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.

28 November 2005

Room for one more, honey

My new partner, whom I shall call "E" started today. God help him.

Fred lost his temper before 8:05, and then several times after. During one tirade, he uttered the words "I'm going to shoot those m-----F------!" Knowing Fred, I'm not really worried about it, but you just can't say that shit in the 21st century world.

That's about it. Nothing too big. But I can feel the stupidity volcano trembling as if it might erupt at any moment. That is to say, I feel good in general, and we all know that won't be tolerated. Who knows? We had a good weekend for sales. Maybe the holiday money will be enough to keep the stupid asses at low foolishness for a while.

25 November 2005

Your vocabulary lesson for the day

In the dictionary, under redundant, it says "see redundant"

This place started selling things on eBay about a year ago. At that time, there was this kitchen gadget we'll call the WonderWheel. Everyone wanted one, it was the hot product over Christmas, we couldn't keep them in stock. But that didn't stop Franz from putting them on eBay. He put 1,000 pieces up there, sold them -- as in, actually took money -- and then made up excuses when people started complaining and shipped them as they came in. It was a huge deal that he never paid attention to, becuase other people (including me) had to pick up the mess, and he only had to smile and accept the bonus check for the sales.

We took tons of negative feedback over the thing, and anybody who uses eBay knows that your feedback rating is your life's blood. It's probably not unreasonable to say that you can reduce your potential sales by 30% for every percent under 100 your feedback rating is on eBay. His little bad business fiasco took us down to around 95%.

Those of us on the cleanup crew have been monitoring and putting a lot of time into it to get that rating up to 96.8% a year later. Lately, he's been itching so badly to get sales that he'll push the edge by, say, putting a listing up on Friday for an item that's supposed to be arriving in our warehouse on Monday. It doesn't thrill me, but I've let it float a couple times because I have just been way too consumed with other work to argue about it.

Today, he asked me to do it with two items that were supposed to be here a week ago. I was not happy, but I grinned and did what I was told. THEN, I'm on eBay looking for some other information, and I see that he has listed 1,000 pieces of a product that is going to be in the spring catalog, a month and a half from now, and that has a "maybe" delivery date of December 5th.

Hello? Moron boy? We're still shoveling from the last time you crapped all over the place, and in you walk, dropping trou', looking for a clean spot to foul up again? Forget you!

I'm going to laugh so hard if this goes the same way as last year. Last year, eBay accounted for roughly 5% of our online sales. This year, it's almost 20%. If we get caught and kicked off eBay, it'll hurt a lot more this time. Heads will roll, and I'll just sit in the corner and quietly point my finger.

If it weren't for my horse, I wouldn't of spent that year in college.

Like a fly at a picnic, this thought just buzzed into my ear. It's annoyed me before but I've shooed it away. Now I need to write it and kill it...

Annoying thing about Rod #3,462

He refers to color printouts of things as "lasers." First, who the hell refers to anything that came out of a computer printer as a "laser?" Second, EVERY color machine in this ENTIRE building is an inkjet. There are no lazers involved. Nowhere. To my knowledge, the only lasers in this place are bar-code scanners and they're more degrees removed from printers than I am from Kevin Bacon. My only guess is that 5 years ago, someone wanted to teach him a stupid buzzword to see if he would repeat it, and now it's ingrained itself in him as truth. At least that thought gives me comfort.


It's the day after Thanksgiving, and I'm at work with A TON of crap to do. Who didn't see that coming?

"Here, take this day off. (you will pay for it tomorrow)"

18 November 2005

The lights aren't even on

A coworker relayed a story to me today about how she was meeting with Rod about something yesterday. He had asked her a question and as she answered, she saw the vacant look take over his face. When she concluded, he woke and said something to the effect of, "I'm sorry, could you run that by me again? I lost interest in the middle and didn't hear what you said."

The man is a human Etch-A-Sketch, I swear. Shake him too much and he completely loses the picture. How full of yourself do you have to be to admit that anyway? Unbelievable...or at least it would be anywhere else.

17 November 2005

When nature calls, people listen.

I had a business trip for the past couple days. The business part of it was okay, but was really eye-opening was getting to learn something about myself. And that is: I am a bit of a jerk.

You see, I was in the office of one of our vendors for training on their systems. So we’re locked up in the conference room all day, and my bladder after morning coffee has a 1 hour limit for at least 3 hours, no exceptions. So I’m doing the pee-pee dance in my chair at 9:20 and I finally tell them I have to go or there’s going to be trouble. They point me in the right direction and I head off. As I turn the corner nearing the bathroom, I see out of the corner of my eye, a guy coming the other way. Now, I know he could be going elsewhere, but I’m not taking any chances. I keep my head down and push on toward the bathroom, intending to body-check this guy if I have to, no matter how bad he needs to go. So, I make it to the door first, bustle in, lock up, and do my duty.

