Author Topic: What is the best way to communicate with these 2 managers?  (Read 2563 times)

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snugglegirl05

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What is the best way to communicate with these 2 managers?
« on: October 15, 2013, 08:05:38 PM »
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I work as a porter for a parking company. Recently I and some of my co-workers *we are all porters* have been shuffled around and given different parking garage(s) to clean. There are 3 managers over the parking garages. Each manager is given specific parking garages that he/she is over. These managers report to the client that owns the parking garages. My employer manages the parking garages. There are also 2 male managers over the porters. Each of these managers has specific garages he is over. These managers drive around in golf carts to see what needs to be done on a daily basis. This is a good idea except that lately there have been problems regarding my job responsibilities at the parking garages I am responsible for cleaning. I also have to clean the parking lot that is adjacent to one of the parking garages. Each parking garage I clean has 3 levels.

Here is what I have to do according to the manager over the parking garages as well as the parking lot I am responsible for cleaning:

    clean the parking lot on a daily basis
    complete 5 space counts within my 8 hour shift. I have to count the empty parking spots in the parking lot as well as the empty parking spots in both garages. There is a set time when this needs to be done.
    sweep inside the parking garages on a daily basis
    clean the pipes on every garage level almost on a daily basis
    clean the cobwebs in the garages on a daily basis
    sweep the entrance to each garage on a daily basis
    clean any other debris at each garage entrance on a daily basis
    dump trash when needed
    clean the trashcans when needed
    mop when needed
    dust when needed

Each porter has to carry a work cell phone with them while at work. Lately I have received phone calls from the porter manager over the parking garages I work at letting me know what he wants done. When that happens, I go do what he asks me to do. However, I also have other duties to do. There have been times that I have to stop what I am doing for this manager to complete another task I am responsbile for, such as the space count. I will get a phone call from the same manager asking me why I have not completed that duty or another duty at the time that I am completing one of my space counts. There have been times that I have not been able to complete everything I am responsible for due to the projects the porter manager asks me to do.

I do not know if this porter manager is aware of everything I have to do. He has tasks that I am asked to do, and the garage manager has tasks that he wants me to do. The garage manager goes by what the client wants.

What is the best way for me to deal with this situation and to communicate with both managers?

misha412

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Re: What is the best way to communicate with these 2 managers?
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2013, 08:34:53 PM »
Wow. The fun of working for more than one manager. TPS reports anyone?  >:(

From what it sounds like, the managers who drive around in the golf carts are not aware of what you are required to do on a daily basis. They seem to have the idea that you are supposed to drop everything else and jump immediately on what they assigned.

In the short term, I would communicate with the manager in the golf cart that you had to complete the space count at X time. You will return to the activity that he assigned you when you are done with this employer-mandated time-sensitive item. A calm polite answer should be enough.

Long-term, I would communicate with all three levels of management (golf cart manager, garage manager, and employer) that you need someone to prioritize the tasks the porters are required to complete in a given shift. Does the employer/garage owner list take precedence over the golf cart manager mandated one-off items, etc? Which items are you allow to put off when something higher in priority comes along?

Take it from the stance of trying to offer the best service possible to the garage owners and not as a complaint about having too many bosses.

Now where is my red Swingline stapler?

TootsNYC

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Re: What is the best way to communicate with these 2 managers?
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2013, 01:31:58 PM »
Quote
Lately I have received phone calls from the porter manager over the parking garages I work at letting me know what he wants done. When that happens, I go do what he asks me to do. However, I also have other duties to do.


You need to tell him what is on your plate. As a manager, I would be really upset with you if you didn't say, "I'll need to do the space count at 3:30pm--please keep that in mind."
Or, I'd expect you to say: "You asked me to come get that debris--my schedule would have me over there in 1 hour anyway--do you want me to stop doing X and go take care of that before then?"

If you think these guys are unrealistic, then I think you should start saying, "How long do you think that will take? I'm figuring it'll be at least 5 minutes just to get to that other floor. And I've got the space count at 3:30."

I also think you could say to the manager(s), "Could we look at the full list, and at all the stuff you call in? I'm afraid it's more than is even possible. I'm wondering if we should redefine the frequency that's needed." To that end, you could carry a small notebook and keep a list of when you get calls from the managers and what they're asking. If they're asking you to do something that would normally get done a little later anyway, then that would be interesting to know.

(seriously--daily the cobwebs?)

