10,000 Reasons To Fire Him

, , , , , | Working | September 27, 2018

I work in a sales office. One of my colleagues is “belligerent” at best and outright hostile at worst. However, he is good at his job, so it is tolerated, much to everyone else’s chagrin.

One day I answer a call from a customer who explains they have placed a large order by email but have yet to see a confirmation. Of course, they sent the email to the general sales email, which is forwarded to the five area supervisors, all of whom are on the phone, and all of whom may have passed it onto their own sales team, totaling approximately fifty people. I ask the customer to resend the order to my own email and explain that when my coworkers are off the phone I will track down who has handled the order and have them confirm it.

The order comes through, and instantly I can see there is nothing on the customer’s account to show the order has been entered onto the system. I ask around the area supervisors as they finish their calls, but none claim ownership of the order.

Finally, my belligerent coworker slams his phone down, shouts across the open plan office — where people are on calls — that he is dealing with the order, but he can’t put the order on the system because we are out of stock and he needs to find out when we can get more. He shouts at me that I should have known he would be handling the order, and accuses of me trying to “steal” his customer.

He then proceeds to ring the customer and shouts at them for being impatient when they should have — somehow — known the order was being handled. When the customer gets defensive, my coworker hangs up on them mid-sentence.

The customer then proceeds to cancel the £10,000 order. When my coworker tries to charge them a 10% cancellation fee, the customer points out that, without a confirmation, no contract has been formed and they are free to cancel without penalty. Cancellation fees have never been in our terms and conditions, anyway.

Several years later, the customer has a new buying manager who has gotten in touch with us, and we have been slowly earning their business back. My coworker is still with the company, despite repeating variations of the same performance at least twice; however, he now refuses to speak to the customer, who now asks for me by name.

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