Coping with Megacorp rat race

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Tingting1013
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Re: Coping with Megacorp rat race

Post by Tingting1013 »

In my experience most managers do the best they can with the resources they have and the goals that are given to them.

People who hate their MegaCorp bosses: please describe a concrete example or two of their shortcomings, and how you would have handled it differently if you were in their shoes.

Genuinely curious.
squirm
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Joined: Sat Mar 19, 2011 11:53 am

Re: Coping with Megacorp rat race

Post by squirm »

HomerJ wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 4:40 pm
squirm wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 4:04 pm
lostdog wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 11:29 am
HomerJ wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 11:09 am
lostdog wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 10:08 am Most people don't quit the job, they quit the boss.
This. I've known a lot of bad bosses. A few good bosses. They all seem to get paid the same.
+1

I've also learned it's almost impossible to change the ways of a bad boss. I've had colleagues go to upper management or HR to complain and it worked against them every time. Most of the time, you're stuck with a bad boss. It's even worse if you're in major debt with kids, mortgage and bills. Financial independence helps with mental health when dealing with a bad boss.
With so the vetting, interviews, checking etc and business still can't figure out how to promote/ hire the right people, it's sorta funny yet sad.
There is a Dilbert where the boss says "We are going to get rid of the people who are no good"

Wally, Dilbert, and Alice all high-five each other. Wally says to the boss "When is your last day?"

Then Alice says "Oh no, they are no good at determining who is no good!"
Awesome!!
Normchad
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Re: Coping with Megacorp rat race

Post by Normchad »

Dunning-Kruger syndrome is not just reserved for management.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dunning–Kruger_effect

To hear the basement dwelling internet worker bees tell it, businesses and sports teams could fix all their problems, if only they’d listen to *them*.
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HomerJ
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Re: Coping with Megacorp rat race

Post by HomerJ »

Tingting1013 wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 4:43 pm In my experience most managers do the best they can with the resources they have and the goals that are given to them.

People who hate their MegaCorp bosses: please describe a concrete example or two of their shortcomings, and how you would have handled it differently if you were in their shoes.

Genuinely curious.
Oh, middle management SUCKS....

The guys above you have no clue, yet you can only push back so much, because the guys above actually think they have a clue... And then the guys below you are flabbergasted when you tell them what the big dogs want:

"Everything working great, 100% uptime, but we don't want to spend any money"

Which is why I never went into middle-management...

Middle-management doesn't pay much more than the tech guys. Upper management pays a TON, so maybe it's worth the heartache, but you have to endure middle-management for a good amount of time to get there, and there's no guarantee.
Last edited by HomerJ on Sun Sep 20, 2020 9:46 am, edited 1 time in total.
A Goldman Sachs associate provided a variety of detailed explanations, but then offered a caveat, “If I’m being dead-### honest, though, nobody knows what’s really going on.”
Helo80
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Re: Coping with Megacorp rat race

Post by Helo80 »

What's funny is that we all support the Megacorp rate race game through index investing. Something like 75% of people hate their jobs.
newcatintown
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Re: Coping with Megacorp rat race

Post by newcatintown »

If you work for a Megacorp you want to make sure you have access to the company shared drive where everyone saves files. It will blow your mind the type of information that gets uploaded to that. Bonuses, payroll, layoffs, etc...
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anon_investor
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Re: Coping with Megacorp rat race

Post by anon_investor »

gamboolman wrote: Fri Sep 18, 2020 8:38 pm Frugalbear,

My first thought when I read your post was that this has to be a troll thread.

I had typed a whole lot....but deleted it as I imagine I would get spanked.

32 and burned out......ha.... I have been in the oilpatch almost 43 year

You have been given some good advice in this thread.

Hang tuff at work. Work is after all a 4 letter word.

Enjoy the struggle of life pawdnaahhh....

All the best and looking forward to reading your update thread in 20 years....God willing I'm still kicking then....

gamboolman......
Image
Image
It is all perspective. But I agree the OP could have it a lot worse. I remember doing physically demanding jobs in college like working in a furniture warehouse and making furniture deliveries or working for a moving company. I remember working long hours and weekend as a lawyer at a big law firm, while not physically taxing, it was mentally draining.

