Saturday, September 29, 2007


The Final Monkey Business?

It's been nearly a year since I began working at my current company. From my original class of 15 recruits, 3 of us remain. And that number is about to be smaller. I recently interviewed for another position in the company and was offered a promotion in another department in a different office. I will be starting there the week of October 7th, which means I only have a few days left with my current co-workers. With that in mind, I've decided to document all the remaining anecdotes I have from my time working there.

About two months ago, new work teams were put together so I was introduced to a whole new set of co-workers that I'd be interacting with on a daily basis. Nearly all of them were new hires and believe it or not, they made the group that I was hired in with look like Mensa.
Our first team meeting was held in the late afternoon on a Casual Friday. It was amazing how literally and liberally my teammates interpreted the meaning of "casual." Now I'm no Tim Gunn by any means, but what some people considered to be appropriate to wear in public - let alone in the workplace was appalling. The co-worker that took the prize was a lady named Tiffany. She looked like she woke up for work late, said "fuck it," and went into work in what she slept in.

She was wearing an extra large, stained t-shirt that was covered in crumbs. She was also sporting purple sweat pants. Yes, sweatpants. She looked like a cross between a 2nd grader who is neglected by their parents and has to dress herself, and a strung out crack addict. To be fair, though, the stains and crumbs on her shirt were probably due to the Egg McMuffin she was eating. An Egg McMuffin. In a meeting, at work, and in front of her boss. At 3 in the afternoon. I'll let you process that for a moment, because I know I needed more than a minute to comprehend what I was seeing.

Apparently management had a talk with her about her attire and questionable eating habits, because at our next meeting on the following Friday, Tiffany was still wearing the purple sweatpants, but this time she was wearing a clean t-shirt and was eating a a bunch of grapes out of a plastic grocery bag. I have to admit it was an improvement, because with the changes, if someone saw her for the first time, they wouldn't immediately think she was homeless...they may confuse her for mentally handicapped. In my book that's much better than being confused for a crackhead.


At my work we have a number of televisions that are placed throughout the office so that no matter where you are in the call center you can view one of the sets. They hung from the ceiling, similar to the way television's are set up at gyms. They are always on and are supposed to only be tuned to news channels. This isn't always the case, and it causes many arguments. The problem stems from the fact that there are multiple remote controls, so more than one person can change the channel at any given time. And my co-workers don't always agree on what to watch. It's just like when you were a kid and you fought with your brother and sister over what to watch, and you would keep turning the channel back on to the show that you wanted. Except instead of two 10-year-old's fighting in their family room, its two paid professionals in an office. One day, I witnessed one of the TV's switch back and forth from the Tyra Banks Show and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. As you can imagine, it was hard for me to pick sides. So I stayed out of it. I was just happy I didn't miss the scene where Kevin Costner showers under the waterfall. Just kidding. I did miss the scene.

The best argument over the TV was about a month ago when the Michael Vick scandal was at its peak. My co-worker Keith, or as he prefers to be called: "Hollywood," was watching the press conference about Vick's indictment, when Tara, one of the girls I work with, turned the station to a different news station that wasn't covering the Vick story. Hollywood went nuts. He took off his sunglasses (which he wears at all times) and glared at Tara.

"Turn that back! I gotta find out what gonna happen to my boy."

Tara refused saying that the story is gross and doesn't want to hear the details about what he did to those dogs.

Hollywood doesn't relent: "C'mon, it's news. We're allowed to watch news! We're allowed to. I need to know what my boy's up against."

Tara gives in and turns the channel back but questions why anyone would do that to a dog. Hollywood says that Vick isn't doing anything different than what everyone else does. Tara is appalled and asks how Hollywood could ever participate in something like that.

Hollywood already has an answer ready. It is clear he's put some thought into this. "Haven't you ever wondered who would win in a fight, a lion or a tiger?"

Tara says no, she has never wondered that.

"Well I have. But I can't get any lions or tigers together to fight. But I can get you see what I'm sayin'?" Unfortunately, Tara did not see what Hollywood was saying. And that's too bad. She's so consumed with the animal cruelty imposed on these animals that she's failing to see that these dog fighters are merely trying to answer the age-old question of lion vs. tiger. How noble.


Frequently we get requests from customers to send them copies of their statements, rate cards, etc. Our company provides us with envelopes that have our company's return address already on them. All we have to do is fill in the customer's address and drop it in our outgoing mail bin. It's a pretty simple task. At least I thought it was, until a few months ago when I saw a giant display set up next to the mail bin. The display featured different examples of outgoing mail that was unacceptable and undeliverable. All the examples shown were actual envelopes that had been rejected.

Some of the rejection reasons:
What I can't get over is the fact that these must not have been isolated incidents. Because if they were, no one would have bothered to take the time to create a whole display about it. What a depressing thought; I work with so many people that don't possess the rudimentary know-how to properly address an envelope that someone was commissioned to create a Do's and Don't's poster to aid them in that task.

Hopefully at my new office there won't be such a poster and I won't have to deal with the amount of stupidity and craziness I dealt with for the past year. But based on some stories I've heard about multiple cases of employees being caught having sex in the workplace, and other employees using customer credit card information to have pizza delivered to them at my new office, I'm not getting my hopes too high.

Good luck with the new job. I've enjoyed reading the Monkey Business posts over the past year. If you spot any more monkeys at your new position please pass the stories along.
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