Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Life has become one frenetic race to completion with no breathing time. Suddenly, all the free time I used to have (whatever little of it I had) has dissipated as my team has expanded from two to four people!

Every positive thing has its pitfalls, I guess. While having more people reporting in to you at work is generally considered as a good sign (of you performing well, meeting expectations etc.etc.) it also brings with it an exponential increase in the workload. Recession, did you say?


Anyone who has managed four people at a time knows how bloody difficult it is! The entire day goes in sitting with one person after another on various projects. All of them want your attention at the same time, and of course there is no work that is not urgent!

When your reportees includes one person who is so trained to be spoon-fed, they just have not developed the capability to apply their mind on basic things, leave alone thinking outside the box; another who is straight out of b-school (and therefore still in college mode…such as thinking work is a walk in the park, anything chalta-hai, not trained at professional communication etc.etc.); yet another who thinks they are know-it-all; and a fourth who is proactive alright but who thinks your entire time is for them & them alone, a gyan session in how to value your manager's time becomes imperative.

So these are the pointers that were shared:

  1. Correct your own mistakes! I’m not here to check your grammar, spellings, calculation mistakes & typos. Check your work before coming to me.
  2. Once I ask you to make changes to your proposal/presentation, I can only check it once again. Don’t expect me to go through the same document over & over again. I expect you to be capable enough to understand what is asked of you & make the changes in full.
  3. Your manager’s time is valuable, value it. You are not the only person whose work I have to supervise, there are 3 more!!!
  4. Deadlines are there to be met. Meet them.
  5. Mediocrity is good for Dilbert’s boss. Not for your’s.
  6. Use the telephone. Don't come to me unless I say it's OK to come over. I'm not sitting idle, twiddling my thumbs, waiting for you to come over!

The most frustrating thing is you can't appear irritated with your reportees. You have to be calm, collected, patient & all those crappy things managers are expected to be.

I can see some of you smiling already. I’ve been sailing on your boat for sometime but life was much easier earlier as I had only one or two people to manage. Now there are four!

Welcome me aboard!! :)


The knife said...

this is so surreal. I was just sitting with someone who was saying exactly the same stuff about her wards.

It can be ver very frustrating when your team is from another planet.

Which seems to be the reality more often than not.

The only way out is patience and constructive criticism and a lot of hope that you are getting through

Moonshine said...


Scarlett said...

@The Knife - I think this is the story the world over. What makes it even more difficult is the knowledge that when we were at the bottom of the totem poll, we were expected to be responsible, accountable for our work & meet the high standards set for us. And we almost killed ourselves over it. But the accountability & sense of responsibility is completely missing from our juniors. And to think they've all been through B-school! B-schools have become a joke these days.

Patience has never been my forte but I realize I'll need it in abundance now & am working towards it :) The problem with criticism is that people tend to take it rather personally & not as feedback on their work only. They get offended & defensive.

@Moonshine - Expected exactly the same reaction out of you!! :P

Vineet said...

very very true..if u scream then u r not supporting, if u dont then u r too cool n fool.
the worst part is no enthu for work and sheer lack of responsibility.. i believe we were fools when we thot going to boss' cabin means I can't do it.
but thats true across geographies, so take a chill pil :-)

Scarlett said...

@Vineet - You are so right! Earlier when I used to scream at my juniors, that was a problem. Now that I don't scream, I'm perceived to be too lenient. Sigh....what can one do??!!