Price’s Law, why companies pay the price

I first heard of Price’s Law on a Jordan Peterson YouTube video months ago and something about it stuck with me. When he explained the principles, everything started to make sense. A small fraction of people does the majority of the work. I had seen this time and time again and never thought of it as some kind of law.
Here’s how it works, you take the square root of the number of employees and that is the number of people who do 50% of the work, which is a hell of a lot. Plus, keep in mind that means there are just as many, if not more, employees who contribute nothing to the company. The odd part is the people who do the majority of the work know who they are, most of the employees know who they are. Most of the time management doesn’t know who they are.
When a company starts to have a hard time, or the writing is on the wall to abandon ship the people in that bottom portion who are keeping things afloat are the first to go. They have options, they know they can get the same job or a better one for more pay elsewhere and they do. So now the ten people out of a hundred are gone and half the work is not getting done with the 90 people who are left. Things spiral out of control and the company turns to shit.
I watched this before when I worked at a hospital. The 13th year I worked there nobody got a raise, they were starting everyone at zero and depending on how you performed you could look forward to a nice paycheck. After a year the reviews started to come in. supervisors were bringing up things that happened years before, things that the employee had already been disciplined for and brought up in previous reviews. If you were sent an email reminding you about something you were marked down. Punch in a minute late during blizzard when most of the staff didn’t show up and called in, fuck you no raise. It was clear the hospital didn’t want to pay anyone more than they desired and the writing on the wall was to jump ship. This hospital was the titanic and I knew how to row a boat.
I was the guy who was sent the email reminding me of a meeting. I didn’t ask for an email, there was no reason to send one, but my supervisor did and so I was marked down. My raise that year, 5 cents. I quickly did the math I my head and told him that didn’t even cover inflation and that I was making less than last year. He nodded his head in agreement and went on with the review. I didn’t pay attention. I refused to sign the review, and in the end, turned in a three-week notice. “Find somebody to replace me, you’re going to need it.”
Within a week 12 more people turned in their notices to the same supervisor and the same thing was happening across the hospital. Everyone was jumping ship and leaving as fast as possible. I don’t know if this was their plan all along. I heard stories during those final days of the most worthless person on the floor getting a four on their review while the people pulling their weight were marked down for the dumbest of reasons. The scoring for these reviews were odd.
There were different categories and you could score 1-5. A 1 meant you sucked at your job and were looking at being fired. A five was deemed impossible to achieve, nobody got a 5. 3 meant you were doing what you supposed to be doing and a 4 was going above and beyond what was asked. Of course, nobody was allowed to talk about their reviews with other people but word spread and the hospital turned into a total clusterfuck of chaos.
I ended up taking a job with the county after that for the same pay and I wasn’t cleaning up body parts off the floor. A year after that I almost doubled my pay at my current job.
The year of FUBAR at the hospital wasn’t the only example I came across of this behavior. I watched people bid for jobs they were qualified for and be turned down for some office politics that did not take into account the most qualified person for the job and instead used some other criteria that nobody could figure out. When you work hard and do mare than is asked and are turned down for a position you start to wonder what is the point.
Canada had a program to bring in highly skilled people from other countries through there immigration policies. These people applied and from their skills they were brought in and made citizens of the country. It was a high honor that people strived for. Then the policy changed, numbers needed to be filled regarding race and gender. Suddenly the most qualified were being rejected for reasons that didn’t make any sense and the program started to be viewed as a joke.
A few years after I left the hospital, I ended up being a patient there. My daughter was in the NICU and everyday for 91 days I was there and could see how the quality of work had dwindled. Don’t get me wrong, the room was clean and the staff working with her was amazing, but the elevator was broken for a majority of the time we were there. The hallways were dirty. Cleaning staff was rarely seen except for the lunch rooms. I was one of these people, I knew what was expected of me back then. Somehow over the years, things had changed.
The people like me had left and found something better.
So, what is the lesson from all of this? If you are taken advantage of at your job find a new one. Go where your skills will be appreciated. If your job is telling you to be happy you have a job, that is a huge sign that they don’t give a shit about you. If you find yourself doing most of the work don’t be surprised when your supervisor has no idea what is going on. When they do know what is happening don’t expect them to stick around. The last good boss I had at the hospital was fired. The manager said they didn’t know how to do their job, then they were replaced with one of the worst bosses I could have had. If you know you are one of those people, those who do a majority of the work where you are, know that you have options. When things start to look bad, run. The two things that could happen is that you find something similar to what you’re doing, or you come across something better. Aim for better, don’t settle.

