Tuesday, 13 May 2008

The Tuesday Tantrum

Welcome to a new weekly series on things that are making me a bit cross. It does come however with a little bit of a proviso. For a start, I can't always guarantee that it's going to be on a Tuesday. I can't say for definite that it will be weekly. What I can say, is that there is always something that is getting my goat. When I called it a weekly series, I was a bit worried that I might not be able to do it every week.

Now I've thought about it, I'm more concerned that it might be hourly.

Today's tantrum concerns an apparent lack of literacy in the working population. Or more specifically, some people being unable to FOLLOW A SIMPLE DAMN INSTRUCTION IN AN E-MAIL.

I hate to lift a veil of secrecy over my employment; really I'd like you all to believe that I swan around, making executive decisions, and shouting 'Buy! Sell! Buy!' into the phone, while I twang my Wall Street braces. However that is very far from the truth. Lean in close, so I only have to whisper. My job?

Not rocket science.

I run a team of people, all well educated, all used to working in an office, all with previous experience of very imilar types of work. No one fresh from school, all with tongues in their head, all capable of making rational decisions. Sounds marvellous doesn't it? Because I've got quite a big team, because both I and they spend a lot of time on the telephone, it's quite difficult to get everyone together so that they can all be told the same thing at the same time. Thus I resort to the team leader's fall back position; I send them an e-mail. That way, they can read it when they've got a minute, and if it's important they can keep it so they can refer back to it.

Again, not rocket science.

I'll give you a little example, and paraphrase it very slightly so I don't break some previously unheard of privacy law:-


I know you'll all have noticed the problems with accessing certain data this morning. Systems are working on it, but they've managed to put a temporary fix in place. Double click on the icon below, and you will then be able to gain access. However, this will not save overnight - keep this e-mail safe so that you can click on the icon every day until problem is permanently sorted.

Any queries, please give me a shout.

See? It doesn't seem so difficult, does it? And just in case, the e-mail was titled something like 'IT Issues - Important, Please Read'. Like I'd send an e-mail that you didn't have to read. If I wanted to talk and have nobody listen, I'd just get married again.

And did it work? Did it buggery. Some hours later, one of my team asked if anything had happened about the problem. I asked if they'd read the e-mail. Oh? Had I sent an e-mail? Someone else deleted it without reading it, someone deleted it after reading it, someone couldn't find it at all the next day, although they'd definitely seen it before, one person thought it didn't apply to them and another one hadn't clicked on the icon because they didn't understand the instruction.

As well as having the tuesday Tantrum, I'm thinking of having Firing Squad Friday; I'd do it earlier but I need time to go and buy the ammo...

So, does anyone want to join in? Anything on your mind today?

Let's have a little rant and get it out of our systems...


Iain said...

People who say "newkiller" when they mean "nuclear". There is no excuse for it.

aims said...

Girl- girl - girl! You're back!! Woohoo! And I must - triumphantly back!

I'm glad you are - and tantrum us as much as you like! I've bookmarked you - again! Now stay and don't wander away this time!

aims said...

Oh damn!

That is of course - I must say - triumphantly back!

Apparently I was so excited you're back I couldn't type.....duh

GoneBackSouth said...

No I've had a pretty rant-free day today, but yesterday I raged about pretty well everything.

Lola said...

I only have the husband to rant about, seeing as I'm not getting out much at the moment, but he would provide enough material for all of us. Today, it's his ability to drop slivers of the wax you get on Edam cheese onto the kitchen floor, and then stand on them so they weld themselves to the tiles in a red waxy lump. And it's only 7.15 am.

belle said...

you want to know what I would like to rant about? Seriously? Seriously! Hmm, well, employers of social services would have to be very high on the list ... although it's a very long list ...

so glad you're back, my lovely :)

Brett said...

I deal with customers,like staff but with less intelligence.

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Christ I empathise with you all the way! I managed large teams of highly educated people - some of the with doctorates. You can't get the feckin staff! I used to wonder how half of them managed to get dressed by themselves in the morning. Managing people becomes a parental role and after a while you just want them to fecking grow uop and leave home for good. Barring that, firing them once a moth when I was pre-menstrual usually maded me feel good!

david mcmahon said...

Love the name of your blog - and your writing style.

Couldn't resist the temptation to visit for the first time!

Tina said...

Iain, you're bang on. In fact, if you come back next Tuesday, you might have inspired me with a new rant.

Aims, completely understand with the typing. My fingers don't work as fast as my mouth. I bet it says that on some bike shed somewhere.

GBS, I know exactly what you mean. There are some days when I barely rant at all. I think there was one in 1995.

Oh Lola, that's quite a talent he has. But to make cheese into something of an irritation is almost unforgiveable.

Belle, I think you have more justification than the rest of us, but you seem quite restrained compared to how I'm sure I would be.

Brett, welcome. Customers. Who put them in charge eh? We need to tip the power back in our favour. Will be over to check out your photos again for a proper look.

MOB, I knew you'd sympathise! I'd love to be able to fire someone, but I worry I'd end up with a worse idiot, in some sort of karmic retribution.

David, hello! Goodness, a visit from you is like Blog Royalty! I shall be over to yours forthwith! ANd thank you for the compliments.

Katney said...

What e-mail? I didn't get an e-mail. You need it when to get it done? I think I saw that e-mail. I didn't read my e-mail. When do you need that again? What is it you want? When?

This was about two weeks after the e-mail.

One week later. No further response. We'll see what the assertive, printed out, folded and hand delivered, WE MUST HAVE THIS BY FRIDAY OR IT WON'T HAPPEN memos bring.