Notable moments from my soon-to-be old job

February 28, 2008 11:59 PM

Eating instant noodles at my desk in the office

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.

16 thoughts on “Notable moments from my soon-to-be old job

  1. blur ting

    I quite agree that the support stuff has a rather thankless job. But without them, the company can’t function at all. The management has to realise that.

    Being a housewife is somewhat like that too, I guess….

    Your support team is lucky to have a leader like you. They’ll be sad to see you go.

  2. mooiness Post author

    blur ting: hopefully I’ve instilled in them the ability to know what’s right and wrong, and to stand up for themselves at the appropriate times.

    steph: thanks – you are too kind!

    herman: correct on both counts. 😉 though I feel that I wrote the above objectively, and the events have passed, so no big harm done there.

  3. BigZapfer

    Let me tell you about the days of high adventure….. wait, thats the Conan intro.

    Hey man, I remember those days and all those things your talking about, plus the many more then just those 3, plenty more 🙂

    Its a pity it all fell apart in the end, and your very right in what you are saying, we where pretty damn good, even with all the boss problems, we even had the opposition worried at one point. We where a well oiled machine.

    It was good working with yourself and the guys, and even though it could have ended much better , I did enjoy my time there and it looks like we are all getting on great.

    Good luck with your new job man, let us all know how you go.


    Big Z

  4. mooiness Post author

    BigZapfer: thanks man! I’m looking forward to the change. 🙂

    Lupin: oh it wasn’t that bad that I needed closure. I’ve always kept things in perspective and am/was very objective about it all. But yeah, looking forward to the change in environment.

  5. girlstar7

    Good for you for standing up for what you believe in!
    I can’t believe how your company handled the situation with the guy conducting personal business at work. Replacing his PC for an older model to force him to leave? Talk about passive aggressive, that is high school bully behaviour! You handled the situation well though.
    ALl the best of luck with your new job, and although you don’t blog too much about work, I look forward to hearing a little bit about it! 😛

  6. mooiness Post author

    explicist: thank you thank you. Agreed, I would like a leader like that myself too. I think the worst kind would be those who complain and whine, but then don’t follow through with their higher-ups.

  7. an9ie

    Wow, I used to work at (large household-name company) with a boss like that. Amazing what people can get away with in positions of responsibility. It really REALLY makes you appreciate a good boss when you get one. And good on you for being assertive. Hope you’re enjoying the new job!

  8. mooiness Post author

    an9ie: I think the worst boss are those who didn’t have to work their way up because they can never know what it is like to be a mistreated subordinate. And yeah the new job is great! 🙂

  9. Pingback: Mooiness! » The week that was

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