This day did not start the way I wanted it to start at all.
I've always been a stickler when it comes to my people's attendance. I send out reminders every year on what my policies are in terms of absences. One important item that I have always reiterated is that only two people per team can be absent on any given day. Being in operations and with a manually-driven process, manpower is an important component that I have to manage properly. When people were filing for leaves for today and tomorrow, I enforced the previously mentioned rule. I freaked out when one team had 5 people who wanted to go on leave today and returned the requests with instructions to fix the schedule. I went home last Friday thinking that I will not encounter anymore problems regarding this issue.
On January 1, a staff requested for permission to go on leave today. As he caught me on my weak moment, I quickly agreed. However, I had second thoughts about my decision but since I already gave my approval, I let it be.
I was rudely awakened at 4 this morning by a text message that one staff also wanted to go on leave for another reason. It irked me as she used the same reason that she has always been using -- nobody would look after her son. My point is that I am also a working mom but I would ensure that my yaya problems will not interfere with my work. In fact, my son's yaya was supposed to return today but I insisted that she return last night so I will not have to worry about getting to work. Moreover, there was also another staff who wanted to go on leave today with a similar problem but I disapproved her leave. She then made arrangements to leave her son with another caretaker.
As if a signal, text messages started pouring in requesting permission to go on leave. What made matters worse was that the people who wanted to go on leave belong to the same team. That really got my goat and the team leader, who was unfortunately on leave today, got an earful (textful) from me. I did not answer any of the text messages and as per our rules, no acknowledgement would mean no approval.
I scolded my team leaders this morning as apparently, there were others who were absent and did not even text me. Only one team was complete and I'm rewarding them tomorrow with breakfast. I left instructions that no one was to go home until all work that was scheduled to be finished today was finished. If they have to render overtime on the first working day of the year, then they don't have anyone else to blame but those who are supposed to be present but for some reason, chose to be absent.
I did not want to start my new year with negative vibes and with sermon galore, but my people have to understand that there is a line that should not be crossed. It's hard to be consistent with a large team and it's always a never-ending balancing act. I just hope that everybody concerned learns from this lesson.