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March 27, 2008


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I saw that last night as well as I started to read the issue for April. I think it is a really broad question. As you mentioned, your current boss has broad industry experience and a lot of contacts. But there is probably something you could do better than he/she.

Same here, my boss has been with the company more than 10 years and has by far the most knowledge in my office. But for morale and employee-specific issues, I know I could handle things better.

Not so much as a better job, but like No Debt Plan mentioned, sometimes I think I can handle certain situations better.

But I know I can do a better job than my immediate supervisor. I hope that when I am in her position, I do a better job with training my staff and delegating work. My supervisor tends to hog all the work and runs around sometimes like a chicken with her head cut off, making all this noise about how overworked and busy she is. She saves shared work on her hard drive instead of the network so we always have to always ask her for the smallest thing and we cannot find her files when she is not at the office. My co-workers think that she just likes to feel important. I think she feels threaten because she works part-time. This way she retains control when she is not here and it shows how important she is when nothing gets done without her. Nothing gets done because we do not have the files, not because we cannot do the work.

As a hospital CEO, I get this all the time - third hand of course. In an effort to address it I offered all my employees a chance to do a "job swap" with me for one day. I would do their job and they would get to do mine. Naturally, I couldn't do anything that would break any laws or regulations and the same applied to them.

They would not be able to give raises, days off, grant sabbaticals, terminate physician privileges, ect. I did allow her to “adjust” the dress code for one day and she was given the discretion to spend some money on whomever she wanted. There wasn’t enough to go around so she chose not to use any of it. She had several request for days off and raises. With good humor she denied all of them.

It was a great experience for both of us and I would encourage all “bosses” to do the same. In my weekly e-mail to the staff I made up a Top 10 List of Lesions I Learned as a Housekeeper. I’ve included it below.

1. The second time I have ever worn jeans to work and several people noted that I was not following the dress code. I appreciate your “concern” but I did discuss this with Mary and they were well aware that I would be wearing jeans. I now know who to appoint as the Dress Code Police.

2. There is a method to their “madness.” When you’re cleaning resident’s rooms you have to be flexible. We don’t clean while they are in their rooms therefore; it really helps to know their schedule. What residents are out of their rooms in the mornings vs. afternoons? There is a general schedule but if you are waiting on a resident – you go somewhere else and clean another area.

3. Some residents eat in their rooms – and you can tell it.

4. Some residents take medications that… ummm… how do I say this… make cleaning their toilets an extra special occasion.

5. Housekeeping is not just a department; they are a family. Other housekeepers would come up and ask how things were going and if we needed any help. Not a sarcastic comment but a genuine interest in helping us get the job done. It was nice to hear and know that there were others willing to help as needed. Teamwork is one thing that makes St. Luke special with the staff/residents/patients/clients.

6. The breaks were nice. I’ve never worked a job that had scheduled breaks but they really helped break up the day.

7. Several people commented that they should tell my wife that I can clean the toilets and floors. Well, you’re not going to tell her anything that she doesn’t already know because I do clean the toilets and floors at our house.

8. I accidentally pushed two call buttons when wiping down the rooms. By the second one the LPN working on my hall was starting to get irritated. I won’t tell you her name but her initials are JF and she occasionally wears KU scrubs. She threatened to take me to the bathroom if I pushed a third – I never did, but I thought about it. So, if your cleaning one of Joyce’s resident’s room and hit the call button – you can blame it on me.

9. If you do the job well enough they invite you back to fill in when they are shorthanded.

10. Everyone was very nice and I had a good time. I can’t say that I would rather do housekeeping than CEO work but it was a good experience.

No way. My boss has 3 times the experience I have and several additional degrees.

Oh my...this is really a loaded question for some people, like me. Yes, I do think I could do a better job then my current boss. He has the worse time management and follow up skills ever. I am in customer service and he avoids irate callers who demand to talk to a supervisor and never follows up with anyone...of course this reflects back on me because the customer only spoke to me. Then again, I've been in customer service for 12 years and this really is a trend with supervisors. I've only had one great supervisor and she left on maternity leave and never came back. Ohh, my chest is tight just thinking about this.

I think the contacts and general running-a-business type knowledge would make me say no in this case. But as far as doing the day-to-day work, it is pretty close.

I have worked under a lot of supervisors and in almost every case I could definitely say that yes I could do a better job. What I have noticed though is that it doesn't really matter that I "could" do better, those supervisors got their jobs because they had a lot of experience and in many cases they had a degree that qualified them. They have put in the time and effort where it matters. I may feel I have more natural talent or ability than they do, but unless I prove it by working with the system instead of against it, I won't be taking over their jobs any time soon.

In an interesting twist to your article, I actually "make" more than my boss. His base salary is higher, but I work longer hours & weekends, so make a ton of overtime in the process. Because my job is project driven, I also change bosses frequently as a project completes and a new one begins. There have been some that I thought I could do a better job than, but for the most part, they have far more experience and contacts that allows them to do their jobs much more effortlessly. However, most acquired that experience and those contacts while *in* that position, so it's something that you almost have to build over time once granted that position by (even more senior) management. In the end, it's not so much about the money or even who could better. It's really about whether you are doing the job that you really want to do. And if you are not, then you need to make some career change to do what you enjoy. Being envious of anyone else's position and fantasizing about your ease of success at doing their job probably won't do anything for you anyway -- you have to make a deliberate change yourself if that's what you really want.

There's no doubt I could do it better. I have more experience, much more education, and a better working relationship with every person in the company. He is hated by everyone but the CEO. He has learned the delicate art of brown-nosing the top boss and of taking the ideas of others and making them his own. He has trouble understanding even the simplest of concepts and has to have them explained over and over again. He interjects his religious beliefs into every encounter and he demands that no one in the company participates in the "grapevine." If he finds that you've so much as talked to someone else about almost any situation, he will fire you.

There's no doubt. None whatsoever.

My supervisor is our equivalent of the CEO and I think she does a great job. She's very good at politics and knowing how to handle situations in the right ways.

I've never had a really incompetent boss...I had one boss I *hated* as a person, but I still have to admit he did well at his job.

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