Tuesday, 3 April 2007

(*) That went well... not...

Hmmm... on reflection maybe I should have said nothing and suffered in silence...? I told the manager at the place I've been doing some casual work at that I'd like to speak with him for five minutes, just to give him some constructive feedback, as an outsider coming in.

He knew I'd spent the last few years studying and being variously involved in workplace training and assessment, and seemed keen to hear things from that aspect. So I made the effort to kind-of 'present' things to him from one professional to another, from an outsider to an insider.

I wasn't rude. I made my comments clearly and I thought they seemed to understand what I was trying to make them appreciate. But they just couldn't see it. They came up with the line, "But, wasn't the book clear enough?" as a response that there was no interpersonal dialogue with me as far as being introduced to the workplace thru their induction. In fact I got none... I think I already said [in an earlier post] I was given a booklet, a form to complete, and left alone. I suggested that an 'induction' should have been at least a one-on-one between themselves and a new employee, at least to walk thru the information in the book, and to personalise it. I told them about not even being told where the toilets were. Nor really being introduced to the other staff members or shown around the business at all.

To cut a long story short, they weren't impressed being told something 'they didn't want to hear', so they politely suggested it'd probably be best if I didn't continue there with them.

Oh well. You offer them some constructive feedback [I won't go into detail as I did with them], they willingly agree, but when they hear what they don't want to or are unable to hear, they respond negatively. Oh well. Shit.

"Wasn't the book clear enough?"

Sorry? I thought this was a PEOPLE-based business? Don't your new staff count as people? Staff need to be directed thru a 'book of instructions and principles' with an experienced staff-member! Isn't that obvious? Maybe they just assumed I would just know everything about how they operate their business, just because I'm much older than the rest of them? I think their business is all geared towards customer service rather than thinking about how the staff are trained or developed into being more effective delivering customer service. Like it's all lop-sided. I tried to point this out to them, but they just couldn't see it.

I was trying to explain to them that I was just seeing it from the 'outside-in' as a newcomer, and how quite daunting all of this would be for someone who'd had little prior workplace experience at all. I just don't think they appreciated that concept at all in the slightest. It really wasn't a big aspect in the business.

I guess I've been doing so much study and research into businesses like this, into situations like this, that maybe I just... well, it was like a "How NOT To... 101" with so much that I have been reading over the past four or five years. I guess I just couldn't sit back and be quiet... maybe I should have? Who knows.

Yet they make themselves out to be one of the great school-leavers point-of-entry-into-the-workforce type of employer. Like they weren't able to see it from an outsiders point of view, I guess. I mean, this guy had been with the place for seven years... I guess he was just so used to 'doing things the way we've always done them' that he wasn't able to see past what he'd never considered before.

Surely the better way to explain to someone how best to 'do customer service' is to personally walk them thru some things, rather than just hand them a book? Is it just me? Am I an idiot or something? Maybe I am! Sure, why not?

Mind you, the three other people I managed to get more than a 'hello' out of during my short time there, seemed really quite miserable. No-one seemed to want to talk much. That's only my opinion from what I could see... I guess in the long run it wouldn't have been much of a place to work at long-term.

But, oh fuck it. Trust me to open my mouth and say something. Normally I'm the 'compliant' quiet type. For one of the rare moments in my life I manage to stand up and say what I think needs to be said, and it kinda backfires on me! D'oh!

Oh well. Shit happens.

I wish I could explain it better here. I know I did when I was talking with them. Maybe in a day or two when the emotions settle a bit.

At least I was able to get home early and wash away the evil black mud smeared over bits of my sail, after sailing on Sunday! There's always that way to look at it... oh bugger...

Oh the noes! Now it looks like its gonna rain... and I've just put some sheets out on the line as well! Gagh! lol. Silly me.
Let's think of positive things... I had my first 'parent-teacher' night of the year at my two younger sons school. They are going really really well. Good grades, reading and maths at their age levels, socially going great, etc etc. It's good that I know the teacher as well, so we can kinda talk 'a bit of shop' at that level as well. No, they seem to be doing really well.

Now, if only if the both of them would stop niggling each other all the time! hahahahaa

On another tack, my friends in Brisbane with the kidney failure... I've been trying to ring them for a few hours and couldn't get thru for some strange reason. But at least my text messages were getting thru. His wife told me he's out of the woods for now, but it will be a loooong road from now on. He's not well at all.

And I wish there was something practical I could do about it. It irks me to be stuck here only able to send my best wishes etc etc etc rather than doing something practically helpful. [They're 1,000 away in Brisbane].

Ahhh, the joys of being human. Crazy, quite crazy, but still human.

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  1. Bloody upstart Mal. You sound remarkably unjaded by the experience very even-keeled, which brings me to, although on wrong thread but, sailing? at Oberon? What is the world coming to?

    I really mean good on you of course, there should be much more if it, (attempting to get humans to be human), its the sort of thing that I've done, but now I'm sufficiently cynical and so suffer in silence, which can speak volumes. However I think you should follow up your experience with a stern letter to Reject HQ,(they'll probably install you as manager). You have nothing to lose they've already 'let' you go so put it all in writing. London to a brick this particular mob weren't following company protocols.

  2. Any job that i have worked at they gave us alot of paper work to read and then a tour and of course you always worked with someone for at least 3 days. after that your on your own.
    glad your friend is doing a bit better.

  3. Companies like the one you describe, at least in my experience, experiences management changes soon or later when the turn-over rate becomes too high. Too bad everyone suffers till then. Anyways, thanks for visiting and commenting. Greatly appreciated! BJ

  4. Good for you Mal for telling them what the downfalls of their system were! Too bad they couldn't listen to some of you knowledge and/or get the idea. Its their loss! They dont deserve you!
    Glad to hear you and the boys had such a good time, and that they are doing very well also! Good job Dad!