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Author: qazulight Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 459112  
Subject: A BP moment Date: 1/2/2013 8:59 PM
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Today I was at a small relay station. Not really a Central Office, not really a Remote Terminal Hut. A fiber optic repeater station. It is unmanned. The power tech that was assigned to it retired. I think he retired in place and then just went home after a couple of years.

The best I can tell, the alarms have not worked in this station for a couple of years. The co-worker and I were talking about his attitude. It is foreign to us. However, after I mentioned that the upper management is giving my supervisor a hard time about my numbers.

My co-worker asked, "I wonder if I would have the same don't care attitude if I had already made my retirement, and the company kept hitting me for numbers instead of quality work?"

I said "I don't know, but I do know that the company is heading toward a BP moment."

We keep pushing for more efficiency, this is a necessary thing as the culture has incentive built in for inefficiency. I.E. One first line manager for no less than 8 people, one Second level manager for 8 to 12 first line managers and so on. If a manager loses too many people he loses his job. So the incentive for the lower level managers is to keep the craftsmen as busy as they can on things that turn the blocks green on the executives spreadsheets. The only downside to this is that craftsmen become discouraged and actual work does not get done.

Further, failures tend to be buried.

In this case, the alarms either did not work because of a fiber optic rearrange and the previous power tech found it expedient to pencil whip the alarm tests, or a false alarm came in an the power tech found it expedient to snip a wire rather than find and correct the problem.

In either case, it worked out for him. He retired, I get to find and repair the problem. The numbers worked out for his boss, as they looked good and nothing bad happened.

The problem is, bad things will happen. Bad things have happened. We have lost an entire central office on a sunny day. Most of the power alarms were not working and the one redundant alarm was ignored. (Why not, it must be a false alarm, no alarms came in.) No one was fired. It was a small insignificant office.

However, the numbers guys keep tightening up. Just like the bean counters at BP did. One day there will be a BP moment. For guy like me, it is a lot like trying to out run a lion. I know I cannot get away, but I can only try to run faster than everyone else so someone else gets eaten. I don't know if it will be my company or another, or if it is my company if it will be in my market area, all I can do is make sure it isn't in one of my central offices.

This seems to be the accepted operating procedure for all of corporate America, and the U.S. Government. As we worked we wondered out loud if 911, Bengazi, the mine explosion, BP and the flash crashes were not related to the same spread sheet fixation.

Cheers
Qazulight
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Author: OrmontUS Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 412644 of 459112
Subject: Re: A BP moment Date: 1/2/2013 9:30 PM
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I've been finding a parallel problem with telephone customer support. Whether it's Verizon (the local telco) or Cablevision/Optimum (the local cable TV company) or ConEd (the local electrical utility) or pharmaceutical insurance companies or ... well most outfits, waits of 20-30 minutes to speak to the first human (after figuring out how to fool the automated system to actually allow you to speak to one) are almost a given. Then there's a 50% or better chance that they are not the right party (said party rarely has a direct phone number) and you're into another long wait.

When you finally speak to them on the phone, five or six times during the conversation they will say "is it OK if I put you on hold for 2-3 minutes while I check on that sir" and again you're listening to Greensleeves or Vivaldi played over and over again. God forbid you ask to speak to a supervisor - that's good for another wait. Sometimes the recording just says leave a message and we'll get back to you which means more waiting - hoping for the phone to ring like a teenage girl after a dance.

While companies who support their customers earn their respect, these companies, who feel like they have a semi-monopoly seem to think that the savings on employees is worth customers who hate them and, given the chance would choose almost any alternative.

Jeff

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Author: tedhimself Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 412647 of 459112
Subject: Re: A BP moment Date: 1/2/2013 9:43 PM
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they will say "is it OK if I put you on hold for 2-3 minutes while I check on that sir"

Worse than that, the music on hold generally sounds like a worn out 8 track tape, full of drop outs and scratches and filled with voice interruptions to tell you that your call is important. Every time I hear the recorded voice it interrupts my efforts at being productive while I wait because I think "Hooray a human."
Ted

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Author: WatchingTheHerd Big red star, 1000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 412657 of 459112
Subject: Re: A BP moment Date: 1/2/2013 11:04 PM
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A fiber repeater station. I know exactly what you're talking about.

