Tuesday, 20 July 2004

diseconomies of scale
in economics, there is a term called "diseconomies of scale", which describes increases to a firm's cost of production in the long term as a result of output increasing excessively, either within a firm (internal) or as an industry (external).
typically, internal diseconomies of scale are attributed to (a) the firm suffering from increasing bureaucracy (red tape) as more and more people are employed, i.e. info and feedback has difficulty reaching the top management from the workers on the bottom rung and vice versa due to the many layers through which it has to pass; as well as (b) strained relationships between workers and their management as workers feel more and more cut off and unimportant (cog-in-the-wheel?) and disgruntled.
i've just uncovered the third (and probably most common but suppressed) reason for the existence of internal diseconomies of scale within large firms..
office politics.
when a firm starts to grow larger, this awful thing called "office politics" (manifesting itself as vicious gossip, back stabbing, etc) starts to develop, almost always, unless you are really darn lucky.  insecure individuals within the organisation start looking at each other with suspicion, and almost all niceness is pretentious or ulteriorly motivated.
personally, i'm someone very annoyed with the whole idea of office politics, and try my best to keep out of it, as best as i can.  hence, i was really annoyed today to hear that, despite my being here at my new job only for a short while and trying my best to be friendly and helpful to everyone, i have someone going around saying i was rude to her.  
further probing from the third/fourth/fifth/nth party revealed that the gossip-monger had complained i had rudely hurried her at the photocopy machine as she was using it.  
after thinking really hard to recall an incident when i had done such an unreasonable thing, i finally realised that the only time i had stood at a photocopy machine and said the word "Hurry up" was actually the time i was talking to the photocopy machine itself (yes, i'm mad), and she happened, probably, to be using the other machine next to me.  the machine i was using goes into a "standby mode" frequently and then takes forever to warm up and jams all papers that are fed to it (it's one of those with a mind of its own).  as far as i know, EVERYONE yells at it (so i'm not actually that mad).  while i don't blame her for the misunderstanding, i really don't see the reason why she had to go around saying something as unpleasant as that about me, or anyone else for that matter...
how annoying. and how gossipy.  grr..

No comments: