Coffee Break [18/9/23]

Your mid morning pick me up

Birmingham band director Johhny Mims was tased and arrested for loving his job too much. Giving 100% may not necessarily produce the best results. You don’t have to overdo it, DeadSplinters, just because it’s Monday.



  1. I had a boss a long, long time ago (he is no longer with us) who told me: “I don’t want anyone working at 100% all the time. If you’re always at 100%, and I need a little more from you, you’ve got nothing left.”

    I’ve always remembered that and I’ve always followed it personally. As a writer, I’m a lot faster than I lead employers to believe. Because I don’t want them thinking I can crank at top speed constantly. You’ll just get burned out.

    • I used to drive my kids crazy with the dad wisdom of “you’ll go faster if you go slower” but it was true. When they were trying to get their coats zipped or their boots on, just jamming as fast as they could never worked.

      And it’s true for real work too. Bad managers like the 110% effort ideal because chaos covers up a lot of their own flaws.

    • There are obviously a million social issues in the world but I think one that might be the biggest trigger of them all — and is rarely addressed — is the lack of “slack” at work for most people. Every business wants to be impossibly efficient and then employees get more and more taken out of them and that just keeps snowballing downhill into general stress, then to anxiety and depression and then self-medication (whether drink, drugs or even the dopamine rush of being online) and it’s almost impossible to escape for most people because unless you have a certain type of job, there’s no way to cut back, let alone have the financial ability to do so.

      We as Americans already have a really unhealthy relationship with work and do too much of it. If you can’t afford to take day off, of course you’re showing up to work sick or injured because what choice do you have? And then even for their mid-level managers: If you don’t have extra people to schedule, who’s gonna do the work if an employee can’t be there? I feel less bad for them but they can get stuck in that trap too.

      A great lesson from Covid could have been the just-in-time scheduling makes supply chain shortages much worse when something goes wrong and maybe we should consider the dangers of that sort of margin-thinning in other parts of business but … well I guess we’re just not gonna learn any lessons from Covid, are we.

      • I’m currently dealing with a supervisor that demands 110% all the fucking time.

        Instead of trying to advise him (and try to make him “better”) I just shut the fuck up and simply ignore him when his “suggestions” become too fucking stupid.

        Telling someone they suck (even if it is the, er, best of intentions) is the best way to end up getting slammed with warning letters and a suspension in retaliation (five and one.)

        • My daughter has a boss like that. The demands are totally unrealistic. Spend every day  in the field but still do X amount of paperwork. I tell her to just say sure and do what she can and ignore the rest. She works in state government and it’s almost impossible to get fired.

        • One thing I’ve s l o w l y learned over the years is that nobody in management cares what I think. Never have, never will. Telling them anything, no matter how correct you are, is guaranteed to eventually bite you in the ass. There’s just no point.

          Remote work has been a godsend for me. There’s no office politics to engage in, and I just don’t talk to that many people. I know stuff goes on (they used to announce departures but now people are just gone, for whatever reason) but I don’t have enough information to get outraged about it. So I don’t.

          It’s funny, all these “leaders” squealing about people coming back to the office don’t really factor drama into the equation. You’re not going to give your true opinion in writing over Slack or email or whatever, because it can be captured and used against you. You don’t have many candid conversations over Zoom or whatever. So there’s almost no way to engage in workplace drama, and that’s a big factor in people seeking other employment. (Fred makes more than I do! Susan denied me my promotion! Albert talked shit about me to my manager! I hate the way Sally eats potato chips!)

      • Even in pre-Covid years I thought all of the “just in time” crap was a house of cards waiting for some catastrophe to fuck everything up.  There’s this stupid (and completely disprovable) theory that if you’re not selling something immediately, then it’s costing you money while is remains in stock–so never, ever, ever keep extra stock.  While that may be true for something that doesn’t sell for months at a stretch, it is 100% bullshit if the thing only sits on the shelf for a few weeks or even a month because most A/R cycles run monthly.

        But, as you said, we’re not about to learn any lessons here.

  2. What are the odds that this was a massive overreaction by the police? I’m going to guess some knucklehead gave the band director an order he couldn’t even hear above the music and then went into full lockdown mode.

