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Help with work situation!

violetsviolets Posts: 1,689Registered Users
We have had a lot of growth in the company I work for in the last year. We have a new manager, which came and was given the task of reorg/changing the process. I got the short end of the stick bc as a result,she took all the important accounts and basically left us with the crap work.Any ways,it was kind of a blessing in disguise because I was way over my head with work.Now I can breath,at least.
I have gone back to doing more IT software stuff,which I did years ago and I thrilled to get back to. Officially I am part of the data dept.

So...that is the short background.

Well, this manager is also in charged of another department,which is part of the call center. She is the pharmacist/Senior director so she is newer but has been given quite a bit of leash in the reorganizing of
the company. The call center and their managers had a meeting where they brought up a problem they are having with the receptionist.
The call center, shares the receptionist duties when she is absent, at lunch , which is about 2 or 3 hours a day on a normal day. Apparently the call center is complaining that they have to perform their normal duties and step away too to fill in for the receptionist.

Well this woman volunteered my dept to help out the receptionist too!

Well, my department and I were going to flip out when we heard this!I
am so angry and upset that she would think of us as being able to fill in this duty.
Please don't tell me there is nothing wrong with this. It sure as heck is wrong for me and step in the wrong direction (career wise,I mean).
I don't think I could even fake siting at the receptionist desk. I have been crying about this,I work very hard for that company. This is a slap in the face. I feel like I am closer to a demotion. That woman thinks we are that skill level?? Everyone in my team is overqualified to be a receptionist.

What should we do on Monday?
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Comments

  • roseannadanaroseannadana Posts: 5,632Registered Users
    You should suck it up and help cover the phone when she is on break or lunch. Lots of companies do this. The more on the backup list, the less often you will have to do it.

    I was born to be a pessimist. My blood type is B Negative.
  • NarniaNarnia Posts: 1,770Registered Users
    I see where you're coming from - I had something like this happen to me once where I was asked to make cold calls to customers to sell a particular warranty because our company had lost the person who filled that job. I was really upset, because I hated it and felt undervalued in my current position.

    That being said, I buckled down and became the best damn cold call-warranty seller I could be. In the end, I got in the good books with my managers and boss, was thanked for being such a team player in the company, and ultimately learned a lot about a different department. I ended up with a PROMOTION at the end of it because my boss appreciated my team attitude and my ability to take on new tasks with a short learning curve.

    My suggestion - suck it up, help out the team, and put a big old smile on your face when she is around. If this woman has as long of a leash as you say she does, I'm sure it's not beyond her realm to make suggestions of employees that should be let go. The last thing you want is to be known for a bad attitude and get less consideration in the future.
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  • violetsviolets Posts: 1,689Registered Users
    You should suck it up and help cover the phone when she is on break or lunch. Lots of companies do this. The more on the backup list, the less often you will have to do it.

    But it is not the entire company. It's only the call center,that helps the receptionist. The rest of the company doesn't do this. Their skill level is different than us. We are considered management , and the call center is hourly.



    What next, move over to the call center?Help them out too???
    I don't think so! I didn't go to college for this.
  • violetsviolets Posts: 1,689Registered Users
    Narnia wrote: »
    I see where you're coming from - I had something like this happen to me once where I was asked to make cold calls to customers to sell a particular warranty because our company had lost the person who filled that job. I was really upset, because I hated it and felt undervalued in my current position.

    That being said, I buckled down and became the best damn cold call-warranty seller I could be. In the end, I got in the good books with my managers and boss, was thanked for being such a team player in the company, and ultimately learned a lot about a different department. I ended up with a PROMOTION at the end of it because my boss appreciated my team attitude and my ability to take on new tasks with a short learning curve.

    My suggestion - suck it up, help out the team, and put a big old smile on your face when she is around. If this woman has as long of a leash as you say she does, I'm sure it's not beyond her realm to make suggestions of employees that should be let go. The last thing you want is to be known for a bad attitude and get less consideration in the future.


