Allright, I need to get this off my chest. It’s a sordid tale of how my carreer took a major hit because some fucking douchebag in Columbus was having a bad day.
I took a call from some guy that was more important than God. I mean, this guy thought that through willpower he could alter dimensions, bend time and space, and reverse events that were already written in stone.
I was a bit impressed by his power and almost asked what flavor the Kool-Aid was that day. His immediate charm and charisma almost won me over.
Short story long, or long story short. Let’s see how it goes.
The store he is Lord and Master over had a minor glitch that caused him to have to manually enter the previous day’s sales. He had to do this yesterday, causing a brief (30 minute) period where he couldn’t take credit and debit cards. It’s an almost certainty in the situation he was in to have to do this twice. He didn’t want to accept his fate.
The call started out OK (in my world, which is based on reality), but I could tell he was on edge. Maybe having a bad day, maybe the douchebag he presented himself as to the next 3 techs he spoke to. Not sure. But I have an inkling as to which was the case on that day.
I connected to the system and checked a few things. There was no way this store was going to avoid manually entering the previous day’s info in order to bring the system to normal. Man, I’ve done a few things that were really not good choices in my life. I never thought doing my job would be one of them.
He started whining, which I took as a normal response to what I told him. So I didn’t think anything of it since most clients hate what they have to do, but they accept it as reality and get the job done. They act like professionals in the face of adversity. Or in the face of something that keeps them from having the world, physics, and software bend to their lives. I’m talking about the kind of person that just sits back and expects someone to fix the problem for them.
At the time, I knew he was whining, but as the professional I strive to be I kept trying to explain there was only one thing to do to correct the problem. I kept trying to be sympathetic and convey that I wish there was more I could do, but that the simple fact remained that he had to manually enter the info and lose cashless sales for 30 minutes. This could have have been done anytime between the call at 8:30 in the morning and 11 PM that night. I’m thinking that every other store can go 30 minutes, he should be able to find a slow time.
Nope. That wasn’t good enough. He wanted the problem fixed so he didn’t have to do what needed to be done. The whine got to a level that put to shame my neighbor’s crotch-rocket when he over-revved it.
He was telling me he “simply cannot do the function”, “I simply cannot, CANNOT! lose cashless for that 30 minutes!”. “I simply (yes, he said “simply” 3 times) can’t do another [function]”.
The way he was pleading made me feel bad for the guy. I knew that what he had to do was to him as attractive as me letting someone nail a staple through my nuts. I did what was available to correct the situation, but it just didn’t work.
I kept trying to tell him what needed to be done. He mentioned that it happened 2.5 years ago and a programmer was able to fix it. I tried to convey that 2 and a half years ago the software version was different, and the problem was not repairable as it was in the past.
He didn’t like that. And that’s the crux of the rant. I wasn’t around 2 1/2 years ago, granted, but even if I was, I have no control over what the newer release versions allow the programmers to do. And not to do.
This wasn’t acceptable to him as I tried to calmly explain that there was no other option than what he needed to do. I had no control over the software updates, nor the lost abilities to correct the problem he was having. There was nothing I could do other than tell him what needed to be done and assist him if he needed it.
Not good enough for Mr. Wonderful.
While doing my job in a professional manner (shouldn’t I deserve a modicum of respect since he called me for help?) he got more heated and started telling me that “well, two and a half years ago they fixed this problem!” When I tried to explain that was no longer an option, he told me (more aggressive) “But they did it then, you’re not listening to me, they did it then!”. Again I tried to explain that that was no longer possible due to the present release.
At that point he started screaming in a way it was breaking up. Some may know the volume level of screaming that would cause a phone communication to break up. Some may not. Trust me, you have to be pretty damn loud.
At that point I interrupted him and told him if he kept yelling at me in such a manner (while trying to help the douchebag) that I’d end the call. A Supervisor overheard it and, apparently, deemed me due for a dressing down.
After taking over the theme of the call (i.e. ending the verbal assault) I again tried to calm him and offered any assistance I could. He didn’t like the fact I forgot my Magic Wand[sup]TM[/sup] at home that morning so I transferred him to a desk that dealt with the hardware that caused the issue.
