Update on the Overworked – Michael Dennis, CBF

Overworked Update
Overworked Update

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about a fellow credit manager working 60+ hour weeks with no end in sight.   I commented that he was putting his health and his marriage at risk and challenged him to either (a) take action, or (b) choose to do nothing and accept the consequences.

I have an update.  He met with his manager and told him the workload was not sustainable.  His boss said that he had no idea that anyone in the credit department was working 60+ hour weeks.  In fact, all his boss knew was that the work was getting done, including special projects assigned to the credit and collection team.  His manager said that he assumed and believed that since things were operating effectively and all tasks were being completed even with the reduced credit department staff that no increases in headcount were required.

My friend has agreed to:  (a) Work 11 hours a day for the next two weeks, followed by (b) 10 hours a day for the following two weeks.  After that, he has committed to work a solid 9 hour work day going forward. Meanwhile, my friend is tracking and reporting on how much time he spends on the various tasks he performs each day.

Michael Dennis, MBA, CBF, LCM
Michael Dennis, MBA, CBF, LCM

I am convinced that addressing or confronting this problem head-on was the right decision.  He told me he was not going to pretend that his manager was happy to learn he was no longer prepared to work 60 hours or more a week.  However, he is convinced that the time studies he completes each week will highlight the workload problem for his manager in a short amount of time.

When you have found that the volume of work assigned outstrips your bandwidth, what steps have you taken to change things?

Michael Dennis’ Covering Credit Commentary. Michael’s website is  www.coveringcredit.com

The opinions presented are those of the author.  The opinions and recommendations do not necessarily reflect the views of CMA, or their Officers and Directors.  Readers are encouraged to evaluate any suggestions or recommendations made, and accept and adopt only those concepts that make sense to them.

3 Replies to “Update on the Overworked – Michael Dennis, CBF”

  1. As I recall, I told you that I was not going to work “flat-out” any more and that you could either: (a) hire additional help of (b) fire me. Of course, firing me would only have made the problem worse for you, for the department, for the company and for our customers.

    Fortunately, you made the right decision 🙂

    As a result, we were both happier in our work, and I was able to focus more time on the higher value added tasks.


  2. Sometimes, job functions/work volume are analogous to the pile of magazines and business articles sitting on your desk waiting to be read. Months pass and the stack rises. At some point you toss them out after concluding you will never get to them and they must not have been life-altering. The same holds true with job tasks. A regular assessment should be performed to determine if you are spending time on functions whose purpose has been forgotten or whose value has diminished or become worthless. Is any of your checks & balance work duplicated by other departments? Are those functions better performed or more logically performed by another department. In that growing volume of work, often there are chunks of tasks that are only vestiges of past needs that can be safely excised. In all that you do, ask yourself “why” you are doing it and who, if anyone will be negatively impacted if you cease completing the duty or if you simply complete it less often.

  3. Thanks for sharing the update – we all need a reminder of how you go about asking for what you need and deserve. It is too easy just to keep doing and not take an accounting of what you are doing, why and what may need to change. Hope those time studies help!! 🙂

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