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Dealing with poor management
Old 02-06-2015, 04:49 AM   #1
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Dealing with poor management

Looking for a little advice about an issue that has really been bothering me lately. I am a Sr. Corrections Worker in a juvenile detention facility. This is an entry level supervisor position and I have worked for county government for 5 years. Something has happened that I don't feel is right and I am looking for advice.

On my shift (3rd) there are 3 Sr. Correction Workers who perform supervisory tasks. There are also 2 higher up supervisors who perform supervisor tasks. The 3 Sr. Corrections Workers share weekends by working every other weekend, having every other weekend off, etc. Since there are 3 of us, I work my weekends by myself, and the other two work their weekends together. My days off would look like:

Sat. off, Sun. off, Friday off, Tuesday off, Sat. off, Sun off, etc, etc,

The other two Sr. CW's is the same, just opposite of mine. I am entitled to the weekends off, but the Friday and Tuesday can be subject to staffing needs. For example: proper coverage, preferences, trainings, etc. Everyone prefers to have Friday off, so the Fridays I have to work (the Friday before my weekend off) I have to work by myself (as a Sr. CW), because the other two don't want to work on Fridays. I have always thought this was a little greedy on their part, but never complained because I don't mind working alone and I enjoy having my every other Friday off as well.

Recently, someone higher up has noticed this lack of coverage and now we have to change up the schedule where not every Sr. CW is working on Thursday's and only 1 Sr. CW is working Fridays. If I had to use a sick day for some reason on such a day, the shift supervisor would be somewhat screwed. This shouldn't happen if the scheduling was done properly. I spoke with my supervisor about this because I didn't think it would affect me like the other two Sr. CW's who work together. If I was to work on the Fridays I preferred to have off, there would be all 3 of us there. Since the other two work the same weekends together, they are the ones who would have to give up a Friday every two weeks and make it so 2 of us are there on a Thursday and two on Fridays as well. My supervisor agreed that this was the issue and that they were the ones that caused this problem (both taking their Fridays off, regardless of coverage needs).

At first I thought I had won the battle and was in the clear. Buy a new schedule was posted and they reversed the decision to keep my schedule the same. Even after the schedule was posted, one of the other Sr. CW changed the schedule again and used a vacation day on the Friday he was forced to work. There is the same "lack of coverage" on the Friday that was needing to be fixed. Basically, I lost my Friday, that did not affect their supervisor coverage, and the other guy just changed the schedule on a day supervisor coverage was actually needed (the whole point of changing it to begin with).

I have already talked to my supervisor about this twice (took notes). I have been dealing with their greed for having their most optimal schedule for the past 8 months, and my days off were never changed in the past 8 months as well. It wasn't until now that it changed and I feel that it isn't right. The person in charge of making the schedule is a Sr. CW (the one who used the vacation day on the Friday he had to give up). The shift supervisor is a little incompetent at her job. I doubt she even looks over it. She has an attitude like: its just another thing she doesn't have to do/worry about. I ask her about my new schedule and she acts like she knows nothing about the changes, has no idea that I have been getting screwed over by the others greed for so long, or how my Fridays off isn't causing the lack of coverage. It's almost not even worth talking to her about it because she is so clueless about everything going on around work. We have a policy about following the chain-of-command and I have already talked to her twice. Now I am looking for some advice. I'm thinking I should do one of the following:

A) Talk to the Coordinator about these problems. Explain how I don't think it is right. (this is likely to cause a lot of friction for myself)
B) Stop being a cry baby and just do what I'm told. (maybe I am being greedy myself)
C) Go find a new job. (I know I will leave one day, just need more motivation...)

I did apply for a new job and am waiting for their decision to do interviews. In a way I don't want to complain about this whole issue, but if I do actively try finding a new job (starting to now, may pursue more aggressively) I don't want something like this to end up back-firing on me when it comes to reference checks. I am good at what I do (no discipline, good reviews/progress reports), but people do hold grudges when you try "rock the boat".

