“Then what is my role, as the manager?” Valerie asked. “I do all the same stuff as the supervisor, it’s just that most of the time, I handle the bigger problems.”
“Bigger problems, like what?” I followed.
“Like last week, we had a large order for a customer, an international customer, and one of the components from a supplier was defective, 500 units we had to reject. The customer is screaming because he already sold the first three shipments that we can’t deliver.”
“What did you do, as the manager?”
“Well, I scrambled around and found 500 units from a supplier in California. In fact, they were leftover stock and we got them cheaper than our normal supplier.”
“Why didn’t your supervisor locate them for you?” I asked.
Valerie looked sideways. “Well, actually he did. I said I scrambled, meaning my supervisor scrambled. He is the one who found the parts. It was kind of a lucky break that solved the problem.”
“So your supervisor did his job, as a supervisor, and you failed to do your job as a manager.”
Valerie looked puzzled.