New employee self-serving not team-oriented : LUSENET : work teams : One Thread

I work as a medical transcriptionist in an acute care facility. We have been through much trauma, many left, and those remaining have settled into a teamwork effort, united front, what's best for the team as a whole to get the work done, etc. A new employee was hired. She decided she did not want to work the July 4 holiday. She knew that as the newest employee she did not have seniority and that those with seniority were the ones who would have the holiday off. Without telling any colleague, she submitted to the assistant director, also new, a request (far in advance) for the day off. The reasons she gave once this was discovered and she was called on it by the group were: 1."I don't get to spend much time with my boyfriend and I didn't want to work the holiday." (she has weekends off--many of us do not.) 2. "I always had to work holidays at my other job because I didn't have seniority and I didn't want to work this one here." The coworker on same shift as she was younger, with children at home and a husband, and she had seniority. The newer worker didn't care about that--she wanted what she wanted, knew she didn't have the seniority for it so was crafty and figured out a way to beat the seniority system. It probably would not have worked had we not had a new assistant director. As it happened, the coworker on her shift left for another position before the July 4 holiday. To cover the shift, workers with seniority were told they had to work it -- workers who usually work the day shift. This meant they would have to come in and work the 3:30 to midnight shift and come back again the next morning and work the 7:00 to 3:30 shift.

I would like to know if I am wrong in thinking this woman is self-serving and selfish and interested only in what she wants, if she was out of line in her selfish, sneaky approach, and what the proper way to handle the situation would have been.

It should also be noted that when she was called on this by a colleague, she went whining to the lead and saying how hurt her feelings were, etc. In other words, manipulating sympathy from the one-down position. Never once did she apologize for throwing off the balance of the office or imposing on the lack of sleep the day worker would experience. This new employee seems to see nothing wrong with what she wants. She is 50+, sees her boyfriend every weekend anyway.

-- Sherry May (, July 02, 2000


I believe that some employees will take advantage of these types of situations when the organizational structure allows it. I prefer to have the teams review requests for time off, then submit to management a recommendation for approval or denial. Apparently, in your case the assistant director approved the request without consulting with the team.

Al Dahms Leadership Dynamics

-- Al Dahms (, July 08, 2000.

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