An interesting story caught my eye today. Apparently, an employee decided not to come to work…for 12 years. Amazingly, the paychecks never stopped.
It reminded me of this exchange from the movie ‘Office Space’:
Peter Gibbons: …. I uh, I don’t like my job, and, uh, I don’t think I’m gonna go anymore. Joanna: You’re just not gonna go? Peter Gibbons: Yeah. Joanna: Won’t you get fired? Peter Gibbons: I don’t know, but I really don’t like it, and, uh, I’m not gonna go. Joanna: So you’re gonna quit? Peter Gibbons: Nuh-uh. Not really. Uh… I’m just gonna stop going. Joanna: When did you decide all that? Peter Gibbons: About an hour ago. Joanna: Oh, really? About an hour ago… so you’re gonna get another job? Peter Gibbons: I don’t think I’d like another job. Joanna: Well, what are you going to do about money and bills and… Peter Gibbons: You know, I’ve never really liked paying bills. I don’t think I’m gonna do that, either.
I’m going out on a limb and am guessing that this is a leadership problem. I cannot fathom how a boss can have a name show up on some budget or checklist for that long and never make the effort to go and meet the team. Once again, this reinforces the need to go to gemba often.
I think the real lesson in all of this, though, is that after five or six years of unanswered messages from someone on your staff, you really should check on them.