Thursday, January 27, 2005

Pleasant Surprise & A Little Bit of Bragging

**Warning: This is a post about my day at work. It may be rather boring if you really don't give a darn about what I do for a living. If you care to read, enjoy!**

After the crap day I had yesterday, I got a nice surprise today at work. The bank ran a sales contest for fourth quarter of last year. I don't necessarily think it was the best contest to run (I'll explain why), but some people got fun rewards from it.

The contest was based on how people performed during second quarter of 2004 and to see if they could improve upon their performance. In theory, this is a good thing.

The problem with the contest (the part I think was unfair) was that people who did poorly during second quarter had three payout levels while the people who did awesome during second quarter would only be rewarded if they did it again. It breaks down like this:

If you were an unsatisfactory sales person in second quarter, you could be paid for being satisfactory, great, or excellent.

If you were a satisfactory sales person in second quarter, you could be paid for being great or excellent.

If you were great or excellent in second quarter, you could only be paid for being excellent.

So if an unsatisfactory person was now great, they'd get paid $100. If the excellent sales person was now great, they get nothing. Yet they performed the same. That's where I don't think the contest was set up fairly.

I didn't care about my own performance on this contest. The reason I was upset is because we have quite a few people on our team who were rated at the "excellent" or "great" levels. Most of them did not get a payout because they were only great this last quarter. They still performed at higher levels than many getting payouts, but they didn't get rewarded. So it annoyed me.

I figured I wouldn't get paid anything for the contest because our team had been at the top level for second quarter. We were at the great level for fourth quarter. That means I get no money, right?

Well, since my current manager started in July (third quarter), he was rated unsatisfactory (or ineligible during second quarter). That's fine. He should be eligible for the contest and he ended up getting paid a few times over the contest.

The contest is over and I was in charge of figuring out if the guy who does the numbers for our center (who I have my opinion on his usefulness) calculated everything correctly.

He had me listed as a recipient of the awards. I figured I shouldn't qualify since our team did not perform as well this last quarter (even though we still performed pretty great, it just wasn't at the same level). I emailed him, saying that a different team lead should get the payout.

Here's the surprise. Since I had a new manager, I was set at his level (this was company wide). I was eligible for a payout. So the company gave me $325 in bonuses that I didn't expect. And the payout is given in Visa gift cards.

I'm using them towards my plane ticket to Portugal! How awesome is that?

Now for the bit of bragging. Our training department rolled out a new program. For the bankers coming out of training, they are scheduling another hour and a half off the phones two weeks into their normal jobs for a "reunion" and to do extra training on subjects that the groups feel they didn't learn fully.

A survey went out about a week ago about this. The survey asked the team leads and managers to write down the most common problems from those coming out of training. I had written that most of the newer bankers ask for more information about loans and the confusing loan system we use. The survey also asked if we would be interested in being "Subject Matter Experts".

Since I work nights and training always happens in the day, I said yes, figuring that I would NEVER be asked to actually help.

The "never being asked" plan backfired. The head of the training department found me and asked for my help. Oops. Oh well. I figured it would be fun at least and I'd get to meet the newer bankers. Of course I was asked to prep something and train new bankers on the MOST confusing system we have ever used.

Last night, I spent a couple of hours (while doing other things) preparing a Word document and packet to hand out covering eight common problems that people run into with loans. I had the sections divided up and I prepped each one with the question the banker usually has or the question the customer tends to ask. That way the newer bankers would know when the information was useful. I was told I had twenty minutes to do the presentation and that's how long it took.

I found out after the presentation that another person had taught the same topic on Tuesday to a different group, but with the same trainers in the room. I was told that person (who I totally admire and think is an awesome helpdesk rep) ended up confusing the newer bankers. I was also told that the person got chewed out for her presentation.

After my presentation, the head of the training department came up to my boss and told him how much she liked my presentation and that the information was great. Another trainer complimented me on how I brought the information to the group. I was also asked to give the presentation to our team at our team meeting tomorrow night. The bankers in the class also told me they felt more comfortable with loans.

I guess I'm just proud of my presentation. I put some thought into what I was presenting and tried not to overload the bankers. I tried to keep it simple and give them the information that they will need the most often.

So that was my day. There were moments that were not so great (watching the attitude from a banker being directed at my boss (seriously, if I said things like that, I think I'd be fired, but in this person's case, she just manages to make herself unpromotable), catching our talk time offender doing what we've told him REPEATEDLY not to do (the last time he did it he went on a warning), and finding that someone got marked down on their quality for doing the SAME thing they got marked down for last month (not reading a required script that POPS UP on their screen)). I also got to see a banker who started six months ago go from 24% on their quality to 98%. I have worked with him on his quality quite a bit, but he surprised me. I'm so proud of him.


At 8:32 AM, CarpeDM thought...

I am glad you had a good day, Beth.

You're right about the contest, that's really not fair that people who performed well in 2nd Quarter didn't get a payout.

The training thing is cool. You rock.