    That sounds like a sells job,its not the same thing. I would be upset about it not being what I want to do, but its not being a receptionist. I have nothing to gain by doing this. I will not get an award by being the best receptionist. This job undervalues my skills in every way possible.
  • annabananaliseannabananalise Posts: 1,913Registered Users
    In the grand scheme of things this doesn't seem like a big deal. It's not all day, right? Just when she's on break?

    And lots of people with college degrees work hourly/at call centers.
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  • theliothelio Posts: 5,374Registered Users
    I would say suck it up for now. But my question is, why does so many people have to cover for the recpetionist? Why doesn't the company just hire a back up recepetionist? is she not doing her job or does she take off that much?
  • roseannadanaroseannadana Posts: 5,632Registered Users
    Lots of people with degrees work in call centers or are receptionists. If you feel strongly about it, complain to HR. I don't think that's a good career move but do what you think is best.

    I was born to be a pessimist. My blood type is B Negative.
  • violetsviolets Posts: 1,689Registered Users
    thelio wrote: »
    I would say suck it up for now. But my question is, why does so many people have to cover for the recpetionist? Why doesn't the company just hire a back up recepetionist? is she not doing her job or does she take off that much?

    Good question. I didn't want to include the reason why in my original post bc I didn't want to make it very long. They are very strict and anal about the reception desk. The owners are very disrespectful to whomever sits there because they think nothing of them. They get called names, yelled at and put down if they think you didn't take a call the proper way. So as a result, nobody wants to help her. She is not allowed to move from her desk because if a call comes in and goes to vm, that is a crime. They started to do a schedule and that has helped for a while. But now the call center is complaining about it. So my manager thought that adding more people to the mix would help.
    It is not going to help the real problem in the end.

    Certain people they respect and they don't yell at. I am one of them.
    I've been there 5 years and have never been yelled at.
  • theliothelio Posts: 5,374Registered Users
    Since they respect you it may not be so bad. I understand your frustration, but sometimes you got to deal with crap from the boss. Sadly, in this economy we all have to take some crap, most places will have plenty of people waiting to fill your spot if you are not willing to comply. Just try to make the best of your situation and hope it ends quickly.

    Good luck!
  • StarmieStarmie Posts: 6,681Registered Users Curl Connoisseur
    Do you have a job description for your position? If it doesn't say that occasional reception duties are part of your job then you may have some leverage with the supervisor to say that you shouldn't be doing it. Also, if all your department are unhappy about it, can you complain "en masse". It may not get you anywhere but if mgmt know everyone is unhappy then they may look at solving the problem in a better way.
    I suspect though that you'll end up doing it. I work in a small hospital, the receptionists work from 8 to 8 and outside those hours it's up to the nurses to answer phones. Pretty sure that's not in our job description!
    I do wonder why a receptionist is spending 2-3 hours a day away from her desk,and understand why the other dept that helps out is fed-up of it.
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  • mrspoppersmrspoppers Posts: 7,223Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    If this woman is your manager, you can always talk to her about it. It doesn't make a lot of fiscal sense for someone at a manager's salary level to give up 2-3 hours of work time to fill in for a receptionist. Otherwise, you're going to have to suck it up. Going to HR or complaining about it will only make you look bad.

    I understand how you feel. I'm in marketing and people tend to view us as glorified admins. There's nothing wrong with being an admin but that's not my job, nor is it something I'm good at.
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  • violetsviolets Posts: 1,689Registered Users
    Starmie wrote: »
    Do you have a job description for your position? If it doesn't say that occasional reception duties are part of your job then you may have some leverage with the supervisor to say that you shouldn't be doing it. Also, if all your department are unhappy about it, can you complain "en masse". It may not get you anywhere but if mgmt know everyone is unhappy then they may look at solving the problem in a better way.
    I suspect though that you'll end up doing it. I work in a small hospital, the receptionists work from 8 to 8 and outside those hours it's up to the nurses to answer phones. Pretty sure that's not in our job description!
    I do wonder why a receptionist is spending 2-3 hours a day away from her desk,and understand why the other dept that helps out is fed-up of it.

