How To Win The War Against Telemarketers, Part 32

, , , | Working | March 15, 2018

(Our business has a name that can easily be interpreted as having a single person in charge, even though it specifies that we are, in fact, a company. We do get a lot of telemarketers calling and asking for Mr. [Company]. That person doesn’t exist anymore; the company was founded in the 1920s. Most recover and then ask for the name of the person in charge. This call goes a little differently.)

Telemarketer: “Hello, may I speak to Mr. [Company], please?”

Me: “We don’t have a person like this here; our company only has that name.”

Telemarketer: *trying to be funny* “Sounds like that happens to you a lot, then.”

Me: “It’s usually only people working down a list, with no idea who they actually want to talk to.”

Telemarketer: “And you think that I am one of them?”

Me: “Well, yes. I do.”

Telemarketer: “Do you want to know what I think of you?”

Me: “No, not interested.”

Telemarketer: “I am going to tell you, anyway. I think you are full of prejudice, and that’s no way to treat somebody you know nothing about.”

Me: *not really caring what a stranger thinks about me* “Okay.”

Telemarketer: “Good bye, then.” *hangs up*

Me: *starts laughing, having to explain what happened to my coworkers*

(Guess that counts as a win for me, since he hung up first. He probably would’ve gotten further if he hadn’t tried to be funny and just asked who was the correct person to speak to.)

How To Win The War Against Telemarketers, Part 31
How To Win The War Against Telemarketers, Part 30
How To Win The War Against Telemarketers, Part 29

State-Funded Panic

, , , , | Working | March 14, 2018

(I am completing an externship for my chosen area of study. Some of the things I handle require a lot of documentation. In terms of this particular product there is a difference between state-funded product and private product; it is literally the same stuff, but the funding is separate, and therefore the stock is kept separate. I have prepared a product from the private stock for a person, and it turns out that it wasn’t needed. Due to the nature of the product, I can’t just put it back or use it on someone else. I must mark it as “wasted” and dispose of it. Later that afternoon, this discussion happens with the coworker in charge of keeping the stocks accounted for.)

Coworker: “There was wasted [state-funded product]?!”

Me: *anxieties kick in mildly* “Uh, yeah? I was told to prepare it, and then it turns out it wasn’t needed.”

Coworker: “Okay, we need to get some paperwork filled out. If we don’t track this stuff, then we could lose our funding for the [private stock]!”

(I start filling out the paperwork, and about halfway through the light-bulb clicks.)

Me: “Oh, wait. This was from private stock. Do I still need to fill this out?”

Coworker: “Private stock? Then why did you say it was [state-funded stock]?”

Me: “I panicked?”

Nearby Coworker: *ponders for a second* “Yep, that’s an acceptable answer.”

The Finer Details Are Foggy

, , , , | Working | March 14, 2018

(We are under a fog advisory; you can barely see the vehicle in front of you. I have to get up pretty early, partly because of the fog, but mostly because I live about an hour away from where I work. The road I take to work is under construction. I stroll into work — kind of late because of the fog and the extra time on my commute — and get settled at my desk, and I mention how bad the fog is near me. I am not the only one who lives outside of the city, but I am one of two who drive an hour or so to work every day. Everyone else drives 15 to 30 minutes, tops. The moment I mention how bad the fog is, I almost instantly regret it. I have one coworker who thinks EVERYTHING is a competition.)

Coworker: “Well, it’s worse over where I live. I live in the country!”

Me: “I mean, I kind of do, too. My town is in the middle of nowhere. You couldn’t even see two utility poles in front of you.”

Coworker: ” Yeah, but it’s still worse in the country.”

Me: “I know. There’s road construction in my town, remember? I have to take back-roads. I mean sure, the main road I usually take is still a country road, but I have to drive quite a while on gravel, now. And that’s terrifying in the fog.”

Coworker: “So what? I have to drive gravel every day.”

Me: “Not in fog.”

Coworker: “But I still have to drive on gravel every day!”

Me: “You live much closer to work. You also have to remember, I drive an hour every day.”

Coworker: “What does that have to do with it? I have to drive 25 minutes every day! Do you know how foggy it is?”

(Of course. Because 25 minutes is much worse than an hour. I should have stopped the conversation long before.)

Killing The Company, One Person At A Time

, , , , , | Working | March 14, 2018

I work for a cleaning company that has a contract with a set of factories in my small town. As far as I know, it’s the only cleaning company in town. I’m hired to work weekend mornings, and I do so, enjoying my job for two years. It’s not necessarily fun work, but I get along with the people at the factory, except my boss.

She doesn’t take criticism. Period. And she never takes any blame when something goes wrong, so it’s a recipe for disaster.

Naturally, cleaning in a factory isn’t an appealing job, and it doesn’t pay well, so not many people apply for the job. Those that do are often scared away by my boss; as a result, anyone that stays is never reprimanded or fired since we have a shortage of employees.

That’s pretty normal in the business world, but about eight months ago we found ourselves at a serious shortage of employees, and I was “asked” to work weekday night shifts. It’s not something I was comfortable doing, but I was assured it was a short-term thing until they hired more people.

Lo and behold, six people got jobs over the next few months, and they either quit or skipped most of their shifts without reprimand. At this time, my boss did the incredibly idiotic thing of dumping all of the hours the new employees were supposed to take onto one person.

So, that person quit because they were flooded with more hours than they could handle. Then, my boss just took all those hours and handed them to the next person. You can see where this is going.

Eventually it got to me, and I was already working shifts I didn’t sign up for. Now, I was being bombarded with hours I couldn’t handle. At the same time, the company was now down to a handful of people. I overheard my boss talking, saying that if we lost any more people, she wasn’t sure the company would be able to do its job. If not, it would lose its contract, effectively killing the company.

And her response? “I have no idea how this could be happening!”

AdSense Versus No Sense

, , , , , , , | Working | March 13, 2018

A couple years ago, I was tasked with buying advertising space through Google to promote our company’s video-on-demand service. However, after a few days, our ads were suspended, because we had to submit proof that we had the rights to use some intellectual property that belonged to movie studios; our ads featured lots of popular film characters. I told my boss what happened, and suggested we go ahead and get in touch with our contacts at the studios as soon as we could to obtain written proof that we could use the characters, My boss was having none of it. The way he saw it, Google was screwing us over, and my job was to get them to immediately reverse their policy-based decision and run our ads.

Unsurprisingly, I was not successful in doing so, although I had a very productive call with Google. They gave me further information and guidelines about their policy, and told me how to get the situation sorted out as quickly as possible. I told my boss about it, but he said that surely I wasn’t insistent enough, and called me into his office to show me “how it’s done.”

Cue the most cringe-worthy moment of my life, during which I sat in front of my boss while he called the reception desk at Google headquarters and (unsuccessfully) harassed the receptionist for 20 minutes, asking to be put through to Larry Page. When he finally gave up, he just told me to do whatever it takes to get the ads up and running as soon as possible, at which point I just followed Google’s guidelines as instructed. Wouldn’t you know it, the ads were up and running less than a day later.

This was one of many crazy things that happened at that company during the time I worked there. They were a very small outfit, yet they always expected to be treated like one of the giants out there — and spent money they didn’t have, accordingly. I smelled disaster coming and quit just a few months after this, and they went bankrupt less than a year later.

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