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Issue with co-worker

(5 Posts)
dubdurbs Wed 05-Apr-17 16:07:09

I work in a customer facing roll, and trained my co-worker in. We get on very well, I enjoy his company and will accommodate him when he needs short notice cover. We have very different styles of dealing with the public which suit our personalities, and although he may do or say some things that I wouldn't, I have never said anything to him as it is not my place to, unless it directly impacts on me.

Several weeks ago, I was having an issue with a particular procedure that the customers have to do and was getting flak from them, which I knew was something he had told them to do. I asked him to just be careful of how he was putting this across to the public, as it was causing upset, not only with me, but it also impacts on other customers and does not give a good impression of the service. He was a bit quiet with me, but things improved and we have carried on as normal.

I recently went for a promotion, which I did not get, and took a call yesterday from HR to gain feedback(this may be pertinent to what followed) We were chatting about various things, and I mentioned that the procedure we had spoken about before had actually come up in the interview-he started ranting at me that I was wrong about it, that it was not good customer service to ask the customers to use this, and that I was mean to people in asking them to please use this particular item.He then said that I told him in the previous chat several weeks before that he did not know how to do his job(untrue) and that I was the one who didn't know how to do my job.

My point was that this procedure is essential to the smooth running of the job, it is a basic procedure which needs to be followed, and at the end of the day figures must tally. Our role is monitored, there are reports for everything that is done, and if he wants to circumvent certain things then he is welcome to, but I was going to continue to do my role in the way I always have as it ensures there are no porblems later on. I stopped replying when I saw customers coming in, but he continued to vent at me, then stormed off home.

He has clearly been stewing about this for the past few weeks. He does his job very well, with very few hiccups and is very proud of that fact, so I obviously trod on his ego in some way. I also am very good at my job which I have worked in far longer than he has, I have more than 20 years of customer service experience in varying roles. I've never had an issue with a colleague which warranted the sort of reaction I got yesterday, and was worried about what sort of reception I was going to get today-absolute stone cold silence. I said hello, and he just looked at me with no reply. When he left, he did try to make some sort of jovial remark(he's normally full of jokes and rarely in bad humour, so a joke going out the door is not unusual ), but as he hadn't even looked at me all day, I just said 'see you tomorrow', and he left.

I'm at a loss as to how to carry on now, his remark when leaving was a clear attempt to butter me up without apologising, so I'm not inclined to give in. We have had a couple of very minor disagreements where I have been the one to let things go, but this episode yesterday was of such a personal nature that I want an apology. I'm not going to involve HR in this because I really think it can be resolved between us, and whatever happens we will still have to work together, and I do believe it stemmed from a misunderstanding of some kind.

EBearhug Wed 05-Apr-17 16:26:23

Is he just not using the procedure, or has he suggested an alternative? Do you think his concerns are valid from a customer point of view?

If he has an alternative way of doing things that seems less mean to the customer and fulfills all the spreadsheet figure tallying, then get him to propose it as an improvement - after all, it's rare things can't be done differently, and often change can be for the better. Also, coming up with a better way will help him save face, if his ego is under threat.

But you can also be clear that while you (which may be you plural, whoever would be affected by the change,) will happily listen to ideas for improvements, they can't be implemented until reviewed and approved and communicated (and process documentation updated.)

dubdurbs Wed 05-Apr-17 17:31:36

He's not following procedure at all. It can be circumvented, but this can lead to an investigation, which we haven't had since before he started in the role, so I guess he feels he can relax the rules as he hasn't had any personal experience of being held to account over why certain things haven't been done.

from a customer service point of view, this makes this things so much easier from both sides of the desk. Prior to this being brought in, I was subject to physical threats and intimidation on a daily basis-this has cut this out almost completely. As it is technology based, it can be frustrating to those that aren't as computer literate, but we always offer assistance.

Even if there was an alternative, it would need to be passed by someone higher up the chain, as there are some fairly large financial implications-we are one of a large number of offices and this would need to be implemented nationwide.

My issue isn't with the procedure, but how he chose to speak to me, and his reaction today. If he had a grievance with the procedure, then he has a number of ways of making a change, choosing to personally attack me over a procedure which is in place and needs to be followed. I don't make the decisions, although I am more senior than him, I am not his manager, and how I conduct myself with customers does not impact on his style of working, and is not his place to comment on in any case.

daisychain01 Wed 05-Apr-17 17:33:43

If your colleague wants to change a procedure that is already in place, surely it isn't appropriate of him to have a go at you. If its a compliance process, then I'd speak to your line manager informally to get their objective opinion about whether your colleague has a point or whether your manager thinks he shouldn't get to pick and choose how the process runs, he should follow it like you have to, and support your customers, not create friction.

If a change to working practices is deemed beneficial to the customer experience, then could your manager approve the change and you and your colleague work together to implement it and update the documentation? It could break the ice to work together on it.

daisychain01 Wed 05-Apr-17 17:35:37

Sorry I x-posted with yours

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