As 2023 nears its end, how smoothly has your career been this year? Do you have any memorable workplace stories to share?

Approaching the end of 2023, how has your work been this year? Do you have any unforgettable workplace stories? Is it the dispersal of darkness or the ever-changing nature of the world? Is it the courage to take off the long gown or the perseverance to wait for the clouds to clear in the workplace? @Zhihu Workplace has launched the End-of-Year Workplace Ten Questions activity, inviting you to write down your own unique workplace story! Activity rewards Based on the quality of the content and the number of interactions, we will select 5 high-quality answers under this question and give each corresponding answerer a Zhihu 2024 Calendar The prize draw will take place on December 28th in the description of this question, so remember to follow the question! Activity period November 16th - December 24th Activity rules 1 The answer should be no less than 500 words; 2 The answer should be a personal true story, and ensure its originality; Other questions can be found here» https//zhuanlanzhihucom/p/667117330

The Moment when a Colleague was Fired

I want to share a moment this year when my colleague got fired for doing something stupid.

A new manager came to the company, observed us for a while, and felt that the employees who arrived at work in the morning were all too late, which was not conducive to work enthusiasm. So he changed the original method of using the employee’s mobile phone location for clocking in to using fingerprint scanning.

As the saying goes, “When policy comes from above, countermeasures arise from below.” Many employees managed to return to the office just in time to clock in with their fingerprints, and then went to the breakfast shop for a meal. The official working hours started at 9 o’clock, but they actually didn’t return to the office until 9:30.

After observing for a week, the manager was so angry that his face turned green. During the Monday meeting, he said to everyone in the department, “Starting this week, I will be standing at the entrance at 8:30 and will stay there until 9:15. Anyone who arrives late or goes to buy breakfast after clocking in will be treated as absent.”

Most of the colleagues had complaints, but there was nothing they could do except leave home early to avoid having their wages deducted.

However, there was one colleague in the department who insisted on his own principles. He would still arrive late even if it meant being deducted money, as if it was completely indifferent to him.

One morning, he arrived at the office at 9:05, and the manager angrily asked him, “Do you know what time it is now?”

He looked at his watch and loudly replied to the manager, “Reporting to the manager, it is 8:65 now!” Then he returned to his workstation and started working.

At that moment, we all secretly laughed, while the manager was so angry that smoke seemed to be coming out of his nostrils.

About a week later, the company decided to set up a photo wall of famous quotes in the corridor, featuring the company’s executives and leaders as the “celebrities.”

Interestingly, the colleague who had openly embarrassed the manager before was responsible for writing and printing the photos and quotes on the photo wall. When it came to writing about the manager’s style, he wrote, “Decisive decision-making, quick action, loves PUA (Pick-Up Artist tactics).”

During the manager’s review and inspection, he said to that employee, “I agree with the first two aspects of the style, but I don’t acknowledge the ‘loves PUA’ part! Take it back and revise it!”

Three days later, the photo wall was finally completed. Under the manager’s photo in the style section, it said, “Decisive decision-making, quick action, loves PUA but stubbornly refuses to admit it.”

After reading that sentence, we laughed for a whole day. As expected, the colleague had quickly left the company in the end.

A Committed and Responsible Xiajie

I would like to share a story that happened around me.

Xiajie is a conference service worker in our department, mainly responsible for tasks such as serving water and arranging seating signs at the venue…

Our events are usually not of a high level, so this job is relatively easy and does not require much technical skill. However, Xiajie is truly dedicated and responsible. Once, when arranging seating signs, the other party felt that the font we used was not pleasing to the eye and requested that all the signs be replaced. The teacher in charge of coordination was furious and signaled to Xiajie to ignore the request, but Xiajie quietly replaced them anyway.

She said she didn’t even finish high school, didn’t have any education or culture, and admired me for already working at a university at such a young age. Even though she is about ten years older than me, she always respectfully addresses me as “Teacher X”.

She doesn’t have a computer at home and doesn’t know what an office suite is, but by observing how the teachers and the printing shop staff operate, she gradually learned and tried to do it herself. Now she has become an indispensable presence at the venue.

Adjusting the names and positions of the three-dimensional seating signs in Word is not easy, so we usually entrust the printing shop to handle it. But she learned how to do it;

Operating the computer to project on the LED screen at the venue, she learned how to do it;

There is a classroom with surveillance cameras, but copying the recorded videos is quite complicated. Initially, I was the only one who knew how to do it, and others were unwilling to learn, thinking that if they said “I don’t know,” they would never have to deal with it.

However, Xiajie learned. She paid attention while I was operating, took notes, and took pictures to study on her own.

Even teachers from other departments would ask: “Is Xiajie a regular employee or a temporary worker?”

Perhaps everyone assumed that temporary workers don’t need to be committed.

No one has ever assigned her tasks thinking that Xiajie should be the one to do them, and she has never complained about being given new assignments. Instead, she is happy that we trust her to do more.

Xiajie is meticulous and patient in her work. Now she even part-time manages the warehouse at the venue and can earn a few hundred yuan more per month compared to other conference service workers.

