Can’t Please Everyone

As an ex-manager no longer cocooned in my own office, now working everyday in the cubicle world, it’s interesting to see the reactions to change in the organization by my fellow cubicle dwellers.

After I stepped down my successor was let’s say less than enthusiastic about dealing with the mundane tasks that all managers have to deal with.  Tasks such as scheduling and handling subordinate’s time off.

Some people would put in time off requests and then hear nothing back.  They would have to go into the manager’s office the day before their requested time off to make sure it was approved.  They never saw or knew who had requested off what days, so they couldn’t be sure if there was a scheduling conflict.

They griped and complained (rightly so) about the lack of communication and effort their manager was putting into managing paid personal time off within the department.

Recently the company made a change in the structure of the departments and now most of these people report to a new manager who is a bit more responsible to the management of his subordinates.

In an effort to assist the people in the department with planning and scheduling vacation time, the new manager began training his staff in how to use the department calendars on the company server.

It was as simple as pulling up the calendar and finding the day or days you were going to request off.  You could instantly see who had requested off those same days and then decide if you wanted to take those days or different days if too many people were already scheduled off.

You would determine what days you wanted to request off, submit them through the payroll service and the manager would update the calendar as soon as he approved them, which he did at least once a week.

So now you have the time off schedule for the department being communicated.  All you have to do is look in the folder that contains the department calendar which is part of a window that just about everyone keeps opened the entire day.

It’s simple, it works and everybody should be happy, right?

Well you should have heard these same people who complained about not knowing if their time off had been approved, and not knowing who has off what days, bitching about having to check the calendar to see all this information that they were lacking with the other manager.

They went from time off requests being ignored and no communication to time off requests being processed on a timely basis and being able to see the complete company time off schedule.

They got what they were previously complaining about lacking and they still found something to bitch about.

I wonder when I was their manager if they bitched and moaned about the changes that I implemented.

No I don’t wonder, I know they did.

You can’t please everyone and most of the time you can’t please anyone.

Just do what you think is right, be honest about it and communicate.

That’s all you can do.  Ask the miller, his son and his ass.

© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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