Not A Very Helpful Landscape

, , , , , | Working | January 13, 2019

(I work in a back office and process customer requests that our salespeople send. We are rolling out electronic systems soon, but we are very paper-based at this point. Today, I receive a request with special approval attached; a couple of email chains were printed in landscape orientation, one of which was at least seven pages. As I need to email finance, I email the woman who sent it and ask her to forward me the electronic copies.)

Sales: *via email* “I already printed the emails and attached them to the request.”

Me: *via email* “Yes, I received the paper copies. Please forward me the electronic copies so I can email them to finance.”

(She calls two minutes later and goes on, obviously upset at my request. Some samples of the conversation:)

Sales: *as part of a thirty-second rant* “I have all this other work to do and I don’t have time to look for that email.”

Me: “It usually takes me only a minute to search for an email if I type the subject in the search box. This seemed like a simple request to me, and I apologize if this is not the case.”

Sales: “This doubles my work!”

Me: “I acknowledge that you are busy. Since I can only scan the emails, what would that do to my workload? I also have other customers to serve.”

Sales: “Why can’t you just scan them?”

Me: “I am concerned that since they are printed in landscape, it will be harder for finance to follow along. I am trying to make their job as easy as I can.”

Sales: “They’ll just have to print it, too, and it will be in landscape! I’ll look for the emails, but I will have to forward you two emails, and finance will get two emails.”

Me: “I can attach those emails to my email to finance so that they will only receive one email.”

(She replied to my email with the two other emails I had requested attached within a couple of minutes of the phone conversation ending. She’d spent ten minutes complaining about it before that. She’ll probably be one of those people who prints and scans everything in the new system, too!)

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