Now, you must understand that while everyone tries to keep things professional, there are certain people who have a knack for doing things right, and certain people who have a knack for doing things wrong. And of those people who have a knack for doing things wrong, you get a very real sense of who's doing things wrong because they don't know better, who's bending the rules to make their work more effective, and who's doing it wrong because they don't care or because they've decided to adorn their tush with a choice bit of haberdashery. And really, truly, those people who insist on being asshats don't win our love and affection much.
We may only have heard your voice and read your name, but we know you, and your glorious typo skills, and we know when you're having an off day, and when you're doing a brilliant job and we wish you'd have more days like that.
There is one individual who I've thought of as trouble since day one, or nearly so. People on the phones in the call center are supposed to remain seated for the most part -- you may get up to stretch your legs or get up to summon a supervisor, but otherwise, you should be seated unless you've got a medical reason for it. Supervisors want to know where they've got to run to deal with an irate person on the other end of the phone, and it does cut down on the noise and spitwad-throwing. (Yes. In a supposedly-adult workplace, spitwad throwing.)
So when I attempted to introduce Mr. Phone Goon to Mr. Chair, and Mr. Phone Goon gave me lip, I was none too happy. I remembered his face, and marked it as belonging to someone who was apt to make trouble. When I sat near him at some later point, I caught his name, and that was the name of someone who was trouble on the phones as well...
So I was monitoring $ISSUE_SIDE_JOB, and had just re-selected this one particular shining example of What Not To Do to monitor him for a second time, as he's still new enough to need frequent feedback on what he's doing right and wrong. It was the end of the day, or getting close enough, and people were getting bored. I caught snatches of the conversation in the area as calls came in and people were still talking, and then as respondents hung up and the conversation started back up again. This fellow was enjoining his neighbor that she should really go on American Idol and do some Cindy Lauper covers. Evidently this girl was young enough to have never heard of Cindy Lauper.
The next thing I know when the sound cuts back in, I hear young Mr. Phone Goon singing (off-key): "Girls just wanna have fun..."
The important thing to realize is that when I can hear young Mr. Phone Goon singing when his mike has just gone live and he's been transferred a call from the automatic dialer, is that if there's anyone on the other end of the phone, they will also hear Mr. Phone Goon. And there was someone at the other end of the phone.
Imagine, if you will, that you've just sat down to an early dinner after a very long Sunday. Then the phone rings. You pick it up, and at first you hear a slightly mechanical silence. Then, you suddenly hear an off-key male voice warbling at you. "Girls just wanna have fun..."
"Shut up!!" yelled the person at the other end of the phone, and slammed it down.
I think young Mr. Phone Goon may have been somewhat embarrassed. I'm not sure. By that time, I was laughing too hard to tell. Once I could breathe again, I wrote the exchange up in the comments of his monitor report.
After the shift ended, I went and found Rev. Nice Super (who had been running that job today). Rev. Nice Super is not always known for his absolute dead seriousness, so I figured I should ask him if he had been the one who'd been egging the area on with the Cindy Lauper discussion. Evidently he had not been.
After the working day is done, oh-ho, girls just wanna have fun...