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Manager, Manage! Part 7

, , , , , , , | Working | March 22, 2023

Many years ago, I had a bad manager. She based our reviews on walking thirty seconds to the elevator from wherever she was in the office. She even noted this IN THE REVIEWS. When I called her out on it, as that was not an accurate representation of my work (or that of the other staff), she wrote me up for insubordination and threatened to fire me if I didn’t sign it. I signed it and immediately began looking for another job — as one should after that BS.

Faced with any conflict, [Manager] would run to her office, lock the door, and cry, leaving the reception team to deal with whatever the issue was. Our office was three floors of shared office space. Three others and I were that reception team — one to a floor with the fourth girl being a floater. We answered the switchboard for about twenty clients per floor and would patch the calls through, as well as accept deliveries, etc.

Well, we got a new phone system in and it glitched, bad.

Rather than [Manager] taking responsibility as the manager and contacting the company who installed it to come out and fix the issue, she hid in her office. WE took care of it instead. WE apologized to our clients and listened to them yell, placating them and advising that WE had a service call in and they would be there shortly to fix it. 

So, I job hunted and interviewed during my lunchtime. I found a new job and wrote my clients a nice note saying I was leaving and why and that I would miss working with them.

I also wrote [Manager] my letter of resignation, detailing why I was leaving, basically calling her out on being a bad manager, which included her poor management style, the unfair reviews, her lack of respect for the reception team, etc. I gave it to her at 4:30 pm on the Friday before I started my new job. A coworker later told me that [Manager] got off the elevator reading my letter, white as a sheet, and then ran to her office, locked the door, and cried.

I also found out that after I quit, not only did the other girls quit one by one as they found new jobs, but also, several of the clients moved out of the building because they realized that WE took care of everything, and since [Manager] didn’t know anything, she couldn’t train the new hires on the phone system. It was a train wreck with tons of calls being dropped or sent to the wrong client, and it was hurting their businesses, so they broke their leases and left.

Moral: don’t treat your staff like s***e and it won’t come back to bite you.

Manager, Manage! Part 6
Manager, Manage! Part 5
Manager, Manage! Part 4
Manager, Manage! Part 3
Manager, Manage! Part 2

You Wanna Be On Top? (Na Na Na Na Naaa Na…)

, , , , | Right | March 22, 2023

Me: “To illustrate the fact that you’ve been around for twenty-five years and your business has grown a lot since then, I figure we can use old photos of your small team back then, fading into the new, expanded team.”

Client: “Yeeeeah, I don’t think our employees are… Ya know? They’re not good-looking enough. They’re not…”

Me: “Models?”

Client: “How much would 150 models be?”

Me: “$120 a pop, per day, bare minimum.”

Client: “Okay, well, what if we just bought one really hot one to be our spokesperson?”

Me: “We’re trying to build trust, remember?”

Client: “Yeah, but who’s not gonna buy from a super hot model?”

Shift + Stupid = Jerk

, , , , , , | Working | March 20, 2023

I work in IT for a large company in the financial industry that has several divisions. It also has quite a few detached agents that don’t technically work for us but sell our services. I don’t know what it is, but almost universally, they seem to believe they are God’s gift to the company and are very rude and impatient.

I get a call from an agent one evening because he can’t log into his laptop. This is a common occurrence and is usually just a simple matter of unlocking their account. This time is different, though. He has forgotten his password completely, so there is a whole long process to go through with lots of steps. He’s overall not the worst so far, but I can tell he’s getting impatient.

I have him restart his computer, and then the REAL issue reveals itself, which turns out to be an entirely different login than what he originally said it was. When I realize this, I tell him we’ll have to do a different process, and he drops this classy line.

Agent: “Can I just talk to someone who knows what the f*** they’re doing?”

Me: “[Agent], I’d just like to remind you that these calls are all recorded. If you continue to speak to me that way, I’ll end the call.”

Of course, he doesn’t apologize, but he does sort of huff dismissively. We finally get to the point where I’m telling him his new temporary password, which has a dollar sign in it, and he suddenly has no idea how to type that. I’m surprised that he, someone who allegedly uses a computer every day for his job in the FINANCIAL industry, doesn’t know how to type a dollar sign, but I tell him it’s SHIFT + 4.

Agent: “Well, okay, because there’s more than one dollar sign on a keyboard.”

