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I do now, although most of my career it was McDonnell, until the great "merger".

Ah, does that mean that you are not in the Seattle area? (I was.)

Correct, I am in St. Louis.
Brian Rodenborn
Ah, does that mean that you are not in the Seattle area? (I was.)

Correct, I am in St. Louis.

I'm sorry. ;-)

Skitt (in Hayward, California)
www.geocities.com/opus731/
Students: We have free audio pronunciation exercises.
Default User (Email Removed) wrote on 09 Nov 2003:
As someone else in this thread pointed out, the word ... direct reports". What's the difference? Linguistic fluff doesn't change reality.

I think many feel it has a more professional sound to it.

Only recently, yes.
People who need to brag about how many other people ... order and would probably not make it to manager status.

I didn't see anything in the example given that was bragging.

Somebody said something about a manager bragging about having 7 subordinates. It may not have been you. I don't remember who it was.
It's fairly common to make those statements in a factual way, especially for resumes.

Yes, of course. I used to supervise people for certain kinds of projects and I naturally put that down on my résumé. I never said that I had 100 subordinates, though, only that I had supervised 100 people doing X on a project. All these terms and words have their proper place and usages, and people who care a great deal about what language they use and how they use it will have fewer problems knowing when to use X instead of Y or Z. That's rarely been a problem for me. And, of course, terminology changes for one reason or another.
"I worked as a manager in aircraft wing design, where I had three direct reports, all design engineers."

Until I read this thread, I would have had no idea waht was meant by "direct report". It takes the humanity out of the concept, so I would have imagined 7 stacks of paper stapled together.

I would say "When I worked as a manager in aircraft wing design, three design engineers reported directly to me" or "When I worked in aircraft wing design at Boeing, I supervised three design engineers". I see no ividious comparison between their status and mine in either of these two statements.
Default User (Email Removed) wrote on 09 Nov 2003:
I merely report what I experience.

Me, too.
Egalitarianism in the office is nonsense if there is a vertical structure of authority and responsibility.

Not at all. While your supervisor has responsibility for detailing tasks and tracking progress, the individual employee is encouraged to show initiative and set the appropriate goals and objectives.

This is all theoretical stuff. Not everyone is capable of being this reponsible. I've supervised enough people to know two things about being a manager. The first is that I hate being a manager of anyone but myself. I'm just not the sort of person who ought to be anybody's "boss". I've avoid such situations ever since I discovered that. The second is that every employee is different and may or may not have something positive and useful to offer in an office. Supervising such people is easy. It requires little effort. They can supervise themselves. It's only when "the people on your team" (I hate teams, which is why I appreciate only singles tennis matches) are counter productive that good management skills are really a boon
Now of course, it's the supervisor that will evaluate you or tell you when what you are doing doesn't seem to fit with the established plan.

Yep, vertical lines of authority and responsibility.
Supervisors have subordinates. If A reports directly to B, then B is a managerial superior, not an equal. Why create stupid illusions that mask reality?

I don't care much one way or the other, but on the whole the change in supervisor from a "boss" to a person who guides and motivates you do well is a welcome one.

The latter is how I see my job as an EFL teacher. If I cannot motivate the students in my classes to teach themselves English, then I'm a failure and little or no English will be learned. But there's a different be being "the boss" and "bossing people around".
Part of that change is a change in terms. Like it or not, "superior" and "subordinate" carry connotations that don't foster such an atmosphere.

Those words don't bother me in the slightest. As long as one can grasp that they refer to the company heirarchy and not to one's value as a person, they should not get in the way of doing the best possible job. But it doesn't matter what words one uses, only how one treats other people. That's why I say it's all fluff.
I've been working in engineering 22 years now, I remember how it was and I see how it is now. Things are different to a degree.

Yeah, it's different now because companies don't want fight lawsuits, not because the terminology has changed.
Just to massage egos? That's another reason I don't live in the USA: egalitarianism is about as substantial as a hologram.

If you want to think it is all smoke and mirrors, be my guest. I can only report on what happens where I work.[/nq]When my department chairman asks me to help out the department by taking on extra duties, I know that as a teacher I can say no0. I always agree to do it not because I feel deferential to the chairman's position, but because I am committed to my profession, my university, and my department. As long as I think the extra duties will benefit students, I will take them on. I don't think about being a team player or about annoying the boss. I don't really give a damn about that.

