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I work for an automotive recycling centre in auction purchasing.

I am very demanding; I expect excellent and prompt service from everyone I work with (within their abilities - I am not unreasonable). I needed a statement of accounts in order to fix a payment error created by the auction from applying the wrong invoices to the payments. I received the statement as an attachment to an e-mail. When I opened the attachment there was a cover letter to the statement which was the original fax the quality assurance manager sent to the branch manager. It read Hey so-and-so, send me the statement of account for (buyer number). These guys are a huge pain in the bleep!

I was wondering, how would you have reacted to this as the recipient of the e-mail?

TomW's picture

I'd ignore it. I don't see how the person's opinion of you really has any meaning to anyone.

jhack's picture

Tom's right.

And you might just be a pain in their behind. Is that bad?

John

stephenbooth_uk's picture

Laugh and probably send it back to the person who sent it with a note along the lines of "You might want to be a bit more careful about what you send out, not everyone's as thick skinned as me"

Stephen

lindavoss's picture

Great advice Steven. Better to find out from someone who doesn't care what you think of him than someone who may end a relationship over it.

Sporkman's picture

[quote="stephenbooth_uk"]Laugh and probably send it back to the person who sent it with a note along the lines of "You might want to be a bit more careful about what you send out, not everyone's as thick skinned as me"

Stephen[/quote]

Agreed - good advice.

asteriskrntt1's picture

Sounds like someone who doesn't appreciate the team and each individual's role is lucky he/she still has a job. I think they need to look in the pain in the a$$ mirror and recognize who the real A$$ is.

Mark's picture

Ignore it in the micro-situation, but recognize it as part of your evaluation of the firm in terms of considering other firms to do business with.

Look, they made a stupid error. If you try to fix every one of them, you'll do nothing but that.

Let it go for now. As my mother used to say, "forgive your enemies, but never forget their names."

Next time one of their competitors calls, be willing to listen.

Mark

Peter.westley's picture

Angie,

I agree with Mark but you can't always go and find someone else to work with. If you think the problem is 'out there' or with someone else, then I suggest that's the problem. 98% it's up to you.

As much as it was unprofessional to make the comment and allow it to be sent to the wrong place, it's important that you appreciate the extent the impact [b]your[/b] behaviour has on the relationship.

I'm not meaning to be critical but there's always two sides to an opinion!

kraigs's picture

I would recomend you just remain aware your communication style might be viewed as overly curt or abrupt and therefore interpreted as being "a huge pain".

As someone new to manger tools, and still working though all of the classic podcasts, it is both very interesting and funny to me how each of the different DiSC types are approaching the situation.

Kraig.

US41's picture

[quote="mahorstman"]Ignore it in the micro-situation, but recognize it as part of your evaluation of the firm in terms of considering other firms to do business with.

Look, they made a stupid error. If you try to fix every one of them, you'll do nothing but that.

Let it go for now. As my mother used to say, "forgive your enemies, but never forget their names."

Next time one of their competitors calls, be willing to listen.

Mark[/quote]

LOL! I could not agree with this advice more, as it matches my experience exactly.

When I assumed my manager role, we were using a particular vendor for our contract employee supply line. They goofed, and then they goofed again, and I quietly logged it. Finally, when one of their employees failed his 90 day last-ditch rescue plan I had him on and I let him go, I took all of that back to management and was granted permission to open the floodgates and end the special relationship.

I then invested some time up front working with all the OTHER vendors very closely, and I tracked their performance as well, then whittled out the low performers and now have 5 really solid providers I can go to.

This worked very well in my favor. For one, it allowed me to more efficiently get fewer resumes and interview fewer people and still make a good hire. It also exposed me personally to more recruiters than our sole provider we had originally, and now I have some fairly solid, stable relationships with people I genuinely like and would enjoy working with if I end up on the street myself. I'm also following my "How to handle recruiters" podcast advice Mark gave me, and when my recruiter friends need me, I help them. We chat regularly.

Rather than invest of myself in the vendor that was slipping on every banana peel they could find, instead I left them alone and invested myself in meeting and building relationships with their competitors. Same amount of time spent, much better result.

It's funny how word gets around quickly and how performance improves in a vendor when they find out you are talking to the competition. Suddenly rates fall, schedules become shorter, and little phone calls and invitations to lunch start to roll in.

Effective Executives [b]get the right things done.[/b] You're not on the wrong path investing your time in the issue - it's just where you invest the time that might be in need of review. :-)

bflynn's picture

Things like this happen all the time, and more frequently now that email is connecting everyone to different cultures. I had a similar experience yesterday reading a support case that contained a comment from a colleague from The Hague, Netherlands (an area notorious for bad language). But to him, the colorful language is a normal way of life.

This happens, you let it go and maybe give some feedback if you feel it might help and is appropriate. But if its a matter of a person's basic personality, feedback from anyone other than a higher manager is unlikely to have an effect.

Brian

WillDuke's picture

I have a pretty funny story along this line. A local charity I am involved with was putting on an event. The chairman for the event was invited onto the local cable channel for interview. The chairman couldn't make it and asked another member to go. The member was reluctant, and the chairman sent the member an email along the lines of "You can do it! It isn't that hard. Here's the info you need. Don't worry, the interviewer is 'not the sharpest tool in the shed.'"

The member printed up the email for the notes and took it to the interview. During the interview, the member stumbled a little and the interviewer grabbed her notes to help her out.

Chaos ensues. You'd think a television personality would have a thicker skin...

The point here being - lots of people made bad decisions. Chairman should never have put that in writing. Member shouldn't have printed it. Interviewer shouldn't grab other people's notes.