    Reception is not part of my job description.
    She spends that time away bc she works 8-4:30 and the office is open until 6 .The rest are lunch and breaks for her.
    They do need another receptionist but they don't want to pay for another person bc this way is cheaper.
  • theliothelio Posts: 5,374Registered Users
    In that case I wouldnt do it. they are forcing everyone else to do a job they are not suppose to do in order to save money? will you be getting a bonus for this extra work? Seems like your job is taking advantage. if the office opens at 6 they should have someone in there at 6.
  • multicultcurlymulticultcurly Posts: 5,132Registered Users
    It sounds like you need to start looking for another job because your company sounds crappy. Like other posters said, complain to your boss en masse but with solid points on how this will lower productivity and how hiring a part-time receptionist would make the company run smoother. If this doesn't work I'd suck it up but actively begin job searching.
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  • JosephineJosephine Posts: 14,175Registered Users
    It sounds like you need to start looking for another job because your company sounds crappy. Like other posters said, complain to your boss en masse but with solid points on how this will lower productivity and how hiring a part-time receptionist would make the company run smoother. If this doesn't work I'd suck it up but actively begin job searching.

    I agree. I would not be happy at all filling in for a receptionist. I'm assuming they are not being sexist about this since you haven't mentioned it. I would definitely start looking.
  • spiderlashes5000spiderlashes5000 Posts: 17,495Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    I am really, really bad at office politics and I have sabotaged my own areer in many ways, unwittingly, over the years. So plz don't follow my lead!

    Yes, at one point, the team i was on was located physically close to the "front office" and it was expected that all phones be answered before 3 rings (IDK why since we all had VM and call fwding...but whatever). So we were told that we would need to answer each other's phones (via a call-pick up function we could use from our own phones in our own individidual offices) and also to answer the secretary's and AA's phone. But somehow it fe on the shoulders of some of us more than others bc certain ppl were in the office more and others were more frequently offsite.

    Just on GP, this didn't make any sense to me. They all had VM and I was not an expert in every topic that callers would be inquiring about. Plus, about half of the time, I would be answering for someone's wife or husband or kids or their BFF down the hall.

    I found the whole thing insulting. At the time, i was the second youngest person on the floor, the only person of color, one of many womwn and I had two masters degrees.

    Basically, I let my actions tell them to kiss my ass. I just didn't do it. I wouldn't hear the phone when it was ringing (sometimes I honestly didn't hear it but sometimes I just didn't consciously listen or I had music on). Or I would take breaks when I noticed the phones would be uncovered. Or I just complained.

    Eventually, it got back to me that ppl were just saying not to even bother asking me to do it.

    Good. Thank you.

    I have done this in other situations where I didn't want to participate, incuding one where they sometimes needed someone to drive a very elderly executive around to her appointments and another other times whe they needed someone (usually women of color) to cut and serve and handle cake and food for office-related functions).

    The hell w/ that. I shot myself in the foot careerwise, I guess. But there are some things I just don't want to do.

  • theliothelio Posts: 5,374Registered Users
    My dad has always told me when it comes to working for people sometimes you have to bend so you dont break. bosses can suck and sometimes you have to take some crap. but you should never take disrespect.

    spider having to serve food at a work function sounds like disrepect just because you are a woman or black. have you posted about a that situation before or was that someone else. or i could just be losing it. :tongue10:
  • JosephineJosephine Posts: 14,175Registered Users
    I am really, really bad at office politics and I have sabotaged my own areer in many ways, unwittingly, over the years. So plz don't follow my lead!

    Yes, at one point, the team i was on was located physically close to the "front office" and it was expected that all phones be answered before 3 rings (IDK why since we all had VM and call fwding...but whatever). So we were told that we would need to answer each other's phones (via a call-pick up function we could use from our own phones in our own individidual offices) and also to answer the secretary's and AA's phone. But somehow it fe on the shoulders of some of us more than others bc certain ppl were in the office more and others were more frequently offsite.

