Today's Hump Day Hmm asks "when and how do I use my words?" and Julie was kind enough to propose several scenarios to elaborate on.
Her first and fourth scenarios each remind me of stories from my own experience. I want to relate the story that came to mind because of her fourth, since it ties in well with the general theme of my blog dealing with my working life.
Technician Who Leaves Me Wishin'
My office relies on phones more than anything, though computers have become a close second. We make our living communicating with shippers and drivers, easing the correspondence between the two we have helped come together. We are, after all, a broker of freight.
Several years ago, we had several instances of needing some technical assistance from the phone company because of lines going down or individual phones going down. Each time we called, one of two men tended to respond. One man always seemed to solve the problem quickly and effectively, and we rarely needed him to return for the same issue he had previously solved. The other man almost always required a follow-up visit from the first to solve whatever else he managed to screw up, along with the original problem. Because of this continued record of disservice, I finally decided to make a specific request when I called for support. I talked to the manager of the local phone company directly and asked him to send the competent man, explaining I had always been pleased with his service.
Not long after my call to the manager ended, I was greeted by an obviously irate technician - the second man. He threw open the door of my office and began his visit with the words, "So I hear you don't want me workin' on your phones anymore?"
Given his obviously excited state, I decided to calm him down with an explanation that veered away from my dissatisfaction. Yes, it could easily be construed as a lie, but I mainly avoided the topic of his competence. I simply explained that it would be fine for him to work on the system. I had simply requested the other man, but I needed help and would take what I could get. It would not have surprised me if the man had gone in and torn out my phone system to spite me, but to his credit, he went to work on it instead. Once he left, I placed another call to his manager.
"I did not ask you to tell [the man I didn't want] that I did not want him," I explained, rather calmly I recall despite my agitation. "I wanted [the first man] to come because he gets it done right. I do not appreciate how this situation was handled."
Ever since, I am fairly certain we have always been serviced by the first man I wanted, or by another man who came to work for them later who is equally competent. Rarely have I been more displeased with how a service company handled a request I made. When people I deal with ask me not to refer their business to a particular employee of mine, I simply comply with the request in the hopes of a continued relationship. If they explain some problem they have with a particular employee, I admit that I have often had cause to take notes on their concerns and convey them to the employee in question. I do not recall ever forcing the specific employee on the displeased customer, though.
And for the record, I am not sure if the man who came in with such fury solved my problem or not. I do recall the first man coming the next day, which suggests he did not manage to get it done. Without any grisly details here, I will just say the second man is no longer employed by my phone company.