Author Topic: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74  (Read 1374404 times)

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MissRose

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5370 on: February 13, 2014, 03:56:54 PM »
I think this starts to get into "unwarranted demands for loyalty," when employers expect workers to forgo benefits they are entitled to receive, such as breaks, because the employer has (deliberately or accidentally) not provided enough staffing.

The situation where the call volume spikes like that are very far few and between.  I am sure that the managers ensured breaks and lunches were given to those (keeping in mind staffing needs) who waited unless they chose to forgo their lunch time to gain over time pay.  When I left for the day, the issue was for the most part resolved after an hour approximately of the initial report, and there were few customer calls waiting (typical volume of 1 to 3 waiting at times - late afternoon).

When I worked at the Golden Arches during my university years, and we had an unexpected rush of people (mainly school buses with field trips or athletes in town as the visiting team), people were asked to hold off breaks and lunches to ensure a high level of service & low wait times, OT was some times offered too then when the rush was decently cleared then breaks/lunches resumed.  Managers were asked to assist the crew mainly on the front counter or the grill area to help with orders.


Hillia

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5371 on: February 13, 2014, 03:59:50 PM »
I think there's a difference between 'chronically understaffed because management doesn't want to hire enough people' and 'unusual unforeseen circumstance that's causing a spike in customer traffic'.  I used to work tech support for a web hosting company, and we would certainly take a regular break if the call volume was just normally crazy.  But if a server crashed, and there were 150 calls in queue for 15 CSRs to handle, you would have incurred the wrath of your coworkers if you announced it was 10:15 and time for your coffee break.  Yes, you're owed a break, but you're also expected to stretch a bit to help your coworkers and your customers.  Unless it was a major emergency that could be handled quickly, it would be PD to insist that it was time to go and walk off.

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melicious

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5372 on: February 13, 2014, 04:01:34 PM »
*A few whining that they could not go to lunch immediately or work their special projects as the higher manager said none of those until the queues were under control.  Most people I work with I believe can wait an extra 30 minutes to eat lunch unless they are on a special diet or have a doctor's note on record that they must eat at an exact time every day (my opinion only)

I don't know if I see that as PD. If it was a once in a while thing, fine, but I wouldn't want repeated delays of my lunch break, because that's what employees are entitled to. At my previous job, I had to practically beg for my break sometimes and I didn't appreciate it. I didn't have a special diet/medical condition, but as a human being, my blood sugar does drop sometimes, so some fuel was needed so I could do my job properly.

There's another side to this in the managers' mind too.  If there's a line of 3 or more people, you stay and you help to finish that line so the manager doesn't have to deal with unhappy customers.  It doesn't matter if that line is in person or on the phone, you stay and you help out your coworkers finish that line.  Also, the managers are going to remember who whined and who just kept their head down and did their work.  Mine did and I bet Rose's manager saw it as well.

I completely understand that part. I've worked customer service myself for many years, and I wouldn't just cut off a customer for my break.

But when it happens too frequently or I'm working five hours and have yet to have a break, that's when I have a problem. I don't see how getting a break is "whining" vs. "putting your head down and doing your work" - I see it as getting the break you're entitled to. Yes, you're there to work, but you're also a human being who should be treated as such, not just a worker bee. For me to "put my head down and do my work" is to "not to complain about not getting a lunch at a decent time so I won't get fired."

I don't see how asking for a lunch break is "whining" or on the level of PD. I thought PD was doing stupid, unprofessional gaffes - not asking for a break. Again, I wouldn't have cut off a customer in order to get my break, and I wouldn't mind if my break was delayed once in a while, but there are limits to being a "good employee", and I don't think asking for the break you deserve violates that. If managers want functioning employees, a break is far from asking too much.

IMO, PD would be asking for a break too early, taking a two hour lunch instead of a half-hour, or going for a break and not coming back.

And I see it as PD to "whine" for your break when there's a long line of customers in the queue.  And I used to get in at 9 and take a break as late as 2 because we were just so busy that I couldn't until then.  However, that was one time during the year from Thanksgiving to Christmas and everyone knew that you were going to be going on break late and leaving late.  It was just that busy.  MissRose said that this was an abnormal busy time, so yes, sucking it up when it happens is what you do.  Whining about it is PD in my eyes and would have been in the eyes of the managers that I worked under. 