Fast-forward to 10:30. I have to go again. Not as bad, but we’re at a good stopping place and I excuse myself. I turn the same corner, I see this guy again, keep my head down again, and bull my way in. Again, not caring about his need. So I take care of business, and get back to it.

Lunch break. Now I really don’t have to go all that much, but I’m not sure how long the car ride to lunch is going to take and I want to be safe. I turn the corner, and THIS DUDE IS THERE AGAIN, walking toward me like déjà vu. Now, I’m annoyed that this guy is on the same bladder schedule as me, and I’m embarrassed because he’s seen me charge in before him twice already today, and it’s just barely after noon. So I push ahead again and get in to do my thing.

While I’m in there, I ponder that I’ve been such a jerk repeatedly and I decide I should apologize to the guy if I see him outside or at least make light of the situation so he knows I’m not a total creep. So I wash, kill the light, step out, and look around. This time, eyes are up, and I’m looking ahead for the first time…and even though I just went potty, I nearly wet myself as I drop like 30 self esteem points because I realize that the office is about half as long as I thought it was, and the guy I’ve been beating to the bathroom all these times –

is my reflection in a full-wall mirror.


13 November 2005

The prosecution rests

Proof of "the binder" taken before Mike left.

10 November 2005

Rod: More of a jackass than any donkey

Three phantom messages today. Three times I had to pick up the phone, dial voicemail, enter my PIN, go through the menu, listen, delete, log out properly (because if you don't, our crappy system doesn't always delete right), and hang up. Three times he could have called or e-mailed and saved me the time. Three times he chose to be an aloof jerkwad instead.

Plus, he did it to me again. I've mentioned before how we send e-mails to everybody on our list every day. Well, I'm taking off tomorrow, which is a Friday, which means that I have to have e-mails ready for Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday ready and scheduled to be sent before I can go. It takes roughly 2 hours to put together an e-mail, which means 8 hours, plus I still have other regular duties to maintain. So things are stacked against me.

I jam through the morning reports and other stuff, and I'm into e-mails by 10 AM. By 1 PM, the first one is done. By 3 PM, two more are done. So now I'm feeling good. I may make it, I'm blowin' these things out in good time, plus there aren't any crises in the system to slow me down like there were yesterday. So I send out the tests and jump into the fourth one. As I'm finishing up at 4:30, I look over and see the message light is on. I sigh.

Rod, in his best Office Space voice, says,"Um...Mat, proofread the TG blast and then send it to me again when you get it fixed."

I know, I made a mistake, I'm in the professional world and I need to have things as close to perfect as they can be before sending them out. But that's why we do the internal test. Anybody that writes or designs things will tell you that once you stare at something for a while, you can't see the details, you need fresh eyes to help. So now it's 4:30 and this human doorstop want's me to play "Where's Waldo?" Grow up, you non-helping sack of walrus snot! Save me the time when I'm obviously jammed up and TELL ME WHAT THE ERROR IS! And have enough of a sack to call me directly about it instead of leaving some pansy-ass phantom message that I may or may not notice until Monday.

I mentioned before that I don't consider him human. I'm not jerking around. He's missing something that keeps him from being a part of the real world. Seriously, he is not worth a fart in a hurricane to me. If he and George Bush were drowning, and someone held a gun to my head and forced me to save one, we'd all be paying higher taxes again next year.

09 November 2005

Illogical, captain.

You might think that if you had 2 people that were busy all day doing stuff, and one of them left, it might be smart to ease up on things for a while so the solo act can keep his head above water. You might...

Time to start leaving violent poetry around the building.

Good job, slacker

Bill walked in as I was reading one of my daily web comics (Something Positive) yesterday to tell me how excited about how the hard work I was doing was showing revenue and to encourage me to keep it up. Heh. It's a bit awkward to take compliments from the president when you have something animated taking up your whole screen.

07 November 2005


I am the only person in my department. I have an interview for a potential new partner at 2 PM. My boss called-off today so I have to handle that myself. Rod, who's job it is to give me the products to be placed in the e-mails has decided that today I should pick the products for the next two. When I gave him suggestions, he said "Possibly, we'll see after you design it." So now I'm supposed to spend 2 hours on a "possibly" so the prince can wave his approval or denial since my time is so open today.

You know how you can feel the heat in your face when you get angry? I am the friggin' 7up Spot today...

04 November 2005

All the news fit to print

Man, somebody totally cropdusted the cube farm this morning and it reeks like sombody rolled through a cesspool, jogged 10 miles and then came in to work in the same clothes. Nasty.

So then I did it too.

In other news... I fell victim to the bathroom light today, which was annoying but not so much after the events earlier in the week. That's going to stay with me a while...I'm still chuckling.

02 November 2005

The end, my only friend, the end

There was just A LOUD crash behind me in the server room. It was preceeded by a smaller crash and a lot of shouting. Fred's been having more and more trouble getting everything done since Jack left. I know the feeling, but Fred has some issues.

