Chris Johnson, Loan Officer
You have worked for Ameri-Bank for 10 years (in multiple offices), and you are very good at your work. You have passed up attractive offers from other financial institutions because you like the flexibility of working here. Besides, your family is well off, so you aren’t concerned about making a lot of money.
Last month, your bank acquired a small consumer loan company with a staff of two loan officers and a secretary. After the acquisition, you were moved in to replace one of the loan officers. As fate would have it, the remaining loan office is Pat Simpson. You’ve known Pat for years. The two of you worked together years ago when Pat coincidentally used to work for Ameri-Bank. During that time, you were both single and got along well so you often went out together as friends to take advantage of the city’s nightlife.
After Pat left Ameri-Bank, the two of you lost touch. Not long ago, you heard from another acquaintance that Pat has been married for about three years and has settled down. In contrast, you are still happily single and living life just as you always have. In fact, one of the things you’ve always appreciated about Ameri-Bank is that working here has allowed you to maintain this lifestyle. You’re not a morning person and you’ve always had the flexibility to ease your way into your workday. You find you get your best work done later in the day, particularly after five when everything else seems to have quieted down.
In every office in which you’ve worked (including the old days with Pat), your co-workers have worked with or been willing to accommodate your work style. They’ve clearly recognized that you are one of the top loan officers in the company. Also, having the right last name doesn’t hurt (your uncle is a founding partner of Ameri-Bank) and so they have had no trouble making allowances for your preferences.
But Pat (your new office mate and, you thought, old friend) is proving to be an exception. Since you arrived, your relationship has been strained. Pat is almost never willing to stay late and has seemed irritated any time you insisted. This has been a big problem because company rules require checking each other’s loans. Pat’s unwillingness to stick around really slows you down. You often have no choice but to leave a stack of loans for review on Pat’s desk before you leave the office. Pat also always has an excuse to avoid helping you with your paperwork. You don’t understand Pat’s attitude. After all, you put in whatever time is needed to get the job done. And your requests for assistance seem very reasonable; other co-workers have always been willing to comply.
You decided to take Pat up on an offer to go to lunch today with the hope that you can use the opportunity to talk about all of this. You need to get Pat to loosen up, be more flexible, and be more willing to help you. “I mean, that’s what co-workers (and old friends) are for, right?” you muse on the way to work. During the discussion, you could try to stress the reasonableness of your requests. Others have never objected so why should Pat? Or you could try to work out a bargain. Maybe you could put in a good word for Pat with your uncle. Pat’s career hasn’t exactly skyrocketed. Surely Pat would find the prospect of an upgrade to “Senior Loan Officer” and/or a chance to move to a larger office attractive…
In class, you will participate in a role-play of this lunch conversation with another student. To prepare, answer the following questions from your role’s perspective (and bring your answers to class to hand in):
1. What is/are your goal(s) for this upcoming conversation with Pat?
2. What is your plan for trying to achieve your goal(s)? In other words, how do you intend to approach this conversation? Be brief but specific—mention specific things you might say and/or actions you might take.