It really might just be a case of different strokes, different folks going on here.  :)

I already noted that I wouldn't have stopped serving customers to whine about a break. In that case, it's a staffing issue and needs to be dealt with by management. Especially during the holiday season; that's why there's seasonal staff.

MissRose

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5373 on: February 13, 2014, 04:13:25 PM »
I think there's a difference between 'chronically understaffed because management doesn't want to hire enough people' and 'unusual unforeseen circumstance that's causing a spike in customer traffic'.  I used to work tech support for a web hosting company, and we would certainly take a regular break if the call volume was just normally crazy.  But if a server crashed, and there were 150 calls in queue for 15 CSRs to handle, you would have incurred the wrath of your coworkers if you announced it was 10:15 and time for your coffee break.  Yes, you're owed a break, but you're also expected to stretch a bit to help your coworkers and your customers.  Unless it was a major emergency that could be handled quickly, it would be PD to insist that it was time to go and walk off.

POD Hillia.  I do support work myself.  Its rare to have huge call spikes unless there is a major issue.  Even though I am an agent/CSR, I know to ask first in those situations first, and respect the decision of the manager.  Unless I really need to go to the bathroom (which we are entitled a few minutes of personal break time), I can wait some to eat lunch or have a break.

Editeer

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5374 on: February 13, 2014, 04:32:58 PM »

OurBoss is now enforcing draconian process requirements on Mr16Y with what almost feels like something close to spitefulness.

"You missed that particular deadline by 3 hours. Declined. Resubmit."


It sounds as though Mr16Y is on a formal performance improvement plan.

Firecat

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5375 on: February 13, 2014, 04:50:23 PM »

OurBoss is now enforcing draconian process requirements on Mr16Y with what almost feels like something close to spitefulness.

"You missed that particular deadline by 3 hours. Declined. Resubmit."


It sounds as though Mr16Y is on a formal performance improvement plan.

Sounds that way to me, too...and about time, if you ask me!

WolfWay

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5376 on: February 14, 2014, 12:52:20 AM »

OurBoss is now enforcing draconian process requirements on Mr16Y with what almost feels like something close to spitefulness.

"You missed that particular deadline by 3 hours. Declined. Resubmit."


It sounds as though Mr16Y is on a formal performance improvement plan.

Sounds that way to me, too...and about time, if you ask me!
I overheard Mr16Y chatting to two of his work buddies about "There eventually comes a time when you start to feel like you're stagnating". I don't know if that's a sign he's looking for another job, or he's trying to talk his two buddies into leaving (or both).

I'm not entirely sure what Mr16Y is actually working on right now. He refuses to work on one task after coming to a standstill with a certain boss about what needs to be done, and had other tasks taken away from him and given to another team member after he refused to make the extra change he was told to. I'm pretty sure not doing your job is grounds for some kind of action. How is this guy still working here?!  :(
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Fliss

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5377 on: February 14, 2014, 01:05:28 AM »

How is this guy still working here?!  :(


He has very good blackmail material?
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PastryGoddess

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5378 on: February 14, 2014, 09:14:45 AM »

OurBoss is now enforcing draconian process requirements on Mr16Y with what almost feels like something close to spitefulness.

"You missed that particular deadline by 3 hours. Declined. Resubmit."


It sounds as though Mr16Y is on a formal performance improvement plan.

Sounds that way to me, too...and about time, if you ask me!
I overheard Mr16Y chatting to two of his work buddies about "There eventually comes a time when you start to feel like you're stagnating". I don't know if that's a sign he's looking for another job, or he's trying to talk his two buddies into leaving (or both).

I'm not entirely sure what Mr16Y is actually working on right now. He refuses to work on one task after coming to a standstill with a certain boss about what needs to be done, and had other tasks taken away from him and given to another team member after he refused to make the extra change he was told to. I'm pretty sure not doing your job is grounds for some kind of action. How is this guy still working here?!  :(

Like others have said, he's probably on a PIP and so the powers that be have to document everything until the prescribed time period is up

goldilocks

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5379 on: February 14, 2014, 01:16:08 PM »

How is this guy still working here?!  :(


He has very good blackmail material?
You would be surprised at how many managers will put up with absolutely anything to avoid firing a person.   We have one that hasn't done any meaningful work in years, but the manager feels sorry for her.  And I think she's figured out the bare minimum she needs to do.

Also, HR does not make it easy to let anyone go.    Honestly, I'm a manager and I'd rather just pray that they leave on their own.   

