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Information Rage Coming Soon To an Office Near You 201

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the just-having-a-bad-day dept.
digitaldc submitted the latest excuse to get a few days off: "A survey released this week revealed the latest affliction to hit white-collar workers. It's called 'information rage,' and almost one in two employees is affected by it. Overwhelmed by the torrent of data flooding corporate workplaces, many are near the breaking point. The aftermath of all this is the deterioration in quality that occurs when flustered employees — unable to sort through a pile of information fast enough — end up submitting work that's substandard. Almost three quarters of the survey's respondents declared their work has suffered as a result."
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Information Rage Coming Soon To an Office Near You

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  • TL;DR (Score:5, Funny)

    by fotoguzzi (230256) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @01:57PM (#34040154)
    I don't have time for all this.
    • by Compaqt (1758360) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @02:49PM (#34040824) Homepage

      accountant with horn-rimmed glasses. He didn't know how many pull-ups he could do because he had never done any.

      He was overwhelmed with the deluge of information.

      When he couldn't keep it in his cubicle any longer, he starting taking off his glasses on off-work hours, and resorted to drive-by Firesheeping, destruction of any and all HP printers flashing PC LOAD LETTER, and MITM attacks for kicks.

      He was Info-Man.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by mcgrew (92797) *

      Those of us who are hyperlexes benefit from it, dyslexics suffer. One in two sounds about right; half the population have two digit IQs.

  • Gah! (Score:2, Funny)

    by inigopete (780297)
    I've got all this work to do, and you're bothering me with THIS?!
    • by Surt (22457)

      Well, slashdot is a traditionally pull media, so 'bothering' you might be a stretch.
      Still, story MAKE HULK MAD!

  • I call shenanigans (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ip_freely_2000 (577249) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @02:00PM (#34040202)
    As a long time worker in a G8 tax department, information overload has been going on for years. People get pissed because they don't have the best tools for the job, but I've never seen 'rage'.
    • by srobert (4099) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @02:08PM (#34040304)

      My co-workers can't see it in me either. That's because I mutter under my breath and keep it suppressed where it can fester into a mental illness.

    • Agree with Parent (Score:5, Informative)

      by Tekfactory (937086) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @02:15PM (#34040408) Homepage

      Some people suffer analysis paralysis, other suffer from the 'where do I start' problem and give up.

      David Allen talks about this in Getting Things Done, and what most people have on their plates are lots of amorphous blobs of stuff, not actionable items. So the first step is to break up big blobs into little actions, then take the first action.

      Another thing Allen says when most people say they don't have enough time, its not really time its how they use/don't use it that matters.

      If you're willing to accept the above as true and act on that information, things will get better.

      He's also got some ideas about meetings that are similar to what Randy Pausch said not in the last lecture, but his lecture on time management. Pausch didn't go to meetings if there wasn't an agenda prepared. Allen always asks for next steps 15 minutes before the meeting is over because if no one is taking action to fix the problem you'll have the same meeting over and over until someone does.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by KingTank (631646)
        You're just saying what people who don't have too much on their plates always say about people who do have too much on their plate. And management often says the same sort of thing. Granted some workers don't manage their time well. But that doesn't change the fact that some workers simply have too much on their plates.
        • by CynicTheHedgehog (261139) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @03:43PM (#34041472) Homepage

          Break down your tasks into actionable items and ask management for a priority. When "Do X" becomes "Do I work on A, B, or C first?", and it is apparent that A, B, and C require nontrivial investments of resources, then it becomes more real to management. Further, in doing pieces A and B you can demonstrate progress toward completing X as a whole, whereas the nebulous "X" is either done or it is not.

          This is an old technique for software project management. Take each requirement, break it into use cases, and put a level of effort next to each use case. A high-level requirement like "Add security to the app" becomes hundreds of "Restrict action A on target B to roles X,Y, and Z" use cases. Each one may take an hour. So whereas a manager might reject a blanket 100 hour estimate for "Add security to the app", showing him or her that there are hundreds of source objects to update, each of which requires checkout, modification, testing, and check-in, then the 100 hour estimate seem more reasonable. (This also shows that you put thought into the estimate and its not an off-the-cuff figure.) And if you get 8 use cases done per day, well that's measurable.

