From Roles: There is more to a job than a job description
Readings from pages 55 and 56.
KEY: People have expectations about how you do your job -- and these expectations will differ.
Zoey was new to her job and it seemed everyone was eager to give her advice. An incident with a customer occurred that she was trained to report to her supervisor, but a co-worker chimed in, “I know we’re suppose to inform the boss whenever this happens but it just happens every now and then so we usually just don't bother." Another overhearing the conversation added, "The procedure manual says to report it but nobody does. If we did, it would just make our job harder.”
Zoey’s co-workers were communicating their expectations about how Zoey was to do her job. Except for those to whom you directly report, these comments usually just come up in casual conversation or as an aside ("oh, by the way"). If your antennae are not up, you could easily miss or dismiss them. But these "tidbits" can be useful information. They may vary and may even be contradictory but they give you ideas about what others expect of you and potential sources of conflict.
So do you go along with these expectations? That's up to you. Most likely you will find some beneficial and some not. Sometimes people will "back off,” adjust their expectations. Other times they will increase their attempts to influence you. Through your actions you send messages about how you see your role. In response to your actions, others send you messages about how they see your role. Being aware of this ongoing process, recognizing these communications, understanding the significance of your actions in the eyes of others -- these make you more knowledgeable about what is going on around you and help you decode the workplace.