Make it Work Q & A
Flirting with danger … pick your battles
Q: I’m a married woman with two kids but I daydream about a married man in another department and it’s affecting my work. I make excuses to go and see him in his work area. We’ve had lunch a couple of times and I know that I want more. I’m considering telling him how I feel.
Vera N. Held, Special to QMI Agency
A: Clean your own house or hire a cleaning service. Meaning, fix whatever is not right between you and your spouse and don’t bring your personal life to work. You are flirting with danger and it could cost you both a husband and a job. You are at work to work and for that you receive a paycheque. Don’t put the contract you have with your employer in jeopardy.
And remember you have two mouths to feed at home; those two kids need a mom who is “together.”
If you have an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) at work, seek out a counsellor. If not, see your family doctor for a chat and he or she can make an appropriate referral.You are not alone, nor do you need to handle this alone.
Keep communication with this man to the professional minimum to preserve all that you have. Be smart. Set firm boundaries.
Q: My employees regularly go through customs throughout the world. “Marty,” one of my engineers, recently lost a set of tools to a customs official who “liked” them. Marty put up a fight for the tools and it nearly cost him a night in jail. I told him not to argue with officials again, as his life is more important than the lost product.
A: Well said. The tools can be replaced. And an even stronger mandate needs to be enforced for your female engineers as the risk to their physical safety ranks higher. The old adage “pick your battles” applies.
Q: I’ve found that ignorance in the truest sense is responsible for some of the “computer errors” my employees make. For example, some people have stock tickers that regularly update throughout the day. Department bandwidth is limited and this puts a drain on the system. Other employees send out non-work related photos, video clips, and power point presentations — all of which take up company resources. When I explain this to them, they stop. But it really is time consuming to play watchdog.
A: Educating staff as to the dos and don’ts is one of the time-consuming elements to being a solid manager. Great news: they are listening to you and once you point out that what they are doing on company time costs dollars and is not appropriate, they readily stop.
Clearly you are respected. Continue to be a role model for your team.