When your boss says: I've already said this 20 times!!
Do you recognize the following situation?
You manage a team of receptionists. Your own director has already said a few times that when he is in his car, he doesn’t want to receive a call directly. He first wants to know who wants to talk to him before he can say “OK put him through”. You discussed this with all the receptionists. And there's one that keeps putting calls through directly, without asking him first.
This situation happened to me when I was working as an executive assistant for a construction company. I provided support to the COO and CEO and managed a team of receptionists.
Putting a call through without asking isn't a cardinal mistake, of course, but it was annoying.
My director was angry and said: I've already said this 20 times!!
I felt bad about the situation. After all, I was responsible for the team. So if something went wrong, I was the first to be told.
The receptionist said that it was very busy and that she had no choice but to put the call through directly.
I thought that was understandable too. I knew how busy it could be at the reception.
But actually, I was very busy too that day. And now I had to focus my attention to this situation as well.
And to what actually?
In the end, it's just a small mistake. Annoying, but not a disaster.
I found it more annoying that I had to address that lady again.
First, because it wasn't a super serious mistake
But second, because it wasn't the first time she'd done this.
I thought to myself, now how am I going to handle this again?
How do I keep my director happy?
And how do I make sure that the message finally gets through to that receptionist?
And there I was: an executive assistant.
It is a great position. But it is also a position in which quite a bit can be expected of you.
And it is a position that is not always easy
My director was annoyed
The receptionist felt bad
And I was standing in between.
I felt a distance from my director and a distance from that receptionist
And I can tell you, that felt pretty lonely.
I suspect there are plenty of readers who have experienced a similar situation. It's one of those situations that isn't serious enough to get upset about, but it's enough to ruin your day.
You really want to know?
A fresh cup of cappuccino and a big piece of chocolate and back to work.
PS: Of course I have a better solution. If you want to know more, take a look at my homepage.