I made the mistake of going to work for a municipal utility. The people that work there are very uncivil towards each other from management on down. The excuse is that they are only joking with each other. I am not a manager, just a worker bee. I try to explain why this uncivility limits the efectiveness of the organization (and let me tell you we get very little done.) Unfortunately I have trouble putting it into words why it is important to be3 professional and civil. Can anyone help.

Also today, we had a meeting about some issues with some equipment. I am in operations and the maintenace people were across the table. At the beginning of the meeting the engineer in charge of computer programming told my boss "I don't know why we are having this meeting, don't you know we are not going to fix anything for you."

Now this guy is the key to fixing the issues, I tried to explain to my boss how his statement limits the effectiveness of the organization, but could not put it into words for him to understand. By the way engineer guy repeated the joke to his boss and everyone had a good laugh.

Anyway, I see these thing as part of the underlying problem as too why the organization as a whole is so inefficient. Well any feed back is greatly appreciated.


Mark's picture
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Thanks for the post. I know several municipal utilities, and find them similarly challenged in the civility department. Hopefully you know that in the business world, that's not called civility, it's called professionalism.

And yes, they're behaving unprofessionally.

Let me be blunt: you're HIGHLY unlikely to change them. NO offense, but some have paid me a lot of money to try, and the only way I was able to was with firings and city council support.

I can't recommend you try...

OTHER THAN to be have in a professional, polite, courteous way, and keep your mouth shut (especially to your boss). Do your job well, make friends because you're a good guy and help out, and if you want to stay (and I wouldn't necessarily recommend you do), wait until you've been promoted and train your team to behave YOUR way. They'll be loved, but it will be a long process.

Sorry for the pain!