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I'm the manager...

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I tried to push it away for sooo long and act just like a co-worker....


K so, we (my husband really) own this company. My husband has nothing to do with it as he hired the (supposed) right people initially. I worked AT the company since it opened. Always just worked there.


BUT, the people who were supposed to be runnin' the show, have since come and gone and left me to pick up the slack.


Well I have NO idea what I'm doing so sometimes I am just a co-worker and sometimes I'm the manager.


Well... most often, I'm SUPER lax as I hate the role of telling people what to do or reprimanding people when they're not ...doing what their supposed to.


But its getting SO outta hand! They never show up, they're never on time if they actually DO show up, I'm constantly covering their shifts... And its not a matter of confusion or lack of definition to my role. They all know I'm the "owners wife." (I hate that by the way...)


I know the responsibility of a manager is to cover when no one else can, but how do I "get firm" without scraping the whole staff and starting over!!


Any opinions? Advice? Suggestions? People who've been a manager? Team leader? The boss guy/gal??

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The worst thing you can possibly do is have an undisclosed relationship with a co-worker in a company. Especially on your and your husband's level.


Do a company policy refresher, and accentuate that it's time to get their crap together. Then start firing. You'll never be a friend first and a manager second. They will not see you like that, no matter how much you try. The most you can do is instill some fear/respect into them.


As you cleanse the trash employees, treat the newer ones like you would the older ones. No exceptions. They will begin work with a sense of "no messing around".

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Thanks Russ! Yeh - I don't know the laws well enough either. My husband will - I should ask him. Cos I actually thought about that withholding pay thing!


I DO believe in chances. Like, you're on probation minus a day's pay....I'll have to look into that. GREAT advice. I know that I'll never be their "friend" but I definitely needed a reminder!! Thanks!

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I have been in management and in charge of people from mechanics to air traffic controllers. The best thing that I can suggest that you do is to make an example out of someone. It has the same effect as if you were in high school and a bully would pick on everyone. Until one day, that bully picks on you and you knock the crap out of him. This sets a reputation for you that people will say "that girl is one of the sweetest ladies you would ever know, but please, DO NOT GET ON HER BAD SIDE! you should see what she did to that bully O'doyle" OUCH! lol


One thing that I did in particular when I was a Facility Chief in my Air Traffic Control tower.


I was a SGT and acting as Facility Cheif. I had heard a complaint about the day crew that they were goofing around in the tower and always showing up late to work.


Up until this day I had always been the NCO (non commisioned Officer) that the privates and specialists were able to come up to with friendship questions, problems or concerns. I would hang out with them outside of work and share jokes with them. They looked at me as an easy going Sergeant and one of their "buddies"


Well I came into work that night and got a call from the daytime Shift Supervisor stating that 3 of the soldiers were late once again to work and he had no idea how to punish them to where they would value the leadership and see how easy they actually had it.


I called each and every soldier at 7pm and told them to get into their batlle dress uniforms including their cavalar and ruck sack. I gave them a list of items to put into the ruck sack which came out to about 70lbs.


I told them to meet me at the control tower no later then 9pm and to bring a flashlight.


When they arrived at 9:15 pm in the company TMP van, I was raged. I told them to "double time" over to me (AKA run). Whne they were sitting in front of me I told them to get in the Front lean and rest posistion (a fancy way to describe "GET ON YOUR FACE"). I made them stay like that for about 15 minutes while I went back up to the tower and made a broadcast transmission for all pilots to circumnavigate the field to the north as I was to have training on the south 3 landing strips.


I went back down to the base of the tower and handed each soldier a flashlight and told them to low crawl from one end of the landing strip to the other and back while picking up pebbles and trash on the airfield. This took them about 3 hours to do and when they were finished I simply told them "I dont care if you discard me as a friend because it is not my job as an NCO to be your friend, I am here to make sure that you do the 3 simple things that are asked of you... Be at the right place at the right time and in the right uniform, If you can not be on time like we ask you to do then you will have to work overtime and do poinless excercises like this. I promise you, if you continue to be late, this task that you just completed will seem like a breeze. I do not want to hear anymore excuses on why you couldn't be here on time, GOT IT?!?"


They were never late again and they treated me and the other members of the NCO staff with a lot more respect.


I went back to work on the day shift to supervise them and I acted as if nothing had ever happened. I made them laugh and I was very easy going with them. I also praised them for showing up on time the next day and told them "If you guys are on time everyday for the next 30 days, I will buy you all a keg and we can party at my house, DEAL?"


From that day on they looked up to me and saw me as one of their friends but knew in the back of their head that they should never underestimate my leadership. I was an NCO for a reason and they should never had taken advantage of my kindness. I too was uneasy about punishing people but I have learned through other management experiences, the nicer and firmer you are with your employees, the more they will respect you.


