Double Trouble

Dear Jewish Fairy Godmother:
I have an assistant at work whom I like and helps keep me sane, but
whose performance been slipping over time. Because I value her so
much I don’t intervene when things are slow and I see her schmoozing
with another employee, comparing quilting patterns, planning for craft
classes, etc.


One of the responsibilities she volunteered to take over
this year was the company picnic, which I admit I was happy to get rid
of. It’s a logistical hassle and some people are always unhappy with
the choice of venue, food, fun and games, any and every thing. But
what she put together was a shoddy affair and poorly thought out. It
cost too much money and didn’t accomplish the goal: help staff bond.
How can I communicate my displeasure but not have to take it over
next year? PS my own boss is getting flak, and blaming me.
Double Trouble

Dear Double Trouble –
Any time you delegate there’s the risk that things go wrong. A total
laissez fair version of supervision should leave you in your own boss’s
bad graces. You have to be responsible for the work of the people you
supervise. That’s what supervising means. Also, check your response
for kicking the dog feelings: you got a kick and you’re passing it down
the line.

As for the annual event itself, do a debriefing with your assistant and a
few other close folks whose opinions you value and who’d be wiling to
give honest feedback. Leave the other crafter off that list. Talk
candidly about what worked and didn’t, how the money was spent and
what the relative costs/benefits were of those decisions. Make a
checklist for future years of everything that needs to be done in
planning. Think about timeless for deciding dates, booking a place,
equipment and games, food etc. Add a tip list of what has gone wrong
in the past that next year’s planners will consult. As for your
responsibility, you need to lead the planning team next year. You                                    might delegate all the details, but your imprimatur will be needed to
regain your authority and reputation.