It is becoming increasingly clear to me that some people at the office are avoiding my phone calls and messages.
Sure, I can understand why the folks in IT hide from me. It's because I usually call with some random, crazy computer issue that is impossible to fix. Or, I'm asking them to explain how this lone Statement of Work - that doesn't seem to be tied to any of the frustratingly, complex contracts that comes out of their department, fits into the scheme of things. That I get. I'd hide from me too.
But this one guy from our sales department? I don't get it. Before I continue with my tirade, let me just say that he is a really, really nice guy. Which is great, because I was worried when the guy who used to have that job was promoted and moved to another state, that I'd end up with a jerk.
The previous guy - let's call him Joe - and I got along like peaches and cream. We worked really well together. He always responded to my calls or emails immediately. He understood that I when I needed something from him, I needed it now for a case. In addition, to his professionalism and expediency, he was a good person. We had the perfect work relationship.
When Joe was promoted and moved to another office, I was extremely happy for him - but worried about who would replace him and whether or not I would get someone else so easy to work with.
Eventually, the new guy showed up - we shall call him Bill. And he is a nice, easygoing kind of guy; which is great.
Until I need something. And then that easygoing personality irritates the hell out of me.
Before I go any further let me explain. I am the type of person that responds to emails, phone calls and requests immediately; even if it's only to say, "I'm sorry I can't get to this right now, but I will have it for you by xxx."
This guy is not like that. AT ALL. I recall one conversation with his assistant where she told me he had said early on that he wasn't going to be like Joe - "jumping through hoops." I must admit this ticked me off. But I talked myself down, thinking that I shouldn't take this off the cuff comment personally.
But after the events of the last few days, coupled with other events? Now, I'm taking it personally.
I received a request for a document from outside counsel on Wednesday afternoon - a document that Bill would need to provide. I called him and left a message - because, for some reason, Bill is NEVER at his desk and waited.
On Thursday morning, I emailed Bill.
On Thursday afternoon, I called. His assistant answered and told me that he wasn't in the office but - get this - she didn't know where he was, only that he wasn't on vacation. Turns out he was doing a community service thing which was sanctioned by the company - which is fabulous - but how come he didn't bother telling her this? Or even better, knowing he had this on his calendar, why didn't he respond to me on Wednesday?
This morning found me too busy to think about Bill - and his blatant disregard of me. But this afternoon I was going through my email to make sure I'd taken care of everything I needed to take care of I came across outside counsel's outstanding request. The one that I'd responded to on Thursday morning - telling him that I'd have his information "as soon as possible."
So I called Bill again. His assistant informed me that he was gone for the day. Apparently, he'd been in that morning and left at lunch - without a thought to what I needed.
I was beside myself with fury. How rude, disrespectful and unprofessional. He knows that the majority of the requests I make are for pending cases and that time is of the essence most of the time.
I calmly asked her who else could possibly get me the information I needed today and she told me that Jim, his boss, could probably do so and offered to connect me. I readily accepted. Jim and I have worked together before and have no issues.
When I told Jim what I needed, he asked if I had talked to Bill. I explained, without pointing fingers or throwing anyone under the bus, that I had but, apparently, Jim has been out of the office and outside counsel was waiting. Jim said that he'd take care of it.
And less than ten minutes later, Jim handed me the information I needed. LESS THAN TEN MINUTES!
So, obviously the task of obtaining what I needed wasn't arduous by any means - which I knew it wasn't since I'd once worked in that department. All that was necessary was a phone call or an email to the field. The folks in the field ALWAYS respond immediately to any request from Corporate and when it's a request from the Legal Department they respond even quicker.
Which begs the question - what the hell is wrong with Bill?
And Bill? Despite being a "nice" guy - he has been relegated to the "other" list; the one most people who know me try to avoid.