Your dumbest workplace rules/policies here

Management decided we had to improve a “customer satisfaction” statistic from surveys we collected from patients and other customers of our hospital. So they wanted us to show that we were willing to “go an extra mile” for customers.

We were directed, as official hospital policy, to conclude every single verbal exchange with a “customer” (and customers include cow-orkers as well) with the following phrase, word for word: “Is there anything else I can do for you? I have the time.” On the phone or in person.

Well, we didn’t, and we all knew it, and it became the biggest inside joke among the staff in years. Just saying it among staff would make every one of us within hearing burst into laughter. If the goal was to amuse us with the stupidity of senior management, it succeeded admirably

To their credit, management dumped the policy in about a year. But they replaced it with an even more asinine policy that lasted only about a month. If a visitor asked us about how to find some office or clinic or person, we were to find out if we didn’t already know, and personally escort the visitor to where they were going. Seriously! Even if there were other people waiting in line, or phones rining with no one else to answer them, we were to abandon our posts and walk people all to hell and gone. We all pretty much ignored this one.

I will never get how management actually buys in to such dumb ass ideas.

I generally find Walgreens to be a pretty sensible place to work, but the one thing that drives me nuts is having to answer the phone at Register One by saying, “Thank you for calling Walgreens…” I mean, why thank them for calling us?

I don’t answer the phone at my house by saying, “Thank you for calling the Goose residence.” No, I say, “Hello, Goose residence…” Why can’t I just say, “Hello, Walgreens…”?

Never have understood that.

Well, there was the middle school in Dallas ISD, where the principal decided that the teachers weren’t allowed to flunk any students the first six weeks. Because we wanted the students to have a chance at starting the year well.

And the Dean there who tried to get me in trouble because I wouldn’t throw down a full parent/teacher conference on ten seconds warning in the middle of a class. Well, I could have just talked to the man, she said. No, I couldn’t, because I’m not going to discuss confidential student information in front of other students. Then I could talk to him in the hallway. No, I can’t, because Texas state law says that I will be supervising my students at all times, and you gave me shit for stepping out to ask another teacher a question only last week.

Oh, and there was the evaluation training seminar I had to go to, where I asked flat out, “what should my response be if my administrator asks me to do something patently unethical, immoral, or illegal?” And the trainer made a face and gesture like I had to be the stupidest person on the face of the Earth to ask that question and then went on to explain that refusing to follow an administrator’s direct instruction could result in demerits on your evaluation, refusal to grant tenure, suspension without pay, or even firing.

I left at the end of the semester. I will leave teaching before I consider taking a job with DISD again.

My favorite where I work currently is that we cannot wear shoes that have a thong or strap between the toes, but sandals that make that godawful “flip-flop-flip-flop-flip-flop” sound are just fine – the important part is not having anything between your toes. I mean, seriously, WTF? One day, my supervisor, flip-flopped over to my cubicle to inform me that the sandals I was wearing (with heel strap that prevented that godawful sound, and a gasp thong between the toes) were unacceptable, as they were considered “flip-flops” and I could no longer wear them.

A small newspaper instituted a policy that instead of answering the phones as we always had (“Weekly Newspaper, can I help you?”), we were given this script: *“Hello, Weekly Newspaper, this is [insert your name]. How may I direct your call?” *

There was no receptionist, so anyone who had a free hand grabbed the phone. The art director did so, and said, “Hello, Weekly Newspaper. This is insert your name, how may I direct your call?”

That policy did not last long.

It sounds like management is going to Gitomer seminars.
I remember the first Gitomer thing I ever heard…When someone asks you where something is (in a store) don’t just point them in the right direction, get off your ass and show them where it is. From what I remember, Gitomer’s philosophy is to help the customer to give you money and ignore all else. It just sounds like your company forgot the part about bringing on more staff to fill in the holes while you run ‘customers’ around the hospital.

Sounds like the hospital feels a need to be run like a store.

Sounds like the school district already is run like a military command.

I saw it as a footer on someone’s handout for a education presentation. It basically was a statement saying, “This organization does not allow sexual harrassment. If this presenter sexually harrases you, call (person) at (number).”

WTF does that have to do with teaching kids to read? Is the expectation that ANY presenter from that organization is likely to engage in sexual harrassment?

An outgoing fax register. You had to print your name and then write down the number you were faxing to. So far, so good. Then you had to sign the form. WTF? My name is right fucking there, but OK, I’ll print AND sign.

What’s this? Initials? You have got to be fucking kidding me. I’ve printed and signed my fucking name, but you want my initials? All for 10 cents worth of long distance charges? Here you go, my initials are FU!

Funny thing is everybody filled out this form, and nobody ever read it. It went straight to the trash.

I was indexing a fairly lengthy software how-to book (think, “Excel for Dummies” except it wasn’t a Dummies book) and, per the publisher’s specifications, did a very thorough and deep index to get as much length as possible. This thing was a monster index, but I felt that it was well-organized, made sense, and would aid the reader in finding important terms and concepts.