    Just on GP, this didn't make any sense to me. They all had VM and I was not an expert in every topic that callers would be inquiring about. Plus, about half of the time, I would be answering for someone's wife or husband or kids or their BFF down the hall.

    I found the whole thing insulting. At the time, i was the second youngest person on the floor, the only person of color, one of many womwn and I had two masters degrees.

    Basically, I let my actions tell them to kiss my ass. I just didn't do it. I wouldn't hear the phone when it was ringing (sometimes I honestly didn't hear it but sometimes I just didn't consciously listen or I had music on). Or I would take breaks when I noticed the phones would be uncovered. Or I just complained.

    Eventually, it got back to me that ppl were just saying not to even bother asking me to do it.

    Good. Thank you.

    I have done this in other situations where I didn't want to participate, incuding one where they sometimes needed someone to drive a very elderly executive around to her appointments and another other times whe they needed someone (usually women of color) to cut and serve and handle cake and food for office-related functions).

    The hell w/ that. I shot myself in the foot careerwise, I guess. But there are some things I just don't want to do.

    How so? Do you still work for the same company? Do you think they would've still respected you afterwards? My coworkers and managers that I have been friendly with have joked with me on doing things like that(answering calls, getting coffee, etc) but they don't ever joke with the men about that stuff. There's no way I'm bending on these issues unless I see my peers being asked to do so at the same rate(and I mean the white guys who are the majority).
  • spiderlashes5000spiderlashes5000 Posts: 17,495Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    Josephine wrote: »
    I am really, really bad at office politics and I have sabotaged my own areer in many ways, unwittingly, over the years. So plz don't follow my lead!

    Yes, at one point, the team i was on was located physically close to the "front office" and it was expected that all phones be answered before 3 rings (IDK why since we all had VM and call fwding...but whatever). So we were told that we would need to answer each other's phones (via a call-pick up function we could use from our own phones in our own individidual offices) and also to answer the secretary's and AA's phone. But somehow it fe on the shoulders of some of us more than others bc certain ppl were in the office more and others were more frequently offsite.

    Just on GP, this didn't make any sense to me. They all had VM and I was not an expert in every topic that callers would be inquiring about. Plus, about half of the time, I would be answering for someone's wife or husband or kids or their BFF down the hall.

    I found the whole thing insulting. At the time, i was the second youngest person on the floor, the only person of color, one of many womwn and I had two masters degrees.

    Basically, I let my actions tell them to kiss my ass. I just didn't do it. I wouldn't hear the phone when it was ringing (sometimes I honestly didn't hear it but sometimes I just didn't consciously listen or I had music on). Or I would take breaks when I noticed the phones would be uncovered. Or I just complained.

    Eventually, it got back to me that ppl were just saying not to even bother asking me to do it.

    Good. Thank you.

    I have done this in other situations where I didn't want to participate, incuding one where they sometimes needed someone to drive a very elderly executive around to her appointments and another other times whe they needed someone (usually women of color) to cut and serve and handle cake and food for office-related functions).

    The hell w/ that. I shot myself in the foot careerwise, I guess. But there are some things I just don't want to do.

    How so? Do you still work for the same company? Do you think they would've still respected you afterwards?

    Yeah, I still work here. I don't have the best reputation. I've heard some ppl think I'm hard to work with and I have a bad attitude. And I've had some ugly run-ins with two of my previous (female, yes-men) supervisors.

    (But I have had two male supervisors who really liked/like having me on their team.)

    There haven't really been any opportunities for me to apply for promotions. But I have def gotten the feeling, at east in the past, that I wouldn't have been promoted. It might be different now bc I have a different supervisor (who is not caught up in all this BS).

  • violetsviolets Posts: 1,689Registered Users
    Thank you all for your responses.

    Today, they didn't talk about it. Apparently,my boss said jokingly to the team leader "you can stop being nervous,I got you off the phone list". She said this laughing! My other coworker heard this and was pissed.

    Apparently she thinks this is a joke.