Now as a lawyer at a mega corp, compared to what I have done before, it is a cake walk. A good pay check, not physically taxing, and I get to go home at 5pm and see my family (and I get weekends too); I cannot ask for much more.
Glasgow
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Re: Coping with Megacorp rat race

Post by Glasgow »

market timer wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 9:48 am Often, I like to detach from my role and become a scientific observer, more interested in understanding the power dynamics and the company as a system, rather than with a specific role to play. There is often little reason I need to care about the same things my employer does.

AND...THIS

I usually have to translate every interaction into something like a game theory problem
Market Timer, I like your post very much because it confirmed my belief that I don't want to be part of other team members' agenda - some kind of initiatives making them just look good to mgmt, but nothing much toward company's objectives making money. In fact, I copy and paste to save your bullet points in my google docs.
On this can you elaborate with example or lead to books would help? Reading further to end of this thread, I see that I'm not alone on the autism spectrum that I can still have ambitious and drive to move ahead bureaucratic and "it's all about me" system.
KlangFool
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Re: Coping with Megacorp rat race

Post by KlangFool »

Helo80 wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 6:05 pm What's funny is that we all support the Megacorp rate race game through index investing. Something like 75% of people hate their jobs.

Helo80,

I am not supporting the rat race. I own the Megacorp. I own the race.


KlangFool
User avatar
market timer
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Re: Coping with Megacorp rat race

Post by market timer »

Glasgow wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 6:57 pm
market timer wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 9:48 am Often, I like to detach from my role and become a scientific observer, more interested in understanding the power dynamics and the company as a system, rather than with a specific role to play. There is often little reason I need to care about the same things my employer does.

AND...THIS

I usually have to translate every interaction into something like a game theory problem
Market Timer, I like your post very much because it confirmed my belief that I don't want to be part of other team members' agenda - some kind of initiatives making them just look good to mgmt, but nothing much toward company's objectives making money. In fact, I copy and paste to save your bullet points in my google docs.
On this can you elaborate with example or lead to books would help? Reading further to end of this thread, I see that I'm not alone on the autism spectrum that I can still have ambitious and drive to move ahead bureaucratic and "it's all about me" system.
Essentially everything I have learned about management has come from experience, viewed through the lens of game theory. Initially, I made many mistakes assuming good ideas would prevail, only to realize how self-interested managers would sabotage anything that did not advance their careers. Therefore, I model the motivation of other managers as purely self-interested, without regard to company performance, and this helps me understand the feasibility constraints mentioned earlier. Actually, perhaps even more important than a project advancing someone's career, the other manager needs to think that he came up with the idea. Therefore, I must start with a solution in mind, then work backwards to figure out how to establish the logical framework in someone else's mind (perhaps many people's minds) that leads them to arrive at the desired conclusion on their own, kind of like Inception.

Life got much easier when I stopped trying to change people (if only they were smarter or less self-interested), and worked with people as they are.
Helo80
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Re: Coping with Megacorp rat race

Post by Helo80 »

KlangFool wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 9:53 pm
Helo80 wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 6:05 pm What's funny is that we all support the Megacorp rate race game through index investing. Something like 75% of people hate their jobs.

Helo80,

I am not supporting the rat race. I own the Megacorp. I own the race.


KlangFool

Ok, I laughed... I AM THE RAT RACE!!
KlangFool
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Joined: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:35 pm

Re: Coping with Megacorp rat race

Post by KlangFool »

Helo80 wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 8:41 am
KlangFool wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 9:53 pm
Helo80 wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 6:05 pm What's funny is that we all support the Megacorp rate race game through index investing. Something like 75% of people hate their jobs.

Helo80,

I am not supporting the rat race. I own the Megacorp. I own the race.


KlangFool

Ok, I laughed... I AM THE RAT RACE!!

