We have multiple new employees and each time they are put with me it is simply to teach them how to make phone calls so I am aware it is not overly exciting.

Every time a new team member is with me they seem extremely disinterested, play on their phones, and just appear to not want to be there. They basically refuse to learn how to properly do that portion of their job

I gave this feedback to my manager today and I was told “everyone else speaks very positively of these people. What is it that is not going well with you”

I work in a hospital so they also work in clinic and when I have seen them there, they seem to enjoy what they are doing.

Does anyone have any advice as to what I can say to my manager? I really want these people to be successful in their role but I feel like my manager thinks I’m being “overdramatic” or “twisting things”

  • 1
    Given the timing that this is right after July, are these employees interns and / or residents? Are you a doctor yourself supervising them?
    – Anthony
    Aug 4, 2021 at 0:50
  • 2
    Is your role considered clinical - direct patient care?
    – Anthony
    Aug 4, 2021 at 0:51
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    Can you go into the details a little bit, what do you teach them about making phone calls? One of your points is they appear bored and play on their phones, so what is it you are supposed to teach them about phone calls exactly?
    – nvoigt
    Aug 4, 2021 at 6:13
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    How critical is learning how to make a phone call is to their job? And how complex is your phone system to justify a in-person learning? Honestly, if their intention is to just have the new employees acquainted with you, just hand them a pamphlet and grab a coffee with them Aug 4, 2021 at 11:07

3 Answers 3


The job is mundane though it may be important. If they learn how to make a phone call as instructed, give them a positive review. They have done what is necessary.

Anything else is being a bit dramatic.

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    Yeah, maybe they are playing on their phones because they already know how to make a phone call. If the OP starts the training by pointing out the differences and acknowledging that the people might know a lot of this, then people might start the training with more interest.
    – user127450
    Aug 4, 2021 at 6:48

... teach them how to make phone calls ...

I work in a hospital so they also work in clinic and when I have seen them there, they seem to enjoy what they are doing.

Well, of course. These people trained to be nurses (or similar) because that's what they want to do. Their dream job isn't working at a call center. Why do you expect them to be enthusiastic about phone training? It's your job to make the training engaging and fun. Otherwise accept that they are not interested and deal with it. This doesn't involve your manager, except if you need training yourself. I actually think, you might need training to become good at this. Teaching is a skill after all and needs to be learned. However, I doubt that your employer will be interested in investing in training you for this role. To be frank, your role isn't the core business of a clinic and usually they would outsource it.


I just started a Job at a huge hospital complex in IT. I had to do all kinds of training. Because the onboarding is the same for everyone. So I was learning about medication plans and all kind of things I dont need. Everyone also had to learn about IT security and stuff like that.

I was more engaged when a guy was talking about the paper archives than when I was learning about the IT security implemented here.

And I LOVE learning about it. But still almost fell asleep.

It wasnt the topic, it was the person presenting. The archive guy was so excited about the archives and had so much energy it just took me with him and months later I still know the sorting system they are using and whatnot.

The IT guy almost fell asleep himself and he somehow managed to present something like hashing in a way that would get me disinterested in IT as a whole, and I have been working and studying in IT for 15 years now.

I know phone service is boring, but maybe you also show with your voice and body language that it is boring? So they get disinterested. Maybe you can present some interesting facts? Get a joke in sometimes? Try getting stupid puns in so they can remember stuff better? Be a little excited. Maybe joke about how exciting this boring field is.

If still nothing happens, then ask management if maybe you can drop this since nobody is listening.

Bonus info: I had someone who showed me the server farm and usually they are asked to show us at least 4 hours and he told me it will be just 10 minutes because usually people dont care. He started out really bored and was expecting me to fall asleep, but since I have never seen a server farm that huge I got excited and was asking questions all the time. I had to lead HIM and told him what I wanted to see. After an hour or so he actually enjoyed telling me stuff and he was able to keep me engaged and get interesting info out while teaching me everything and more I needed to know. After 6 hours I was actually sad it ended and since them he started to get people to stay 4 hours since he enjoyed it again and kept people interested with nice information and showing them around. People enjoyed it so much, that people who started like 3 year ago actually asked him to have another tour, since last time they only sat in a room for 10 minutes and he told them just what they had to know.

Maybe something to think about.

You can do it and I bet you can find something to get people engaged. At least long enough to convey information

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