behavior, call center, common sense, disrespect, etiquette, life lessons, manners, workplace

I Don’t Know What’s Wrong with These Kids!

My sister, who is in her late twenties just had a three day weekend off of work. Now it’s not because it’s something she planned or she had vacation days, it’s not even because she was sick. She just felt like it. She took off Friday, okay, one day is not a big deal. But since her job gives you one paid sick day for every two you take, she decided to make a ‘Buy One Get Two Free’ thing out of it. The bad thing about it is that she’s a member of management and her shift is basically a skeleton crew, so they really depend on her to be there. She hates her job with a passion, but is too lazy to do anything about it, so she just complains. You would think that having your car in the shop with a repair bill of $800 would be incentive to take your butt to work, but it isn’t. She just doesn’t care.

Heaven forbid the try to reprimand her for taking off three days. How dare they! She’d better get the schedule that she wants otherwise she’s calling corporate because they’re not treating her fairly. She fails to think about the people who had to scramble and cover for her when she decided to slack off.  It ain’t her problem.

On the other hand, whenever I take a day off, I feel guilty, like I’ve committed a federal offense. Even when I have to take FMLA time for my mother, I feel like I should really be at work. I can’t help it, it’s just the way I am.

She’s not the only in her age group I’ve noticed with these type of issues. I work with twenty somethings who share the same trifling streak. They take days off  just because the sun is shining or because it’s paycheck Friday. When the company finally decides to fire them they’re dumbfounded. There’s no sense of responsibility  and I don’t understand it. They’re selfish and overly entitled.

My job site bought new furniture for our new break room and it’s a struggle because they want to lounge, put their dusty feet up and lie across the sofa like they’re at home. The break room that our company created for us is slowly becoming a den for nastiness because they’re too lazy to clean up after themselves. They don’t respect themselves, therefore they don’t respect anyone else.

One day I hope my sister comes to her senses and grows up. When you know better, you’re supposed to do better. In the meantime I can rub in my mother’s face that I’m the oldest, therefore the original, perfect copy. : )

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audience, Author, etiquette, Indie Author, Social Media, Twitter, Uncategorized

What is Twitter Etiquette?

As indie author’s one of the most powerful tools for getting our name and product out there is social media. It’s been a learning process over the past year, but we’ve finally got it down. I’m not sure about Von, but my favorite social media tool is Twitter. It’s short and sweet, no need for extraneous content, 140 characters and you’re done. If I happen to find an interesting article or picture, I just click on the blue bird, it’s miniaturized to Shrinky Dink size and posted to our Twitter page, easy enough.

As our Twitter followers have grown over the past few months, so have our interactions, or Retweets. At first, we would send a Thank You tweet, thanking them for thinking of us, but we soon discovered that retweeting the retweeters content was even better to return the favor.  If an author happens to follow us then we make it a point to follow them back. It’s a good way to grow your network and interact with other people trying to do the same thing you’re doing.

I got quite a shock, one day while trying to thank one of our retweeters. I clicked on that author’s name to find a profile page full of nudity, whips, chains, and handcuffs. Okay, if we’re not comfortable even looking at this person’s page, do we have to retweet their material because they retweeted ours?

Another question concerns serial retweeters. If we know they retweet our stuff almost automatically, sometimes several times a day, do we retweet their stuff multiple time also?

What about Followers who speak an entirely different language? Do I follow someone even though I don’t have a clue what they’re saying?

It’s not like someone wrote a handbook on proper Twitter etiquette. I hate being rude and don’t want our Followers to think we’re trying to snub them. So we had to make up our own rules.

If a Follower is into something risque that we’re not quite comfortable sharing on our page, we’ll send a thank you Tweet or retweet something safe they’ve retweeted from someone else.

For the serial retweeters, we retweet them once or twice. Anything more and you’re caught in a vicious, repeating loop.

The rest is just play it by ear and stick with our own judgment.  If we’re not comfortable with something, than the best course of action is to leave it alone. Over time you’ll gain Followers and you’ll lose Followers, that’s just the way Twitter goes.

 

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call center, coworkers, cultural understanding, etiquette, life lessons, manners, Uncategorized, workplace

It’s Secret Santa Time Again!

