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Is everybody incompetent (except me)?

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  • Is everybody incompetent (except me)?

    Some days I feel like I'm the only person who has a friggin clue what the heck I'm doing. And while this isn't directly a financial topic, in many ways it is.

    Example #1: We got the bill for our synagogue dues last week. The fiscal year begins 7/1. We have always been on a quarterly billing schedule. They screwed up and billed us for the whole year at once, $2,832. I emailed them and said it should be quarterly billing. I got a response today apologizing and with a new invoice saying our quarterly bill is $177. How they heck did they come up with $177 being one quarter of $2,832? It should be $708/quarter. I emailed them again and got a reply a short time later apologizing and saying I'm correct and they sent another corrected invoice. And this is from the bookkeeper who handles all of the financial stuff for the organization. That really instills confidence. The annual operating budget is a little shy of $2 million so this isn't a small operation.

    Example #2: We had an appointment last week to have our gas meter replaced. I devoted my morning to sitting around and waiting for them to show up. The guy finally gets there (within the window they provided), takes one look at our meter, and says he needs to replace the regulator too but he doesn't have one of those with him so we'll have to reschedule. I rescheduled for today and again devoted my morning to waiting for him to come. A different guy comes this time. I tell him what happened last week and he says that piece doesn't need to be replaced. He only needs to replace the meter. He proceeds to do that, finishes us, and goes on his way. All is well, I thought.

    Example #3: A while later I go out to run some errands and see a 3-foot pipe sticking up from the ground near the curb where the gas shut off valve is. Apparently he left the tool they use to turn off service so the big pipe is there and the cap for the valve access is sitting loose on the ground.

    Example #4: I call the gas company to report this. The automated system says wait time is 10 minutes. 20 minutes later someone finally takes my call. I explain the problem and she says, "Their tools are very expensive. I'm sure they wouldn't have left anything behind. They must be coming back to finish the work." I'm 100% sure that is not true of course. She proceeds to check my account to see if there are any notes about the job still being pending. Finally she comes back on and says my account shows the job was completed and nothing is outstanding. No kidding. Only then, after patronizing me and basically telling me I didn't know what I was talking about, she said she'll escalate the call to a supervisor to get it taken care of. Let's see how long it takes for them to actually come out and take care of this. I'm willing to bet it takes at least one more phone call and another 15-20 minutes of my time.

    I could go on and on with examples of incompetence every where I look but these things all happened within just the past week. If a bookkeeper can't send out accurate bills, that's got to have a serious impact on the finances of the business. Plus how many congregants got incorrect bills and didn't catch the error and over or underpaid what they owe?

    As for the gas company, one of the two techs who came out was wrong. Did that regulator need to be replaced or not? I have no idea, but I wasn't rescheduling a 3rd time. And the customer service rep who immediately assumes that the customer is wrong when they call with a concern certainly isn't providing very good customer service, especially when it quickly becomes apparent that the customer is correct after all.

    It seems like it gets harder and harder to get anything done correctly the first time and you need to watch everybody like a hawk and review every detail and every statement to make sure it's correct because nobody seems to be able to do their job properly anymore. It almost makes you want to buy a few acres in the middle of nowhere and go off the grid.
    Steve

    * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
    * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
    * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

  • #2
    Totally, its like everyone is looking for a "hack". They want a fast and easy fix when they forget (or never learned) that excellence takes work and effort. Its the same with building wealth or saving money, you have to work at it.
    james.c.hendrickson@gmail.com
    202.468.6043

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    • #3
      i notice stuff like this all the time. incompetence is the status quo nowadays

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      • #4
        Originally posted by ~bs View Post
        i notice stuff like this all the time. incompetence is the status quo nowadays
        That certainly seems to be the case. I see it regularly too. It's really a sad state of affairs.
        Steve

        * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
        * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
        * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

        Comment


        • #5
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDGyPRr9-AE

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          • #6
            Yep. I referenced that on another forum I'm in when I shared the same story.
            Steve

            * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
            * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
            * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

            Comment


            • #7
              Yep everyone is incompetent! It's so frigging annoying! I double and triple check everything! It's sad that my young adult kids 23,21 & 18 have experienced things always being done wrong and have the same attitude as their mother, but at least they know to always check things so they don't get screwed.

              I've been yapping for years no one does their jobs right anymore. You know why? Because no one is held accountable. Why don't people get fired anymore? I've been working for 31 years and have only known a couple of people who have gotten fired. And believe me way more incompetents have worked with me and kept their jobs until they wanted to leave.

              Whenever I hear any politician saying American's are the best workers,I cringe. Maybe at one time, but not anymore! For me I saw a change over in 1996 when a lot of older workers I worked with retired. Nothing has been done right since, in my world anyway.