-------------------------

True story.

On my first job out of college, I managed five communication technicians who handled the duties for five central offices (two 5ESS, two 2BESS and one DMS-10 switch) and one remote, very small, fiber repeater station located on the far eastern edge of the territory of the other five offices.

The FRS station had a battery string that was probably about 12-15 years old at the time that needed replacing so Western Electric installers had been working for a few weeks setting up the new Bell cell stands, mounting the batteries in the stands, strapping their terminals together, and getting the string charged up to its nominal minus 48v potential. It had now come time to cut the new string into service and cut the old string out. A maintenance had been scheduled, the MOP reviewed and the techs and one lone manager (yer obedient scrivner WTH) show up -- like mysterious gypsies of some bizarre tribe with a hankerin' for doing phone work in the middle of the night -- for the festivities. At 1:00am.

Did I say remote? This was located about 25 miles east of the furthest CO of the group -- literally, in the middle of a corn field off a rock service road. Not a light in site unless someone cracks the door to the station open.

Did I say small? This repeater station was built up on some sort of raised platform about 4-5 feet above ground. The hut was barely larger than the footprint of the old and new battery strings, a single row of maybe four relay racks housing the NEC fiber gear and the bus bars and breakers for the power. With seven or eight people in the hut, if someone wanted to move, someone else had to move as well.

Well, it's now around 2:00am and all the voltages on all of the cells on the new string look good, the entire string is within a few tenths of a volt of the old string, we've tested all of the power alarms through the DANTEL alert mux back to the Switching Control Center (SCC before they were called NOCs) and we've now come to the magic moment. Everything has been proceeding on schedule according to the MOP (method of procedure). At that point, I'm standing next to my comm tech who is there to "cover" the Western Electric installers (a union requirement any time vendor labor shows up to do work).

While we're standing watching, the Western Electric installer, I think his nickname was "Animal" -- they were all nicknamed Animal for some reason -- is just staring intently at his drawings of the power connections then staring at the actual physical power connections on the buss bars in front of him. Noting how smoothly things are going, I lean a little closer to my comm tech and kid him -- and yes, I was KIDDING and he knew I was kidding at the time -- "Hey... this is pretty easy money, ain't it?"

The words were still leaving my lips when the installer turns around, looks at my tech for a minute with a puzzled look on his face then says "Can you come here and take a look at this?"

A few of us shuffle around to make room to move to the other side of the hut by the power section and my tech starts looking at the drawing, then looking at the power connections, back and forth, back and forth. This goes on for about four minutes, then my tech finally says, "Uh, no, that drawing's wrong, you need to bolt the new string connection onto that lug on that buss bar there, not the one on the drawing. If we follow the drawing, you'll short out the string."

Had the tech followed the drawing, basically he would have shorted out the -48v battery string and probably blown us all to pieces. And at 2:00am on a pitch black night in the middle of a corn field in the middle of nowhere in February with the temperature at 23 degrees, no one would have even heard it.

At that point, my tech shuffled back around to resume his spot standing next to me. After standing there for a few seconds for dramatic effect, he leaned closer to me and said... "Pretty easy money, huh?"

-------------------------

As I said, I know exactly what you're talking about. I knew then (despite my kidding of my tech) and know now that virtually everything I do as a manager involves little pockets of "private information" that people all around me have about whatever it is that drives the business we're in. As a manager, you have two options. You can

a) treat everyone with respect and ensure you communicate and operate the business in a way that makes it clear to people that the truth is always welcome, even if it's bad news

or

b) treat those around you like **** and at best, make them fear telling you bad news that, if acted upon in time, can save the company or -- worse -- make people actively hide bad news from you in a subliminal attempt to sabotage you, if not the entire company.

