Phone Woes And Losing Our Ability To Think

I own one of those fourth generation touchscreen smartphones. Anyway this article is not really about my phone, but do bear with me as I walk you through my phone woes.

One fine day my supposedly invincible phone started giving me all kinds of technical troubles: flickering screens, hanging software and sudden shut downs. A visit to my service provider, the happy news that I was still under warranty, and a replaced handset later I was back home trying to sync all my data.

And as luck would have it, whatever virus got my first handset found its way into my second handset too.

A day later, another trip to the service provider, another new handset (number 3) and voila, a sync with my data gave me the same problem again. This time the same friendly staff saw me in the queue, waiting for a ticket number, and promptly went to get me another new handset. By now I had had enough of getting new handsets and wanted to get to the bottom of the issue.

To cut a long story short, this tech-unsavvy writer had to figure out a more permanent solution herself, which meant resetting the phone, deleting old data and deleting the sync application from her laptop (losing all the phone data in the process). Still, this permanent solution saved me innumerable trips and the service provider innumerable handsets (at least till I was on their warranty). All this technical warfare was enacted in front of a baffled customer service executive.

This little incident got me thinking, are we Gen Y’ers so used to the quick fix solutions that we make that our only option?

Not once did the customer service executives apply their minds for a long term solution to my problem, it was easier to give me a new handset as long as I was entitled to it.

As Gen Y, we have been credited with changing the dynamics at a workplace. Simply put (and this is a quote I picked from somewhere) “For Generation Y the old adage has become their credo: ‘we don’t live to work – we work to live’”. We have been called confident, entrepreneurial and goal oriented. But we have also been defined as impatient, weak on interpersonal skills and our problem solving abilities have been questioned.

You could turn it around and tell me that are our work place designs are the ones making us too process oriented and risk averse.

Often organisations have process maps to be followed to ensure critical steps are not forgotten. In the process of ticking off on various steps we do lose our ability to think ahead and ideation then gets encouraged only in research divisions. Maybe the customer service executive had to strictly follow the book and therefore was not allowed to think out of the box?

But is it a chicken and egg story? Because of our inability to come up with a solution we have processes to follow, or because we follow processes we have forgotten how to ideate?

Guess we may have similar cribs when Generation Z knocks on the work door. Till then I have extended my warranty coverage, figured even smartphones are after all not that smart and though I may come up with a solution, technology might just pose a problem that stumps me!

Has your boss promised you a promotion or salary raise but not delivered?

There is not much research on the best ways to approach such a situation with your boss, however, I would like to provide a few practical tips and pointers, which could be useful.

Dealing with a ‘Carrot Dangler’ boss, requires you to be patient and calm and not lose your cool because you are feeling short-changed. You also need to be methodical and aware of your future in the organisation while working towards your goals. A few points to remember:

1. Have a Communication Trail with your Boss

If promises have been made to you during your appraisal discussion, make a note of the same in your appraisal form before you sign off. Alternatively, write an e-mail thanking your boss for this opportunity to prove yourself and how you intend to work on the same. This not only serves as proof later, but also alerts your boss to the fact that you have been “listening”!

This communication trail can serve to be a reminder too. When you feel sufficient time has gone by and there is no update on the promise made, revisit this e-mail and use it as a channel for discussions on whether your performance is in line with the promised role, whether you need to make any changes, attend any training programs, etc. This should be trigger enough for your boss to remember his/her promise to you. You may also find out that your boss did not fail to deliver, but was constrained (by factors beyond his/her control) to deliver on the promise.

2. Approach Human Resources (HR) or your SKIP Manager:

If there have been too many false promises made, speak to your HR Partner or your Manager’s Manager. Make sure you have the chronology of events and sufficient proof to back up everything you say. Seek their advice on how to proceed.

3. Be Conscious of your Job Performance:

Do not let the events with your boss affect your performance. While the promises may not be visible to all, a dip in your performance most certainly will. Maintaining a standard of high performance is proof enough of your commitment to the organisation and may open other doors. It is your bargaining chip and one you have full control over.

Topics: Boss, Boss promise, Boss promise promotion, Boss promise salary increase