I got him signed in and squared away and hung up.

Then, I closely studied my own keyboard to make sure I wasn’t the stupid one because, on a standard English US keyboard, there is definitely only ONE dollar sign.

Don’t Make Things Harder For Yourself, Part 2

, , , , , , | Working | March 20, 2023

I’m the author of this story. Since then, I’m happy to say my coworker has (if a bit begrudgingly) accepted the work-smarter-not-harder mindset, and our new employee that was hired since that story is also getting past new-hire slowness. Granted, we’re in an overall slower period of the year, but it’s better to get issues ironed out now than when we’re getting slammed.

One day, there is a meeting between the Orders team — that’s us — and the Shipping team after the monthly managers’ meeting. This is a bit odd because normally each team breaks off and has its own individual catch-up meeting, and this one’s in the big training room with the big monitors for presentations. My group’s manager is the one heading up the meeting; she’s also been the driving force behind all the recent updates and changes to the website.

Manager: “All right, guys, I’ve got good news for a change.”

Us: *Random happy noises*

Manager: “Starting Monday, the web portal folks are going live with the address checker, so when orders are coming in, we will no longer be double-checking the addresses with Google Maps or anything else like that.”

Head Shipper: “That’s going to cause problems; plenty of things come through as the ‘right address’ that still aren’t right.”

Manager: “We’re still going to be checking for things like having the Attention in the right place, suite number on line two, obviously wrong information like ‘Main Street’ with no number — things like that. I’m saying that from now on we’re not checking for things like a city coming in as a little town but [Shipping Company] says it’s a different town or minor typos; if the zip code is correct and the street address is valid, we take it.”

Shipper: “I get that, but the customers still enter things certain ways.”

My manager takes a moment to pull up the “test site” and show the way it looks; the only new addition is the “Confirm Address” button over the “Complete Order” button.

Manager: “Take a look here. Each line that’s required has a big red ‘REQUIRED’ on it, they have to click ‘Confirm Address’ to end it, and if they refuse to use a provided corrected address, they have to select this box that states they affirm this is correct and that they are responsible for any address correction or reshipping fees it incurs.”

The two guys from shipping get up and come close, looking over the screen.

Shipper: “That looks good to me.”

Head Shipper: “Yeah, that’s perfect. My apologies; I take back what I said. People have to be complete idiots not to be able to fill that in correctly.”

Manager: “Well, I’m not in the business of calling our customers idiots, but we had to go through all this because of all the issues we’ve been having with shipments after already putting the previous notes on the page they had to confirm.”

Head Shipper: “Fair enough. No more complaints from me!”

With that, my manager turns to the coworker from my previous story with a little grin.

Manager: “You hear that, [Coworker]? YOU DON’T. HAVE. TO CHECK!”

Fortunately, the coworker shared a good laugh with us, and she got a laugh back at the manager later. She’s learning.

Don’t Make Things Harder For Yourself

At Least You Didn’t Have To Pee On It

, , , , , , | Working | March 20, 2023

I work from home for a small company and communicate with my coworkers via our company’s instant messaging program. I catch the notorious sickness after years of managing to dodge it. I post in my department-specific IM that I will be out for a week minimum and upload a photo of my positive test as an explanation.

As I’m emailing my boss more details, my company notifications start going crazy.

Coworker #1: “Oh, my gosh, congrats!”

Coworker #2: “So happy for you, [My Name]!”

Coworker #3: “That’s awesome.”

Coworker #4: “We can definitely cover for you, no problem.”

Boss: “What?! Congratulations!”

Me: “Guys… This is a positive [illness] test.”

Coworker #1: “OH, NO.”

Coworker #2: “Okay, that’s actually a little hilarious. I’m sorry. Feel better LOL”

Coworker #3: *Cry-laughing emojis* “My bad, my bad.”

Coworker #4: “I was wondering why you were taking an entire week off rather than a day or so, but I didn’t want to be the jerk who asked that haha.”

My boss messages me in a separate private channel.

Boss: “I don’t know how I forgot that just six months ago you had to take a few weeks off for your surgery. I’m so sorry. Of course, you can take the time off, no problem. Feel better soon.”

The surgery I had just six months ago that my boss forgot about? My hysterectomy. Once I was able to laugh without coughing up a lung, I had a good laugh about it.