I'm amazed how many "leaders" opt for plan B.

In the case of "bean counters" and "finance types," it's puzzling how so many can escape a Business School education (BS or MBA) without understanding the differences between financial and managerial accounting. In a nutshell, FINANCIAL accounting can tell you if you're making or losing money, it can tell you who owes you money or who you owe money to, it can ensure you keep your taxes paid and it can keep you from going to jail for filing faulty numbers. MANAGERIAL accounting can tell you about the quality of your products and services, where your productivity issues exist and where processes are drifting "out of spec" which may be the harbinger of financial or legal problems to come. Letting the "finance guys" run a company is virtually guaranteed to produce the penny-wise, pound-foolish issues you mentioned.


WTH

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Author: Dwdonhoff Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 412663 of 459112
Subject: Re: A BP moment Date: 1/2/2013 11:57 PM
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In this case, the alarms either did not work because of a fiber optic rearrange and the previous power tech found it expedient to pencil whip the alarm tests, or a false alarm came in an the power tech found it expedient to snip a wire rather than find and correct the problem.


Bahh... Who is John Galt!

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Author: steve203 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 412666 of 459112
Subject: Re: A BP moment Date: 1/3/2013 12:06 AM
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The best I can tell, the alarms have not worked in this station for a couple of years.

When my Uncle was doing installation for Western Electric in the 60s, he said he was working in a CO one day when an alarm went off. The Bell guy that was will him shrugged "that's just a first level alarm" and ignored it.

As I recall, there was a case several years ago, where the CO that carried all the comm traffic for one of the NYC airports went down. Some guy with a backhoe had taken out the power cables, but no alarms sounded in the CO, because they had been disconnected. The diesels didn't start, because they had not been maintained. The alarms that were designed to warn of a failure of the diesels did not work either. So the CO ran off batteries, with staff completly clueless, until the batteries died.

It's the same all over USian business. You get ahead by telling management what it wants to hear. Messengers get shot. Failures are blamed on "rogue" employees, the union or the government.

This entire country is a "BP moment" waiting to happen, like it did in fall 2008....notice how that was blamed on "big gummit forced us to lend to poor risks"

In the case of residential phone service, the ball is being passed off to the homeowners. Phone service by U-Verse or cable company depends on the homeowner's own backup power supply in a power failure. It's up to the homeowner to replace the battery on schedue (as if they will, heh), and even if it is maintained, it will only run the phone for about 4 hours. Adios POTS service that would work for days on Ma Bell's generators, because it costs a bit more, and that hurts profits.

Steve...has POTS

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Author: zenbro Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 412673 of 459112
Subject: Re: A BP moment Date: 1/3/2013 6:19 AM
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Qaz, it's the exact same story in Michigan !

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Author: notehound Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 412676 of 459112
Subject: Re: A BP moment Date: 1/3/2013 7:09 AM
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It's the same all over USian business. You get ahead by telling management what it wants to hear. Messengers get shot. Failures are blamed on "rogue" employees, the union or the government. [Emphasis added.]

One might reasonably expect that businesses in Europe, China, Brazil, Russia, India and even Canada operate on the same principles to varying degrees. Sounds like government bureaucracies and businesses have a lot in common, too.

The universal Peter Principle is always at work (together with its cousin, sycophancy).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Principle

http://www.yourdictionary.com/sycophancy

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Author: tim443 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 412682 of 459112
Subject: Re: A BP moment Date: 1/3/2013 7:49 AM
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In regulated industries competent regulators can usually get management's attention?