Helo80,

If and when your portfolio growth exceeds your annual salary, the rat race no longer matters to you. It is not hard to do for someone that saves 30+ % of their gross income.


KlangFool
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Horton
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Re: Coping with Megacorp rat race

Post by Horton »

market timer wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 10:22 pm
Glasgow wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 6:57 pm
market timer wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 9:48 am Often, I like to detach from my role and become a scientific observer, more interested in understanding the power dynamics and the company as a system, rather than with a specific role to play. There is often little reason I need to care about the same things my employer does.

AND...THIS

I usually have to translate every interaction into something like a game theory problem
Market Timer, I like your post very much because it confirmed my belief that I don't want to be part of other team members' agenda - some kind of initiatives making them just look good to mgmt, but nothing much toward company's objectives making money. In fact, I copy and paste to save your bullet points in my google docs.
On this can you elaborate with example or lead to books would help? Reading further to end of this thread, I see that I'm not alone on the autism spectrum that I can still have ambitious and drive to move ahead bureaucratic and "it's all about me" system.
Essentially everything I have learned about management has come from experience, viewed through the lens of game theory. Initially, I made many mistakes assuming good ideas would prevail, only to realize how self-interested managers would sabotage anything that did not advance their careers. Therefore, I model the motivation of other managers as purely self-interested, without regard to company performance, and this helps me understand the feasibility constraints mentioned earlier. Actually, perhaps even more important than a project advancing someone's career, the other manager needs to think that he came up with the idea. Therefore, I must start with a solution in mind, then work backwards to figure out how to establish the logical framework in someone else's mind (perhaps many people's minds) that leads them to arrive at the desired conclusion on their own, kind of like Inception.

Life got much easier when I stopped trying to change people (if only they were smarter or less self-interested), and worked with people as they are.
Reminds me of a quote from Munger:
You also have to allow for the self serving bias of everybody else, because most people are not going to remove it all that successfully, the human condition being what it is. If you don’t allow for self serving bias in your conduct, again you’re a fool.

I watched the brilliant Harvard Law School trained general counsel of Salomon lose his career, and what he did was when the CEO became aware that some underling had done something wrong, the general counsel said, “Gee, we don’t have any legal duty to report this but I think it’s what we should do it’s our moral duty.”

Of course, the general counsel was totally correct but of course it didn’t work; it was a very unpleasant thing for the CEO to do and he put it off and put if off and of course everything eroded into a major scandal and down went the CEO and the general counsel with him.

The correct answer in situations like that was given by Ben Franklin, he said, “If you want to persuade, appeal to interest not to reason.” The self serving bias is so extreme. If the general counsel had said, “Look this is going to erupt, it’s something that will destroy you, take away your money, take away your status…it’s a perfect disaster,” it would have worked!
a
Posts: 296
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Re: Coping with Megacorp rat race

Post by a »

market timer wrote:I model the motivation of other managers as purely self-interested, without regard to company performance
the other manager needs to think that he came up with the idea. Therefore, I must start with a solution in mind, then work backwards to figure out how
to establish the logical framework in someone else's mind that leads them to arrive at the desired conclusion on their own
Wow, I think I have been enlightened.
Glasgow
Posts: 94
Joined: Fri Feb 25, 2011 2:24 am

Re: Coping with Megacorp rat race

Post by Glasgow »

Horton wrote: Sun Sep 20, 2020 9:40 am
market timer wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 10:22 pm
Glasgow wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 6:57 pm
market timer wrote: Mon Sep 14, 2020 9:48 am Often, I like to detach from my role and become a scientific observer, more interested in understanding the power dynamics and the company as a system, rather than with a specific role to play. There is often little reason I need to care about the same things my employer does.

