Work Life

How do I manage my classmates as their supervisor?

I am a senior in high school, and I’ve just been promoted to supervisor at my job at a store in the mall. How do I manage people who are in my classes at school without making them hate me?

Address the issue in a frank and upfront manner. Let them know that you’re aware that it’s kind of an awkward dynamic. You’ve been given some authority, but you’re not going to lord it over anybody. You’re co-workers first. And your goal as supervisor is to help them enjoy their work and enjoy success. You want to be a servant leader.

How do I juggle the demands of two bosses?

I’m an administrative assistant for two attorneys who are both partners in a law firm. I’m often in a position where they’ve given me too much to do and the work needs to be prioritized. Neither one sees his work as being “second.” How do I juggle their demands?

Sue them?

You’ve got three problems: overload, ambiguity and two “me first” bosses. Three solutions are communication, coordination and clarity.

I'm overwhelmed with personal invitations from employees

I run a small company and I’m often getting invited to employees’ parties for their kids’ events, like graduations, weddings and first Communions. I hate to offend them, but if I go to everything, my spring and summer weekends would never be my own. Can I pick and choose, or is it all or nothing?

Answer:

Render to employees that which is employees’ and to weekends that which is weekends.

Do I have to hire my boss' nephew?

My supervisor wants me to hire his nephew for the summer. We have other, more-qualified applicants – this doesn’t feel right. Is there a way I can say no? Should I go over my boss’ head?

Don’t go over his head. Get into his head. Diplomatically ask him three questions. If he gives perfect answers, it will go like this:

Question 1: Authority

You: Boss, I need your direction on this hiring decision. Is it my responsibility to hire for this job?

Boss: Of course. You have the authority.

I don't have any friends at work

I’ve been at my job for a few months now, and I haven’t made any friends yet. I feel like no one cares about me as a person. How can I make connections with people and turn my co-workers into friends?I

It’s good that you want to feel connected to people at work. But, at the same time, be realistic about the nature of work and the nature of friendship.

Work is a place where we get things done, where we join our talents and efforts with other people to accomplish things — to produce goods or services. And we get paid to do so.

How can I avoid forced overtime?

I am regularly working more than 50 hours per week, even though I’m only supposed to be working 40. I don’t really care about the extra money – I’d rather have the time. Is there a way for me to avoid this forced overtime without losing my job?

Well, it’s nice to be wanted. And overtime is much better than undertime or no time at all.

I’m stuck in a dead-end job

There are four levels of satisfaction you can mindfully appreciate, in ascending order of fulfillment:

1. Stuff - Appreciate that your work generates money. Money has its rewards — like food, clothing and shelter.

2. Self - If you do your work well, take pleasure in your accomplishments, no matter how modest they seem.

3. Others - To the degree that you interact with colleagues or customers, make every effort to love and serve them.

My coworker won’t share crucial information

Apply the four cardinal virtues. You might remember them from the catechism (1805-09). They’re essential for human excellence and, from top to bottom, also give us a roadmap for problem solving.

Prudence. This is the perfected ability of right decision making. It’s the charioteer of the other three virtues, and it’s all about being rational – getting the best result through the best means. Get clear on your goal. Your bottom line result is good coverage during your coworker’s absences. To get there you’ll need:

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