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Author: rubberthinking Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 412685 of 459112
Subject: Re: A BP moment Date: 1/3/2013 8:02 AM
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PINK FLOYD LYRICS

"Have A Cigar"

Come in here, dear boy, have a cigar.
You're gonna go far, you're gonna fly high,
You're never gonna die, you're gonna make it if you try;they're gonna love you.
Well I've always had a deep respect, and I mean that most sincerely.
The band is just fantastic, that is really what I think.
Oh by the way, which one's Pink?
And did we tell you the name of the game, boy
we call it Riding the Gravy Train.
We're just knocked out.
We heard about the sell out.
You gotta get an album out,
You owe it to the people. We're so happy we can hardly count.
Everybody else is just green, have you seen the chart?
It's a helluva start, it could be made into a monster
if we all pull together as a team.
And did we tell you the name of the game, boy
we call it Riding the Gravy Trail.

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Author: qazulight Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 412690 of 459112
Subject: Re: A BP moment Date: 1/3/2013 8:31 AM
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Qaz, it's the exact same story in Michigan

Just remember, your not trying to outrun the lion. Just the Texans.

Cheers
Qazulight

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Author: Beridian Big red star, 1000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 412692 of 459112
Subject: Re: A BP moment Date: 1/3/2013 8:36 AM
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However, the numbers guys keep tightening up. Just like the bean counters at BP did. One day there will be a BP moment. For guy like me, it is a lot like trying to out run a lion. I know I cannot get away, but I can only try to run faster than everyone else so someone else gets eaten. I don't know if it will be my company or another, or if it is my company if it will be in my market area, all I can do is make sure it isn't in one of my central offices.


Management sets a goal defined by some number and we strive to deliver that number, often to the exclusion of other important tasks. The problem is that the goal often has very little to do with our real jobs or taking care of the customers and the business. Early in my career an astute manager told me "we do not count things so much because they are important, we count them because they are easy to count".

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Author: tim443 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 412694 of 459112
Subject: Re: A BP moment Date: 1/3/2013 9:04 AM
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I have a feeling such nonsense is starting to get noticed by people who can do something to change it?


Tim



http://www.foxbusiness.com/news/2013/01/02/phillips-66-conoc...

Phillips 66, ConocoPhillips Accused of Violating California Hazardous Waste Laws


By (Updates with Phillips 66 response.)

Published January 02, 2013

Dow Jones Newswires

Phillips 66 (PSX) and ConocoPhillips (COP) have been accused of violating California environmental laws by failing to properly maintain underground gas storage tanks, the state's attorney general's office said.

In a civil lawsuit filed in Alameda County Superior Court, the state accused the companies of tampering with leak detection devices, and failing to test secondary containment systems and maintain alarm systems, among other violations.

...

The companies were also accused of improperly handling and disposing of hazardous wastes associated with the tanks, which are used to store fuel for retail sale at more than 560 California gas stations.

...


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Author: rharmelink Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 412703 of 459112
Subject: Re: A BP moment Date: 1/3/2013 11:10 AM
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Management sets a goal defined by some number and we strive to deliver that number, often to the exclusion of other important tasks.

I used to work for an insurance company. At one point, the executives were offered juicy incentives to achieve a goal -- double the premium volume in five years.

They achieved the goal. By buying out poorly performing insurance companies, cheaply, just to get their book of business and premium volume. However, their premiums were insufficient to cover the expected losses of the policies they'd already written, so the end result was NOT beneficial to the main company.

Just one more example of a good plan that festered with unintended consequences.

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Author: sykesix Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 412711 of 459112
Subject: Re: A BP moment Date: 1/3/2013 3:01 PM
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b) treat those around you like **** and at best, make them fear telling you bad news that, if acted upon in time, can save the company or -- worse -- make people actively hide bad news from you in a subliminal attempt to sabotage you, if not the entire company.

I'm amazed how many "leaders" opt for plan B.


A number of airline crashes have been attributed to a co-pilot's fear of correcting a mistake by the pilot.

http://www.publicspeakingtoolkit.com/ethnic-theory-of-plane-...