    SpiderL , that is what I would to too, but they actually want us to sit at the reception desk, not just forward the calls.

    I am so sad, I can't stop crying.

    I guess my other teammates are waiting for someone else to speak first en masse.
    My company is the kind of company where the owners ask people to bring them lunch and drinks. I have been there 5 years and the owner only asked me once the first few weeks I was working there. I banged the coke on his desk and he never asked me again! He told me to buy something for myself (he gave me money from his pocket). They only ask certain people ( usually the lower paid employees). Not that that is right,but I guess they only ask the people who see nothing wrong with it or won't complain. Yes, they are evil.

    I will update on what happens tomorrow. :sad10::sad10::sad10:
  • JosephineJosephine Posts: 14,175Registered Users
    Curious then, why do you still want to work for them? They sound like *******s. I co-oped for a company like that. The owner didn't treat me badly but he did to the receptionist and another engineer there. Is the job market bad where you are? I believe you are in an IT field which is usually easier to move around in than other fields.

    It's really odd for someone to give you money and tell you to buy a treat for yourself like a child.
  • spiderlashes5000spiderlashes5000 Posts: 17,495Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    violets wrote: »
    Thank you all for your responses.

    Today, they didn't talk about it. Apparently,my boss said jokingly to the team leader "you can stop being nervous,I got you off the phone list". She said this laughing! My other coworker heard this and was pissed.

    Apparently she thinks this is a joke.

    SpiderL , that is what I would to too, but they actually want us to sit at the reception desk, not just forward the calls.

    I am so sad, I can't stop crying.

    I guess my other teammates are waiting for someone else to speak first en masse.
    My company is the kind of company where the owners ask people to bring them lunch and drinks. I have been there 5 years and the owner only asked me once the first few weeks I was working there. I banged the coke on his desk and he never asked me again! He told me to buy something for myself (he gave me money from his pocket). They only ask certain people ( usually the lower paid employees). Not that that is right,but I guess they only ask the people who see nothing wrong with it or won't complain. Yes, they are evil.

    I will update on what happens tomorrow. :sad10::sad10::sad10:

    If I felt my participation was something really needed by the organization and would benefit the organization, I would do it. Occasionally. But I would.

    But if I felt it was unnecesary or that I was being targeted unfairly to take this duty on, I would just say I was in the midde of something when they came around asking for me.

    So there is no other person there in a SUPPORT STAFF roe who can answer the phone, fwd calls and take messages?

    But like they say...sometimes you do things you have to do so you can do things you want to do.

  • NetGNetG Posts: 8,116Registered Users
    I worked for a small company where the owners at times were stuck on phone calls through lunch and would ask someone who didn't have an immediate deadline coming up to get them food, and provide money for that person to get themselves food as well. It was nice because we would have been willing to pick something up for them anyway without them paying for our food, too.

    When the admins were out picking up supplies, sick or whatever, we would fill in answering the phones. Because there were incoming service calls they had to be answered.

    Rather than being insulted, we all felt it was part of chipping in to get what needed done. Certainly had getting lunch or answering phones kept us from doing our own jobs we would have explained to the owner that it was interfering and been exempt from requests, and there were times that was the case for everyone.


    I think there's an attitude problem in the office, whether it's yours or that of the bosses. I don't think being asked to chip in with answering phones is a problem at all.
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  • rileybrileyb Posts: 1,975Registered Users
    NetG wrote: »
    I worked for a small company where the owners at times were stuck on phone calls through lunch and would ask someone who didn't have an immediate deadline coming up to get them food, and provide money for that person to get themselves food as well. It was nice because we would have been willing to pick something up for them anyway without them paying for our food, too.

    When the admins were out picking up supplies, sick or whatever, we would fill in answering the phones. Because there were incoming service calls they had to be answered.

    Rather than being insulted, we all felt it was part of chipping in to get what needed done. Certainly had getting lunch or answering phones kept us from doing our own jobs we would have explained to the owner that it was interfering and been exempt from requests, and there were times that was the case for everyone.


