As a teenager, I loved any opportunity to drive the car and I loved my Aunt Joan dearly, so one would assume that driving Aunt Joan was a double treat. Sadly, this was not the case, instead of combining two marvelous things, driving Aunt Joan was actually as close to purgatory as I have ever been. The cause of my anxiety was that Aunt Joan would never disclose our destination, she would only provide the information that we were going to go “shopping” or “visiting” and then the dreaded “I’ll give you directions in the car.”

I found that destinations that I could have easily and happily arrived at had I been given the clear specifics of “Safeway” or “Mary’s” were fraught with stress and danger as my Aunt barked out her version of clear instructions “left, right, not that right” and made the process a misery by holding onto the information of our destination until we arrived angry and stressed by each other’s perceived short-comings.

The anxiety and unhappiness of driving my dear Aunt Joan sprung to mind when I read Marco Nink’s article “Many Employees Don’t Know What is Expected of Them at Work.” Similar to the managers in the article that fail to clearly set expectations and engage their employees, I regret the missed opportunity to enjoy the drives with Aunt Joan. Like the managers in the article, I didn’t associate all the positive outcomes that would have been realized if I had managed and clarified our goals at the start.


Michelle Smirnoff

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