** Disclaimer – this is not directly or indirectly about any individual I have worked with, it is about me and my account on behaviour related to being a supervisor/manager. If you have worked with me in the past, this is not intended as a message to you. As for my current staff, if you are reading this please know you are absolute angels. Also, you are already kind enough.
Throughout my 23 years of working I have experienced aspects of staff management from both ends of the spectrum – I have been managed and I have been a manager. While I don’t like to write about my ‘job’ on my blog (this is about me, not my job) I would like to share my insight on how it looks from a manager’s perspective. You know, in case you have never been one and are wondering. Also if you have a boss they may appreciate your newfound knowledge and acts of kindness that may follow as a result of your newfound knowledge.
I have supervised staff from when I was 23 and worked in the casino. Something you may not know about me, I was a croupier, and then an inspector (she who supervises croupiers) and I have worked on a cruise ship as a pit manager (she who supervises the inspectors). I loved working in casinos, not only did it open my mind to a whole other world I got to work with some amazing people. It was probably my favourite job to date after writing.
The difference in supervising in a casino environment to an office environment is you supervise hundreds of staff, not the same staff daily. I think I enjoyed this type of management most as you get to work with such a broad array of personalities and I learnt so much about people. I am a very, VERY good judge of character, I credit this to my casino days. Also as a result of having to deal with various personalities (staff and punters) I am also incredibly thick skinned, I am rarely offended.
One thing I didn’t understand as one who is supervised that I do now is, the person supervising has a lot more on their plate than the one being supervised realises. With increased responsibility comes, well, increased responsibility. While a manager needs to undertake their own role be it manage a business and take care of accounts/clients/debtors/creditors/staff/all of the above etc etc etc, or purely manage staff, there are a multitude of responsibilities the supervised aren’t privy to, and won’t ever be. On any given day a manager may have requests from clients, deadlines to meet, month end, payroll, contracts and manuals to research and draft, and then throw in grievances, more requests from clients and staff needs to be met. While a manager gets remunerated accordingly for the extra work, with that comes extra responsibilities. And often a lot of them!
While we spend half of our week at work we can often think it is all about us, about ‘me’. Well I can assure you, it isn’t. Yes chances are, as an employee, you make up a very large proportion of the picture, but there is still a much bigger picture that involves all of the above and then some. On top of that, you may sometimes think your boss doesn’t care, of course they do. They are just like you, blood and bones and EVERYTHING, but they also have deadlines and demands and surprise, surprise, a life.
I have had the extreme pleasure of working with some of the most inspiring and kindest people I have ever met. My ongoing personal relationships with some of the staff I have supervised and managed over the past two decades is testament to how much they have impacted on my life during our working days together. I have grown very fond of people I have previously (and currently) supervised, I respect the work ethic of many much younger than me that I have had the pleasure of working with.
Be kind to your boss. When you down tools and go home to your family at the end of your day, chances are your boss is still thinking about you well into the night. While they may not be physically able to fix your problems instantly, they are trying. They are. And even though they have constraints (and believe me there are always constraints) they are trying to solve that issue for you, in their own way, in their own time. It may not be instant or perfect to you, but they are trying.