It happens once a year. You and your coworkers draw names for Secret Santa. Here’s a word of advice, be mindful of the person who’ll be purchasing that gift for you.

For example, last year Von had the sheer luck of drawing one of our coworkers. Now this young lady didn’t ask for a nice fluffy Snuggie or a pair of comfortable slippers. She wanted a copy of 50 Shades of Grey. If you want the book, that’s fine, that’s your business, your personal business. My question is why would you want to put someone you work with in the awkward position of purchasing a book that’s has the stigma of being ‘Mommy Porn’? Now you’re leaving a coworker with the decision of whether to gift wrap it or just throw it in a paper bag.

Being a Secret Santa is all about the spreading the Christmas Spirit. There’s nothing like the joy of picking out the perfect gift for someone you work with and the look of glee as they open their gift. I shouldn’t have to be embarrassed going to the store and purchasing an item on your list.  Gift buying shouldn’t be a life altering decision. So if the thing on your list requires batteries or has three speeds, unless it’s a blender, take it off. Yes, that even includes that paperback copy of Taken by the T-Rex ; ) Please refrain from putting personal items on you wish list. Happy Holiday Season y’all!

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call center, etiquette, life lessons, manners, Uncategorized, workplace

Conversation Parasites

“Yeah and then he said that he was going down there to make sure everything is okay.”

“Wow! That’s insane! I hope everything turns out okay. You know….”

“When I lived in Florida, we bought this bungalow that had a bad termite infestation. Oh my God there were so many termites in that house.”

Chances are you know one; a conversation parasite. That person  who jumps into the middle of a conversation like you’re playing double dutch. It doesn’t matter what your conversation is about, no matter how serious. They’re going to bang on that door until someone opens it.

They don’t really care that what they’re talking about has absolutely nothing to do with what you were originally talking about in the first place. You and the person you were talking to give each other that look like, ‘Will he please shut up?’

Unfortunately, I’ve recently encountered two such creatures. Both of them are older gentlemen who work with me. Maybe there was a factory recall on old men in their age range and I just don’t know about it. I can imagine that as children their mothers never disciplined them about interrupting a conversation.

Now the first one we’ll call the gate keeper. He sits in the aisle and has a question or comment for everyone that walks past him. Are you going to lunch? You going home? What’s for dinner? Where are you going? He even ear hustles coworkers personal conversations and asks what they’re talking about. He annoyed me so bad I had to put a visual aid on my computer just so I wouldn’t have to see his face.

Now the second one we’ll call Captain Flap a Jib. He rants and complains about how he knows how to do our job better than anyone and he’s the only one who can get it right. We have a coworker with bad work habits and he spends the whole day complaining about her like someone really wants to hear that. No matter how busy you look, he’ll find the most idiotic subjects to talk about. It’s enough to make me want to tear the rest of my hair out.

It’s frustrating and annoying, and I’m complaining, I know.  Maybe one day I’ll join them in their rudeness and tell them both to shut up.

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call center, customer service, customers, etiquette, life lessons, manners, workplace

Call Center Agents Assemble!

In case you didn’t know; call center agents rule the world. Yes, that disembodied voice on the other end of the phone has got it going on.

In a customer service based society, these people hold your entire life in the palm of your hand. They control your heat, electric, water, cable, cell phone, internet, and your bank account. Legend tells of rare agents who can lock, unlock, honk the horn, flash the lights, and stop your vehicle with just the click of a mouse. They control all your necessities and your modern conveniences. If these talented people can do all these amazing feats; why are they the most abused creature in the world?

I’ve worked customer service for years and what I’ve discovered is the most abusive individuals to call center agents, tend not to have any control at home. Or they may be taking their problems out on the first person who gets in their way .

So that hag who just spent an hour cussing out the cable agent, does it because her husband just came in at five a.m. She dare not mention it to him for fear that he may take her ‘allowance’ away. Needing an outlet for her rage, she takes it out on the faceless voice on the phone.

Maybe the idiot giving the Verizon agent a piece of his mind has two teens at home who are driving him crazy. He takes his frustration out on her instead of the source of his problem.

