Choose Your Battles Wisely

Published by Duncan in the blog Duncan's Blog. Views: 37

Something that I say to Millennials at work. They don't always seem to get it.

I work in nursing at a clinic run by the federal government. My work life in that arena is fairly simple and seldom has any complications or challenges. Even if I face clients who are uncooperative or combative, I shrug and remind them that they are welcome to take anything I say or offer with acceptance or refusal.

My work as a union activist is another matter, however. The other day someone came to my office with a copy of his performance appraisal. He had been sitting on it for over three months. He got a bug up his a** because his appraisal was not outstanding in all of the elements (categories) of his title. I told him that fully successful was a good mark and that seldom does anyone get appraised as outstanding in everything. The agency believes that that discourages employees from striving to improve. Instead, he saw it as 'the man' doing his best to retaliate against him for questioning authority in the past.

In this instance, the employee had passed the statute of limitations for this because he had 30 days to report the event (he had waited three months). I did, however, have a sit-down with him and his supervisor. The supervisor was not a person of influence to make any changes, but she told him that she did believe that his work was outstanding. She also told him that he should consider choosing his battles wisely, and not to make a big fuss about this. Appraisals are made every six months and another one would be coming up soon.

But he has it in his mind that he will be going back to school for higher education (a social worker? a doctor? a scientist?) and that this mediocre grade will some how blemish his chances in his rising star trajectory.

He's back at his desk and is somewhat cool around me. He pays his dues to the union (like everyone else), but somehow feels as if the union hasn't done enough for him. We don't pull rabbits out of hats. Sometimes we win and sometimes we don't. There are times when I am just ready to hang up my hat and leave this labor representation, but who will cover for me. Few people want to go up to the plate.
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