Beverly – The Power Mad Queen
I’m just exhausted. The stress of this job is unbelievable. Well, that’s not entirely true. I mean the job is challenging but it’s the people I work with who just about make this unbearable.
I’ve been working at the restaurant for about 7 years and for the last 4 I’ve been doing the scheduling. No one really appreciates how challenging creating this schedule is every single week and they seem to think they can just ask off for days whenever they feel like it.
I’ve got things very organized now. I have 3 distinct shifts:
- Day shift
- Swing shift
- Overnight shift
We’re open 7 days a week so I shift the girls between the weekdays and the weekends. That way everyone shares the weekend responsibilities.
I don’t allow people to move between shifts because, well that would just be messy. Yes, the roles are the same but you just can’t allow chaos. I’ve done a fantastic job of creating some base schedules for the employees where they work mostly the same shifts and days every week. But I get bonused on keeping the payroll costs down and when I found out I could avoid “holiday pay” for the girls by not having them follow the same schedule every week, well that was a huge win. You see, if the holiday falls on “their regularly scheduled work day” they get paid time off even if they don’t work. But by changing the schedule constantly they don’t really have “regularly scheduled work days”.
I save the company money, I make my bonus and everybody wins!
And yes, they are not all girls. Not really. I mean there are two guys on the staff, but they are mostly girls, so that’s what I call them. It’s not a big deal.
So why was today so stressful?
Well first it was Cindy. She didn’t like the schedule for next week saying she couldn’t work on Tuesday because she had a doctor’s appointment. Like that’s my problem. She said she turned in the request a month ago.
A month ago!
Like I’m supposed to keep track of things that far out? I mean, really. What is she thinking? So now she wants to trade schedules with Beth. Beth would work her shift on Tuesday and Cindy will work Beth’s shift on Thursday.
Oh sure, it sounds easy. They both do the same job but Cindy has a 9 hour shift starting at 8 AM on Tuesday but Beth’s shift is only 8 hours on Thursday and starts at noon. They act like this is no big deal but I see what it really is. It’s chaos. And it’s an attempt to undermine me. They think they should be able to trade shifts whenever they feel like it. Well, I put my foot down and squashed this right away. I’m the one in charge here, not them and they don’t just get to change things whenever they want.
But Cindy was still upset because she said it took her a month to get that doctor’s appointment and that she can’t just change it. Of course, I don’t believe that for a second. But I accommodated her as best as I could. I finally moved her off Tuesday to Wednesday. I shifted Beth from Thursday to Tuesday and moved Lisa from Wednesday to Thursday.
See what a hassle this is? It’s no wonder I’m stressed out. Of course as soon as I made the changes both Beth and Lisa complained. Lisa didn’t think she needed to be involved in this change at all, but that’s the only way to let them know they just can’t change things on their own. I made it clear to them that this was all Cindy’s fault and they shouldn’t be complaining to me. Cindy is the one that had to have the day off and could schedule her doctor’s appointment on a day she was off. I mean, that schedule was published a full 5 days before its effective date and I think that’s pretty darn good. I’m doing the best I can trying to keep all of this chaos organized.
Of course the worst part is that this happens all the time. They constantly want days off that just don’t match up with the schedule I created.
It’s no wonder I’m so stressed out. But for now, I’m going to bed.
If you work with Beverly you have a few options to deal with her more effectively:
- Punch her in the nose.
- Keep close records of every request that you make. And yes, that means keep a copy for yourself. And then follow up with Beverly before she puts the schedule out. She will need to be micro-managed and you can be sure that she will look for ever small reasons to deny your requests.
- Try and befriend Beverly and let her know that you understand the challenges that she faces, even if you really don’t. Beverly has a need to be right and to be in control. Showing her that she is wrong will not help and in fact will only hurt. But if you can befriend her and offer to work with her on the challenges of scheduling it might get marginally better for you.
If Beverly works for you, you have a major challenge in front of you. People with Beverly’s style have an overwhelming need to be in control and it’s likely that when you hear of her challenges you will be hearing a very limited view of the truth. If Beverly is to overcome her need to be right all of the time then she will need to learn that it is ok to be wrong sometimes and that no one will think the less of her for making a mistake. She also needs to understand that admitting a mistake and taking corrective action is as valuable as being right in the first place. No amount of discipline or coaching will help Beverly until she realizes that making a mistake is not the end of the world and that it’s really pretty normal.
Want to learn more about working with people like Beverly?
The upcoming “Diary of a Brilliant Jerk” contains much more detail about Beverly’s behaviors and motives including how to work with her and how to develop her. Click the link below to buy this chapter for only $4.95 and download the chapter instantly.