Clean it up!

Clean it up!

Oct 01, 2005

Julie Legred
Q. I'm the first person in the office every morning, and the evening staff always leaves messes for me to clean up. How can I encourage them to pull their weight?

"We have a checkout list we complete each night to make sure we finish all tasks at the end of a shift," says Julie Legred, CVT, a technician at Como Park Animal Hospital in St. Paul, Minn. All of the closing duties are divided by job title–technicians, veterinary assistants, and receptionists each have their own list. The technician checkout list, for example, includes making sure all animals have recovered adequately from procedures, wrapping and autoclaving surgical packs, and shutting down equipment properly.

"When possible, we try to share the lists and pitch in so everyone leaves at the same time," Legred says.

If co-workers want to skip items on the list and leave early, just remind them how they'd feel if they came in the next morning to a mess. "If the person who didn't clean up the mess the night before worked the morning shift as well, she'd discover the unpleasant consequences," Legred says. "I'd try to gently remind this person that when she doesn't complete all of her tasks, it affects everyone–her co-workers, doctors, and clients."