You Had One Job

[This follows on from a conversation I was having over the weekend, so I thought I’d write a bit more about it here. You lucky people]

This year so far has in many ways been an exercise in frustration.  I’ve felt like I’m keeping on having to fight things all the way, just to get people to do their sodding jobs.  It’s incredibly annoying, frustrating, and just leaves me tired and pissed off.

I know I’ve written about this kind of thing before – it seems to be a bit of a theme round here. And it’s not even like I expect miracles – all I want is for people to do their fucking jobs right. That’s not too much to ask, surely?

For example, one of the current bugbears has been a particular travel agent, who is supposed to be organising a break.  It’s been in the process now for about six months, with the travel happening next month.  I’ve given them a decent length of time and space, and absolutely nothing happened. Indeed, the only time anything started happening was once I got in touch with them about six weeks ago, to find out what was going on.  All of a sudden the tickets and so on appeared, along with acknowledgement that they’d dropped the ball, that the initial contact had left the company and there’d been no handover or successor assigned to deal with me.

The problem was that the names on all the bookings – flights, hotel and so on – *all* had spelling mistakes. I’ve raised it with them, and they’re “going to deal with it”.  But man alive, this is the job they’re supposed to be good at, that they do all day every day, and they still make mistakes like these?  I’m honestly not reassured, and won’t be until I’ve arrived at the destination and know that everything has worked out.  Which is hardly a relaxing start to a break, it’s fair to say.

The stuff with the bank, the car insurance people, and the windscreen people have also been fine examples. Along with several others I’m not in the mood to add just yet to the list here.

All I want is for people to do their jobs. Why is that so bloody difficult?

3 Comments on “You Had One Job”

  1. Gordon says:

    Do you ever make mistakes?

    Are you holding them to a standard that is too high?

    WHY does this stress you out so much anyway, you can’t control it, yet it’s adding to your blood pressure, not theirs I’m pretty sure…

    Yeah, it’s always annoying when this stuff happens but it does. It always has, it always will. No?

    Yours – zen master – McLean (kinda sometimes)

  2. Lyle says:

    Oh, I absolutely make mistakes. Day in, day out. But I own them when I realise, and they’re never on the basics of just doing my job.

    I don’t think that expecting a travel agent to book things in the correct name and send the confirmations to the customer is holding them to too high a standard, no. That’s the absolute basics of the job. Same as I’d expect a librarian to be OK with, you know, books and alphabets; or a builder to be OK at putting up walls.

    To me, “too high a standard” would’ve been if I’d walked in to a travel agency, said “I want to go on holiday somewhere nice”, and expecting them to find me the perfect holiday. And I’d totally agree that would be too high a standard. (Well, I wouldn’t, because I’d be the kind of high-maintenance monumental douchecanoe that thinks behaviour like that is acceptable) All I’m asking for is the basics, from the people who are supposed to be the professionals, the specialists, the ones who know what they’re doing.

    Why does it stress me out? Because if I’m not sorting it, chasing them up and basically ensuring it gets done, then it affects me at the end – when I get to the airport and they say “Oh no, you can’t fly, the tickets aren’t in the same name as on the passport”, or when I get to the hotel and get “Oh no, we haven’t got a booking in that name” – and it’s me that’s affected, not the flangebucket who got it wrong in the first place.

    All I want – *all* I want – is to be able to say to someone whose job it is that “I’d like that please, on that day, to that place”, and to know it’ll be sorted without any hassle. That’s it.

    And if that is too high a standard, then that’s pretty depressing.

  3. Blue Witch says:

    I’m with you Lyle, and I totally understand why Gordon’s ‘therapist-speak’ isn’t terribly helpful.

    As I’ve said before, I do think there are only a few of us who notice/care/complain about this kind of thing, which is why things are in the state they are with customer (dis-)service.

    I do think that this kind of thing hits people who have high personal and professional standards themselves harder than it hits those who just scrape through life. Who are, of course, those who deliver such shit service to start with. Chicken or egg?

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