For a conducive working spirit harmony has to prevail. Harmony inculcates teams to overcome adversities. So when you are sworn at do so at your peril.
Deadlines were well described in a previous blog so another Friday’s deadline is no surprise really apart from this was the postponed deadline from last week with a twist; not resourced adequately. One young person was pulled from pillar to post and was being given instructions to do this by one, no change that back, by another, move that here, no here by another. No coordinating of the work between themselves.
So when sworn at in one of the many harassment and bullying telephone calls he said enough is enough and stopped work long enough to make a formal complaint. This resulted in a good number of telephone calls before his work was concluded. Yep, deadline missed … again.
There is a moral here: if you want your team to work hard and deliver – treat them with respect. This is even more critical if there is only one person in your team!
Deadlines are necessary, they allow whole projects to be broken down into small sections of work and resources allocated and progress monitored. They are a good tool. However, when one key person lets the team down by underperforming the planned outcome never happens as desired.
I had switched the phone off, turned off the email, ditched every non-essential activity, like making tea and stopping to eat, to make sure I was going to meet my deadline. So with a deadline approaching and the finishline in sight 15 minutes before is not a good time to make changes that generate four or five hours work. I should say that this was a new deadline specifically created due to Mr Underperforming forgetting this was needed and delivering it to me late. So with expediency in mind I completed minimal changes that I considered acceptable and issued it for checking.
I was castigated over the telephone so much so that I hung up and would not take further calls from him. I dared to issue something not 100% complete. This was forgetting that the documents issued by Mr Irrational are a pile of incomplete, dimensionally inaccutate, missrepresentations of the partial solutions. But thats ok!
Mr Irrational (not Mr Underperforming) automatically considered that I would stay and complete the work: I could not – prior commitments. As I
would could not stay I had to give everything to someone else to complete. Mr Someone-else could not. He had already spent most of the day in another panic for Mr Irrational answering telephone call after call, email after email while juggling with a keyboard and mouse and taking instruction from three other people. At one stage Mr Someone-else told Mr Irrational that as he, Mr Irrational that is, would not stop and listen to his questions there was no real way forward. Made no difference!
This particular Friday started with the knowledge that a large issue of documents had to go out by 3:00pm. This was only necessary as the issue was surposed to be the previous Wednesday but was changed.
Early in the day we were alerted to the problem another office had landed themselves in and we were instucted to complete their work. All resources in our office were deployed so something had to give. At first the project manager had great problems understanding we could not meet both deadlines and had a hissyfit. Time was taken to explain the problem and it appears he made the decission for the resource to be redeployed and was asked to confirm his agreement and inform the client that the package of work we were responsible for would be delayed, and further delayed as the key person was on holiday the follwoing week – its a tough life but someone gets paid hamsonly to do it.
It then became apparent that the task was not straightforward and the skills necessary to do the job quickly, accurately and consicely were not there, but a start had to be made. More design work was required than anticipated and after lunch, could be 2:0pm it became clear the deadline could not be met.
The project manager insisted that the person who had started the work should stay well into the evening to complete the work and be thankful. He was serverly upset when told no.
The work was then packaged up and returned to the other office to complete. Cutting the story short they were still working on it on Monday.
This is a classic example of knee-jerk management that dispite all the effort put in both deadlines were missed.
It seems rather fitting to return to writing today as it’s the anniversary of the train accident I was in. I had not planned this; it just came to me ten minutes ago.
I will backtrack in the near future as I was advised to stop writing at the start of my treatment which started nearly a year ago.
The ‘now’ is good, very good. Today I have remembered and unlike the 27 previous years do not feel guilty, I have no anguish and no tears.
The strange thing is and will always be I was surprised that an event so long ago was the seat of my PTSD.
I don’t know who will read this or my previous writings but if you are suffering please get help.
More very shortly …