Project #2346 - wcm response 6.1

Please read each post and comment on each individual post. 1 paragraph per post (4 responses)

1SL.) A situation that I encountered was when I was working at a local summer camp. My boss and I butted heads on just about everything. We got into an argument about something to do with what the kids were doing or how they should be doing something. We were both essentially "right" as the kids safety or anything was not a concern. We had just been taught two different ways. We argued about it for some time-discreetly of course. Since there were only three of us-her and I included, as workers for the camp, my co-worker sided with her since they had already had a previous relationship built working together. I always noticed when they thought I wasn't looking the glances, the stares, and the snide remarks they made. This went on for about 2 or 3 days. Finally, I gave in and just did it the way that she wanted it done though I never said anything to her about it. She enjoyed the fact that she was right and was all smiles. However, about a week later; the kids decided they didn't like doing it that way anymore and they made their own decision to do it my way. The rest of the summer was very uncomfortable needless to say. 

If I were to encounter this situation again, I would just walk away sooner. This would have created a lot less drama and a better work environment. There was also no reason for her to be mad at me as the kids had made their own decision in deciding what to do and how they wanted to do it. Though she saw it as I planted a seed in their minds on how to get back at her. Neither one of us, I think, said anything to the kids about it. We didn't really leave an escape hatch open for either of us as we both felt like we were right. I actually think that the kids left us an escape hatch as they made their own decision without either of us having any say in it.

 

2 SM.) Recently I had an argument with a Dean over office space.  This Dean believes that more space makes her look higher up in the organization.  She has been arguing with me off and on for two years regarding office space.  She wants the offices of the adjunct faculy members and I felt that I couldn't move the faculty members out for her to have yet another office.  She wanted the space for an administrative assistant who works three hours per week for her.  I have spoken to my supervisor about this problem and he has agreed with my decision. 

The Dean called me on the phone and began yelling at me about her need for more space and the fact that she never sees anyone in the adjunct faculty office.  I informed her calmly that they are not necessarily at the college when she is there.  She became more agitated and I did not rise to her level of frustration.  She then attempted to persuade me to let her have the office.  I let her speak for a few minutes more and then I suggested that the part time administrative assistant share the large office space with her other employee.  She basically hung up the phone on me and I went about my business.  An hour later, she called me back and said that she was taking my suggestion about office sharing.  The next day she left chocolates at my desk.  She called and apologized and I let the matter be settled.

I believe that in this situation I did leave an out for the Dean.  My suggestion of office sharing gave her an opportunity to think a little bit differently about what her needs were.  In this situation, I would not have handled my actions differently.  I feel that I acted in a way that did not allow her to carry on further about the matter. 

 

3 KL.) It is no surprise that the economy is struggling, and that businesses need to find ways to cut costs anyway that they can. This is especially true in the home building buisiness. If we cannot cut costs, even if we sell a house we won't make any money on the sale. We are looking into new suppliers and new products in order to cut our costs. We encourage all of our employees to think of ways to cut costs and let us know what they are thinking.

I heard a rumor that one of our managers was forbidding employees from putting overtime on their time cards. Now if he wasn't allowing them to work overtime it would be one thing, but he was telling them not to put it on at all. As soon as I heard this I brought it up in our weekly meeting as a reminder to everyone that if employees work overtime they have to mark it. That manager stepped up and annouced that he doesn't allow his guys to work overtime. While this is okay, we all knew that his guys were not working exactly 8 hours a day. He became defensive and keep reminding us about how we need to cut costs. I told him not only was this immoral but it was illegal. I kept giving him the option to admit he was wrong and to agree that he needed to change his policy. He just kept getting more defensive and I finally snapped I told him that if  I find out that any of his guys are working one minute more than 8 hours and not marking it, there were going to be some real problems.

Looking back on the situation I should have approached this manager privately and told him the rumors I had heard. And told him I know that his employees are working more than 40 hours a week, and he needed to correct the situation. That would have been the end of the argument.

I think that you shouldn't necesarily leave someone a clear scapegoat to a problem, but if they eventually bow out, or admit that they were wrong then the problem should be dropped. I don't think that 'losing' and argument should ever be thrown in someone's face. Once they have 'admitted defeat' then that should be the end of it.

 

4 JD.) When I was fresh out of high school, I got a job making telephony headsets in a factory type setting.  My best friends step-father was a manager there.  I worked in an assembly line with a few other ladies- all of which were a lot older than myself, and had been doing this job for years and years.  After a few months, I noticed that the process seemed ‘off’.  It almost seemed like there were too many steps and more people could handle more steps then what they were currently doing.  I casually brought it up to the ‘line leader’, who also happened to be my best friends grandmother- about this.  She didn’t seem too interested in hearing my ideas and kind of blew me off.  I wasn’t too surprised though, because she was an older lady who had been doing this job this way for years, and was scared of change. I bounced my ideas off of a few other people who were familiar with the process, but weren’t involved in the day to day process.  Everyone seemed to agree.  I decided to bring it up to my manager and just see how it went over.  I knew that ‘Gram’ wouldn’t be pleased, nor would the other line ladies, but change is good (most of the time) and just because this is how you do it now, doesn’t make that the best or the right way to do things.  Turns out, the managers were looking for a process change to increase productivity and decrease cost, and this fit in nicely to their plans.  When it was announced at our next meeting, I knew that some people might be upset with me, but I didn’t really care.  I knew I was doing a good thing for the company, and I was developing myself there- where I went on to be a receptionist and then a customer service representative before leaving that company for a better opportunity. 

 15 years later, as I think back on that situation, I would probably do it differently now.  I wouldn’t run my ideas past my co-workers, I would just bring my ideas up in a one on one meeting with my manager.  This would avoid that ‘everyone is mad at me because of this change’ feeling that I experienced.  Since I knew a lot of these people like family, it blew over and didn’t end up being a huge deal, but knowing what I know now, having it be something I bring up to my boss only would have been a better idea.  Make it seem like it is the bosses idea, that way, no one gets upset with anyone.

 I like the above quote.  Everyone does want to be right, and everyone wants people to be on their ‘side’.  For my workplace conflict situation, it wasn’t really a matter of me being ‘right’, just more that I hadn’t been doing that job for years, and I brought in fresh ideas for the process. Whether or not my coworkers agreed with it, they had to do what the managers said.

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Due By (Pacific Time) 02/14/2013 12:00 am
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