Saturday, 6 March 2010

Middle Management

With great power comes responsibility, or so says Superman. How did I end up to be middle management?

Being a government servant for the past 8 years, I was always the middle person. I was the go between the bosses and the rest of the staff under my care. If the boss assigned me to do something, I'd call my team and we discuss how best to do it and then we do it. It was mostly one way traffic.

I think it started when I was in Research Division when they entrusted me to take care of 20 research officers (ROs) that was situated all over Malaysia. Their job was to do surveys that the division ask them to do. My job was to monitor them through their work. This includes their quality of work, discipline, salary etc. I barely knew them as my stint in Research was only one year. I've only met 8 out of 20 ROs but I had to do their appraisal as I was their supervisor. How the hell was I suppose to do their appraisal when I don't even know them well enough, some I've never even met?! To be honest, I had to wing it. I had to source info from various parts such as the previous officers who've handled their affairs, state office directors, other officers who've used them on other surveys and on paper - reports, attendance, etc. I had to form an opinion on each individual based on those things, and to best of my knowledge, did their appraisal. That was my part as the first valuer for the appraisal.

I think Top management have it easy. They only amend on the things that you have done. Same thing with the appraisal. The second valuer just put in their score based on my original score and write shorter comments. Middle management do all the work whilst top management just checks my grammar? Hardly seems fair as top management is required to do the thinking and planning. Not just planning to go overseas, but actual planning on how to be more effective at work and achieve our targets. Not just become the boss in name and dumping everything to middle management to settle it.

Middle management is tough. You are the middleman who has to take care of their own backside too. On one hand, you have to please the boss, on the other hand you have to appease your co-workers with their issues - working with inadequate resources, no proper SOP, no backup/support from other div. You have to become the trouble shooter and lend your hands to help them and lend your ears to listen to their problems.

Send me to Management school!

With the new bureau, I became the middle management person. It was conveniently thrust upon me by my so called CEO, as there was no other officer higher ranking than me. Not that I was that high ranking, but I was at the right place at the right time. That said, we are terribly understaffed, overworked and in dire need of a buffer between me and the boss. I can't possibly do all the thinking, planning, executing, monitoring.

Send in the reinforcements!


fantaghiro said...

woman, it was Spiderman lah..not Superman..hehehe

Kerabu Jantung said...

Something like got caught in the middle?

Beautiful Life said...

Fantaghiro: yeah whatever lah...i got it mixed up heh heh

Kerabu Jantung: yes exactly!