Re: laboratory safety issues
You are a genius, you should teach "the course".
"Monson, Frederick C." wrote:
> Dear Maria,
> What follows is to some degree intended to be humorous. The
> principles of Management of One's Upline, however, are proven by a lifetime
> of experience and should not be completely ignored when instruction is
> provided. Manipulated with wisdom, they are yours!!!
> Background and Introduction: When we were newly married, my wife
> and I were approached by a friend who was affiliated with AMWAY. One of the
> experiences of life that I learned to articulate from that group was,
> "Edifying one's upline." Now, I was always much more interested in the
> reverse process, and I quickly adapted their articulation to my own, eternal
> predicaments with supervisors. I had developed the capacity, as so many of
> us do, to "Manage my upline" so that I could get my work done, get
> equipment, and get attention. I learned this skill during my tour of duty
> with the Marine Corps, as I rose from Private to Corporal in 15 months
> during a peacetime contraction in the Force.
> The Method. Management of one's Upline comes in three forms: 1)
> Over-compliance; 2) Skillful, marginal compliance, and 3) Non-compliance
> that is NOT recognized as non-compliance (the nuclear weapon of
> To accomplish the first, one must understand the motivation of
> Administrators/Supervisors. First, they want to get THEIR supervisors OFF
> their backs. Second, they DO NOT want to hear, what they consider to be
> noise, from above or below. Third, they will turn on the weakest of their
> subordinates to avoid personal responsibility [This is the administrator's
> way of doing what he/she has been told to do and for which he/she has no
> expertise or experience.]. This last is the hardest behavior to manage
> properly. When this one has happened to me, I have implemented the third of
> my management techniques. However, in order to do this, one ordinarily
> needs to recognize two facts. First, the solution of any problem is too
> expensive to the organization when that solution comes from an inexperienced
> expert, that is why they impose it on someone who lacks the knowledge to
> implement it and why it ultimately resides WITH an inexperienced
> subordinate. Second, one must recognize that in order to implement
> unrecognizable non-compliance, one must admit one's lack of capability and
> knowledge and COMMIT to becoming far more knowledgeable than the CEO
> wanted/expected/hoped for in the first place.
> The implementation of this form of management requires the
> subordinate to become an expert, all the while knowing that the most
> dangerous person in any organization is the one who is an expert without
> experience. Then, the subordinate begins writing documents of compliance
> that reflect the LETTER/highest level of compliance of the law/expectation.
> These documents must be disseminated upwards in the Administrative chain of
> command. By executing this management technique wisely, one can easily
> overwhelm the Administrative hierarchy with the terrorizing necessity to
> make a REAL decision - something that any worthwhile administrator spends a
> lifetime avoiding. If YOU have the assignment, then the assignment was
> always in the hands of those who lack experience and expertise and wanted it
> to GO AWAY! Everything you do will be happily passed upward for a decision,
> IF you properly manage the process.
> YOUR ADVANTAGE is THE most pervasive characteristic of normal
> administrative structures; namely, that no one up there knew enough to make
> a proper assignment. You ARE in charge by a normal default mechanism of
> administrative structures. Most administrators caught in this process do
> not recognize their mistake until it is too late. Proper management by the
> LEAST of those will result in a future administrative decision that goes
> something like this. "Let's assign this job to someone else." On the other
> side of this issue, at their expense, you will have become an inexperienced
> expert in matters that increasingly require expert attention. Go consult!
> In the case of laboratory safety in particular, one merely has to BE
> an inexperienced expert to succeed with the third method of upline
> management. Documents reflecting the letter of the law and letters - a
> paper trail - that demonstrate over-competence (NEVER welcome in such
> situations), and estimates, quotations from monitoring and sterilizing firms
> with justifications replete with reasons both legal and practical that such
> jobs must be farmed out, and, finally, at budget time, the worst stroke of
> all, the request for a substantial amount of money to support the in-house
> safety program (web site development, a computer, pay for computers and
> databases of dangerous/hazardous chemicals, proper hazard control in every
> lab, egress routes, and safety-oriented hazardous chemical acquisition
> methods. Recommendations for safe storage that create a hazard to
> administrative sanity and will require the construction of isolated,
> monitored and explosion proof storage buildings, and finally, the one that
> ultimately knocks them dead: an explosion-proof refrigerator in every lab.
> The whole panoply of REASONABLE and NECESSARY safety measures can cost
> millions, and certainly tens of thousands, and this is just in your home!
> It is also absolutely critical to NEVER, NEVER request more salary. This is
> a dead giveaway that you are 'jobbing' them! Outline the problem of safety
> as you see it, then expand the outline to include every 'unsafe' matter that
> you can 'see' or find defined. Now the cool part. Each of these items in
> the outline - every twig and branch get attention in a document - as many as
> you can manage without showing complete insensitivity to the local tree
> population. Volume and frequency of upward migrating information are the
> cornerstone of this approach. You must appear to be working yourself to
> death on their assignment. Build a record of excellence that will literally
> bury them. Teach them and keep a record of what you are doing. Give safety
> lectures and structure them according to the letter of the law, which YOU
> must obey in this job with such AWESOME responsibility. [When I was in the
> Marine Corps, I was assigned the task of giving lectures to the 'troops'
> about "personal hygiene" when on leave, because I had college microbiology.
> After the STD film was done, I taught them about the encystment of
> gonococcus and antibiotic resistance. Through my diligence and attention to
> detail, I was quickly replaced by another college man who had no courses in
> biology. Again, management of my upline had worked like a charm. I was
> back playing bridge after only one "lecture". In this instance, I think I
> used a combination of methods 1 and 3.
> I know of no better way than this to enable your rapid return to
> that for which you were trained and hired. At the first sign of
> over-competence in an area that administrators want to see disappear your
> reassignment becomes practically assured. If THEY are serious, on the other
> hand, the third strategy backfires, but then they can neither afford to take
> your recommendations or to see you leave for the job you were just offered
> by that head hunter.
> Fred Monson
> Frederick C. Monson, PhD
> The best research
> Center for Advanced Scientific Imaging
> occurs before work
> West Chester University
> at the bench.
> West Chester, Pennsylvania, USA, 19383
> > ----------
> > From: Maria Mejia
> > Sent: Tuesday, January 22, 2002 2:49 PM
> > To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> > Subject: laboratory safety issues
> > Hello Everyone!
> > I need some advise and assistance regarding laboratory safety issues and
> > including
> > the role of the Safety Officer. I'm a neurohistologist that works 75%.
> > For several
> > months, I've been working on a detail chemical hygiene plan for our
> > institute in
> > addition to my histology work. I even started a library of various
> > safety books and
> > safety videotapes for everyone to use at the institute. In addition to
> > my histology
> > duties (which currently dip and peak depending on the research project &
> > PI), I've
> > also been assigned the safety duties for the institute, that includes
> > providing safety
> > training sessions for EVERYONE at the institute.
> > I was told by administration that all this is all part of my job as a
> > histologist. I say it's
> > above and beyond and my salary should be adjusted to reflect this. Am I
> > wrong?
> > Please any assistance or suggestions you can provide will be greatly
> > appreciated.
> > Now, I've gone through all my safety literature and no one talks about
> > salary for the
> > Safety Officer they only list and it's a long list of duties.
> > regards
> > Maria Mejia
> > Smith-Kettlewell Eye Res. Inst
> > S.F.CA
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