          Also, if you can demonstrate a high degree of accuracy in your estimates then you will be taken more seriously. The smaller the unit of work, the more accurate the estimate. If you do 6 use cases in 6 hours (at 1 hour apiece), and then have 2 hours worth of meetings, you're still 100% accurate. Whereas if you estimate 100 hours for X and three weeks later it isn't done, then your credibility is shot. Meetings don't (usually) show up in the issue tracking system, so they aren't measurable. (The 50% or 75% devoted argument is not very effective in my experience.)

          I used to say that I didn't have time to do the administrative part of development. But the reality is that I don't have time *not* to do it. Break it down and make it measurable, and then the demands (or at least the expectations) will become more realistic.

          • Join the "limited work in progress" society.

            It's a simple tradgedy of the commons economic problem and it's common to many organisations. The people making the requests are not the ones paying for your time. You're free to them and it's human nature that we consume all of free resources.

            It used to be that contacting people and asking them to do something was a pain. Writing letters, filling forms. There was an economic cost to doing so. Today you have email, instant messaging etc and asking other people to

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by BotnetZombie (1174935)
              Just one thing missing - the person making a request must not be the same as the one setting its priority. Everyone thinks their stuff is most important.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by hedwards (940851)
          Precisely. It's the job of management to take away work when there's too much of it and assign it to somebody else. In the case where there isn't anybody else who has the time to do it, then they need to either hire somebody else or prioritize.

          Some workers are genuinely lazy, but more often what's going on is that management is trying to make due with less in the way of employees than is really necessary to do the job and fails or refuses to adjust the workload.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Tekfactory (937086)

          What you're saying may in fact be true in your experience.

          But if you're managing your time, getting stuff in from whomever you need to get it from, working on other stuff when you've got dependencies not being met, and kicking off output on a regular basis, you're doing everything you can.

          Go home at a reasonable hour if you're overloaded, there is always tomorrow. If you're working late nights and weekends something is wrong.

          If you do 99 things for the boss everyday and people keep finding 150 more for you

      • by EdIII (1114411) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @03:10PM (#34041074)

        Another thing Allen says when most people say they don't have enough time, its not really time its how they use/don't use it that matters.

        Ohhhh... BullSHIT. Total Bullshit.

        Anybody working in IT knows that when we say we don't have enough time, most often we fucking mean it.

        The problem is not how we use time, the problem is the goddamn Scotty Effect. Clueless project managers and executives just look at us and assume:

        1) We are lying.
        2) We are padding our time estimates to look good.
        3) It's easier than what we are saying it is
        4) IT are a bunch of whiny overpaid bitches and why have we not outsourced this to India yet?

        Guess what? I am experiencing 'information rage' right now :) Specifically at your assumption, or this Allen douchenozzle's assumption, that most often we are not managing our time right.

        Nope....

        The problem really is that the pointy haired bosses see a task that is reasonably a day's worth of work, assuming that we can even diagnose the problem that fast (which is fucking variable too), and they conclude, "Ohhh that's just 10 minutes tops".

        There is another possibility you may not have figured out. Some people have jobs that their superiors don't understand or value and they get too much work dumped on them. Ask Slashdot how many IT people in here have experienced downsizing and then had to take on the entire workload of their missing peers? How many IT people have been in the position of being forced to work much longer hours (most often without being paid) to handle their increased workload because project managers cannot accurately estimate how long an action item really takes?

        Once again, dude, I call *bullshit*.

        • Maybe. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @03:22PM (#34041220)

          On the other hand I see my co-workers more worried about their fantasy sports teams than whether they've tested the latest patches before deploying them.

          Seriously.

          The good people ARE over-worked and over-scheduled even when they correctly manage their time.

          The not-so-good people are ALSO over-worked and over-scheduled because they chose different priorities.

          But how do you distinguish between the two groups from the outside? I mean, other than "which people call on which people when their projects explode".

          • Re:Maybe. (Score:4, Insightful)

            by war4peace (1628283) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @03:39PM (#34041426)
            If you can't distinguish between the two, why would you be a manager?
          • by Surt (22457)

            How far outside? Unless all you can see is the group level productivity, it should be pretty easy to distinguish the two. The manager(s) of said people should be able to tell the difference with ease.

