Seeing A Lot Of Red Lights Here

, , , , | Working | October 5, 2017

(After working at a job vetting loan officers for a mortgage broker for a while, it comes to my attention that one of the industry rules that I’ve been enforcing with our subcontractors is incorrect. I thought licensed real estate agents could also originate mortgage loans as long as the loan officer was not also the real estate agent on the deal, which is not true — you cannot be a licensed real estate agent AND originate mortgages, period. A lender calls us out when one of our loan officers does just that, and they cite the federal regulation. I review it, and I learn that my understanding and our enforcement were incorrect. I bring this to the attention of the executives and they say, “We know. Keep doing it the way we’ve been doing it.” I respond in objection, not being comfortable with knowingly going against a federal regulation. The CEO calls me into his office.)

CEO: “[My Name], I understand your hesitation, but this isn’t that big of a deal. The way we’re following this rule is the way they really meant it.”

Me: “But the rule isn’t written that way, and the lender that discovered the issue clearly cares about the rule.”

CEO: “There are a lot of rules out there that aren’t really meant to be followed. Nobody gets hurt by not being too concerned with them.”

Me: “Okay. I have to be honest, though. This rule sounds like it’s in place to protect consumers from fraud.”

CEO: “Let me put it in a hypothetical. Let’s say you’re driving your car out in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night and you know there are no cars for miles. You come to a red stop light on this dead road. You sit there for a couple of minutes, there are no other cars for miles, and you know it will take at least two or three more minutes for the light to turn green for you. What would you do?”

Me: *through my teeth* “I’d probably run the light.”

CEO: “Yeah, you’d run the light. We all would. There are rules in place, and they’re good rules sometimes, but other times they are unnecessary. And that’s all we’re doing. We’re running a light on an empty road in the middle of the night. It’s not hurting anyone.”

(I submitted my resignation within 24 hours.)

The Server Isn’t The Only Thing That’s Down

, , , , , | Working | October 5, 2017

(I have an onsite computer repair business. To take payments, I have a POS terminal that plugs into my laptop and integrates very nicely with my accounting software, so I don’t have to input any payments afterwards. Unlike other solutions, it also accepts Canadian debit cards. At my last call of the day, the terminal does not even turn on when I plug it in. Fortunately, it is a smaller job, so my regular client just pays me cash. After I return to my home office, I do some basic troubleshooting, and then call tech support. The actual call goes in circles for about 45 minutes; this is the summary version:)

Me: “My terminal is not turning on; I can’t take payments with it. I’ve tried multiple USB ports on three different computers. All have been able to use it before, but it doesn’t even turn on at all.”

Support: “My apologies, sir, but our server is down; that’s why payments aren’t going through.”

Me: “Thank you for that, but my terminal isn’t even turning on. Normally, when I plug it in, it lights up and shows a bunch of letters and numbers on it before it gets to the ‘Ready’ prompt.”

Support: “The server is down, sir. It should be back up in a few hours.”

Me: “This is not a server issue. When I plug it in, it always lights up, even if I haven’t connected the laptop to an Internet connection yet. I often use my phone’s hotspot when I can’t connect to the client’s connection, and it still normally lights up even if it can’t connect yet. This is NOT a server issue.”

Support: “Our server is down, sir. You cannot take payments right now.”

Me: “That’s fine. You still need to send me a new terminal. My computer does not even see that the hardware is connected. It does not show up in the device manager. If I plug it into a computer that has never used it, it does not ask to install drivers. [Accounting Software] does not see that the terminal is even there. All of this happens before it even thinks about contacting your server. It only contacts your server when it’s time to do a transaction, and that should lead to an ‘Unable to complete transaction’ error. Send me a new terminal.”

Support: “Correct, sir. The server is down; that’s why you are getting that ‘Unable to complete transaction’ error.”

Me: “I am not getting that error message.”

Support: “Then why did you mention it? What error are you getting?”

Me: “I’m not getting any error message. The terminal does not even turn on.”

Support: “I cannot help you if you cannot keep your story straight. Goodbye.”

(The phone line goes dead.)

Me: *dials back* “Give me someone who can authorize an RMA; your techs are useless. I just spent 45 minutes being told your server is down when I told them my terminal doesn’t even turn on.”

