Help with work situation!

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We have had a lot of growth in the company I work for in the last year. We have a new manager, which came and was given the task of reorg/changing the process. I got the short end of the stick bc as a result,she took all the important accounts and basically left us with the crap work.Any ways,it was kind of a blessing in disguise because I was way over my head with work.Now I can breath,at least.
I have gone back to doing more IT software stuff,which I did years ago and I thrilled to get back to. Officially I am part of the data dept.

So...that is the short background.

Well, this manager is also in charged of another department,which is part of the call center. She is the pharmacist/Senior director so she is newer but has been given quite a bit of leash in the reorganizing of
the company. The call center and their managers had a meeting where they brought up a problem they are having with the receptionist.
The call center, shares the receptionist duties when she is absent, at lunch , which is about 2 or 3 hours a day on a normal day. Apparently the call center is complaining that they have to perform their normal duties and step away too to fill in for the receptionist.

Well this woman volunteered my dept to help out the receptionist too!

Well, my department and I were going to flip out when we heard this!I
am so angry and upset that she would think of us as being able to fill in this duty.
Please don't tell me there is nothing wrong with this. It sure as heck is wrong for me and step in the wrong direction (career wise,I mean).
I don't think I could even fake siting at the receptionist desk. I have been crying about this,I work very hard for that company. This is a slap in the face. I feel like I am closer to a demotion. That woman thinks we are that skill level?? Everyone in my team is overqualified to be a receptionist.

What should we do on Monday?
You should suck it up and help cover the phone when she is on break or lunch. Lots of companies do this. The more on the backup list, the less often you will have to do it.
NetG likes this.

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I see where you're coming from - I had something like this happen to me once where I was asked to make cold calls to customers to sell a particular warranty because our company had lost the person who filled that job. I was really upset, because I hated it and felt undervalued in my current position.

That being said, I buckled down and became the best damn cold call-warranty seller I could be. In the end, I got in the good books with my managers and boss, was thanked for being such a team player in the company, and ultimately learned a lot about a different department. I ended up with a PROMOTION at the end of it because my boss appreciated my team attitude and my ability to take on new tasks with a short learning curve.

My suggestion - suck it up, help out the team, and put a big old smile on your face when she is around. If this woman has as long of a leash as you say she does, I'm sure it's not beyond her realm to make suggestions of employees that should be let go. The last thing you want is to be known for a bad attitude and get less consideration in the future.
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You should suck it up and help cover the phone when she is on break or lunch. Lots of companies do this. The more on the backup list, the less often you will have to do it.
Originally Posted by roseannadana
But it is not the entire company. It's only the call center,that helps the receptionist. The rest of the company doesn't do this. Their skill level is different than us. We are considered management , and the call center is hourly.



What next, move over to the call center?Help them out too???
I don't think so! I didn't go to college for this.
I see where you're coming from - I had something like this happen to me once where I was asked to make cold calls to customers to sell a particular warranty because our company had lost the person who filled that job. I was really upset, because I hated it and felt undervalued in my current position.

That being said, I buckled down and became the best damn cold call-warranty seller I could be. In the end, I got in the good books with my managers and boss, was thanked for being such a team player in the company, and ultimately learned a lot about a different department. I ended up with a PROMOTION at the end of it because my boss appreciated my team attitude and my ability to take on new tasks with a short learning curve.

My suggestion - suck it up, help out the team, and put a big old smile on your face when she is around. If this woman has as long of a leash as you say she does, I'm sure it's not beyond her realm to make suggestions of employees that should be let go. The last thing you want is to be known for a bad attitude and get less consideration in the future.
Originally Posted by Narnia

That sounds like a sells job,its not the same thing. I would be upset about it not being what I want to do, but its not being a receptionist. I have nothing to gain by doing this. I will not get an award by being the best receptionist. This job undervalues my skills in every way possible.

Last edited by violets; 01-05-2013 at 06:25 PM.
In the grand scheme of things this doesn't seem like a big deal. It's not all day, right? Just when she's on break?

And lots of people with college degrees work hourly/at call centers.
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I would say suck it up for now. But my question is, why does so many people have to cover for the recpetionist? Why doesn't the company just hire a back up recepetionist? is she not doing her job or does she take off that much?
Lots of people with degrees work in call centers or are receptionists. If you feel strongly about it, complain to HR. I don't think that's a good career move but do what you think is best.
NetG and scrills like this.

I was born to be a pessimist. My blood type is B Negative.
I would say suck it up for now. But my question is, why does so many people have to cover for the recpetionist? Why doesn't the company just hire a back up recepetionist? is she not doing her job or does she take off that much?
Originally Posted by thelio
Good question. I didn't want to include the reason why in my original post bc I didn't want to make it very long. They are very strict and anal about the reception desk. The owners are very disrespectful to whomever sits there because they think nothing of them. They get called names, yelled at and put down if they think you didn't take a call the proper way. So as a result, nobody wants to help her. She is not allowed to move from her desk because if a call comes in and goes to vm, that is a crime. They started to do a schedule and that has helped for a while. But now the call center is complaining about it. So my manager thought that adding more people to the mix would help.
It is not going to help the real problem in the end.

