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Getting Patrick to say “No”

A cup can only take so much until it overflows.

A story of a young man, college graduate, honours student, top performer in every subject, looking for a job… no experience… not enough time spent in your field of study… but committed and strong willed that he Will Find a Job and work hard at it when he gets his foot in the door…

Patrick, Patrick, he’s the man, if he can’t do it, no one can…

Well, this was his motto, he believed that the more you have on your plate the more you can get done. There was no task too big, no report too complicated or deadline too short that he could not handle. He was a young and enthusiastic college grad at the paper factory. The day that Anton said “I see potential in you kid, you are the type of candidate that I need in our organisation.” Was the day that Patrick realised that he will work his hardest to please Anton because he was the one that was willing to take a chance on him, and for that, he would be the loyalist and most diligent worker ever.

Every day Anton would ask “Have you finished the report for ZYX?”, “I’ll have it on your desk this afternoon Boss” – which meant that there was no time for lunch, no time for coffee, no time for breaks, no time for friends, no time for life...

This unfortunately lead to Patrick having to come in every day before the rest of the team and leave way after all the others had left, as his workload was just out of control and he kept taking on more and more. As soon as one task was done, he would take on two more…

Always trying to impress Anton with his fervour and go getter attitude. What effect would this have on him in the long run? Stress Levels? Depression? Insomnia?

Would he be able to keep up with this pace… always feeling as if he is trying to catch up on his workload. Never being able to take control and get in front. Was this what working life is like?

Time for a change, and the opportunity presented itself in the form of a workshop, Anton wanted to invest in his team and make sure that all of them start working together and sharing the workload, that all of them were on the same page, no matter what stage of your life you were in.

Had Anton realised that Patrick was putting in all those extra hours? Maybe Yes… only time will tell…

Apparently, it is okay to say “No” to your managers, it is okay to put a deadline on your manager, it is okay to ask for help from co-workers if you get stuck or swamped with your workload, it is not a requirement that you come in early and leave late, it is okay to share your workload…

The WorkingSm@rt people showed Patrick how to change the way that he manages his workload. How he can see what he has on his plate and how to be realistic with what he has promised to Anton. How he can ask for help when he does not know how to proceed with any task. They taught him how to say no in the right way by saying “Yes, I can do that, but which one of the other tasks on my list is less important than what you want me to do now?”

Patrick soon realised that the way that he had approached his job would have made him old and tired way before his time, and that this new way of WorkingSm@rt will affect his Work/Life balance for all of his life. He was now enabled to be the productive and efficient worker equipped with the tools he needed to succeed.

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