Author Topic: When a Boss doesn’t accept your expertise…Final Update #19  (Read 8058 times)

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DollyPond

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When a Boss doesn’t accept your expertise…Final Update #19
« on: December 01, 2012, 12:19:23 PM »
Dear E-Hellions,

I have a work situation where I need some outside perspective.  I work in a lab where I design new testing.  I have done this for over 10 years and have successfully introduced over 35 new tests for our lab.  One new test that I developed is almost ready to be implemented. 

The problem is we have a new interim director (former director suffered a tragedy) who is not very knowledgeable about test design.  She is asking for a lot of extra work to be done mainly to address a situation that might rarely, if ever, arise.  Mind you, this is not something that does happen regularly, it is not occurring now, nor has it ever happened in the past.  She is imagining an extremely remote possibility that, even if it does occur, would only adversely affect a small number of samples that could easily have repeat testing done.

This extra work will significantly delay bringing this test into the lab – by at least a month or two and will have direct financial effects.  No amount of rational explanation has deterred her from demanding that this work be done.  My Supervisor and I have tried to tell her that the extra work is not needed and that if the problem arises during the actual live runs of the test we will deal with it then.

Just yesterday, she went behind Supervisor’s back and asked a lab tech to do the extra work for her.  Supervisor is not yet aware of this and I am in a quandary as to whether to tell Supervisor or just let the chips fall where they may when Supervisor does find out.  So far I have feigned ignorance of the situation.

What say you?  I am of the opinion of stepping back and letting the train go off the cliff as it may be the only way interim director will stop trying to micromanage the situation.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2013, 11:32:13 AM by DollyPond »

Shoo

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Re: When a Boss doesn’t accept your expertise…
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2012, 12:37:13 PM »
Yup, just let the chips fall. 

MummySweet

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Re: When a Boss doesn’t accept your expertise…
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2012, 12:38:08 PM »
I am of the opinion of stepping back and letting the train go off the cliff as it may be the only way interim director will stop trying to micromanage the situation.

This, with the caveat that you document the situation and the advice that you have given so that you can cover yourself if/when the time comes that someone is looking for a scapegoat.

Deetee

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Re: When a Boss doesn’t accept your expertise…
« Reply #3 on: December 01, 2012, 01:20:10 PM »
As long as you found out through normal channels and are sure of what happened, I think you should tell your supervisor.

DollyPond

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Re: When a Boss doesn’t accept your expertise…
« Reply #4 on: December 01, 2012, 02:25:42 PM »
As long as you found out through normal channels and are sure of what happened, I think you should tell your supervisor.

The lab tech came and told me the specifics of what the director asked her to do.  She has not told Supervisor but may need to to explain what she's working on.

Just an example of the ridiculousness of this request: 
It would be like someone telling you that you needed to reinforce your entire roof in case a meteor fell from the sky and knocked off a few shingles. Could it happen?  Yes.  But the chances of it actually happening are very remote.

WillyNilly

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Re: When a Boss doesn’t accept your expertise…
« Reply #5 on: December 01, 2012, 03:33:07 PM »
I would feign ignorance while telling the supervisor.  Something like "oh so Director finally worse you down, huh?  I heard Lou is implementing those changes..."

humbleonion

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Re: When a Boss doesn’t accept your expertise…
« Reply #6 on: December 02, 2012, 05:06:29 AM »
What's the chain of command here? Does Lab Tech report to Supervisor? If so, Lab Tech should tell Supervisor herself. If Lab Tech reports to you, then yes, definitely tell Supervisor.

Does the Director outrank Supervisor?

DollyPond

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Re: When a Boss doesn’t accept your expertise…
« Reply #7 on: December 02, 2012, 09:18:00 AM »
An unclear chain of command is part of the problem.

Both Lab Tech and I report to Supervisor.  Lab Tech does not report to me but told me about what Director has asked her to do since I am the one who designed the test and, in a way, she is modifying my work.  So yes, I agree that it is up to Lab Tech to inform Supervisor.

