IT’S EASY TO DISLIKE A SLACKER, someone who’s unwilling to do his fair share or even enough to carry his own weight. But what can you do about a slacker who’s not falling behind on purpose, he’s just unable to keep up? He thinks he’s getting the job done because he’s always busy, it’s just that he’s busy like a spinning top. Just because you’re busy, that doesn’t mean you’re accomplishing anything. This is the kind of disorganized, inefficient occupational incompetence that exists somewhere in most organizations. At best, it is a fulfillment of Parkinson’s Law: Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion. At worse, it means falling further and further behind and often having a negative domino effect upon co-workers and customers alike, thus illustrating yet another law called The Peter Principle: In a hierarchy, every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence. One corollary to this is the resultant phenomenon that, in the affected organization, the actual work is accomplished by those employees who have not yet attained their level of incompetence. This is one area where private industry has it over governmental agencies. In a private company, the boss can simply discharge the incompetent. But in the government, there are rules about such things. Ridding an agency (or a nation, for that matter) of an incompetent can be difficult, what with such fabrications as civil service, tenure, vesting, governmental employee protections, party politics, and such. But in the end, there is the ultimate law: Murphy’s Law. It holds that if anything can go wrong, it will… and at the worst possible time. So, good luck out there.
I became a supervisor of a sewing area that made graduration caps and gowns. We could not just up and fire someone. We had a process before we could fire anyone. We had to work with them and set goals for improvements. We had go through three warnings. I had to do a lot of training. I also found when I took over the area, there needed to be a lot of improvement in the methods. So although there were a few incompetent people I found the way some were trained was part of the problems. There is also a saying work smarter not harder.