One last point, the person in charge of doing the scheduling (a Sr. CW) is only doing it because one of the higher supervisors who used to do it quit 8 months ago. We have a new supervisor (there are two, Assistant and Sup), but the task of scheduling hasn't been changed back to anyone else. With the shift supervisor being so incompetent about everything, the Sr. CW does the scheduling basically how ever he wants. She may look at it, but doesn't question inadequacies about it. So in a way, I feel like I'm getting bossed around by someone my own rank. He makes his scheduling all picture perfect, uses comp days, holiday days, or anything he can to get more days off in a row, more weekends, etc. Then makes the decision to screw mine up. Just doesn't seem right.

Any ideas of what to do?
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Old 02-06-2015, 05:31 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Tykimeister View Post
Any ideas of what to do?
Talk directly with the colleague who you feel is doing you wrong, not with the supervisor. Tell them you feel the schedule/workload is not fairly balanced, and suggest a better setup.

If this does not work out, make up your mind how much it bothers you. Then you can decide whether you want to make a big fuss or just suck it up. You need to pick your battles.
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Old 02-06-2015, 06:26 AM   #3
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Talk directly with the colleague who you feel is doing you wrong, not with the supervisor. Tell them you feel the schedule/workload is not fairly balanced, and suggest a better setup.

If this does not work out, make up your mind how much it bothers you. Then you can decide whether you want to make a big fuss or just suck it up. You need to pick your battles.
I think I am at the point of picking my battles.

I talked with my supervisor fist, to get all the facts straight. She told me that it shouldn't affect my days off, like it would the other two. I then talked to the Sr. CW that does the schedule and told him that it shouldn't affect mine, explained what the sup. told me. That is when they changed the schedule again and he told me that the supervisor told him she didn't say to him, what she told me.

You can tell by their attitude and body language that talking to them about it is not going to help. When I first brought it up they started being all secretive about things, avoided being around me, and just being totally different than before. Then after they shafted my schedule and still made their better, they started being nice again, like to make things better so I don't continue to complain or talk to someone higher about it.
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Old 02-06-2015, 06:41 AM   #4
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Could a three-way meeting between you, the Sr. CW making the plan and your supervisor help to straighten things out?
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Old 02-06-2015, 06:53 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Tykimeister View Post
I think I am at the point of picking my battles.

You can tell by their attitude and body language that talking to them about it is not going to help. When I first brought it up they started being all secretive about things, avoided being around me, and just being totally different than before. Then after they shafted my schedule and still made their better, they started being nice again, like to make things better so I don't continue to complain or talk to someone higher about it.
You can't assume you will receive "justice" from management. Be careful it doesn't turn out that you become the "problem employee" disrupting the morale of the workplace. Many supervisors don't care about doing their jobs properly. They are just trying to shuffle on with as little angst as possible until they vest for their pension.

I didn't follow your entire description but it appears they are getting the better deal at your expense. They did it by being 2 against 1 and now you're overturning their gravy train.
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Old 02-06-2015, 07:07 AM   #6
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You can't assume you will receive "justice" from management.
One more reason to stand up for yourself. If your colleagues consider you a pushover, they will continue to bully you.
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Old 02-06-2015, 07:31 AM   #7
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Do you like the job otherwise? I am sympathetic to you but the reality is that you are the newbie and low man on the totem pole and their seniority gives them better scheduling as a perk (I am assuming they have been at this particular job longer--if not, you are really the odd man out). Like people who have been someplace the longest get to pick their vacation weeks first--that's not really fair either but it is pretty common.

A different manager would probably have a completely different schedule (e.g., always two people working so each get sonly every third weekend off) but you aren't in charge of it.

I think you should let this go, smile, and keep interviewing for other jobs.
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Old 02-06-2015, 02:13 PM   #8
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Do you like the job otherwise? I am sympathetic to you but the reality is that you are the newbie and low man on the totem pole and their seniority gives them better scheduling as a perk (I am assuming they have been at this particular job longer--if not, you are really the odd man out). Like people who have been someplace the longest get to pick their vacation weeks first--that's not really fair either but it is pretty common.