    I think there's an attitude problem in the office, whether it's yours or that of the bosses. I don't think being asked to chip in with answering phones is a problem at all.

    I agree with NetG - I am a VP/Director level and I would pitch in and answer the phones or sit at the reception desk if it was needed so the receptionist could get a break. I am not sure why you see it as so degrading - those jobs are important jobs too, I am not above doing needed tasks at work. I'm not going to fetch dry cleaning or coffee for people because those are personal errands, but I'll answer phones, make copies, get supplies, etc.

    If you are a senior member of the team and feel that this is not the most effective way to handle this situation then handle it in a professional manner and put together your own proposal for who should provide coverage and what the schedule should be and present it to the team in charge along with the reasons why your plan will save money, better optimize skillsets or more evenly distribute the burden amongst a larger pool of people. I understand being annoyed or ticked off at having to do it, but sitting and crying over it isn't going to fix it and isn't really demonstrating that you are too high level to waste your time at reception.

    Either that, or as others have said, maybe you should find a new job where you don't have to do anything you think is beneath you.
    I haven't got the slightest idea how to change people, but I still keep a long list of prospective candidates just in case I should ever figure it out.
  • spiderlashes5000spiderlashes5000 Posts: 17,495Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    rileyb wrote: »
    NetG wrote: »
    I worked for a small company where the owners at times were stuck on phone calls through lunch and would ask someone who didn't have an immediate deadline coming up to get them food, and provide money for that person to get themselves food as well. It was nice because we would have been willing to pick something up for them anyway without them paying for our food, too.

    When the admins were out picking up supplies, sick or whatever, we would fill in answering the phones. Because there were incoming service calls they had to be answered.

    Rather than being insulted, we all felt it was part of chipping in to get what needed done. Certainly had getting lunch or answering phones kept us from doing our own jobs we would have explained to the owner that it was interfering and been exempt from requests, and there were times that was the case for everyone.


    I think there's an attitude problem in the office, whether it's yours or that of the bosses. I don't think being asked to chip in with answering phones is a problem at all.

    I agree with NetG - I am a VP/Director level and I would pitch in and answer the phones or sit at the reception desk if it was needed so the receptionist could get a break. I am not sure why you see it as so degrading - those jobs are important jobs too, I am not above doing needed tasks at work. I'm not going to fetch dry cleaning or coffee for people because those are personal errands, but I'll answer phones, make copies, get supplies, etc.

    If you are a senior member of the team and feel that this is not the most effective way to handle this situation then handle it in a professional manner and put together your own proposal for who should provide coverage and what the schedule should be and present it to the team in charge along with the reasons why your plan will save money, better optimize skillsets or more evenly distribute the burden amongst a larger pool of people. I understand being annoyed or ticked off at having to do it, but sitting and crying over it isn't going to fix it and isn't really demonstrating that you are too high level to waste your time at reception.

    Either that, or as others have said, maybe you should find a new job where you don't have to do anything you think is beneath you.

    But in her defense, she mentioned that her team just went thru a big restructuring and, during that process, she lost her major projects. Then she was moved to another area, where she is doing a type of work she hasn't done in years. Clearly, she feels her position isn't very secure under the new management.

    Maybe if her job situation felt secure to her, she wouldn't feel so nervous about taking on the receptionist responsibility.

    I don't think she is saying this out of arrogance but out of fear and frustration that it could be sabotaging her career.

    Also, some of this depends on company/organization size. In smaller orgs, ppl filling in and wearing multiple hats as situations merit, is typical. In larger orgs, there are more clearly-defined levels of responsibility that employees generally don't cross. (At least that has been the case iME.)

  • scrillsscrills Posts: 6,700Registered Users
    ^^ I get what you are saying, but if she is afraid/feeling insecure, I don't think the answer is to not help out. That makes you less valuable. If I thought my job was in jeopardy, I would be showing how much of a team player I was.


