Archive for August 4th, 2009

August 4th, 2009

Angels & Demons

Posted in The Job - Experience by 200

One of the inevitable consequences of working on the radio is that someone will be quite rude. In fairness, it works both ways, there is just as much chance that a controller will be rude to an officer as an officer being rude to a controller.

Often this is simply borne of frustration that one party is not doing what the other party wants. Nerves get frayed & people can be somewhat abrupt. Swear-words are usually limited to when the microphone is switched off, but not always.

One thing I have noticed is that it appears easier to be rude to someone you don’t know. I guess this is universally true. Most people would have no problem spouting forth at a nameless call-taker because Sky had failed to fix their Skybox for the third appointment running, even though it wasn’t the call-taker who didn’t turn up at the appointed time, but would be much more conciliatory when taking an item back to a shop they use several times a week where they regularly meet the staff.

Having said that, I’ve just realised another truism on rudeness; it’s easier to be rude to someone over the radio (or in a letter/email) than it is face to face.

Back to the control room, I usually find that if I do get a negative response from an officer, it’s usually one who doesn’t normally work with  my shift, or on a channel I don’t normally work & I get few problems from my regular officers. Either this proves my theory or I work with a particularly angelic bunch of guys & girls. As I read that back I know that can’t be true!

It would be interesting to speak to controllers on other shifts to see if my guys are as polite with them.

Of course, work-wise, you get better productivity if people interact well. Human nature is such that if someone is rude to you, you will spend your next interactions with them in a heightened state of stress, not averse to being unhelpful yourself or maybe even planning your revenge.

I don’t suppose any of this is pretty revelatory, nor what the point of discussing it is really. I suppose managers could do worse than planning that controllers work the same areas more often which might increase the happiness quotient & may even lead to a better working atmosphere between officers & controllers & thus a better service to the public?