Recently, I've been hooked on reading an advice column called “Ask A Manager.” It’s written by Alison Green, a human resources expert, and focuses on work-related issues. No work topic is off the table, from the mundane (someone is stealing my lunch from the company fridge) to the helpful (how should I answer a certain interview question?) and sometimes, to the extreme (my horse died because of my manager’s carelessness) or sordid (I think there’s a sex club in my office). Whatever the topic, Green answers with a candid matter-of-factness that’s both sensible and refreshing.
It’s actually a pretty good resource for those entering the workforce. Learning what kind of behavior is appropriate and not appropriate at work can sometimes be confusing for young people.
This is one of the reasons why Pete DeQuincy, our Lifesavers columnist and editorial advisory board member, decided to host an orientation for the parents of the young staffers he had hired. It’s an excellent way of making clear to both the new employee and their parents what the job expectations are, along with what’s acceptable and not in what is likely the teen’s first job.
The lessons you teach these young folks are important. It’s likely to set the course of their professional behavior for the rest of their work lives.
But regardless of how young and inexperienced a new staffer might be, the one trend I’m having a hard time understanding is that of ghosting, which, in this instance, means accepting a position and not showing up for work — ever. (You can read about it in “Aquatics Industry Grapples with 'Ghosting'”)
To me, it’s the epitome of unprofessional behavior. Unfortunately, I’m not sure there’s a solution to be had. Overstaffing with the expectation that a certain number of your guards won’t show seems risky, especially for facilities on already tight budgets. On the other hand, finding yourself understaffed is not acceptable, either.
I may find myself writing in to “Ask A Manager.” If I get a helpful response, I’ll be sure to share it. In the meantime, what does your facility do?