Tool Selection

Could be someone I know, someone I don't know, fictional characters, dead people. I don't care, I'm an equal opportunity complainer when it comes to complete dickwads.

Wherever there's a Complete Tool, I'll follow closely behind with my anonymous bitching. 'Cuz that'll show 'em.

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Saturday, February 27, 2010

From Dark Cloud To Broken Heart

The saga of the departure of MisManager took a few interesting twists over the last few days.  By interesting, I mean infuriating and disappointing. 

I spent the first part of the week still enjoying the idea of my liberation from the shackles of her Bungle and Bail management style.  It was as if my fairy godmother finally heard me crying in the garden, waived her magic wand and banished the wicked stepmother and a wicked stepsister to Hell.

Later in the week:

MisManager: I am not going to be able to take EmployeeVonMunchausen after all.  She's under the care of a psychiatrist right now for severe depression and I think that she would be too fragile for the transition to the other office.
Awesomeness: It's too bad that couldn't work out. (I had a feeling it wasn't going to work out anyway.  EVM drives MisManager up a wall just as much as she does me.  I was expecting this.)  Don't worry though, you'll fill that position pretty quickly.  I'm sure there are dozens of good candidates.
MisManager: I don't really want to train someone new.  I'm just going to take JailBait.
Awesomeness: *head explodes*

JailBait is my #2 employee and is currently being groomed for the Lead position when it comes available.  There's no way I'm letting this kid go without a fight.

Awesomeness: Are you sure JailBait would even want to go?
MisManager: I think I can talk him into it.  Because the situation at the other office is what it is, I'm sure I can offer him a salary increase to transfer.
Awesomeness: *lost in a wash of bleak dispair*

I can't make a counteroffer.  I can propose increases, but they have to be signed off by someone on MisManager's level.  I'm sure she would not help me sabotage her.

MisManager: And I've decided to take someone from the sales team.  I really want to take the girl I just hired.
Awesomeness: She just got here.  Would HR let her transfer since she hasn't been here for a year?
(A year is our minimum time frame that an employee has to commit to in each office before transferring or -- in most cases -- being eligible for promotion.  It keeps people from hopping around from place to place and position to position.)
MisManager: They're pretty desperate to get me into this position.  I'm sure I can get them to make an exception.

So, here's a quick rundown on what this all means:
  • the office she's transferring to is in a desperate state because it's missing a manager, sales person and an operations rep.
  • she's taking over at that office as the manager, but she wants to take 2 of my office's employees to fill the other open positions
  • she's taking 2 of our best employees and essentially putting my office in the same position as the office she's taking over
Her justification:

MisManager: Awesomeness, you're such a strong trainer that your crew really runs well short-handed.  This office has a great reputation and I'm sure you'll have an easier time filling these positions than OtherOffice did.

Oh, the flattery.  So because I do my job well, my staff and I will be punished and we'll have to shoulder the hardship of trying to fill 3 positions while keeping our heads above water.  Fucking outstanding.

Awesomeness: My concern is that you're creating a situation where the company is just transferring a staffing crisis from one location to another.  This doesn't actually solve anyone's problems as now we will have to have an interim manager and other offices will have to rally to our side to help us out as they're doing right now with OtherOffice.  It takes months to find and train a manager.  It takes at least a month beyond that to fill the other 2 positions.  It would continue the strain we've seen on our market and the steady decline in overall productivity from the last 4 months.  We have a lot of good things going on right now and I can't believe that anyone in upper management would think that this is a reasonable solution.

(That's right, I'm putting on my Big Girl/Guilt Trip/Voice Of Reason Boots and kicking her in the teeth with them.)

MisManager: I don't think it'll come to that.  They're telling me that they have an internal candidate that's eager to fill the manager position here.  As for the sales and operations positions, you'll get first crack at the employees I was considering for those positions at the other office.
Awesomeness: Why can't you just hire and train those employees?  If they're that good and they're ready to come aboard, then you all would only struggle briefly until they get on their feet.  (and for the replacement manager...I know she's lying...)
MisManager: I really don't feel like dealing with all of that.  I'd much rather just move over some seasoned people and start off over there with a good advantage.  That's absolutely my bottom line.