    • when it started….it gave me flashbacks of the song i used to have as my alarm…..maybe its more your speed for waking up

      anyways….for reasons that will likely never be fully clear to anyone…..i now have a burning hatred for that song

      • ive been running on 30% tops today…and still ended up going home a couple hours early coz i ran out of work

        seems our office crowd runs even lower than 30%

        as once again ive spent half the day staring blankly off into space coz needed parts are not there till i had enough of that and took time off

        its that right on time thing mentioned above

        it can work….but you kinda need people to stay on top of what and when you need things as the planning gets shuffled

        at my work…the planning gets shuffled….but resupply does not… coz that would require some one in a fucking office actually doing their job for a change


          • by my math….i do give them more than they do themselves

            i occasionally get some work done

            i mean…. theres a box lid…right from day one ive notified them the fold is on the wrong side….so i am actually having to fold the fucker against the intended folding direction to make it fit

            this is a send one fucking email to the producer to pretty please put the fold on the other side and fix the problem issue

            anyways…a year on…. its not happened yet….still ordering wrong way round shit

  3. The “don’t give 100%” thing–like being *taught* how to negotiate wages & that you NEED TO ASK for raises, rather than  the “Just put in 100%, and your bosses will notice, and pay you properly!” myth, is something I WISH we were taught, where I grew up!🙃


    Being raised in the rural podunk where I was, the adults had been Greatest Generation (our Grandparents), and Boomers (our parents), and back in the 80’s & 90’s–especially in those small, rural communities, that 100% WAS how a person got “Moved Up” at work, paid better, and promoted to a higher position…

    ‘Cuz “Honesty & Hard Work!” were rewarded & seen as GOOD things & noble attributes for employers & employees to have…

    If you owned/ran a business,you wanted a crew, of GOOD, hard-working, honest folks, who could build relationships with people–inside the company *and* outside it, so that the work crew ran as a TEAM, supported each other, & built a successful workplace.

    And you *also* wanted those friendly teamwork-style folks, because those sorts of people can build GREAT relationships with your customers, to build the long-term relationships that keep your customers happy & created relationships that lasted decades–bringing in NEW customers by sheer word of mouth & your reputation as great folks to hire/work with.

    Thing is?

    Outside a FEW, incredibly RARE services & hi-end “specialty”/luxury retail nowadays?

    That sort of “relationship-driven” business model is damn-near DEAD in the modern economy, and employees who DO work in that mode will get placed into whatever low-paying position their employer can squeeze the MOST out of them, burn ’em out, and use ’em until they break, and the business can find their *next* naïve person🙃😕🤕😖😱


    And learning how to bresk OUT of that now-ingrained trait can be an incredibly difficult habit to break!🥴


    It’s NICE to be the sort of employee whose bosses now let you do *whatever* at work, because they TRUST you to be *working* while you’re at work!😉💖

    Buuuuut, it *also* gets OLD hearing from co-workers “you’re making ME look bad!” or “you do too much!” when it’s literally just a matter of one not being ABLE to stand around doing nothing–because ya either get WAY too bored & space out *entirely* & forget about the customers(😆😂🤣), OR the “stopping & standing STILL” part means you realize your feet & ankles are SORE (like 11-12 out of that 1-10 scale!),because you now have ALLLLL the time to *notice* them aching….

    Moving around constantly (or at least OFTEN) means the mental pain-block HOLDS, because the front of my brain stays active, and I don’t notice any pain, until I can go home & rest *or* if it’s “bad”, until I can go take an Aleve & rest.

    But as someone who was NEVER taught “You NEED to ASK for raises!,” or taught what a good, fair, wage/benefits package are–and was *instead* taught those aforementioned things, and to “Put in a FULL effort, every day!”?😖🙄🥴

    For the love of Pete–TEACH THIS SHIT TO YOUR DAUGHTERS!!!!! (And ANY young girl you know well, PLEASE!!!)

    Because it SUCKS to hit your late 30’s/early 40’s, and realize *exactly* how fucked-over your ENTIRE lifetime *will* be, because you took ^that^ incredibly well-meaning, but PAINFULLY OBSOLETE advice, from the time you took your first “Real Job!”

