Never Sensitive Until You Say “Don’t Get Sensitive”  

, , , | Working | November 18, 2019

(I work in a large office building with multiple floors. Each floor has several small break rooms scattered around it, each with a commercial-sized by-the-cup coffee machine, an ice maker, a sink, and so on. Each floor also has a single much larger break room with all that plus refrigerators, microwaves, vending machines, and lunch tables. We have an online ticketing system to alert the maintenance team to any building maintenance issues we notice, like leaky faucets or restroom problems. One of the things the ticket requires is your desk number. I put a ticket in a while back, and this morning it was marked “closed complete,” but the problem hasn’t been fixed. This conversation happens in text-chat with the person who was handling my ticket.)

Me: “Hey, I saw you closed my maintenance ticket [number] about a coffee machine that’s under-serving, but I went over there and tried it just now, and it’s still doing exactly the same thing as before. I ordered a large and I got about four ounces of coffee. It doesn’t look like it’s been touched at all.”

Maintenance: “Yes, I can look into that for you. The company that handles the coffee machines did come out and do maintenance on that unit.”

Me: “Well, it’s not fixed.”

Maintenance: “Okay, I’ll inquire further. What’s the desk number?”

Me: “Break rooms don’t have desk numbers.”

Maintenance: “I meant, what’s your desk number? The ticket says you sit right next to the large break room on the third floor.”

(I realize what happened.)

Me: “No, this isn’t in the break room that’s closest to my desk. It’s the small break room in zone 12 on the third floor, like I said in the ticket. It’s on the south side of the building, right next to [conference room].”

Maintenance: “Oh, okay. They did maintenance on the one in the large break room.”

Me: “I was very clear in the ticket about which break room I was reporting”

Maintenance: “Calm down; there’s no need to get upset. We get a lot of tickets with no details in them.”

Me: “Okay, I wasn’t upset until you said that. I know you normally don’t get a lot of details; that’s exactly why I was very specific about which machine I was talking about! I went out of my way to give you lots of detailed information, and you just ignored it all because I sit somewhere else on the floor?”

Maintenance: “I have entered the maintenance order. Have a good day.”

(They disconnected.)

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