Corporate life… it’s strangely appealing

It’s interesting to be deposited back in corporate world for a bit…

Which is where I am right now.  In corporate world, that is.

What’s really interesting are the differences between me (and, here I really think of myself as a typical member of EB) and them; typical members of CB (Corporate Britain).

Let me explain more… but before I do, I want to point out that I do so without prejudice and making no judgement whatsoever.  If you make a judgement, well, I can’t entirely blame you, but it’s nothing to do with me.

You see, the work I’m doing is to help this particular company deliver a better service to its key customers.  A totally laudable aim, you might think.  And I would agree.  But there’s something stopping them doing it and I have to bring this barrier to the surface, deal with it and then help individuals over it so they can get on with service delivery.

I start the programme with some big picture stuff, such as getting the team to think about successful businesses and what customer service is all about.

Then I get to the serious matter by letting the team know what their customers think of the service they’re receiving… I ring a selection of their customers before the course and ask ‘em.  Enlightening it is, too.  After this, I find out what the barriers are to delivering what their customers want.

And here’s, pretty much, the full list:

  • Lack of people
  • Not enough people
  • Too few people/too much work
  • Not enough time to get everything done
  • Need more money
  • More resources are required
  • Systems are rubbish
  • We need a new computer system

Oh my goodness, thinks I, the poor souls.  (Actually, I didn’t think that… what I really thought was, OMG, how on Earth am I going to get these guys to take some ownership?)

So I started asking questions like: all these things (see list, above) are all valid, but is there anything you, as an individual, do differently to enhance the service you provide to customers?

Blank looks all around… then slowly shaking heads… and finally looks of pity for the poor bloke who just doesn’t understand how hard it is for them.

I relented.  Yes, I agreed, it must be really hard.  I mean, the hours you must put in to get your work done and the incredible pressure that must put on your family life.

‘Oh no, you misunderstand,’ says one feller, ‘I work 9 – 5.  It’s helluva struggle to get all my work done and sometimes I have to have 45 minutes at lunch instead of the full hour.’

The poor soul… I totted up that my wife worked 64 hours last week and she was complaining that she hadn’t put the time in to networking she wanted to.  Still like the man said:

‘When you’re self employed you can work half days… and it doesn’t matter which 12 hours you work!’

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