Thank You Very Much. Now Go Home.
When I’m managing duties, provided things are working, I tend to be quite easy-going. If people want to go on a patrol somewhere, that’s fine, just so long as I have enough people in the right place the whole time.
However, if people muck me around, prove themselves to be a liability, or are just downright unsafe, I have a problem. Theoretically, this is an easily solved problem. If they are causing too much trouble, they can go home, thank you very much for you help, you’re not needed here (they might be volunteers, but they also volunteered to play by the rules). If necessary, I’m prepared to have venue security escort people from a venue, though the problems they’re causing have to seriously outweigh the problems sending them home will cause. If I have someone removed, I had better be damn sure I justify why.
I have only ever considered sending three people home. I’ve been consulted with about a duty I wasn’t managing, and agreed that a bit of distance between the event manager and the problem person was a good thing, but never actually sent someone home myself.
Two of these people were at the same time. In fact, they were a first aid pair. Throughout this duty, they persisted to ignore my instructions, failed to report when they were treating (I, the duty manager, apparently didn’t need to know…), refused to where hi-visibility clothing when asked (they argued it wasn’t needed because it was a bright day. They were correct, but I wanted them to wear it so I knew where they were. If they weren’t going to radio in updates, I had to find other methods). Somewhere along the line they seemed to forget that I was the one who would have to explain to my boss if everything went wrong.
Theoretically, I could have sent them home, and probably would have been able to quite happily justify it to anyone who complained. They were insubordinate, and a liability to the event. I had enough cover to make up for their absence, and while they had brought the equipment, I could easily have arranged for it to be brought back.
Eventually I decided that I couldn’t be doing with the pain sending them home would likely cause.
Looking back, with the benefit of a bit more experience (both of these members, and in general), I probably should have sent them home. It might even have prevented a few of the problems I had with those members in the coming months (though, it could equally just have sped up the problems, or got a formal complaint filed against me, but never mind.)
The last person was much more recent. To describe him as a pain in the arse means I miss out on the use of long words like insubordinate, tactless, and, in my opinion, a liability to the Organisation (at least in that role). His first aid is acceptable, his attitude is not, and it was driving me insane. Unfortunately, I couldn’t afford to lose him, as I had few enough staff as it was, but i did arrange to ensure I wasn’t posted with him for the rest of the event. (Anyone paying attention will know that I’ve already complained about him once on this blog.)
The problem now is, I have a much shorter amount of patience with all three of these members than I used to. I am much more inclined to get irritated by what they do, because I know what it could become, not what the problem currently is. I know have to be very careful, because if I chew someone out for something they might do, I could get myself in to a sticky situation. Fortunately, the first two aren’t really my problem any more (unless I event manage something for my old unit again), but the last person I’m going to have to work with for a while yet. I just hope I don’t end up snapping at him in front of the youth members. I can think of nothing more embarrassing, or less professional looking…