Wish She’d Been So Late She Missed The Whole Thing

, , , , | Working | August 4, 2021

I have a coworker who likes to pull the absolute dumbest power moves in the history of power moves. She sends me a text message one minute after an all-staff call meeting starts. This meeting literally happens every single day at exactly the same time. She comes onto the meeting five minutes late.

Coworker: “Hey, [My Name], did you get my text message?”

Me: “If you sent it in the last five minutes, then no.”

I know she is perfectly aware that I don’t have my phone on me during meetings as she has pulled this BS in the past.

Coworker: “So, you didn’t see my text message?”

Me: “What was it about?”

Coworker: “You didn’t get my text message?”

Me: “Not if you sent it while we were in the meeting.”

Coworker: “Well, did you get a text message from me?”

Me: *Confused* “The one you sent all of us ten minutes ago?”

I am wondering why she is bothering asking me about a text message she sent to all of us, essentially bragging how she was on the phone with a client and would be late. I don’t realize there is another text message, because again, I am in the middle of a meeting and I don’t have my phone on me, because I am not an animal. And again, I have said such!

Coworker: “So, you don’t have another text message from me?”

Me: *Getting fed up* “Again, I haven’t checked while we are in the meeting.”

Coworker: *Offended* “Well, I was just asking!”

Yes, and I answered. Three times now, you jerk. And no, I am not going to get my phone and be rude in the middle of a meeting because you’re a power-hungry idiot. Why she couldn’t outright ask the question is beyond me. It wasn’t confidential. She wanted to know when a package was arriving — information her lazy butt had access to.

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You Did It! You’re A Hero!

, , , , | Working | CREDIT: Korochun | August 3, 2021

It’s an average post-holiday weekday afternoon at my work, which means that I am mostly hanging out, answering various questions from our first line of contact, clarifying department rules, and updating procedures. I am also checking up on various ancient work orders gathering dust in our queue, usually for lack of customer or management response, and indiscriminately nuking the ones that I can close due to lack of customer response while auto-repeating a stage in an ongoing mobile game event. Just your usual Tier III slow day help desk stuff.

An email chime rings.

My emails normally don’t have audio alerts, except for a select group of very high-ranked people who need urgent Tier-III attention to address their pressing problems, such as plugging in a monitor.

Among the team, I’m the one on actual emails and calls that afternoon, so I pop it open. Huh, it looks like our CEO is trying to join a conference via a specific app, but it’s just not working. Oh, and the conference started half an hour ago and they need someone to come up “in the next two minutes.” Call me crazy, but if I have an important conference coming up using a program that I have not tested before, I might call IT out BEFORE the conference starts.

As I enter the CEO’s office one walk up the stairs later, I discover that he’s got a whole setup going with a smartphone clamped in with actual proper hardware, good lighting, the whole thing. Frankly, I am impressed and relieved. This specific conferencing software doesn’t play well with our firewall sometimes, but if it goes out over the smartphone Wi-Fi, that’s way easier; they have their own, much laxer rules.

Me: “So can you tell me exactly what is wrong?”

He is in a hurry, and I figure we both have things we’d rather be doing that don’t involve making polite small talk for half an hour.

CEO: “My conference app is not working.”

He waves at the phone, which does indeed appear blank. The app is up, but other than the meeting name, it’s just basically blank. I can hear people on the other end, but no matter if I click camera or mic buttons, nothing happens. A suspicion forms in my head.

Me: “Okay, drop the session and start it again with me looking over your shoulder. Let’s go step by step.”

Everything goes perfectly fine, the app joins a meeting, he types out a name and — why the ever-loving f*** is he clicking “Don’t Allow” to every prompt that comes up?

Me: *Very diplomatically* “Why are you clicking ‘Don’t Allow’ to every prompt that comes up?”

CEO: “Oh, I was told I shouldn’t let apps access stuff on my phone.”

Me: “If you don’t let this conferencing app access your microphone or camera, it will not be able able to transmit anything using your microphone or camera.”

CEO: “Oh, is that how it works?”

Me: “Yeah. Let me reset your permissions in the settings… Here you go. Camera and audio feed. You are live.”

CEO: “Wow, you are great! I think they’ve been trying to solve my issue for over a year now with this phone app, and you fixed it in two minutes!”

Me: *Laughs* “No problem, you have a good day.”

Another horrible suspicion formed in my head.

