Sunday, May 27, 2012

I'm a Big Ole Meanie!

I don't really need a hug, I can manage, but I would *love* some commiseration.

I'm a senior manager. But at the end of the day, there's not some magic separation between staff and management - it's just the role we fulfill and what's expected of us, not who we are. I understand how the managers I have had over the years have felt now.

I have a newish employee who is very, very young. We deliberately wanted a junior, somebody who had the right skills and some basic experience, but who we could mold and shape. We also wanted some young energy into a company where we all work insanely hard and are passionate about what we do.

She is driving me insane. She is the truly cliche i-Gen. She plays with her iphone and texts her friends constantly. She tries to chat at length about personal issues with me when I'm in the middle of important tasks. She gets stuck on a task she's been given and instead of coming to ask me she just leaves it until I come to check in with her - which might be awhile if I'm busy. (Everytime she does come to see me she starts with "I'm so sorry to bother you..." so I think she genuinely thinks the right thing to do is wait). The thing is, she actually does a great job when she applies herself. There's certain tasks I've given her that she's gone ahead and done perfectly. She had picked up our complicated computer system fast. So I'm actually happy with her overall. She just needs to focus more and work a lot faster. She was great at first when I had heaps of training time with her, but now it's been a couple of months I have to focus on other very important aspects of my job and can't devote everyday to her.

The level of micromanagement required is driving me insane. But I still think she has potential. I just feel like a big ole meanie having to send stern emails or have serious talks about her commitment and focus. Argh.. :( Nobody wants to be that person! don't get me wrong, I'm doing it - I'm doing what's needed. I think it's fair to her to ensure she's redirected appropriately, the last thing I want is for her to be blindsided by any of this. I'm clear on expectations. And we have good communication, and so far she is actually responding well to feedback and working hard to improve. But despite it all, I'm fairly certain she tells her friends what a mean boss I am. Monday I'm in meetings so don't have time to supervise closely, so I've sent her an email with a fairly strict list of tasks she needs to do, and also reminded her that it is completely inappropriate to be playing with her phone etc when she still has work to finish. So I feel bad as I know she is about to walk into work tomorrow and be very surprised (she has a very cruisy attitude). Ah well, tough love. Perhaps it's preparing me for parenthood!

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