I work remotely as part of a web team for the marketing department of a large company. My clients are all internal, submitting requests for website updates for their departments via a help desk ticket system. However, there are some departments that are able to publish directly to the website using specialty applications. Human Resources is one such department, they have the ability to publish job postings on the website themselves. I’m the person who trains departments to use these applications.
A new HR recruiter was hired. A week in, she was trained to publish job postings. Three weeks later…
Client: Can you walk me through how to publish jobs again? I really need to get some out there today, other departments have been waiting.
Me: Unfortunately, I’m not available today. I have a day stacked with meetings but if you want to submit whatever is urgent via a ticket, I should be able to do them later in the day. Then we can schedule training sometime in the next few days and do the others together.
HR lady agrees to this and then sends me 2 emails with a total of FIVE jobs attached. Sigh. Okay, she’s new so I create tickets for her between meetings. At the end of the day, I tackle the tickets and publish the jobs.
In closing one of the tickets, I wrote a note to her:
Me: Please note that I revised the wording in this position so that it follows our brand standards for correct grammar, voice, and tone. Unfortunately, it wasn’t very well-written.
The next day she phones me to upbraid me:
Client: It was unprofessional of you to change that posting and then tell me that I’d done a bad job. You should have consulted me first. You’re not a team player.
Me: I’m sorry that you feel that way. I should have clearly explained in advance that it’s a part of my team’s service and responsibility to make sure that our online representation follows minimum standards. We automatically make corrections while making sure not to alter the intent of the message. I haven’t done anything out of the ordinary in this case.
Client: These positions come to me already approved by the department directors and should not be changed. I review them and if they need to be changed, I do it. Again, it was very unprofessional of you and I would hate for this director to see what you wrote.
Then it occurred to me that she thought the ticket system was public and the director who wrote the job posting would see my comments. I explained that tickets were private between the client and the tech unless they were shared with other techs. As I did so, I updated the ticket to remove what I’d written and resent it to her.
She continued to repeat how unprofessional I was. At this point, I could have argued that the director who wrote it would probably appreciate the editing to ensure he’d receive quality candidates, and reiterated that this is the primary reason the web team is the filter for most content that’s published.
Instead, I took the high road and simply apologized.
Client: I’d like to get back on track with doing the postings myself. Is there someone else I could work with to be trained? I’d really like to work with someone else.
Me: Unfortunately, there isn’t. I’m the only team member that works with this particular application. I’ll have a look at our calendars and send you an invite for training sometime in the next few days.
I sent an invite for training. She proposed an alternate time which I accepted. The date came and she was a no show. Said she’d sent me a revised meeting request but was having trouble with email. I set another meeting for the next day which she accepted. She didn’t show for that one either.
Client: Hi! I tried to call you if you like send me a new invite with new time that would work better for you.
Me: I had rescheduled the meeting for this afternoon at 2:30pm. According to my Outlook calendar, you accepted the invite. That’s the second time this week I’ve sat in WebEx and on the conference phone line for 20 min waiting for you. Perhaps we should set this aside until you’re less busy? Please just submit help desk tickets for any changes you need until then.
HR: I called you at 2:38 as there was an employee who came in.
Me: What number did you use? I did not have a call waiting indicator and my Verizon portal doesn’t show the call in the logs.
No reply since.
Personally, I think it’s “unprofessional” and “not being a team player” to not use the clear systems in place for communication, but what do I know. I’m just a rude lone wolf… with impeccable grammar.