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              • #8
                I blame microwaves and the internet.

                Microwaves taught America that you really can have everything you want in 5-10 minutes. The internet taught America that by the power of the internet, you can always have the "right" answer, all of your 10,000 friends deeply value your inane opinions, and you can have anything in the world with free 2-day shipping. #mikedrop

                P.S. "hashtags" are one of the most idiotic ideas of the 21st century.
                "Praestantia per minutus" ... "Acta non verba"

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Thrif-t View Post
                  I've been yapping for years no one does their jobs right anymore. You know why? Because no one is held accountable. Why don't people get fired anymore?
                  Great point. I think you're right. Why strive to do your best when you can skate by and get paid just as much and with no consequences?

                  Why don't people get fired? I suspect there's a few reasons. One is that especially during a time of low unemployment, it's not so easy to replace people so better to have someone doing a mediocre job than nothing at all getting done. There's also a cost both in time and resources in hiring and training new employees.

                  Another issue is liability risk. God forbid you fire a woman or minority or older worker. You'll probably be served with a discrimination lawsuit shortly afterwards. And even if the person's incompetence is well-documented and you win the case, the stress and cost and disruption along the way isn't worth it.
                  Steve

                  * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                  * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                  * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by kork13 View Post
                    The internet taught America that by the power of the internet, you can always have the "right" answer, all of your 10,000 friends deeply value your inane opinions, and you can have anything in the world with free 2-day shipping.
                    And yet I see so many people who don't even think to tap Google when they have a question or need directions or instructions that are literally waiting at their fingertips. I always look like the genius in the room when everyone is debating something and in 10 seconds I have the answer on my phone.
                    Steve

                    * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                    * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                    * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Kind of just sounds like older folks griping to me. I'm guilty of it as well at times.
                      Every generation says it ...... "Young folks these days will never amount to anything, they can't do anything right"

                      You got your church bill straightened out and your gas meter fixed and nobody got hurt.
                      Be happy, it's free.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Fishindude77 View Post
                        Kind of just sounds like older folks griping to me. I'm guilty of it as well at times.
                        Every generation says it ...... "Young folks these days will never amount to anything, they can't do anything right"

                        You got your church bill straightened out and your gas meter fixed and nobody got hurt.
                        Be happy, it's free.
                        I don't think I mentioned anything about the age of the incompetent folks. Honestly, I see it with workers of all ages so I don't think it's a generational thing. I am not a person you will ever hear millennial bashing.

                        It shouldn't take 3 tries and 2 emails to get a correct bill.

                        I don't yet know how many phone calls it will take to get the gas issue corrected. I've made one so far but as of this morning it wasn't fixed yet. I'm sure it probably will take at least one more.

                        Just yesterday my wife was reading a bulletin article written by the President of an organization we belong to. This is a woman in her 50s. My wife commented that the grammar and sentence structure and typos were so bad she was having difficulty getting through it and figuring out what was being said. I opened it and read it and totally agreed. Certainly some people just aren't great writers and that's fine, but then get someone else to proofread and edit for you. Don't send it out like that. Take some pride in your work and what you present to the world.

                        Why should I be happy that I had to waste my time going back and forth with the bookkeeper to get my bill fixed or sitting on hold for 20 minutes to be insulted by customer service and the problem still not be fixed? I've got better things to do with my time than clean up other people's messes.
                        Steve

                        * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                        * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                        * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          all generations have their own forms of incompetence. trying to get the average baby boomer to do anything new on the computer is like pulling teeth. I was instructing one of my subordinates today, and omg so slow, whereas my student intern would pick it up immediately. Then start playing on their phone after they finish the task. lol
                          Last edited by ~bs; 07-11-2019, 04:46 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Fishindude77 View Post
                            Kind of just sounds like older folks griping to me. I'm guilty of it as well at times.
                            Every generation says it ...... "Young folks these days will never amount to anything, they can't do anything right"
                            I'm only 32 myself, so it's often my cohort that people are complaining about. But I'm not saying anything about young (or old) people -- merely that people have become lazy. People try to get by with the fastest, simplest, lowest-effort answer to get anything done. There's no critical thought, no attempt to verify results or to validate that you have the BEST solution to a problem, let alone LEARN from the problem/solution to ensure it doesn't recur. People just want to get it done fast and be rid of the problem and move on to the next thing (often, scrolling mindlessly through Facebook).
                            "Praestantia per minutus" ... "Acta non verba"

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                            • #15
                              Start looking for the people doing the right things! What you focus on expands. There are many, many competent people in this world.
                              My other blog is Your Organized Friend.

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