On my last post, I left you guys with the worst experience I had during my career…
I would like to tell you that since I graduated from Uni I worked in many different countries, such as China, Serbia, Romania, Moldavia. The Czech Republic and many others… Also, I’m Italian and by saying this I mean that we Italians are quite passionate on everything we do so whenever there was a discussion at work I had no problems on confronting point of views with other managers even in the most problematic situations.
What makes these two years different from my old experiences? Never Ever I was humiliated, insulted and threatened before and, I think a person should never be put in the situation to feel like this at work or in any other place…
So, after the incident in what I’m gonna call Site B, I spoke with my husband which calmed me down and advised me to speak with my boss. I spoke with my boss and he asked me what I wanted to do if I wanted to raise a formal complaint against this materials manager of site B, during this conversation (by phone) I understood clearly that my company wasn’t happy about raising a formal complaint because of the possibility of losing the contract with the UK sites so I decided to put my head down and shut up.
The following days’ emails started to arrive from people that heard the materials manager from site B shouting at me. In these emails, people were sending me internal links of company policies against bullying and harassment and were instigating me to raise a formal complaint. I didn’t answer the emails and didn’t even check the sites cause I knew I would lose my job and my company the contract.
Was it a mistake? I don’t know, as I said I never experienced something like this…
Thankfully after this accident for some months the materials manager from site B left me alone, he was happy with his Kanban there was no more stop in production due to chemicals shortages and I wasn’t going to visit site B anymore so I wouldn’t see him. What I can tell you though is that every email that came from him made me jump in the chair.
Work was growing very fast but the client didn’t want to spend money on labour so I couldn’t hire anybody to help my buyer. It was just me and one buyer for 6 sites on top of this I had to develop savings and make sure the stock of materials was managed and our company didn’t have any shortage on anything for 6 Sites… well not easy! My buyer was going crazy he wasn’t able to keep up with the demand like me he was working from 7 am till over midnight… I cannot remember how many times my husband woke up in the morning and I was still working with no sleep, what I can say is just that I preferred not to sleep than being shouted at.
Site C was very demanding they usually called me anytime no matter what time it was and they absolutely didn’t care to shout stupid incompetent anytime they felt like it. I’m saying them but it actually at the beginning just one person which shouldn’t have done that since he was and is the operations leader of the company.
I was in a meeting, my phone was in silence but I could see clearly that it was Site C calling that meant that something wasn’t delivered on time I thought but of course I couldn’t answer the phone. So I waited for the meeting to finish it was a Friday here on Fridays we work till 12 I had an appointment off-site at 2 so I was grabbing my computer and documents to work on the weekend from home got into the car and the phone rang… I saw a number from Romania so I answered (it was the clients buyer) she started shouting at me on the phone asking why I wasn’t answering the operations leader emails from site C, she was screaming that the production was on stop because I promised to deliver the item the week before and it didn’t arrive. I explained to her that I was at a meeting and that I had to go away from the site cause I had a meeting to go to. She demanded that I would immediately find a way to turn on the computer and answer the email. Now from the call, I didn’t know what item was so important that would stop production so I went home quickly turned on my computer checked the emails found out the PO number that the operations leader was talking about so I would understand what item was causing such a big problem and I can tell you that I was almost crying! Yes, I was looking at the names of all the people copied on this email and when I saw that even the operations director from the USA was copied I freaked out. Then I finally found the PO and I understood that this item could have never stopped production so I started to breathe again! I called the supplier and they advised me that the item was delivered to site C 7 days before… I asked if somebody signed the proof of the delivery and asked for a copy of the document… The lady that works for the operations leader signed the proof of delivery the problem was that she didn’t tell her boss that the item was delivered!
What was written in the email which had in copy half the company’s leadership from Europe and the USA?
“Because of your lack of professionalism and total incompetence we are stopping production, this is affecting our on-time delivery charts”
What was the item that was stopping production and was forgotten somewhere in the site from the operation leaders co-worker?
“10 off Black Magnetic Folders dimensions A4”
Of course, I couldn’t hit the answer all button and make the operations leader of site C look like an idiot, right? So I just answered that it was delivered, the date which it was delivered and the name of the person that signed the delivery receipt… I never mentioned what was the item…
You would think that after this the operations site leader would have apologised, right? No! He got worst, he just stopped writing emails and was calling and shouting directly… he loved buying televisions and monitors with very expensive sound systems and special cables with very hard to find colours or made by design furniture, In particular, he loved doing this few days before a visit of some important director so the site would look beautiful, the problem was that special nice fancy things require time to be made and delivered, time that he didn’t have, time that he didn’t care to manage with the supplier he chose.
Site C found the supplier. Asked for what they wanted, the supplier would tell them the cost and lead time and after they had all the information they sent us a purchase order and we bought it from the supplier they chose paid the supplier and the supplier would deliver to site C. You will think now ” Lucy, this is easy money you guys just got paid to send POs and pay the supplier they chose” … well, in fact, this was a favour my company was doing for site C, to build a business relation my company decided to do them a favour… it was supposed to be a maximum of 10 POs per month with no stress cause they would choose the supplier and they would speak with the supplier so whatever they chose was what they would get.
I guess nobody knew that it was a favour, but even if it wasn’t and they were paying for our work that doesn’t mean that they can treat people badly. When you go to a restaurant you are consuming so that means you are participating in a % of the waitress wages, right? Well, how many of you would have the courage to stand up and shout at her because the chef is taking too long to cook your meal? How many of you would humiliate her because the chips aren’t salty enough? I guess none of you would do that…
If I had a problem I would speak to her manager.
Let’s guess how many times my boss received a complaint against me? Zero times.
I guess that if the black magnetic folder weren’t been delivered they would have made a complaint.
I guess that if the kanban wasn’t put in place and it wasn’t working as they had a stop in production they would have made a complaint.
No complaints were ever made cause what they asked me to do I did my maximum to deliver… there was no need of closing me in an office and scream at me not letting me out. There was no need to call me stupid cause the folders were there.
There was no need to frighten me.
On the next post, I’ll be writing about Site A. The main Site. The site where the nicest phrase was “I pay your salary, you do what I tell you”
Thank you for reading, thank you for your emails.