But I do care about what I do and what it takes to get it done. I don't see that terminology has anything to do with it. My boss is Taiwanese. In Taiwan we don't have all the stupid litigious *** that is drowning the American court system, and we don't have lots of enlightened bosses in my part of the country. My boss, however, has enlightened himself about how to treat the people who work under his supervision. He knows that if the boss treats those under him like ***, it will only cause resentment.

I realize that if I refuse to help my boss and the department and the university when a legitimate need is there and I can fill it, it will make everyone higher in the heirarchy unhappy with me and will do nothing to make my job easier. Therefore, rather than being selfish, domineering, and insensitive, my boss and I treat each other with mutual respect. We don't need special words to do that.
It is smoke and mirrors if one tries to change reality by changing the term that describe reality. It isn't smoke and mirrors if one behaves in such a way that what is important is how everyone treats everyone else, because the latter is what really counts. It's sad to think that in America new words are necessary to coerce decent treatment.
Until I read this thread, I would have had no idea waht was meant by "direct report". It takes the humanity out of the concept, so I would have imagined 7 stacks of paper stapled together.

Exactly my sentiments, but I withheld my comments for fear that I may be classed as a foreigner, which I am, of course.
I would say "When I worked as a manager in aircraft wing design, three design engineers reported directly to me" ... supervised three design engineers". I see no ividious comparison between their status and mine in either of these two statements.

Well, I don't know exactly how to put it, but when we were coding some particular software, I was the technical lead of four other co-workers. That's what they were co-workers, but I was the one who put all the finishing touches on their efforts, and I was the last one there when it all came to an end.

Skitt (in Hayward, California)
www.geocities.com/opus731/
Students: Are you brave enough to let our tutors analyse your pronunciation?
"Skitt" (Email Removed) wrote on 09 Nov 2003:

This is a different case. If you were all on the same level in the company heirarchy but you were responsible for putting the finishing touches on the program, then I'd say that you had final responsibility for the finished program rather than that you were the supervisor of the project. An analogous situation occurs in medical journal publishing and perhaps in other types of publishing as well in which one of the assistant or associate editors is assigned as the editor of a particular issue of the journal. Because these two types of projects are both temporary, the person with final responsibility (for making the project come together at the end) might be called the "project leader" or "project coordinator". This does not necessarily put one into the managerial class.
On 9 Nov 2003 08:20:58 GMT, CyberCypher
Exactly my sentiments, but I withheld my comments for fear ... last one there when it all came to an end.

This is a different case. If you were all on the same level in the company heirarchy but you were ... end) might be called the "project leader" or "project coordinator". This does not necessarily put one into the managerial class.

In IBM we used to call those people "programme managers". They were responsible for coordinating a project which might have many people from different departments and countries working part of their time on the project, and be at various levels both junior and senior to the programme manager. The PM had responsibility for the project, but not the people. Their pay, rations and destinies were in the hands of their line managers. We even had 'programme directors', but not 'programme vice-presidents'.

wrmst rgrds
Robin Bignall
Quiet part of Hertfordshire
England
This is all theoretical stuff. Not everyone is capable of being this reponsible.

Of course, that doesn't mean they shouldn't be encouraged to try.
The first is that I hate being a manager of anyone but myself. I'm just not the sort of person who ought to be anybody's "boss".

I definitely agree. I chose to pass up the management track.
Yep, vertical lines of authority and responsibility.

Some of our lines are rather convoluted, but essentially upward and onward.
Brian Rodenborn
Teachers: We supply a list of EFL job vacancies
The first is that I hate being a manager of ... the sort of person who ought to be anybody's "boss".

I definitely agree. I chose to pass up the management track.

I agreed to be the technical lead for a software project, but with the understanding that I would be the one to put certain finishing touches on all the others' work some tricky and very important items they were not to worry about.
I am not good at delegating responsibility, nor do I like to tell others what to do. I like to take care of things myself, and that is not a good managerial quality. I used to have a boss who was the same way I never got an assignment from him. Fortunately, I always knew what had to be done, and I had the work completed even before it was authorized (something quite common in our line of business, as to have something approved for implementation it had to be shown to be a valid and working thing). The real chore was the approval-loop and the official release paperwork the task itself was childs play, at least for me.

Skitt (in Hayward, California)
www.geocities.com/opus731/
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