energizing breakthrough performance

Customer Service in the Post-Care Bear Era: A Whimsical Epitaph with Clues for a Better Tomorrow

What’s in it for me? The envelope please. And the answer is not a Career Promotion. In today’s flattened organization, with high-performance work systems and teams, teams, and more teams, we’ve stripped most of the rungs off the ladder so that it resembles something out of an old-time cartoon. Snuffy Smith-style big shoe stripping out ladder rungs while falling to the ground, accompanied by high-to-low xylophone sound, OK?

What’s in it for me? The envelope please. And the answer is not the respect and admiration of management and peers because even though that may be nice, the employee wants to know what does this all mean? Does it mean a positive future reference from the employer? No. After all, to avoid litigation the company policy now is merely to confirm or deny that someone ever worked here and to say no more about it. We thank you.

What’s in it for me? The envelope please. At this point, you should insert answers that have not worked drawn from your own company’s experience. You should also be developing a faint aggravation about hearing about what won’t work rather than what will. On the other hand, if you work in a large old-fashioned bureaucracy that practices Cybernetic Management where your job is to play a guessing game with your superiors this may not bother you yet. The Cybernetic Management game is where you focus on What It Is Not, rather than What It Is. Like with a thermostat for a furnace, the absence of something, e.g., heat, causes the machine to turn on. If you have not read Sartre’s Being and Nothingness in its entirety, please skip this paragraph. Basically, it goes like this in the Big Bureaucracy: You attempt to guess the correct answer and the boss’s job is to tell you that you have not yet guessed successfully. Despite your limitations, you should keep trying or you will leave the Road to Nowhere sooner than you should. Naturally, you understand that the boss cannot give you any clues as to the correct answer for reasons that cannot be revealed here.

OK, what can work? How about a promise that the customer service training offers the employee refreshed interpersonal skills that are useful in personal life and skills that are portable to the next employer, the next career, or an entrepreneurial business that s/he may start in the future?

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