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Just A Data-Day Idiot

, , , , , | Right | February 11, 2021

I work for a company that handles digital media and printing such media. We offer printing, data loading, and packing services for USBs and CDs. I work as a designer for our custom jobs, but I also handle loading the master drive with the data — the one we keep on hand for about fourteen months in case the client reorders — and proof art and data.

I have been working here for a few months when we have this guy place an order. I have the stupidity to answer my work phone when I have just sat down for lunch at my desk and barely made my salad.

Me: “Thank you for calling [Company]. This is [My Name].”

Customer: “Hi, I just got a data proof and the sizes don’t match up.”

Me: “Okay. Let me pull it up for you. What size do you get when you check the properties of the data?”

When the customer responds, he sounds like I just spoke in a foreign language.

Customer: “I don’t know what that is, but when I calculate it on my end, it doesn’t add up.”

Me: “Okay… you should have a folder on your end with the data you sent us. You can highlight all the files, right-click them, and hit ‘properties’ at the bottom of the page. The size should be there.”

Customer: “Oh, well, I don’t have the data on my computer. Some other guy made the master I sent you.”

Me: *Dumbfounded* “Oh…”

Customer: “Yeah, so when you calculate it in a calculator, I get [amount #1] versus your [amount #2].”

I mentally jump out of my office window.

Me: “Calculating totals of data on a regular calculator won’t show the exact same amount. That’s not how data works.”

Customer: *Getting irritated* “Well, I’m an older guy so this is how I’ve done it for years. Here, do it with me.”

I just want to get this guy off the phone, so I pull up a calculator. He proceeds to go through each file and folder and calculate the KB each makes up. On my end, the calculator shows almost the exact amount. I am honestly surprised by how close it is, but that still isn’t how data works.

Customer: “See? The totals are off!”

Me: “Sir, I see that, but using a normal calculator won’t work—”

He interrupts me for the millionth time. 

Customer: “Why is it off? Are there some files corrupted?”

Me: *Getting upset now* “Sir, we had our tech guy check each file and there was no corrupt—”

Customer: *Interrupts again* “I know how we can check. Let’s do this.”

He proceeded to have me hold the phone to the speaker and play each of his THIRTY-PLUS FILES OF MUSIC DATA for a few seconds each to make sure the songs were there. It took over ten minutes because while having to listen to the music, I had to try to hear him over the music saying that I could proceed to each one. During this time, I had to clock in from lunch and didn’t even get to relax for my break. Thank God he hasn’t reordered.

The worst news is that I had to throw out my salad since the ranch had soaked the leaves and made them soggy. I didn’t eat anything but snacks that I had for the rest of the day. I pigged out when I got home for dinner.

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