February 16, 2006

I'll take my experience over their ego.

It just never ends. Tuesday in our morning state of the office meeting, we were discussing same day responses to inquiries and the obstacles we have in meeting our goals for them. Out of the blue, the manager I now report to (from the other office) states she wants me to start running the reports and giving feed back to my minions that don’t have below a 92% same day responses. This request comes at least once a year from someone who thinks they are the first person to come up with this brilliant plan. I’ve been doing this job for four years and not once have I ever thought of doing that! < /sarcasm>.

In fact a couple of years ago, I was damn near being a Nazi about it. That is when I discovered that it’s not possible to find out the exact percentage of the individual CSR. Sure, corporate gives us reports saying what each individuals percentage is, but it’s wrong. They know it, and any Inventory Manager worth a damn knows it. Meanwhile my counterpart is smiling and nodding like it’s a great idea. To burst the bubble, I spoke out.

“It’s not possible. The reports are inaccurate. They may show someone had an 80% closure rate, but it’s not their fault. They transferred the inquiry to someone else and they finished it. The person that originally took the call doesn’t get credit for the closure, even though it’s closed. I tried this a couple of years ago and all I succeeded in doing was dragging the morale through the mud. The employees end up getting upset that we are chastising them for doing something that they didn’t do, and rightfully so.”

Well that wasn’t good enough; nope they still wanted to do it anyways. Of course, the wonderful support from peers really helped me, that’s right; they cowered in their chairs not saying a word. This went back and forth for a good 15 minutes. Then I made this statement, “Look, I’ve done this before. It doesn’t work. All we succeed in doing is pissing off the employees. This has no benefit to anything. I can’t get the data you want and I am not about to stir up trouble and make a bigger headache for me just to prove I’m right. I’ve been using this software for 4 years, if you don’t want to learn from my experience then do it yourselves.” For the record, most of the people in the room had only been dealing with this system for about 8 months, and even my peers that have been working on it as long as I have acknowledge that I am the guru of what the software can and can’t do.

At the meeting, they decided to discuss this more at a later time. Wednesday’s morning meeting arrives and there I sat. Sure enough in walks the other office manager all smiles with a stack of papers under her arm. As soon as the meeting starts, she says that her and my counterpart found a report that shows what each person's same day responses are. I kept my face schooled as she spoke about this great find. Just so you know, this report has been on the system for 6 years, they damn well should have known about it before yesterday.

She passes the stack around and wants everyone to take one. Soon enough all of the supervisors are Ooohing and ahhhing like the yes men they are. With a slightly smug look, the manager looks at me and says, “What do you think?” I grin big. Unknowing to her, she just played into plan perfectly. I figured they where going to try to blindside me, so I came prepared. Standing up I personally hand to each individual in the room a packet that includes an example of the same report. Next I proceeded on this little spiel, “I didn’t figure you would believe what I said yesterday so I took the liberty of gathering some examples of how this report is flawed. Since I didn’t want to spend much time on this, I figured two examples would be sufficient, if you would like more just come see me after the meeting. Here we have production on two of our employees. Employee A shows at a 100% same day response, employee B shows at a 90% same day response rate. Based on what you where saying yesterday you would want me to provide feed back to Employee B, while praising employee B, correct?”

They all acknowledged that was correct.

“Here is the problem. Even though the report shows that employee B had a 100% same day response rate, she never takes a phone call. She is one of my off the phone employees. Thus, she is closing other people’s inquiries. In fact if you look at employee A, two of her inquiries that she didn’t get counted for was closed by employee B. If you turn to page three you will see a separate report, this is a list of all the inquiries employee A started yesterday. You will notice that 2 of them where closed by employee B. They are the highlighted ones for your convenience. Now the other 3 of Employee A’s non-closures are sitting in our Technician queues.”

“Employee A did nothing wrong, all of her pends where proper. Yet you want me to give her feedback and tell her to do better? I think not. I think we as management need to give feedback to the people that are supposed to work these items and aren’t. To me, part of being a leader is knowing not only when to address and issue, but with whom.”

When I finished I think any one of them would rather have been hunting buddies with VP Cheney, than sitting in that room with me. They conceded my point and dropped it like a bag full of rotting mayo and horseradish. It’ll be interesting to see what happens today.

Posted by Contagion in Tales from the Work Place at February 16, 2006 03:54 PM | TrackBack

Nice job.

Wouldn't it be nice if they could just acknowledge that you know your job better than they do?


Posted by: caltechgirl at February 16, 2006 02:28 PM

I somehow have a picture in my mind of you at one of these meetings, wearing a Peace Through Superior Firepower T-shirt and your Kilt of Power, banging a shoe on the table.

Posted by: Raging Mom at February 16, 2006 02:35 PM


Well done.

Posted by: jimmyb at February 16, 2006 03:19 PM

Nice work...again.

When are these people going to learn?

Good job!

Posted by: Sarah at February 16, 2006 03:25 PM

Again, good job handing them the burn!

Posted by: oddybobo at February 16, 2006 03:33 PM

This will not die. Good luck. I lived through it for years. What a frig'n nightmare. I think you did a great job in killing it this go 'round. Hope you are there for the next one (for the employees sakes).

Posted by: vw bug at February 16, 2006 04:11 PM

The next time you're going to spring a trap, I think you should wear your kilt and paint your face ala Braveheart that way they all know that an ass-whippin is about to ensue.

Posted by: spurs at February 16, 2006 05:44 PM