    But, I agree with NetG and RileyB. I'm sure I see what the issue is

    When they got rid of our admin, we all had to split her functions. No one thought twice about it. And yes, I work in IT. And 80% of those people did go on to loose their jobs

    I also like the suggestion of coming up with a proposal for a long term solution. Very nice idea (careerwise)
  • NarniaNarnia Posts: 1,770Registered Users
    scrills wrote: »
    ^^ I get what you are saying, but if she is afraid/feeling insecure, I don't think the answer is to not help out. That makes you less valuable. If I thought my job was in jeopardy, I would be showing how much of a team player I was.


    But, I agree with NetG and RileyB.

    +1.
    I'm just a little lost about what there is to be so upset and crying about..
    "Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.”
  • spiderlashes5000spiderlashes5000 Posts: 17,495Registered Users Curl Neophyte
    scrills wrote: »
    ^^ I get what you are saying, but if she is afraid/feeling insecure, I don't think the answer is to not help out. That makes you less valuable. If I thought my job was in jeopardy, I would be showing how much of a team player I was.


    But, I agree with NetG and RileyB. I'm sure I see what the issue is

    When they got rid of our admin, we all had to split her functions. No one thought twice about it. And yes, I work in IT. And 80% of those people did go on to loose their jobs

    I also like the suggestion of coming up with a proposal for a long term solution. Very nice idea (careerwise)

    I thought she said she is going to do it but just doesn't want to.

  • scrillsscrills Posts: 6,700Registered Users
    ^^ since she is crying and asking what to do, I took it as if it was questionable. Would she do it or speak to management about it?
    Well, my department and I were going to flip out when we heard this!I
    am so angry and upset that she would think of us as being able to fill in this duty.
    Please don't tell me there is nothing wrong with this. It sure as heck is wrong for me and step in the wrong direction (career wise,I mean).
    I don't think I could even fake siting at the receptionist desk. I have been crying about this,I work very hard for that company. This is a slap in the face. I feel like I am closer to a demotion. That woman thinks we are that skill level?? Everyone in my team is overqualified to be a receptionist.

    What should we do on Monday?
  • rileybrileyb Posts: 1,975Registered Users
    But in her defense, she mentioned that her team just went thru a big restructuring and, during that process, she lost her major projects. Then she was moved to another area, where she is doing a type of work she hasn't done in years. Clearly, she feels her position isn't very secure under the new management.

    Maybe if her job situation felt secure to her, she wouldn't feel so nervous about taking on the receptionist responsibility.

    I don't think she is saying this out of arrogance but out of fear and frustration that it could be sabotaging her career.

    Also, some of this depends on company/organization size. In smaller orgs, ppl filling in and wearing multiple hats as situations merit, is typical. In larger orgs, there are more clearly-defined levels of responsibility that employees generally don't cross. (At least that has been the case iME.)

    To me, that is a separate issue altogether. I can understand the fear/uncertainty in feeling like your job is insecure, but one sure way to make your job insecure is to refuse to help out when needed or to be dramatic about it. She has certainly framed this situation as that she doesn't think she should have to answer the phone and that she is insulted that they would ask her to do so. If what you state above is the underlying issue then the answer is simple - start an aggressive job hunt.

    Asking someone to sit at the receptionist desk (and actually in this case multiple someones, not just one person) for 1/2 hour a week or what have you, is not the same as demoting someone to BE the receptionist. If you're job hunting you never even have to mention it, I don't see how it would damage your career. The perception that you don't want to be a 'team player' (forgive the lame cliche) will certainly damage your career, however.

    ETA - Another reason that I would absolutely pitch in and answer phones is that customers/clients are the primary reason any of us HAVE jobs for the most part, so having someone to answer the phone is a critical part of daily operations. Sending people to voicemail is not an acceptable option in my industry and it seems not in violets' either. Personally, I'd welcome the break in the day to be able to just answer phones and chat up some visitors, I might learn something new or gain a different perspective on how we're perceived as a company and be able to improve some things.
    I haven't got the slightest idea how to change people, but I still keep a long list of prospective candidates just in case I should ever figure it out.
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