Quit Or Stay When I Am Having Problems?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about:

I schedule surgeries for several surgeons in a hospital and my job is very demanding in meeting deadlines. I was trained by other scheduler on how to do the job and have been there for 3 1/2 years. These surgeons deal with patients that suffer from lung cancer and everything that is requested by the surgeons has to be done right away or yesterday. I do an extremely good job I guess, but some times other departments cannot meet my deadlines. When I accept the appointment given which is not what the surgeon wanted I still am scheduling the patient for the very next available with the other department.

Last week it caused me major problems. Enough that I was taken into the office and got grilled to the ground. I tried to explain, but my boss still felt I didn’t do enough to get an appointment at the time the surgeon asked for it. She didn’t want to hear anything else coming from me and she was shouting and yelling at me telling me to “get on board and do what they want” and inform them of any changes. I wanted to defend myself and tell her that I was trained to schedule one way, but everyone that gives me work to schedule wants it a certain way of their own. When I consulted with the person that oversees what I do he told me to have someone else handle it, since it always becomes a problem with the surgeons. On several occasions I have been told by the administrator that if I am unhappy to consider looking for work elsewhere.Now I feel insecure and unsafe and I don’t know what to do. Do I persevere or do I start looking elsewhere?

Signed, Uncertain

DearĀ Uncertain:

It seems that the one who oversees your work should be talking to the administrator about this matter, especially if the problem is a frequent one.It seems that you are not being viewed by the administrator as doing as good a job as you think you are, all because of this scheduling issue. Honestly, I think you may find yourself without a job if you can’t find a way to work this problem out!

I can understand your frustration about not being able to schedule when a doctor wants it so you schedule at the next available time but still get in trouble. However, perhaps the issue is that you should tell the doctor before you schedule, if it isn’t what the doctor wanted. Or, perhaps you should get the name of the person who was unable to schedule it and send that in an email or text message to the doctor’s staff, to let them know you did your best, but according to that person, no time was available when the doctor requested it. Or, ask the person who was so angry, what she suggests you do when you can’t get the requested schedule. You could tell her that you’ve been worried about the whole situation and wanted to ask her advice about it. Maybe that would at least show a good faith effort on your part. One thing is certain: The fact that you were trained by someone one way, doesn’t mean it always stays that way. Maybe you could contact someone with your same job in another facility and ask them if they have specific methods for handling situations like that. Or, ask your supervisor to talk to the doctors and find out what they would like to do if their requested schedule isn’t available. As it is, you keep doing things the way you were taught and the way you think is right, but it isn’t getting good results. So, apparently you had better do something different! There is no point in saying they are wrong or that they are expecting too much, unless you can prove it to them…and the proof would have to be very good! If you can’t find a solution that makes the doctors see you as someone who is achieving what they want in scheduling, you should start looking for another job before you are forced to do it. But, if you decide to try making things better, I think you should be seeking the help of the person who oversees your work, rather than continuing down the same problematic path.

I don’t want to seem negative about it. But, it doesn’t seem that you will do well if you keep having this problem. Best wishes as you attempt to find a good resolution to this situation.A

Second Opinion: Sometimes, a second opinion reinforces the first: You hang in there until you have another job, promised in writing. This is the only sensible choice assuming you aren’t independently wealthy. In short even if you hate your job and boss, persevere.Unfortunately, some surgeons think they are gods and those who manage and serve them get their way by bullying. To grill, shout and threaten is not professional or effective. Wise superiors, rather than abuse those who make mistakes, engage them in collaborative problem solving. Mistakes most often can be traced to system problems, and sometimes even small changes in how a system is configured can improve effectiveness. Does this mean you must bite your tongue and suppress your hurt and anger? Probably it means that; however, voicing your hurt and anger firmly and creatively can make a difference. For example, you might have coolly said to your boss who was “shouting and yelling, “Stop. I don’t think shouting and yelling will make me do my job more effectively. What will is working to make scheduling more efficient and effective. I will appreciate your help in doing that.” And on your own, you might prepare a list of suggestions that might do that. Also you might examine your own attitude. I note that you told your boss that “everyone that gives me work to schedule, wants it a certain way.”

Sooo might it be easier on the knot in your stomach if your goal was to cheerfully do your best to schedule the certain way that is wanted? Rather than to resent that “certain way” you would delight in doing it to please the one who requested it be scheduled a certain way.You’ve worked here for 3Ā½ years. You have a lot of experience and are in a field that probably has openings. Changing jobs is an option, but before you do you will want to learn a lot about the next workplace to which you apply: what is the atmosphere in that place, work load, benefits, and how well you would fit in, etc. Don’t talk with coworkers about quitting. Don’t allow yourself to sour. Don’t allow others to determine how your day goes. If and until you have firm job offer, be the most responsible, cheerful employee where you are. Think of how you would run this place and do what little you can to shape it to be a good, if not a great, place to work. Working together with hands, head and heart takes and makes big WEGOS. Bill Gorden

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.