Opening the email, the customer service representative carefully reviewed the memo. He experienced immediate disappointment because the promotion he had requested was denied. The supervisor’s email indicated the main reason was because his application was received late. The email confirmed the conversation he had with the Human Resource Coordinator earlier in the day. He had been told, “There are rules and filing on time was one of them.” Never mind these rules did not reflect his continued requests to the Coordinator for the appropriate forms weeks earlier.
By the time the customer service representative began his shift, he was very angry and it was reflected by how he treated external customer requests. He was extremely abrupt, refused to do anything more than the routine, and turned every customer call into a crisis. This went on for more than an hour before his supervisor intervened.
However unfortunate and avoidable this situation was, it is obvious that internal policy was the cause. The CSR was angered by a perceived internal failure and he took it out on the external customers.
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