Effective Time Impingement

Posted on September 8, 2010 by - Also by this author

Just Let Me Drop Everything to Manage Your Problem!
As an operator, it is sometimes impossible to get your own work done when everyone else relies on you to guide them in their work.
I am actually trying to decide where I am going to hang my newly acquired sign bearing the phrase, “Let Me Drop Everything to Handle Your Problem.” It was one of those must have signs. It was something that had my name all over it. I feel like everyone just pops into my office to ask how something should be handled, tell on someone else for something they did, ask my opinion on their personal life, or the worst, just stop in to chat. This isn’t to say that I don’t have an open door policy as I literally never close my office door. I am completely aware that the buck stops on my desk. I would never want someone to do something they were unsure of without the opportunity to ask. In fact, my office is so open that the ladies in my office will walk right in during a meeting to get a file, obtain petty cash, or anything else they need from inside my office. That’s how open it is.
But, and this is a big BUT, I do have stuff I am working on. I am human. I do need to concentrate on my work. Along with the staff coming in, there are the needy clients that always have to talk to me and only me. I don’t consider them an interruption of my work, however. They are the sole purpose of our existence and I never forget our mission. But, again, being human, it is nerve wracking to be trying to write a marketing plan and make a corresponding budget and put my heart and soul into it when someone drops in to ask me what type of snacks we should buy for a client that wanted “snacks” in their vehicle(s).
Um, I don’t know! Fruit, nuts, donuts, chips? What time of day is the run? How old are the people? Where are they going? I mean, seriously, am I going to know better than the person that took the order what defines snacks? 
I had my whole morning planned out yesterday. I settled in and started on a project I had put off until after the three-day weekend. The phone rings from a local client visiting Oklahoma City. She was livid after an Oklahoma-based limousine service booked directly by her called to say it couldn’t make it after all. Now she was stuck with no ride in three hours. She asked if I could help. I took all the details and told her to consider it handled. The car would be there and I would confirm back with her in a few minutes.
Since I had no affiliate in Oklahoma City, I had to vet one out and get the scoop on them to make sure my client would be well taken care of. I had to complete a credit card form for them. I had to set them up as a new affiliate in my software so I could assign the order. I had to prepare and e-mail the order. So much for the morning I had planned, but again that is the purpose of our existence. But still; I’m just saying it’s hard to stay focused when people need your attention all the time. I guess that’s why I love to love/hate this business.

— Jim Luff, LCT Contributing Editor

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