            Also, if you're one of the good people, please know that you do NOT have to be overworked. There are companies out there, hiring right now, that don't overwork their people, and are desperately headhunting for the good. The place I'm at right now, for example, has about 10 open headcount for the good people

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by JaredOfEuropa (526365)
            Be careful. Procrastinating, lack of attention and goofing off can be a sign of a pending burn-out or being overworked. It isn't always, but I've seen it happen. A busy and usually diligent guy on a job that had already burned out another co-worker, has a few urgent but very do-able tasks in his inbox, some of which he could have handled or delegated in minutes... but he just sat there, then opened another browser window. And that went on for a few days, during which time very little work left his hands
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward

          As a Project Manager, I interpret this a little differently.

          First off - I agree with you. Clueless PM's do those things.

          OTOH, smart PMs make your life easier. They don't waste your time by giving you ambiguous specs without supporting, easy-to-grasp graphics. They acts as a buffer between you and the clueless, so you can spend your time coding and not constantly switching gears for a feature that will never get implemented. They consult with you _before_ the spec to ask if the method they suggest works,

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by BigBuckHunter (722855)
          The rage comes in when you're already working at 95% capacity, and something simple turns into the mother of all clusterfuck-abortions. For example: You "renew" a Verisign class3 cert, only to find out that the "renewed" cert is in fact an entirely "new" cert because Verisign changed out its intermediate CA. So a drop in file replacement becomes:

          Adding the new intermediate and hash symlink to the apache truststore
          Adding a FileChain directive to all affected vhosts
          Notifying all of your customers that
        • Ohhhh... BullSHIT. Total Bullshit.

          Anybody working in IT knows that when we say we don't have enough time, most often we fucking mean it.

          The problem is not how we use time, the problem is the goddamn Scotty Effect. Clueless project managers and executives just look at us and assume:

          1) We are lying.
          2) We are padding our time estimates to look good.
          3) It's easier than what we are saying it is
          4) IT are a bunch of whiny overpaid bitches and why have we not outsourced this to India yet?

          5) We spend much of our day reading Slashdot.

          • by EdIII (1114411)

            Yeah.... that 10 minutes we take during our break reading Slashdot and writing a comment is totally evil. We are practically stealing from our employers.

            Ohhh, and that "day" is quite often 12-16 hours for the most overworked IT guys (some of us salaried). That 30 minutes of breaks per day is damn near criminal when you consider that.

            Thank you for pointing that out.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        David Allen talks about this in Getting Things Done

        I bought that book about a year ago; haven't started it yet.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Maxo-Texas (864189)

        that's the difference between a manager and a lead.

        the manager is handed crap and breaks it into blobs and gives it to leads.

        the lead takes the blob and breaks it into action items.

        The line worker takes their action item and does them.

        Lately business has decided it doesn't really need managers or leads.. with predictable results.

    • by Stregano (1285764) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @02:28PM (#34040556)

      People get pissed because they don't have the best tools for the job, but I've never seen 'rage'.

      Well stop bugging me about wanting green instead of blue buttons and I would have more time to get your tools done.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Maybe it isn't information at all. I usually don't mind if it's actually new information. But usually there's really very little new info.

      As for tools for the job, for latency insensitive stuff I prefer emails because I read faster than most people can construct and speak coherent informative sentences on the fly. Most people don't prepare a speech before talking with other people, and if they did, they might as well prepare it in their email client and click send when they are done :).

      For latency sensitive
      • by hedwards (940851)
        I'd still be at my last job if my company handled it like that. Because there'd be a paper trail and they wouldn't be able to claim that they said something they didn't. Ultimately, I walked out the door when it became obvious that nobody with any authority was ever going to own up to having said something or made promises.
    • As a long time worker in a G8 tax department, information overload has been going on for years.

      That's one or two job types, times many instances. The problem today is that many people are being expected to handle more kinds of work**, faster, and to multitask between them as if there's no context switching cost.

      ** I mean, seriously... how many ads do you see for IT positions where "experience of hamburger sales, and a willingness to help out in the tax department when necessary" or something similar is thr

  • by Wonko the Sane (25252) * on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @02:03PM (#34040244) Journal

    "It's not our fault that we falsified 103,000 notarized documents, committing an act of perjury each time. It was information overload."

  • by daremonai (859175) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @02:09PM (#34040330)
    The researchers calculated that the average Australian employee spends less than two-and-a-half days per week actually doing their job.

    I suspect the issue is more "Foster's overload" than "information overload."

    • by inigopete (780297) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @02:16PM (#34040416)

      ...except people in Australia rarely drink Foster's itself. [wikipedia.org] It's vile. More usually VB or Tooheys, but it's a pretty regional-preference thing.

