(Mt) – PUAD 798 UB How You Would Address the Marvin Fletcher

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The Marvins are Missing Again† Directions Read the case of each of the three Marvins. They are all absent from work, but for very different reasons. The performance of your work unit is suffering as a result of these absences. Your manager is beginning to ask why you have so many reported absences in your unit. Marvin Lowrey Marvin Lowrey was one of your best workers until his wife died in a car accident several months ago. He asked for, and you approved, a two-week leave so that he could “think things out.” When he returned, it was obvious that this was not the same Marvin you knew several weeks before. He seemed absentminded, irritable, and was nearly injured in a shop accident because of his carelessness. He also has called in sick several times. You called him at home to see how he was doing, and he said it was just the flu. He has also used up all his vacation time. In the past, Marvin has been a good employee and you are concerned about the situation. Marvin Fletcher Marvin is absent from work again today. He called in to say he would be a half-hour late because he had to run his daughter off to school. Marvin’s wife also works, and running the kids around often falls under Marvin’s responsibility. In Marvin’s favor is the fact that his performance doesn’t suffer from these short absences. When he is at work, he works harder than anyone else. His overall productivity is at least as good as anyone else in your unit. The problem is that you feel it doesn’t look good to have people coming in whenever they want. Other employees also want increased flexibility “because Marvin gets to you.” You feel you need to talk to Marvin, but feel a little guilty about it — just last week your son was sick and you had to stay home with him. (Marvin knows about that too.) Rita Marvin Rita Marvin is also absent from work today. Rita has a degenerative bone disease that causes her a good deal of pain. The pain seems to occur in bouts that prevent her from coming to work. Rita has volunteered to do some work at home, but union agreements and insurance regulations do not allow it. She is a fine worker and has a great sense of humor. She is a real morale booster in the unit. Unfortunately, in the past couple of months Rita has been missing too much work. Her illness is getting worse. You have heard some of the other workers say she should go on disability. You have mentioned the possibility of disability to Rita, but she pleads with you to keep her on. The job gives her life meaning, and all her friends are from work. Questions   † How would you deal with the Marvins’ absences? What strategy would you use in a discussion with each Marvin? Adapted from R.E. Quinn, S.R. Faerman, M.P. Thompson, and M.R. McGrath, Becoming a Master Manager: A Competency Framework, 2nd Ed., New York: John Wiley. 1996.

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