Because everyone should dig their job

What To Do With an Unreasonable and Insensitive Boss

By GL Hoffman

GL,Your opinion on this: I swear this happened last week. We have a new gal working with us who has a four year old son. She has no family or anyone to pick up her son after work if she is late for some reason. So our supervisor tells her to use my co-worker’s name and phone number on the child’s emergency information at the pre-school. My co-worker is put in the unenviable position of not wanting the liability of someone else’s child in her vehicle, and by the way who pays for her to take the time to pick up the kid?(we’re government), AND not to mention that she did not volunteer for this “privilege.” Because we both like the new girl we don’t want to hurt her feelings, but didn’t our Supervisor cross a line here? Esp. since SHE didn’t volunteer HERSELF. My co-worker is single and has no children, babysits for her niece ONLY. I think because she house sits and dotes on her niece, our Supervisor figured she loves to babysit all children.
from, PO’d and it is not even ME.
My answer:
Variations of this situation happen every day in every workplace. Someone is being taken advantage of, disrespected, or ignored. I feel for the co-worker who has been placed in this position.
Unfortunately, a lot of new managers are untrained, unskilled and inexperienced. With experience, comes an ability to sense issues that, if unchecked, might well detract from the overall objectives of the unit.
My own experience is that these issues tend to fester like a small blister than gets untreated, then infected and, before you know it a foot gets amputated. OK, OK, a bit dramatic but you get the point.
The point is one cannot expect ‘management’ to understand every consequence of their actions. So, instead of assuming all managers can sense issues, dissatisfactions, or inequalities one has to communicate upward and sideways. Most of the time, these situations can be easily rectified and solved by people of good will.
It is easy to assume there is a manager-worker gap, what there is instead, is a communication gap. And, if the manager is oblivious to situations such as these, the affected person needs to “grow some” and talk about it.
1. Go up to the supervisor and say something like “I heard you volunteered so-and-so to be Ms New Person’s designated emergency contact at her son’s school, can we talk about it a bit? The new girl is in a tough spot as is so-and-so with this idea, there may be a better way.”
2. Chances are this open ended approach will help surface some other ideas. If you approach the supervisor in a non-accusatory way, I am betting you will not only gain her respect but together, you can figure out a solution.
3. Be prepared to discuss some of the issues that the manager either forgot or overlooked. Your task is to bring up these concerns on behalf of your co-workers in a helpful way.