I try to be nice to people who call with sales or polls. I feel for them (initially), trying to make a living doing something that many people would hate to do. Maybe they are trying to start something on their own. I respect that.
Yesterday, I tried politely to explain to a lead generator provider salesman that I do not pay for leads and don’t pay for advertising that doesn’t have guaranteed results. I did eventually have to hang up on him, but not until I told him politely, twice, I was going to.
I was home alone recently and took a political poll call. Again, I sympathize with the callers who are hung up on more often than not, and if I have the time, I don’t mind answering their questions. This guy, though, was unbelievable!
It was a poll for an upcoming state-level race. After asking my first name and verifying that I am over 18, he started trying to read the questions. Haltingly. I had to help him with the pronunciation of one of the candidates’ names. He finally got it correct the fourth time he read it.
He started out okay, but began to chat and comment on my answers. He would occasionally encourage me by assuring me that my answer was “good” or by telling me, “you’re right. She’s okay.”
The most unbelievable, though, was when it came to asking me how I think the president is doing. “Are you extremely satisfied or somewhat satisfied?” he asked me? “Are those my only choices?” I asked. Not making a political statement here…….just a little surprised (astounded?) that this is considered a legitimate political poll. He actually had six options, after I asked for more.
Later, when I asked how many more questions he had, he said a few. Then he offered to just put me down for “satisfied” for the next four questions since I seemed to like this candidate better than the other!!! ( I did not take him up on the offer and suffered through to the end.)
I honestly could not believe that this young man had been hired by someone for a job that he was obviously either under-trained to do or was simply unable to do. I doubt it is his fault that he was completely inept.
I am not making this up. I think the guy was trying to do a good job but just didn’t know why he was doing what he was doing. If anyone had explained to him that he should be impartial and not leading, he hadn’t heard it. If anyone was listening to him while he was talking to me, they would have interrupted. His performance was sub-standard. The results of his work are worthless. And it was not his own fault.
The moral to this little tale is that you are responsible for the performance of the people who work for you or under you. If they are making mistakes, you should know about it so you can help them be successful (or replace them, if necessary). If they are doing really well, you should know that so you can thank them (and reward them, if appropriate).
Be responsible for the outcomes you promise,
no matter who is doing the actual work.
To do that, check your hires, often.