Monday, March 8, 2010

Great Expectations

Sometimes I feel as if the whole world is against me and I have to remind myself not to be so paranoid. After all, most areas of my life are quite pleasant and some excel well beyond good. The real issue, I am rediscovering, is that I have very high expectations for myself and I transfer these expectations to others. Maybe it is not fair to ask others to meet a bar that I have set for them based on my abilities and preferences of behavior. But I have set it there and I want it to stay there.

Most recently, my supervisors at work have thudded against it. It's not the first time, nor is it the second time. Truthfully, I can't even remember how many times I have been let down by their inability to vault over the bar. So, are my expectations just too out of reach?

I've worked with several organizations that happily told their employees of the high quality work they should expect from management and supervisory staff. I've been one of the people on the bragging end. Most of the time, I have seen people in these positions carefully upholding their end of the typical employment deal: You do your job and I will provide the support you need to do it well. Sure, everyone, including myself sometimes find themselves caught in red tape or personal muck that makes it difficult (and sometimes impossible) to achieve the goals. But to constantly feel like management is failing their employees means something is wrong.

Let's look at my most recent situation. I work with preschool aged children in a variety of capacities. One aspect of my job includes taking some of these children away from the primary care area and teaching them pre-sports skills such as teamwork, cooperation, leadership and fundamentals like taking turns and dribbling a ball. When I first started, I never signed my children up for other classes because I couldn't be there to both drop them off or pick them up. I was told by the head of the department that my co-workers still within the primary care area would be responsible for ensuring my child made it to or from class if I wanted to sign them up for specialty classes.

So, I've signed them up for classes. My daughter misses approximately a third of her classes and is late to another third. My son would miss more than half of his classes if I didn't take the responsibility for getting him there even though I am not typically in his area of the program. Is it a surprise then that upon returning to the primary care area I would be upset that my daughter missed yet another class that I have to pay for? When I asked why she didn't go, the supervisor on the shift said she was busy and I should not expect her to make sure it happens. Her supervisor was there and said it wasn't the staff's problem if she doesn't go, it was mine. If I didn't like it, I should take it up with the head of the apartment. This was proceeded by "airwashing" of their hands and literally walking away from me. One of the staff standing in the area them walked over and said, "I'm sorry it was missed. From now on, I will make a point of getting her there. I'm really sorry."

Am I wrong in thinking that should have been more or less how the conversation went from the beginning? Shouldn't the supervisors said that they were sorry she missed her class and that we should work something out to make sure she is getting to them? Shouldn't I be offered a refund for the class every time they fail to get my kids where they are suppose to be? It's all within their ability. Concerning the staff who took it upon herself to act like what I would expect a supervisor to act like, I wish I would have been able to say thank you with more sincerity.

I'm blowing it all out now, moving beyond this and taking the high road. At least, I am trying to.

1 comment:

  1. I think you know what I think here. I do agree with you. I have had so much frustration when people can't live up to their promises of hold their principles only for a select few.

    I wish you luck with this.