Have you ever had a bad day at the office? If so, what constitutes as a bad day at the office? Many people have made the statement at some point; “this is the worst day ever.” It may be a bad day, but the worst day ever? Isn’t it possible that someone else might be having an even worse day? So in theory, any day could potentially be the worst day ever…….for someone on the planet. Nonetheless, a bad day is often relative and could vary depending on one’s perspective.
A few weeks back, I had what could be constituted as a bad day at the office. It was nearing month end (which by definition is an extremely busy time within my industry) and our company encountered a system’s failure. Unfortunately, it was not limited to one independent system but impacted all systems company-wide. This meant that not only were the computers down but the phones and all networking capability. To add insult to injury, a number of our top clients had time-sensitive transactions that needed to be completed immediately.
Customers and employees were exceptionally frustrated. The day was filled with fielding status calls with no ability to provide any updates or possible solutions. I was completely inept and unable to bring any value or resolution to either my employees or our customers. As the day progressed, the level of frustration was nearing critical mass. More expletives penetrated my ears this day than all of the days so far this year combined.
This was collectively a bad day – for all of the employees (especially IT Department because regardless of their efforts and dedication, there would be no appreciation until all systems were restored), for our customers as well as their clients who could be financially impacted as well. It was truly a rough day for all.
It was nearing the end of the day. The systems were still not restored but the technicians would be working round the clock until the issue was resolved. As I sat in my office licking my wounds from the events of the day, I called one of my counterparts at the corporate office. Although their systems too were impacted and they may think they were having a bad day, I knew their day had to be better than mine since they do not have direct contact with the customers. Oh……little did I know.
Although individuals in the corporate office are often insulated from our direct customers, they too are dependent on systems to complete their job functions. In addition, they often have strict timelines. If they do not meet their deadlines, the complaints they receive are not from external customers but the Management Team (of which I am a part). Therefore, their day should have been equally as bad as mine – except they had another significant problem which easily trumped my bad day. The water main to the building burst in the morning hours.
A bad day at the office………..seriously? At the time I called, I felt that I was having a pretty bad day. In comparison to many, I probably was but in comparison to the staff at my corporate office…..my day wasn’t so bad. Having to deal with the stress of the system outage as well as no running water, that is one bad day at the office. With the level of coffee, I drink throughout the day, not having a working restroom would have simply killed me. In retrospect, my day at the office was not that bad.
Husband, father, coffee connoisseur and lover of all things hockey. At 51 I sometimes wonder have I done enough. I have been married to my best friend for 30 years. She knows all my faults and loves me anyway, As a father of “almost always” perfect boys, I am always surprised at what life has to offer. It is messy, scary, thrilling, and always fun.