Useless Procedures with Annoying Results

You obviously encountered some useless procedures until now and not only they don’t solve anything, but they are really annoying. The thing is that these procedures were implemented because something bad happened at some point. Or maybe someone has imagined that without such a procedure there is a chance, no matter how small, for the bad thing to take place again.

useless procedures

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This is the stumbling block of every company, the procedures which employees execute without understanding or challenging them in any way.

The most annoying thing is that some of these anomalies are applied only by a few companies (or even just one company) in the same industry. It’s obviously just a brainwave of that company, some sort of brainwave which doesn’t necessarily make sense. I am not talking about legal requirements which have their fair share of abnormalities, however all the companies from the industry and not only them need to comply.

For example, there is this airline, no need to mention the name, which checks the boarding pass again when you board. The result is an obvious delay for those waiting in line to board. These checks are usually performed when you enter the security area, at the boarding gate, so why not do it again when actually boarding? It’s very likely that the origin of the procedure dates back to when a passenger ended by mistake (or intentionally) on a different plane. This clearly doesn’t mean that every employee and passenger needs to be punished for this.

Let’s see what other annoying procedures we can introduce:

After POS pay and introducing the pin code, having to sign a receipt that states: “Pin authorized, signature is no longer needed”;

Restricting the internet/social media usage at work because this will make employees more productive. As if they cannot use their own data on the personal phone. Even better, let’s restrict the use of personal phones while at work, but only for some, managers are exempt;

Let’s limit the number of visits every employee makes to use the potty; as if this would solve the problem of a lazy employee who takes over the throne for 30 minutes a day;

Using company resources for their own benefit, with the implicit hypocrisy note. I mean I can’t use the phone or email to get in touch with my family, but it’s totally fine to use them for working after hours.

By imposing procedures such as these, the employer shows his own fears, nothing else. It’s like forbidding your kid to runaround because he/she may fall and bruise his/her knees. You are enforcing this “running is not allowed” policy for the greater good. No matter if you intentionally lower the kid’s self-confidence and increase frustration when they see other children running – the important thing is that you are at ease.

Restricting or imposing procedures that have absolutely no benefits will bring you, sooner or later, to losing some good employees. As a result you may even end up getting stuck with the less good ones – if we were to express this in a politically correct manner.

You should be able, as employee, to go to your managers and tell them that a certain procedure does not make sense,  doesn’t bring any benefits and should be cancelled or replaced by something more up to date. Worst case scenario you are told to take a hike, this is how things were done and there is nothing we can change – even if the topic is the use of the typewriter. At least you tried.

Good luck succeeding! But beware of the procedure…

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