I submitted it, and word promptly came back from the publisher that it needed to be longer. A lot longer. Twice as long as what I had submitted, in fact. They had done a marketing study showing that people deciding which computer how-to book to buy in a bookstore used the length of the index as a deciding factor. But, I said, the index is already as long as I can make it. I can’t make it longer without just making stuff up.

They said, do what you have to do.

So I added in a bunch of crap that frankly made no sense, and made the index LESS usable. But at the end, they had a really long index, perfect for enticing people to buy the book! Of course, once people bought the book, they wouldn’t be able to FIND anything in it, because the index was a useless piece of crap by this point, but that wasn’t management’s concern. :rolleyes:

I’m going to cheat and tell on my friend’s company.

They had a management semminar last year, in which some HR people from HQ came over to Tokyo to tell Japanese people the lastest methods of US management thinking.

One exercise involved asking what to do if a staff member walked into a meeting late. Answers such as criticising them or talking stern to them for wasting everyone’s time was “wrong.”

Apparently, the “correct” answer is to make the employee feel “comfortable” and not address the issue, or even to have them sit accross from you because this may make them “uncomfortable.”

Said policy was the point of amusement amoung the Japanese managers who didn’t care how confortable their staff were with making everyone late.

We’re supposed to respect our co-workers. To assume that they are adults who are fully capable of doing their jobs. We are supposed to assume that they are doing their jobs even when it is plainly visible that they are not. We’re not supposed to worry about what they are doing.

However, if they are not doing the job, we are supposed to do it ourselves. (Which seems to directly contradict the ‘assumptions’ that they are capable of doing it themselves and are actually doing it, along with the entire idea of not worrying about what they are doing, since I have to worry about what they are doing in order to know that they’re not doing what they’re supposed to be doing.)

We are not to complain to our superiors about our co-workers competence in doing their jobs or their complete failure to perform their duties.

This is essentially a “Shut the hell up and go away, I’m too busy to do my job” policy on the part of our Director, who cannot be bothered with such mundane issues as whether or not her subordinates are actually performing their job functions.

Women’s skirts can be no shorter than 3" below their longest finger when their hands are held down at their sides.

I don’t think it takes an anatomy major to figure out the range for error on this is HUGE. :smiley: We have a LOT of women in our office who seem to have VERY short arms.


That does seem rather odd. Whenever I’ve seen official dress codes, skirt lengths were usually defined relative to the knee.

Perhaps the National Coalition for the Advancement of Kneeless Women got offended.

Maybe the policy authors went to Catholic grade school. Our skirts had to be at least fingertip length IIRC.


Boyo Jim, I can’t believe you just waltzed in here with that OP without following the proper procedure. As part of the Straight Dope Thread Evaluation System, all Members must complete a Development Plan that includes an opening post self-assessment, their Thread goal, and actions to help achieve it. Members must send the form to their Moderator who completes an independent content assessment of their opening post and adds comments. Members must then schedule a series of Private Messages with their Moderator to discuss the assessments, their Thread goal, and plans. The Moderator will help identify opportunities (e.g., Search Options, reading Stickies, etc.) for Members to gain the needed skills, knowledge, etc. to move them along the path to opening a successful Thread. The Development Plan is then finalized.

No, wait… I think I’m conflating one of the new workplace policies here with the SDMB. Please disregard.

Some idiot in middle management made us start putting cover sheets on all of our TPS Reports…

Employer #1 OBSESSED with cutting costs. Got him into trouble with L&I a time or two. Anyway, he required unusual closing procedures that added another 30 minutes onto our night when all was said and done. So after pinching every penny, then he’s willing to pay 6 people to more or less sit on their ass for another 30 minutes after they should be off the clock. Why?

…so save accounting from having to make a simple 10 second calculation in the morning. :smack:

I’ve gotten this one at two different jobs:
“No whole jeans.”
I still have no idea what the hell that’s supposed to even mean. Does that mean that I can’t wear my new jeans because they are whole? The first job I can understand, the guy was an idiot, but here everyone is supposed to have a college degree.

Re answering phones: I can still remember the way I was required to answer the phone at my very first job back when I was 16 (that’s 24 years ago for those who aren’t keep track):

“Thank you for calling Marc’s Home of the Big Boy, Northland Avenue. This is Scarlett speaking. How may I help you?” <gasp gasp> (I’m surprised that they didn’t stick a “Good afternoon/evening” in there too.)

Now that I’m self-employed, I answer thusly: “Hello.”

Its known as ‘Branding’. So when they are bleeding and going into shock in an ambulance they can remember to tell the driver to take them to your hospital as opposed to the competion. Screw 'em if they die along the way, they probably wouldn’t have paid anyway. :rolleyes:

A company I used to work for made any manager late for the manager meeting sing for 3 minutes. I never did figure out who thought they were punishing as many a frustrated Streisand and Ethel Merman wannabee would belt out showtunes across the conference table. :smack: :smack: :smack:

ears…bleeding…make is stop, daddy…

C’mon, people! Meetings suck enough without inflicting Florshiem & Prada Kareoke… :mad: