Sunday, February 21, 2016

The bothering gnome

Some of my family members keep track of my adventures and wonder if I ever work. Indeed, I work full-time, yet it doesn't feel like a chore. I'm also lucky that I thoroughly enjoy my job, my coworkers, and our customers.

We mainly support our internal customers; that is, our colleagues who provide service to our target population. This is very enjoyable; our colleagues are fun, smart, and service-oriented. Some of them call us quite a bit, mostly because they're very engaged in our processes.

S calls us often; he's always on the ball with our initiatives. He's a good egg and I always enjoy our conversations. One time I mentioned how I talk to our customers when they do something that doesn't fit in with our organization's rules. I always talk about the situation in the passive voice. While it's not exactly good style, it helps diffuse a situation with customers and it avoids the accusatory "YOU did X wrong" since that is not a positive experience for anyone. I pretend that it's little invisible gnomes who did the misdeed and concentrate on solving the situation. Obviously I don't tell the customer that as it would probably sound a bit insane.

S thought this was funny and somehow he decided he's a bothering gnome. Since he's German it seems to work. Now, every time he calls, he chuckles and says that the bothering gnome is on the phone. This stemmed from his call where he had a lot of questions. He had promised me that he'd only ask 3 questions. Those questions multiplied so I teased him and said he was only entitled to 3 questions. He's a quick one so he asked, "per day or per phone call? What about if I have my staff members call? Do they get 3 more questions?" From that time, he identifies himself as the bothering gnome when calls. I'm happy to answer the gnome phone.

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