Rare Thursday Post

I don’t normally post on Thursdays, but today has been one HECK of a day.

I knew something was up when two people weren’t in our team meeting this morning and my boss led it instead of the Customer Service Manager, who normally does. She had a doctor’s appointment and wouldn’t be in until about ten, he told us.

I couldn’t help noticing one of the new hires – they’ve been there for, I think, three weeks? two maybe? – wore a bright green Chicago Cubs T-shirt today. Yes, it’s St. Patrick’s Day. Yes, she’s very young (not yet 30 for sure). Yes, she’s a temp. And yes, it’s still business casual, not picnic casual. But hey – she’s not my direct report. I figured my boss would say something to the Customer Service Manager (the new hire’s boss) if he had a problem with it.

Later, my boss, at about nine this morning, asked if I’d heard from the other MIA team member. I hadn’t. (She wouldn’t call me in that situation anyway, but that’s another story.) He was concerned, and I was too. This woman is older, and her husband is very ill.

She’s been at war with a hospital for a while about her husband. He keeps going to the hospital with pneumonia, they keep kicking him out before he’s ready, and he keeps relapsing. Not a shock. I couldn’t figure out why. Based on the symptoms she described, it sounded like the man was suffering from dementia, or had a stroke. I learned later he has a long history of this sort of thing. Which set me to wondering… how?

But around 9:30, he told me she HAD called him, since her direct report supervisor wasn’t in today. My boss heard the sound of her voice and said if he’d had a way to reach her he’d have told her to stay home.

Last night, this poor woman had to take her sick husband back to the emergency room. She was there until 3:30 this morning. When she called my boss, she sounded weak, like she’d been crying.

So when she came in, she puttered for a few moments. My boss was in my office looking something over, and he excused himself. He met her at the door as he was leaving and she almost collapsed in his arms. He lead her – almost carried her, actually – into his office, closed the door and let her vent for a few minutes.

He handled it in a sensitive manner, and in a bit she came out and he helped her with the one urgent matter she had to deal with and sent her home. He called her boss and told him what happened, and then the Customer Service Manager came in. Normally, she’s in by seven or so. Today, she had a doctor’s appointment. She was stressed, harried and running from the beginning. She has a vacation day tomorrow because she’s traveling for business Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday next week. But she’s leaving Sunday night.

So, as soon as she walked in my boss lassoed her for a conference call he’d set up with a customer and she just never got her legs back under her.

At about 1:30, I had to deal with the ATR desk folks. This team includes the lady who trained me on the ATRs and the two new hires. They all sit in the same cubicle area, so I went to talk to them all. As I did so, one of the CSRs from a neighboring cube area asked if I knew what was going on with the missing new hire.

The day before, I’d seen her outside in the front parking lot, fooling around on a motorcycle. I saw her with a guy I assumed to be the husband she spoke of. I saw them out there for a pretty long time, and she didn’t seem worried about being out there at all. So, naturally, I figured it was her lunchtime.

So when I was asked if I knew where she was, my initial answer was “Probably at lunch; she went at around this time yesterday too, didn’t she?”

No, come to find out the motorcycle time? Yeah, that was on the company nickel, when she should’ve been working. She’d gone home for lunch and come back, then did the motorcycling.

I’m sorry… whuh? huh?

Well, today, she’d been gone since noon, and left her guest badge and access thumb drive on the desk. None of her personal belongings were there (she’d already brought in pictures of children and husband and motorcycle). Some time last week, she’d pulled a similar vanishing act but came back. So they thought maybe she would come back this time too, but the missing personal effects and the badge left behind sort of told a story. This CSR let me know everyone – including one of the CSRs who only worked a half-day today and was gone when all this occurred – were buzzing about this. Where is she? did the Customer Service Manager fire her for not being productive (she didn’t seem to be catching on regardless of how patient anyone seemed to be with her)? what? WHAT?

I asked the CSRs in her area: Do you know anything? I finally got the impression the CS Manager didn’t know the new hire was gone. One of her cube mates offered to tell her about the AWOL newb, but I said no, I’d do it. I’m part of the management team (according to my boss) and I’m in charge over the CSRs when the CS Manager isn’t here (or my boss). So. My duty.

Not only did she not know, she didn’t believe me at first. She looked at me with a distrustful grin and said, “Get out.” I chuckled. “I’m serious. All the CSRs are wondering if you fired her.”

Turns out, the newb quit. No notice. She mentioned last week, to the temp agency through whom she’d been placed, that she felt overwhelmed. But never said anything to her team mates, my boss, the CS Manager… no one. The agency, being upright and honest, not only didn’t forewarn us of the newb’s complaint, but didn’t bother to call and tell us she’d quit either. The CS Manager had to call THEM to find out.