A different manager would probably have a completely different schedule (e.g., always two people working so each get sonly every third weekend off) but you aren't in charge of it.

I think you should let this go, smile, and keep interviewing for other jobs.
I enjoy the job in a sense. I work with troubled youth and that has some value when I look at what I'm accomplishing. However, I am coming to the realization that I need to find something that pays better. Sooner or later, I know I will move on and even go back to school to find work that pays better.

I have comparable seniority as the others, but the issue is that I haven't been a Sr. staff as long as they have. Seniority has little to do with scheduling on other shifts, since most people share weekends and have every other one off. On 3rd, people tend to do whatever they want because the shift supervisor isn't very assertive and other people don't notice what goes on since 3rd shift usually "gets under the radar".

At work people tell me that I am quiet, never complain, and work hard. I know subordinates have more respect for me than the other supervisors because I help out with tasks, train people better, answer questions, basically everything that "is doing my job". The others have the mentality of, every man for himself. They don't help out, their lazy, make excuses for not doing more, etc. It could be possible that they think I'm a pushover, so I think bringing this to someone else attention would get the point across that I wont put up with their BS.
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Old 02-06-2015, 03:13 PM   #9
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It doesn't seem right to me that a peer does all the scheduling and can skew things his way. Suggest to your supervisor that all 3 of you do the schedule and that the 3 of you must agree on it before it is given to her for review and approval.... that should remove the issue of your peer trying to slant the schedule their way.

If she doesn't agree to the change, tell her that you intend to talk with HR about the inequities in the scheduling process as that might prod her to agree. Just keep in mind that if they are jerks about it you may be stuck and just need to leave so there is some risk, but one the other two Sr. CW's realize that you are willing to stand up to them they might change their tune. Most cowards will.
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Old 02-11-2015, 05:48 PM   #10
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Well I ended up talking to the corrections coordinator about this whole issue. After getting some advice from some people I trust, it seemed appropriate to go up to the next boss.

I don't think anything will come of my complaints. The coordinator didn't really want to listen to the argument I had prepared for her. Lots of excuses for the behavior going on, not knowing whats really happening, rambled on about thing that don't even matter, etc... I wouldn't say it was a waist of time, but she definitely did not see what the "big deal" was.

She is going to talk to my supervisor about this issue, so I suspect my supervisor will either get a little frightened and let me have my usual days off, or she will let things continue the way it is. Or the scheduling may just go back to normal, who knows. I don't think she understands that I wanted the issue resolved now, rather than bringing up the same topic month after month after month. Now its time to deal with pissed off people at work, probably. Let the job hunting begin.
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Old 02-21-2015, 05:48 PM   #11
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Yep. Youll be dealing with pissed off people now. I wish I had read the post sooner my advice would have been:

Provide solutions: Remember managers love people who basically do 99% of their work for them. Tactfully speak to the senior CW and shift supervisor and tell them how you would like to be a team player and reduce their workloads by taking on extra tasks, specifically scheduling. Its a need you feel your skills would be a good fit for and it will help you gain experience in the workplace...blah blah blah.

Oh well, they may have seen through that anyway.

But good luck to you.
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Old 02-21-2015, 07:28 PM   #12
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Any update Tykimeister?
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Old 02-21-2015, 08:54 PM   #13
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Missed this when it came around...

Why not get on one of the other shifts


If you work for gvmt, is there not a union? Mose places have unions and they can handle the issue for you.... that is unless the union rep is the guy giving you the bad schedule..

One thing I was having trouble understand was who was whom.... IOW, everybody seemed to be a supervisor... so you are one.. the other guys are also... your boss is one and her boss is one...
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Old 02-22-2015, 09:12 AM   #14
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I worked rotating shifts most of my Federal career, and have seen things like that go on. That's what your union is for. If the one doing the scheduling is union, go above his/her head. Fair is fair and you have the same rights to a schedule as the others. Just my retired opinion.
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