That's Not My Job

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  • help him, is his need a higher priority to the company than what I am working on?
  • If I can't help him now, when can I?
  • How can I train him so that I don't have to do this in the future?
  • Is this a sign of a broken process? If so, how can it be fixed?

Once Bill cooled down (both literally and figuratively), we discussed the shipping process. We examined the shipping work instructions and found that there were significant holes in them. I called the head of shipping to find out what Bill needed to do to ship his box and arranged for Bill to meet with one of the shipping clerks, who would walk him through the process. Bill was much less tense when there was a definite end in sight.

I told Bill to document the missing steps in the international shipping process. I arranged a meeting between Bill and the head of shipping to review the process. I also asked Bill to submit a process improvement suggestion to QA with the amended procedure.

Most of your coworkers want to do a good job, and they sincerely want to help you when they can. Work with them and fit your issue into their schedules. You'll probably get the help you need.

About the author

Peter Clark's picture Peter Clark

Peter Clark has twenty years of experience in industrial automation. He currently manages teams working in materials handling, especially baggagehandling systems. A regular columnist on StickyMinds.com, Peter can be reached at pclark@jerviswebb.com.

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