My Team

I love my job (most of the time) – I’m busy from the moment I get there until the moment I leave and that’s a great way to spend the day. Considering I spend 9 – 12 hours a day there and sometimes go in on Saturday – it’s good to like it.

I manage some tasks at work – I say I manage people, but one of my bosses said a few years ago that I don’t, so we’ll let him have that – I know what needs to be done each day and I get to map the best way to get there. I’m a result oriented guy – I want the jobs done efficiently and timely. I rely on a handful of people to get that accomplished.

It’s hard for me to let those things go and trust those other people… well it was at first. After you give them a chance to prove themselves often enough and they do then you can relax a little bit about what you’ve given them. If I give these six things to her and these 5 things to him I can do these remaining things that also need to be done. 

I’m fortunate that the people I have on my team think like I do – we want the customer to receive a timely, accurate product and superior customer service. We have a phone answering contest each week – a report tells us who’s answered the most calls (last week it was me, this morning I got bragging rights and they all had excuses) it keeps us trying to do better. There are all kinds of little things we do each day to have fun – the phone answering contest is just one of many. That’s the key for me and the team – we need to be having a least a little bit of fun when we’re at the office, it keeps us motivated and ready to get the job done. But we’re also very competitive – each day we look at the activity reports to see how we did and what the others have done in comparison… sometimes those reports don’t reflect all the activities, but again it’s about bragging rights and pride. We like seeing that we got 165 activities done in a day.

It wasn’t always this way. In my department when I started even I wanted to cry, it was overwhelming and I just couldn’t seem to get the hang of it… this made it even more frustrating for me cause I can pick up new things pretty easily and just make them work. But not with this job. It took over a month before I started to feel like I could hang in there… As time went on people came and went through the department – many left in tears some just never showed up again… but we’ve changed that. I try to be encouraging and helpful to anyone new that comes in – I give everyone the same chance I had, if they had thrown me out the door after my first few mistakes I wouldn’t be there now. I tell everyone new that starts with us “it’s my job to make sure you succeed” – all new hires start with me and we show them how everything works from the bottom up. We have a lot of fun showing them too and get them laughing as soon as we can. Not everyone sticks around though – some by their own choice and a few by ours, not everyone is a good fit and it’s better to find out early. But I hope that while they’re with us they get a good sense of what we expect in a job and what they can do to improve themselves.

My team is fast, like super fast, and we have tools that make us even faster and it’s been a great help to the company. One of that hard things for me is to realize new people aren’t necessarily going to be as fast as us nor are they meant to be. That’s hard for me… but if they are just passing through to learn the ropes they don’t need to match the activities and speed of my team, they just need to learn the ropes as well as possible and move on.

When I get to the office I look at the tasks the day has in store for us, glance at the calendar to see if there are any bumps in the road and then think about who will be best at getting each job done. This person does this well, this person does this well and so on… but I also recognize some people love certain tasks more than others… I have a few things I don’t like myself and I try to pawn those off on people that do like them… make sense to us. I, for instance, do not like doing outgoing mail… but my crew does… so I let them do it and I can still do the task if we’re short handed or something comes up.

That’s the other great thing about my team – we actually pay attention to the whole chaotic system together. We can glance at an inbox and see that someone might be behind and then ask them how we can help. We want the job done for the whole team, not just the tasks that are set to us individually. It’s really a nice thing to have in people you work with. No one on my team just sits and watches others crash.. we’re not built that way.

We do have some tasks that get behind once in a while, I sometimes leave tasks in my queue too long, but we try to get them done when we can. I try to help when others have things in their’s that aren’t getting handled quickly by stepping in and doing the majority of their small activities – thinking that this will give them time to attack with fervor those forgotten tasks… but I usually expect my team to read my mind and know why I did something… and I haven’t got the telepathy figured out yet… maybe next week.

Good communication between us all is a great part of what makes it work – we’re all within earshot and email one another questions and issues we might be having.

anyway… I’m happy that I have my little team at my job and that we work very well together. I participated in their interviews and didn’t think either of them would be this good… I’m glad I can still be wrong once in a while.

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