What's it like to manage people?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Streck, Feb 28, 2007.

  1. Streck

    Streck <B><FONT COLOR="#FF0000">QED</B></FONT> Veteran

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    I've never managed people, only servers. While my authority overrides that of the junior sysadmins, they don't actually report to me.

    My curiosity leads me to ask a general question of all the managers here: What's it like? I'm sure it's different for everyone, depending on the environment and underlings involved, but I'd like to hear your experiences.
     
  2. Jux

    Jux Please, call me Steve. Veteran

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    I've held management positions since I was 18. It's an interesting experience.

    When I was in college, as a freshman, I had to manage older students who thought I had no right to be their boss. It was challenging in many ways, and the only thing I could do was to earn their respect over time. As I continued through that job and became the older student to the younger ones myself, I was able to be a better role model because of it.

    My other jobs have been interesting as well. At my last job, I managed a crowd that ranged from 18 year old college kids to 65 year old grandmothers. Managing much older people was something that I needed time to adjust to.

    Overall, it's awesome. I like being in a role of authority, but even more I enjoy being the guy people come to with problems, or when they need an answer.
     
  3. MegaPrime33

    MegaPrime33 Follow me @NerdActivist TFW2005 Supporter

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    It's good and bad. I mean it's nice when people get to ask you questions and rely on you to know what's going on. But that can get really annoying when they abuse it and keep constantly asking stupid questions all the time.
     
  4. MegaMoonMan

    MegaMoonMan www.megamoonman.com TFW2005 Supporter

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    I've been a manager at three different restaurants in the past, and it's usually cool. However, if the boss's kid works there and you're in charge of them, it can really suck. Seems like the boss's kid is always the biggest goof up lazy-ass ever that you always end up covering for. For the most part, bossing people around is awesome.

    Of course, if anything goes wrong it's your ass, but that just comes down to making sure people know their jobs and aren't slacking.
     
  5. Pimpimus Prime

    Pimpimus Prime (┌∩┐(◣_◢)┌∩┐) TFW2005 Supporter

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    Streck, you're at least starting off on the right foot by asking. Compared to what you're used to doing, managing people is a whole other ball game. You not only have to tell them what to do, you have to deal with all their quirks, bad habits and the inability to get along... all of which are huge issues in the tech field. Don't be afraid to ask for advice from your boss either. If he's a good manager, he won't take that against you.

    One thing I've learned is that you can't be friends with your employees. I used to hang out with mine and they thought they could get away with all kinds of stuff because I was their buddy. They also came to me with all of their personal problems. I got enough issues of my own... if its not work related, I really don't want to hear about theirs.
     
  6. pscoop

    pscoop Dead inside

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    I was a store manager at my last car dealership for two and a half years. For me it was the equivelent of baby sitting. Only the people crying are grown adults fighting over deals not toys.
     
  7. Team Jetfire

    Team Jetfire Pop-POP!

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    Depends on the situation.

    I hate managing kids or teenagers. I'm not a babysitter, but that is what it feels like sometimes.

    If you manage a good team of people it can be very rewarding.
     
  8. cryotek

    cryotek Criminal Overlord

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    It has its ups and downs. It tends to follow this theory:
    10% will do what you say with no problems.
    10% will NOT do what you say WITH problems.
    The other 80% will tend to follow which 10% group they are with.

    Babysitting comes to mind but you can usually get things done with the people you manage.
     
  9. CripNite

    CripNite That Whack Canuck Dude

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    You're constantly having to dumb things down and spell things out. Just last week, I had another manager ask one of our clerks to change over two doors on a freezer endcap so that they were to program for the new period. First, one door was to be waffles, the other was to be deluxe bagged mixed vegetables. He ended up making one door, 4 shelves of it bagged mixed veggies, and one shelf (in the middle) of waffles. I told him he had done it wrong, and explained to him what was need to fix it. He was almost down for the day, so I told him to nevermind and that I'd get to it later.

    Turns out, I never got a chance to get to it later, so the next day, I asked him to "fix the doors" after he was finished working the freezer order. When he was done the order, he phones me up and asks me where a screwdriver is. I begin to tell him where the toolbox is, and then I stop and ask him what he needs a screwdriver for. He replies to me that I had wanted him to "fix the doors".

    Long story short... managing people is difficult. "People" in general, don't have any common sense. I general saying around my store is that "common sense isn't that common".
     
  10. Lance Halberd

    Lance Halberd oh hai

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    I've found that one of the big secrets to effectively managing people is to quickly find out their strengths and weaknesses and to assign them tasks best suited to their abilities.

    Also, having them know that I'm smarter than them helps, too.
     
  11. Elvin Pena

    Elvin Pena <b><font color=red>CyberCon is #1!</font></b> Veteran

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    Managing people can be quite interesting, and fun; depending on what you make of it. I learned my management style the supervisor I had at my very first job. I was doing level-one help-desk support (so I was at the bottom of the barrel, so to speak) but he treated all of us (from the help-desk guys to the senior UNIX admins) equally. He never showed any favoritism, never put us on the spot or embarrassed in front our peers, and he always backed us up; particularly when upper-management wanted to be a bunch of pricks. His loyalty to his staff was unparalleled and we all returned said loyalty.