Anyway, from the sound, it seemed like he had gotten mad, kicked one of the shelves and then something collapsed, possibly on him, so I was a little concerned that he was hurt. I went in and there were some parts of a printer scattered on the floor. He looked at me, put a hand on my shoulder smiled genuinely and said he was okay. Then he totally Hyded, spun around, grabbed a chair and launched it to the far end of the room, somehow missing the control console for all of the servers.

"I'm just so pissed! This f***in' printer keeps f***in' up while printing these checks... Look at these f***in' numbers, they're not right! F***!"

So he picks up the chair, marches it back to the doorway and tosses it out into the hallway beside my cubicle. Where Rod had walked by seconds before. I know Rod was cowering in the next room wondering if this was going to be where one of the employees he helped push to the edge finally flipped and gave it back to him. I know he was crouched by the door, shaking and making a puddle. I know he cried. I know all of these things because my mind has created the images and now I can't gt rid of them and I don't want to because they make me happy.

Not this time Rod. But the law of averages says you can't hold out forever. Oh, I hope bodily harm comes to you. Something incapacitating, because you're weak, and you'd totally off yourself afterwards, so then you'd have the pain and then the depression and resulting suicide. It's not cruel of me to think that way because you're not have no soul.

What was I saying? Oh yeah, Fred cooled down, we had a good laugh, and the dust settled. The end.

Deja vu all over again

Man...Customer Service called in 3 temps today. Two are doing fine, the third - not so much. This story doesn't top yesterday's, but it gave me a laugh, especially considering that it is just one day later.

Somewhere around 11 AM, Carly comes overand tells me she had to let another one go today. I guess this temp was having some kind of visible distress that didn't subside, so Carly sent her girl Janelle over again to see what the deal was. When Janelle asked what the problem was, the temp sighed heavily and whined, "I'm not down with how y'all want me to talk all 'white'." Janelle, who is black, asked her what she meant and the temp replied, "Ya know...'yes,' 'please,' 'thank-you''s not my style."

When Janelle conveyed this to Carly, Carly came over and told the girl she wouldn't be needed for the rest of the day. "Fo' really-real? That's wassup!"

Black America: take two steps backward.

01 November 2005

I'M mad, YOU'RE mad, we're ALL mad here! -Alice in Wonderland

Okay, so you may remember my post about the timer on the light in the bathroom, and you may remember one about the mental state of our customer service people (not all of them, but many). You're going to need to pull on your knowledge of both of those for this one.

Apparently, Customer Service had a temp this morning. He came in 5 minutes late, which is no biggie, but also not a good start. Carly reached to shake his hand and he apparently jumped like he had never been offered feminine contact before. Now, Carly is very nice, but somewhat overbearing, so I'm not going to hold that against him, except to say that it was another sign.

Regardless, she took him to where he was going to be working and had her best worker show him the ropes. So the guy was given a headset for working on the phones and didn't start working until he had cleaned it - for 15 minutes. To paraphrase A Long Kiss Goodnight, I submit to you that there is nothing there worth more than five minutes' attention. At that point, anything on that set was either gone for good, or there to stay. Strike two.

But the work didn't start then, either. He had to go to the bathroom. He was gone for 15 minutes when Carly finally got fed up and decided to go looking for him. She walked by the men's room, and heard "HELP! The light went out and I'm locked in the stall!" Apparently he had been in the bathroom when the light timer tripped and left him in the dark. This bothered him A LOT. He hollered for help like death was imminent, and thought he was locked in and nobody would ever come to save him. Carly couldn't help him without laughing, so she went and got Sean Martin to turn the light on for the guy. If you knew Sean, I could paint you a picture that would have you rolling, but you don't, and I can't put the time into it now to do it justice. Let me just say that I have walked into the dark bathroom on at least three occasions when Sean himself was squatting and using his lighter to find the toilet paper. Point is, it as pretty much the blind leading the blind, or the foppish leading the psychotic if you prefer.

So the temp guy finally gathered himself and went back to C.S. and started pacing and shaking and wringing his hands. The girl that was supposed to help him get going tried to calm him down, but he wouldn't sit and obviously wasn't going to be any good to work, So Carly told her to escort him to the front door. It took 15 minutes to walk him out (this is where I came into it, since I can almost see the front door from my desk). The guy was just standing by the front door, staring into space, looking and mumbling like Dustin Hoffman in Rainman about how he was clausterphobic and how he wasn't sure he could recover.

My thoughts:
In case anyone was wondering if there are people out there too psycho to be customer service reps, here's you're bell-ringing prize-winner.

It struck me that it's possible that this guy isn't really this insane and that he either wanted to take the day off work or was looking for a chance to sue somebody. With all the other stuff going on here, wouldn't it be ironic if the thing that took the place down was a lawsuit from a dude who got blacked-out in the potty by a timer that was put in as a cheapass cost-saving measure? Priceless.