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Office Appearance and Arrangement - 14214_14
Personnelman 3 & 2 - Military manual for government personnel administration
Your Role in the Personnel Office
OFFICE ARRANGEMENT If you have an opportunity to arrange the furniture in your office, do some advance thinking and planning before  you  start  moving  it.  You  should  place  desks  so that those who work at them will have enough light without  having  to  face  the  light.  Avoid  arranging  desks so that anyone’s back is to the reception area. Everyone in the office should be in a position to see and assist customers. Also make sure there is enough working space for your office co-workers to move around. Chairs should be adjusted so that typists’ feet rest firmly on the floor and chair seats are at least 12 inches below the base of the typewriters. Think of the work that has to go on regularly and place equipment where it can be used most conveniently and where work will flow  in  one  direction  rather  than  in  a  crisscross  man- ner. You  should  place  tables  or  counters  conveniently for  handling  supplies  or  assembling  papers.  You should place files where they are handy for those who use  them,  but  separated  as  much  as  possible  from general  office  traffic. Arrange  for  as  much  privacy  as  possible  for  those who do interviewing and counseling. We will discuss more about counseling techniques in a later chapter. If testing is to be done, provide a quiet spot. If interview- ing and testing of large numbers are functions of your office, special interviewing booths and testing rooms will  be  needed. It should be possible to plan an arrangement that not  only  is  convenient  but  also  looks  orderly  and uncluttered.   Keep   things   as   simple   as   possible. Bookcases  and  special  shelves  should  be  used  to  store books, magazines, and pamphlets so that tables and desks  can  be  used  as  work  spaces  and  not  as receptacles  for  piles  of  reading  materials.  Arrange furniture in a manner that satisfies the needs of your office and is consistent with the availability of space whether you are aboard ship or ashore. CUSTOMER SERVICE: THE ART OF DEALING WITH PEOPLE At the beginning of this chapter, we told you that the  most  important  characteristic  of  a  good  PN  is  the ability to work and deal with people. As a PN, almost everything  you  do  will  involve  dealing  with  people.  In this section, we will tell you about the importance of providing  good  customer  service  to  all  individuals regardless of their status. We will describe what can happen  whenever  you  provide  good  (or  bad)  customer service and the effects you will have on the image of your office, your rating, your command, and the Navy as a whole. As  a  PN,  you  are  one  of  the  most  important customer service representatives in the Navy. We will tell you about some of the ways in which you, the PN, can improve the customer service environment of your office  so  that  your  personnel  office  can  effectively provide the type of customer service Navy people need and deserve. We will talk about your role as a customer service  representative  and  the  ways  in  which  your attitude, personal appearance, and pride in your job and   yourself   play   a   big   part   in   providing   good customer service. We will also tell you about some of the pitfalls you must avoid so you can provide the type of  service  that  your  customers  will  need  and  deserve. EFFECTS OF FACE-TO-FACE CONTACT As a customer, have you ever waited in line only to be told when you finally reach the window, “Come back tomorrow. The person who takes care of that is not here today”? Have you ever tried to get a question answered and had the feeling that the person to whom you were talking resented being bothered? What about this situation: Have you ever walked into an office and waited and waited for service? Did you feel as though you were being ignored by office personnel who were just standing around? Did you notice that some of them realized  that  you  were  standing  there  waiting  for service,   but   just   looked   the   other   way?   Most importantly, have you ever acted toward a customer in an  inappropriate  manner,  a  manner  that  is  not consistent  with  your  professional  responsibilities  as  a PN? As  you  think  about  these  questions,  are  you convinced  that  there  were  some  good  reasons  (not excuses)  for  these  situations  to  happen? Only a wishful dreamer would expect all the Navy members to be 100 percent dedicated to their work, and only  a  confirmed  pessimist  would  declare  that  the Navy will never be as good as it should be. There must be a point between these two extremes at which the problems  and  requests  of  naval  personnel,  their dependents, and Navy employees can be and should be handled  correctly,  promptly,  and  courteously;  a  point at which members will be satisfied with the service they receive without reducing the efficiency of those providing  the  service. Providing  excellent  customer  service  is  the  re- sponsibility  of  everyone  in  the  Navy.  A  few  of  the 1-5

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