Occasionally, a common workplace issue, such as lack of productivity on the Night Shift, can be addressed  using a surprise tactic. The other night, as K.Lo broke loose from her cubicle for the umpteenth time in a week, and the CEO grouched about having to get some work done for his Other Job (tell me about it!), I jumped in and took over. The little employee, wearing a Night Shift uniform of an oversized T-shirt and whale-patterned pajama pants, wore a look on her face that was equal parts defensive and worried. Defiant, yet pitiful. I said to her, "Come with me. You're going to help the Kitchen Staff."

For the next half hour or so, we made the first part of a cake for the next day's company holiday celebration. After a shade of initial skepticism that she really wasn't being punished for her ECC violation, K.Lo proved to be quite an enthusiastic apprentice in the Company Kitchen. She stirred up the strawberry Jell-o until all the ice cubes melted, she placed all 10 slices of pound cake into the pan, lining them up just right. And for her grand finale, she dumped 2 cups of blueberries and chopped strawberries into the Jell-o. As it does for The Manager, work in the Company Kitchen seemed to calm my employee right down.

Afterward, we returned to business as usual and marched back to K.Lo's cubicle, where I caught up on paperwork until the employee fell fully asleep at her desk. I'm pleased to note that she didn't complain this time, prior to clocking back onto her shift. And bonus, I was able to soak up some unexpected quality, one-on-one training session time with K.Lo. Totally a win-win.

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4 peanuts:
  1. Andria says:

    What a great manager! That's the way to make something positive about being called into work in the middle of the night, even when you are the boss and shouldn't have to make a personal appearance. And you were productive rather than resentful - I bet the Kitchen Staff really appreciated having one less duty when they came in the next morning. Totally a win-win situation all around.

  1. life is just too exciting to go to sleep sometimes...

  1. Kurt says:

    You must be very committed to the company to take extra night shifts like that.

  1. Megan says:

    Kudos to you, Manager! There are those times when a twist to the expected is necessary and ultimately productive. Bravo for scoping this time out and making a pleasant end to the work day for all parties involved!