AND...THIS

I usually have to translate every interaction into something like a game theory problem
Market Timer, I like your post very much because it confirmed my belief that I don't want to be part of other team members' agenda - some kind of initiatives making them just look good to mgmt, but nothing much toward company's objectives making money. In fact, I copy and paste to save your bullet points in my google docs.
On this can you elaborate with example or lead to books would help? Reading further to end of this thread, I see that I'm not alone on the autism spectrum that I can still have ambitious and drive to move ahead bureaucratic and "it's all about me" system.
Essentially everything I have learned about management has come from experience, viewed through the lens of game theory. Initially, I made many mistakes assuming good ideas would prevail, only to realize how self-interested managers would sabotage anything that did not advance their careers. Therefore, I model the motivation of other managers as purely self-interested, without regard to company performance, and this helps me understand the feasibility constraints mentioned earlier. Actually, perhaps even more important than a project advancing someone's career, the other manager needs to think that he came up with the idea. Therefore, I must start with a solution in mind, then work backwards to figure out how to establish the logical framework in someone else's mind (perhaps many people's minds) that leads them to arrive at the desired conclusion on their own, kind of like Inception.

Life got much easier when I stopped trying to change people (if only they were smarter or less self-interested), and worked with people as they are.
Reminds me of a quote from Munger:
You also have to allow for the self serving bias of everybody else, because most people are not going to remove it all that successfully, the human condition being what it is. If you don’t allow for self serving bias in your conduct, again you’re a fool.

I watched the brilliant Harvard Law School trained general counsel of Salomon lose his career, and what he did was when the CEO became aware that some underling had done something wrong, the general counsel said, “Gee, we don’t have any legal duty to report this but I think it’s what we should do it’s our moral duty.”

Of course, the general counsel was totally correct but of course it didn’t work; it was a very unpleasant thing for the CEO to do and he put it off and put if off and of course everything eroded into a major scandal and down went the CEO and the general counsel with him.

The correct answer in situations like that was given by Ben Franklin, he said, “If you want to persuade, appeal to interest not to reason.” The self serving bias is so extreme. If the general counsel had said, “Look this is going to erupt, it’s something that will destroy you, take away your money, take away your status…it’s a perfect disaster,” it would have worked!
I greatly appreciate your insight response, Market Timer, and emphasizing the self-interest bias. I've learned and "practice" self-interest myself whole life, but it's eye-opening from these insight posts of real life, not just limiting to corporate world.

To avoid Moderator locking this thread 'cause "running its course" let me circle back to respond to OP based on my experience when I was at the same career stage, but shifted by a decade. When I was about 40, I wanted to retire to just get out of "boring and dead end job" as I perceived back then although the pay was quite good. In retrospect, it was lack of wisdom or may I say ignorant, but at least I was half-heartedly ambitious. Still, I didn't know what to do because lack of (mentor) guidance as I didn't have one. I kept grinding and luck struck that there was an interesting project popped up and I was assigned by default. I loved running that project along with technical lead who was responsible for novel research idea and I was project managing implementation out of the ideas with team spanning across the globe. Even though I ran the project at the scale required higher job grades to manage, I was not recognized to be promoted and got passed on twice although the tech lead was promoted within the first year in of the project. It was because he was very good at communication and please management. Thanks to reorg and I was tucked under a new boss. She recognized my contributions and worked on my promotion. Life turned the corner since then.

In retrospect reflect upon myself, I screwed up. So, it's crucial to have someone gives you honest and hard-to-swallow feedback on your persona and reflect on it.
danaht
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Re: Coping with Megacorp rat race

Post by danaht »

Work for a different megacorp! Not all megacorps are equal. The first couple of megacorps I worked for had 40 to 70 hour work weeks and never really gave just compensation for extra work (ie time off) and had bad company cultures in general. The megacorp that I work for now is the exact opposite. In general a good megacorp will treat their employees with respect, limit the hours to 40 (and provides time off compensation if people go beyond that), and provides yearly raises, bonuses, and profit sharing (all three of these types of pay bonuses/raises were practically non-existent for my previous megacorps). Now every megacorp still has a bureaucracy - so you still have to deal with that. But, hopefully you find a megacorp that has a good employee culture.
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Frugalbear
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Re: Coping with Megacorp rat race

Post by Frugalbear »

Thank you all very much for giving me a different perspective of my situation. Although some of the information I always knew deep down inside, some of I never looked through that certain lense.

