Tuesday
July 29, 2014

Homework Help: Improving Writing

Posted by Anonymous on Friday, March 20, 2009 at 8:12pm.

Background
Ten years ago, you started working as a clerk for DMD
Medical Supplies. Six months ago, Liz Jakowski, the human
resources director, promoted you to office manager. You
manage two employees: Jack Snyder and Ruth Disselkoen.
Your office provides secretarial support for the four members
of the executive team. Two years ago, Liz had assigned Jack
to support Ralph Alane and Jessica Hilo. Ruth was assigned
to Samuel Daley and Frank Daley. The work flow was
equally balanced.
You’ve noticed that in the last three months Ruth has cut her
breaks short to complete her work, complains of being tired,
and at least twice a month requires overtime hours costing
the company an additional $200 a month. In the last three
weeks, Frank Daley has complained to you a few times about
the poor quality of Ruth’s work.
On the other hand, over the last three months, Jack frequently
seems to have little to do. He has begun coming in late a
couple times a week and taking more than the allotted break
times. What work he does have, however, is always professionally completed.

Clearly, you must investigate to determine what is causing
this change and how to improve the situation. Since nothing
has changed in the personal lives of either Jack or Ruth, you
conclude you must focus on the in-office work situation. You
learn the following facts:
• Samuel and Frank Daley share a part-time administrative
assistant who works only 15 hours a week.
• Ralph Alane and Jessica Hilo share a full-time administrative
assistant.
• Jessica Hilo has been on medical leave for the last four
months, and Liz Jakowski isn’t sure whether Jessica will
be able to return to work.
• Jessica’s duties have been temporarily reassigned to
Ralph and Frank.
Although you don’t have the authority to change the work
assignments of the two administrative assistants or the
executive team, you clearly need to change your office
assignments so that both Jack and Ruth work regularly
without requiring overtime.

Process
1. The background explains the primary cause of the workflow
problem and the negative effects resulting from it.
Your task is to make up a realistic plan which solves
the uneven productivity between Jack and Ruth. Use
prewriting tools like brainstorming, cluster or webbing
diagrams, and freewriting to outline the cause-effect
situation and to develop a specific solution that best
solves the problem. Also ask yourself the following
questions to expand your prewriting.
• How long has this situation been going on?
• Why did the problems begin when they did?
• Am I able to solve the problem at its root cause or
am I only able to manage the impact of the problem?
• Is this a temporary or permanent problem?
• How has the company been affected?

• How have the employees been affected?
• What’s in my power to change? What must stay the same?
• What are two or three ways to improve the efficiency of
my office?
• How much work, time, and money would be required to
implement each solution?
• Does each solution stop all the negative effects?
• Are there any benefits to the change beyond stopping
what is occurring?
• How exactly would each change affect Jack, Ruth, and
the executive team?
• What would I have to do to make sure each change goes
through as planned and to monitor the situation once
the solution is in place?
2. From your prewriting, develop the single best solution to the
situation described in the background. Obviously, you won’t
be able to use everything you’ve prewritten, so your first step
is to choose what’s most important for the purpose and
audience. As you outline a solution, you may need to make
up more specific details that define the steps of the plan and
describe particular benefits of the plan.
3. Next, sort your details and information about the problem and
the plan into one of the two sections given below. Don’t
worry about complete sentences for this sorting stage; merely
list the information under the appropriate section. Use
information from both the background and your prewriting.
Section 1
• Facts and figures that define the problem (the cause)
• Details that show the impact of the problem (effects) on
Jack, Ruth, and the company
Section 2
• The steps needed to change the situation
• Reason to implement each step, including the benefits
to your employees, your supervisor, and the company
• Information about your role in the change

Have I done the assignment correctly?
Please proof read.

For the past three months work-related problems have occurred, causing conflicts between co-workers. The ongoing problems require attention, so we can better assist our daily clients. The in-office situation came about a month after Jessica Hilo took a medical leave. During this time, Ralph and Frank were temporarily reassigned her duties, resulting in an unequally balanced work flow. Frank has complained about Ruth’s poor quality in work, and I have noticed that she is working overtime at least twice a month, which costs the company additional money. On the other hand, Jack frequently has little work to do, and he has begun coming in late a couple times per week. His work is professionally completed, but tardiness reflects badly on his work profile.

To be successful the company needs teamwork. I do not feel that the co-workers are performing daily office tasks as well as they can and would like to offer some suggestions. First, I feel we should equally balance the work flow. Instead of reassigning Jessica’s work to Ralph and Frank, let Jack, Ralph, and the full time assistant temporarily take up the slack. When it is determined that Jessica isn’t coming back to work hire someone to take her place. This will ease the stress that has been affecting Ruth’s productivity, and her work performance will greatly improve. Jack will no longer have little work to do, and he’ll arrive at work on time.

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