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Scene One: First Day On
Sheila felt ready to get
to work after her one day job orientation for new employees. When she
got to work, however, she was shocked. She was not prepared for the
fast pace, sophistication and skill level found in her new department.
By noon that day, Sheila felt like she was not cut out for the job.
She felt underskilled and under prepared to meet her department's challenges.
On her way to the company
cafeteria one of her co-workers, Tammy, caught up with her and they
had lunch together. Sheila was glad that Tammy was so friendly to her
and she was able to relax a little bit. During lunch Tammy talked about
their manager, Mr. Smith. Sheila learned that Mr. Smith was in trouble
with his superiors. Next, Tammy told her about James, the computer programmer.
She told Sheila that James spread rumors and was not to be trusted.
She talked about Mrs. Tyler, the accountant. She said that Mrs. Tyler
was an alcoholic and frequently took sips from a whisky bottle in her
Tammy asked Sheila to join
her for coffee after work. She said, "Trust me, Sheila. Once you
come to understand how screwed up everyone is around here, and get the
feel of the place, you'll do fine."
Question: Why would Tammy
be so friendly towards Sheila? What might happen if Sheila gets close
to Tammy? Have you ever been in a similar situation?
Scene Two: What's Your
first week on the job, John was eager to learn everything and to know
everyone in his department. He gave his opinion freely in discussions.
He worked overtime and did excellent work. Everyone seemed to like him.
One man who had been with the company for a long time said, "You
can't help but like John, but you can tell that he'd leave this department
in a second if it meant getting closer to the top."
Erica started work on the
same day as John. Unlike John, however, Erica kept more to herself.
She concentrated on her job and stayed in her area. She made an effort
to learn from others and listened to others in order to understand situations
before jumping in with suggestions. One of her co-workers said, "Erica
is a really nice gal. I think she's going to make a strong employee.
I like her."
Question: What do you
think the future will be like for John? For Erica?
Scene Three: Are You Ready?
Just before Doug went home
from his job as a cook on Friday night, the restaurant manager informed
him that she would be taking the next two weeks off, and that she was
appointing Doug to take her place starting Monday.
Although Doug has more seniority
than the other employees and is an excellent cook, he doesn't feel confident
in being able to handle the manger's job. Doug doesn't feel comfortable
dealing with the customers, using the cash register, or handling conflicts
that may arise between employees. He feels that he will fail at being
able to fill her shoes.
Question: What should
Scene Four: Moving Up,
really good about her new job. Her supervisor seems happy with her performance.
She's learned everything she needed to learn and is all around proving
herself to be a good employee.
Most people at the factory
are close to one another and seem like a family. Rosa hasn't spent any
time getting to know any of them since she has been spending her time
learning her new job. Now, she can perform her job as well as or better
than any of the other workers.
Lately Rosa's been thinking
about the possibility of becoming a supervisor at the factory. She figures
that since the job comes so easy to her that she needs a new challenge.
She plans on making an appointment with her supervisor next week to
discuss what steps she would need to take in order to move up to a supervisory
Question: Do you think
it would be a good idea for Rosa to move ahead on her desire to become
a supervisor? Have you ever been in a similar situation?
Scene Five: Absenteeism
After having spent a great
weekend camping, Kyle woke up Monday morning with a fever and a bad
stomach ache. He loved his new job, but realized that he would have
to call in sick. The others would have to pitch in to do his work. As
it turned out staying home Monday wasn't enough. He also had to call
in sick on Tuesday and Wednesday. Even after three days at home he still
didn't feel well, but figured that he had better get back to work in
order not to jeopardize his job. He went to work on Thursday and struggled
through until the weekend.
The next Monday Kyle feels
in top shape and everyone, including his supervisor, is friendly to
him and glad to see him feeling better. Kyle starts telling them all
about the fun he had on his camping trip. He could talk of little else
all day. He was so busy talking about his fun weekend that he forgot
to thank his coworkers for covering for him. Soon he began to notice
tension between himself and his co-workers. His supervisor also seemed
Question: What mistake
did Kyle make? Is there anything wrong with being absent when you first
start a job?
Scene Six: Decisions
one year on the job, Lima was called into her supervisor's office. Lima
was nervous and thought back over the last few weeks to see if she had
made any mistakes at work. She couldn't think of anything she had done
Lima was relieved when Mrs.
Peterson asked her if she would like to take a higher paying position
in one of two departments. As it turned out, both departments had openings
and had heard about Lima's excellent skills and work performance. Lima
could have her choice between the two departments.
Department A is supervised
by Mr. Kent, a long-term employee. Department A has the reputation for
promoting its employees faster than any other department. On the other
hand, Mr. Kent is known to be highly authoritarian and have a short
fuse if things don't go the way he wants. In fact, his employee turnover
rate is higher than that of any other department.
Department B is supervised
by Ms. Lee, a young manager recently out of college. Under Ms. Lee's
supervision people seem to be very productive and have a good time in
the process. Many workers envy the people who work in Ms. Lee's department.
On the other hand no one has been promoted from Ms. Lee's department
in the two years since she's been manager.
Question: What should
Lima do? Why?
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