She is not a good receptionist | Story no.  118

Several years ago, I had to replace a receptionist for my unit. Before I advertised for the position, I was approached by another manager, within the same division, and asked if I would consider a transfer from his staff instead of opening a new competition.
My natural question was to ask who he wanted me to consider and why?
His response not only surprised me, but also made me a little apprehensive to accept this transfer. Here is the reason why.
I was told that the employee had been causing a number of problems both from a work standard perspective and from a personal relationship viewpoint.
It appeared from his description of this employee that she was having a lot of problems performing her duties, and had difficulties on a personal basis with her supervisor, and did not appear to respond to any attempts he, the manager, had made to resolve the issues.
Now, after listening to his explanation, I really had severe doubts. What crossed my mind, after this discussion, was that he wanted me to take a performance problem off his hands.
Do you think I came down with the last rain shower? Why would I want to assume anyone else’s problem?
I told him I would think about it and would let him know the next day. As promised, after thinking more about this potential performance issue, I decided that, because a colleague asked me, I would agree speak with her privately before I made any decision.
And, what I found out during this interview, gave me food for thought. As it turned out after speaking with her for over an hour, was that the performance issue appeared to result from working for a supervisor who never extended a good morning greeting, never gave a word of encouragement, relished in finding fault, and was constantly changing the work load and its priority.
The end result was a totally devastated employee who was insecure, hated to see a new work day start, and who had contemplated quitting every day before she went to work.
Now, I wasn’t naïve enough to think that I couldn’t be fooled, but the look on her face, the trembling hands, and the agitated manner in which she spoke led me to believe she was being truthful.
 I decided to accept her transfer to unit. What started out as a shy, withdrawn and frightened employee turned out to be one of the most productive and loyal employee’s I ever had the privilege of working with.
She couldn’t do enough and was constantly asking for more and for more responsibility. I was more than happy to give her what she needed – praise for work well done, respect as a person, and encouragement to excel in anything she tackled.

*De-briefing of this Story*

Our behaviour adversely affect those around us whether we choose to act like arrogant and uncaring people, or think we know everything, or by setting unrealistic expectations, or by refusing to encourage others as if a positive remark would belittle our own status.
It may be a wise notion that we all look in the mirror, from time to time, to see what we are really like.
 “Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” Napoleon Hill
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