Back at my desk, after restarting my mobile game stage — you have to have priorities — I started digging in the call logging system. Sure enough, there was a work order sent directly to our networking team, bypassing all normal channels — me — from fourteen months before, highest priority, with four different techs all going back and forth about how our CEO’s phone did not permit video and audio traffic from this conferencing app over our Wi-Fi network. Vendors were contacted, entire network closets were torn apart and put back together, and multiple Wi-Fi modems and APs were replaced. There were thousands of dollars and close to a thousand man-hours put in by people with six-digit salaries trying to fix this elusive issue.

All because none of these Senior Network Engineers had ever heard of Rule Zero: Don’t Trust The Customer.

As a Tier III tech, I have the ability to hijack assignments and make sure that everybody involved gets a message when I close the work order. This one was particularly satisfying to close, with a solution description saying, “Customer was denying permission to access phone resources to the app. No actual network issue is apparent. See Work Order [Number].”

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And I Thought That Strapless Top I Wore Last Week Was Awkward

, , , , , , | Working | August 3, 2021

More than half of the attorneys I work for in my office are Jewish. We’re currently all working from home, and all our meetings with each other and clients are virtual.

At today’s meeting, our boss passes on a virtual meeting tip that someone who can’t attend today has shared: “Do not have a book with a Nazi symbol visible in the background, even if it’s just a book about the Third Reich.”

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Gotta Score Those Sweet Wife Points

, , , , | Working | CREDIT: SandyPetersen | July 29, 2021

Back in the day when I worked for [Mid-Sized Company], which was wholly owned by [Giant Company], there was a big tech-fest in Barcelona, and [Giant Company] was going to be there. Just a few days before the fest, they realized they needed someone from [Mid-Sized Company] to demonstrate our soon-to-be-released game, but it was less than a week away. My producer came to me, as the product’s design lead.

Producer: “We really need you to go to Barcelona, but because of the short notice, we can’t order you to go. [Giant Company Guy] says if you go, you can either fly first class or take your wife.”

The thought of scoring major Karma with my wife — who speaks Spanish fluently — was the dealmaker.

Me: “You bet!”

And I immediately phoned my wife with the exciting news.

Just two days before we were due to fly to Spain, some bean counter at [Giant Company] decided the deal they’d offered me was too good, so they decided to walk back on the offer. It wasn’t written down, after all.

My producer came to me again and said I couldn’t take my wife when I went.

Me: “Okay, then I won’t go.”

My producer grinned and went back to the bean counter, who was amazed that I’d walked it back. He thought for sure I’d want the trip to Spain, right? Now he had NO ONE to demo the [Mid-Sized Company] product. No one at [Giant Company] could do it, and no one else at [Mid-Sized Company] would do it after hearing how they tried to screw me.

The bean counter caved immediately, and my wife and I got our trip to Barcelona. I sat in a big white room talking about tech specs to nerds all weekend, and my wife got to see the city. I did manage to go out to dinner with her in the evenings — squid ink paella and tapas for the win!

I am told that since they had to book my wife’s ticket the day we flew, it cost [Giant Company] an extra $1000.

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Please, For The Love Of God, Retire!

, , , , , | Working | July 29, 2021

When I first started at my company, I was put with a coworker who was well past retirement age but stayed around as the company had this big thing about knowledge transfer from old employees to new.

Unfortunately, [Coworker]’s job has changed massively over the last five years. A lot of it has become automated by IT, meaning that after a while, [Coworker] couldn’t actually show me much of anything, and what he could show me was basic IT stuff that I was already better at than he was.

A good trainer would admit what they could and couldn’t teach, but [Coworker] would insist that he teach me, even on stuff that wasn’t relevant. Once, he tried to show me how to use equipment we didn’t even have — nor will we have again — and made me read the instruction manual. Front to back.

On his off days, I managed perfectly well. [Coworker] wouldn’t allow me to use things like Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V, so I was actually faster on my own.

Eventually, I was fed up enough to talk to my boss, who then sided with [Coworker]. In retaliation, [Coworker] made me read more instruction manuals.

After months of this, I was REALLY fed up. I was chatting to a friend who worked in another department. 

Me: “I don’t see the point of all this ‘training.’ I am not learning anything.”

Friend: “There is a job going in my department. I can ask to see if they will transfer you.”

Me: “Yeah, anything other than this. But I think [Boss] will block it. I’m supposed to be the guy that takes over from [Coworker].”

Friend: “My boss is pretty senior. I’m sure he could make it happen.”

I applied and hoped for the best. One day, I got an email to sneak over to the other department where I interviewed in a back office. I was eventually offered the job and told that they would make it happen, regardless of what my boss said.

It turned into weeks of arguing, but ultimately, I did get the job. [Coworker] had to fill in for me until they could get a replacement. I did hear that my old boss asked for me to go back and train [Coworker] on my job. Apparently, this was refused by my new boss, which is probably a good thing.

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