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Author: tim443 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 412713 of 459112
Subject: Re: A BP moment Date: 1/3/2013 3:49 PM
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A number of airline crashes have been attributed to a co-pilot's fear of correcting a mistake by the pilot.

Transit flight back to Greenwood NS in a CP107 Argus after a NATO exercise in the Med (late 1980 the last year the Argus flew), we had been operating out of Gibraltar.

<paraphrasing a bit as I don’t recall the exact dialogue>

Radar: Pilot Radar I have a heavy weather line 110 miles across our route.
Pilot: I’m visual between layers Radar.
Radar: Roger.

Radar (15 minutes later): Pilot Radar that weather line is 60 miles, looking really heavy and has hooks***.
Pilot (exasperated): Radar I have good vis ahead.
Radar: Roger

Radar (10 minutes later): Pilot Radar that weather line in solid no breaks and right across our path 20 miles.
Pilot: Radar I’m visual ahead nothing serious.
Radar: Roger

Pilot (fearful while aircraft is thrown all over the sky): Radar I’m in heavy hail and thundershowers get us out of here!
Radar: Pilot you are half way through might as well keep going now.
Lead AESOP (my boss comes running up from his bridge game while bouncing off the walls): Tim why didn’t you tell the pilot about this!!!
Radar (off intercom): I did three times.

*** indicates heavy thunderstorms possibly including hail

We landed in Lajes, Azores with one oil cooler blown (engine feathered) and three damaged. There was other damage as well but that was the one that could easily have kill all of us.

The pilot (a major) who had been working staff jobs for some years and had just returned to flying apologized to me in front of the whole crew while the CC (crew commander but captain rank who had also been in the same bridge game) glared at him. He then turned on the young brand new co-pilot who hadn’t said a thing during the whole episode and tore several strips off him as well.

Sometimes there is only so much you can do.

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Author: zenbro Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 412719 of 459112
Subject: Re: A BP moment Date: 1/3/2013 5:54 PM
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Qaz, it's the exact same story in Michigan

Just remember, your not trying to outrun the lion. Just the Texans
--------------------------------------------------------------

the Lions are dead and buried, not so sure about the Texans, they've
been fading as the year went by, but I'm a fan of JJ (S)Watt, he's a Michigan boy.

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Author: warrl Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 412750 of 459112
Subject: Re: A BP moment Date: 1/4/2013 12:53 AM
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In regulated industries competent regulators can usually get management's attention?

In regulated industries, a competent regulator probably does not get paid as well as a competent FORMER regulator now working to help a regulated company appear to comply with the regulations, and to get the regulations altered so they are less expensive to appear to comply with.

Therefore the competent regulators, in their own self-interest, tend to want to be on friendly terms with the companies they regulate.

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Author: tim443 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 412758 of 459112
Subject: Re: A BP moment Date: 1/4/2013 8:38 AM
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In regulated industries, a competent regulator probably does not get paid as well as a competent FORMER regulator now working to help a regulated company appear to comply with the regulations, and to get the regulations altered so they are less expensive to appear to comply with.

Therefore the competent regulators, in their own self-interest, tend to want to be on friendly terms with the companies they regulate.



Which is why the best regulators are former corporate climbers who got kicked off the ladder. They know the industry and where the bodies are buried but hate them. Of course they are a bit more expensive than hiring recent college grads but well worth it.

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Author: qazulight Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 412759 of 459112
Subject: Re: A BP moment Date: 1/4/2013 8:48 AM
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Tim,

I covered this in "A rotten core". The problem is the false numbers that get reported are not just a calculated dodge to get around some.specific problem. The false numbers represent a rottenness through out the corporate structure and in fact the entire business sector.

In the case of BP, BP was not the outlier. They were just the first ones the experience failure. The rot spread secretly and was hidden by the numbers.

Fortunately BP was an isolated problem and not cause a cascade failure. The power black out on the east coast was an example of a cascade failure. Isolated problems can be spectacular. Cascade failures can change the course of history.