      • by gstoddart (321705)

        ...except people in Australia rarely drink Foster's itself. [wikipedia.org] It's vile.

        Which deserves the question ... just who the hell is drinking Foster's? It's not the Aussies, and nobody else will fess up to it.

        But, someone has to be drinking it -- I've seen it her in Canada on numerous occasions. And, yes, I have to confess, it's not something I'm a fan of.

        • by Hatta (162192)

          It's Americans raised on Budweiser who have heard that imported beer is better but haven't actually developed taste yet.

      • by EdIII (1114411)

        You mean the marketers lied when they said, "Foster's is Australian for beer"?

        That's rather fucked up.. You're exporting the beer you won't even drink yourself.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by sacdelta (135513)

          How is that any different that Americans claiming that Budweiser is beer?

        • by bughunter (10093)

          See - that's the kind of information tidbit, or aggravation quantum, that when taken alone does not trip the rage threshold. But when exposed to thousands of little tidbits like that continually on a daily basis, one is eventually sent over the edge. And the more we're exposed to different forms of media -- radio, TV, email, web, twitters, texts, voicemails, SVN releases, issue tickets, TPS reports, etc.-- the more rapidly we accumulate perceived threat and therefore the sooner the individual crosses that

    • by BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @02:24PM (#34040508) Homepage Journal
      I suspect that the lack of work comes from an excess of boring jobs that make workers feel unimportant or useless. Nobody wants to do a job of mostly busy work where they feel like the results don't matter or are not noticed. As a result, such employees will just browse the internet instead.

      I know that, at least for me, if I am given the opportunity to work on a genuinely interesting project, or to provide some aspect that seems valuable to the species overall, I will actively try to reduce distractions, including the internet. If I am asked to perform the same boring, repetitive tasks over and over, or if I feel the work I am doing is, quite literally, something that the world could do just fine without, I will actively seek out distractions. That's just my 2 cents though.
      • by beelsebob (529313)

        I suspect that the lack of work comes from ... will just browse the internet instead.

        As someone who has an extremely interesting job, that I would (and actually did) do in my spare time even if someone wasn't paying me to do it, I can say that the 2 and a half days estimate actually sounds resonably accurate.

        Time spent making cups of coffee – fairly high.
        Time spent checking emails – fairly high.
        Time spent reading that random RSS item that looked interesting –fairly high.
        Time spent playing pool with colleagues – fairly high.
        Time spent actually writing code – may

    • The researchers calculated that the average Australian employee spends less than two-and-a-half days per week actually doing their job.

      I suspect the issue is more "Foster's overload" than "information overload."

      When I worked for Citigroup in the auditing section of Smith Barney we regularly had to escalate up to higher management to get the Australia division to respond to our rfi's. It was always stupid shit too. I'd be like dude...you gave this group access to a full octet of ip's when you only needed six. WTF man. One week it's ip's next week it was admin access to a user group on a server that was chock full of financial transactions. That shit never would have flown here but they always had the most cavalier

  • by Krishnoid (984597) * on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @02:10PM (#34040348) Journal

    employees — unable to sort through a pile of information fast enough — end up submitting work that's substandard

    I'd think this is the human condition, at least since the invention of the printing press.

    In addition, everybody has a level at which they can effectively cull information, and a level of work that individually and organizationally is considered 'standard'. Unless more information actually produces a lower quality of work than a smaller amount of information -- with the same distribution of relevance -- would.

    It seems like this would boil down to prioritization more than anything else.

    • by Aladrin (926209) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @02:16PM (#34040412)

      I agree. There's so much information out there that is relevant to every situation that processing it all would mean nothing ever got done. Sifting information and doing what you can with the time and resources you have is all part of the job.

      I don't get why they call it 'rage', though. Are they trying to play on 'road rage' or something? Seems to me it isn't rage, but apathy that is the problem.

      That is, assuming there's a problem at all. I see nothing to suggest they aren't just doing their best. And the company pays them for it accordingly.

      -yawn-

      • by sjames (1099)

        I agree. There's so much information out there that is relevant to every situation that processing it all would mean nothing ever got done. Sifting information and doing what you can with the time and resources you have is all part of the job.

        Some people aren't very good at applying the equivalent of the Prolog cut, That is, determining that further details won't affect the outcome of the decision and so stopping. Some entire corporate cultures are vary bad at that. They will either decide that a single crumb of information not digested is negligence and/or use that as an excuse when a scapegoat is needed.

