Decision Making; General Management Practice

teN MiNUtes to spare?

Primary Topic—Time Management and Personal Effectiveness

Additional Topics—Decision Making; General Management Practice

You are the hospital’s manager of supply, processing, and dispatch (SPD), and you report to the director of material management.

This morning you returned to work following a 3-day absence to find your in basket overloaded and your desk littered with telephone message slips. You were greeted by your secretary, Ellen, who informed you that you were expected to sub- stitute for your boss at an outside meeting today. You will have to leave no later than 9:30 am to get to the meeting on time, and you know you can plan on being gone for the remainder of the day.

You are left with 1 hour during which you can start making order of the chaos on your desk before leaving for the meeting. True to your usual pattern, you set about reviewing the items on your desk, message slips as well as the contents of the in basket, and creating separate stacks according to apparent importance or likely priority. You feel that you can perhaps get sufficiently organized to begin work the following day with emphasis on your most important tasks.

Halfway through your hour of organizing, Ellen enters to say, “The finance director, Mr. Wade, is here. He says he wants 10 minutes of your time to discuss a minor question having to do with last month’s operating expense report. Shall I tell him you’ll call him? Or that he should give you a memo about it?”

You cannot help feeling that the last thing you need at this moment is an inter- ruption, especially for something that is not urgent. It occurs to you that Ellen has described two possible choices for you, to which you have quickly added another, so that you have the following three options:

1. Say that you cannot get involved at the moment, but that you will call Mr. Wade the following morning.

2. Ask for a memo detailing the problem so that you can take care of it when time is available.

3. Grant the request for a meeting then and there, and try to limit the discussion to 5 to 10 minutes.

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• Identify the advantages and disadvantages of each of the three choices. • Indicate your most likely choice, and give your reasons for making this


80 Case 29: Ten Minutes to Spare?

© Jones & Bartlett Learning, LLC. NOT FOR SALE OR DISTRIBUTION. 8645

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