    Additionally, he made sure we worked in a very relaxed atmosphere. He was quite aware of everything that was going on and was on top of everything, but he wasn’t pushy and gave us our time and space to work on our projects. On slow days we all got on our PCs (him included) and played Blood (ol’ school FPS) and we all had a blast.

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like things were always peachy, we did have our "moments" with one another and with our boss, but he was an excellent mediator and a great listener. Whenever it would hit the fan he got things back in order and we all worked our asses off for him.

    I do my best to emulate that same style. Your staff will love you for it and, in turn, it will make them work their asses off for you.

    Oh… and Streck… I got your PM. AWESOME story amigo. I was just in the middle of my DST deployment and was having issues with my WSUS servers and couldn’t get back to you on time. Thanks for sharing, though, I loved it. :) 
     
  12. TrickyDisco

    TrickyDisco <b><font color=blue>Voted TFW2005's Sexiest Female

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    Managing people? That can get a bit tricky to say the least...

    If I get newbies, I go easy on them at first of course. You can usually spot in the first couple of weeks if they are any good or not.
    You also have to give them a sense of security, that they can turn to you for anything they might have questions about, difficult customers, pays and wages, work hours, an organised and efficient workplace and that you actually listen to what they have to say, etc etc. Basically, you have to set a good example.
    Trying too much to be a 'buddy' can harm your rep as a reliable and efficient manager, for they might just stop taking you seriously altogether.
    (Although I find that the better I know the person, the harder I am on them...discovered that last Xmas season :p )
    My staff right now consist of absolutely brilliant people, almost all of them guys that asked to be transferred from other branches after short 'fill-in' stunts at mine. Beginning of January I was severly understaffed, but in just a couple of weeks, I got every position filled, actually having to turn down people who wanted work. :( 

    There are two things I have absolutely zero tolerance for in my staff: Unpunctuality and cigarettes. People who constantly show up late and/or have to have a cig break every 20 mins or so ARE OUT pretty soon. If I cannot rely on you, I will not employ you. :redface2: 
     
  13. Blunticon

    Blunticon The Oddjob

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    It has its good points and its bad points. A job a job first off, and getting people to work is a whole story in itself. Ive been Sous Chef, Kitchen Managers for a long time. I dont do that anymore but it was hard sometimes. I hated the paperwork, but if you didint work, I sent your ass home.
     
  14. Wreckgar

    Wreckgar Anthony Stark Veteran

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    Like anything, it can be good or bad. it depends on the people you are managing. My General manager and I were discussing this the other day. At one time, you managed people and they did what you asked. Now as a manager you are:
    - a sounding board
    - a psychyatrist
    - a babysitter
    - a problem solver
    - an accountant
    - a go to guy
    - an asshole
    - a teacher
    - a trainer
    - an example
    - a do it yourself-er
    and other such things. You have to do so much for your employees now for them to do anything for you.
     
  15. Omegatron

    Omegatron Mandatory Fun. Buy it now TFW2005 Supporter

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    I like being a manager. Ah, the POWER!!!!!

    Well, not really. I like the level of responsibility, and being able to fix problems. As far as managing teens, the best thing is to have a plan, and stick to it. Once everyone is on board with the same plan, it's easy to know what everyone should be doing, and to figure out who's not doing the work, and correct them. Having a good management team to work with is important, too. There were a couple of managers ay my last theatre who wouldn't even make crew supervisor at my current job.

    The hardest part is biting my toungue around people with stupid expectations, and trying to send that guest away satisified. Like the ones who arrive 20 minutes late for the movie, and expect us to rewind it. Or think that since they were 20 minutes late, they're automatically qualified to watch the next show.
     
  16. LigerPrime

    LigerPrime Well-Known Member

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    For me, I'm kind of laid-back as long as the staff produces what is expected, I give them free rein on what to do.


    Pros:

    - if the worker knows what he/she is doing, work life would be easy.

    Cons:

    - if the worker doesn't know what he/she is doing, work life would be tough.

    IMO, I find staff these days having more of an "attitude" these days (compared to the past) despite being nice to them...I must be getting older! LOL!
     
  17. Metal Soldier

    Metal Soldier The Robot

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    Lately its felt like I'm a glorified babysitter having to repeatedly tell the kids to do things they should know to do. Some days I have better crews though and I don't hardly have to worry about it. Elvin, Tricky, Lance, and Wreckgar all have good points. One of the hardest things I've found recently is to not be too friendly with the people you manage. It creates too many problems, especially with teenagers.
     
  18. KA

    KA PENIS GOES WHERE?!!

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    i find it sucks balls. nobody seems to be able to uphold my personal standards.

    cant help it if im perfect.
     
  19. llamatron

    llamatron Shut up, Nigel. TFW2005 Supporter

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    I manage nobody. The only jobs I've had where I've been in a position of POWER involve either teaching or showing the new guys the ropes.
     
  20. Ironscream

    Ironscream Insert Something Funny

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    I did some of it in the army, can be a challenge though. Best thing I can say is lisen to your people and keep a cool head. Work crap out with them, if they piss you off don't let them see it, thats what they want most of the time. I never had any problems with it though. Everyone has a diffrent type of leadership style, you just need to find it and stick with it.
     

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