Saturday, June 9, 2007

Burnout Rehabilitation

Consulting is generally known for horrible hours, plenty of weekend work and generally intensive work environment. We have heard horror stories from some of our US offices of projects where people have been worked until 2-3am, going home for a 4-5 hours of sleep and then back to the office and pick up where they left sometimes going on at weeks on end.

Now, in our office things are pretty nice. Sure, we have our share of internal problems that we face, but generally we can leave the office at a reasonable hour and El Presidente seem to have a certain appreciation of the fact that people with a life outside the firm produces better results. Mr. J on the other hand was more of the old school type with very little regard for human life or personal circumstances (he will still get a more detailed post later on). But with him gone and Mr. K instead, things are getting pretty comfortable from this aspect. We regularly take 1.5-2 hour lunches when we have the chance and don't stay too late unless absolutely necessary. Now, we do actually have some pride in producing great work since there is a paying customer down the line, but smart management and elimination of busy- and nonsense-work can make both worlds possible.

Our office has actually been known as the office where people don't work hard or late... Something that we take some misdirected pride in.

We have also served as a burnout rehabilitiation office recently. One person from the Chicago office (if some people are unsure about where Chicago is located it might help if I mention that it is in the Chicago area where John Wayne Gacy operated and did his gigs as "Pogo the Clown" among other activities) got sent to our office for a 3 month transfer. Now, he's not a Japanese speaker so his activities naturally got a bit limited by this. For him the transfer was vacation with the long lunches and comparatively relaxed work hours. He quickly got into our rythm though and we were sad to see him return. He also sent out a farewell e-mail to the us in the office where he tried to advocate the good points of doing an exchange to his office. That was the comic highlight of that day.

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