Very Testing Without The Documents

, , , | Working | October 26, 2017

(I handle compliance for imports for a major retailer. We have a lot of vendors and we work with them to make sure all the required documentation and testing is in place for their merchandise. Children’s products are particularly tricky because of very strict testing guidelines that have to be met before the products come off of the boat. I’ve got a couple crates of kids’ furniture sitting on a boat that’s almost in port, and I can’t find the testing documentation. I call the manufacturer.)

Me: “I’m looking for the testing of your products, and I’m not finding it. We need this ASAP.”

Vendor: *a very friendly-sounding old man* “Why do we need all that?”

Me: “This… This is federally mandated testing. If we don’t have the documentation in place, we can’t take your products off the boat, and if they sit on the boat too long, they’ll be destroyed. And we’re not paying that bill.”

Vendor: “No, our products are fine. We’ve never had any complaints.”

Me: “Sir, that’s irrelevant. Have you not actually done the testing? That’s a pretty big problem if you haven’t.”

Vendor: “You know, my grandfather started this business in 1927. He passed it to my father in 1959, and I took over in 1995. We’re a family-owned business and active in our local community.”

Me: *deep breath* “Sir. We can’t take your products off the boat without the testing documents in place. If we don’t have them, we have to destroy them.”

Vendor: “Why would you want to do that? We’re a family-owned business with an 80-year history. You know we make the only [Product] sold at [Competing Retailer]? They didn’t even sell [Product] there before we came along.”

Me: “Are you familiar with [Congressional Act requiring testing of children’s products]?”

Vendor: “We’ve been around for 80 years. My grandfather started the business. We’ve seen a lot of legislation come and go.”

Me: “Okay, well, I’m going to go ahead and go now. You’ll be hearing from your vendor manager soon, I’m sure.”

Vendor: “Okay, that sounds fine. You have a nice day!”

(I contacted his vendor manager and explained the situation. Needless to say, his manager nearly flipped out. Don’t ask me how they did it, but less than a week later, I had the necessary testing documents from the vendor manager in my hand.)

The Working Dead

, , , , | Working | October 26, 2017

(My place of work is very laid back, so things like this are a normal occurrence.)

Female Coworker:  “Why is there a framed photo of Norman Reedus shirtless with the caption ‘Ladies, you’re welcome’ at the front desk?”

Boss: “You’re welcome.”

Reading Between The Guidelines

, , , , , | Working | October 26, 2017

Me: *to new temp, who is probably in their mid-40s* “All you need to do is copy the data from this document and paste it into this document. You doing this for us will save us weeks of work.”

Temp: “Sure, happy to help.”

(The documents in question are four pages long each, for the record.)

Me: “Here are examples. I’ve highlighted the information in the old one that needs to be moved, and then highlighted where that information ends up in the new one, each in corresponding colors. Most of the information you’re moving is one to one; the line in the table in the old document is labeled the exact same way in the new document. There are only a handful of changes, but we’ll deal with those when we get to them.”

(The temp gives me a deer-in-headlights look.)

Me: *getting nervous* “Why… don’t you go ahead and give this a shot. It’ll surely make more sense as we get moving.”

(The temp takes control of a mouse and keyboard the way you’d expect a nervous 15-year-old to take the wheel of a car. I watch as they struggle to figure out where the cursor is as they wiggle the mouse around for a while. When it looks like they have some bearings, I start instructing again.)

Me: “Okay, here’s our first two documents. Here’s the old one, and here’s the new one. Reference the highlighted examples I gave you to know what to copy and paste.”

(The temp proceeds to highlight text from the examples, copy them, and paste them into the new document.)

Me: “No, we want to take the text from the original, here. The highlighted examples are just guides.”

(Still looking like a deer in headlights, the temp proceeds to type text from the original document into one of the examples.)

Me: “No, that’s just a guide. We don’t want to edit those. Here: this is the original. The data is coming from this one. This is the new template. The data is going into this one. Right now, we’re just focusing on the bulk of the information that’s the same. Copy this information and move it here.”

(The temp loses track of the cursor and starts deleting random letters and words ad nauseam before moving the cursor again to highlight and copy some text, dragging some words to the middle of sentences and not noticing, then finally getting the entire line highlighted and copied.)

Me: *just going with it at this point* “Okay, now put that information in the new template in the corresponding line where it says, ‘Insert here.'”

(The temp puts the cursor into middle of “[Insert Here]” and then pastes the whole line right into the middle of the word “Insert,” then moves on.)

Me: *ready to quit, buy a cheap van, and live on the coast off the grid*

The Onsen Comes With Shark Repellent

, , , , , | Working | October 25, 2017

(My job in Japan is winding down. As part of the welcome package for my replacement, I have to sketch a floor plan of my apartment, so he’ll know what the company-provided living quarters are like. Because I’m a goofy sort, I start giving the various rooms and amenities over-the-top descriptions. One of my coworkers looks over my shoulder at my sketch.)

Coworker: “Umm, that’s wrong. ‘Onsen’ is the Japanese word for ‘hot spring,’ not ‘bathroom.’”

Me: “And my closet isn’t the entrance to the Batcave, either.”

(When my replacement showed up, he told me that he was looking forward to being the new Batman. Looks like the place was left in good hands!)

An Unorthodox View Of Gluten

, , , , , , | Working | October 24, 2017

(At meetings, we often have lunch provided, usually pizza, paid for in turns by coworkers. We have a new secretary, and she comes in and starts complaining.)

Secretary: “I don’t eat gluten, and there’s no gluten-free pizza here.”

Coworker: “Sorry. We didn’t know. But it’s kind of informal, so if you have unusual diet restrictions, you probably will have to provide your own lunch.”

Secretary: “Well, you have vegetarian options.”

Coworker: “We have a lot of vegetarians, and vegetarian pizza is easy; just get cheese.”

Secretary: “Well, I’m the only one who doesn’t get lunch!”

Coworker: *points to coworker who is Orthodox Jewish* “We don’t have anything for [Coworker]. He just brings his own, because we never get pizza from a place that keeps kosher.”

Secretary: “Well, that’s just his preference. I don’t eat gluten because of a very deep-seated belief!”

Coworker: “You mean like a religion? Like, say, Judaism?”

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