Working in IT, you’re not short of the odd frustration – password resets, telling people to turn it off and on again BEFORE they call you, the worrying trend that people seem to think the IT Department is the ‘operate the IT for you department.” However, my frustrations are starting to be felt in any sector of life, whether buying some furniture or simply dealing with a Tesco delivery.

Where have all the helpful people gone?

I’m having a lot of conversations at the moment with some really good people, IT Managers, company owners, senior managers and even people on the tools and the few good people that seem to be left in the world of work are all complaining about the same thing – the lack of other people who care and are helpful.

My experiences in ‘The Channel’

We have a high churn of frontline people at distributors. I’ve had absolutely poor ones and a few gems who stand out. I watch inappropriate hires – such as people selling complicated high-end Cisco phone systems who’s previous work experience was making coffee in Costa! Whilst I’m a strong advocate of career and personal development, moving from Costa to IT sales is a big jump, a back office traineeship is a bit more common-sense!

As a company we write written descriptions of what we want and are supplied something completely wrong, deadlines aren’t met and specifications aren’t read. Unfortunately – this happens when I’m not at work too, I feel like I’m taking a different language at times. MAYB I NEED2 TXT SPK OR SUMFING.

I watch poorly organised distribution companies, who can never seem to get me a trade price cheaper than ebuyer sells to the public. Whilst middle management in large American tech firms watch their spreadsheets go in the right direction not realising they’re indirectly letting a small number of very large box shifting businesses get into the realms of controlling too much of their sales.

As a company we turn down opportunities to supply equipment to long standing customers, simply because our distributors can’t give us competitive pricing and we get the excuse ‘ebuyer, amazon etc buy in bulk and get great prices’ – I save my mental energy and try and resist the urge of explaining to the former Costa employee what a distributor does and why it has a lot of big warehouses.

Virtual Insanity!

The conspiracy

I fully believe there’s an X-Files type conspiracy. There must be some sort of infection that’s killed off most of the helpful people who are conscientious and diligent about their work?

I’ve worked it all out though…

I don’t blame former espresso making telephone switch sales person for being incapable of doing their job – I blame the person who hired them. The only explanation must be some kind of Brain Slug which Futurama warned us all about in 1999. After-all Futurama was predicting the future…

They clearly arrived on the planet and started working in the HMRC, moved into Government and then moved into every bank, utility, phone company, supermarket and travel business. Anywhere you get bad service – there must be some brain slug infection.

What can we do?

The helpful people are declining in number and may even acting ‘native’ to blend in. On those rare occasions you deal with someone who’s actually, err, good; then you should probably let them know what you thought. I have called utility companies a few times expecting the worse and sometimes been pleasantly surprised. They’ve actually been pleased to hear my feedback. Let’s face it – you sit in a call centre all day working for a utility company, you probably don’t hear a lot of happy people, so one or two, may just make your day.

Of course, on more business to business relationships. It’s very important for the helpful people to stick together. After-all, we’ll need to ensure that people like us don’t become infected with the Brain Slugs, to ensure the survival of the helpful. I tend to get all the helpful account managers, techy’s and managers contact details. Unfortunately for them, they tend to have to go through a short time of abuse from me to ensure that they can be trusted and aren’t infected with Brain Slugs- sorry guys, it’s for the greater good! Vetting to find out if someone is actually helpful or merely a clever Brain Slug trying to act helpful.

We also need to ensure that those with Brain Slugs are pushed out of middle-management positions and fast. This is where the most difficult part is – you and I have a dilemma. Do you want to lose your helpful contact at your supplier or other company you deal with? Or do you want to see the helpful person in a managerial role – perhaps helping to build a better experience for everyone? For me, it’s the latter and to do that you need to tell all their Brain Slug infected managers just how good they are and make it impossible for them not to be promoted quickly!

We must be vigilant about the Brain Slug infected unhelpful people in the world, they are greater in number than the rest of us and permeate every sector of society and business. Watch out for your fellow helpful people and do want you can to ensure they are assisted in ensuring they can clear the infection in their organisations… look after each other… and guard your brains.