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 dogs....so 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:
- Address in the wrong place - There were envelopes with the address in the upper right corner where you normally put the stamp, one where the mailing address was put right underneath the return address, and one where it was right next to the return address.
- Wrong information on envelope - Some envelopes have the customer's phone number, account number, and confirmation numbers listed in the mailing address. I'm still trying to figure out whether putting a customer's phone number on a letter means they don't know how a phone works or how the postal system works.
- Not enough information on envelope - Envelopes with missing zip codes, street numbers, and states.
- Too much information - One envelope had two mailing address with the word "or" in between them. I guess it was up to the post office to decide which address they wanted to deliver to.
- Dirty Envelopes - One envelope had a coffee stain from a coffee mug right in the middle of it, and another had a food stain with what appeared to be egg particles still on the envelope. (Perhaps from a certain crackhead's Egg McMuffin?)
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.
Monday, September 24, 2007
Friday, September 21, 2007
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Lately I've been watching a lot of old "The Wonder Years" episodes on some weirdo station called 'Ion." The station bascially plays whatever TV Land or Nick at Nite decide not to air. Stuff like "Designing Women" (awful), "Who's The Boss?" (awesome), and "Mama's Family" (aww shit this is the only thing on?). So, pretty hit or miss.
Anyway, the more episodes I watch of "The Wonder Years," the more I cringe at Kevin Arnold's behavior and feel sorry for his friends and family, excluding Wayne. And today I came to a realization: Kevin Arnold is an a-hole. I don't know if I didn't realize it sooner because I was younger and didn't think about it or what, but christ, is he a prick.
It's not so much his immaturity, because we were all like that at one point and can relate to his misguided fears and embarrasments like being seen in public with his parents, or wearing the right clothes, and trying to social climb. It's all the diatribes he goes on, unleashing all his pent up frustrations and egotistical worries to whomever is unlucky enough to be near him at the time. Nothing is ever his fault, and he doesn't care who he takes out his problems on, as long as it makes him feel better.
- Kevin realizes that Paul is doing better at him in math class, so Kevin forces Paul to play pick-up basketball and precedes to whip his ass and then calls Paul a math nerd.
- Kevin bitches to his math teacher that the teacher wasn't at an after school tutoring session. When the teacher explains he had a medical problem and had to attend an appointment, Kevin responds by writing wiseass answers in on the next exam.
- Kevin ditches a new girlfriend for being to clingy and does it in front of her family while they are all eating dinner. He claims he too young to be tied down and needs to be back on the prowl. Nothing like telling a girl that she's just another notch on the bedpost in front of her father. Classy.
- After Kevin gets caught by the girl he ditched earlier in the night so he could go joyriding with his friends, he gets a little pissy. When he realizes he ruined his chances with the hottie just to hangout with a bunch of dudes who keep farting and mooning people, he goes apeshit on all of them. It's not like they told him to pass up on some possible H.J. action to sit through a night of getting dutch oven-ed.
- Kevin slags on his Mom when she tries to be a little motherly in front of him while working at his school. He pitches a fit after his buddies rip on him for being a mama's boy.
- Kevin befriends a fat kid because he's got the best toys and his mom makes them Rice Krispie treats. The Kevin tries to ditch him after he's had his fill of those underrated snacks and has grown bored with the new toys. When Fat Boy persists, Kevin goes off on him explaining his stalker tendencies are why he doesn't have any other friends to bother.
- Kevin yells at his dad for not rooting hard enough for the star basketball player that Kevin has a man-crush on, then yells at him again when he misperceives that his Dad is trying to rub it in when the team loses. Jack Arnold then sums up Kevin with possibly the most apt line of the whole series: "You're a hard man to please, Kevin."
And yes, I addressed that last sentence to a fictional character from a television show that ended over a decade ago. I make no apologies for that.