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Author: tim443 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 412761 of 459112
Subject: Re: A BP moment Date: 1/4/2013 9:15 AM
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The false numbers represent a rottenness through out the corporate structure and in fact the entire business sector.

...

The power black out on the east coast was an example of a cascade failure.



Oh yes, I recall that all too well. The first reaction by the guilty party was to blame it on something in Ontario. In truth they had just stopped clearing trees on their part of the main power lines. RK was actually on the Canadian part of the negotiating team for the conference in Detroit to try to avoid a repeat.

Tim

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Author: BlueGrits Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 412858 of 459112
Subject: Re: A BP moment Date: 1/5/2013 12:35 PM
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You are seeing what happens when people "manage by numbers" rather than "managing WITH numbers".

People who manage with numbers seek to understand what is going on and figure out why certain trends and variations exist. They see numbers as the consequence of mgmt decisions/practices/policies as well as the result of everyday variations which go with any job. They see their jobs as ones in which they systematically work to improve both their knowledge of the system and the system itself.

Those who manage by numbers have a simpler life. They can point to a chart, yell/scream about results, and point fingers. They are tributes to the philosophy that management is itself a standalone profession, one requiring little/no knowledge of what is actually *being* managed.

And what happens to workers in a "manage by numbers" environment? They turn off, tune out, and drop out. They learn to play the game and, by god, if mgmt wants numbers then they'll get them.

Back in the day, some programmers built a code generation and checking tool, but they ran into a problem and sough guidance from their mgmt team. They could engineer the tool to make the coding generate lots of lines of code and be very inefficient. That would accomplish mgmt's goal of showing high productivity (lines of code per programmer hour). On the other hand, the tool could be structured to ver very efficient and have long lines of code. This would be good because the service team priced their support based on the number of lines of code.

The problem the programming team put to mgmt was this: Do you want the tool to be inefficient and meet your productivity goals or to be efficient and meet your goals for reduced service costs?

They never got an answer. Not only that, but one of the people directly involved told me that some in mgmt NEVER EVEN UNDERSTOOD THE QUESTION.

And that's just one example -- I could on with many others from a variety of industries.....

Truth be told, all too many "managers" are no more than administrators with little practical knowledge of what's actually being done. That cycle can be broken, but the impetus for doing so has to be from the uppermost corner office. Sadly, that seldom seems to happen.

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Author: rharmelink Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 412876 of 459112
Subject: Re: A BP moment Date: 1/5/2013 6:12 PM
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Back in the day, some programmers built a code generation and checking tool, but they ran into a problem and sough guidance from their mgmt team. They could engineer the tool to make the coding generate lots of lines of code and be very inefficient. That would accomplish mgmt's goal of showing high productivity (lines of code per programmer hour). On the other hand, the tool could be structured to ver very efficient and have long lines of code. This would be good because the service team priced their support based on the number of lines of code.

The problem the programming team put to mgmt was this: Do you want the tool to be inefficient and meet your productivity goals or to be efficient and meet your goals for reduced service costs?


Early in my career, one of my major work tasks was to try and make a program more efficient, because it typically ran for 48-72 hours during every quarterly close, bogging the whole closing process down. And if a tape broke part way through, you prayed that the checkpoints would work for a restart.

I cut the CPU cost by 80% and the run time by 75%, with one change that was extremely repetitive.

Our standards required total records -- so we could balance the total record of the input master file plus the input transactions file to the output master file.

Each record had 1285 amounts on it, and there were millions and millions of records.

The original code was something like:

-- For i from 1 to 1285
-- Add Input-master(i) to Output-master(i)
-- Next i

Subscripts used to be very CPU intensive. The replacement code was 1285 lines:

-- Add input-master(1) to output-master(1)
-- Add input-master(2) to output-master(2)
.
.
.
-- Add input-master(1285) to output-master(1285)

With fixed subscripts, the compiler had absolute addresses and no longer needed to compute the location of the array items being added from and to. I actually wrote another little program to generate those 1285 lines, because that was a lot easier than repeating a line 1285 lines and manually changing each subscript. Plus, less prone to error.

