I try to remember when someone comes at me and commits an egregious error, that I should extend to them the grace that I would like in return. I try.
One of my hot button issues is for someone to come at me in an accusatory tone, without asking me for clarification first. Seriously. Cooks my grits and sticks them to ALL sides of the pot. One such incident happened to me back in 2008, and it was work related. Flashback with me. Picture it: Sicily…1942…
Well, Charlotte. 2008. Anywho…I was handling workers compensation claims at the time. I had this file which was reopened after being closed almost 2 years, because this guy was complaining of pain. There is a process for everything, and we can’t just open a file and start handing out checks.
One thing about me, as a rep, is that I am very detailed in my notes. Might be too detailed, but when you read it, you are going to have a grasp of what’s going on. If the system doesn’t document the time I’ve made a call, I make sure to put it in the notes. If I get a voice mail from you, I put in the notes what time I got it and what number I called back, etc.
This particular injured worker had the patience of a 2 year old. He would call my phone 6 or 7 times while I was at lunch (we had caller ID) and not leave a message. Or he’d finally leave one, and then I’d be able to call back and answer his question.
One day, he decided to play the victim and act like he was leaving me messages and I wasn’t calling him back. He kept zeroing out to people, and somehow he got to someone in underwriting, who sent my supervisor an email with this guy’s sob story about allegedly trying to reach me. In turn, this supervisor, who had the people skills of a blind gnat, didn’t go into the file and read the file notes to see where I’d been conversing with this man damn near every day. He just forwarded the underwriter’s email to me, with the following note:
Why haven’t you called this injured worker?
When I tell you that I felt my ears get hot when I read that email. Livid. So, you’re not going to read the notes? You’re just going to ASSUME that this man is telling the truth? If I was a lighter skin tone, I’m sure my whole face would’ve been red. I woosah’d a few times, and then proceeded to fire back a very professionally written email, wherein I noted all the times and dates I’d talked to this person, the status of his claim, and the fact that he’d left me no messages on this date. I ended it by telling him I would call the guy, but I’d appreciate if he would just ask me about a file instead of sending me emails with an accusatory tone. Because as we all know, sometimes email, text messages, and the like do not convey tone very well.
He got all flustered and claimed that’s not what he meant, and we could discuss it after lunch. Sir, I don’t have anything more to discuss. I’ve said my piece. That’s exactly the way you meant it, and now you’re back pedaling because you didn’t think I’d respond to your snarky-ness. That was his M.O. Of course, I didn’t say that to him – I like being employed – but I let it be known that I didn’t have any more to say on the matter. Not to mention, I liked to do everything with him in writing because he was crazy. Straight foolio.
He never sent me an email like that again.
It felt like that scene in The Bodyguard, when Rachel’s old bodyguard was fighting in the kitchen with her new bodyguard (Kevin Costner). And after Frank kicked his azz, he said, “let’s not have this discussion again.” LMAO! We didn’t, and I politely found myself another position to transfer into, because it was gonna be him or me. Later he got demoted. Ha! Karma kicked that sorry sucka right in the booty.
Back to today. Someone ASSUMED (there’s that word again!) that something I wrote was related to them and it totally was NOT. Instead of asking me about it, they ran with the assumption and sent me a nice-nastygram. A nice-nastygram (to me) is when you call yourself chastising someone, but then you end it with something like “love ya” or “thanks!” You weren’t really trying to thank me, you were just trying to mask your snarky. I see you.
My first instinct was to go off Oran “Juice” Jones style, but instead I just asked this person, why would you just make that assumption, instead of asking me for clarification first? Does that really make sense to you?
I received an apology, but was (and still am) miffed. Like, WTF? Don’t you know me better than that?
I got the apology. I need to just ‘cep it (that would be “accept it,” lol) and move on.
Will add this to the list of things to work on in 2013.
*scraping grits off the side of the pot*