This Thing We Call Sludge(sm)
Sludge wonderful sludge. How can I make people look bad without it? Sludge wonderful sludge. Is there anything you can do about it? Sludge wonderful sludge. You might as well just shout it.
"SLUDGE" Say it and you visualize walking through mucky, black, slimy stuff. It slows you down. Makes you feel like you've gained 20 lbs and just is not good stuff. Here is Cali and Jody's definition from page 30, Chapter 1. Why Work Suck and How to Fix It.
"We call this kind of judgement Sludge (sm). Sludge is the negative commentary that occurs naturally in workplace and is based on the beliefs about time and work. ......When we judge people- we Sludge them - we are expressing outdated attitudes about time and about what work looks like and how it gets done. ...... We judge to make ourselves look better, to show other people (and ourselves) that we're the hardest working, we're the most dedicated."
Since reading this chapter I have become acutely aware of this practice. I have Sludged and I have been Sludged. One main point about this commentary is that is takes the attention off of results.
Chapter 2 also challenges the notion that flex time will give people work life balance. Flex time is not the same as results only work environment. And they say the issue is about trust. Typically flex time includes a bunch of BUTS and is only given to the privileged few. We trust you but let's try have this as a trial. We trust you but not so and so. The say, "....they only thing worse than complete mistrust is mistrust masquerading as trust."
Now back to the Sludge. There are three types of Sludge:
- Sludge Anticipation - anxiety from expecting judgement from co-workers.
- Sludge Justification - the excuses you rehearse to justify why you left early.
- Back Sludge - Talking about other workers when they are not present.
All sounds like unproductive dysfunctional finger pointing to me. Hey we have all done this at least once. So, the first thing is to not accept Sludge and start making judgements based on their ability to meet goals and their performance. Again it turns the energy toward results.
I believe Sludge is negative energy. I will not accept it. We will go get some butt kicking results without it.