Employee Sabotage

“Fools say they learn by experience. I prefer to profit by other people’s experience.” Otto Von Bismarck

Learning from our own history and the collective history of those who came before us is an underappreciated skill. 

How often in your own history have you been sabotaged? 

What about the times when you sabotage yourself with shortsighted decisions?

General William Donovan is often referred to as the ‘Father of American Intelligence. He was extremely cutting edge in his methods and tactics. 

When he commissioned the publication of The Simple Sabotage Field Manual No. 3, he was trying to help America find an edge.The short manual served as a guide during World War II to use everyday citizens to harass and demoralize the enemy.

We all have allies and enemies in our world today, sometimes even in our own head or at times in our own organizations. There is an art to how organizations can sabotage you and your work. 

Managers and Supervisors today still practice the same kind of sabotage that was encouraged by Will Donovan’s team of intelligence officers in the early 20th century.

Direct from the 1944 Field Manual, here is a list of what not do, unless you want to sabotage yourself and others:

Work slowly. Think out ways to increase the number of movements necessary on your job: use a light hammer instead of a heavy one, try to make a small wrench do when a big one is necessary, use little force where considerable force is needed, and so on.

Contrive as many interruptions to your work as you can: when changing the material on which you are working, as you would on a lathe or punch, take needless time to do it. If you are cutting, shaping, or doing other measured work, measure dimensions twice as often as you need to. When you go to the lavatory, spend a longer time there than is necessary.

Forget tools so that you will have to go back after them.

Even if you understand the language, pretend not to understand instructions in a foreign tongue.

Pretend that instructions are hard to understand, and ask to have them repeated more than once. Or pretend that you are particularly anxious to do your work, and pester the foreman with unnecessary questions.

Do your work poorly and blame it on bad tools, machinery, or equipment. Complain that these things are preventing you from doing your job right.

Never pass on your skill and experiences to a new or less skillful worker.

Snarl up administration in every possible way. Fill out forms illegibly so that they will have to be done over; make mistakes or omit requested information in forms.

If possible, join or help organize a group for presenting employee problems to the management. SEe that the procedures adopted are as inconvenient as possible for the management, involving the presence of a larger number of employees at each presentation, entailing more than one meeting for each grievance, bringing up problems which are largely imaginary, and so on.

Misroute materials.

Mix good parts with unusable scrap and rejected parts.

Everyday we make many decisions.

Over a long enough period of time, those decisions stack up to create our life and who we are. 

Avoid sabotage. Find your own edge. Learn from your mistakes. And write your new history.

Not only does it help you get better results, it also helps you live a better life.

The Real Con 025

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