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I Need Patience

There’s a guy I work with at my day job, whom I’ll call Bill. Bill and I have had issues dealing with each other in the past. Bill also has issues dealing with lots of other people we work with. Part of the reason is because Bill has a way of getting people all wound. He will do it on behalf of customers, which isn’t entirely a bad thing, but he has been known to do this without having the necessary data to back it up. At our level, that is quite simply unacceptable.

One incident that occured in front of several people sticks out in my mind. We were taking a class on a product we have to support. During a slack time in the class, I was looking through my support queue to see what issues I needed to deal with. Bill was sitting next to me and was commenting on how my cases weren’t “real cases” and that I was keeping the cases to “look busy.” I decided to pull up his queue of cases. He had less than half of the cases that I did. And he was trying to tell me that I was working less than him. I was so angry with him that I became visibly angry, let him know in no uncertain terms that he crossed the line, and left the class. He tried calling my cell phone, but I ignored him.

There was an incident recently where my manager had asked me to take a couple of support tickets from Bill. I had proceeded to take over these tickets on Monday. Later that afternoon, I had a conversation with Bill and I mentioned to him that I had taken one of the tickets and he didn’t seem to have an issue with it. Today, I get a call from Bill where he chews me out for taking these cases from him without telling him. I told Bill “yes I did tell you, I told you yesterday.” “But you waited three hours to do it,” Bill says. ” I was busy, I’m sorry. I apologize for not telling you I took the case.”

We repeat basically the same conversation again and again. Each time, I owned up to what I had done quickly. However, it seems like he wasn’t listening. He was upset and wanted to let someone have it. Unfortunately, it ended up being me. This caused my emotions to escalate–after all, I was being attached–I had to scream at him more than once to get him to stop, but even that stopped working after a while. The conversation aws so heated that it got my wife’s attention from downstairs. I eventually hung up on him because it was clear I was not going to get through to him.

I am a bit ashamed of my behavior in that particular instance. Could I have handled it differently? Absolutely. Should I have hung up on him sooner before I escalated my emotions? For sure. That being said, nobody that I have worked with at my employer has ever wound me up as much as this person does, and I’ve been there over 6 years!

The positive thing I can take away from this experience is that I need a bit more patience and a bit less emotion when dealing with difficult people like Bill. Of course, I would have thought having two kids would have taught me that. :)


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