Name And Shame

Name and Shame. Wonderful phrase – alliterative and intriguing at the same time. Who will be named and what shame will they be subjected to? Oh, Boy, Oh Boy – it’s almost like the reality shows on television…

Today I saw the process in full spate at a commercial sales meeting. A customer complaint was read out to the assembled staff  with full names and complete details. It revolved around someone who felt bad because he did not feel he was being listened too with sufficient attention. As it happened it also revolved around the arcanity of a computer/camera issue that the manufacturer needed to resolve. It appears that there was a work-round discovered – as there often is – that was better than turning it off and then on again. The customer discovered the secret formula and was trying to impart it.

Well, no-one died in the end. They were never really in danger of it, after all. The camera company needs to know how to solve the arcane issue and I daresay they will be told by any number of people by now. The real danger lies in the name and shame.

Never a good idea. A quiet wigging in the bosses’ office or an intense little session that explains the problem and sets out a solution – but not a public dressing down in front of the rest of the troops. That sort of thing works only if said troops are under QR or KR and cannot leave the parade ground or desert the ranks – private employees can hand in a notice instantly and then where is the employer? Desperate times may be desperate but they do not raise such a crop of specialist technical staff as to invite instant replacement…

I hasten to add – I was not the subject of the shame – apparently I came in for praise from the complainant as a caring individual. This, read out to others, is a mistake – it drives a wedge between people who need to work together as a team.

Moral of the story? There is no moral. We shall see what happens over the next few weeks’ meetings. If the officers on deck are wise, they will listen carefully to the sound of teeth being sucked…

Note to self: DO NOT whistle the Badenweiler Marsch under your breath. Someone will hear you…



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