At least she's honest about that.  To which, I have nothing more to say to her.  My only hope at this point is to go with Evil Plan Z and pull something immature and back-stabby.  I talked to NewGirl and JailBait.  Both of them instantaneously assured me that they would rather blow a goat than transfer.  PERFECT VICTORY!!

Later in the week:

MisManager: I just wanted to let you know I decided not to transfer to the other office after all.  I wasn't able to work out an agreement with the employees to make the tranfer (BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!) and it would be too much of a struggle to try to start over.  Aside from that, the other staff already resents me (I wonder why...) and I don't want to work with a staff that fights me on everything.

So a rundown on the last development:

  • MisManager wanted to make her transition to the other office cushy for her by stealing away good employees
  • I tried to reason with her by showing her what a diva, dickwad move that was, but she insisted on being an inconsiderate tool
  • I countered her dastardliness with bastardliness and FUCKING WON the battle
  • I lost the war, however, as now that her master plan is in utter ruins, she no longer wants to leave
On the bright side:
  • I didn't lose 2 of my best employees
  • I helped save our office from months of long days of pulling double or triple duty having to cover the missing positions
  • I can continue to write scathing MisManager posts for my blog (lucky me)
Wednesday, February 24, 2010

The Faucet

The faucet in the kitchen has been leaking since...well, roughly the beginning of time if you believe Mr. A.  We've been putting off getting it fixed because a) faucets are strangely expensive and b) Mr. A is lazy.  When he does get into the mood to actually complete something, it's all I hear about.

For an entire damn month, not a day has gone by that I haven't heard:

"We absolutely have to replace the faucet this weekend.  NO. EXCUSES."
"Look.  Look at the way the water is coming out of the back."
"Do you smell that?  It's because the water is running down the back of the counter and leaking into the cupboard."

Every day.  So, last weekend I cashed in some of the rewards points I got for spending my ass off on my credit card and got a $250.00 gift card.  Instead of the Kohl's card I normally get so I can buy work clothes.  You can imagine how I feel about the faucet card.

Today's the day we go get the faucet.  We were going to go buy food, but what the hell, right?  Priorities.  We get to the faucet aisle where Mr. A turns to me and says, "Just pick whichever one you like.  I don't give a crap about the faucet."


Now that some time has passed and I've had time to reflect on his actual words, I think he was talking about style, which I know he does not give a shit about.  [Note to the boys in the audience: what Mr. A should have said was, "I don't care what it looks like, but I know you do.  Go ahead and get what you think looks good.  I'll be happy so long as we walk away with one."]  At the time, however, I was debating whether or not to punch him out, take the keys and ditch him in the Lowe's faucet aisle while I made a run for Kohl's.

This faucet is what we ended up with (not my sink...I mean, yeah, it totally is...)

Please note, however, that it will not look as good on my ass as a pair of new dress slacks.  I could also use some new shoes.

I kept the receipt for the faucet.
Monday, February 22, 2010

The Great Mystery Critter Caper

There's something in the ceiling at work.  Something skittery.  (Firefox says 'skittery' isn't a word, it wants me to say 'skittles' instead, but I definitely mean skittery.)  The maintenance dude swears it's a pigeon.  He says he can hear flapping.  Well, we actually do have some pigeons up there too, but this is a mammal.

Judging by the sound it makes, the thing has little, sneaky feet with claws on them.  Yes pigeons have talons, but IT'S NOT A FUCKING PIGEON!  Ahem.  Anyway, this thing is also fast.  It covers 15 feet in less than 5 seconds.  On it's feet.  See, Maintenance Guy, it can't be a pigeon.  (No I didn't Google average land speeds for pigeons and I refuse to.)

We think it may be a rat.  Or a small cat.  Or perhaps a baby raised by rats or small cats.  Or an armadillo.  Whatever it is, it's making the ceiling tiles bow in.  Right above my head.  All day long.

