This is a term I use for the system by which progress is tabulated with numbers for those management personnel who rely solely on computerized data for information. These are the same type of people that adore automatically generated graphs and charts for visual appeal purposes. These programs that crunch numbers into various holes alleviate those in charge of any disersement of said information that requires acutal cognitive thought.

When we were still on a PRO list with Allstate (preferred auto repair shop) we would be given a thick packet each month full of charts and graphs and percentages, comparing our shop with other body shops, Allstate as a company and with Tony as Allstate's contact for our shop. How can you compare the success rate of a body shop with that of an insurance company or an individual? Each time we got this packet, I was always completely confused as to what statements these visual aids were trying to make. Were we doing well? Did we need improvement, and if so, in what areas?

Recently the owner of the dealership decreed that those who receive overtime would no longer do so. And I can imagine how this came to be. All the managers of all the departments got together and tallied up all the overtime employees that were paid hourly were collecting from each work week. They theorized that if they didn't have to pay this amount, less the raw hourly pay, this new figure would be money they could save, i.e. apply to other ventures, line their own pockets or pay off debts. But they neglected to realize a few minor details. Those who get paid hourly are mostly in the accounting office and new car get ready (those porters that wash and clean cars that are sold). The hours required of both these departments exceed 40 hours, whether overtime is applied or not. Also, I thought this sort of practice was illiegal, to require employees to work more than 40 hours a week and not pay them accordingly. The accounting office, who handles all the bills and payroll, is not one I would piss off by cutting overtime, but then again that's just me.

The other two people who were going to be affected work in my office, a department that is required to be open and fully staffed for ten hours a day, five days a week. Once they found out about the cut on overtime, they seriously considered walking out and quitting right there.

All this to save a few bucks, to cut money so that management can look good. To piss off loyal employees that are not so simply replaced if they walk off the job in disgust. This is one of the things that disgusts me about management and industries like ours. People in high positions rely on number crunching to validate their decisions, which ultimately affect human beings somewhere down the line. Did they think that we would just sit there like lemmings once our one benefit for long hours was taken from us? How stupid do they think we... oh never mind. I'm sure they know. When these morons went for those treasured business degrees, did anyone teach them the art of cause and effect, as in how decisions made affect the whole system?

I'm not saying that all who rely on numbers to mark progress are idiots, but I think it's safe to say that part of the reliance comes from the comfort of anonymity. Pieces of paper verses faces and families. Maybe they teach emotional distance and neutrality in business school instead of common sense. And maybe I'm shooting myself in the foot here, because if corporations didn't to some degree rely on figures that are squirted out of a database, little would get done. But we're not Coca-Cola. This isn't Sony. Our dealership is staffed by maybe 200 people in total, counting all 5 departments. We all use the same parking lots and bathrooms, we all eat from the same two snack machines. We know where the big man's office is and what he drives.

If you're gonna fuck me with number crunching, you better not let yourself be found, because I am much more than a number.

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