"There's no point in spending your life in the pursuit of something that's easy." - Alice Kuipers

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

The Difference Between a Crappy Workplace and a Good One

The difference between a great place to work and a not so great place to work is pretty simple. Take this example from last week. Where my husband works, people are often condescending, insulting and there's a lot of yelling about not working hard enough or fast enough, none of which is great for an employee's morale. And then, there's where I work.

Last week, I was at my desk when I received a call. The man on the other end of the line abruptly started snarling about an invoice going to the wrong company, a mistake that was made by him when he ordered, not by us. I reminded him to always be clear about who he was ordering for when he called and... he lost his freaking mind. I sat in my chair, rigid with fury as he swore and insulted me. I asked him if there was anything else, and when he said no I promptly hung up on him.

Later, I was recalling the incident for my boss, mostly just to commiserate over what an ass he was, but something wonderful happened. Her face went white and her eyes got big as fury filled her features. She looked at me and said, "he said what to you?" I was touched that my boss could be so outraged at an asshole contractor screaming at me and went about my work feeling appreciated and generally pretty satisfied with the situation. But apparently, my boss wasn't.

Not long after I heard her on the phone with the same contractor, in a conversation that started like this: "Hi, yes I understand you talked to Melanie today and you weren't very nice..."

I listened from my desk with my mouth hanging open as my boss (very politely) informed him that no such thing had better happen again. Ever. Anyway, I think she made him feel pretty bad because within an hour flowers were delivered to our office for me from him with an apology note.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is what makes a great workplace.

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