I kept an eye on the store, and noticed he was transferred back to my desk 3 minutes later. The next 2 techs he talked to told him the same I did. I found out later he was as big a dick to them as he was me.
The rant? Hold your hats folks.
That dressing down came about because I spoke firmly (taking control of the call) :rolleyes: I was called in 5 days later over it.
In the meeting where I was reprimanded, the first time in 14 months for anything written or verbal, I discovered that the promotion I was up for is moot. Three months I’m eligible, but told more likely in 6 months.
Also, I was told my job was “debated” over this call. The apoplexy was visceral. I seriously thought I was going to stroke out and head to a better place based on the headache I had for the rest of the day and the next.
I maintain I did nothing wrong and the write-up is unfounded. I took control of the call, maintained the service required, and refused to accept to be a whipping boy of someone that was having a bad day.
This wasn’t good enough. This wasn’t following my job descrition.
In the meeting, I was informed that there were a few things I just didn’t understand. I went into this job assuming that it was a professional operation. What I didn’t know was that the professionalism was one-sided.
I am to act in a professional manner to the client. However, the client can act at whatever douchebag-level they’re in the mood for at any given time.
I was told, and I quote, “Part of your job is to play therapist. If they’re having a bad day, or they’re stressed, you need to let them vent, and keep a positive attitude. Let them get the ranting out, then continue the call.”
Me: “So if some guy is having a bad day and wants to take it out on me, I should sit there for 20 minutes and listen to it before moving the call forward?”
The Powers That Be: “Unfortunately, yes. That’s part of the job.”
Me: “I didn’t know that was part of my job description, to take flak from people and sit and listen to their angst while the queue builds with paying customers that will actually listen to the t/s I offer as the contracts state. So I need to sit and listen to someone rant for 20 minutes at me for not fixing a problem after spending 5 minutes explaining there is only one way to fix it?”
Me: “So what is that going to do to CPH and the incentives based on boiler-plate numbers in place?”
TPTB: “That isn’t the focus. The focus is on customer (Corporate) satisfaction.”
Me: “If I have to sit and listen to someone berate me personally over something I have no control over for 20 minutes, all the while killing my numbers for the incentive, I have to just accept it?”
TPTB: “Yes. We’re a service to the stores.”
Me: “I must have overlooked that in the job description. I’ll be more submissive and try to accept that my job isn’t to assist stores, but to assist them AND let them take their frustrations out on me.”
Then the “meeting” took another tack.
I was then informed that because of this call, my job was “debated”. Maybe I should be lucky I wasn’t fired over this? First problem in 14 months, due to a fucktard that later that day acted like a douche having a bad day, and I’m suffering.
No incentives (heh, who the hell are they kidding?) for 2 months. No promotion, though I routinely mop up after people making more money than me and taking fewer calls. A severe hit to any advancement in my carreer.
All because this douchebag was having a bad day and I didn’t know my “Professional” position involved sitting on the phone and listening to him rant.
My $0.38 annual raise gave me a hint of how much the company values me.
My wife got a $0.50 cost-of-living increase. Plus a $0.32 base raise.
Tell me how much the company values a person taking every single call involving my skills, and how much the quality (until now, apparently) matters when less-trained techs make more than me because they hit insane bonus levels.
If I had declined being trained for more areas of the system being run, I’d have a much bigger paycheck.
By “going forward”, I went back. By being a better asset, I’m making less money than those limited in the problems they can solve.
Back to the main rant. That douche from Ohio cost me a promotion. Plain and simple.
His bad day didn’t affect his paycheck. His bad day didn’t affect his position with the company. His bad day didn’t affect any promotions he may be aiming for.
His bad day, however, completely fucked me. I had nothing to do with what he was going through that day. I refused to be screamed at. I even tried to later help him get resolution.
But it was for naught. I learned in the meeting that my promotion is null. There is no chance to advance. No chance for an incentive bonus of any kind. (Heh, at least I have no incentive to do well.)
Meanwhile, I get to mop up after people that make more money than me, work less than me, and …
Fuck it. Fuck them, and fuck it all.