. To celebrate, wine and champagne flowed; wait staff passed hors d’oeuvres made on the spot by a master chef; charming floral bouquets punctuated the room and on entering you could feel the energy and enthusiasm of the crowd. The event was clearly a great success. In addition to the overflow attendance, some guests even looked at the products [instead of at each other]. 

public speakingThe company is foreign-owned. After they were introduced by an American executive, two marketing people from headquarters welcomed guests and the chairman declared the showroom officially open. I was embarrassed by the way this NY audience behaved. After less than two minutes, the cacophony was such that most couldn’t hear. Guests could have been at a beach picnic talking loud enough to be heard over the roar of an angry ocean. In spite of the brave faces of the speakers, this experience must have been a nightmare. What a welcome to Manhattan.

I think guests owe it to a host, at a business function, to listen to the commercial. They might even learn something! There was a large hallway by the elevator with plenty of room for those who were bursting to talk and didn’t want to disturb the other guests. Not a soul took advantage of it.

constant textingI empathize with the hosts. I have produced many events like this for my clients so maybe I am too close to the subject and have unrealistic expectations.

Perhaps the terminally chatty never plan on having to address a similar horde? Maybe they spoke with abandon because they were shell-shocked to see other people as they’ve been hiding behind their texting devices for too long? I can’t offer a reasonable explanation for this behavior. Can you? Is it the exception or the rule?

Shhhh 3

Service of What Were They Hoping For: Legitimizing Tattletales?

Thursday, March 10th, 2016


Meg Halverson, a management consultant, wrote an article, “Cruel, Not Constructive, Criticism,” about 360 review feedback in the workplace for the Sunday New York Times Business Section. The reviews “which consist of anonymous feedback from subordinates, peers and supervisors,” she explained, usually happen when an employee is being considered for promotion or firing.

Esso logoWikipedia has other names for this type of review which it also calls 360-degree feedback, multi-rater feedback, multisource feedback or multi source assessment. The site attributes the German military in World War II as first to use the technique and next Esso Research and Engineering Company in the 1950s. The system, which has been used by companies all along, increased in popularity with the advent of online surveys that saved a lot of time and paper.

What Halverson described was no surprise: If you are given highlights of largely negative reviews after a mostly negative discussion about your performance, best type up your resume. On the other hand, watch out if you are in line for a promotion as “peers may be envious and wish to cause damage. Mangers may want to demonstrate their own superiority. And people who report to the person being reviewed may have an ax to grind.” She gave as an example that it could be payback time if the target of the review had refused the respondent’s request for vacation.

Pink slipHalverson reported that much time is lost as the review recipient tries to spec out who wrote the negative comment. And this type of review also “damages team dynamic.”

Yet the impact isn’t uniformly negative, posited Halverson. In a collaborative corporate environment, “a 360 offers the opportunity to indicate support for a fellow employee’s approach to a difficult problem, or even an alternative accounting of what happened in a crisis. And in the case of an employee with a weak or misinformed manager, a review can sometimes provide protection.”

Nevertheless Halverson observed that in most cases bad behavior is the result. A review of high level executives “may be more of a commentary on executives’ popularity than on their effectiveness.” She concluded that this type of review is “seldom worth the investment” of time–three weeks to solicit and collate the reviews and for human resources staff to prep the person who delivers review results. In addition the anonymity and generic nature of the reviews don’t “make people better at their jobs,” she wrote.

Do you know people who have participated in or been the target of a 360 review? Does this method of assessing employee performance seem like a good idea to you?

Employee performance

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