I bank with a credit union. It’s a small place and the employees are super friendly and helpful, well all but one. Let me explain. When you walk in, immediately to the left are 4 cubicles and usually 3 of them are occupied by nice ladies behind the desks. They smile, wave and if they aren’t on the phone will speak to you as well. Take a few steps forward and there you have the teller stations. There are 4 stations but usually only 2 are occupied. There is only one male employee and he is a teller, we’ll call him Adam.
So you walk in, you say “hi” to the ladies on the left, you proceed to the teller stations, and it’s never busy so there’s no line. You can see if the tellers have customers, usually they don’t. Your first instinct is to walk right up to them, but there’s a partition. The female teller will greet you when you walk toward the teller stations, even if she has a customer. Not Adam! He’s totally different than the other employees.
Not only will he not greet you; he barely looks up. He knows you there, he sees you and hears, but he hardly acknowledges you. His face is expressionless. He doesn’t look happy or sad. He looks bored.
I’m sure they have other things to do, but he doesn’t look busy. He doesn’t even say “I’ll be with in a moment.” So you’re standing there, waiting for him. Finally, without looking your way, in his low soft (almost a whisper) voice says “May I help you?”
It’s actually quite funny or upsetting depending on your personality.
I’ve asked him how his day was going or if he was doing well, and he replies “Fine.” He never asks me about my day or how I am doing.
Adam got me thinking, it must be a pain in the butt to administer a performance evaluation on him, because he performs his essential job functions. He meets the minimum standards. He’s like an ATM without the advertising; actually he’s worse because you can just walk up to an open ATM, you have to wait on Adam. But still he’s not bad, but he’s just okay.
Here’s the HR part, his performance is minimal; average at best. He’s not friendly or personable, in a job where you deal with people. He does juusst enough. I can’t imagine administering a performance evaluation on his guy. His scorecard would read “meet expectations” all the way down the line. How do you engage this guy? How do you motivate him to be friendlier?
I’ve worked in places where management tried to make soft skills and friendliness requirements in performance metrics and it just doesn’t work. You can’t force personality.
I assume he’s not happy, he’s definitely not passionate. Maybe he hates his job like 60% of the workforce. Whatever the case, every time I visit the credit union I try to avoid him if possible. I notice the body language of other customers that are forced to interact with him and the look of pain is clearly visible on their faces.
The thing about Adam is, he’s not bad, he’s just not good.
Don’t be like Adam.