Hmmmmm

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Re: What is the best way to communicate with these 2 managers?
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2013, 01:51:07 PM »
So you are cleaning cobwebs and pipes on the 3rd floor and the porter manager calls and asks you to clean up trash on 4th floor. You say "I'm currently finishing cobwebs and pipes on the 3rd floor as instructed by garage manager. I'll do the trash after I finish my 3:00pm count if that is ok with you." If he says no he wants it done now you call garage manager and say porter manager has assigned you to do trash clean up and you won't be able to finsih cobwebs and pipes till after the 3pm count is complete.


SlitherHiss

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Re: What is the best way to communicate with these 2 managers?
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2013, 02:08:18 PM »
So you are cleaning cobwebs and pipes on the 3rd floor and the porter manager calls and asks you to clean up trash on 4th floor. You say "I'm currently finishing cobwebs and pipes on the 3rd floor as instructed by garage manager. I'll do the trash after I finish my 3:00pm count if that is ok with you." If he says no he wants it done now you call garage manager and say porter manager has assigned you to do trash clean up and you won't be able to finsih cobwebs and pipes till after the 3pm count is complete.

This. Just lay out what is already on your schedule and make sure you keep all parties in the loop.

cwm

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Re: What is the best way to communicate with these 2 managers?
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2013, 02:15:32 PM »
If it's at all possible, I'd contact both managers at once. Let them know that the communication is going to both of them. Explain it exactly like you laid it out here, list all the daily duties that you have to do. Spell out the extra duties you've been asked to do in the past few days (helps to keep a notebook at work and jot it down as you walk, if you can). Tell them you're more than willing to do all of what's asked of you, but you need to be able to prioritize in your head and want to know where priorities lie.

I had to do this at a previous job. I was supposed to watch the floor in a very large area, assemble two grills, be available for another area on the floor at an on-call basis, relieve people in another department for breaks and watch their expensive items counter, and be available on the phone and computer to help customers who called. I got my team leader and the interim manager and spelled it out and asked them what my priorities were. They didn't realize I had so much going on. It was all worked out fairly quickly, but it all comes down to clear communication.

snugglegirl05

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Re: What is the best way to communicate with these 2 managers?
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2013, 09:02:21 PM »
Here is what has happened at work this week. Plus how I was trained.

I work at 2 parking garages as well as at a parking lot. For the 2 parking garages I will name them garage A and garage B. Both of them have same number of levels.

When I was trained a couple of weeks ago by the other porter who worked there, he told me to start with the parking lot, then clean garage A and then clean garage B. This porter was promoted to a porter manager, but he is now over a different area of garages. The porter manager who calls me with duties he wants me to do is over this garage as well as the garage manager.

There is a maintenance checklist that I have to use everyday at work. It states what needs to be done, but not in a specific order. I have to check off each duty I complete, and I have to put it in the garage manager's inbox at the parking garage office where I and the other porters clock in at. There is also a section on this maintenance checklist for any comments. This is where I document any problems I am having, any concerns I have or the duties that the porter manager has me do. The garage manager is supposed to look the checklists I turn in, but lately I have noticed a pile of them still in his inbox at the parking garage office where I clock in at.

Earlier this week I was at garage A when I got a call from the porter manager over the 2 garages I work at letting me know that he wanted me to complete a project at garage B. So I stopped what I was doing, & I went to complete the project. While I was doing the project, I noticed that it was time to do one of my space counts according to the space count list. So I stopped what I was doing, & I started my space count. While I was in the middle of the space count, the same porter manager called me & asked me where I was & why I had not completed the project. I explained to him where I was, what I was doing, and how far I got along completing the project he wanted me to do.

Today I started at garage B after cleaning the parking lot since I had received a phone call from the porter manager about my needing to complete a project at that garage earlier this week while I was at garage A. After finishing at garage B, I walked over to garage A to start cleaning it. That was when I saw the porter manager as well as the garage manager entering that garage while using the golf cart. It was not long after that when I saw them exit the garage. That was when the porter manager stopped the golf cart, walked up to me, and asked me why I had not cleaned that garage. He let me know that the garage manager got on his behind for that garage not being cleaned. That was when he told me to start at garage B every morning.

Later today he let me know that the original porter and he will walk me through the procedure they want me to follow everyday beginning this Thursday.

If I had known to start at garage B, I would have already done that.

lowspark

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Re: What is the best way to communicate with these 2 managers?
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2013, 09:21:48 AM »
I think that you need to start communicating better with your managers.

