Attitude

So, I’ve found in the last couple of weeks that attitude is crucially important to your environment.

I work in a room the size of a classroom. There are roughly 25 people in. All 25 people are on the phone or two, on a Nextel and typing simultaneously. It’s noisy and we’re all fighting to hear and speak and be heard and also communicate with the two or three other individuals who are working on the same thing.

Generally, I have a good time at work. I’m getting faster. I’m learning how to speak to specific people about specific things. I don’t stress about it when I come home.

There are some days. Three to be exact. When I hate work. It’s not the type of work. It’s not the business. It’s not that anyone in particular is being mean or nasty.

It’s just there’s this fellow with a nasty attitude. He seems to suck everyone into his mood. I get the feeling that he doesn’t like me. That part doesn’t matter. I can work with anyone. I can be kind to anyone. I’ve been overtly kind to this fellow. He has problems with a lot of individuals. I don’t know if he takes it out on me or if just knowing that he’s in a bad mood just puts me in one.

I don’t learn when I work with him. I cringe. He’s fairly consistent with it and I appreciate that much. I can guarantee that once a day I will laugh with him and he will also throw me under the bus for something. Every Day.

When he’s not there, I get better and faster and I find ways to enjoy my work more.

It’s really a shame that his foul moods bring me down and make me want to leave the room. I’m also kind of ornery so I’m also determined NOT to leave the room. I don’t even take lunch anymore. It ruins my rhythm and I feel like it’s an excuse to find something to throw me under the bus for.

It seemed a little paranoid, even for me. Even my weird moods lately, I figured it was just anxiety or depression rearing its ugly head. I’ve been taking my mood stabilizers. They’ve helped. Those three days are still the three I dread. I push through and I find the strength to stay in my seat but I’m thinking I may change my seat in relation so that I can focus on working more than what snarling comment is going to come out of his mouth. And truthfully, he doesn’t even need to say anything. He just carries the snarliness with him.

Which brings me to other things that bug me about attitude.

My job works like this:

I get a phone call, I take down details, I may ask for a time frame from a third party, I relay that time frame over the phone. I enter my call and send a service out to be completed.

OR I get a digital request, I ask for a time frame from a third party, I enter that time frame. I enter the request and send  a service out to be completed.

What happens next is I monitor the progress of the service. I might have to call someone to request more time. I might have to notify a customer that things are behind schedule. Then I check on everyone to make sure the service was complete. I’ll get an invoice number, enter it.

I do this over and over and over again.

Things will go wrong. I’ll make extra phone calls to explain that the customer cancelled, or left before the service could be completed. You name it. Sometime we get wrong addresses, phone numbers. It’s a big hassle but it’s all part of a cycle.

When I have to call a rep and explain something that went wrong, the rep should anticipate that these things will happen. It’s life. We’re relying on people to either behave like adults or act like wandering fools or that equipment will malfunction. You can’t have a job where everything goes right all the time. It’s just not possible.

Expectations need to be reasonable.

If there’s a computer glitch that tells me that you didn’t get my magic number I typed in, I can’t proceed. I did what I was supposed to but according to what I see, I can’t move forward. I won’t call to find out what happened because the computer system records that glitch as a cancellation. So, that’s what I see. I don’t see the glitch. How do I know it’s a glitch, then? The rep will call and ask where the service is. It’s not perfect. I will be apologetic and respectful.

Translated into another scenario:

If you walk into a restaurant and place your order but then you walk away before I can tell you how much it costs, I’m probably not going to waste my time placing your order with my cook. I received no money to close the transaction.

So, when you walk up 10 minutes later and demand your food, I’m going to say, “I’m sorry, I didn’t get a confirmation on the order or payment. If you would like to confirm and pay now, I’d be happy to take your order and get your food out as fast as I can.”

Your response shouldn’t be “But I ordered my food 10 minutes ago and so what if I didn’t pay for it. I want my food now or else.”

It’s frustrating when things don’t go your way but they won’t always. Computers will glitch. Traffic will happen. Equipment will fail. Tools will break. Humans will hurt themselves. Humans will wander off. Cell phones will die.

Being mean and nasty doesn’t make anything happen faster. It doesn’t change things already done. It’s just mean and nasty on top of a situation that wasn’t ideal to begin with.

Do not ruin my day because of a software glitch, or a dropped call, or a malfunctioning lug nut. I try my best to be professional and calm and speak as if I am smiling. I am helpful. I will try to figure out the best way to an outcome. I will not refuse a service unless there is a written reason why I cannot.

Today was a good day. I’m giving my appreciation to a day that was full of missed calls and ornery workers and irate reps. I’m giving my appreciation to the rep who worked with me for 20 minutes to locate a customer who didn’t know where they were. That person got help. It took too long, we probably shouldn’t have done it because it reduced productivity but we’ve all been there. I give thanks to my coworkers who ribbed me throughout the day on things I forgot to do. I got them done. Eventually they let me be and I remembered to do them by myself.

It was a good day. It was harried and rushed but it was a good kind. Tomorrow is my Friday. Then I get my day off and I plan to watch House of Cards, finally. It’ll be my reward for enduring the fellow who radiates discontent and making it through another day of disgruntled reps.

Now, I got some Eddie Izzard cued up. Possibly some Dennis Leary as well. Then it’s bed time and a new day.

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