So, in this case, more lines of code was actually more efficient. :)

Never mind that the compiler should have done it automatically.

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Author: warrl Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 412904 of 459112
Subject: Re: A BP moment Date: 1/6/2013 12:28 PM
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Which is why the best regulators are former corporate climbers who got kicked off the ladder. They know the industry and where the bodies are buried but hate them. Of course they are a bit more expensive than hiring recent college grads but well worth it.

No, those are NOT the best regulators. Those are (some of) the most vicious regulators - the ones who propose and enforce regulations with the intent of shutting the industry (or selected companies) down.

The best regulators want sensible regulation sensibly enforced and want the industry they regulate to thrive under those regulations. They don't hate; they approve in principle of what the industry does and want to see it done *well* - safely, cleanly, efficiently, with a minimum of negative externalities, and profitably.

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Author: steve203 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 412917 of 459112
Subject: Re: A BP moment Date: 1/6/2013 1:19 PM
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The best regulators want sensible regulation

The problem always comes up tho, who defines "sensible"? A factory operator may contend that it's perfectly sensible for him to dump his waste directly into a river. He'll contend that the money saved "creates jobs". It's not so sensible tho, for the city downstream that depends on that river for it's water supply, and has to spend large amounts of money to filter out the stuff the factory dumps in.


Steve

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Author: tim443 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 412920 of 459112
Subject: Re: A BP moment Date: 1/6/2013 1:49 PM
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No, those are NOT the best regulators. Those are (some of) the most vicious regulators - the ones who propose and enforce regulations with the intent of shutting the industry (or selected companies) down.


Regulators do not (to the best of my knowledge) make regulations or even propose them, they enforce existing regulations. Making regulations is the job of politicians and their advisers hopefully in consultation with experts in the field.

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Author: notehound Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 412926 of 459112
Subject: Re: A BP moment Date: 1/6/2013 3:00 PM
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Making regulations is the job of politicians...

Actually, at the US Federal level, making regulations is the job of appointed and career bureaucrats. The politicians pass the ennabling laws (acts) and then they leave to the discretion of the bueaucrats, under the wise hands of the executive branch, to carry out the "intent" of those acts.

That's why there are so many fights over who the president appoints as the heads of the bureaucratic agencies that write and enforce the regulations based on currently fashonable "policy philosophies."

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Subject: Re: A BP moment Date: 1/6/2013 3:00 PM
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Regulators do not (to the best of my knowledge) make regulations or even propose them, they enforce existing regulations.

In the US, sometimes Congress makes the regulations (the Volstead Act, for instance). And sometimes Congress creates an agency and gives the agency power to create and enforce regulations, like the Clean Air Act.

The Clean Air Act is a United States federal law designed to control air pollution on a national level. It requires the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to develop and enforce regulations to protect the public from airborne contaminants known to be hazardous to human health. The 1963 version of the legislation established a research program, expanded in 1967. Major amendments to the law, requiring regulatory controls for air pollution, passed in 1970, 1977 and 1990.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clean_Air_Act_(United_States)

Dodd-Frank, for instance required regulators to create rules to fulfill the intent of the legislation.

Pols like to posture about morals, so we get legislation that regulates who can marry who and what people can do for fun, like the Volstead Act and DOMA. If they didn't want to grandstand so much, they would pass legislation to create a Department of Public Morals, and grant to it the power to regulate marriage, birth control and fun.

Steve

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Author: tim443 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 412935 of 459112
Subject: Re: A BP moment Date: 1/6/2013 7:17 PM
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Making regulations is the job of politicians...

Actually, at the US Federal level, making regulations is the job of appointed and career bureaucrats. The politicians pass the ennabling laws (acts) and then they leave to the discretion of the bueaucrats, under the wise hands of the executive branch, to carry out the "intent" of those acts.