Certain people they respect and they don't yell at. I am one of them.
I've been there 5 years and have never been yelled at.
Since they respect you it may not be so bad. I understand your frustration, but sometimes you got to deal with crap from the boss. Sadly, in this economy we all have to take some crap, most places will have plenty of people waiting to fill your spot if you are not willing to comply. Just try to make the best of your situation and hope it ends quickly.

Good luck!
scrills likes this.
Do you have a job description for your position? If it doesn't say that occasional reception duties are part of your job then you may have some leverage with the supervisor to say that you shouldn't be doing it. Also, if all your department are unhappy about it, can you complain "en masse". It may not get you anywhere but if mgmt know everyone is unhappy then they may look at solving the problem in a better way.
I suspect though that you'll end up doing it. I work in a small hospital, the receptionists work from 8 to 8 and outside those hours it's up to the nurses to answer phones. Pretty sure that's not in our job description!
I do wonder why a receptionist is spending 2-3 hours a day away from her desk,and understand why the other dept that helps out is fed-up of it.
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If this woman is your manager, you can always talk to her about it. It doesn't make a lot of fiscal sense for someone at a manager's salary level to give up 2-3 hours of work time to fill in for a receptionist. Otherwise, you're going to have to suck it up. Going to HR or complaining about it will only make you look bad.

I understand how you feel. I'm in marketing and people tend to view us as glorified admins. There's nothing wrong with being an admin but that's not my job, nor is it something I'm good at.
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Do you have a job description for your position? If it doesn't say that occasional reception duties are part of your job then you may have some leverage with the supervisor to say that you shouldn't be doing it. Also, if all your department are unhappy about it, can you complain "en masse". It may not get you anywhere but if mgmt know everyone is unhappy then they may look at solving the problem in a better way.
I suspect though that you'll end up doing it. I work in a small hospital, the receptionists work from 8 to 8 and outside those hours it's up to the nurses to answer phones. Pretty sure that's not in our job description!
I do wonder why a receptionist is spending 2-3 hours a day away from her desk,and understand why the other dept that helps out is fed-up of it.
Originally Posted by Starmie
Reception is not part of my job description.
She spends that time away bc she works 8-4:30 and the office is open until 6 .The rest are lunch and breaks for her.
They do need another receptionist but they don't want to pay for another person bc this way is cheaper.
In that case I wouldnt do it. they are forcing everyone else to do a job they are not suppose to do in order to save money? will you be getting a bonus for this extra work? Seems like your job is taking advantage. if the office opens at 6 they should have someone in there at 6.
It sounds like you need to start looking for another job because your company sounds crappy. Like other posters said, complain to your boss en masse but with solid points on how this will lower productivity and how hiring a part-time receptionist would make the company run smoother. If this doesn't work I'd suck it up but actively begin job searching.
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It sounds like you need to start looking for another job because your company sounds crappy. Like other posters said, complain to your boss en masse but with solid points on how this will lower productivity and how hiring a part-time receptionist would make the company run smoother. If this doesn't work I'd suck it up but actively begin job searching.
Originally Posted by multicultcurly
I agree. I would not be happy at all filling in for a receptionist. I'm assuming they are not being sexist about this since you haven't mentioned it. I would definitely start looking.
I am really, really bad at office politics and I have sabotaged my own areer in many ways, unwittingly, over the years. So plz don't follow my lead!

Yes, at one point, the team i was on was located physically close to the "front office" and it was expected that all phones be answered before 3 rings (IDK why since we all had VM and call fwding...but whatever). So we were told that we would need to answer each other's phones (via a call-pick up function we could use from our own phones in our own individidual offices) and also to answer the secretary's and AA's phone. But somehow it fe on the shoulders of some of us more than others bc certain ppl were in the office more and others were more frequently offsite.

Just on GP, this didn't make any sense to me. They all had VM and I was not an expert in every topic that callers would be inquiring about. Plus, about half of the time, I would be answering for someone's wife or husband or kids or their BFF down the hall.

I found the whole thing insulting. At the time, i was the second youngest person on the floor, the only person of color, one of many womwn and I had two masters degrees.

Basically, I let my actions tell them to kiss my ass. I just didn't do it. I wouldn't hear the phone when it was ringing (sometimes I honestly didn't hear it but sometimes I just didn't consciously listen or I had music on). Or I would take breaks when I noticed the phones would be uncovered. Or I just complained.

Eventually, it got back to me that ppl were just saying not to even bother asking me to do it.

Good. Thank you.

I have done this in other situations where I didn't want to participate, incuding one where they sometimes needed someone to drive a very elderly executive around to her appointments and another other times whe they needed someone (usually women of color) to cut and serve and handle cake and food for office-related functions).