Is it these individuals know there will be no retribution that makes them act this way? They know the agent is held hostage to the verbal assault, otherwise the agent will lose his or her job. Is it the anonymity which causes the to abuse the agent? Surely they wouldn’t talk this way to someone face to face.

How wise are you piss off someone who can wreck havoc on your life at the push of a button? Does your nasty attitude have more to do with your home issues than issues with the company itself?

Maybe its something you need to consider the next time you feel like broadcasting your anger at the poor, underpaid person on the other end of the phone.

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Author, Chicklit, etiquette, Indie Author, manners, Uncategorized

Cut Em Loose!

I ran into my surrogate work mom the other day and she was highly upset. She’s one of the people that are so nice she should have a halo hovering over her head. She was in tears telling me how the people in her department were using her. She’d go out for lunch and everybody would put in their order; she’d come back with all their lunches and wouldn’t get so much as a thank you. There was also some other drama going on with her coworkers, especially one in particular who I know for a fact will drain the very marrow from your bones.

After listening to her story, I gave her a hug and told her I’d give her a call if she didn’t call me. I also advised that she consider cutting some of these unnecessary people loose. As nice as she is, I’m pretty sure she won’t follow through with my advice. Whether she won’t for fear of them not liking her or not wanting to make any waves, I don’t know. I just know Sharron enough to know she’s too nice to even consider my option.

It took me awhile to learn that lesson myself. Sometimes I’m nice to a fault. Now I have no problem flipping over to the dark side and going into Evil Queen mode when necessary. I have done that. But the ‘spiritual sharks’ as they’re called aren’t complete strangers, they’re the people that are in your inner circle. That’s why it’s harder to get rid of them. Spiritual sharks don’t care about what’s going on with you or your feelings. They want to latch on to you and suck the life outta you until there’s nothing left but a dried husk.

I had a person at work I used to talk to. As time went on I noticed that he was stricken with a severe case of narcissism. Every conversation was about him and the big moves he was going to make and so on. I found myself wasting my lunch break smiling and nodding as he droned on and on about he was going to be this famous rapper and about what size speakers he was going to buy for his truck. I’m a woman, I don’t care about that crap.  Trying not to make any waves, I let the behavior continue.

The last straw came when I took off a few days FMLA time. My mother is a dialysis patient and sometimes there’s complications with the access they use for her treatment. She had to undergo surgery and I was with her. When I get back to work instead of this moron asking me what was going on or how my mother was doing, he starts again with his ghetto fairy tales. Yeah, your story about how you smuggled your buddy’s pee into the clinic so you can pass your yearly drug test for work is really interesting.

I was done after that. Now he’s the type that you have to hit in the head with a brick for him to understand that he needs to go away. I tried to be subtle. He’d ask me if I was going to see such and such movie and I’d tell him I was busy. Calls went unanswered and I gave him the cold shoulder. Eventually, he got the hint and went about his business.

Now the woman that Sharron was talking about is another species of spiritual shark. Yes there are different types. By accident, I happened to sit by her one day. She’s in her forties and every other word out of her mouth was either, drink, party, or cabaret. She claims to be as poor as the air quality in Los Angeles, her, her husband and kids, but that doesn’t stop her from carrying around a brand new Michael Kors purse, dressing in designer duds, or going out to lunch everyday. And it damn sure doesn’t stop her from begging. Can I borrow your cell phone? Can you drop me off at home? You got a couple dollars I can borrow? The killer for me was when I mentioned I dropped off some clothes and household items at the Salvation Army and she asks why I didn’t give them to her since she has a family who could use them. Ugh.. How about you prioritize your life?

There’s another shark I know of. She has a position of authority within the company. The job she has really doesn’t fit her personality because she’s the type to let people walk all over her in their baseball cleats. Instead of owning up to the responsibility she has, she wants to complain. I hate my job! They don’t respect me! Why do they treat me this way! Every conversation with her is a roll call of complaints or grievances. I really don’t have time for that!

Chances are you have people like these two examples in your inner circle. Maybe they’re a complainer and the downward spiral of their life is no fault of their own. Or they’re that co-worker who will always need a ride home, but never has any gas money. Whatever species of shark they are, when you feel them pulling you down, cut them loose. You’re better off without those users, abusers, and losers.

 

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