Quote
Earlier this week I was at garage A when I got a call from the porter manager over the 2 garages I work at letting me know that he wanted me to complete a project at garage B. So I stopped what I was doing, & I went to complete the project.

Here's where you needed to speak up. Instead of just automatically stopping what you were doing and moving on to the requested task, you let the manager know what you are doing.

Manager, I'm currently at garage A doing my scheduled clean up and it would talke another 30 minutes (or whatever) for me to complete that job. Do you want me to complete it first or go directly to garage B right away? Also at x:00 I'll need to do the scheduled space count so I will probably have to do that in the middle of doing the garage A task.

I work in an office where, although I report to one person, I do projects for the whole group of ~30 people in addition to doing occasional ad hoc projects for people outside my group. Occasionally, two or more people need me to work on a project for them immediately. I just let them know what I'm working on and to please discuss it with the other person and let me know which one gets priority.

Most of the time the second person will say, Oh, you're working on that for Bob? My request can wait till you're done. Sometimes they will go over and chat with Bob both of them will agree that Susan's project takes priority. But in either case, they are the ones guiding me instead of me just blindly doing what I'm told at any given moment.

It's all about communication.

SlitherHiss

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Re: What is the best way to communicate with these 2 managers?
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2013, 01:41:14 PM »
I think that you need to start communicating better with your managers.

Quote
Earlier this week I was at garage A when I got a call from the porter manager over the 2 garages I work at letting me know that he wanted me to complete a project at garage B. So I stopped what I was doing, & I went to complete the project.

Here's where you needed to speak up. Instead of just automatically stopping what you were doing and moving on to the requested task, you let the manager know what you are doing.

Manager, I'm currently at garage A doing my scheduled clean up and it would talke another 30 minutes (or whatever) for me to complete that job. Do you want me to complete it first or go directly to garage B right away? Also at x:00 I'll need to do the scheduled space count so I will probably have to do that in the middle of doing the garage A task.

I work in an office where, although I report to one person, I do projects for the whole group of ~30 people in addition to doing occasional ad hoc projects for people outside my group. Occasionally, two or more people need me to work on a project for them immediately. I just let them know what I'm working on and to please discuss it with the other person and let me know which one gets priority.

Most of the time the second person will say, Oh, you're working on that for Bob? My request can wait till you're done. Sometimes they will go over and chat with Bob both of them will agree that Susan's project takes priority. But in either case, they are the ones guiding me instead of me just blindly doing what I'm told at any given moment.

It's all about communication.

This. If you don't speak up, they don't know you're in the middle of another responsibility. They are not psychic.

snugglegirl05

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Re: What is the best way to communicate with these 2 managers?
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2013, 06:07:03 PM »
Update:

I have spoken to the manager over the parking garage, who also works for my employer, and he let me know how he would like me to do things. He told me that anything that the porter manager asks me to do comes after what he wants me to do on a daily basis.

There is one problem concerning the porter manager:


One of my job duties is emptying the trashcan that is outside the building where the parking lot is. I was told by the porter who trained me *he was recently promoted to porter manager; that way there are 2 porter managers working during the first shift*that the porter manager who I report to has to come and pick up the trash that I empty. I usually do this one a week. I have let that porter manager know twice that there is trash for him to pick up, but he has not done this. The second time I let him know that there was trash for him to pick up at my location, the other porter manager *the one who trained me*was present. He still did not pick up the trash. The other porter manager found out that he did not pick the trash up when he had to come over to one of the locations I work at and get something from the storage closet at that location. I keep the bags of trash in that storage closet. He let me know that I need to tell that porter manager again that he needs to do this.

jedikaiti

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Re: What is the best way to communicate with these 2 managers?
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2013, 07:01:16 PM »
No, HE needs to tell the guy to pick it up. You can only advise him that it is waiting for him. You can't tell him to do his job.
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TootsNYC

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Re: What is the best way to communicate with these 2 managers?
« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2013, 12:29:20 PM »
No, HE needs to tell the guy to pick it up. You can only advise him that it is waiting for him. You can't tell him to do his job.

Yep. And the next time *you* notice that the guy hasn't come to pick up the trash, you get ahold of whoever is over your head and say, "Would you goose this guy to come pick up the trash? I told him, but he hasn't been by."

If you want to be extra nice, you give the Trash Not-Picker-Upper guy two calls (the first, and one reminder).

snugglegirl05

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Re: What is the best way to communicate with these 2 managers?
« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2013, 07:44:29 PM »
The porter manager over me is driving me crazy.