        Faced with an impossible and uncontrollable task, people will naturally respond with apathy and depression or rage. Someone who is better at h

    • by dkleinsc (563838) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @02:22PM (#34040490) Homepage

      In a related news flash, researchers recently discovered that a shocking 50% of workers had performance that measured below the median.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Andrewkov (140579)

        And these same people take 40% of their sick days on Mondays and Fridays. The bastards.

        • by hedwards (940851)
          Which is what's so great about working Mondays, Fridays and holidays. I'd much rather work when others aren't, it's so much easier to get things done.
  • This is new? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tthomas48 (180798) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @02:12PM (#34040380) Homepage

    I believe this has been a problem since the beginning of time. When managers see this "symptom" they need to "hire an additional employee". Some people might even say that managing employees workloads is the job of management.

    • Re:This is new? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by DragonWriter (970822) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @02:50PM (#34040828)

      When managers see this "symptom" they need to "hire an additional employee".

      Most often, that's not what management needs to do.

      Most often, what management needs to do is to fix the problem with business processes that is resulting in piles of unsorted information being generated and passed to their employees rather than actionable items. Sometimes the problem may be insufficient staff resources (but where it is, it often won't be in the place where the problem shows up, but in the place where the non-actionable information is coming in from), but most often (even when resource limitations on the data source cause the source to send bad input) the real problem management needs to address is with business processes, which adding more people won't do much to help (and certainly won't help efficiently.)

      A system needs to reject information that is not of the kind it can act on at the system boundary, and needs to keep the information it can act on in a manner which facilities working on it, regardless of volume. That is just as true with a system implemented with people as one implemented with computers. While -- as is less often the case with computers, generally -- adding more human processing power can, at times, provide an inefficient way of papering over the problem of failing to reject bad input data at the system boundary, or failing to properly store acceptable input data once it is received, it still isn't a good way of addressing either problem. Its essentially the equivalent of throwing more CPUs and some complicated error correction code at a problem, when the source of the problem is bugs in the code validating and storing input data.

      • Re:This is new? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by tthomas48 (180798) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @02:52PM (#34040852) Homepage

        Yes. I call that firing bad managers. That's the other side of the token. And also doesn't get done often enough.

      • by sjames (1099)

        They need to do one of those things. Which depends on the circumstances.

        Unfortunately, what many of them ACTUALLY do is spout aphorisms about "working smarter", hang up a few more posters urging you to be a "zero hero" and ask every five minutes if it's done yet (bringing another pile of irrelevant information for you to check each time).

    • by blair1q (305137)

      This.

      Corporations are 1) vastly overestimating productivity based on a fantasy that their workers are mechanical multitaskers with no lives, and 2) refusing to hire as long as doing so might prove that certain people in government were right about certain economic stimuli.

    • Nah, nowadays the job of management is to go golfing with their buddies, cash large bonus checks, and tell people they're not good enough (so that there's a "paper trail" if someone has to get fired to meet the quarterly bottom line). If you've got salaried employees, giving them so much that they need to work extra time is the same as lowering their pay. It falls under the mantra of work life balance: what kind of lazy employee needs to spend twice as many hours away from work as they do in work? Selfish b
  • Too much information compressed into a very short advert (or "ad" on this side of the Atlantic) caused the neural system to go haywire and the TV viewer to explode in a horrid disgusting death.

    [wikipedia.org] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blipvert [wikipedia.org]

    and

    [google.com] http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-3083938335651439831# [google.com]

  • It's survival of the fittest, I guess. It just makes my high-quality work stand out even more.

  • by HeckRuler (1369601) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @02:15PM (#34040410)
    I'm sorry, but where exactly does the rage part come in? There's a lot of work to do, people get lazy, skip it, and submit things without properly checking everything they should. That's laziness, apathy, or simply being bad at their job. If there was any rage, I imagine that things would be smashed and people would drop kick printers, possibly to rap music.

    Wait a second, this isn't some lame attempt to have a "road rage" analogy in an office environment is it? That's just a sad attempt at crafting buzz-words, and you should feel bad for it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Krishnoid (984597) *

      There's a lot of work to do, people get lazy, skip it, and submit things without properly checking everything

      The way I think about it is that there's X work to do, Y time to do it in, Z amount of skills, and [A .. W] amount of information coming in. You can:

      You could apply the 'Meh' principle to any of these.

