Hypocrisy and Irony At Yahoo

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I can’t help but weigh in on Marissa Mayer’s decision to ban telecommuting at Yahoo. There is so much hypocrisy and irony here that I think I’m still stunned she made this decision.
Apparently Mayer took a very short (2 week) maternity leave, which shows her to be the hard charging executive she obviously aspires to be. But she has a nursery (and I would assume full time help) IN HER OFFICE to keep the baby close to her while she charges hard down that executive path. Hypocrisy, thy name is Marissa.

And the irony that a company like Yahoo that is part of the generation of companies that have made telecommuting possible and virtual offices run smoother is just breathtaking.

As the CEO she has the right to make any decision she wants – no matter how stupid. But I keep thinking that she is making this decision to feel like she can better fit into the “old boys network” of her investors and the people she seeks to impress on Wall Street. I’m picturing Marissa in one of those 1980s power suits with the giant bows saying “I’m tougher than all you people” and charging forward with a “my way or the highway” mentality.jcollins_gl_13mar12_getty_426x639 Maybe that’s sexist of me but in today’s day and age any woman or man who makes a sweeping decision like this is a little out of touch with the reality of the people who work for them.

In my last corporate job, I was lucky enough to be able to work from home one day a week when I didn’t have any pressing meetings in the office. Those were the most productive days of my month. Hands down. Those days also gave me the confidence to be able to home office when I launched my consulting business – the smartest thing I did in my whole career.

When I worked corporately – and now with my own business – I find myself working far more hours that I did on days when I went to an office. In essence I rarely – if ever – turn off completely. Now that Mayer has laid down the gauntlet with regard to telecommuting, why wouldn’t her formerly telecommuting employees draw the line and turn off at 5 p.m. every day and all weekend long? Perhaps this short-sighted “solution” of hers will backfire.

Yahoo hasn’t become mostly irrelevant because of telecommuting employees but because they have sat idly by while Google and others have aggressively taken over the web ad market.

Maybe everyone is making a big deal out of this because Mayer is a woman. Or maybe it’s just because it’s a stupid decision that sets smart thinking back 20 years.

The Taylor Swifting of America

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ImageWhy do you have to be so mean? Yes you Taylor Swift.  You claim to be a victim but by calling out anyone who ever wronged you via a song that will be heard by zillions, you are the ultimate mean girl wrapped up in a pretty package.

As for the rest of us…

If you’re on any social media, you know mean.

If you watch TV, you know mean.

If you have kids, you know mean.

What the hell is going on?  Does everyone need to have a snarky comment for everything? Has social media made us a society of people trying to “top” each other with the meanest comment of the day? Why are parents teaching their kids that forgiveness is never an option and that you should bully and pile on to another child who has made a mistake – or one who is just not a part of the clique?

As a kid who grew up in the 60s and 70s, I am not saying that this is a new phenomenon by any means.  But the nasty, snarky obnoxiousness, bullying and downright meanness has been raised to new levels.  Where does it stop?

We parents are to blame if we teach our kids to pile on to their “friends” or to never forgive someone who hurts them. Schools roll out programs on bullying on a seemlngly daily basis but it never seems to have an impact.  We read horror stories every day of a child being bullied to the point of turning violence on his tormentors or hurting him or herself to escape the pain. 

Is this why so many people are home schooling or using cyber schools these days?

Maybe it’s time for every one of us to take a step back and stop tweeting the mean comments, stop facebooking snarky, snotty posts and start talking to your kids about making good choices and setting themselves above the in crowd and practicing forgiveness when someone makes a mistake. 

For the many advances in society and technology, I guess that mean never gets old.  Well it does for me.