29 Jul 2003

Squeal like a duck

I decided to press on with the half yearly appraisals today.

Brian, the hills have eyes, was a ‘project’ I inherited off Janice’s team. He had always caused problems for Janice, and I agreed to take him on to my team as I had a belief that I could ‘cure’ him. He is hopeless. Despite being the most experienced member of The Call Centre (he has been here since it opened) he still takes ages solving the most basic queries. He goes inside and outside of a duck’s arse on the most simple customer requirements.

Trouble is, he is too nice/ thick, to manage. Despite my best efforts, I have been unable to reach him.

Today was no exception. I got the sweets ready, plus all the statistics pertaining to Brian’s performance over the past six months, so I could really lay into him. I decided that the best approach was the direct one.

“Mmmmm, fizzy dummys, my mum likes these.” Brian said as he tucked into the sweets.

“Brian. We have to seriously consider your future at the Call Centre.” I inhaled. There was no easy way of saying it, but I’d done it as directly as I could.

“I love kiddies sweets.” He laughed to himself and looked at me through those thick lens glasses. “I get a bag full of these when we go to the pictures.”

“Brian. I seriously think that we need to start document an action plan to assess your performance over the next three months.” I was sterner this time.

“My mum likes these too.” He started to tuck into the flying saucers with serbet in them. “She says that they are like communion bread with a fizz.”

Pause. “So, Brian.” I reached for a flying saucer as I spoke. “Tell me …” I broke the pink disk and let the serbet fall on the desk in front of me. “This Red Hot channel you have got from Tony, is it worth fifty quid?”

“Well. They went in an out of a duck’s arse …” Brian said.

Forgive me father for I have sinned.