Hillia

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5380 on: February 14, 2014, 01:26:37 PM »
In my previous position, we had one of these employees.  He was awful; his performance was so bad that customers explicitly stated that he was not to work on their accounts.  He had a terrible attitude, spread rumors and stirred up trouble wherever he could, and threatened to sue at every opportunity.  At least 2 managers tried to fire him, and were told by HR that the legal trouble he would stir up (he was in a protected class) was not worth the effort, since he was due for retirement in 2 years.  Last I heard, he was still there, a thorn in everyone's side.

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magiccat26

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5381 on: February 14, 2014, 02:50:03 PM »
I'm dealing with one of these right now.  When I was promoted to my position, I inherited a "worker" who has always been a problem.  Her previous manager retired and pulled me aside and said "Keep an eye on Sally, she is trouble.  I was always afraid to say anything about it because she has accused me and other of racism if we ever try to correct her."  Oh joy.

Year 1, I wrote an honest performance review.  Sally does the minimum necessary and take no responsibility for her errors.  I spent HOURS if not days fixing her work.  Her PR score meant she did not receive a raise.  She had a FIT!  Even though I was able to show proof of her poor work product, I was "picking on her because she was xxxx!  NO ONE had ever told her anything, or taught her how to do her job.  Her reviews before I took over were GREAT, so the problem MUST be with me because she did everything she was told."

Year 2, at the beginning of the year I spent a week retraining Sally and providing her with job aids and standards documents.  I provided her with feedback throughout the year.  Once again at PR time I have to give her low scores.  Her work was not meeting standards, she was difficult to work with (I had multiple complaints about attitude, excessive personal calls, refusing to do tasks by others - who were allowed to leverage her as necessary).  I had more documentation and once again, no raise.  She was given a formal warning to shape up...  I spent MORE time retraining her, providing more job aids, etc.  she spent her time finding new and clever ways to avoid work and cheat the system.

Year 3 (this year)...another bad PR, the worst yet because her attitude has seriously deteriorated.  My boss is sick of it too (she went into MY boss's office and told her that she wasn't managing her staff right!).

We call HR and request to terminate.  HR insists we have to give her ANOTHER chance.  So, she is now on a formal performance improvement plan.  Supposedly, I can fire her if she violates the terms. I'm not holding my breath. 

She was out for two weeks over the holiday and we had a temp who was amazing!  One hour of training with this temp and she managed to do twice the work with half the errors.  It really drilled home that Sally is unwilling or unable to do the work required of her. 

My boss says that Sally is the most stubborn, difficult, bully she has ever had to deal with in her 30 years in the work force.

I keep hoping that the failure to receive raises year after year and the increased scrutiny of her work by myself and upper management will drive her out.  But, she is like a barnacle, she has worked the system for years, only puts in a minimal effort and gets away with poor behavior without getting fired.
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Hillia

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5382 on: February 14, 2014, 02:58:43 PM »
I forgot one situation that did work out beautifully.  An employee like your Sally...bad attitude, lack of work ethic, terrible performance.  HR says he needs a structured PIP before any action can be taken.  So my boss and I spend days planning an education program for him...all these on line and in person courses to train him on aspects of the job that he should have been able to perform before starting (basically, he lied about being able to do various things, or the level at which he was able to do them).  We called him in to show him the plan, which included education, then demonstration projects where he'd perform the tasks in a test environment, and finally production work with audited results.  He became irate, told us both we were incompetent <women> who were obviously miserable in our jobs and wanted to make everyone else miserable, and quit on the spot.  Yay!  Problem solved!

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ladyknight1

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5383 on: February 14, 2014, 03:51:11 PM »
We had someone commit PD and their single action continues to snowball. They sent an email out that had a "personalized" link. So if I click the link, the site it goes to automatically pulls my information from our database, but if someone else clicks after me, they see my information.

Bad idea. I think she will be reassigned.

Octavia

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Re: Professional Darwinism: Update to OP on p.74
« Reply #5384 on: February 14, 2014, 08:12:29 PM »
A new employee joined my department on Monday of this week. By Wednesday he had started to snap at us due to being stressed out. We hadn't given him much to do except for orientation-related stuff. The nasty attitude escalated yesterday, with him leaving at the end of the day without so much as a goodbye to his coworkers. He didn't show up today. We found out that he tendered his resignation to HR first thing this morning. Looks like we dodged a bullet.
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