  • by rsborg (111459) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @02:18PM (#34040442) Homepage

    I just tend to ignore people and channels of information that prove irrelevant or uninteresting.

    In fact I end up "archiving" most of this information and only focus on discussion relating to important things or people at work.

    Then again, in an poorly run organization where authority isn't clearly delineated or understood, people can often have too many "important people" (TPS reports anyone?). If that kind of situation isn't kept in check (either by the worker or the organization), it will lead to burnout and turnover.

  • Obligatory (Score:4, Funny)

    by Yvan256 (722131) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @02:18PM (#34040450) Homepage Journal

    And I said, I don't care if they lay me off either, because I told, I told Bill that if they move my desk one more time, then, then I'm, I'm quitting, I'm going to quit. And, and I told Don too, because they've moved my desk four times already this year, and I used to be over by the window, and I could see the squirrels, and they were married, but then, they switched from the Swingline to the Boston stapler, but I kept my Swingline stapler because it didn't bind up as much, and I kept the staples for the Swingline stapler and it's not okay because if they take my stapler then I'll set the building on fire...

  • by DarkOx (621550) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @02:19PM (#34040458) Journal

    Paralysis by analysis is what we always called it. You can't get anything done because you have to large amount of information about every decision available to decide and even if you can you want to wait for more data in hopes making a better decision. Eventfully you just end up feeling impotent because nothing is happening; next you just start doing stuff without considering any information just to see something actually happen.

    • by smooth wombat (796938) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @02:23PM (#34040504) Homepage Journal
      next you just start doing stuff without considering any information just to see something actually happen.

      That's SOP for our management. Just a series of random edicts without any understanding of what needs to be accomplished in the vain hope that if you throw enough of them together, something wonderful will happen.
      • by khallow (566160)

        That's SOP for our management. Just a series of random edicts without any understanding of what needs to be accomplished in the vain hope that if you throw enough of them together, something wonderful will happen.

        I saw a movie about that. They ended turning Jupiter into a star. So it can't be that bad, right?

  • "Where is the Life we have lost in living?
    Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
    Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?"

    - Choruses from "The Rock" (1934)
  • Well, maybe not really. I can understand that folks are overwhelmed by all the personalized shit that's thrown at them at an increasing pace, without them ever having to get a chance to understand the art of manipulation (I blame poor schooling).

    Non the less, I get the impression that actual information content in our daily data stream gradually reduces. I guess what these people don't understand is that they are reduced to a commodity, and it's only possible because they never learned to sort through the s

  • by BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @02:27PM (#34040540) Homepage Journal
    If any of my coworkers broke down and went into a savage fit of rage due to information overload, I would be ecstatic. The resulting incident would be YouTube gold. I'd have a great story to tell my nieces. My employer would start doing more to ensure that I was happy at work. In other words, this sounds like a big win! =)
    • by petes_PoV (912422)

      If any of my coworkers broke down and went into a savage fit of rage

      You'd be ecstatic until you work out which schmuck is going to get lumbered with doing all their work while they're off recuperating, or serving their sentence. Sounds to like the start of a domino effect. Take the hint and get out of the way.

    • by blair1q (305137)

      First thing your employer would do is ban cameras in the workplace.

      Second is to buy thicker chains.

  • There's a surplus of workers out there. Simply make handling information overload another qualification for the job. People who can otherwise do excellent work, but can't handle a deluge of irrelevant facts can just find a job picking apples at $15/barrel.

    I write that with tongue-in-cheek, some sarcasm, and some irony, but unfortunately it may well be THE solution for some employers. Aside from the waste of good workers, part of management's responsibility is setting up a productive working environment.

  • Hmm... (Score:3, Funny)

    by sootman (158191) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @02:32PM (#34040586) Homepage Journal

    "... flustered employees -- unable to sort through a pile of information fast enough -- end up submitting work that's substandard. Almost three quarters of the survey's respondents declared their work has suffered as a result."

    -- but they filled out the survey without any problems?

  • by Sarten-X (1102295) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @02:33PM (#34040592) Homepage

    Too much information? Get a better tool to handle it.

    Not in digital formats? Hire data-entry folks at minimum wage.

    Can't find the information you want in the sea of other information? Hire a librarian!

