I find it really interesting how someone else’s perceptions of our actions can influence how they treat us, or what they say about us.
I manage a staff of five people in my current position. I love what I do, I love the company I work for, and I love my staff. They are all incredibly hard working people who also seems to really really love the positions they are in. They all worked here prior to me being hired on, but none of them really wanted the position I am in. The company I work for searched for almost two years to find someone to take over this position. All in all, it took about a month and a half to get me hired on and I went through a total of two and a half hours’ worth of interviews to get in the door. The person who I was replacing had worked for the company for 10 years, and had been in the management position for 3. This person was also attending school so they only worked part time. My staff was in dire need of a full-time manager – someone to constantly be there to support them.
I knew that coming in as the new kid would be difficult, but the beauty of it all was that I got brought in to manage people. Not to say that I’m better than any of them, because without my team this whole department would fall to pieces… But I got hired on to be the boss! I was told my schedule was flexible, if needed I could occasionally work from home, and if I needed to leave for an appointment it is as easy putting in for the time off, or making up the hours later.
What I actually do on a day-to-day basis is a great example of my dream job. I still get to handle billing, but I also took on credentialing for all of our clinics, and one of my biggest roles is being the point person for any big decisions when it comes to anything health insurance related. My doctors ask me questions about policies, procedures, and general “what should I do?” type questions. My boss reads something and says, “Probably best to consult with Alecia about this.” even when people try to go over my head. It’s a beautiful thing – and I love working somewhere that I can apply all of this knowledge that I have about the weird world that is billing. My staff acknowledges that I’m helpful to them, I solve their problems, I’m accommodating when it comes to requesting time off or schedule changes… And yet the biggest problem that I’ve run into with my staff and the other employees in the office has to do with when I’m in the office. It’s totally crazy, and to me it’s down-right silly. We all work 40 hours – some work early, some work late, some leave early, some leave late, some work from home, some travel to other places to do their work… I wish it was just as simple as believing that people are completing the hours requested of them and not letting their perceptions of someone else’s time dictate their feelings about how someone is doing their job.
My boss understands – because he gets e-mails from me at 8:30pm, 10:00pm – when I’m home working on a project. I reply to his emails on Saturday, I take credentialing paperwork home to do at my kitchen counter… He understands that life happens and people need to be in and out need some wiggle room, because real-life doesn’t run an 8-5 schedule. Yet any time that there is a deviation in our expected programming, someone feels like they need to bring it up. Not just to the big boss, but to anyone who will listen. Why can so-and-so get away with that? Why can so-and-so leave an hour early? It just seems so ridiculous in my mind, and I wish that deep down people were going to pay more attention to someone’s accomplishments and what they get done on a day-to-day basis.