Chapter Thirty-Three

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I headed into boardroom A for a four o'clock meeting that I was scheduled for. Shannon, one of the temporary managers, stopped me. She had been recently promoted to fill in for my manager, Charlie, who was on parental leave. It was her first week on the job and there were plenty of things she hadn't fully grasped yet - schedules being one of those things. 

"Trevor, we have a coaching session at 4:00," she said.  

I could see the meeting was about to start and I already had one foot in the boardroom. I reminded her that I had a meeting scheduled, and not coaching, but she insisted I was wrong. I was a little annoyed, but did my best not to display my emotion. We walked back to her desk. I remained standing because I knew she was wrong, she just needed to be convinced of that. She opened up the scheduling software on her computer and found my name.  


"Hmm, that's odd, I thought we had coaching," she remarked. 

I didn't say anything. 

"Okay, go to your meeting and then come back here at 5:00." 

I walked back to the meeting and listened to some frivolous company propaganda for a little shy of 60 minutes. The meeting let out a few minutes early and much to my surprise, there was Shannon, waiting for me by the door as if I was some convict she was responsible for escorting. 

"Are you ready for coaching?" she asked. 

"I guess so." 

"Coaching will actually be in boardroom B. Unfortunately, it will be more of a verbal warning, and I don't want to do it out in the open in front of everyone. Please follow me." 

I followed Shannon into boardroom B. When we arrived, another two managers were already waiting there, Alfredo and Martin. 

She informed me they were just there to observe and take notes. 

I took a seat and crossed my legs. 

When Shannon began to speak, her voice became low and somber, in order to emote the seriousness of what she was about to discuss with me. The whole thing was rather amusing to me since I knew what she was trying to do. She was the newbie in the management pack and wanted to flex her muscles. She had chosen me to be her sacrificial lamb - a bad choice on her part.  

"Trevor," she said as she exhaled. "There are a few things we need to address with you. First of all, we have a list that gets produced each month that displays calls that are less than 20 seconds and your name appears on the top of this list every month. There's not even a close second. Now, the policy states you are to remain on the line for at least 20 seconds before disconnecting. Are you aware of that?" 

"Yes, of course. My manager discussed this with me already a few weeks ago." 

"So, please tell me why you disconnect so soon." 

"Okay, I will tell you what I told him. It's simple, really. In the past, if I received a call where I couldn't hear anyone on the other line, I would wait 20 seconds before disconnecting. I did this for years. After all those years, you know what I discovered? There was not even one instance where someone came on the line after 10 seconds. As it turns out, 20 seconds is an arbitrary number. Whoever came up with that policy got it wrong - it's inefficient. So, in an effort to improve call efficiency, I disconnect after 10 seconds in order to take more calls for the company." 

"I understand that, but the company wants you to wait at least 20 seconds before disconnecting. I don't want to see your name on this list again, okay?" 


"The second thing, Trevor, is your idle time is very high. This implies you are chatting with your co-workers and avoiding calls. In some cases, you sit in idle mode for 20 minutes. I pulled a record of all the times you are sitting in idle and it appears you keep going in and out of ready mode in order to reposition yourself at the back of the queue. This is a very serious offense, Trevor. What do you have to say for yourself?"  

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