I don’t talk about work on this blog, partially because I work with people’s personal information, partially because I don’t want people hunting my blog down and asking me questions here, and partially because it’s a family business, and I try not to share stories that I don’t have everyone’s permission for.
That said, let us talk about positive feedback. Positive feedback is something that really lights a fire under folks and makes them work harder at their job. It’s something nice when the job is rough.
Our job almost never has positive feedback.
I work a job where I have public meetings to allow people to address any problems they have with my work, and we often encourage these people to call us in advance so we don’t have as many people trying to squeeze into a two hour meeting.
So, close to when all of our data is submitted, I’m answering a LOT of phone calls. I try to be as polite as possible, even when they’re angry, and I do my best to explain EXACTLY why this or that happened with their information. If they understand what’s going on, they can make decisions that best affect the outcome of their situation. I feel that their information should be easily available to them and that their options should be clearly laid out.
We have a new contract right now, one that has been out of compliance for six years and not been overhauled since 2008. There are SIGNIFICANT changes in their information which can affect them financially. We sent out a mail out in advance advising there would be Big Changes, and I’ve been answering phone calls for over a month, doing my best to be clear and helpful. Several of these phone calls were from irate customers and lasted over an hour, and over two hours for at least one of them.
We had one of our meetings, and I asked one person to come early so we could have extra time to look over their data. We worked through the people who attended, and the last gentleman was one of the people who hired us for this contract. He looked over his record, but that wasn’t why he was there.
He sat down and told us that he had been hearing wonderful things about our work, our professional and friendly phone manner, and our ability to clearly explain information to people. People had called to speak with him and let him know they were happy.
Ya’ll, this never happens. Everyone hates us. We’re a necessary evil, and the only reason I don’t stress about it too much as that if WE weren’t doing this, someone else – who maybe doesn’t do as good of work – or takes bribes and practices favoritism – would be doing this work. You would be surprised how often we run into bribes and favoritism. And that’s ignoring contracts with awful work and no records that we acquired. We once acquired a contract where the previous worker had had a FIRE that destroyed all of their records… and five years later, when we got it, we had NOTHING and had to rebuild from scratch because they had just let it coast along with no changes rather than try to redo the work.
So, while everyone may hate us, I feel our work is making a rough thing as equitable as possible.
But getting back to the compliment. I was shocked. In the entire time I’ve worked this position, my husband has worked here, and my dad has worked here, we’ve been complimented so few times we could count them on our fingers. My dad has been doing this since 1999 for some reference of the time frame. We once got a happy email and posted it on our wall. It is the only happy email posted on the wall.
It gets better.
One of the other folks in the committee that hired us called to ask how our meeting had gone. We explained everyone was patient and polite, if not particularly happy, and then SHE said that X customer had called to specifically tell her we’d been wonderful on the phone and they were very happy with our work, and Y customer had called to tell her we were prompt in getting back to them and respectful on the phone.
I was floored.
This never happens.
And this is a contract I’ve been stressed about and have been busting my tail to work on since March.
So, you know what?
I’m really happy right now. It’s a good feeling to know that people appreciate the effort we’ve put in. I’m going to cuddle this happy because I think we’ve earned it.
Does your job have regular reviews or positive feedback? Inquiring minds want to know!