Support #2: “One moment, sir.” *call transferred*

Support #3: “How can I help you?”

(I explain once again.)

Support #3: “I apologize for the inconvenience this has caused you and your business. Can I get the serial number for the terminal? It starts with 37, and you can find it just below the barcode on the back of the terminal.”

Me: “37*********.”

Support #3: “Thank you, sir. I’m expediting a new terminal to you. It should arrive in two days.”

(Total time after the call back? Five minutes, including the brief hold for the transfer. I got the replacement device on the day they promised, and it continued to work perfectly until I closed the business three years later.)

Leaver’s Remorse

, , , , , | Working | October 4, 2017

(I have been working at my current job for five years. I have been in my office for over an hour, when someone I have never seen before comes in and tries staring me down.)

Me: “Can I help you?”

Man: “You’re at my desk.”

Me: “Your desk?”

Man: “Yes. MY desk!”

Me: “Who told you it was yours?”

Man: “[Manager].”

Me: “He hasn’t told me about any change. Are you sure you have the right office?”

Man: “That is my desk. I work HERE!”

(I decide to call my manager to resolve the situation. He sounds just as confused as I feel and agrees to come over. He recognises the man instantly.)

Manager: “[Man], what you are doing here?”

Man: “Finally! [Manager], what’s this a**hole doing in my office?”

Manager: *looking between us* “What?”

Man: “What is this p****—” *pointing accusingly* “—doing at my desk?”

Manager: “[Man], you haven’t worked here for a year. You just disappeared one morning, leaving the rest of us to pick up the pieces.”

Man: “What are you talking about?”

Manager: “You left in February; [My Name] replaced you in June. I just thought you had found something else, and didn’t want to stick it here for another month. You don’t work here anymore.”

Man: “So, you just decided to fire me without warning?! That’s illegal. I’ll be chatting with [Senior Manager] about this. Your a** is cooked!”

(The man rushes out, screaming at the top of his lungs about the injustices he’s faced, calling my manager a crook and waste of a human being.)

Manager: “I don’t know what to say. I tried everything to get in touch with him. He didn’t even return his work laptop or phone, and the department was charged because of it.”

(I later heard that the man did, in fact, try to contact the senior manager, by barging into his office about 30 miles away. They had to call the police to have him removed. The work laptop and phone were found in his car, both in states of disrepair. We’ve all agreed he was rather stupidly trying to sneak them back in, but when he saw me he panicked and decided he was in too deep to admit what he was trying to do.)

With Great Bacon, Comes Great Responsibility, Part 22

, , , | Working | October 4, 2017

(My coworkers and I are sitting waiting for a meeting to start. One of my coworkers is Orthodox Jewish; he wears a skullcap, the whole deal. At this meeting, we have been provided lunch. We don’t really want to be at this meeting, and are fairly certain it will be boring.)

Coworker #1: *looking at lunch that was provided* “It’s okay, guys, the sandwiches have bacon on them. That makes the meeting worth it.”

Me: “This is going to be badly-received, but I still think it’s not worth it, because I don’t understand the bacon hype.”

Coworker #1: “I can’t talk to you anymore.”

Me: “Bacon is just meat. I like it, but it’s overrated.”

Coworker #2: “Yeah, I’m kind of with her. I don’t hate bacon, but I don’t get the bacon hype.”

Coworker #1: “You are both not my friends anymore.”

Orthodox Jewish Coworker: “I don’t get the bacon hype either.”

Coworker #1: “You’re Jewish. Have you ever had bacon?”

Orthodox Jewish Coworker: “No. Still don’t get the hype.”

Coworker #1: “Okay, you can still be my friend, because you’d like bacon if you weren’t Jewish.”

Pre-Foetal Applications

, , , , | Friendly | October 3, 2017

(One of the women who works in my office is known for not being too bright. She is nice enough, but the ignorance gets to be too much to bear sometimes. She is about six months pregnant when the following conversation happens.)

Pregnant Coworker: “I’m going to take a trip with my daughter to the east coast, to Harvard and Yale, to show her around, so she can see what it takes to be successful.”

Coworker #2: “You mean when she’s older, right?”

Pregnant Coworker: “What? No! Haha! I was planning on going during my maternity leave.”

(Everyone was speechless and didn’t say another word about it.)

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