CityBeat’s Living Out Loud – Cincinnati Blog

{December 1, 2006}   Bullshit Issues

bullshit.jpgLet’s say I’m not a big fan of them.

I’ve considered myself a writer since October, 1997, but I got a lot of experience when it come to business and when it comes to that, I don’t believe in bullshit.

I’m working some hours a week at the company where I started over 30 years ago. I’ve been asked to fix some things that are broken. Why they are broken I have no idea, because what I’m fixing are bullshit issues.

Here are three of them.

l) You have to punch the old time clock? Please remember to punch in and out each day. I’m not going to discuss your issues with this. I’m not going to listen to your excuse for forgetting. I’m not going to let someone else punch you in and out. When you can’t remember to do it, I’ll tell the accountant not to try and figure your hours out. You simply won’t get paid for them.

2) Sales reps – please give turn in your account activity sheets and turn them in to me each Wednesday. We need to account for your time and how you’re spending it. There is no gray area here. It’s black and white. Don’t want to do it? No time? I’ll give you some time to think about it. You’re fired.

3) Can’t remember your starting time? It’s eight o’clock. Have a problem with it? Would rather come in later and have your co-workers cover your desk until you get in? Suggestion: Update your resume.

Being a writer is more fun – you know creating and making things up. That’s one part of my brain. The other part, when it comes to business stuff is K.I.S.S.

Keep it simple, stupid.

A/K/A …… bullshit.

Larry Gross


Jim Stanton says:

I’m convinced that people, especially young people, don’t want to work and they won’t work unless you have rules and procedures. The KISS approach is always the best and it always works. Keep on ’em Larry!

Karen says:

What a hard ass 🙂

Tim Graves says:

KISS usually works. Also keep in mind that in all companies there are rules. When a problem comes up, go back to the rules. The rules will resolve the problem.

Debbie says:

I agree with Jim totally. Young people today think they are owed a living. All my life I have actually WORKED.

Biscuit says:

Damn larry you run a tight ship.

The punch clock is interesting . If someone forgets to punch in (it happens) the company wont pay them? That sounds like bullshit to me. I agree that some people will take advantage of their employer, just as some companies will take advantage of their employees. It seems harsh and not particularly legal to not pay someone for a days work just because they’ve forgotten to punch in. There must be some middle ground.

Out of curiosity, if a company accidently overpays and employee (it happens)do you feel, using the same logic,that the employee is entitled to keep the overpaid money?

Larry Gross says:


I should have made my point with the timecard issue more clear.

If one employee CONSTANTLY can’t remember to clock in and out, sooner or later – in my view – you have to make the bullshit issue go away. Usually it takes only once to mess with someone’s money, namely a delay in getting their paycheck, to get their attention. At that point, they know you’re serious about doing away with the bullshit issue and straighen up.

Ted says:

Strict bosses I respect. Bosses who try to be your friend end up screwing you. You sound like a straight up guy.

Judy says:

Man, glad I don’t work for you.

Marilyn says:

Been a while since I punched a timecard. I remember it well.

When you are hired on, you basically are agreeing to the employer’s terms — hours worked, what is expected in your work, etc. If you don’t wanna go by the employer’s terms, you should move on.

I’m glad I was able to pass one thing on to my daughter that has served her well: She has an excellent work ethic. She must be good, her boss gave her a raise and Niki now holds meetings to boost fellow employees morale.

Nancy says:

I think you learn more from the bosses who don’t put up with bullshit.

Jackie says:

love the photo 🙂

Bob says:

When it comes to timeclocks, a deal’s a deal. If you’re suppose to clock in and out just do it. In fact, punching in and out for someone else is against the law and cause for dismissal in most companies.

Matt says:

What is it here today – business management 101?

Babble On says:

What is it here today – business management 101?

Yeah, kind of boring.

Biscuit says:

“I’ve considered myself a writer since October, 1997,”

I don’t know if you take requests but I’d love to see a posting on how you made this decision and why the specific date.

Larry Gross says:


Go through some of the old Living Out Loud columns in CityBeat. I can’t remember exactly when, but D.B. Wells did an interview with me called “A Conversation with an Honest Man.” It tells the whole story but to sum it up on that date (October, 1997), I decided to start taking writing seriously despite the fact that everybody told me I was wasting my time.

Biscuit says:

For anyone interested the D.B.Wells interview was 3/15/06.
A very good read

C.A. MacConnell says:

I need a punch card at home, so I’ll have a limit. I work from home, and sometimes, my boss is a real bitch.

Come on, Come on says:

Strict Larry means well. Policies and procedures need to be followed in the work place. For those who can’t handle it, go on welfare where anything goes.

Heather says:

Come on, come on,

I have been on welfare, and I can assure you that it is not “anything goes.”

First of all, in order to get money, you have to prove that you’re working a certain number of hours a week. But, if you’re working that many hours, you usually don’t qualify for money.

If you’re getting food stamps, child care vouchers or health insurance, you get a notice every couple of months that you’re getting cut off for one reason or another, and you have to dispute it with your case worker. Your case worker can almost never be reached by phone, and never returns your calls, so you have to go in person, and the office is only open during regular business hours, so you’ll have to miss work.

On top of that, you’ll have to miss work once every six months for your case review when you have to take in your pay stubs, school schedule, birth certificates, social security cards, and letters from your landlord and employer (which I’m pretty sure is just meant to embarrass you).

Welfare is not a free ride, it’s assistance for families who are struggling, the majority of whom are working one or more jobs. It’s hard to get, harder to keep, and nothing about it is pleasant.

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