Did your boss ever yell at you because you know too much???

@Emiese (994)
Sweden
July 25, 2008 10:34am CST
This happened to me today. I work in a very big place, which has lots of different departments. My department works with international issues, and the laws and regulations are a bit harder than for the "normal" national business. This means that our customer service often have a bit of a problem answering international questions, and we have to take a lot of the questions to make sure they get right. The thing is that these questions are not supposed to go to us, the customer service are supposed to go to their own support to get help, since it affects the time and production of our department if we have to do their job. Anyway, I sometimes feel bad for the customer support because they have to take the fury of the customers when something is wrong etc. I therefore try to help and give useful information on the intranet, so that the customer service may learn and get a helpful hint on what to answer the custmers. Today I got a phonecall from one of the bosses of the customer service telling me that I should not help them and answer their questions because they have that knowledge themselves in their support etc. I tried to explain that the support obviously doesn't work since they send all their questions to me, and that I just try to be helpful to make the customers get the right information from the start. So, what that boss basically told me was that the support get angry with me for helping the staff, because they feel that this is their job and they do not like someone being better at it than them. Of course he didn't say it in so many words, but he told me I am no longer allowed to help the staff, and that I should direct any such calls or questions to him instead. Have any boss/higher ranked person ever done this to you, told you that you cannot answer any questions because you are to good at it? Has he given you a hard time when all you tried to do was help someone that doesn't know the drill?
4 responses
@sk66rc (4257)
• United States
25 Jul 08
I have that happen few times, in many different places I worked in... I've been in retail business for about 20 years, most selling major appliances & electronics... There're some people in management's position, in departments, that has very little idea about these things... Size of the water line that goes into the fridge, gas line in ranges & dryers (obviously gas appliances), amps in range & dryers (electric appliances), efficiency difference between top load washers & front load washers, installation issues on most of appliances... I know that as far as the "end users" are concerned, push the button & let it go but to get to that point, we have to explain about how to hook it up, set it up, what they can & can't do... When customer has an issue on any of those topics, either department or store manager tries to explain & correct the issue... But more so than not, they end up coming to me... Then when I explain to people in a simple term & they leave with understanding of their issues & knowing how to correct them, management people have been mad at me for making them look like they don't know what they were doing, in which they didn't but they just didn't like the fact that I made them look stupid infront of customers... I got yelled at for that few times...
1 person likes this
@Emiese (994)
• Sweden
25 Jul 08
That is exactly what I am talking about!! I guess it would be more common in a "face to face" business where you meet the customer in a shop (my work has mainly questions on the phone or in emails). I cannot believe that management cannot see the benefit of a staff member being able to help the customer so it is a happy and returning customer, rather than to save their own faces! I have worked in a place where the boss knew his skills and "flaws" very well. He always said that he had the knowledge of administration but no knowledge of the material stuff, so he let his staff decide most things that had to do with the material issues and just guided in regards to the more administrative things. He was the best boss I have ever had! Keep up your good work, and be happy knowing in your mind how good you are at what you are doing!
1 person likes this
@sk66rc (4257)
• United States
27 Jul 08
Thank you... And you're absolutely right about the boss as well... Management is about "managing" people, not the products that the store is selling... If you can manage people the right way, the rest will fall in the place on their own... People will usually go out of their ways to make a GOOD boss look good & bad boss not so good, even if it means just proving the point...
@GardenGerty (120223)
• United States
25 Jul 08
More than one time I have been given bad evaluations for working too hard. I think it is unfair to be this way, and it does not promote team work. However, it may be that they think you are going to take their job away. I guess that is why I like myLot, you can be helpful, and mostly you just get thanked, and praised. I am so sorry that this happened to you at work.
1 person likes this
@Emiese (994)
• Sweden
25 Jul 08
Thank you for your nice words! I appreciate your words! It seems like a general problem, that low management are afraid of the staff being "to good". I think you are right, many do probably fear that you will take their job or that the higher management will notice you more than them!
@spalladino (17921)
• United States
25 Jul 08
This hasn't happened to me personally but it's pretty clear that the person who contacted you is feeling threatened by your knowledge and abilities. Maybe his job is on the line if his team can't perform well and here you are, able to assist them when he's not. It's a shame that some people worry more about covering their butts than they do about giving good customer service and you should be commended for at least trying to help.
1 person likes this
@Emiese (994)
• Sweden
25 Jul 08
Thank you for your kind words! I agree to, and that is what I told him, it should be more important that the customers get the right information and can abide by the laws and regulations than the feeling of the support team. Luckily my own boss stand behind me fully and when I told her she just shook her head and wonder how certain people get to become bosses. At least it feels good that my own department appreciate my knowledge!
1 person likes this
@coffeebreak (17811)
• United States
28 Jul 08
Did you tell him "fine, tell them not to route any calls to me anymore" I know what you are talking about tho. I was a mortgage loan processor and because I was so good at what I did I was taken advantage of all the time until I finally realized that is what was happeneing on their side, on mine it was just "giving 110% to the company" as all the job guru's said was what you should do to keep your job. When I realized the loan agents were just using me to do their job so they didn't have to, I finally stopped. First they would ask me to to illegal things like forgery and such and I told them absolutely not. I got called in to the boss for this and when I said I wasn't going to do it, "fire me if you like but I am not going to forge tax returns and alter check stubs and things like that" it calmed down. Then When I was adament about a "needs list" for the file, and that they get me the things they should have gotten me in the first place I got called in for that - I told the boss - "do you want me to process or sell? cause if you want me to sell, I quit. I process and that is all I do". It calmed down after that. THEN... when becuase I was the best processor and could legally solve problems to the lenders request, I got all the hard loans and other processors got the easy ones, I got the complicated lenders guidelines nad the other processors got the easy lenders while still receiving the same salary - even new processors were hired at my same salary. I complained about this and the only way I finally got a raise was I cried the next time I asked for one. (hadn't had one in the 3 years I'd been there) So I learned the nice and hard way - do your own job...period. YOu can't chip in and help. It won't be appreciated and it will be abused. Every job I ever had was like this - I'd chip in and was taken advantage of - "well if she can do that, why should we hire someone to replace the person we fired...just tell her she has to do that now". Happened more times than I care to remember. Seldom do employers appreciate a good employee
@Emiese (994)
• Sweden
29 Jul 08
Thank you for sharing! I feel your situation is applicable to mine too. And, as a matter of fact that was exactly what I told him. "Well, if you don't think that I should answer these calls then I'll have them contact you". He said that was fine with him.. I told the story to MY boss, and she said that he will probably change his mind when his support people call me to discuss a hard issue and I route them to him saying that he told me I am not allowed to help them. Then the support people might not be so happy.. But it's really fine with me, I get lots of time to do my real work! ;)
1 person likes this
@coffeebreak (17811)
• United States
29 Jul 08
Good for you!