RE: RE.RE words _ the final word?

From:Tim Webster <>

Hi Richard,

Thanks for your reply.  

Indeed there are many "Managers" where the term "manager" is insufficient of
an insult. - To that I whole heartedly agree.

As a Yorkshire lad, who served in the British Army, our beloved NHS, and
then transplanted to the U.S, I also agree that things are different on this
side of the pond.  We constantly have to battle faceless commercial labs in
order to continue to provide service at our community hospital. (Which
wasn't a problem in dear 'ol blighty). Not at this facility, but often, we
are also in a situation where the 'suits ideas don't jive with the
laboratory ideals. I am very fortunate to work for an organization that
seems to have "figured it out".

A toast then, to those who can and do steer departments in the right
direction regardless of rank or title, and a big fat juicy raspberry to all
those who suck. -You know who you are! - (Incidentally, almost by
definitiion, those subscribing to our beloved histonet must be exempt from
"suck" status)

Have a great day Richard, 

Tim Webster
Northwestern medical Center
St Albans VT

-----Original Message-----
From: Richard Pitman []
Sent: Wednesday, December 13, 2000 4:25 AM
Subject: RE: RE.RE words

Hi Tim,

I'm too tired to disagree with you on this. It's a cultural thing, and
depends what you define a 'manager' as. On a day to day basis, anyone who is
responsible for supervising others could be defined as a manager, and these
days often are. That is the label which I sought to avoid, because it
invites comparison with the type of 'manager'  that I revile. By this, I
mean the gray suits, who are not part of the department, have little
understanding of what is done there, or who the human beings who work in
that department are, but are ready to make decisions based on budget sheets
despite that.

The other aspect to this is the way that labs work on opposite sides of the
Atlantic. I'd guess you come from a commercial environment, have to compete
with other labs to get work, keep an eye on costs etc.  It ain't like that
here, yet, despite what some sad souls believe. (The ones who like to call
themselves lab managers, I suppose). True, we play with budget sheets, but
the work keeps coming in, and we have to do it, whether we go over budget or
not. And then some twat in a gray suit turns up to suggest how we might make
savings. Grrr.

All the best, Richard

>>> Tim Webster  by way of Histonet <> 12/12/00 09:46pm
Hi Richard,

I'm writing to take issue with you on the non-technical manager "stuff".

Having worked in both military and civilian hospitals, I can assure you that
the ability to effectively manage far outways the background of the manager.
If you are looking to hire a salesman, you don't care what he/she sold as
long as they are good at it.  The rest is "product knowledge", and is picked
up as you go along.
Similarly, the ability to cut fabulous sections has nothing to do with the
skills required to effectively manage a histology department, or any other
part of a lab. (Insert your own bad manager personal experience here).

However I do agree that LOUSY managers are perhaps even more lousy when they
have little medical lab background!

I am currently awaiting my middle management opportunity in something or
other, so I'll get back to you and let you know how it goes!

Have a great day!

Tim Webster
Northwestern medical Center
St Albans VT 

-----Original Message-----
From: Richard Pitman [] 
Sent: Tuesday, December 05, 2000 11:31 AM
Subject: Re: RE.RE words

I agree with everything you two say, except that I do not wish to be
labelled a 'Laboratory Manager'. I am a Chief / Head MLSO, and I'm proud to
be called one. This makes it clear that I have appropriate training and
experience, unlike certain individuals who enjoy the title 'Laboratory
Business Manager', or similar. As I've said privately, it's probably a UK
NHS phenomena. Far too many 'managers', not enough workers, is the general
perception over here.

I don't do much lab work these days. To quote one of my staff, 'All Richard
does is play with his computer, or order rubber gloves'.

Richard Pitman FIBMS,
Head MLSO,
Dept of Histology, Cytology & Immunology,
Worcester Royal Infirmary NHS Trust

>>> "R.Wadley" <> 12/05/00 01:22am >>>
	Hi All,

	I'm with Christine an this one.  I proudly call myself Laboratory
although chief cook & bottle washer sometimes seems more appropriate.

	The hassle is with people who have the management qualifications &
nothing about the science.

	As scientists it is inevitable that to advance we must take on more
managerial roles.  This does drag you away from 'the bench', but at least
the decisions made are made by some-one who knows what the effect will be.

	It might just be different terminology but the title Lab Manager is
by me, my management qualifications have been learnt 'on the job', my
degree is in Laboratory Science.  I could do a Masters in Management but it
would cost $20,000 & achieve nothing.

	Getting off the soap box now.


	Rob W.

At 08:46 12/05/2000 +1000, you wrote:
>I seem to have missed the beginning of a discussion, but the jist of the
>matter as I understand it is that there is some distain for the words
>'Laboratory Manager'
>I find this a sad occurrence. Firstly there are some who have the title of
>their jobs dictated by higher authorities. Secondly if Laboratory
>Professionals do not take the responsobility for their own management then
>it is most likely that their management duties will be devolved to
>Administrative Managers who have no laboratory training at all. For myself,
>I don't care what people call me, my duty statemant says Principal
>Scientific Oficer. Responsibitites - the mangement of the section.
>When Scientific Officers loss control of their departments to pure
>often they have no one to blame but themselves. I find my biggest
>managerial task is just keeping 'the ship' on course and steered towards
>our benchmark.
>These are my thoughts on the matter and I would be grateful if someone
>could forward to me the e-mails that started this distain of the title -
>Laboratory Manager.
>Christine Lee, MBA (Technology Management)
>Principal Scientific Officer,
>School of Veterinary Science,
>University of Queensland.
>    P.S If anyone is going to smoke at the ears over what I have said,
>please do it nicely. Laboratory managers cop heaps from all sides.
Robert Wadley,
Laboratory Manager
Cellular Analysis Facility  *** Services now available 24 hrs/7days ***
School of Microbiology & Immunology
UNSW, New South Wales, Australia, 2052
Ph (BH) 	+61 (2) 9385 3517
Ph (AH)	+61 (2) 9564 0570
Fax 	+61 (2) 9385 1591
Mobile	0411 874 470

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