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Question or rant, I'm not sure; office workers

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by basscooker, Mar 1, 2021.

  1. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    cincy ky
    Owner, ChopShopAmps
    Not really sure if this is a question or just a rant; but it's something that has been on my mind fairly regularly for a while now. Quick disclaimer of course being that I'm not making a blanket judgement and this is as much tongue and cheek as it is a vent, don't get wadded up.

    So my question boils down to this: Is there such a thing as sense of urgency in office environments? I'm 35 years in kitchens; there isn't ever a time when lax is acceptable in my work.

    I've no recollection of any experience (involving a company where the majority of duties are administrative) that I felt my needs were promptly attended to. Obviously we all have the bureau stories whether BMV or other government/ public agencies. I'm specifically speaking to things like customer service/ returns/ account servicing/ etc.

    It FEELS like often the general attitude is, "... I'll get to it when I get to it," when office work needs done. The bank. The insurance company. The credit card company. The return or crediting of fees or an error on THEIR END (but oh boy are they up in you if you dont pay likety-split) the list goes on.

    So, to those of you who work in an office; help me understand the things I don't get about what you do. There are things I completely understand lots of people dont get about what I do. Some jokes and humor are not only expected but encouraged here too. Is lack of urgency the status quo? Is it new-ish or a kinda recent "damn young people these days" thing? Has it always been a thing or have the shut downs and paring down of staff just exacerbated a formerly small issue?

    Restore my faith in the concept of work ethic and pride actually existing.

    TIA. Lets have some fun. We dont need to get all soap-boxy.

    Trust me I know restaurants have their own Shizzle that we all deal with. Feel free to add your "back at you" comments and I'll do my best to address logically what you may not understand has been a thorn in your side involving foodservice.
    Winslow likes this.
  2. Typical office work doesn't cool down on the way to your cubicle like a nice steak will. Plus, you can walk away from the copier without burning anything.
    jchrisk1, Winslow and basscooker like this.
  3. Winslow


    Sep 25, 2011
    Group "W" Bench
    I'd like to help you with that, but aside from one or two personal acquaintances, I can't much evidence of it generally. :thumbsdown:

    Certainly not in the good-for-nothing [bleeps] I've been trying to get some accountability out of this week. :sour:
    DrMole and basscooker like this.
  4. dwm74


    Nov 8, 2009
    Phoenix, AZ
    Customer Service has been going downhill for quite some time now. Nobody is in any hurry to assist or solve your issues, unless their company is on the red side of the transaction. Lately I've been overcharged by DirecTV the past two months and each time it takes 30 minutes on the phone with a CSR just to get THEIR mistake figured out, then a credit finally comes through in the following 7-10 days.

    I think that is the modus operandi of many companies these days...leave the customer on hold for a long time and maybe they'll go away. Or if you do speak to somebody, they are not trained to adequately handle the situation, and then you have to wait for a manager, who may or may not be just as unhelpful.

    Heck, even hospitals are getting bad. My MIL is in intensive care (non-covid stuff), but it's like pulling teeth just trying to find out if she's getting better or worse. Add in a nurse with a very piss-poor attitude and the problem is compounded.

    Sorry, mate, but I can't help you restore your faith too much.
  5. 350125g0


    Mar 4, 2020
    Best way I can describe it from my perspective is that the result of your labour in most office settings is more abstract/less immediately obvious than it is in a hands-on job, especially a kitchen. When I worked in food-service, if I didn't have what they wanted in good time, it was obvious and I got chewed out for it. Now that I work in an office, if I do a bad job, that doesn't really come to light until months/years later when someone runs a report and notices.

    Also, the vibe in an office is totally different; mostly easier paced, less immediately-productive and more relaxed but also with less of a "team" feel. Kitchens have more camaraderie because they can be cramped, extremely dangerous, loud and chaotic places.

    YMMV of course.
    basscooker likes this.
  6. viper4000


    Aug 17, 2010
    Not talking about direct customer service issues (like the DirectTV example above). But one thing to consider is that the office staff may already have multiple tasks stacked up prior to taking your call or email.
    GregC, bassista6 and basscooker like this.
  7. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    cincy ky
    Owner, ChopShopAmps
    Like cooks or servers don't have minimum dozens of tasks unrelated to cooking and serving.

    But yes, agreed. I dont understand, I guess, what it is like to have a job where kicking the can is standard and okay.