    Librarians don't just deal with books anymore. They're highly-trained specialists in the field of information organization and retrieval. Conveniently, thanks to budget cuts and changing usage, there are a LOT of librarians looking for jobs right now, and they'll take relatively-cheap salaries, too. Large companies can't afford not to have a librarian.

    • by Sarten-X (1102295)
      On second look at TFA, I note that the survey was conducted by LexisNexis, who makes library software. There's a bit of a bias there, but there's also the implication that these folks know how users handle properly-organized information.
  • by Yvan256 (722131) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @02:34PM (#34040610) Homepage Journal

    What the fuck does that mean?

  • Conducted by LexisNexis, the survey of 1,700 people identified dejection and frustration as prominent emotions among 49 per cent of respondents, who admitted they're unable to manage all the information coming their way. Of those, 51 per cent said they're close to giving up.

    Ok let me get this straight you asked a bunch of people if they were unable to handle the all the information coming their way and most said "yes". First of all, what does that even mean? Is it email? Really? We've had email as
  • I recall in the pre-Y2K days knowing one manager (well, one who admitted to it) being somewhere more than 3 weeks behind in his email. Eventually he declared "email bankruptcy", deleted all the unread stuff and started again.

    ISTM the trick is to realise that almost none of the emails a person gets are important or even relevant. Collect the ones from your boss and your boss's boss and deal with those. Pretty much anything else can be ignored. If it really is that important, they can always phone you.

  • Stop abusing your productivity and relying on 20th century data flows! Treat yourself to a jolly glass of old fashioned, sunshiny Analytics. That's right. Business Intelligence, Extract-Transform-Load-Aggregate-Analyze-Visualize Analytics is not just for statisticians and MBAs any more. It's got 47% better lift than Ouija or Anger Management classes! Treat yourself to an evaluation version of Oracle OBIEE, MS SQL Server or Pentaho. WARNING: Use of analytics can result in predictable results, amazing margi
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Sarten-X (1102295)

      Now, instead of having nicely-organized information including business practices, already-solved problems, and the one vital flaw in the last Widget production batch, you have a million-row database table that's only accessible by a few select folks. Since they take a few months to make a custom report (because they're already so busy), it's easier and faster to go back to the original sources. Now you just have more information, redundantly duplicated.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by zero0ne (1309517)

        Sounds like our ticketing system based on some CA crap.

        Gotta love it that it can store all this info about who touched what ticket, when they did, how much time they spent, who they transferred it to, when it was opened / closed / delayed etc... Yet they give us no real way to see the data it is collecting.

        Oh yay! I can now add how much time i spent on my tickets... but guess what I can't see any aggregate statistics on how well I am doing...

        So what have I been forced to do? create a python script to pars

  • Nothing new (Score:4, Funny)

    by PPH (736903) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @03:00PM (#34040944)

    Back when I worked at Boeing (before desktop PCs), one of my mentors always had a pile of paper in his in-basket that often exceeded a height of one foot. I asked him how he dealt with all that crap. His answer: If someone calls about some subject covered by a memo, he'd dig it out of the pile. After dealing with it, it would go on top. Once a week, he'd grab a hand full of paper off the bottom of the pile and throw it away.

    A kind of bubble sort algorithm, I guess.

  • Inch by inch, everything is a cinch! But there's miles of inches and mile by mile it's a huge fucking pile!
  • by antdude (79039)

    "Not enough rage." --World of Warcraft warrior.

  • Substandard != RAGE (Score:2, Informative)

    by davidwr (791652)

    RAGE is when you say to yourself "too hell with the consequences" and vent on someone.

    Forgetting to change the backup tapes because you are overstressed is not rage.

    Deliberately "forgetting" to change them may be.

    Deliberately "forgetting" to change them and erasing or altering key files as a way of telling your boss "I hate you" almost certainty is.

  • Nerve Attenuation Syndrome. Information overload! All the electronics around you poisoning the airwaves. Technological fucking civilization. But we still have all this shit, because we can't live without it.
  • by aeoo (568706) on Wednesday October 27, 2010 @05:28PM (#34042974) Journal

    It's called bureaucracy, folks. In other words, the workers are sick of the procedural bullshit, various bullshit memos, useless uninformative emails that border on irrelevancy to the actual job, and things like that. Read the article.

    It's a shame LexisNexis called it "information rage." The right name for this phenomenon is "bureaucracy rage."

    I guess LexisNexis wanted a synergistic term that inspires forward-looking confluence of business values, hence "information rage" signifier.

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