On Fri, Feb 22, 2013 at 6:50 AM, Andreas Orphanides <[log in to unmask]>wrote:

> Staff numbers remain static, but responsibilities (and gate
> counts) keep increasing. As things get busier, we focus on our core
> responsibilities and some of the added stuff can fall to the wayside. If
> the overhead of participating in the backup system exceeds the available
> mental space, then people are going to forget/ignore it in lieu of more
> central concerns. I don't think this is indicative of poor staff quality,
> though -- just a natural process of triage.
> I don't think the correct solution is punitive -- that would only make the
> existing problem of managing responsibilities worse. Assuming that we're
> not going to get additional personnel, the best route is probably to
> implement a system that's as streamlined and easy as possible for the
> participants. This is why the doorbell works so well.

Agreed on all points except the doorbell since the OP indicated that the
intercom (which works the same as a doorbell for purposes here) wasn't an
acceptable solution because the noise it made annoyed patrons.

Expecting people to do good things and holding them accountable really
doesn't have anything to do with punitive action. Oppressive methods and
imposed solutions rarely work for the simple reason that people only do
what you make them do rather than what is needed.

The key to success is engagement. The key to getting people engaged is
showing them that you know they're good, that others count on them, and
that it's important that they deliver. If things don't go as expected, you
need a discussion over what happened and how to make things better in the
future. Expectations should never be low -- that all but guarantees nothing
will happen.

If the staff I work with had to deal with the backup problem that started
this thread, we'd have a conversation to see what everyone thought would
work best. Then we'd agree on something to try, touch base regularly to
identify what's working, what's not, and decide how to proceed from there.
If the solution for one problem causes other issues, that's part of the

Every place I've ever worked, I'm told there is someone who can't do
computers or operate X equipment (often this is reported by the person in
question). I have yet to actually meet someone who actually is no good with
this stuff and who can't be brought up to speed in a reasonable amount of
time. My experience is that even the most adamant Luddites do just fine if
you invest a little time and faith in them.