Tomorrow’s my last day at my present job. Over the years, there’s been some memorable moments.
- I had two junior personnel working under me. One day our team got chastised for something which I felt strongly about. A difficult customer had decided to go over us and complained directly to our boss who then decided to write a terse email to all of us, mostly in caps as well.
When I walked into work that morning, the two juniors told me about the email. I took one look at it and walked straight into the boss’s office. Being fresh out of uni, my juniors didn’t have the confidence and assertiveness that come with experience. I had to stand up for my team because I’m the only one in the position to do so.
“We get customers thanking the team for our service. Sometimes you knew about it, but most times you don’t because we don’t run into your office to tell you about it like excitable kids. But the one time you hear a complaint, you presume to think that we are not doing our jobs. And that email in caps? That was rude.”
Yeah it was quite tense in the office for the rest of the day.
- The support staff not only look after the company’s customers, but we also administer the office’s network. One time, management had me do something that I didn’t feel too good about. An employee was conducting personal business during business hours, and was obviously a prime candidate to be fired. But somehow, the company handled it in a passive-aggressive way. Though the company no longer considered him to be a valuable long-term employee, his work was still of high quality. So they thought of making it unpleasant enough that he’d leave.
So what they had me do whilst he was away on leave, was to swap his high-spec PC for an older one. Needless to say, he wasn’t a happy chappie when he came back from his holidays. And it worked – he left 4 weeks later.
I told management that I wasn’t happy being caught in the middle like that. I believe the incident tainted my opinion of the people running the company and also about working there. I don’t think anyone likes office politics, especially when it concerns how management deals with staff.
- There’s always a slight tension between the sales and the support staff in an IT company. Sales will keep on signing on customers, sometimes at a frenetic pace, because that how’s they get their commission, while the support staff would prefer a manageable growth in the customer base. The sales department can always justify an increase in headcount doe to the fact that their value to the company, ie. the revenue that they bring in, is highly visible. Not so for the support staff because our function is less quantifiable, and most times we are viewed as a cost centre.
And sometimes, the support staff get the brunt of a customer’s frustrations when the product turned out less than promised for them. So, one day I decided to write a diplomatic email to the head of sales saying that there was a danger in overselling the company’s product. The person took it personally and tried to shoot me down using his supposedly extensive experience in the industry.
The support function is mostly under appreciated and management is seldom on our side. But this time, they were. The head of sales was fired two months later for not being a team-player. I have to admit that I felt smug that day.