Corporate Management Decisions: A Cautionary Tale

, , , , , | Working | August 7, 2019

A few years ago, the company I work for bought another, smaller company that used to be a competitor. Their office, headquartered in another state across the country from us, remained open, and thus we had two locations for our one company.

The problem is that the new office is seriously understaffed. They’re essentially trying to do the same work as our office with one-fifth of the staff. This means that a lot of times, clients are calling in and getting either no answer, or a voicemail message, with no calls back because nobody has time to check them. So, our corporate managers make a fantastically stupid decision.

Whenever anyone calls the new office, and the phone rings eight times without an answer, the call will bounce to our office. Great in theory, right? Sure, until this gem happens.

A remote employee, contracted with the new office, calls in to report a problem and that she may not be on time to do her job that’s coming up. She calls the new office, the phone rings eight times, and it bounces to us. My supervisor takes the call, and decides to get in touch with the new office to let them know, so they can take care of the proper arrangements.

My supervisor then dials the number for the new office.

Eventually, someone picks up.

My supervisor notes that the guy who answers has the same name as someone working in our office. Sounds like him, even.

My supervisor reports the problem, and there’s silence on the other line. Out of the corner of his eye, my supervisor sees someone turn around in his chair. It’s the employee with the same name as the guy on the phone. No, he is the guy on the phone. Two of our staff are talking to one another on the phone, from ten feet away, about a problem our office can’t resolve.

The bounced call policy was removed hours later.

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