June 05, 2009

Star back on the rise?

At work we have a client that is extremely unhappy with us, and has threatened to take their business elsewhere. They have a large contract with us and where their loss wouldn’t be devastating; with the state of the economy we just don’t want to lose anything.

In order to appease this client some very unorthodox concessions were made. Without going into too many details, what they are asking for would be something akin to those that work in a manufacturing area having each individual part made by hand instead of using machines. Coiling springs, bending tubes, filling bottles, loading trucks one piece at a time with out the used of any mechanical assistance or tools, each piece being identical and still keeping the same deadlines. Yea, trust me, it’s like that.

This agreement was entered into by executives and marketing with full knowledge that our painfully inadequate systems couldn’t handle the request. They turned the “how to” over to our director to work out. Now I’ve had my falling out of favor with my director and upper management since Okla-farooking-homa. Heck, remember I was in talks with the state’s attorney last December and January over possible fraudulent activities. I’ve pretty much been persona non-grata for so long now that they don’t even complain when I don’t go to meetings.

When I was called into a meeting with the director and she was asking me what we could do to implement this agreement, I was floored. They haven’t asked my opinion on anything in so long that at first I just sat their quietly thinking she misspoke. When it became abundantly clear she hadn’t, I really wasn’t sure what to say. We spoke for a good hour on the situation, kicking around various ideas and doing the pros and cons over the different solutions. At the end I was assigned a task of overseeing the creation and implementation of the agreed upon procedures.

She gave me full control to make any changes I deemed necessary and to use any resources I felt necessary. I asked if I was going to have to run anything past my assistant manager or managers. The director advised me that for this case, I only had to keep her informed and run any major changes past her. I would have no “interference” from upper management in the office “like in the past”.

I’ll be honest, my jaw about hit the floor.

My being a normally suspicious person, I started to think they were setting me up. I started adding caveats to various things like, “I can’t guarantee” or “There’s too much room for error” and the like through out the conversation. My director flat out told me, “There is a huge percentage of this failing and our loosing the client. We know that, but we want to do everything in our power to keep them.” I couldn’t help but ask why she chose me for this task. Actually hearing her say that she felt not only was I the best person for this job, with my background, skills and abilities, but that I would work the hardest to make sure everything was done to please this client in her opinion left me stunned.

It almost made me feel like they appreciated me.

I wonder what she’ll say on Monday when she finds out we are already ahead of schedule.

Posted by Contagion in Tales from the Work Place at June 5, 2009 06:10 PM | TrackBack

Ahead of the schedule for failing or succeeding? Because it sounds like there's plans for both.

Posted by: Harvey at June 5, 2009 11:29 PM

Again the fact that they LET it get to this point speaks volumes of the management!!!

Posted by: bruce at June 6, 2009 11:39 AM

uh Dennis, based on the situation, your comment makes as much a sense as: The purple nun flies backward down the street in a rowboat with a mango.

There was nothing that could have been done that would have prevented it from happening.

Posted by: Contagion at June 6, 2009 11:46 AM

No matter how much they hate you they know who to go to get the shit out of the fan once it's hit it.

Posted by: Quality Weenie at June 10, 2009 04:05 PM