Epitome of Incompetence?

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We have already discussed the theory Incompetence is its own reward. What really drives it, though? When we look into what it takes to truly not care about one’s own performance, much is left to be said. In the end, by refusing to tolerate incompetence, you are saving money.

Job Description

Only on rare occasions does a job present without a job description. Some of it will be the underlying you know this is part of your job, like cooking being a part of a chef’s position. However, a good portion of it will be spelled out explicitly in a job description or a contract. For example, your contract may say you must reconcile books on a biweekly basis.

So, what makes people decide not to perform the functions of their positions? Only one thing.

Busyness

One of the common excuses for not doing one’s job is not having sufficient time to finish all the required tasks. Why do we run out of time?

  • Not efficient at the tasks
  • Doing work of others
  • Lollygagging
  • Procrastination
  • Poor time management
  • Incompetence

While the first five should be the purview of the supervisor, the last one should be the harbinger for a sack. When one does not have the required skill set to complete a task, one should have the fortitude to announce its inadequacy rather than blaming a short clock. With the proper training, lackluster performance can be eradicated, thus manufacturing time.

Lack of Help

While this is partnered with doing work of others, it is different. When a project requires more than one person to produce, often one will need to wait on the other to perform and will need such performance to meet criteria in order for subsequent work to be satisfactory.

Cannot be built with cookie crumbs.

When someone takes broken pieces and attempts to build the Taj Mahal, the result is going to be less than stellar. This is another form of incompetence. If one cannot recognize poor performance in those on whom one depends, one is not knowledgeable enough to do the job correctly and proficiently.

Rather than accepting poor performance from a teammate, one should always advise supervisors of the problem before attempting to make a diamond from paste.

Always Did

Just because the job has always been done poorly is no excuse to continue to do it poorly. Your predecessors are no longer in the company’s employ…that may well be the reason. This falls into Merriam Webster’s second definition of incompetent:

inadequate to or unsuitable for a particular purpose”

When one fails to meet standards based on the past failure of former employees, one is both inadequate and unsuitable for the job at hand.

Laziness

Work with him before?

Most people consider laziness merely a character flaw; however, it is a form of incompetence. It meets the standard for both portions of the third definition: “lacking the qualities needed for effective action” and “unable to function properly”. Choosing to do the minimum necessary, or less, is incompetence.

Acceptable

More people are to blame for the rise of incompetence than merely the employees and the employers. The consumers have their hands dirty in the whole affair. Oh, not you? Let’s look a little closer, shall we?

Do you know what the job description for a mechanic is? When you have an incompetent mechanic, you risk your life on the road, as well as those of others. Even when you do not know what the parts do, ask to see the ones replaced. A good mechanic will show you the broken or worn portions.

You may need to choose another one.

Do you know what a doctor should do? Probably not. Do you know who does? Another doctor. When you get medical advice which changes your diagnosis, medication or prognosis, ask someone else to verify the results. If you have been being treated for something which should have been temporary for more than three to six months (less for acute illnesses), go to another doctor or hospital.

Do you know what your telephone, internet or entertainment carrier should be providing? If you do not, their incompetence is costing you money. See all of the excuses above for ways you are paying for service you may never get.

Just Say Do It

If you do not stand up against incompetence with everyone who is paid to serve or help you, you are an incompetent consumer. Everyone from the meter reader to the professor is paid to do a job. When they fail to do it to standard, they are being rewarded at your expense. Not paying for it? Think again.

Payroll, which is salary, benefits, retirement, taxes and insurance,  is normally the highest single expense of a business. It is overhead which rarely pays for itself, except in certain sales instances. It directly affects how much you pay for goods and services.

Get the most for your money by demanding those being paid do the job required and do it well. It is another way you can make a difference.

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Author’s Note: This post comes on the heels of being treated at a hospital incompetently. It necessitated being admitted at a second hospital within hours of release from the first. Read the paperwork. You have rights.


Have you ever stood up to someone not doing the job? Have you affected change based on your demands or complaints? Have you ever been incompetent? Do you know the cure for incompetence?

© Red Dwyer 2012
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26 Comments

  1. Incompetence is so prevalent these days it’s almost expected. In fact, when someone actually does their job properly and efficiently, it’s quite a shock.
    Binky recently posted..People Are the Same All OverMy Profile

    Reply
    • Red

       /  May 8, 2012

      I had to deal with this so much it makes me ill. Employees believe punching a clock is sufficient for an above standard evaluation. I shocked quite a few long time employees with their first “below standard” evaluations. When I pointed out HOW they were not above standard, I got a lot of the above excuses.

