• March 15th, 2016

Public Health Management

Paper, Order, or Assignment Requirements

The Sensitive Employee
Supervisor Teri Davis was dreading the session about to occur with clerk Anne James. As Anne entered the office, Teri felt she knew exactly what was coming and she was determined that this time she would address the continuing problem as well as the current problem.
Teri handed a warning form to Anne and said, “Anne, we have to talk about your excessive absenteeism. This is your second warning. I’m sure you knew it was coming.” Anne barely glanced at the warning and dropped it back on the desk. She snapped, “I knew nothing of the kind. There’s nothing excessive or unusual about my few days off because I was sick. I’m not accepting any warning.”
Teri said, “Anne, you can count the days yourself. Ten sick days in the last six months, and seven of them on Mondays”
“I can’t help it if I’m sick a lot.”
“Even if you’re really ill on those days, and honestly, Anne, it’s tough to accept all those Mondays as legitimate sick days, you make it tough to staff the department reliably.”
“Why me? Why don’t you lean on Donna for a change? She’s been out as much as I have.”
Teri said, “No, she hasn’t, not nearly as much. Anyway, that’s strictly between Donna and me. Just like this is strictly between you and me.”
Teri continued, “You know that you’ve used up all of your sick time.”
“I know. This place made me use vacation the last two times. And that stinks.”
“You wanted to get a full paycheck, didn’t you?”
Anne glared at her supervisor. “I think it’s rotten to make me use vacation when I’m sick.”
Teri looked at Anne. Anne’s face was stony, her eyes cold and her mouth a thin line. Teri thought: Any time now. The next thing I say will do it. Fighting against the knot in her throat, she said, “Anne, you haven’t been reliable. I just can’t count on you being here when I need you. Your first warning was deserved, and this one is deserved. If you want you can appeal through proper channels, but the warning stands.”
Teri watched Anne’s face. Anne’s eyes grew round and suddenly filled with tears. She buried her face in her hands and began to sob.
If any other employee had been involved, Teri might have felt a measure of sympathy. However, she had been through this several times, in fact every time she had to be critical of Anne. The pattern was always the same: anger and defensiveness, even belligerence, followed by tears and charges of persecution and injustice. And as always, Teri wondered what to do next.
1. Although Teri was well prepared with facts about Anne’s absences, she might have considered a different opening for the disciplinary dialogue. What opening would you suggest? Why?
2. How did knowing “exactly what was coming” bias Teri in her approach to Anne?
3. What would you suggest as a possible way of dealing with this employee?

Written responses should range in length from 400-500 words. Use the questions above to guide your response. Your response should be thoughtfully organized and free from typos. Post your response under the appropriate Discussion Board thread before Thursday at 11:59pm. Postings are worth 10 points total. For full credit, you must cite at least one page in our textbook or other reference material (journal article, website, Power Point slides, etc.). Use APA style citations.

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