Here's where it gets confusing. Director works for the University but Supervisor works for the hospital.  So "technically" Supervisor does not report to Director but to a separate hospital Administrator even though Director is supposed to oversee all operations.  All of Director's requests for lab work need to go through Supervisor.  In the past, however, Former Director and I would work on projects directly and I think that this is how Interim Director has gotten confused.  Interim Director's delay of the project is going to anger the hospital Administrator because it will cause a cost increase and delay compliance with a regulation that this test solves.

AmethystAnne

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Re: When a Boss doesn’t accept your expertise…
« Reply #8 on: December 02, 2012, 09:57:37 AM »
Oh boy, what a situation.

Whether you or the tech does it, Supervisor must be told ASAP!

hyzenthlay

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Re: When a Boss doesn’t accept your expertise…
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2012, 10:20:06 AM »
Tell the Lab Tech to go to the Supervisor asap and phrase it as needing resolution of a conflict in instructions.

'Director has told me to this X, which would push back project Y that you assigned me. Can you clarify what the priority needs to be?'

Hmmmmm

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Re: When a Boss doesn’t accept your expertise…
« Reply #10 on: December 02, 2012, 11:42:07 AM »
I'd have an internal meeting with supervisor and tech to discuss.  Supervisor needs to in writing document the risk/cost equation.  The risk should clearly outline the probability of the problem occurring (less than 10% of tests....) and impact (less than 20% of the 10% of total population would be impacted).  She then needs to calculate the monetary, labor, and time cost of adding the tests.  You might want to help her write this up since it is your work product.

This document should be sent to the Director saying she needs to sign the document authorizing the additional costs.

DollyPond

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Re: When a Boss doesn’t accept your expertise…
« Reply #11 on: December 02, 2012, 02:07:46 PM »
I'd have an internal meeting with supervisor and tech to discuss.  Supervisor needs to in writing document the risk/cost equation.  The risk should clearly outline the probability of the problem occurring (less than 10% of tests....) and impact (less than 20% of the 10% of total population would be impacted).  She then needs to calculate the monetary, labor, and time cost of adding the tests.  You might want to help her write this up since it is your work product.

This document should be sent to the Director saying she needs to sign the document authorizing the additional costs.

Oooh, Hmmmmm that's a great idea!  Director is very much of the Veruca Salt "I want it now!" bent but would balk if she actually had to sign her name to a document.  I will bring this up tomorrow.

lowspark

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Re: When a Boss doesn’t accept your expertise…
« Reply #12 on: December 03, 2012, 10:41:05 AM »
I would tell my supervisor. I would hate for my supervisor to find out that I knew and didn't tell her. I wouldn't know what to say if she asked me why I didn't let her know as soon as I found out.

bopper

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Re: When a Boss doesn’t accept your expertise…
« Reply #13 on: December 03, 2012, 02:54:50 PM »
I would break it down into dollars and sense.

"Adding this new protocol will delay the test by 3 weeks and cost $10,000 more.
The remote thing has a .01% chance of occurring. If it did occur, it would require 5 tests to be redone at a cost of $5 per test.
So based on a cost/benefit analysis, I recommend that we do not include the new protocol but sample at 1 week to make sure the remote thing is not occurring.  "

Bring this up to your supervisor and say that you have brought this to the attention of the interim director to no avail.  Also mention that Interim director has started a lab tech working on the new protocol and you wanted to make sure they were aware of the situation.  You have 10 years of experience in test design and feel confident in your original design and cannot defend what Interim director wants to add to anyone who would audit this situation.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2012, 05:44:24 PM by bopper »

artk2002

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Re: When a Boss doesn’t accept your expertise…
« Reply #14 on: December 03, 2012, 04:40:58 PM »
Bopper has it right. Always put things like this in terms of dollars and make sure that the issue is documented. Force the interim directory to say "I don't care about the cost."
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. -Mark Twain