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Professional Workplace Dilemma

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Professional Workplace Dilemma

In 2002, the dilemma I faced was one of deep humiliation for me. As a team player, I was not used to having someone go behind my back to deliberately make himself look good and potentially ruin my reputation. The end result created a difficult working environment for me and left a sour taste in my mouth on management's handling of the incident.

The incident involved me and a member of the marketing team whom I will refer to as Dan, and his client Delta. My assistant, De, and our radio expert Rich were the others I spoke to on the day the situation came to light. My boss, Susan, spells teamwork with several "I's" and decided that I was responsible for the damage to our relationship with the customer.

In brief, I left for Atlanta after work to make a presentation to our customers at Delta Airlines during the midnight shift. I secured a loaner laptop just prior to my departure along with the radio equipment I needed for demonstration. Once in Atlanta, I contacted Dan to check on a time to meet. I met Dan around 11:30 PM and he drove to the Delta Maintenance shop where the presentation began after midnight. During the course of the presentation, it was discovered that the radio's assignment numbers were incorrect. I then tried to correct the problem and started to reprogram the radios when I discovered that I did not load the programming software onto the laptop just prior to my departure. This was embarrassing; however I had a back-up plan. I could use the Internet to download the program and then reprogram the radios. Delta system, however, would not allow Internet access. I would then have to reprogram each of 15 radios manually. After doing so for the first two radios and showing someone at Delta the process, they said they would complete the task. Delta insisted upon this, despite my objections. I apologized for the programming mix-up a number of times, but felt comfortable at that point in time.

At 10 AM, I called my assistant and asked if she had heard anything about the presentation. I explained what happened and she said she had heard nothing. Another four hours went by and I then boarded a flight home. Upon arrival, I had five messages waiting for me. They were from Rich who asked what happened because the customer was displeased about the radio programming. When I finally got back to Rich, I explained what happened but said that I had left Delta in good hands and was assured of this. Rich told me Dan had provided a different story. I told Rich that Dan never said anything to me and that I was there for another 14 hours after the presentation. If there was a problem, why was I not notified?

Arriving back in the office, my boss, Susan decided to take me to task. I explained exactly how things went and that I did not have any knowledge of customer dissatisfaction. Nothing was said to me while traveling back to my hotel, or for the remaining 12 hours I was there before heading back. How was I to know there was a problem when I left the situation in good hands? I am a team player and nothing was said to me while I was there. Dan had deliberately gone behind my back to make himself shine and placed any potential wrong doing on my accused incompetence.

I viewed Dan as an equal coming from a different



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