This is all about when a job goes wrong, when corporate America is left to run things with no responsibility whatsoever. Please feel free to comment and commiserate. I'm sure I'll be in need of a co-author to the book this just _has_ to become.

31 August 2005

Money to burn

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I think I’ve mentioned the daily sales report Mike puts together for the higher-ups and e-mails them every morning. We have been asked repeatedly to make this print all on one page, despite the fact that anyone can do it if they just LEARN HOW TO USE THEIR PRINT SETTINGS . So, we’ve made it work, but by the time you get to the end of the month, you’ve got a pretty sizable report on your hands and the print-size gets pretty small packed into one page.

So this morning, we get an e-mail asking us if the report can be printed on several pages (in direct opposition to the previous order) because the president, Bill, wants it to be more readable.


So Mike sets it for that and sends it on. They print a copy out and decide it’s not aesthetically pleasing enough printed on four sheets and taped together. Their solution for this? Adjust your zoom in Excel and just look at it at any size you want on your computer. No. Grin and bear it and deal with the 4-page printout? Don’t be silly. We need to BUY A PRINTER that will print at this size. Which means a 24” wide-format printer like graphic design departments use to print out small posters. $2500 investment.

So. He. Can. Print. An. EXCEL. File. A. Couple. Times. Per. Month.

Let me state this now. If I am here long enough to be up for a raise, and they don’t give me one, there is going to be a long and detailed discussion about how if they have enough money to buy this printer on a whim when there are several free solutions lying around, they can afford my raise.

While we’re on wasted money, and it’s a pay day, let me just toss this in. Our paychecks come in two envelopes. What the hell? They come from the place that prints them in a windowed envelope with the printing on the inside to make them impossible to read through. Then we pay for someone’s time here to stuff them in another envelope and seal them then deliver them to us. Now, my tree-hugging nature aside, just from a money standpoint, they pay the printing place to stuff the checks in envelopes—which I know has an added cost associated with it—then they pay man hours and material to do it again.

I hate.

19 August 2005

It's a fecal matter

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This isn’t really related, but it goes to show the general mood around here. Think about the one thing you HAVE to do once in a while that you loathe most. It’s not an every day thing, but when it occurs, you sigh, your shoulders slump, and the cloud of despair settles over you until the mission is accomplished. Got it? Is the action in your mind the act of relieving your bowels in a public restroom? If it wasn’t, did you now change it to that since I mentioned it?

It’s no secret that said activity is one of the things people hate most. One of the only ways you can make it worse is to have your place of refuge be a port-a-potty. So now that we have this horror firmly planted in your head, realize that this activity is the best part of my workday. My body so needs this time away from desk and distraction that it has subconsciously shifted my regular 5:30 AM constitution to 10:30 AM so that I have to use the public restroom at work. Oh yeah. It’s a party for me. I make sure I have my cell phone with me, and I never leave until I’ve completed at least one game of Nokia bowling. It is truly my moment. It’s that scene in the movie where the character “goes to his happy place” and there are servants with fans and more catering to his every whim. Only difference is that my fan is a vent and electric-powered, and my only whims are sated by the brilliant man at Nokia who decided that what people really needed to be able to do on their cell phones is bowl.

“Budwiser salutes Real Men of Genius”
( real men of genius )
“Today we salute you: Mr. Cell Phone Video Game Programmer”
( Mr. Cell Phone Video Game Progra-ammer )
“While other members of your company are busy thinking of ‘wireless internet’ and ‘network connectivity,’ your singular obsession is turning the cellular phone into cellular FUN.”
( a thrill a minute )
“When we’re waiting for the doctor, our turn in the DMV line, or just looking for some distraction while pinching a loaf…”
( the splash wets my hiney )
“…you know that we don’t want to talk to our Moms in the hospital or to stay in contact with work. What we really want is to be bowling.”
( pass a beer and the rosin bag )
“So here’s to you Mr. Cell Phone Video Game Programmer. The world is our arcade, thanks to you.”
( Mr. Cell Phone Video Game Progra-ammer )

So anyway, I’m in there today, partaking in the ritual, on my way to breaking 200, when the main door opens and some dude enters breathing heavy and groaning. I’m in the 7th frame and bowling 150, so I’m reluctant to hurry myself. So the dude gets in the stall next to mine and situates himself to do his business, moaning and wheezing all the while. As I’m lining up for the 8th frame, I catch a whiff of B.O. Then I catch a bit more. Then I’m starting to feel a little queasy so I abort my game, finish my duty, perform a thorough but quick hand-washing, and evacuate with the quickness.

Now, first of all, if you storm into a bathroom groaning and breathing like the alien is ready to hatch out of your chest, sit down and begin your business while another guy does the same in the stall next to you, and the strongest smell in the room is your pits–you need to seriously rethink your hygiene regimen.

Second, directly to my passing companion (a double entendre/pun combination – damn, I’m funny), HOW DARE YOU KILL THE ONE SHINING MOMENT IN MY WORKDAY! I mean, geez, with the setup, I was all braced for certain types of noises and smells, and ready to soldier through these to get a little closer to bowling greatness. Then you go and pull the switcheroo… Not cool. Not cool at all.

