Tag Archives: overtime

Overtime and Weekends

I managed to get two steps up the food chain, talking with the boss of Olivia’s boss, a senior vice president in the company.

“So, how did the audit project get delayed for your ISO re-certification?” I asked.

“I don’t know. You spoke with Olivia, one of our supervisors. Her manager, Brad, is really in charge of that project, it’s a Stratum III role, and we have had more troubles than just the audit with Brad.”

“Procrastination?” I suggested.

His eyes grew wide and his head began to nod in agreement. Eyebrows furrowed. “Yes. And I have talked to him about getting a jump on these longer term projects. Brad is okay with projects of about 60 days, but anything longer than that and he really gets in the weeds. In the end, you start to see him power through, working overtime and weekends. When he started working here, he looked really dedicated, but as time goes on, I don’t see that as effective manager behavior.”

“What length project is Brad good at?”

“Two months.”

“And how much time is left before the audit?”

“Two months.”

“What connection can you make from that?”

Is It Just Red Tape?

“Just to be clear,” I repeated. “You expect a junior accountant to work overtime on your project, or if she cannot work overtime, to leave her other work undone while she finishes your work?”

“Look, it’s her work, now,” Roger replied. “She controls the pace and quality of her work. It is up to her to get it all done.”

“But, you arranged, with her manager, for five hours per week to do the accounting on your project. Because the job is bigger than you thought, it takes ten hours. Who resolves the conflict?”

“Her manager manages her other work. I am her manager on this project. She has to figure it out.”

“So, she has two managers? Are you her manager?”

“Yes, I am her manager for this project,” Roger insisted.

“So, if she underperforms or makes an egregious mistake, you can fire her from the company?” I wanted to know.

“Well, no,” Roger said. “Her other manager is in charge of that.”

“And, if she needs skills training, you would make arrangements to approve and send her to that training?”

“No,” Roger shook his head. “Her other manager would do that.”

“Then, you are not her manager.”

Roger sat up straight. “I am her manager on this project,” he stated flatly.

“Roger, you are the manager of this project. You are getting a service from the accounting department in the form of five hours of Nancy’s time per week. You have prescribing authority to directly give her task assignments, up to five hours per week. But if you need ten hours per week, you have to go to Nancy’s manager and negotiate for more time.”

“That seems like a lot of red tape to me,” Roger announced, as he stormed out of the room.