Actually the full text of what I wrote was: "Making regulations is the job of politicians and their advisers hopefully in consultation with experts in the field.", and ours are actually written by Deputy Ministers who are also "career bureaucrats" usually lawyers from the Dept of Foreign Affairs on home posting. They are however supposedly supervised by the "Minister" who is an elected member of Parliament appointed by the PM as a "Cabinet Minister".

The "supervised" bit is mixed depending on the interest of the minister and or his faith in the deputy minister. We have had 3-4 Cabinet minister who lost their posts due to ignoring the briefings of their deputy minister in the past few years. These included a Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Defense and Minister of State.

One of my not too distant cousins on my mom's side (the French side of the family) is Canada's National Energy Regulator. He's been in the position since 2007 but has worked for NEB for a very long time. I've never actually met him though my brother and daughter both have.


http://www.neb-one.gc.ca/clf-nsi/rthnb/whwrndrgvrnnc/cndntnl...


http://www.thestar.com/business/article/259192--gaetan-caron...

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Author: tim443 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 412938 of 459112
Subject: Re: A BP moment Date: 1/6/2013 7:54 PM
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Pols like to posture about morals, so we get legislation that regulates who can marry who and what people can do for fun, like the Volstead Act and DOMA. If they didn't want to grandstand so much, they would pass legislation to create a Department of Public Morals, and grant to it the power to regulate marriage, birth control and fun.

Steve



Y'all have people tell you who you can marry and how to do birth control and fun? }};-()

We used to do try to do stuff like that under the tutelage of the church but Pierre Trudeau put a stop to that when he was Minister of Justice.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Trudeau#Justice_minister...

As Minister of Justice, Pierre Trudeau was responsible for introducing the landmark Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1968-69, an omnibus bill whose provisions included, among other things, the decriminalization of homosexual acts between consenting adults, the legalization of contraception, abortion and lotteries, new gun ownership restrictions as well as the authorization of breathalyzer tests on suspected drunk drivers. Trudeau famously defended the decriminalization of homosexual acts segment of the bill by telling reporters that "there's no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation", adding that "what's done in private between adults doesn't concern the Criminal Code".[23] Trudeau paraphrased the term from Martin O'Malley's editorial piece in the The Globe and Mail on December 12, 1967.[23][24] Trudeau also liberalized divorce laws, and clashed with Quebec Premier Daniel Johnson, Sr. during constitutional negotiations.

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Author: steve203 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 412944 of 459112
Subject: Re: A BP moment Date: 1/6/2013 9:04 PM
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"there's no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation"

Recall that, not long ago, a sitting POTUS was interrogated, under oath, about a sex act between consenting adults, in private. He, like any philandering husband, fibbed, and was impeached for perjury.

We used to do try to do stuff like that under the tutelage of the church

This stuff comes from the religious whacks here too, just like the government enforced religion....and they keep trotting out the personal letters of George Washington as "proof" that the US is supposed to be a theocracy, rather than referring to the actual law the founders wrote, and Washington swore to uphold, the Constitution.

Steve

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Author: tim443 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 412949 of 459112
Subject: Re: A BP moment Date: 1/6/2013 11:20 PM
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Recall that, not long ago, a sitting POTUS was interrogated, under oath, about a sex act between consenting adults, in private. He, like any philandering husband, fibbed, and was impeached for perjury.


Yeah I kind of liked Bill other than his horrible taste in some of his ladies. A US Air Force L/Col asked me what what we foreigners thought of the whole thing during the impeachment nonsense and was spitting nails mad at my reply. }};-D

Frank*** got RK tickets at the VIP table in Ottawa for one of Bill's charity speech thingies. Bill was supposed to talk for 45 minutes and went on for nearly two hours, nobody left and RK called him "riveting".


*** Frank Mckenna was the Ambassador when RK was there the first time and is now a VP at TD bank, they sponsored the thing.

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