You are the hospital’s Director of Health Information Services and

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You are the hospital’s Director of Health Information Services and you report to the Vice President of Finance. This morning you returned to work following a three-day absence to find your in-basket overloaded and your desk littered with telephone message slips.You were greeted by your secretary, Ellen, who informed you that you were expected to substitute for your boss at an outside meeting today. You will have to leave no later that 9:30 AM to get to the meeting on time, and you know you can plan on being gone for the remainder of the day.

You are left with one hour during which you can start making order of the chaos on your desk before leaving for the meeting. True to your usual pattern, you set about reviewing the items on your desk–message slips as well as the contents of the in-basket–creating separate stacks according to apparent importance or likely priority. You feel that you can perhaps get sufficiently organized to begin work the following day with emphasis on your most important tasks.

Halfway through your hour of organizing, Ellen enters to say, “the finance director, Mr. Wade, is here. He says he wants ten minutes of you time to discuss a minor question having to do with last month’s operating expense report. Shall I tell him you’ll call him? Or that he should give you a memo about it?” You cannot help feeling that the last thing you need at this moment is an interruption, especially for something that is not urgent.

What do you think you should do, call tomorrow, ask for it in writing, meet with him or something else? State your best suggestion and an advantage and disadvantage of that choice and why you think this is the best solution.

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