Old-Fashioned Attitude Needed in Laundry Management


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Eric Frederick |

Bosses deserve loyalty, best efforts, says columnist

ROANOKE, Va. — I have had the privilege to work for a number of companies over the many years of my career in the laundry industry. 

I have had some great bosses, some good bosses, some meddlesome bosses and some just plain old terrible bosses. No matter what I thought of them, they were the boss and deserved my best efforts and my loyalty. I did not always agree with the way they wanted to get things done but they always deserved and got my best efforts.

I have come to realize that my attitude might be a little old-fashioned and no longer respected by the younger generation. It is common to hear members of leadership teams complain about the boss and question his or her decisions.

In a healthy environment, a manager will accept and consider input from all the parties involved. This input is vital in coming up with the best possible solution. I enjoy the opportunity to express my opinion to my boss and welcome the opportunity to explain in detail why I recommend that course of action, but once the decision is made, it is made and my job is to fully support that decision.

It is unrealistic to believe that the boss will always see things my way. He often has many demands on his time and has access to information that I do not. I trust that he will make the best possible decision for the organization as a whole. It is my job, and the job of all management team members, to fully support that decision.

I also must have loyalty to the organization, and if my boss has asked me to do something immoral, illegal or unethical, then I need to bring it to the attention of the proper authorities in the organization. Allowing inappropriate behavior to continue could cause major damage to the company.

But this should be the rare exception to the rule. I, personally, in 45 years of management have never been asked to do anything unethical, illegal or immoral by my boss, but I can honestly say I have not always agreed with their decisions. 

Every manager must decide if they disagree with the direction their boss has chosen, whether they can fully support that decision or if it is time to move on.

I look at this type of situation as if my wife and I are taking a trip together. There are many ways to get from point A to point B. We can discuss if the scenic route or the most direct route is the best way to go. She has her reasons. I have mine. In the end, we make a decision on how we are going to travel.

It makes little difference which route we take. The goal is to get from point A to point B, and 99% of management decisions are made on how the organization can best get from A to B. Everyone will not get to take their preferred route.

What is important is that the management team supports the decision and shows that support to its employees and to everyone it comes into contact with outside the organization.


Skills That Laundry Operators Need to Succeed, Aug. 4, 2016

The Power of a Smile and a ‘Good Morning,’ March 3, 2016

About the author

Eric Frederick

Eric Frederick served 44 years in laundry management before retiring and remains active in the industry as a laundry operations consultant. You can contact him by e-mail at [email protected] or by phone at 540-520-6288.


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