I hate it when people say things to me that relate and make sense it make me think.....
KarenSB, you have some valid points that has just prompted me to change some of my old thinking (I must have been right, grumpy/midlife) my attitude has changed in the last couple of years and or I wasn't sure how to handle the continued increase of workload.
I remember only a couple of weeks ago spending Christmas with my family and telling mother, after she had mentioned how upset she was when my sister said something nasty to her. I told her it never bothers me when friends and family say things bad to me because they very rarely setout to purposely put you down its just because they have other outside problems causing them stress....or words to that effect.!
Now apply the same to my customers, they very rarely setout the put you down. It's just because outside matters are stressing them. Whether it be the service contractor I'm representing or just a headache.
Hmmm.... Does kinda make sense!
Rather walking into a job thinking....here we go again and having the attitude of not wanting to be there in the first place. I will now walk into the job with a smile say g'day be friendly and have the attitude of when I leave the problem will be fixed (even if it takes me a month).
My job would be so much easier if I didn't have to relate to poeple.
Now apply what you mentioned regarding out lashes towards myself or even the principle service provider, What if I change my attitude from retaliating, to backing up and in support of the service provider, there must be words or terms I can use without actually lying to the customer. I'll have to think about it, But I'm sure there is something....
Here's a thought, as far as the customer is concerned only he has a problem, The customer doesn't need know that I represent a company that has the same continued problems with all their customers, I have been known in the past to say "don't worry this problem is with every one. The company doesn't know what they are doing!" although this takes the pressure off me at the time, I'm guessing it just makes matters worse.
In this situation if the customer is smart enough they will take things up in their own hands with the principle service provider. And if I haven't fueled the problem it won't end up in a he said, she said competition.
I have to also mention I was prompted to ask the original question after being on the receiving end of extremely "Disgruntled customers" on two jobs in as many days and this really started to bother me and one of those customer personally come to the office to rant and rave to my employer, The thing that bothered me not the fact this person did not have anything to nice to say about me, it was the fact that when someone is wasting your time you are not productive and at that point I could see my employer getting upset because he has been interrupted by a customer who is not a A+ customer but in fact was a first timer who purchased a complete network solution from another supplier and asked us to install and configure (which I spent 4 hrs diagnosing as faulty straight from the box and the rest of the gear would not actually provide the solution the customer wants) they spent thousands and didn't want to hear for $40.00 in hardware and about 3hrs labor I could have provided the same solution and willing to provide ongoing support.
Now back on topic.... I have to thank you KarenSB, for the blinding light I now see, or the sound of that penny dropping.
Some very strange things has happened since your reply today.. I was able to get time to check this forum in my lunch break today, read your reply and then........the sound of angles singing..... or was it just to much pepsi max.... I'm tring to cut down, yes really!!!! Only on 3ltrs a day now!
The first thing that happened was the second job with the above mentioned "disgruntled customer" I was so ummm... bothered I wrote a report how I was treated, incl. times of phone calls my action plans and lost time due to heated conversations which I calculated at about 30min
Handed the report to my employer with my job sheet and informed them if there is a pay dispute just send the report to the principle service provider and charge them another hour for administration fees and lost time. My employer agreed! I also requested that not to make a big scene about it as I don't want to be a winger. But the report is there if you need it.
I then proceeded to head out the door to one of my A+ customers I have been working with quite some time, rather than the attitude of these guys may be an A+ customer but they are lazy and it takes a lot of effort to achieve their goals, (note I actually handed this customer over to another tech as one of their staff was given me a hard time and I just got back from 2 and half weeks of holidays and there was some problems that nearly got out of hand) I entered site with a big smile found out the staff member that giving me a hard time no longer works there and they told me word got around town why I hadn't been onsite in the last few months....The manager pulled out a folder containing all the information I need to proceed with a network design/upgrade for the new building I have been asking them for this info for months continually and I was sick of asking, It was amazing every bit of info I needed was there, flooring plans, electrical designs, workstation positions it was like magic..... I was able to complete a comms hardware upgrade by the end of the day (prep work for the new network) while the manager fed me my daily intake of pepsi max and we shared some stories about that staff member that no longer works there.
When I got back to the office, I was asked to head for the biggest scariest office of them all, you know the one where the boss sits in a big leather chair turned so only you can see the top of his head over the back of the chair and the mood lighting set so the only light on is a spot light directly above him aimed down and when you think about it you never actually have seen his face (and you think that only happens in cartoons) the only thing missing is "mini Me" pulling faces at you from in the corner.......
Well he preceded to hand me a printed out email from the managing director of the company I had my above mention report fax to, with my job sheet. And asked me to read it
I can't remember exactly what it said but it mentioned things like, Thank you for your Technicians report I will be looking into this matter myself and hope future work will not be so unpleasant.... You get the picture
And it was mentioned there won't be any payment disputes and the lost time will be paid....
As I bowed and continued to walk out backwards I thank him for not making a big scene about it..
About an hour later I was just tidying up a bit when the boss asked If I had a couple minutes, as usual I always have a couple of minutes for the boss, but yet with still hundreds of scary thoughts running through my head I didn't know what he had in for me this time, he took me down to the lunch room and proceeded to turn the lights off ( I think he might be allergic to light or something) but anyhow then started with "I been looking over your productiveness over the last 6 months"...... oh! Here we go, my wife is just about to start up her own business, maybe she can employ me........ "I want to put you on salary with pay increase as a trial for next 6 months......we spoke about figures and responsibility and all that stuff I had the opportunity to ask about where the company is going regarding my roles, the new tech I've trained and the apprentice starting under me in the next few weeks, as well as a few concerns he has. It was almost like a bonding session (I said bonding NOT bondage!).....
Its true, It didn't happen to a friend of a friend mine. This all happened after lunch today,
With just an attitude change, smile and some words that actually make sense, I am looking forward to tomorrow!
And just one thing I learnt today is If I'm not a mind reader (I can't read my bosses mind) Why do I think I know what my customer think or going to say!!!
Unless I ask them the chances are I'm wrong!!!