I’m employed by a big insurance coverage company in the northwest, in an office with over 500 other employees. Administration recently decided to change our existing phone system as the old system was no longer satisfying our demands. I and also my colleagues were under the perception that they were going to update the system, as in “make an enhancement”, and that we would certainly have the latest phones with technical developments galore. But, were we in for an unpleasant surprise. The company decided that cheaper was better.
Complicating the Simple
One day, a few weeks earlier, we all received new phones on our desks. These were not the cutting edge interaction gadgets we desired. As opposed to the smooth, advanced, customer friendly, multi-line handling wonders of the modern-day age we all dreamed of, there was a straightforward phone with a keypad on the receiver … not unlike what you may have had at home 15 years back. Along with the brand-new phone, there was a sheet which clarified in graphically painful information specifically which series of switches one would need to push in order to make this feature effective. We needed to now punch up a number to place someone on hold, go into a 3 digit code to move somebody (one number, dial tone, 2 figures) and even get in an unbelievably long collection of numbers to access our voicemail.
Needless to say, we were in shock. I understood it wouldn’t take much time before the roars of whining would hush the normal workplace hubbub. Sure enough, by lunchtime our office supervisor was found trying to tell everyone that we were just going to “try it out for some time”, since the firm had conserved thousands by selecting this option. Myself and various other staff members were relatively particular that we had actually currently lost thousands in reduced efficiency that early morning alone. Oh, well … it’s their firm, we just generate the cash for them.
Smarter Heads Prevailed
For the following few days, we attempted to adjust to saying “hold, please, while I move you”, getting rid of the receiver from our faces and even attempting not to curse as we made a lame-duck effort at pressing keys, paying attention as well as pressing more secret codes. It was a nightmare. We were pretty fed up with it, yet simply presumed that this was just what we would have to live with. Then, out of the blue, we came in one day to locate actual phones with actual features at our workdesks. Say goodbye to looking at the receiver while we frantically attempted to type in numbers quickly before we lost the call. No more 10 figure voicemail “pins”. No more of having no idea who was calling or where the call originated from. Ahhhh, alleviation finally.
Later the exact same day, we listened to a rumor circulating around the office that the VP of procedures had actually returned from a two week stay in New York. His words, upon seeing one of the phones initially purchased on his desk were, “eliminate them”. All it took were those 4 words from a ruler to establish and make things right. Extraordinary, but necessary.