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Case File 060805

Ransom Note


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» The Morale Marauder from Eric Gunnerson's C# Compendium
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Kevin Brady

Hi Tim,

Great Post - I have to say I am very very concerned when I take up consultancy contracts to troubleshoot failing IT projects when the mission statements and corporate values are posted all over the place.

Over the years I have discovered an inverse correlation between the size and prominents of such statments /values posted on company walls etc and what they are supposed to be saying about the integrety, honesty of the company I am engaged to help.

Bob McIlree

Tim - great post & graphics and thanks for your comments on my blog. Reminds me of the time when, as a very young buck at AT&T, my dept. head came by to hand out coffee mugs commemorating a project we had delivered earlier (my first, actually), and I asked him if they could just take the money spent on trinkets & baubles and give us bonuses. He looked at me like my Dad did as a tyke when he gave me the 'think about the starving kids in India" guilt-trip line at the dinner table and I replied "can we send it to them?" :)


Timothy Johnson

Kevin and Bob... thanks for stopping by to weigh in on this post. I have to say, this is probably the most fun I've had yet, and suspect that this isn't the last we'll hear of the "Morale Marauder" (or others in his motley gang of thugs). Someday, I have faith that managers will figure these things out on their own.` In the meantime, I have both your blogs and others in my blog roll to restore my faith in business possibilities.

scott hampton

My dad ran the worlds first corporate barcode rollout for inventory management in retail back in the 70's. When they got done, management wanted to give everyone a little plaque.

My dad told the execs what he thought of this plan. "Say thank you with money."

He still has the plaque, and he soon had a new job that paid better. Somewhere else.

John Wohn

As the dot com bubble was bursting, I worked at a software company in its final throes. Budgets were frozen, some one got laid off every week, etc. In the midst of this, the sales organization came up with a new slogan meant to energize the company ("Get your game on" or some such silliness). To instill this in everyone, they gave each employee a water bottle with this slogan printed on it. I worked in a small satellite office with only about 8 people in it. The headquarters fed-exed our water bottles to us, in 8 separate fed ex packages, all sent to the same address. This ignorant waste of money did wonders for morale in our office.

Lucia Mancuso

Oh my

I just read you post and all the comments - and can't stop laughing. I thought I was the only one. It is funny how that happens.
Now that I run my own company all I think of is bonus cash - I would never give them anything else - lets be real here - you wanna motivate your staff - CASH people - CASH - or a cheque - it will work every time.

I don't even really believe in gift certificates - unless you are positive it is for something they will use (I gave my employees itune gift certificates once because I know that they spend there money on it - I was positive and knew it was something they would consider cash - with a little more effort, but besides that CASH CASH CASH,

I have one more thing to say:

Timothy Johnson

Scott - great story... plaques do make wonderful paperweights and (if heavy enough) a suitable doorstop.

John - look on the upside, think of how much the useless motivational trinket business helps the economy through keeping Fed Ex and UPS alive.

Lucia - not sure Herzberg's Theory of Motivation would agree with you, but everyone seems to be in consensus that useless trinkets DO NOT motivate.

Robert Hruzek

I remember a poster on an engineer's wall: "I shoot every third salesman, and the second one just left."

Perhaps that might be a good use for that inspirational coffee mug... less noise.

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