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November 01, 2002  |   Comments (0)   |   Post a comment

Judgment Call

Self-appointed leader of drivers steps forward One of your bus drivers has become the self-appointed leader of the rest of the drivers and lodges several complaints about the sorry state of the buses, drivers lounge, restrooms, etc. He prefaces his comments with the following: "As the representative of the drivers, I'd like to lodge a complaint about. . . " How do you handle this situation? Check the validity My first concern would be the validity of the driver's allegation that he is the drivers representative. He may represent only a small group of disgruntled drivers. Regardless of his status, I would listen to his concerns and respond to them appropriately. Tom Taylor Operations Director Williamson (Tenn.) County Schools Leader of whom? I would listen to everything he had to say and write down a "list of concerns." Then I would ask him to name who he represents and why was he chosen to bring those concerns forward to me. I would explain to him that my reason for asking for names would be to allow me to address my response to each individual. If, as stated, he appointed himself the spokesperson, I would ask him why he felt he had that authority. If he felt other people had concerns, then by all means he should send them to me. Lucy Harding Transportation Coordinator Valley View (Ill.) School District Listen and respond Whether the driver is self appointed or not, I would listen to the concerns and tell the driver I will respond once I check into it. I have, in addition to the union leaders who meet with me regularly, other drivers who bring in concerns for everyone. They put their concerns in the form of questions, and I answer those questions at the next general meeting. Bob Peters Transportation Director Liverpool (N.Y.) Central School District Focus on listening The only way to cure a problem is to first know if there is one. I invite any and all to enter and to speak freely and honestly. Sometimes directors and supervisors get caught up in the leadership and business aspect of the job and don't see what's right in front of them. Who best to judge working conditions, department issues and the like but those closest to the situation at hand — the employees. Cathy Erwin Transportation director Cave Creek (Ariz.) Unified S.D.

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