I found out this week from the other porter manager that the 2 parking garages I clean will be inspected this week.

So I followed what the garage manager told me regarding my job duties. He wants me to first clean the parking lot next to one of the parking garages I have to clean *another responsibility*, then sweep both parking garages, and then do anything else that is on the maintenance list I have to follow or any projects that the porter manager has me do.

I was at one of the parking garages that I am responsible for cleaning and sweeping when the garage manager saw me. He got a phone call from the porter manager and told me that he may give me a call. I was sweeping that garage when all of this happened. I received a call from the porter manager with a list of things that he wanted me to do at the other garage.

I was not finished cleaning the garage though. I went over to the other garage where he was waiting for me. He showed me what needed to be done....

 
sweep the leaves at the entrance gate where there is a water problem. Water collects in that area from inside the garage.  The water will not dry up.
mop the *small* area of dirt on the curb in front of the bldg. that is attached to the garage
sweep up leaves in the stairwell *I was going to do that after cleaning the parking garage since I would rather do that after the sun comes up. When I get to work, it is dark outside*
mop up the coffee stains on the ground at the entrance of the bldg.


I did what I could do, but I had to get back to the other parking garage and continue sweeping. The porter manager called me to ask why I had not finished. I let him know exactly what I was doing. He told me that I had to go back and finish what I was doing for him. So I did that, and then I went back to the other parking garage to continue sweeping.

When I was done at the garage, I had to go to the bathroom inside the bldg. That was when I got a phone call from the porter manager demanding to know where I was. I told him where I was. He told me the following...

    I had not done what he asked me to do
    He was coming over to that garage so he could show me what I did not do

Around 2 minutes later he called me again demanding to know where I was. He told me he was at the garage, but I was not there. I told him I was on the 2nd floor inside the main bldg. He then demanded to know why I was on the 2nd floor inside the main bldg. I was very frustrated at that point, and I wanted to scream at him. I told him I was in the bathroom *I did not know what else to say at that point*. He then demanded to know why I was in the bathroom *his tone of voice was like he was scolding me for being in the bathroom*. That was when I asked him if it was ok that if I went to the bathroom when I had to. He just told me to meet him at the other parking garage... again.

So I went over there. The 2 of us got into the golf cart that he drives, and he took me around the parking lot. The first thing he did was to go to the stairwell and say "you did not clean the stairwell like I asked you to." I told him that the stairwell was the first thing I did. I asked me what made him think that I had not done what he asked me to.

This is what he had to say...

He had received pictures from the garage manager of things that were not clean. The problem with this is... none of what he wanted me to do is on the maintenance list, and he never told me about what he wanted me to do when he saw me at the other parking garage. I let the porter manager know this. Turns out that manager is driving the porter manager crazy.

I found out from some of my co-workers that he turned in a paid vacation request earlier this week. He wanted this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday off. But... his vacation request was denied.

How do I deal with him? I deal with him on weekly basis.
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camlan

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Re: What is the best way to communicate with these 2 managers?
« Reply #13 on: October 23, 2013, 07:00:24 AM »
Update:

I have spoken to the manager over the parking garage, who also works for my employer, and he let me know how he would like me to do things. He told me that anything that the porter manager asks me to do comes after what he wants me to do on a daily basis.



That bolded line--that's what you tell the porter manager. "You need to speak to my boss about that. I'm following his orders, which are to do his assigned tasks first, then yours. Until he tells me otherwise, that's what I'm supposed to do."

The issue right now is that you aren't do this. You are letting the porter manager order you around before you finish the other manager's tasks. You need to keep referring him to your manager whenever he makes demands or adds tasks to your list.

Or you can call your manager. "Hey, Boss, Porter Manager is standing here with me. He wants me to stop my 3 pm count and clean the stairwell. Is that okay or should I finish the count first and then do the stairwell?"

No one can really function with two managers unless there is a clear line of command, with priorities clearly marked out. If your manager hasn't done this for you, make him do so by calling and asking him a lot of questions.

Also, talk to the other porters and find out how they deal with conflicting requests from their two managers.

As for the trash pick-up, tell the porter manager responsible for that when the trash is ready for pick-up. And maybe one follow-up call. Then tell the other porter manager that he isn't doing his job, you've reminded him and he still isn't doing his job and it's time for someone higher up to step in.

And seriously, this can't be the only job available in your area. Start job hunting now. From the other posts you've made about this place, there's no good management and you porters are given way to much to do and way too many customer service issues to deal with. The best time to get a new job is while you still have your old job.
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