Bad Recruitment

This morning I got an email from a well known online job site, offering a job in my department for £2000-5000 more than what I’m on. Well, I read and re-read this email and the job specs. I was furious. As you can probably imagine.

I got into work at 7.30am and went straight to the sales manager who was in early. I asked him why the company was advertising jobs in my department for more money. I told him I’d been there for many years and wanted a pay increase.

He assured me that it was incorrect. For another department he said. I told him that the other department was not mentioned. He didn’t seem unduly bothered. Just told me to email HR, which I did. Much use that was. They can’t be bothered to get off their backsides for a mere agent.

About two hours later I spoke to another sales manager. She took a bit more notice – probably because two managers overheard and the pay on offer was more than they were on too. This sales manager asked me to forward the email to her. She then got in touch with HR. They answered her, but then she’s a senior manager so they would. Turns out that not only is the job for a different department, but the vacancies have already been filled.

Of course our HR department is blaming the job site. Specs all wrong and vacancies filled. However, I’m thinking that the specs advertised were given to the job site by someone in HR. The job site couldn’t just make them up! They may not have been told that the vacancies were filled, but they would have to fill the advertisement with the details they were given.

It won’t be too difficult to find out what the new people are being paid. Are I know quite a lot about how the company works and I can use that to my advantage.

I pointed out to the sales manager that if it was my department and new people were being offered far more pay than any of us, then I would be photocopying the email and I would hand it out to every person on the floor. It would cause absolute chaos.

I’ve done this before and got our department our bonus when the managers tried to say that we weren’t eligible. So they already now what I’m willing to do.

Watch this space. This could be all out war.

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The Right Attitude

As with most companies we have a periodical briefing about how the company is doing. We have a brief talk from several of the directors and get to see some of the innovating ideas that the company has. It’s normally very interesting and the latest one was not disappointing, showing us the technology that the engineers had been given and the way our customers were benefiting. Our CEO then went and destroyed any positivity that the briefing had given us.

Right at the end our CEO decided to say that he didn’t want anyone with wrong attitude working for the company. So if we didn’t have the right attitude we could look for another job. And if we knew anyone who didn’t have the right attitude we could tell them to look for another job.

Well, what kind of attitude is that? Are we to take it that he is looking for another job?


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Internet Access

My company recently decided to give the call centre email and internet access. You’d have thought that in the 21st century we would have had this many moons ago. It’s great to get it.

We can’t email customers. We can’t use the email for personal use. The managers can send us briefs by email so they have proof that we’ve had the information. These are briefs that we do not have time to read. We do not have time to take the information in. But we’ve had it so if we cock up we’re in deep crap. Tough.

Internet access is heavily restricted. We can view websites where the company is doing business. Surprise! We can’t access religious sites, charities, jobsites, or even blogs. Yes, it’s a blog band blanket ban. Trying saying that fast.

So what can we do on the internet? We can shop. That’s right. Here’s your pay now get spending. Oh, and while you’re spending just take a look at the company’s new ads as we’re now doing business with this online retailer. Great stuff.

We can’t get away from the buggers even when we’re at home!


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Harassment At Work

There’s been a lot of publicity about harassment at various work places. A lot of court cases with a great deal of money being paid out by companies who could have prevented it.

It seems with some companies that complaints are of no consequence, and even when a number of people bring the subject up with regards to one person, it still isn’t acted up on. It appears that only a court case and a large fine are the only things that make some companies sit up and take notice.

Motivation

We’ve recently joined Yammer at work. This is an internet site very like Facebook, but it’s for companies and their employees. It’s been great for us as our company is very big and international, so Yammer has enabled all of us to be in touch. It’s brilliant to hear how the engineers are doing, and our colleagues in other parts of the country. One of the best things our company has done recently.

It’s enabled us to share ideas, have a moan, have a laugh, find out what’s going on in other departments, and also for motivation.

One of our coaches has set up a subsidiary group for motivation and has managed to find a few good stories to put on there. I’d like to share some of them as I think they are relevant for all kinds of people. So here’s the first:

A Short Motivational Story

An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life.

“A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy. “It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

I have to say that I don’t know where this came from, apart from that it’s supposed to be a Native American legend, so I’m sorry for not adding the author’s name.

Fun And Games

My company is doing a lot at the moment to improve the conditions at work, and make it more enjoyable for the staff. They’ve got us a table football game, music as we come into work, a pool table, a play station, and a box full of games. And this is only the start.

Our break area is now more of a games room. It can get quite noisy as people – mainly the guys – get quite competitive and start cheering as they compete against each other. This has annoyed a few people who like to eat their lunch in peace and there has been a few complaints.

I think that there are a few simple things that can be done that may help a little. There’s a blind that can be pulled across the centre of the break room, the doors at either end could be kept shut so that the noise doesn’t affect people on the phones, and people could be a little more considerate and just be a bit quieter. Very simple.

My worry is that people will be complaining too much and the powers-that-be will turn around and say ‘ok we’ll remove it all’. After all if you’re trying to help someone and that person is full of criticism for what you’re doing, then you would walk away and leave them to their own devices, wouldn’t you?

There are complaints that these games are for the men only. Well they are for everyone. The women can use these items as well – if they want to. I don’t like table football, but I’m not going to start complaining that it’s only for the guys because I don’t want to use it. That would just be churlish.

I think it’s great that we’ve got these things. There are many companies out there that don’t have anything like this. If people show their gratitude then they would get a lot more. I know the company is planning to give us more. But if the complaints continue then that may well change.

Financial Year End

We’re now coming up to the end of this financial year at work. This month has not been as busy as it normally is this time of year. I reckon it’s the calm before the storm though. There are mailings going out and they’re pushing certain types of cover this next week, so I’m expecting it to get mega busy. After all, the company wants to get as much in as possible before the end of the financial year.

We’re normally run off our feet and ripping our hair out until the end of April, then it begins to get a bit quieter.

There have been many changes in the company over this year, including the levelling out of the salaries and a bit of restructuring in the higher levels. It will be interesting to see what happens next year, although those of us who are long time employees are not looking forward to the new salary bands that have been put in place. It’s made many of us feel that the work we have put in is disregarded. So I hope that they put something in place to show us that our experience and knowledge is actually appreciated for a change.

Yes, it will be interesting.

Something Nice

Decided it was about time I wrote something nice, so here it is.

My company is looking forward, trying to make things better for its employees. About time.

It’s appointed four committees looking at various areas that are sadly lacking. I’m on one of the sub-committees, trying to improve communication throughout the business. The formation of these committees is a very positive step towards improving productivity.

The reason behind it? Well, it’s due to an internal survey that the company did, that produced such shocking figures on the way the employees saw the company, that they were propelled into acting.

This is after the company spent several years in the top 100 companies to work for.

The last few years has seen many changes in the company, a lot of them due to the regulations brought in by the FSA. The changes, although of benefit to the customer and ultimately of benefit to the employees, have seen a dip in the profits. So, of course, it’s been the employees that have paid with a drop in commission and reduction of overtime pay. This in turn has produced a lot of ill feeling amongst the employees.

These committees have been formed to look at communication, the leadership team, ideas for the future, and various other things. There’s a mixture of agents, managers, admin clerks, marketing reps, IT guys, and basically anyone that wanted to try to make things better. A good all round sampling of the many departments in the company, trying to improve things for everyone.

I think this is a very positive step forward and I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s taken on board by other companies.

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