As the times have changed, so has the way people communicate.

At work, people would talk on the phone or face-to-face, and communication would be spread. A memo might be sent out or a poster on a bulletin board.

But now, as I start my new job, the only phrase I hear is “CYA”.

Cover Your Ass.

I have a whole folder on my desktop labeled ‘CYA’ and I throw everything in to it. There is no organization, just a punch of folders, pictures, orders, etc.

When someone is having problems, or encounters a problem, instead of picking up the phone and talking it out, everyone is emailing each other. This is a sort of way of creating a ‘paper trail’ so that if shit goes wrong, you have evidence that it’s not you… or maybe it is.

I receive hundreds of emails within a week discussing something simple as changing a date on an order.

At my previous job, it was the same thing. We had to copy, re-copy, and forward all emails to people to indicate what needed changed.

I know that our world is changing. Things aren’t like they used to be when I was younger.

People today can’t be trusted with a simple date change, because it will turn into a ‘he-said-she-said’ ordeal. No one wants to take responsibility for their own actions or their own mistakes. Therefore, everyone is CYAing all over the office.

Instead of having a situation like this: “Oh, yea, it was me. I was talking to Joe and he said Tuesday, but then called back later and asked for Wednesday.” – Everyone says okay, and changes the date.

Well not today. In today’s world, the people are wondering if Joe ever called. This whole phone conversation could be a fallacy. Then, he’s throwing Joe under the bus for the mistake of the date.

So now, everything is requested by email, copied, saved, and filed away in case someone wants to know who got the date wrong.

Furthermore, I think it’s encouraging people to shy away from anything. For example, “I’m not going to work on this. I don’t want to be the one responsible for it.”

Because they know, if shit hits the fan… it’s just on them. God forbid anyone makes a mistake. Now, this person is fearing that he/she is going to be fired!

Trust me, I’ve seen it happen.

Basically, in a nutshell, the way I’ve been trained at work is to just keep your head down, save everything, do your job, and leave. Don’t take on anything, because it might fail and you’re going to be fired.

No one wants anything to do with anyone else… except when there’s a problem and someone is blamed.

But! At least you can say, “I’ve got my ass covered!”


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