(The Story-A-Day writing prompt for today was a story in letter form. I had fun with this one.)
Dear Ms. Carew,
As you know, I am not usually one to complain. I generally like to keep a positive attitude and it has been my experience that most situations will improve if left to their own devices. This does not seem to be the case with our new manager, however, and I feel it is time to bring one of the more challenging aspects of the situation to your attention.
On her first day of work ‘Miss Charlene’ (as she requested we call her) was very popular because she instituted an extra break time and she suggested that we put our heads down on our desks for a nap in the early afternoon. I assumed that this was part of a greater workplace wellness strategy, and since it feel in line with some recent research on the matter, I went along with the practice. It felt very strange to nap at work but I found it very refreshing and the quality of my subsequent work was high, so I did not think it would become a problem.
I’m sure that we could have continued with the midday naps and the extra snack for quite some time without negative effects, but her changes didn’t stop there. About two weeks ago, she started taking us all for a walk at about 10:45. Again, being outdoors for part of the workday made sense to me, even though it was a little disruptive, so, in the interest of workplace harmony, I encouraged the naysayers to go along with the plan. I could not go along with her suggestion that we all hold a skipping rope to keep us together in a line while we walked but otherwise the excursion was enjoyable.
Please note, I have also found ways to adjust to her morning ‘sharing circle’ and her ‘sing-a-long time’ in the afternoon, so I don’t think that I can be accused of being anything less than a team player.
I cannot, however, go along with Miss Charlene’s latest approach to managing her team. When Steve* in IT was unable to make his deadline on our latest project, she did not offer him more support or encourage his coworkers to help him work through the database issues. Instead, she made him sit in the corner and (this is a direct quote) ’Think about what you’ve done, young man.’ After an hour, which I believe he spent napping, he was allowed to return to his desk.
Personally, I find this method infantilizing and I do not think that they improve productivity in any way. In fact, I am beginning to think that ‘Miss Charlene’ may not be management material and may, in fact, be a preschool teacher. I believe this bears further investigation…
Oh, Miss Charlene is singing the snack time song, so I have to go before Jenny takes all of the goldfish crackers again, but please contact me at your earliest convenience regarding this matter. (Miss Charlene’s methods, I mean not Jenny and the goldfish, I can handle that meanie on my own.)
*I believe in her account she will refer to him as ‘Little Stevie’- these diminutives may also bear looking into.