First, I guess I took a little more than a short technology break. I don’t know how frequently I’m going to be posting but I’ll see what I can do to be a bit more regular about it.
I’m posting about this growing trend to make sure that someone is absolutely bashed, kicked, shows appropriate contrition, and then is bashed and kicked some more.
Here’s an example.
Been working at a company 6 months, been transferring calls to the appropriate extension for all that time. Phones and extensions are changing all the time and so it was without much surprise that I get a new phone list.
Dead center of the page, there’s a RED label that says “Warm Transfer” followed by an extension. It’s an unfamiliar extension and so at a glance you’d think that the red lettering was calling your attention to a new extension.
Turns out someone thought that coloring only the words “Warm Transfer” was a good idea to highlight a supervisory extension on an otherwise data heavy, very busy page.
So in a chaotic, very busy environment, where you’re graded on how many calls you take in a day, and how often your associated paperwork has mistakes and people on the phones complaining about everything from their lot in life to other products, and the product that you actually are there to answer questions about, you make a mistake. In a normal workplace, making a mistake would be, meh and the employees wouldn’t live in fear. Unfortunately that’s not the case where I work.
Someone on a call, needed to talk to a person in the department associated with the “Warm Transfer” number. So you dutifully set about to transfer them, and you dial the most prominent number on the phone list.
An unhappy supervisor answers and asks how they can help. You explain what’s up and they respond by telling you “This is a supervisor line.” You apologize, then they ask how you got this number you explain it’s on a paper in front of you next to text that says warm transfer and tell the supervisor that you’ll let everyone around you know that the number in question is associated with a supervisor so they shouldn’t use it unless they need a supervisor.
The Sup tells you ok, and transfers you to the right extension. You take care of business, then move on to the next grumpy, annoyed, irate person.
Then your corporate instant messaging lights up asking all kinds of questions and demanding to know why you’re not paying attention to their instant messages, when you’re actually doing your job and talking to a customer.
You finish the call and respond to an interrogation via instant messaging. Then you’d think it was over.
The last and final indignity is that now YOUR supervisor comes over to make sure that you are appropriately contrite, know what your mistake was, and that it was solely your fault that you interrupted a supervisor.
FOR GOD’S SAKE! REALLY?
It was a simple and easily corrected mistake. On top of that the mistake had been corrected & noted immediately after the first supervisor had said it was the wrong extension.
But in this day & age there is no such thing as an innocent mistake.
So for me at least, every day is a grueling eight hour stress test. Make no mistakes, answer every call, don’t spend too much time documenting, move on to the next call, don’t say what should be said or what needs to be said, and live in fear or terror of being chastised, yelled at, or honestly… bullied all day long.
I come home each day more exhausted than when I was working lifting and toting 50 LB bags of fertilizer, or crawling around in 100° F attics running ductwork.
I’ll tell you this, those honest jobs were a hell of a lot more personally satisfying.
Ahh well, this too shall pass.
And that’s why I’m looking for a new job and why I’ve been offline for the most part for the past few months.
We as a society need to remember that minor mistakes and problems, not only shouldn’t but needn’t be blown out of proportion.
A simple comment, a word, or small mistake is not cause for the weight of JUSTICE to be brought to bear on the individual who misspoke or did something slightly wrong.
Most of the time, folks will correct their behavior on their own with a simple, “Hey, X, Y, or Z isn’t right.”