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Horror in the Trenches

Posted on August 06, 2006

By James Montague

“Temporary Staffing Issues” - Regardless of your situation the solutions to your problems are many and varied.  As you know there is no magic formula but we will seek to understand how to decide if and when to hire temporary staffing.  We begin….

Horror in the trenches! (A true story about a fictional person)

Part 1

It’s just another Monday for Stephanie at Widgets R Us.  Two of her meeting planners were delayed in Chicago, her best meeting manager finished her last day of work last Friday, and there is a client on her phone panicking about the venue her team has chosen. Certainly things could be worse; how could Finance not approve her budget request for 5 more planners to handle the new contract? 

Stephanie knows that to ask her staff to do more would mean certain mutiny; yet the work has to get done.  So ask she does, the obvious implication of not doing so is unhappy clients and lost business.  She has good people who understand the client comes first and they’ll pitch in…for a while!  Stephanie gets right in the trenches, rolls up her sleeves and digs right in to help.  And that is exactly what she is doing when her newest hire pops her head in to begin her training.  “There has got to be a better way, a better plan!” she thinks to herself. 

Stephanie’s long day finally comes to an end at 7:38pm; already late for dinner with the family Stephanie slumps back in her chair.  Finally, with a moment to breath and think clearly she remembers reading a post on MeetingsCommunity about how some people have solved these problems with temporary staffing.  At home, she jumps on the internet to do more research…its 10:13 PM.


I’m sure we have all had days that would compare to this one!  Hopefully not many, and hopefully not all of these things happen on the same day, but they do happen.  And it’s how we respond to these challenges that builds trust within our organizations, with our staff and with those higher up. What will Stephanie do, what will she do??  Tune in tomorrow as we discuss some decision criteria for outsourcing.  Areas that will include: fixed vs. variable costs, single vs. multiple vendors and how do you really determine your true costs.  As always please post your questions! 


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