#173 from R&D
Innovator Volume 4, Number 8
the Coordinator Necessary?
I've been running
an analytical services group that supports five laboratories in a
large company. I’ve
had this job five years, and the feedback has consistently been
very good. I’ve even received an Outstanding Service Award.
I'm well-organized and assure that the tests are completed
on time and on schedule—even when the frequent “emergency”
comes up. One of the
most pleasurable aspects of the job is when researchers tell me
directly that they appreciate my efforts.
It was a great job—until....
At a high
administrative level, someone made a decision that my group needed
a Coordinator. This
was a surprise not only to me, but to everyone in my client
laboratories. No one
had seen the need for a Coordinator and no one asked me if there
was such a need. The
notice we received was that my group would soon be managed by a
Coordinator, and I would report to that person.
When I asked my
current supervisor about this, he said that Administration thought
it would be a good idea. And,
anyway, it would initially just be for a trial period.
I asked, "How long?"—but received no response.
I had a terrible time thinking that I was about to be let
go, replaced by a Coordinator who was to do what I've been doing
Coordinator soon arrived. Turns
out that she's the wife of a vice president who was recently
hired. The rumor has
it that in order to sign this new guy up, the company promised to
find a job for her. So,
here she was, my new boss—and without any experience in running
(or even working in) a laboratory!
She didn't waste any time. A large blackboard was set up in which each request for analysis was outlined with date of request, type of analysis, and date results were due. I had no problem with that. Previously, I had that information in a notebook that was open for anyone to check.
started when someone wanted to change a protocol or ask if the
results could be made available sooner than originally requested.
Madam Coordinator made an absolute rule:
No changes without getting approval from her!
But she was nowhere to be found a good part of each day.
Everyone’s grumbling now about the services of my (her)
group. What we now
have is another barrier to the group’s effectiveness.
I'm really angry.
My company gets only one benefit from her; that is,
retaining the new vice president. But my company doesn't seem to appreciate that they waste
money on her position, and that a truly dedicated and quality
person (me) is looking for another job (certainly not in this
company). I haven't
told anyone that I’m job hunting.
I know that the researchers who use my analytical services
will go livid. They
don't like this Coordinator running the show, knowing nothing
about testing, research, or lab management.
that our company has been stressing quality the last couple of
years (you know, “internal customer satisfaction”). Clearly, the quality of managing the analytical services has
I wonder how
valuable her husband is to the company?
Sure would be a shame if he turns out not to be a
key player! It’s
yet one more example—of many I have read in this section of R&D
Innovator—in which higher administrators demonstrate their
lack of interest a happy and effective work environment.
Perhaps they are too “high up” to care.