Does Your Company Use the Squeeze-Down Management Method?

Homer & Bart 'Why You...!!' - McFarlane Toys - The Simpsons Series 1 Action FigureI am sure that the Squeeze-Down Management Method is not being used solely here at Big Brown, but it has been in full effect recently. It is always in use, but really seems to be working to its fullest potential right now.

It has been a while since I have posted any new stories here at The Brown Chronicles, but recent events have inspired me to begin again, spinning the bizarre, but true, tales of working for Big Brown.

Beginning the week of Thanksgiving, we move into our “Peak Season” here at Big Brown. The wonderful time of year where the volume increases because of all the holiday gifts, wreaths, hams, and fruit baskets being sent to loved-ones around the world. As the volume increases, so does the pressure imbued on managers and supervisors from higher up the management food chain. We are not sure how far up the chain of command it really starts to show, but it surely starts at the top with Chairman and CEO Mike Eskew and flows down until it reaches my part-time supervisor.

The reason I believe that it starts way up the management hierarchy, is because for every new part-time supervisor, building manager, district manager, etc., there is no real change is how things run in my building or work area. Pretty much the same things continue to happen, no matter who is in charge near the bottom. So, the pressures coming from higher up seems to be a major component of this methods effectiveness.

Let me explain by going just a few rungs up the management ladder, since over the last couple of days we have had four levels of management roaming my work area. I have a part-time supervisor, over him is a fulltime supervisor, above him is a fulltime Hub Sort Manager and then there is his boss.

The whole place is built on numbers. The better your numbers, the bigger your bonus and when I say “your,” I mean management. Due to things like the Spiral Down Conic Training Method, we have some of the worst numbers and they are always trying to get better ones. But how, you ask? Well, by putting the squeeze on the manager below you to fix things or, pretty much, be out of a job. So, then, in this scenario, the Hub Sort Manager squeezes the fulltime supervisor, who in turn, squeezes the part-time supervisor, who in turn, has no one to squeeze. Well, they try to squeeze the new hires, which is one reasons we have such high turnover, but that is a story for another time. So, basically, they run around looking like their head is about to explode and doing things they shouldn’t be doing, in an effort to relieve the pressure foist upon them, which, unfortunately, only serves to make the problem worse most of the time.

What upper-management doesn’t do, is spend time training their supervisors to be better equipped to run their area, manage their people, or anything else that would be helpful.

Instead, they “yell” at them, tell them they need to do this and that and get this number down and that number up, but no help in how to best do that. Now, the season of higher package volumes is upon us and it only exacerbates the problems.

The Squeeze-Down Management Method has each level of management putting the squeeze on the manager or supervisor below them, like Homer Simpson with his hands around Bart’s neck after a smart-ass remark, until all the pressure is on the lowly part-time supervisor.

I started writing this yesterday before I left for work last night and then at work, I think my supervisor’s head may have finally exploded. Towards the end of the night, at some point, he walked out. I guess he told his bosses that he wasn’t feeling well and then left, but he seemed fine every time I dealt with him during the night. I think he was just covering himself by saying he was sick. I have a feeling he will not be around much longer. While this is not the desired effect of the Squeeze-Down Management Method, it is the inevitable result.

How does your company use the Squeeze-Down Management Method?

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