Saturday, March 23, 2019


I've been training in quality control. I like it, but although it is the same company, things are quite different in that department.

Thursday afternoon, I got quite a complicated pallet of work, and since I am new, I try hard to be careful. I went to the woman who trained me, and explained what I was doing and that it was likely to take me a while. She said told me not to worry about it, but she also told me to make sure that I put myself in off-standard work.

Off-standard means that they will not calculate your efficiencies using that time frame. In my last department, putting yourself in off standard was a big no-no. That was called 'cheating', pure and simple.

I met, and exceeded, the standards in my previous department but I always thought it was unfair that they calculated the time spent on replacing the labels in your printer, or having difficulty with the computer, or having any problem that required you to find someone to ask questions. It really rankled me to hear the word 'cheater' bandied about so freely.

I consider myself a person of integrity. That is not to say that I'm perfect, but it does mean that I try my best and that I don't think there is any reason that my honesty should be in doubt. I don't believe that I've given them any reason to doubt it. I was plain spoken about this, something which did not endear me to the supervisors there.

I worked away at my new job, patiently, carefully, working as quickly as I could, but still, I still had another pallet of mixed cases the next morning. I worried about that,  so when my supervisor came around, I explained to her that I would have a lot of off-standard time, and why.

She assured me that I had nothing to worry about. She said that if she saw I was in the same case for hours, she'd have questions for me, but she didn't see that as something that would ever be an issue with me.

It was a little shocking to hear that. She was saying, in effect, "I trust you. I trust your judgement."

Those are important words for an employee to hear.

I went back to work, and eventually I got through those cases and on to less challenging stuff. I flew through that.

Here's the rub. I'm not meeting standard there, and I do not understand why. It is frustrating to me. I'm not even in the ballpark. I've been asked several times if I plan to transfer to the department. I tell them, "I would love to, but I will not until I know for a fact that I can meet the efficiencies of this department." (Plainly and simply put, at this company, if you do not meet efficiencies, you will be fired.)

The supervisor in this department has taken it upon herself to insure that I meet efficiencies, extra work for her, and I appreciate it very much.

The first time that she watched me work, she gave me some suggestions. I spent the next couple days working more slowly but using that time to instill a slightly different procedure that incorporated her suggestions. She watched me again yesterday, and actually stopped me to tell me how pleased she was.

Later when we were talking, she told me that I worked at 105% efficiency while she watched me. She also wondered why I wasted time double checking myself. I blinked a little at that. She said, "You don't need to." We talked for a while, she answered a couple questions.  I thanked her. She said, "My job is to make sure all my people succeed."

I went back to my desk and went to work.

It is a huge difference to work in a department where you are treated with dignity and where your questions are not immediately perceived as challenging authority.  Seems like a small thing, maybe, but it's a big deal to me. I really would like to stay in this department.


Snoskred said...

The small things are important. I'm struggling with a similar thing at my workplace right now.

Cheating is a big word to throw around!

You've inspired me to write a post at my blog on this subject.. which will appear later today. :)

Debby said...

It's a huge thing, Snoskred. That particular supervisor doesn't have a lot of confidence, I don't believe. She tends to run her share of that department with a heavy hand. Cheating is a big word to throw around, mostly because people get fired for cheating. I think it might be a threatening word to shut people down, to avoid anyone challenging her. It's a strange department to work in. I'm frustrated when things don't make sense, so I'm sure I'm not an easy person for her to supervise. I ask questions. I'm not sure whether she doesn't know the answer, or not, but she tends to want to send me back to work the quickest way she knows how.

Ed said...

Over the years I have worked for a number of companies where everyone was treated with respect, almost like family. Then as companies are want to do, they get bigger, more people are hired and eventually we become just acquaintances and respect goes out the window. That is why I cashed in my shares of the last company and called it quits. I missed that respect and being treated like a family member.

Debby said...

The company has plenty of benefits, and over all, they do well by us, but where the problem comes in is when you have a supervisor with poor management skills. I really try to understand their situation: they're probably doing the best job they can, but knowing what's going on doesn't make it any easier to tolerate. Some departments are easier to work in than others. I am finding this out.

BB said...

Oh Debby... I so wish all companies could see this post and understand how important it is that supervisors encourage rather than punish. So much more enthusiasm and efficiency would result!!! xxx

BrightenedBoy said...

A good supervisor is worth her weight in gold. But, man, it just rankles me to think of anyone worried about potentially losing their job because of a few seconds' lost "efficiency" as tabulated by a machine. What kind of morale can that possibly induce? And what employee would want to be loyal to such a business? I give you credit for having a great attitude; that kind of mindless corporate devotion to people-as-statistics is what has kept me far, far away from the private sector.