Managing Your Manager

Two people talking

Some bosses are too nice. Is that possible? Yes, if co-workers are taking advantage of him or not doing their job and the boss won’t speak up. If one worker doesn’t do an assigned task or does a poor job, it can make your Workamping job harder.

This article comes from an issue of Workamper News magazine. COPYRIGHT by Workamper News. IT IS A VIOLATION OF U.S. COPYRIGHT LAW TO PUBLISH, POST, BROADCAST OR PHOTOCOPY ANY PORTION OF THIS PUBLICATION.

by Jaimie Hall Bruzenak

Many of us have undoubtedly been called to a meeting where the supervisor said the department needs to improve in a certain area. All know who she is talking about, but instead of confronting that employee specifically, the supervisor addresses the remarks in general. Usually nothing changes and morale for the employees who are following procedures is negatively impacted.

What are some strategies for dealing with such an employer?

First, if your supervisor has made a blanket statement, you can determine if the she believes you are lacking in this area.

“You mentioned at our meeting that we need to do a better job at X. I want to do a good job. How can I improve in this area?”

Often you’ll be told you are doing fine. Thank her for the feedback and reassure her you want feedback—positive and negative—so you can do the job she wants.

Second, If a co-worker’s inaction or poor job is impacting yours directly—such as coming in late when she is supposed to relieve you or not completing required forms—you could say something to the boss. Perfect Phrases for Dealing with Difficult People by Susan F. Benjamin suggests asking directly for support. Examples would be:

Would you remind Jane she needs to be here at 3 to relieve me? She has been at least 10 minutes late three days this week and two last week.

Would you review the importance of completing the x forms with Juanita? We don’t have any of hers for the last month.

The author advises requesting a specific action, not a general one like “Juanita isn’t doing her job. Is there anything you can do?”

Two people talking over coffee

Another approach would be to let the supervisor know about the problem, then ask for a solution. Example, Jane is ten or more minutes late to relieve you most days. Have specifics as in the approach above.

After explaining the problem, say, “I’m able to stay some days, but on others Bob and I have plans and I need to leave right at 3. In the last two weeks, I’ve put in two hours of extra time. Are you willing to pay overtime on the days she is late when I can stay? On days I can’t stay, who can I call to relieve me?”

If the manager won’t authorize overtime, ask if you should lock the office or if he has another solution such as comp time. This puts the ball back in the manager’s court.

Third, do the best job you can and let the rest go. If the business is affected you’ll be gone in a few months and won’t have to deal with it. If it’s a co-worker, remember, this too will pass. It is of course easier to deal with if you don’t have to work closely with someone who is not pulling their weight on a daily basis, but if that’s the case, don’t do that person’s work or cover up for her. If asked about the co-worker’s forms, say “Here are my forms. I haven’t seen Juanita’s. Why don’t you check with her?”

Don’t take it personally

The last thing you want to do is take this personally. All that does is raise your stress level and make you unhappy. Do you want to spend a season being miserable?

Instead keep your focus on why you are here and why you have chosen the Workamping lifestyle. It allows you to see this country and contribute to your budget. Enjoy your explorations or family visits and your time off. Remember, this is a temporary job, not a career; you get paid the same whether others do their job or not.

Even if a manager isn’t a strong manager, you have options and can still have a good season. It’s up to you!

Feedback on employers

Workamper Diamond & Platinum members of Workamper.com can use the following tools in their job search to find out more about individual employers:

Praise Your Employer (PYE). You’ll find links to PYE when Employers run their help wanted ads via Workamper News. You can also search the PYE system by company name or location by clicking on the Praise Your Employer button on the Dashboard. Click on any star awards for an Employer to see email addresses for the Workampers who awarded the stars – then you can contact them with specific questions!

Workamper Experiences (WE). You’ll find links to WE when Employers run their help wanted ads via Workamper News. You can also search the WE system by company name or location by clicking on the Workamper Experiences button on the Dashboard. Read existing posts and also submit your own.

Remember, help your fellow Workampers out by posting your feedback in Workamper Experiences when you finish a Workamping assignment.


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