Tada – Data!

, , , , , | Working | September 16, 2020

I work as a data-entry specialist in a small company. Due to our company still being old-fashioned in some areas, we get various paper documents and PDF files that we need to enter into our database systems manually, rather than having any sort of direct feed. It would be more efficient to have it upload or scan automatically, but that would put me out of a job, so I’m not complaining about them being a bit behind the times. Still, doing the job right means making sure that everything we enter is accurate so that we don’t end up charging the wrong customer for a job or mislabeling what product a customer is requesting.

We have a new team member starting who has… issues with accuracy. She is slower to enter data, which is to be expected when starting out, but she also just keeps making mistakes with various fields — putting in the wrong date or the wrong ID number, or putting information into the wrong fields. Since we check each other’s work, the issues end up getting fixed, but it is still slowing everyone down. So, during one of the team meetings, our boss ends up making the following statement.

Boss: “Recently, we’ve been having a bit of an uptick in misentered data. I just want to let everyone know that it is a lot more important to be accurate than to be fast, so take your time to double-check what you are entering, as it will save time, in the long run, to get it right the first time.”

Non-judgmental and doesn’t name any names, right? Well, our new coworker doesn’t think so, as she apparently submits a complaint to HR about “harassment” and ends up bringing her copy of the employee handbook to the next team meeting and demanding that our boss read out loud the section about harassment not being okay. He does and immediately asks if she is being harassed.

Newbie: “Uh, yeah! I’m dyslexic and you’re singling me out.”

Boss: “Oh. I’m sorry; I wasn’t aware. I didn’t mean to make you feel uncomfortable. What can I do to help?”

Newbie: “Be understanding!”

We thought the matter would be settled there, but the mistakes kept happening. Our boss tried to suggest accessibility software and even worked with IT to change the font in our menus to one that was supposed to be more “dyslexic-friendly,” but things still kept being entered wrong. And she kept submitting complaints to HR about “harassment,” which we found out about because she was the type of person to loudly announce when she was doing it so the whole office could hear.

Things ended up going to arbitration, but they felt that the steps being taken to try and accommodate her were more than sufficient, which she also ended up loudly complaining about.

Eventually, she left, and since we didn’t have her loudly shouting about her complaints in the office, we never found out if it was her choosing to quit or her getting fired. But, at the very least, it helped with all our jobs to not have to be cleaning up her mistakes. I will say that my boss was a lot more patient with her complaints than I would have been, because she honestly seemed like she expected us to just stop calling her entries “wrong,” rather than using the tools given to make sure they were right.

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