The hell w/ that. I shot myself in the foot careerwise, I guess. But there are some things I just don't want to do.
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Last edited by spiderlashes5000; 01-07-2013 at 09:17 AM.
My dad has always told me when it comes to working for people sometimes you have to bend so you dont break. bosses can suck and sometimes you have to take some crap. but you should never take disrespect.

spider having to serve food at a work function sounds like disrepect just because you are a woman or black. have you posted about a that situation before or was that someone else. or i could just be losing it.
I am really, really bad at office politics and I have sabotaged my own areer in many ways, unwittingly, over the years. So plz don't follow my lead!

Yes, at one point, the team i was on was located physically close to the "front office" and it was expected that all phones be answered before 3 rings (IDK why since we all had VM and call fwding...but whatever). So we were told that we would need to answer each other's phones (via a call-pick up function we could use from our own phones in our own individidual offices) and also to answer the secretary's and AA's phone. But somehow it fe on the shoulders of some of us more than others bc certain ppl were in the office more and others were more frequently offsite.

Just on GP, this didn't make any sense to me. They all had VM and I was not an expert in every topic that callers would be inquiring about. Plus, about half of the time, I would be answering for someone's wife or husband or kids or their BFF down the hall.

I found the whole thing insulting. At the time, i was the second youngest person on the floor, the only person of color, one of many womwn and I had two masters degrees.

Basically, I let my actions tell them to kiss my ass. I just didn't do it. I wouldn't hear the phone when it was ringing (sometimes I honestly didn't hear it but sometimes I just didn't consciously listen or I had music on). Or I would take breaks when I noticed the phones would be uncovered. Or I just complained.

Eventually, it got back to me that ppl were just saying not to even bother asking me to do it.

Good. Thank you.

I have done this in other situations where I didn't want to participate, incuding one where they sometimes needed someone to drive a very elderly executive around to her appointments and another other times whe they needed someone (usually women of color) to cut and serve and handle cake and food for office-related functions).

The hell w/ that. I shot myself in the foot careerwise, I guess. But there are some things I just don't want to do.
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
How so? Do you still work for the same company? Do you think they would've still respected you afterwards? My coworkers and managers that I have been friendly with have joked with me on doing things like that(answering calls, getting coffee, etc) but they don't ever joke with the men about that stuff. There's no way I'm bending on these issues unless I see my peers being asked to do so at the same rate(and I mean the white guys who are the majority).

Last edited by Josephine; 01-07-2013 at 09:39 AM.
I am really, really bad at office politics and I have sabotaged my own areer in many ways, unwittingly, over the years. So plz don't follow my lead!

Yes, at one point, the team i was on was located physically close to the "front office" and it was expected that all phones be answered before 3 rings (IDK why since we all had VM and call fwding...but whatever). So we were told that we would need to answer each other's phones (via a call-pick up function we could use from our own phones in our own individidual offices) and also to answer the secretary's and AA's phone. But somehow it fe on the shoulders of some of us more than others bc certain ppl were in the office more and others were more frequently offsite.

Just on GP, this didn't make any sense to me. They all had VM and I was not an expert in every topic that callers would be inquiring about. Plus, about half of the time, I would be answering for someone's wife or husband or kids or their BFF down the hall.

I found the whole thing insulting. At the time, i was the second youngest person on the floor, the only person of color, one of many womwn and I had two masters degrees.

Basically, I let my actions tell them to kiss my ass. I just didn't do it. I wouldn't hear the phone when it was ringing (sometimes I honestly didn't hear it but sometimes I just didn't consciously listen or I had music on). Or I would take breaks when I noticed the phones would be uncovered. Or I just complained.

Eventually, it got back to me that ppl were just saying not to even bother asking me to do it.

Good. Thank you.

I have done this in other situations where I didn't want to participate, incuding one where they sometimes needed someone to drive a very elderly executive around to her appointments and another other times whe they needed someone (usually women of color) to cut and serve and handle cake and food for office-related functions).

The hell w/ that. I shot myself in the foot careerwise, I guess. But there are some things I just don't want to do.
Originally Posted by spiderlashes5000
How so? Do you still work for the same company? Do you think they would've still respected you afterwards?
Originally Posted by Josephine
Yeah, I still work here. I don't have the best reputation. I've heard some ppl think I'm hard to work with and I have a bad attitude. And I've had some ugly run-ins with two of my previous (female, yes-men) supervisors.

(But I have had two male supervisors who really liked/like having me on their team.)

There haven't really been any opportunities for me to apply for promotions. But I have def gotten the feeling, at east in the past, that I wouldn't have been promoted. It might be different now bc I have a different supervisor (who is not caught up in all this BS).
3b (with 3c tendencies) on modified CG


Last edited by spiderlashes5000; 01-07-2013 at 09:47 AM.

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