Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Peter Principle

Hi All!

From your comments on yesterday's post, I am relieved to know that I am not the only person who was unaware of Acorn prior to the past election! However, at the same time I am a bit amazed that so many of us have never heard of such an organization when President Obama was involved with Acorn before he was elected and before he was running for President. How exactly did HE get involved?

Oh well!

Yesterday was a pretty good day. At work, L told me that she was good coming in alone so I can have today off! Yeah! In fact, we are now entering a phase where I don't have to work unless she has a doctor's appointment or chemo or is sick. Sounds good, doesn't it?

So . . .. what will I do with my day of "freedom?" I am thinking I might spend some time at the ASL lab and then take a nap. Doesn't that sound like a lot of fun?

Speaking of ASL - class last night was . . .okay. Frick and Frack (formerly Gabby and New Mexico) were a bit better but still in rare form. Frack was saying before class that he was frustrated because Henry picks on him so much. He said that he thought the reason was because he wants to eventually teach ASL as a second language. I told Frack that I thought one reason was that he didn't really pay attention to the rules. When he asked me what I meant, I said that he was always talking in class (very bad!). He immediately became defensive and said that Deaf people talk all the time. Wow - I was just trying to help and he gets defensive. Hmmmmm...... At least I noticed that he tried to not talk as much in class last night!

As for Frick . . . she is a mess. She is constantly talking in class - her favorite phrase is, "What? What did he say?" Then she does poorly on an assignment and immediately launches into self-deprecating mode. Talk about annoying!

I have got to find a way to deal with my feelings (anger and frustration) towards Frick and Frack so that I don't let them ruin my class experience. Suggestions?

Okay - the main point of today's point isn't work or class. It is The Peter Principle. Heard of it?

Personally, I had heard of the Peter Principle on and off in the past. I had never really understood it or cared to understand it but, I had heard the phrase. Yesterday while walking I finally got an introduction to what exactly the phrase stood for.

Apparently a man named Peter came up with a theory about why businesses go from doing really well to struggling. He named it . . . The Peter Principle! The theory goes like this. A business hires good, skilled people to do their main work - for the sake of our discussion, let's say it is engineering. The engineers work and since they like their work and understand their work, they do well. In fact, they do so well that they are often innovative. Some of the workers stand out so the management rewards them with a promotion. At first this is a good thing. An engineer is promoted to a group leader. He/she still is working in engineering and understands everything that is going on. He/she is a good group leader and still likes the work because it is still engineering.

Next, the management sees how good of a job the group leader is doing and promotes him/her to project manager. Again, this job is still in the engineering area so the person continues to do well. Again, management notices and decides to promote the person. Now he/she is in charge of the entire engineering division. While this job still is in engineering it is becoming a bit more difficult for our person because it is more about dealing with the people and management than with actual engineering but, he/she still does well in the job.

Are you still with me?

Okay - so the person gets promoted again and takes the promotion because of the extra money. Now the person is further from engineering and is basically just doing management. Something that our person never really trained for or wanted to do when he/she began working. Management is a bit out of the skill set our person has so he/she struggles with it. In fact, he/she is pretty darn bad at the whole thing. However, since management never "demotes" people, they just leave him/her there. Doing a middling to bad job.

Because the person is doing a bad job the entire company begins to suffer. Multiply our one person by ten or one hundred and you end up with a company with MANY people in positions they are not good at. Do you see how this can cripple a company?

Did I explain that clearly enough?

Anyway - the end result is people in high management positions who don't know what in the world they are doing.

After many years in the education field it occurred to me that THIS is exactly what happens in education! Good teachers are "promoted" to administration and then don't know what in the world they are doing. Instead of "demoting" them back to teaching, the system simply keeps promoting them until they are in the upper levels making decisions for the entire system - decisions which they make while not knowing what they are doing!

No wonder education is messed up!


Voice Update: Doing okay. Not nearly as good as I would like but maybe some extra rest will make all the difference!


Mental P Mama said...

Well said! And Frick? I wish I could have a few moments with her....

Chris H said...

I hope you enjoyed your day off... and had a nap! I had a nap today! LOL
Have a great weekend too.

*Sarah* said...

Hey girl - trying to catch up on some blogs... (at 3 a.m! lol) Just wanted to tell you that the Peter Principle has, unfortunately, happened at every place I've ever worked. It's really like a vicious cycle because they keep doing it! :P Have a great weekend!