    Because, as a young (and INCREDIBLY!!!) naïve person, who WAS taught “just work hard, and you’ll be recognized and paid well!”, you are a MARK, and EASY pickings for unethical & abusive employers!!!!

    The sorts of ^^predatory folks^^ who typically hire “Young,” “Just-starting-out!”, and Small-town women–because those women DON’T know better, and because those women don’t know how to spot the signs of an abusive employer

    Those abusers *talk* the talk, of our parents & grands–being that generation themselves… *and* they set those naïve young ones up in “teamwork” situations–like the young ones are USED to doing!…

    Only to “switch up” the teams and play head-games with them, any time the “team” begins to run “too well” and starts to actually BUILD those relationships inside & outside the company (can’t let the “girls” get “too comfortable” or “too successful,” they might see what THEY could do, and walk away to start their OWN *More Successful* business! Better “mix things up” again, keep them unsteady on their feet, & take down their self-esteem a bit by telling ’em they’re “TERRIBLE at their jobs, but *we* can coach ’em to be better!” Annnndd keep them working for pennies-on-the-dollar, of what they’re worth!🥴)…

    Realizing in your late 30’s, that you NEED to take a *second* job *JUST* to keep up with COL & inflation, because in your first two “real jobs,” you only got a *combined* three raises, SUCKS.

    In hindsight, realizing that you should’ve QUIT, as SOON as you discovered that you were offered a “Salaried” job, BECAUSE you made THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS *MORE* than *that* salary in Overtime, *DESPITE* saving the company 10% of the previous year’s materials cost (and being told it was “Those savings, that allowed us to stay in business & not fold!”?!?), is *another* stupid thing young folks ought to be TOLD to do *before* they start a career!

    LEARNING you got *screwed* that way, SHOULD be the moment you LEAVE–and you *would,* IF you were TAUGHT to do so!!!

    Buuuut, when you were taught to “Work Hard, Be Loyal, Pitch in, & Right the Ship!”?

    You’re too unaware to even KNOW how blind, dumb, gullible, & naive you ARE!😱😱😱😱😱

    Teach kids–*ESPECIALLY your Daughters & Granddaughters*–better, so that they don’t get to their middle-adult years, and suddenly KNOW exaaaaaactly how much of their “lifetime possible earnings” they’ve missed out on–knowing they can’t *EVER* catch up!🥴

    Ngl, that early-career Unforced Error is one of the reasons I deliberately CHOSE my current career field & part-time job!

    I WANT a job, from here on out, where the pay rates are PUBLIC, *AND* PUBLISHED.

    Where you DON’T have to constantly wonder & try to negotiate, because there are just *AUTOMATIC* pay increases, at specific times of the year, and there are *multiple* opportunities to move up into new positions, *plus* there is a goddamn UNION to help me understand the shit I never got taught!

    Because sometimes, the world you were *taught* for, simply isn’t the one you grow up into.

    Things change. Cheaters DO WIN–at least for a *while* and you NEED to know that can & DOES happen–so you’re prepared to run into those assholes during your career & they can’t take ADVANTAGE of your lack of knowledge!😕

    It SUCKS, being taught “Just Work Hard, Do Your Best, BE HONEST!!!”

    And then to have your bosses both *adore* you, AND tell you “You’re the almost the ONLY person around here, who ADMITS when they’ve made a mistake–and the ONLY ONE who admits it willingly and brings it TO us, along with a set of possible solutions.

    It makes you feel like a DUMBASS, too stupid to *not* be sticking your neck out on the chopping block!

    Annnnd it makes you “too valuable” to be moved up. You just get more duties & responsibilities, and *often* without any sort of additional title or bump in pay.

    As so many of y’all know & have said before, when you’re *that* employee–as so many of us HAVE been, the only way to GET that bump, is to quit.

    Teach the kids you know, so they know better!

    And so *they* don’t struggle like so many of *us* have–because of the *incredibly* well-meaning, but TERRIBLE-for-the-timing-of-our-careers advice, which we were given!💖



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