DeWeese--Little Things Mean a Lot
I took a break from my fan conversation to order scrambled eggs, hash browns, sausage and coffee. Then my fan resumed her story.
"Our owner never expressed any appreciation to any of the CSRs and made the chief financial officer do our reviews. Most years he would tell us that the company wasn't making any money and there was no money for raises. Occasionally, we would get a 3-percent 'cost-of-living' raise.
"Their argument that the company wasn't making money never made much sense to me because the owner and his two sons, both salesmen, got a new Mercedes every year; we always seemed to have plenty of money for new presses, and one of the accounting clerks told everyone about the big annual bonuses for the owner and his sons.
"Our owner would also complain about the customers being unreasonable and only buying printing based on price. We didn't hear that from the customers, though. I had several accounts who told me they would buy printing from the company at almost any price because of the service the CSRs provided.
"But," she added, "that wasn't the worst part. The worst part was that the owner and the salespeople took us for granted and were abusive to us. If they were having a bad day losing jobs on price or dealing with customer complaints that they created, they would yell at us. I just couldn't take it anymore."
I mustered through a mouthful, "This is horrible. Where do you work now?"
Ms. Countermate Fan told me, "I'm the manager of customer service for a software company. The culture is entirely different. My new employer is very interested in people, and my salary is double what I received at the printing company.
"Everyone in my department received bonuses for our performance. We handled a sales increase of 40 percent without adding any new CSRs, and management felt we deserved a productivity bonus."