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Question
Posted by: Zinhle | 2009/11/18

Handling a jnr at work - please advice

Some 5 years ago I was a jnr (was 25) working for a very harsh manager and at the time I was angry and bitter and took everything personally. I remember even moaning on this forum and got advice from some of u and the honourable cybershrink. I vowed I’ d never make another person feel the way my former boss made feel at the time.

Years later Im 30 and more mature, and just looking back and reflecting on my life I realize as much as I hated her at the time there were valuable lessons that she taught me. Today I am sitting here supervising someone who my former boss would have labeled incompetent, and might have already demoted her.

I am doing my best to be patient with her and show her the ropes. But I am also human, we work under pressure and I can tend to lose my cool, I don’ t shout or do anything unprofessional, but I just get irritated and she can sense it.

The biggest problem is that she takes too long to finish tasks. I have tried to understand what the problem might me, its not ability, theres an element of laziness and she likes talking on the phone and sending funny e mails and im on her distribution list. How do I handle this? She is 27, married with kids –  don’ t know if this is relevant. Im 30 and single, I don’ t want to be seen as the bitch! I just want her to do her job and we can all be happy. It’ s the first time I am supervising someone and I don’ t want to involve my boss yet.

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

As a junior, you may jusifiably resent being treasted badly by a boss. But you might also not be mature and experienced enough to recognize that some restrictions and disciplinary matters are a necessary part of the job, and not personally designed to demean you.


Its very much like providing the safety of discipline for a child, with some basic, simple rules that safeguard the child, and are firmly and kindly enforced.

Have a calm discussion with her, and make it clear that her job and her future is at risk, NOT FROM YOU but wihin any properly run company or business, if she can't complete her work well and on time, and that it is not acceptable to waste time for which she is being paid, on phone-calls and e-mails. Agree with her rules for limiting such waste of time, and reserving any time spent on such fluff, to whatver little time she might have AFTER she has completed all needed assignments.
Empoyee is right. I fully agree.

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: Empoyee | 2009/11/18

Simple. Just lay down the rules and stay with them. Limit private telephone calls and make her/them pay for it. Explain that junk or funny emails cost money in terms of time and bandwidth costs. If she thinks you are a bitch for doing what you are paid to do, that is being her boss amongst other things, let her think it. Being in charge unfortunately comes with certain problems and issues that you have to deal with as a boss. You say yourself that you acted in a similar ways when you were in her position. Just make sure she/they understand why there are rules and why you have to enforce them. Doing your work does not imply you are unreasonable. Another thing, if you do nothing about her, fellow employees might notice and complain and then you will have a real problem. And, she is free to leave if she wants to, if she does not want to comply.

Reply to Empoyee
Posted by: cybershrink | 2009/11/18

As a junior, you may jusifiably resent being treasted badly by a boss. But you might also not be mature and experienced enough to recognize that some restrictions and disciplinary matters are a necessary part of the job, and not personally designed to demean you.


Its very much like providing the safety of discipline for a child, with some basic, simple rules that safeguard the child, and are firmly and kindly enforced.

Have a calm discussion with her, and make it clear that her job and her future is at risk, NOT FROM YOU but wihin any properly run company or business, if she can't complete her work well and on time, and that it is not acceptable to waste time for which she is being paid, on phone-calls and e-mails. Agree with her rules for limiting such waste of time, and reserving any time spent on such fluff, to whatver little time she might have AFTER she has completed all needed assignments.
Empoyee is right. I fully agree.

Reply to cybershrink

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