After I changed jobs, I rarely encountered Xiajie. It was not until the other day when I overheard others talking about her that I found out she bought a car and no longer has to ride a small electric scooter to work in the cold winter.

In some workplaces, many people think that being “steadfast and diligent” is foolish, and it means being manipulated and taken advantage of. But in reality, these are admirable and wonderful qualities that deserve to be praised.

The Side Effects of Work Pressure

Decided to Quit in 2023

The reasons are simple: the overall environment is unfavorable, and the company is struggling.

As a private enterprise, when the company’s revenue is not good, the pressure quickly trickles down from the top to the bottom.

Every employee can immediately feel several phenomena:

1. Reduction in company benefits

Optional team building activities, gatherings, and afternoon tea sessions start to decrease. Subsidies and rewards that may or may not be given begin to diminish. All cash incentives are directly tied to the individual’s contribution to the company’s revenue indicators.

2. Leader’s emotions quickly spread

The leader’s tension manifests in various observable ways in the company’s daily activities. The joyful chatter in the office decreases, everyone looks rushed, meeting rooms and the doors of other executives are tightly shut, and those who come out of meetings appear tense.

3. Frequent changes in work tasks

In the absence of a clear path, the leader’s pressure turns middle management into aimless “busy instructions.” One reason is that it’s better to stay busy, at least one is less likely to be targeted. Additionally, trying something might work if there’s no apparent solution. This puts pressure on employees to come up with ideas.

4. Unnecessary overtime becomes more frequent

Sometimes it’s long and unproductive meetings, other times it’s taking on orders that the company originally looked down upon, using the logic that even the legs of a mosquito are meat. Mostly, it’s a form of human comfort in the face of crisis, a belief that action must be taken. Work continues to pile up.

5. Health is affected by stress

Under prolonged psychological and work-related stress, various signs of suboptimal health start to appear, such as fatigue, back pain, tinnitus, dizziness, and headaches. After finishing the second box of EVE painkillers, having consumed two or three tablets per week, it suddenly becomes clear that it’s time to QUIT.

So, having a rational conversation, planning a 2-3 month exercise and side job regimen for after leaving the company, and then quitting.

Now, what are the feelings at the moment?

One will find that life is still so beautiful.

On a warm and sunny afternoon, sitting on a bench in a street-side park, holding a cup of hot coffee, reading a novel, listening to an open lecture. Playfully interacting with a passing dog, enjoying a few piping hot chestnuts.

[photo taken in November, Beijing]

Taking a car trip to the seaside once again, finding a very affordable vacant house, strolling in the seaside market every morning, buying some vegetables and fresh produce, sitting on the edge of the bed watching the sun slowly set, casting a tinge of orange onto the sea.

[photo taken in October, Shandong]

Suddenly realizing that there are still many wonderful things in life.

It turns out that there is a lot of free happiness always around us.

Life, in its original form, is beautiful.

We have missed so many beautiful things outside the office window while working.

Follow and read more interesting thoughts.

The Dismissal of Two Individuals

Successfully got rid of two people! Resolved a major problem within the team.

I am an “airborne” member, with my department colleagues being the original team.

From my perspective, it’s all about the work, there’s no such thing as “whose person.” However, not hindering the work and ensuring smooth execution is a prerequisite.

The first person to stand out was the leader of the original department. He thought he was the most experienced, the most familiar with the department and company situation, so he had some unwarranted confidence.

Regarding the tasks I assigned, he either openly opposed and firmly refused, or he would act insincerely, dragging his feet and not delivering results on time.

For employees who dare to express their opposition, although it makes me uncomfortable, I will patiently listen to everyone’s opinions.

However, if the opposition is just for the sake of opposition, finding excuses to reject the work without being able to provide constructive suggestions, it means “having no value” at all!

After several rounds of private communication, the problem was not resolved. I tried to adjust his job responsibilities, but I couldn’t find any tasks that he could handle competently.

Over time, without being able to contribute positive value and affecting the progress of the team’s work, dismissal was only a matter of time.

In the end, when I confronted him, he was surprised and showed all sorts of discontent! He even felt that I shouldn’t dismiss him during this economic downturn. I was also speechless.

Reflecting on myself:

  1. In the early stages of joining, I didn’t have a thorough heart-to-heart conversation, I didn’t open up his emotions, to let him put down his burdens and adjust his mindset.

  2. I didn’t timely communicate feedback on existing issues and solve them properly. As a result, the problems became increasingly serious.

  3. When dismissal became inevitable, I had too many concerns and didn’t cut my losses promptly.

The other person seemed to be his protege! He saw himself as the leader in everything. Determined to team up with him and oppose me together!

For this person, his work value was even smaller, and he could be dismissed at any time. The only potential impact was finding a replacement for his temporary tasks.

I thought I would handle the first person first, then deal with the second one. However, it proved to be not the best choice. The second person had already realized his situation and started to act recklessly, making the problem even more difficult to resolve.

Regardless, now both individuals have been dismissed! Although the process was painful and difficult.

Decisiveness was necessary!

I still need to continue practicing and improving!