Wednesday, April 19, 2006

It's really not that hard...really!

You've heard me say it before. Why can't people just do what they're supposed to do? Today, I'm left wondering, whatever happened to integrity?

You might remember a post in which I talked about a woman at work ("G") who refused to do her work properly, especially if I was the one asking her to do it. She'd report it complete and correct, but it wasn't. Even the corrections weren't correct. We went in circles for weeks! Why? Because the boss insisted that those responsible for the mistakes should fix them, and learn from them. It would have been easier for me to fix it, but she wouldn't have learned from it. (Or had the chance to learn from it. I'm not convinced the lesson stuck.)

So, we've been working on this huge project, with me taking the leadership role (again) with the group. "F" did well with it, but seemed almost too fast sometimes. We tested the system today and found two significant problems, totally of his doing. These are things he should have done properly in the first place, but he took the lazy way out and did a half-assed job.

Did he own up to it? Did he say, "Sorry, my bad. I'll get right on that"? Certianly not, or you wouldn't be hearing about it. Instead, I got:
"Uhm, I dont' think it's fair that I should have to correct that myself. That's going to be a real pain in the a--."

Mind you, I'm not a confrontational person, but I'd had it. This guy is in my office, bugging me, about six times each morning about what he doesn't like or what's "not his job." This was the last straw for today, and it came at about 9 AM. My response was a curt: "It's a pain in the a-- of your own making. Yes, it's fair."

I've spent the day with him whispering behind my back about that. Not a shred of taking responsibility for his mistake. Just complaints about how "it's not fair" that he have to fix it.

Reminds me of a particular Scotsman in California.

The Cliff's Notes version: Do not buy ANYTHING from Clansman Knitwear, at www.scottishclansman.com. They have no interest in getting your order to you.

The long version: I ordered two shirts in February. A month later, I hadn't heard anything, so I emailed. And emailed. After several days, I received a call from a lovely woman who explained the mixup at the warehouse and said she was sending me an extra shirt for free. Nice! I should have had them in three days.

TWO shirts were mailed to me. A WEEK later. That's mailed, not received. And guess what? They were the wrong ones.

So, I'm called and emailing again. Days later, I get a call from the owner, Ralph. Thick Scottish brogue. I have to admit falling for the charm in that! I believed that he was making it right for me, although I had to tell him what my original order was.

Again, days passed into weeks. Nothing. I spoke with Ralph one more time. He even told me he'd send a SASE for the wrong shirts, if I'd please send them back. Guess what? You got it -- NOTHING.

This time, though, my emails and calls went unanswered. I finally contacted their local BBB, and found they had a history of such complaints. I also found that I could file a complaint with the FTC, who would investigate them for consumer rights violations and take legal action. They also recommended that I forward my information to the state Attorney General.

So, I wrote Ralph one more time, to let him know the Attorney General was about to learn his name. THAT got a response. However, Ralph blamed his staff for letting me down. He never took responsibility for dropping the proverbial ball himself. I mean, he spoke with me twice and knew how upset I was. He knew I was looking into the BBB and disputing the charge with my bank. But he didn't take ownership of the problem and see it through himself. He passed it off to someone else (allegedly) and they dropped it (in his story).

It boils down to integrity. Will you own up to it and take responsibility? Will you learn from solving the problem? Or will you pass it off as someone else's problem and make your escape?

Listen, we all make mistakes. It's what we do about them that shows the stuff we're made of.

1 comment:

Blogget Jones said...

Update: I received the shirts on May 5th, just over three months since placing my original order. It took many phone calls, emails, and threats from third parties to get there, but the right thing was eventually done. Will I ever order from them againg? To quote Whitney: "Hell to the no!"