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Undeliverable Management

| Working | March 5, 2015

(I’m working at a security firm and we hold our annual security symposium for the professionals in the security arena. Several hundred guests gather there ranging from law enforcement, consultants, and vendors. While printing out labels and cross-referencing our database, I’m noticing that our worthless office manager has not been updating the addresses as part of her job. Customers inform us of their new address and I don’t know if she is just throwing them away or what, but it’s clear she is not updating the information. We are sending out about 500 invitations and I’m noticing about 60% of the addresses are wrong.)

Me: “Hey, [Office Manager], where is the database kept for the symposium attendees?”

Office Manager: “Why?”

Me: “Well, I’ve been looking up the contacts while creating the labels and I’m noticing some very old data. The contact and/or addresses are not current.

Office Manager: “Now is NOT the time to be updating the database.”

Me: “I’m sorry, what?”

Office Manager: “Now is NOT the time to be updating the database. We got 500 of these invites to get in the mail ASAP.”

Me: “Maybe I’m not speaking clearly. I’m noticing most of these addresses are not correct. For example [Contact] died, like, two years ago, and the address of his company moved several months ago.”

Office Manager: *blank stare*

Me: “I’ll speak slower. These addresses, roughly 60% of them are wrong. So we are mailing out invites to people who are dead, not at the address, or do not exist anymore. We KNOW the addresses are wrong, and the mailman is only going to return all of this mail to us as undeliverable. So, if we KNOW the addresses are incorrect, and we have the correct information, then now is the PERFECT time to be updating the address. So can you tell me where the database is so I can update the info so people will actually get the invites?”

Office Manager: “No.”

Me: “Okay, so you want me to send out roughly 500 invites, knowing full well roughly 60% of them are the wrong contact information and will surely get returned to us?”

Office Manager: *annoyed* “Yes, we have a lot of these to send out and NOW is NOT the time to be updating information. We’ve got to get these out now!”

(I stare in disbelief, and then return to my office. I print off the mostly incorrect labels and give them to her. The entire office pitches in and stuffs the envelopes and I drop all 500 of them in the mail. About two weeks go by and, to no one’s surprise except hers, well over 250 letters are given back to us with “UNDELIVERABLE: Return to sender.” She looks completely shocked and heartbroken that all her work was for naught. The CEO, who personally created the symposium which has been HUGELY popular over the years, especially after 9/11, is embarrassed and cannot figure out why hardly any folks attended this year.)

Me: *to Office Manager* “Do you think we should upda— You know what? Never mind.”

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