Why 20 Year Olds Should Never Be Managers

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ampersand
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Why 20 Year Olds Should Never Be Managers

Post by ampersand » Fri May 24, 2013 8:13 am

There was a recent change at work. My immediate supervisor changed from a spunky 20 year old girl to a more reserved 20 year old girl. Both seemingly more mature than you would think they'd be at the young age of 20. But there is a problem now emerging. Our work has an attendance point system where you accumulate points for when you're late or call in sick. You're suppose to get a verbal at so many points, a written at another level, and then a final warning at the next full point, and termination any points accumulated beyond that.

But up to a couple of weeks ago, none of that was really adhered to stringently, only used when another supervisor wanted to threaten you to come in. I've mentioned some of this in the past. But here's this girl, a newly minted supervisor, and she's been asked to get everyone who have accumulated at least written warning level of points to sign a written letter.

Other than me, everyone else in who has gotten a written warning hasn't signed. Most haven't signed because they wanted a verbal provided first. Some are balking because of promises and agreements (mostly verbal) to remove points if they'd do other things, like take up another two hour block and so forth. One isn't signing because her points drop in a few days since they're close to their six month drop-off date, and she'd be below even a verbal warning then.

There are two things about this dynamic that interest me. One is that the supervisor is 20, and everyone else is at least 15 years older than her, if not older. The majority are in their 50's and 60's. The other thing is that for the most part the worker's wanted her to just give them a verbal warning as they were not given one and felt the process shouldn't start up again without a verbal warning.

I feel like they should be lucky they weren't all fired on the spot. The compromise management presented isn't really written versus verbal, it's written versus instant termination. Most everyone had enough points to be terminated and I feel the process isn't suppose to be progressive, it's slot based. If you're at x number of points today, you have this kind of warning today. I don't want to say this to the others, since I don't want to end up like that scene in one of those Vietnam movies where the mentally challenged kid is beat up with hardened soap blocks in a bag during basic training.

I feel sorry for her, and suspect she's somewhere between floundering and over her head over this. While the elders aren't completely against her, they view her as fresh meat from management to regain control over a division which I suspect they felt they run the roost. So I think I'll see plenty of malicious compliance, where they do what she tells them to do but only enough where the outcome blows up in her face. It's really rare to find a 20 year old mature enough to be a manager, and throwing her in isn't helping her confidence, I suspect.

Maybe I'll get that chance when she decides to take that opening in a different division where she can be paid overtime...

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Rorschach
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Re: Why 20 Year Olds Should Never Be Managers

Post by Rorschach » Fri May 24, 2013 11:33 am

If I understand this post correctly, you're saying your supervisor has changed from a spunky twenty year old chick to a 20 year old bird in need of spunk? I'm loathe to suggest the obvious but...

Yeah. I think I understand why your coworkers are refusing to sign something written and binding on the verbally promised reward of something much woollier. I don't understand if the little mare's age has anthing to do with it though.

Also, your post smacks somewhat of unintentional sexism. The term is 'woman'.
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ampersand
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Re: Why 20 Year Olds Should Never Be Managers

Post by ampersand » Fri May 24, 2013 5:00 pm

I'm sorry if I came off as being sexists.

I was trying to point out that I felt the management is being silly to think changing one 20 year old woman for another 20 year old woman to lead a group of people mostly in their 50's and 60's and believe things will turn out alright. Especially when the first thing she's asked to do is to tell people to agree to something that's mostly an unpopular opinion.

It's just one of the many deck chair games I'm noticing while trying to find the lifeboats before the iceberg hits.

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Re: Why 20 Year Olds Should Never Be Managers

Post by The Cid » Fri May 24, 2013 5:30 pm

ampersand wrote:I was trying to point out that I felt the management is being silly to think changing one 20 year old woman for another 20 year old woman to lead a group of people mostly in their 50's and 60's and believe things will turn out alright. Especially when the first thing she's asked to do is to tell people to agree to something that's mostly an unpopular opinion.
Is there a reason they prefer young managers? Is this basically by design (some companies hire people specifically to train them as mouthpiece managers, usually younger people), or did they look at a pool of applicants and choose the youngest woman twice in a row?

Chances are, your managers are there to work off of what is essentially programming from their bosses to march a company line. So it's not going to matter if they choose someone in their early twenties or late fifties, if their blanket policies are extremely strict they might as well be robots.
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Re: Why 20 Year Olds Should Never Be Managers

Post by thejerseyminx » Fri May 24, 2013 5:35 pm

I'd say it's likely that the younger employees are more willing to step up to the perceived better position, especially if the company isn't the greatest. The longer you stay with a crappy company the more jaded you become.
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ampersand
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Re: Why 20 Year Olds Should Never Be Managers

Post by ampersand » Fri May 24, 2013 8:04 pm

Cid: I think there is some of that that young person being a mouthpiece with the current supervisor. And this isn't a good place to work, but at least she has a good stepping stone to something better. The other supervisor is leaving for San Francisco where she will work directly with the client the call center has a contract with.

Jersey: Supervisors here seem to have a shelf-life of three months if they are any good and longer if they're terrible. It's sort of like being a television weatherman at the bottom 100 television markets in the United States. If they haven't moved up from Single-A after 5 years, they'll never move on up because the higher markets deem the weathercaster is terrible. So I completely agree with you. If she's really good, she'll find a better opportunity shortly and then they'll probably look for someone else.

And if I'm still around in by then, I hope they will consider me. The company is slowly developing better management, and my supervisor's boss is a really great guy has done a lot to try to improve the morale here. I'm hoping to pick his brain on some other things later on that I'd like to know about management styles. (No, I haven't drunk the Kool-aid. It's just not as bad as working at the first call center I was at.)

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