Let me share with you a story. This comes from very early 2020. The setting is winter. The scene is corporate offices.
I dropped my purse on the desk – my desk. My very own. This was something I had strived for all of my adult life. I love this corporate life. It helps that I work for a very respectable company.
It was Wednesday. Nothing special, except I felt tired. It had been stressful the past few weeks since being assigned this new project. Per my usual morning routine, I hung up my coat, made my rounds of good mornings, and tacked the Hump Day Camel onto my cabinet for all to see. We don’t have cubicles, you see, but are divided by half walls. It made the floor open and inviting and easier to be cordial with coworkers. I have to say, they promote a suburb working environment here.
I opened my calendar to view the day’s agenda. First priority of the morning, freeze Customer X’s orders.
I couldn’t help a feeling a weight of weariness. This customer had been breaking promises left and right since Christmas. We had warned we were going to freeze their orders back in January, but somehow they had weaseled an extension. I was about to find out HOW soon enough.
Don’t get me wrong. We don’t want to freeze orders. This is a supply company, and we’re in the business to sell and make money.
But sometimes the customers don’t feel like paying their bills. That’s where my team comes in. We monitor the customers’ accounts and problem-solve any errors which occurred in the order to cash process. I personally find it fascinating, and I love the challenge. Especially when people like Customer X give us the run-around and expect to get away with it. It doesn’t help when the customer’s direct representative with the company is feeding them confidence and promises.
Yes, dear readers, the problem here rested prominently within our very own Sales Force. I’m usually on good par with Sales Force. If they come to me for help, I’m diligent and relentless to discover a solution. If I go to them for help, they usually reciprocate the same. It’s a beautiful relationship, but sometimes I encounter the odd squaller.
By her picture on our website, she looks young and friendly. Beautiful face, beautiful hair. Up until today, all our correspondence was in email, so I had no idea what I was in for when I picked up the phone.
“This is (insert ambiguous coworker name here) calling about that hold. You put my account on hold even when I told you not to.”
Maybe you recognize the tonal inflection even through text. Maybe in your mind’s ear, you can hear the level of attitude delivered in quick punches. I suppose it would look something like this:
“Hel-LOOO. This is (SOMEBODY FREAKING IMPORTANT) CaLlInG aBoUt ThAt HOLD. YoU pUt My AcCoUnT oN HOLD eVeN wHeN i TOLD yOu NOT tO.”
You see, the trouble I have with people like this is they don’t have the patience to explain situations. If she had come to me early on with the details of this particular business partner, the order entry errors, and how she was working with them to correct, I would have jumped on board. Instead, she thought she could bully her way, let the order entries go on failing, and continue to collect her commission. I don’t roll with those types. In fact, the Taurus in me locks its legs in an attempt to fling its unsuspecting rider.
Life is an interesting deal. The more you work with the public, the more characters you encounter. And every encounter is an experience.
This has been,