Thursday, June 4, 2009

Manager Time-Zone: Morning, Noon, Evening

The Morning Manager

He loves the mornings. Starts his day at 5:30am and wraps it up by 3:30pm. Heck, when he was getting ready to leave for work today, you were brushing your teeth! Doesn’t matter if he was at the same party last evening, he’s just a morning person. If possible, he’ll wait for you at the office door! Just to check on the time (to the last nanosecond) you came into work. Late today? You did yourself a huge disservice. Today will have 36 hours! The first 10 hours will be spent listening to the manager asking you (a million times), “Why can’t you be on time?” And then he’ll rattle off a list of opportunities that you missed by coming in late. It could just be 0.000000001 of a second. But, it’ll be counted as late!

If you report to such a manager, it’s tough luck. Say good bye to some fun evenings and set your clock to a new time zone known as ‘Morning- Manager-Time-Zone’.

Things that will keep this manager happy (Read: away from your neck):
- Walk in early to work. Daily. Your name just got added to his favorite’s list. It doesn’t matter if you don’t accomplish anything till 11:00am. Seriously.
- He’ll insist on you completing your tasks within lunch time. Hurray! You got yourself an extended lunch break! Walk up to that favorite restaurant two blocks away and enjoy the meal.
- Call him when you know you’ll be late to work. Make that call at least 15 mins before your deadline.
- Reasons that won’t work: “Got held up in traffic”, “Had to drop the kids off at school”, “Had to prepare breakfast for the family”. He’s been there & done that.

The Noon Manager

He’ll walk in late to work. Maybe, he was on call with a client across time-zones that stretched into late night. So you think. So it may not always be. For this manager, the sun rises only at 11:30am. He walks into the office in frenzy; people have been at work for almost 4 hours! He has tons of things to catch up. So all team members will now have to spend an hour just to update him. He’s missed some vital calls with the clients, his manager has left a couple of voice messages asking for him, a hundred mails needs his attention and replies too – the list never ends. He spends the next four hours sorting out things that started early in the morning. He missed the bus! And he’ll ensure you miss it you, later in the evening.

If you report to such a manager: Keep that update-mail ready! Send it to him as soon as he enters office. That way, you’ll have time to finish your tasks without hindrance.

Things that will keep this manager happy:
- If you are first to update him on things that has happened since morning. By mail is best, that way he won’t have to ask you again!
- When work gets done irrespective of him being late! Wow! The team rocks!

The Evening Manager

He’s the most unnerving among the three. And a top contender in the worst manager category! Why? He comes into work - on time, completes his tasks – on time, takes his coffee & lunch breaks – on time, wraps up his work for the day – on time. You notice something? He has allotted time to finish only his part of the work. This means by the time he is done with his part it’s 4:00pm!! That’s when he realizes he has to allot your part of the job and ask you to complete it the same day! The client is waiting; the production team is depending on you! Wow! Suddenly, you seem to be in the hot seat! He then proceeds to finish his day & head home at 5:01pm. While you sit at office making calls to cancel dinner with spouse, cancel your date to the movies; tell your kids you’re held up at work! Phew! The evening just got stretched!

If you report to such a manager: Go ahead and have a word with him. Tell him you will do your part of the project; that you like meeting deadlines too; but it would be good to give you more lead time, which will guarantee better results.

Whom do you work for?