Hopefully, You Won’t Pay(Roll) For That

, , , , | Working | February 1, 2019

(My former colleague used to work as an IT technician for one of the UK’s largest aerospace companies, back in the 1980s. In this particular company, for some reason, IT staff also has to take it in turns to process the company payroll files. One particular afternoon, everyone is out of the office on tasks, except my colleague. He is doing the payroll when the phone rings. My colleague answers it. Note that technically he SHOULDN’T answer the phone. The standing order for IT is that when you are processing payroll you are NOT supposed to stop for ANYTHING short of fire, natural disaster, or terrorist attack. If payroll doesn’t get processed on time, people don’t get paid, and if people don’t get paid, the unions get angry, and if the unions get angry, there are strikes.)

Caller: “Hello. I want you to come down and look at [computer hardware].”

Colleague: “Okay, well, I can’t come now, because I’m busy.”

Caller: “What are you doing?”

Colleague: “I’m processing payroll. I’m not supposed to stop for anything. Technically, I shouldn’t even be talking to you now.”

Caller: “Well, never mind about that. This is more important. I need you to come down and look at [hardware].”

Colleague: “Okay, I can come down, but it won’t be until I’ve finished here.”

Caller: “Look, I am a manager. I need you to come down and look at this right now!”

Colleague: “I’m sorry, I can’t come now. You’ll have to wait until I’ve finished doing payroll, or wait until someone else comes back so they can look at it for you.”

Caller: “This is insubordination. I could have you sacked! Do you know who I am?”

Colleague: “No, I don’t. Do you know who I am?”

Caller: “No, I don’t.”

Colleague: “Well, f*** off, then!”

(My colleague hung up.)

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