She had to call THEM.

I’ve been working a long time. I’ve seen a lot of lazy people, stupid people, bad attitudes, bad clothing, bad breath, bad hair, lousy typists, lousy workers… you name it. But I’ve never seen someone walk off an office job. Warehouse jobs, retail jobs, food service jobs, yes. An office job? No. Kicked out, yes, walked off? Never. Not in my years as a contractor or as a full-time employee.

She walked out without so much as a good-bye or explanation why. And the most unprofessional of all in this? In my opinion, it’s the temp agency. Were they hoping we wouldn’t notice?


Now we have to scramble to fill the role, we have to reinvest the time to train and acclimate the next newb, and we have to hope this time things work out better. These people are temp to hire employees, but I guess having a chance at a full-time permanent position doesn’t mean much to this person. Funny, when I temped I would do almost anything for a shot at a full-time job. When I was out of work I’d have KILLED for one. This person just… walked off.

And this is the sort of person that made sure I never got treated like anything BUT a temp.

Good riddance to bad rubbish. NEXT!


Copyright 2011 DarcKnyt, All rights reserved


5 thoughts on “Rare Thursday Post

  1. Some people see temp work as just that, temporary work that if you don’t like it you don’t have to go back. There were a few of those around when I temped. I was not one of them.

    Me either.

  2. Well, that’s a helluva mess! A good reminder to never take my staff for granted. People are more than important to a business – they ARE the business.

    Fortunately, all we lost was a few weeks of training. Nothing major, but now we have to begin the process all over again, starting with interviewing. *Sigh* Oh well … I’m not responsible for it. 😉

  3. Lately I’ve felt that too many young people feel little responsibility for their work, their character, for anything more than doing what they want. Of course, who knows? We had our accountant not show up for work for two days with no explanation–turns out he really had been hit by a car while crossing the street. So, maybe something crazy happened to this girl. In the meantime though, she is a twit.

    Oh no, we know what happened. She had the wherewithal to explain it to the temp agency, which we found out when the Customer Service manager called them. She just couldn’t handle it and probably had a few other things to say too, but we don’t care. 🙂

  4. That’s ridiculous. The way you wrote this, makes me believe she’s young, and mapelba saying “young people” and your not correcting her makes me believe she is, too.

    While it may be distasteful to you, sweetie, a LOT of young people don’t have any sense of seriousness or responsibility. They have a sense of entitlement and demands the employer has to meet. This young lady (yeah, right) had a VERY casual attitude, and acted as though she’d been with us a long time already. Meanwhile, she couldn’t handle the job. At all. The attitude she displayed is, unfortunately, a prevalent one in younger employees. Not ALL of them, of course, but quite a few.


    I hate being grouped into the argument of “young people not having any work ethic”. I know not all my age would bust their ass for a job that pays shit, or hell, even a job that pays well, but I do. I was raised to work hard for everything, no matter if I hate it or not, because I’m only as good as what I show people I can be, and if I’m not good enough, there’s the door.

    You’ll not be lumped in that group if you work hard, take things seriously when they should be, and do your best to show responsibility and dependability. I have NO doubt you’ll be great. 🙂

    Bah… I’ve worked with so many idiots my own age that are morons, makes me want to rip my hair out. But at the same time, it’s not entirely their fault. Poor parenting doesn’t help, but it’s always blamed on “the young people with no work ethic”.

    I’m going to argue this one. The only person to blame for a lousy work ethic is THE PERSON with the bad ethic. “Bad parenting” is the excuse and rationalization for everything now. But I don’t buy it; if they want to be good employees, they will, no matter what the parents are like. I think putting it off on someone else is inexcusable.

    If they’re never made accountable, how will they learn? Maybe if their parents raised them to be hard workers and to have some respect and didn’t give them everything, and allow them to grow up feeling entitled to everything and as though they deserve as much as possible for as little effort as possible… maybe my age group wouldn’t get such a bad reputation when one dicks off.

    Maybe. But every person as an individual is responsible for their OWN accountability. Time to be a grown up and TAKE CHARGE, instead of dicking off.

    Sorry, ranting. I have had to fight since I was 19 to prove myself to men and women in the 50’s to take me seriously at work, because I always wound up being in the “in charge of what gets done” positions in the old company I worked for. And it makes me really pissy to see people my age who just add to the stereotype, when I busted my ass to go above and beyond at work, so I could get a bit of respect, and always wondering when I would be old enough for them to stop questioning my authority when I was left in charge.

    I think you’re probably an exception, not the rule, to your age group, hon. And you can be proud of what you’ve achieved. You’ll be older than you want sooner than you think — don’t rush it. 😉

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