I’m not in charge of that

Today I needed to set up an electric account with the local power company. I googled the name and clicked the phone icon.

A lady picked up and urgently asked if I was having a gas emergency. I replied “no” and explained the reason for my call. She quickly rattled off the number for another department. I told her how I came to be calling this number and that the google listing was wrong.

She responded with “I’m not in charge of that.”

I think that’s disappointing to hear for everyone involved. For me, I was annoying her instead of contributing something helpful. For the lady on the other side of the line, this small situation speaks to how disempowered she feels at work.

Emailing that department might add another item to her to-do list, but it would make a change that would help people. It would make the company better. It’s not a huge result, but sometimes you need to get a small win under your belt.

It’s the little things that speak to company culture on a whole. Are  we encouraging people to say “that’s not in my job description.” Or are we empowering people to go the extra mile in delivering a memorable customer experience?