Monday, April 4, 2016

Microstory 291: Perspective Sixty-Six

Perspective Sixty-Five

Unfortunately for all of us, one of my subordinates is also one of the best workers on the team. He is extremely familiar with his field, gets his work done on time, and rarely makes mistakes. He’s also batshit crazy. His political views are so off kilter that, if I didn’t know any better, I would say he lives in an insane asylum. The problem is that his views do not affect his work, and I can’t prove that they hinder the work of anyone else in the company. All the homophobic, racist, and sexist things he says come out of his personal social media accounts, or off-campus and after hours. He doesn’t even list the company on his online profiles, so we can’t claim that he’s harming our public image. And so I have no cause to fire him. If he would just give me a reason, even a small one, I might be able to get away with it. But the numbers don’t lie, and the company profits with him around. Being the boss is harder than I thought it would be, which is a cliché, I know. The stress of making sure everybody’s doing their job is something I expected. I didn’t realize, however, how uncomfortable things would be barking orders to people who used to be my equal. Nobody likes a boss who is younger than them either, and everyone thinks they would handle things better. And maybe they could, so maybe the top-down structure in most corporate settings isn’t the best way to do things. It discourages dialogue, and you miss out on ideas from really smart people. I do try to listen to people under me, but if I start acting on their ideas too much, I risk my job by putting the position up for grabs. If my bosses catch wind that too many people on my team are making decisions that I should be making, why they’ll just get rid of me, won’t they? So when somebody comes to me with a way to improve our process, I take credit for it. I’m not trying to outshine anybody—hell, I’m not even trying to snag a promotion—I just don’t want to rock the boat, or make things too complicated. I feel really bad about it, and I always hope my employees don’t get too angry about it. The fact is, though, that it isn’t right, and I need to change my ways. I need to stop being afraid of shaking things up, and giving people what they deserve. One member of my team has a knack for leadership, and it’s time I foster that skill in her. Meanwhile, the most offensive man on the planet has got to go. If I can’t figure out how to show he harms team morale then I don’t deserve to be a supervisor anyway.

Perspective Sixty-Seven

No comments :

Post a Comment