Tuesday, January 17, 2006


Good morning, bloglit!

I thought it would be fun to go over a couple of pieces of hate mail I've gotten from investigators recently. This first one is from Butch. He's been with the company for about a month. Butch ran a three day case and I had to send each of his reports back to him 4 or 5 times. This was beginning to get on my nerves a bit, so I sent him the below email. Little did I know he was such a sensitive man. (Please note that the comments in brackets reflect what I was thinking, not what I wrote.)



I need you to fix the neighborhood canvass. Again, I need a separate entry for each person that you approached. I need a description of the person, the residence, and what you asked them as well as their response. Please get this back to me before noon. [YOU WON'T] I should not have to ask you so many times. All you need to do is read the emails I send you and follow the instruction I give. [A MONKEY COULD DO THAT.]

Also, I think that you should reword the following report entry. It may be construed wrong.

"At 8:14 a.m., Investigator returns to residence and notes that Subject has a community driveway and the green Dodge Truck was most likely from the neighbors behind."




And again, I need you to include both the report AND the expense sheet in the email. [YOU WON'T.]



I am learning, I can't read a manual and magically know how to write a perfect report. I think that it's pretty ridicoulous to expect a person to know how to do everything prefect.

Had I known that addresses and descriptions were necessary when no answers were forthcoming, I would have gotten them. [YES, IF ONLY I'D TOLD YOU 3 or 4 TIMES... OH, WAIT! I DID!]

I would understand you criticism if I had been doing this for a while and was consistently not getting things right. [IT'S BEEN A MONTH.] But frankly if this is the way I'm going to be treated I don't think I need to continue. [TIME TO REQUEST A NEW INVESTIGATOR IN COLORADO.]

I am very frustrated with being maligned. [BABY.] You may get new investigators that know everything when they first start but I'm not one of them. Your criticizing me for not knowing something I have never learned is a bit much.

What's frustrating is that I just started to feel like I was getting some of these things down, starting to get the feel of how to do things the best way, and then I get the email from you saying I basically suck.



Eleanor said...

What an idiot!

Here's his subtext, IMO:

I need to be told things at LEAST a dozen times before I can be expected to even be in the neighborhood of "correct", so - chill out, Polly!

motw said...

Well, that just means that Polly told him eleven times, but didn't go the full dozen. Ha!

qrrdj -queer dj?

Bill Peschel said...

Here's my response, which explains why I'm not management material.

Dear investigator;

Pull up your long johns and act like a man.

You are not being paid to whine. You are being paid to do your job to our specifications.

Get it right, or get lost.

Best wishes,

As I get older, I realize that Mencken was so wise when he wrote: "The older I get the more I admire and crave competence, just simple competence, in any field from adultery to zoology."

Anonymous-2 said...

My question is who he is writing this stuff for him.

You should probably give a literacy test. I don't think this Colorado yahoo can read.

Polly P.I. said...

Oh, that's a great quote, Bill.

I try to be patient, but sometimes I blow it.

I wrote this guy back and pretty much told him that I don't expect perfection, but I DO expect reports in on time, calls to be returned, and corrections to be made to my specifications within the same decade.

I also told him to stop taking my critiques so personally. It would be a hell of a lot easier for me to let him slide by doing a half-assed job, but I'm trying to help him become a better investigator.

The big baby.

Vincent said...

But alas competence goes hand in hand with common sense, which turns out to be not that common.

Butch sounds like the kind of person who only gets better at things when repetition has hardwired an activity into his muscles such that they can do the job without interference from his brain.

Polly P.I. said...

Eh. He's not a dumb guy, he's just not catching on for some reason and I don't have time to really pay as much attention as I would like. I'm hoping to get a new supervisor for his area soon.

Kafaleni said...

Yeah, thinking can hurt like an SOB.

Thanks for the laugh, Polly - even though it must be incredibly frustrating for you!

*loves Polly some Godivas & tequila to help the day go faster*

Polly P.I. said...

Hi, Kaf!

Godivas and tequila.... ((shiver))

Is that really a wise combination?

Kafaleni said...

well..... I was going to go with champagne, but it seemed as though tequila would have the more potent kick needed before you have to deal with the idiots again.

Peri said...

"...the green Dodge Truck was most likely from the neighbors behind."



Polly P.I. said...


I got a good chuckle out of that one too, Peri.

How ya doin' girl?

Vincent said...

Sorry, meant that once you've learnt how to drive, you don't need think about hitting the indicator, changing gears or checking the rear view mirror - you do it automatically, without thinking. You can think instead about not running over pedestrians. That's what I meant about muscle memory taking a load off the brain.

And I'm sure the guy isn't stupid. The colleague that frustrates me most at work is intelligent and perfectly capable of doing a good job, but because he isn't disciplined and doesn't apply himself to the job, he's constantly breaking things and proving a liability.

Then again, he's been doing the job twelve years, rather one month, so perhaps the situation's not all that similar.

Polly P.I. said...

Hi, Vincent.

You are quite right about the muscle memory thing. And about the common sense thing. I was thinking out loud. Um... With my fingers... About how I feel responsible when people don't catch on. Mostly I wish I had more time to train them.

So you're from the UK, huh? My sister lived in Leeds for a couple of years and our own dashing Higgy is from Wales. (Higgy also taught me all about buggery.)

Higgy said...

*tries to disassociate himself with the concept of buggery in Polly's mind*

Although Buggery in The Mind wbagnfanindierockb....

Kafaleni said...

aawww but, Higgy, you're a grand old bugger!

Vincent said...

Yeah, I too find myself thinking that if someone doesn't 'get' what I'm telling them, it's because I'm not explaining myself in a way that's clear to them. But sometimes whatever you say goes in one ear and out the other.

Though clearly buggery isn't one of those things (I'm guessing Higgy rather wishes it was).

Vincent said...

Not that I'm saying Higgy wishes buggery did involve going in one ear and out the other... err... I seem to have talked myself into a hole and I can't get out.

Higgy said...

Vincent - "talked" yourself into a hole? Is that what you kids are calling it these days?

I'm so behind the times...

Vincent said...

So what you're saying is I just need to wait for the arrival of the next number two... hang on, I'm pretty sure I was talking metaphorically. It's you 'grand old buggers' and your innuendo that's the problem.