      Reply
  2. I hope your hospital ordeal turned out okay in the end.
    Binky recently posted..People Are the Same All OverMy Profile

    Reply
  3. Sheez, the amount of times I’ve done other people’s jobs just so I know its been done properly!!!!
    The moment you don’t ….@#$%^&*()

    🙄
    Friggin Loon recently posted..Joy Ride Gets UglyMy Profile

    Reply
    • Red

       /  May 8, 2012

      I used to do that. Then, I decided I was not paid well enough to do my work and the work of others. When you explain to the boss he is throwing his money away, it tends to get his fanny in motion.

      Reply
  4. I for one am lazy but that makes me more effective. Lazy people will improve the process so they don’t have to work as hard.
    Bearman recently posted..Beware The SIxTHMy Profile

    Reply
    • Red

       /  May 9, 2012

      ROFL! You and Guapo have a lot in common. He operates under a similar theory. Laziness, not necessity, is the mother of invention.

      Reply
  5. I used to have a boss who blamed me his dumb acts.

    On one occasion he burned out the video shifter chip in four Atari ST’s and blamed it on the software, so I took a drive to the cab company in Shaw and set up my own PC properly.

    It turned out he had destroyed the machines by plugging in the monitor with the power on.

    Score one for Einstein over his pig of a boss…

    When his firm went into administration because the tax man got him he tried to sell me as a company asset – when did they repeal slavery exactly???

    Needless to say he still works from home, a far cry from being a booming businessman he once claimed to be…

    Love and hugs! 🙂

    Prenin.
    prenin recently posted..Tuesday – a trip to the Co-Op.My Profile

    Reply
    • Red

       /  May 10, 2012

      Yes, indeed. He personifies this post. You would be surprised how sharp Karma’s teeth really are. {HUGZ} Red.

      Reply
  6. I’m afraid people often overlook incompetence. Take fast food as n example. If a hamburger is ordered, the person pays good money for good, fresh food prepared as asked and in a timely manner. What the person receives may frequently not meet that criteria, but most simply grumble and move on. How can things change if people continue to accept inferior, incompetent goods/services without complaint? This works in many areas. Frustrating to say the least!
    Angela Young recently posted..I Princess!My Profile

    Reply
    • Red

       /  May 10, 2012

      This is one area where I have precisely no inhibitions. I routinely point out when services and products are substandard. When I am spending money, I expect quality in both arenas. When I point out the money I am spending is integral to continued survival of the business employing the incompetents, the spark is lit in the brain box…at least most of the time.

      Reply
  7. I willingly and with great vigor kick the asses of the incompetent every day. The unfortunate thing about the world we live in, sometimes you pay the price for this. I have lost jobs for pointing out the incompetence of team members and bosses (escalation). I have been told that sometimes, nay most times silence is a better policy. What?

    Answer to the question, have I ever been incompetent? Yes, I have been placed in positions where my background and core skills were not a good match for the position. My boss at the time challenged me to stretch, I challenged him to find someone else quickly as I didn’t want the role. Instead we compromised, I find people who knew the technologies and could teach me to manage in that environment. We all learned!

    The only cure? Willingness to learn.
    valentinelogar recently posted..Inside Domestic AbuseMy Profile

    Reply
    • Red

       /  May 10, 2012

      I will always vehemently oppose silence to elucidation. A.L.W.A.Y.S. It is never better to allow incompetence to become the status quo.

      As to the cure, it is learning. Without opening the mind to expose the ignorance, one is doomed to remain incompetent.

      Reply
  8. My standard is “Show up and do your job”. Pretty much covers it with a minimum of fuss.

    Reply
    • Red

       /  May 11, 2012

      You may well be surprised how difficult that is for the majority (employers and employees alike).

      Reply
  9. Oh, and from the title, I thought this would be a political post! 😉

    Reply
    • Red

       /  May 11, 2012

      ROFL! Are you running fever? I stay out of politics as much as is humanly possible. Too many years in elections.

      Reply
  10. Incompetence is the one thing that gets me HOT under the collar like nothing else. I speak my mind. Are we not entitled to what we pay for? Remember when the ‘customer was right?’ Seems that’s gone by the wayside like T-Rex. I just home mechanics, doctors, dentists can be trusted.

    An aside, at first glance, I thought your post was about incontinence. Oh my. My glasses need cleaning.
    Tess Kann recently posted..ANTIBIOTIC for WordPress glitch!My Profile

    Reply
    • Red

       /  May 11, 2012

      LOL! You are the second one to not read the title correctly!! LOL! I still think the customer should be right. After all, customers pay the salary…not the boss.

      Reply

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