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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

a thought on hump day


So many of my clients in the corporate world complain about cold, uncaring, rigid and unfeeling managers and supervisors. Meetings designed to motivate only induce feelings of anxiety, depression and helplessness. As I listen, I too feel helpless. People cannot simply up and quit. They have bills to pay and kids to feed. Replacement job searches promise pay cuts and fewer vacation days.


So when I ran across a post on E is for Empathy about a study measuring people's ability to empathize with another person's pain, I immediately thought about cold hearted managers.

Could this needle prick test become a precursor to a corporate management fitness screening device? The smaller the wince the higher the fit?


13 comments:

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Aaah, but do the companies actually want empathetic upper management working for them? I could see this test being used contrary to the purpose we would hope.

Queers United said...

i must be honest when i saw the title of this post, i expected a completely different entry LOL

phd in yogurtry said...

jenn - that's exactly the cynical point I was making "The smaller the wince the higher the fit?" That corporate looks for managers who don't give a damn about the feelings of their underlings.

queers - when I googled "hump day" for pics under I could see that Wed hump day has a more "contemporary" (sexualized) meaning. sorry to disappoint ; )

Vodka Mom said...

love your visuals...

AnnD said...

I think they should make it mandatory for anyone who wants to be a counselor/therapist/psychologist. I never ceases to amaze me how many hurtful, rude and unempathetic people make it into the profession.

PS. About the photo. As a ravenous fan of "The Office," I must say that even though Micahel Scott is a tool, I do believe he has a good heart!

JCK said...

I don't know...but THE OFFICE rocks.

Lisa Milton said...

I've got to belief there are still some empathetic managers out there.

I'm pathetically hopeful like that.

phd in yogurtry said...

vodka mom - thanks. I love the googling.

ann - I agree, there are plenty in the helping profession who seem to lack compassion. Its scary, really. and yes, I do think Michael means well on The Office. He is just too clueless.


jck - I agree. Its one of my favorite shows.

lisa - I feel lucky that I had my share of warm, caring managers. When I had my kids, my manager was a woman with young kids, so she was completely supportive. Of course, I worked in the social science world, not the business world. Apples and steel cut oranges.

Health Psych said...

What is hump day? I'm almost scared to ask.

Health Psych said...

What is hump day? I'm almost scared to ask.

phd in yogurtry said...

hp - hump day, in MY day, meant wednesday. the middle of the week. get through wednesday and you're over the hump.

what does it mean today? I am almost afraid to ask! LOL

but yeah, on myspace, the comments suggest quite a different hump.

Casey said...

I've worked for some people who probably wouldn't feel a thing in that test. At least two of them had "hidden" substance-abuse problems. I wonder how prevalent that is in management -- at least as prevalent as in the general population, I'd assume -- and whether addiction to painkillers or alcohol deadens empathy.

Stacie said...

I have always worked for great people who have been incredibly empathetic...even when I quit to be a SAHM. Poor misguided Michael from "The Office." HE thinks he's being empathetic...I just love him!