punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

I hate being the bad guy

Increasingly, it requires being the bad guy just to get anything done in this world. “We’ll call you back,” seems to be completely meaningless as a phrase more and more often. It’s like a casting call, “Don’t call us, we’ll call you.” Being nice just gets very little done when you are facing a huge wall of apathy.

The medical industry is a classic example. There’s a huge nursing shortage, and thus, it’s an employee’s market. You don’t have to be a good nurse, you just have to have the papers, and you’re hired. It doesn’t matter if you’re a bad nurse, or a mean person, or smell bad, or possibly have a questionable background: they need you like a warm body. This isn’t to say all nurses are bad, or any percentage are bad in particular. It varies from town to town, hospital to hospital, although I am willing to believe hospitals in larger cities probably have more bad nursing staff than those in smaller towns due to turnover. Administrative staff is just as bad. So are doctors, although I think a lot of really incompetent people are weeded out through all that schooling (sadly, being a jerk does not disqualify you from being a doctor).

The technical support industry is heading the same way. Companies want to pay as little as they can for support, and many do not achieve through through the obvious: make the product easy to use, well documented, and free from bugs. Over time, I have discovered that this is more of a problem with companies that merge or get bought out. I have never been in a position where a company I was having a contract with got better after a buyout. Often, they get far worse.

And then I have to be a dick. I loathe being the bad guy. It’s not in my nature at all, and is one of the pivotal failures I have in dealing with the human race. It’s not in my nature to yell and scream and throw tantrums to get what I want. I despise those who do such things, and I don’t even have the resources within myself to bring myself to this level. What does this mean? It means that I don’t get physical therapy for my ankle, despite dozens of calls. It means that I have to pay $384 to Tigerdirect.com I didn’t make because my credit card can’t find anything I mail or fax to them stating I didn’t make this purchase. It means that a problem I am having with my system redundancy software at work doesn’t get resolved, and I get reprimanded for not being pushy enough, even though I have left voice mails, been on hold for hours and get hung up on, and escalated like a paper tiger up a chain in India where I deal with layer one drones who open tickets that never go anywhere.

I am tired of this shit. I am tired of having to be the nagging one. I am tried of the lies, phantom callbacks, unanswered voice mails, ignored e-mails and faxes, recursive department phone forwards, blame shifting, powerless escalations, and people who claim they haven’t gotten anything from me when I sent it dozens of times and they act like I am lying. I fucking hate it.
Tags: angst, medical, tech, work
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