Standard

How do you do it? (Time Management)

I have people tell me all the time that they want to write a book. They wish they had more time. They are tired and bogged down with too much. If they only had the time or the motivation, they would finally write that book that would be bought by Hollywood and turned into the next blockbuster movie. If only….
I work fulltime. During the day I take care of my 2-year-old daughter. Weekends are filled with chores that could not be done during the week. The house is a mess. The lawn still needs cut. Somehow along the way I wrote two books, designed the covers, edited, and I’m currently recording the audiobooks. I’m ahead of schedule.
Some people say “bullshit!” feeling that they should have been doing that and feeling inadequate for not doing so. Other people ask if I’m not sleeping or riding the Adderall train. Sleep sometimes is in short supply. Zoey still doesn’t sleep throughout the night. Half the time I don’t know how I’m still functioning.
I will share with you some of my tricks to save time and get the most from your day. Maybe you can even write that book or take that class you have been thinking about. I will start out with the average day at home.
The clothes are piled up. Dishes are stacked in the sink. The dog sheds like crazy and the kids have been drawing pictures in the dust on the shelves. It appears to be a lot and it is. Break it down and use what you have to your advantage. On days like today I would drive my ex-wife nuts by getting most of the chores done on my day off in less than two hours. Start with the dishes. Load everything in the dishwasher, the one machine that uses the least amount of water and runs for an hour. Let the machine do the work for you. That is why it is there. Next load your first bundle of laundry. By the time you start the machine the dishwasher will already be filled and is spraying the crap out of your dishes. Start the laundry and move to the next thing. For me I would move onto the vacuum. This can be time consuming but you are already doing three things at once. While the machines are running you are vacuuming the house. It doesn’t take as long as it feels and when you are done the laundry needs to be switched over. Half of your job is done. Next, clean the bathroom. The floor is done, you just vacuumed it. Next is the shower, sink, then toilet. Soak the toilet with bowl cleaner and do everything else while the chemicals do their job. Finish with the toilet and move onto the next thing. Cleaning the kitchen, the dishes should be finishing up at this point. Clean the counters and the sink. When the dishes are done let them air out before putting them away. The second load of laundry should be ready for the dryer now, start your favorite podcast and start folding your clothes while you drift off to la la land. Most of your chores are done and it’s been less than 90 minutes. You now have the rest of your day to yourself and that free time to work on your book, eat at your favorite restaurant or learn Spanish or something.
It’s your time, you choose how to use it. Excuses are for losers and Gen z swine that want to blame everyone for their own shortcomings. We all have the same amount of time. We all have an expiration date. There might have been five more Mark Twains running around except the other four were filled with excuses and now they are forgotten in the fog of time.
Mornings, for me, is the time to write new material. Zoey is still waking up and plays with her toys while I sit at the dining room table tapping away like right now. Everything is fresh in my mind and I haven’t been exposed to the news, crappy TV, or bad morning radio. If you want to improve your life have less of these things in it.
I don’t watch Netflix anymore. I stopped watching the news. The car stereo is set for a classic rock channel. I don’t let the bullshit of the world into my life anymore. I learned that a long time ago with friends and now I’m doing that with the rest of the world. I spent a lot of time angry and it didn’t get me anywhere. My mind was working as if my anger would somehow change things and for the better. If that was true the world would already be a better place because there are so many people running around stressed out because things suck and it doesn’t appear to get any better.
People want control in something. You can control your time. Feel overwhelmed, prioritize your list of things to do. Start with something small to knock it out of the way. Build up to the thing you dread the most. Most of the things you have to do are not as time consuming or burdensome as you think.
Years ago, my days off were consumed with running errands and losing my day to traffic and shopping at stores I did not like to buy things I did not need. My shopping trips were shortened from all day to 1-2 hours. Again, this would drive my ex-wife nuts. Most of our stores are on one road, a major strip that ran for miles from one town to the next. I would list the things I needed, start on one side of the road stopping at the shops one after another. When I reached the end of the road I turned around and stopped at all the places on the opposite side of the street while driving back home. If I forgot something along the way, oh well. Am I going to die because I didn’t pick up that three for the price of one deal on shampoo, probably not. My time is more important. Sometimes saying “fuck it” is the best way to save yourself from stress and reclaim your time.
If there is one message to take from this it is to organize. Take the time to sit down, just a minute or so and figure out your day ahead of time. Figure out what needs to be done first and go from there. Are you the boss of your day or are you going to let the gods of chaos take over and help you go crazy? Have that thing you want to do in the back of your mind and use that as your motivator. When I come home from work at night, I have the house to myself. I go into my office and start the computer working on recording audiobooks or editing a project. An hour or two here and there add up and before you know it things are done. People think they need to write like Kerouac in order to finish their epic novel. Let’s remember that Kerouac was an alcoholic bum who mooched off his friends and didn’t own the typewriter he used. Do you want to live like that?
Like anything worth doing in life you have to work on it in small batches. You didn’t get your high school diploma in one year. That car wasn’t paid off with the first payment. That first batch of cookies you made were burnt to shit. The first time you had sex was a weird nightmare. Take time to work towards your goal. Make the time for it to happen. If you are not in charge of your life, who is? Excuses are for pussies, the people nobody remembers after they are gone. What did you do with your life?

Standard