I have decided not to take things so serious and focusing a bit more on what I can control. No point in letting the "what ifs" of the workforce affect my life professionally and personally.

Also, I've decided to look into alternative employment. Maybe even make a couple extra bucks!

In conclusion, I found a lot of comfort in the responses to my initial post.
Lookingforanswers
Posts: 60
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Re: Coping with Megacorp rat race

Post by Lookingforanswers »

One thing I learned in a career of working for (and consulting for) megacorps:

- Not all megacorps are the same.

- There is a difference between employers who are internally focused vs. those who are externally focused. That is, companies that are externally focused are driven by serving customers, beating competitors, moving into new markets, buying other companies, integrating acquisitions. Companies that are internally focused have cultures driven by cutting costs so they can deliver earnings commitments even though topline growth is slow; internal budgeting competitions; manipulating bonus criteria; empire building; management gossip.

- It's not always "fun" working at either type, but obviously much more rewarding to work at an externally focused company. You will still work hard, but learn much more and feel more engaged and excited.

- The single best way to figure out whether a company is internally focused or externally focused (from the outside), is just to look at the overall growth trends of the company, its market, and its competitors.

Working at a fast growing, intense, externally focused company can be a ton of work -- but even at the worst you are better off than working at a slow-growth, internally focused company where your manager spends their time on internal politics and cost cutting. Even if you leave after a few years, you've learned a ton.
JBTX
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Re: Coping with Megacorp rat race

Post by JBTX »

Tingting1013 wrote: Sat Sep 19, 2020 4:43 pm In my experience most managers do the best they can with the resources they have and the goals that are given to them.

People who hate their MegaCorp bosses: please describe a concrete example or two of their shortcomings, and how you would have handled it differently if you were in their shoes.

Genuinely curious.
I agree that most are genuinely trying to do the right thing for the company, their bosses/ internal customers and their career. The problem is those three three things are not always aligned. And how they choose to balance those conflicts may not align with your values, priorities and objectives. Also, usually what is best for employees / subordinates is often a distant 4th to company/bosses/bosses career advancement. I don't think intentions are nefarious, but pressures from up the chain usually supercede priorities of those that work for or with you.

An example? Recently had a job I really liked. Things were going well. Received high performance ratings. On occasion boss/executive would ask for something that I deemed unreasonable or highly inefficient. While frustrating, it was rare, and I could usually work through it directly with boss. She was more seat of the pants and analytical, I was more process / planning related. Our skill sets complimented each other.

Then because she felt overwhelmed she hired a subordinate and put the entire group under this new employee, including me. While the new employee / department boss was competent in his specific field, he was far less experienced (and qualified) than all of the employees that reported directly to him, by a long shot. (FTR, I did not want that job, so it wasn't a jealousy thing). The dynamic changed because now when executive wanted something I felt ridiculous or inappropriate done, I had no recourse. My new boss was a "yes man". Would do whatever executive wanted. From his perspective, I can understand why. But the result was any time things were asked that I thought were inappropriate, or any time I tried to plan for things in advance, the efforts were just rebuffed and the $$$$ just flowed downhill to me. I raised these issues and try to enact changes(probably not as effectively as possible) but such concerns were ignored. Eventually I get fed up and the whole thing blew up, and I don't work there any more.

If I were more flexible I could have put up with it. But now I'm not. I would see others work around the clock doing redundant and non value added tasks and that wasn't going to be me. So that's as much on me as anyone else.

It is one of the reasons I've liked working as contract / consulting more than being an employee. Given you are being paid by the hour, at a rate that is perceived as high, but really isn't considering all employee related costs, and also not likely part of the base department budget, your bosses customers were usually very careful with your time. They would only pay you to do.value added stuff, not dumb stuff. Typically I worked less than 40 hours. With employees you are expected to work 40-50, and often the work can be reduced to about half of that, but your time is not really valued as an employee (or the comparative and incremental value of your time is low on the totem pole)
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