This concludes my discussion of my bowels and how they relate to my work sanity.

10 August 2005


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So this morning, the IT guys are in a rumble because the mail server is jammed to capacity and they need to free some space. Now think of all the folders in your e-mail program, which would you empty first? You don’t even have to think about it do you? You’d flush the DELETED ITEMS folder, wouldn’t you? Of course this is the same conclusion that the IT boys came to and they dumped like half of the deleted items from the server, so people could still get at more recent ones if necessary.




Franz raged all over them for deleting his deleted items and told them they have to go to the backup tape and get them back because there was stuff in there he needed. Now, I’ve been known to dip into that folder and retrieve stuff from time to time, but if it’s gone, it’s gone. IF I needed something so bad that I thought it worth asking IT to perform such an operation, I would kiss their buns and ask them nicely to help me recover from my stupidity. He raged.

Loser! Find some other place to keep the things you need. Maybe create a folder and call it “Items I’m Not Fully Ready To Commit To Deleting But Am Too Stupid To Put In Other Logical Folders” or something similar.

If you were at home, and you stored stuff in the trash, and then you raged on the garbage man for taking it, he’d beat the tar out of you, and then the police would come and cart you away. For the love of bacon! Be a man, admit that your stash of Korean porn is gone forever, and go back to work at building a new one instead of wasting three IT guys’ time fixing your foul-up. How these guys [upper management] never ended up in government jobs, I’ll never know.


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The binder appeared again today.

05 August 2005

Bemused resignation

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There was a meeting with a vendor that I had to sit in on today that included Bill (the president), Franz (VP Marketing), and Matt (VP Sales). There are not words to describe how much of a tool Bill is. I won’t even describe any specific action today because I’m so embarrassed for him (since he’s to dumb to realize how embarrassed he should be for himself) that, in my mind, I keep hearing a sound of bewildered defeat I can only describe as “guh!”, and I can’t form the words to compose it. Franz had his nose so far up Bill’s backside, I’m not even sure how he was able to hear anybody speaking in the meeting over the sound of the muffled digestion gurgles that I can only guess would overwhelm one with his head secured thusly. The only one who behaved like an adult and a human was Matt, and anyone who knows me knows that if I see the sales guy as the shining beacon of hope, it is a dark day indeed.

There wasn’t even a need for me to be in this meeting. Bill wanted a meeting, Franz filled the seats to look important, and I lost an hour of my life and had to pay for it by blushing in front of a vendor who looked at me at least three times with an expression that somehow said, “how low must your self-esteem be to work for a man who obviously cant tie his own shoes in the morning?”

Heh. That brings up an interesting thought. I wonder if wingtips come in Velcro.

Matt has his ups and downs. I don’t care for him in general, his management style leaves a LOT to be desired (thank God I don’t work for him in any way). However, sometimes our thoughts run in the same vein. I overheard him say yesterday that he would like to line up all of the VPs and the president, point a gun at the forehead of the first in line, and kill them all with one bullet, because that chunk of lead is about all of them together are worth. I was going to mention to Matt that he is a VP too, and then I realized that he’s so short it wouldn’t matter. If you lined him up with the rest of them and put the gun to his head, he would be the only one to die, the rest would only suffer non-fatal groin wounds. In the interest of the greater good, I leave it to Matt to do his way.

03 August 2005

Stranger in a strange land

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Our company has decided that if people overpay for an order (this actually happens quite regularly…to the tune of several thousand dollars per month), we won’t refund their money, but rather give them a credit towards a future purchase. We will only send a refund if they call in and complain. I don’t even know what to say. Can this be legal? The higher-ups are so nonchalant about it, it’s making me question whether I’m the crazy one. I’m baffled.

02 August 2005

Trouble in paradise

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There were some kind of major issues with the network today. Phones weren’t working right, we couldn’t connect to the Internet very well – a big deal for a company that makes all of it’s money by phone and online store. The reason was twofold. One reason: one of the servers was getting spyware-bombed which overloaded the bandwidth and pretty much rendered that essential server useless. The other reason: the phone bill didn’t get paid and the phone company cut back service so that we could still make calls out, but not receive any.

Let me repeat that, because it bears it. A company that depends on its phone system for HALF of it’s total income neglected to pay the phone bill. I feel like I should quit now to avoid being here when this place goes under, but then I’d have nothing for this journal.

The other funny thing about the situation is that after the problem was discovered, they got someone in touch with the phone company to pay with a check-by-phone. After that, literally every two minutes the president was in the server room asking if we were back up yet. Now, I know when something’s messed up, the people in authority want to make sure it’s resolved as soon as possible. But if you’re hounding the guy trying to get it fixed so often that he can’t do what he needs to get it fixed, do you really think you’re helping the process? And this isn’t the first time I’ve seen this happen here. It’s at least a once-per-month occasion [I refer to IT problems that the president somehow thinks he can speed up by being annoying, not the lack of bill payment]. Seriously, how smart do you have to be to know this? Apparently, at least one IQ point over 42.