You just have to find that medium line between friendship and management with your employees and the rest is simple. Fire the ones that are too stubborn and praise the ones that do a good job. I have found that my all time favorite managers were the ones that I was best friends with. Not because they let me get away with anything I wanted but because they respected me as an equal and portrayed one of those attitudes that made me think "he/she is a really cool boss but I would HATE to see her/him upset"


Those are the type of managers that get the job done and succeed.


It is a lot easier to manage then you think but always remember, if you do not have hte respect of your staff, then you will be walked all over.


general rules of thumb when it comes to management


1) Keep your employees on their toes and yourself on your feet


2) The more you respect your staff, the more they will respect you


3) Never walk all over your help because when it all boils down to it, they are your foundation. If you walk on them long enough, they will give away and you will slip through the cracks


4) Not rewarding your employees for a job well done is as detrimental to your business as having employees that do nothing. Your employees (if not praised or rewarded) will only work hard enough not to get fired. You must have some kind of incentive to keep them working hard. I.E. Run competitions, put up a bulletin and say "the employee that sells the most appetizers for the month will get a $100 gift certificate to (restaurant or store of their choice)"


Good luck and I hope this helped you out a little bit.

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The above (Aviatormy) gives very good advice. You could also do what they did in "Friends" (the TV show). Monica was having problems with her staff in the restaurant so someone (probably Chandler) suggested she "fake hire" Joey (the actor) and then fake fire him in front of everyone- just to shake them up and let them know she means business.

It kinda worked out (Joey was kind of useless about it but still)


I can't believe I'm giving advice via a television show.


So no one told you life was going to be this way.

Your job's a joke, you're broke, you're love life's DOA.

It's like you're always stuck in second gear,

Well, it hasn't been your day, your week, your month, or even your year.


Now I remember, it was said that director Orson Welles used to do this.

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LOL Clem - I'll play Rachael to your Chandler!!




AVIA - Thanks! A ton. You're totally right. I have very little to do with the operations of stuff. i just expect that everyone will work and don't have a clue what to do when they don't.


There is one guy who has been pretty exemplary - comparatively anyway, and I think you're right, we need to reward him some how. I was thinking of maybe giving him a day off with pay. We don't have anything like that or accrued vakay days or anything, they're all pretty part time. What do you think of that idea?

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OK Captn Planet - I get that.


I'll think about that.... I guess I feel like they sometimes respect the business - so like Russ said, maybe they need a refresher course in company policy. Cos for the most part, they ARE good people, they DO try.....


I sent them all an e-mail reminding them of the policies and, as a good lil SGT that Aviatormy would be proud of, I was hard. Well, straight to the point anyway. Just basically said, here's what you're supposed to be doing so shape up or I will ship you out.


Huh? Huh?


I gotta say tho - I don't think it suits me and I don't like it. I want someone else to take over.

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It is very common for new managers to alternate between being too lax, then overreacting and dropping the hammer and being too strict and micromanaging.


But you need to see yourself in the role of keeping a steady hand on the wheel. You can't drive without your hands on the wheel, and if you jerk the wheel and overcorrect it can cause problems.


The thing about being manager is you get to change your mind anytime you want. So if things have spiraled out of control because you weren't leading the team, then you should sit down and work up a list of policies and procedures you want followed. If you are a small company, tell them you are working on creating company policies to make things run more smoothly.


You can create a handbook that sets out office hours, and policies that if people are late a certain amount, their pay will get docked by the time they are late. You could get a timeclock to punch, or timesheets that require them to write in when they arrived.


Then you have a policy that timesheets can't be falsified. So if someone comes in late, dock them according to the hours on the timesheet, and if they lie about being late, you can tell them that violates company policy and they need to be accurate.


Then give them 3 written warnings and they're out if they don't conform.


You have to try to take it out of being personal, into being a company with company policies. Then as manager, you enforce the policy.


Re: being the owner's wife, if you own a small business then you are in charge. It doesn't matter if you're the owner's wife. That is what small business is about, a family business and by default you have the right to run it. Don't be afraid of your own authority, use it. You are the boss, and you establish and maintain the policy.


So those that get with the program get rewarded, and those who don't get docked and/or fired depending on how rebellious they are. It's a lot like being a parent where if they know they can get away with it, they will try. And once they realize they will be the ones who suffer if they violate policy (i.e., they get docked or fired), they will start toeing the line or leave.

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BeStrongBeHappy - that was so very well said. Thanks! And you're sooo right. Like, everything made sense.


We do have a lot of those policies in place already from some of the others who've come before me....I've added some new, taken some away... like you put it, as manager/owner I've been able to change my mind.


But I think - wand weird that it comes from here - that I needed permission in a way, to, as you so well put it, OWN my authority. It just feels so.... GROWN UP and I HATE acting that way lol. That and I have a weird paranoia about people not liking me. But as Aviatormy said, I'm not their friend......





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