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Thanks For The Easy Rent

, , , , , , | Working | July 19, 2022

A few years back, I landed myself a cushy job as an Order-to-Cash Specialist, which, despite the somewhat pompous title, was basically about receiving orders by email and entering them into the systems. In many ways, it was a pointless job. The customer picks items in a catalogue, fills out an order form, sends it to us, and we (re-)enter it. Why not offer an online platform for the customers to begin with? But the pay was pretty decent for an entry-level gig, plus it was back office, meaning I didn’t have to actually talk to any customers.

I wasn’t hired as part of a group, but individually, so I was initially supposed to shadow my colleagues and learn the ropes that way. However, they were perpetually backlogged and thus had no time to train me, so I was pretty much left to my own devices. My team lead made no secret that I might as well go outdoors and enjoy the nice weather because there was absolutely nothing for me to do anyway.

Nice! I was getting paid roughly $8/€7.50 an hour after tax to fiddle and fart and lick sun. Plus, I enjoyed massive employee discounts in the food court of the nearby shopping mall. (And as my rent was $270/€250, I’d earned that amount in less than a week, so overall sweetness.)

After two or three weeks, my training actually began. I was given some training material, and with its help, I was to enter some dummy orders. Pretty straightforward stuff, except it turned out that the training material was hopelessly outdated, so I failed the first test — ironically because I did follow the instructions. “No biggie,” my team lead said. “We’ll just quickly update the material, and you can retake the test.” Sweet. And until then… yep, you nailed it: more fiddling and farting on company time.

The next week came, and it was time to retake the test. I did much better this time, but overall I still failed… because they had overlooked some sections of the material, so once again, I did it wrong because I did it “right”. Rinse and repeat; more updates, more fiddling and farting, and another week passed by.

The third time’s a charm, right? Nope. They still had forgotten to update some product codes and procedure abbreviations, so I failed again. If it’d been a group of new hires all failing in the exact same spots, maybe management would’ve seen a pattern and reacted accordingly. But as a solo flyer, it was my word against theirs. And after the third fail, they unceremoniously wished me good luck in my future endeavours.

Usually, I would’ve fought the termination, but at the time, I knew several recruiters and Human Resources people in other companies, so I wasn’t too perturbed. I got two months’ salary for d**king around for almost eight weeks (and scored two months’ rent in just two of them), so I just considered the whole experience to be paid vacation.  

However, I still can’t fathom how that company would rather waste two months’ salary on one employee doing absolutely nothing, and then waste more money on a whole new recruitment process, instead of just pulling one person out of production for one half or full day and properly updating the material once and for all. Heck, I could’ve helped, because I now knew firsthand where the glitches and potholes were. But their loss, I suppose.

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