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