    I may be ruined by my years in the kitchen. I'm unable to allow myself leaving tasks uncompleted. I'm off today and still have put in two hours of menu planning and contacting my food reps about the weekend features.
    DrMole, Winslow and 350125g0 like this.
  8. 350125g0


    Mar 4, 2020
    Everyone I've ever known who worked in/ran a kitchen operated in the same way. It's one of those jobs where the sheer amount of planning and labour is underestimated by people who haven't done it before. Lots of people can't hack it. It's really hard work.
    ajkula66 and basscooker like this.
  9. * types lengthy response about how urgent everything is at my job *
    * realizes I'm surfing a web forum at work *
    Jim Kernan, Templar, gln1955 and 12 others like this.
  10. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    cincy ky
    Owner, ChopShopAmps

    Gotcha. I have a feeling the interwebz is somewhat to blame for my frustrations.
  11. The age old adage that you will catch more flies with honey than vinegar comes to mind here.
    I have spent countless hours on the phone with one of our largest Telecom companies here in Canada, trying to solve THEIR issues, that are causing me grief. Historically, I would be on the edge of losing it with them, but have found of late that keeping my business cool with them, has netted me a higher level of satisfaction and eased my already high blood pressure.
    Instilling humour into the conversation has also helped me in dealing with them and other corps who provide service.
  12. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    I Iike what FHJ said above. Often our source of disappointment is not the individual on the other end of the line, but the endless miles of corporate/bureaucratic red tape that they are required to muddle through.
  13. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    cincy ky
    Owner, ChopShopAmps
    I agree emphatically. I'm the easiest caller to deal with. I get the deal; they're working for their peanuts like most of us. There isn't any point in arguing policy. Let's get to the root and move forward on a acceptable solution, drop a pleasantry and get on with the day.

    THIS is rarely the problem. It's after this when something seems to slam on the brakes on the other end; Sometimes months. When a simple transaction favoring them takes minutes, it can be scary-long before you get the return payment, for example. Maybe you need to secure a document within a time frame. Just urgency. There doesn't seem to be any hurry. Sometimes with the sorts of things I think "quick" should be implied.
  14. Please hold.
    I am on TB, shopping for bass gear at Sweetwater and watching adults fall trying to use kids toys on YouTube all while staring at a seven inch pile of paperwork on my desk and three phone lines on hold.

    Templar, blastoff99, ajkula66 and 3 others like this.
  15. GregC

    GregC Questlove, Black Thought, Hamilton

    Jan 19, 2007
    Yes, and when it's busy, the customer in a restaurant ends up waiting a long time for their food, or just to get seated. Just like the customer in an office can end up waiting a long time for service when things are busy.

    I worked in food service (kitchen as well as waiting tables) for close to 10 years, and have worked in an office (though not really in customer-facing departments) for close to 25. To me the work ethic inside the two environments is a lot more similar than different. You've got extremely busy periods as well as slow periods. And you've got people who bust their butts as well as slackers.
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2021
  16. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    I'll get to your request at some point in the indeterminate future. This has a ways to go before it reaches "red file" status.
    basscooker likes this.
  17. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    Serious question: how does rushing through work equate to a work ethic? Quantity does not equal quality. My best work took six months and I saved taxpayers $3.2 billion over four years.

    Not so serious: do you have any idea how hard it is to stretch two hours of work out over an eight hour workday? That takes skill and perseverance.
    basscooker and GregC like this.
  18. DirtDog


    Jun 7, 2002
    The Deep North
    This bound to trigger someone, but I'm in constant awe of my wife, an elementary school teacher.

    On her feet 8 hours a day, (6hrs instruction, the rest in duties: lunch, bus, recess, etc). Comes home, cracks open her bag and laptop and starts planning for tomorrow. Four times a year burns up at least 2-3 weekends writing report cards. Has spent half the summers that I've known her taking courses to achieve expert level accreditations in her specialities. These are choices and I know not all teachers put in this effort; the same can be said for any industry - there's doers and there's slackers. She makes 80% of what I do and puts in 120% of the hours.

    Now, if I could only get her to walk the recycling to the receptacle by the back door and not leave it on the counter for me!
  19. Getting closer Mr. Basscooker.

    I just ordered a new rig and am making my New Rig Day thread now, just waiting on delivery for pictures. There is this dude that tries to ride a skateboard and falls wonkily, eventually bonking into the back of a Pontiac. It is pretty funny.

    You know what...
    I will post a clip here for you to enjoy while you are waiting for me to help you.


    Ain't that great?

    Ah oh... Someone wants to open an Acoustic cab and make it do what it is not suppose to do.
    Will get to you after this thread.

    Multi tasking rules!
    LBS-bass and basscooker like this.
  20. equill


    Nov 25, 2010
    Depends on the type of work.

    I've done on-call IT infrastructure support work for two billion-dollar corporations now*, and I can assure you that when the pager goes off at 2am, there is absolutely a sense of urgency to find out what broke and fix it right now.
    There was the time my last team (I forget which of us did it) literally broke the internet with a change that went wrong - that's how we found out that one of our company's services had become a crucial management component for many network providers. Good times! :cringe:

    OTOH, if a ticket turns up in the queue that's a lot of work for not a lot of business benefit, with no clear deadline or other urgency, we ain't gonna push other stuff aside to make it happen.

    * Less glamorous than it sounds. If I ever do it again, it'll be for my own business. I've been through three different kinds of burnout, and that's three times too many.
    basscooker likes this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Apr 14, 2021

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