Exterminator couldn't make it out today.  Tool, you'd better be there first thing in the morning.  I'm not listening to the sounds of "Death From Above" all day again.
Thursday, February 18, 2010

Somebody Pinch Me

MisManager: Please try to keep an open mind about what I'm going to tell you.  This is good and bad news.
Awesomeness: Which means it's bad news that you're going to try to throw some kind of tin foil silver lining on, just so you don't have to tell me you have bad news & bad news.  Don't worry, I'll just smile and nod.
MisManager: (laughs) Yeah, well...pretty much.  They've asked me for the third time to take over at the other office (she's been covering them for 4 months now) and I just can't argue with them anymore.  I don't really want to go, but....

I'm not even listening to her anymore.

Awesomeness: Well, that's a bummer! Wish ya luck!!
MisManager: Actually, that's not all. I said I'd be willing to go if I can take a couple of members of staff from this office with me. EmployeeVonMunchausen would be my first choice...
Again, I'm not listening anymore:

MisManager, you just made me forget what I wanted to say about:
  • the douchbag at the preschool with the double stroller
  • the cleaning crew at work
  • the weirdo taking photographs of our building when I showed up yesterday
  • the dickhead maintenance guy who won't look in the ceiling for the dead animal up there....seriously, I know it sucks, but man up dude
  • Mr. A (I tallied up 'our' fast food purchases for last month...$387.00)
I had some good contenders, but I'm having a hard time hating anyone right now.
Sunday, February 14, 2010

The New Diet

I think I finally found a great way to lose the rest of the baby weight.  It's the best appetite suppressor in the world: obnoxious, non-stop, random lunch blathering. 

We have another business partner at the office that I affectionately refer to as 'Clueless Magoo'.  This guy.  Two or three days out of the week he infests a corner desk and proceeds to inject himself into every conversation.  Except, instead of enhancing the flow of discussion with his own witty insights, he changes the topic to something no one cares about and then Doesn't. Shut. Up.

We're having a fun conversation about the episode of Divorce Court where a wife wants to leave her husband because "he's gay".  Just because a guy likes to give his buddies back rubs and kiss them, it doesn't automatically make him gay... The debate is raging on when Clueless Magoo walks over:

Ha, ha, ha.  That's funny.  Hey do any of you know when The Eagles are coming to town? April? Do you have tickets? No? Are you going? Where are you buying your tickets?  Who are you going with?  Don Henley is my favorite!  After George Bush, he's my all-time favorite Texan......
Yeah.  This is annoying enough during work hours, but when I'm on my lunch break, I just want to zone out and eat and not talk about:

  • football conspiracies
  • H1N1 conspiracies
  • garage doors
  • The Magna Carta
  • audiobooks
  • his Prius 
  • retired basketball players
  • potentially defunct home builders
  • the fact that he and JailBait are both wearing striped ties today
  • ponderings over when the maintenance team will finally clean the pigeon crap off of our building
  • insurance claims
  • the fact that he's a vegan (if I have to hear him quip, "I'd eat that ___(insert food with meat in it)___, but it's against my religion," one more time I will punch all of his teeth out. . . he can just boil his veggies.)
  • whether or not he can pronounce everyone's name in German (that keeps him entertained for, like, half an hour)
  • the aesthetic properties of duct tape
  • mountain men
  • negligent homicide (I wanted to side-step this one for a lot of reasons)
  • Coventry Cathedral 
The list just keeps growing by the day.  I spend my whole lunch staring blankly at him, nodding.  "Uh huh."  "Uh huh."  "I dunno."  "Sounds reasonable." "Nice."  "Cool."  "Hmmm..."  "Mmm hmmm."  "I'll check that out some other time."  "Wow."

By the time I realize that I haven't touched my food, it doesn't actually matter because a) my appetite is gone and b) my lunch is over.

I'd leave for lunch, but I'm supposed to be 'accessible' to my team (hoooray for being salaried!) and also the neighborhood we work in is kind of scary.  My other alternatives: eating in the supply closet or the vanity area of the women's restroom. 

The vanity has a table.  And tampons.
Sunday, February 7, 2010

Am I Awesome Enough To Pull This Off?

Probably not, but let's give it a shot anyway.  My big 'tool' story from the end of the week is fairly complicated.  It involves a lot of back story and inside-joke explaining.  I thought about not writing about it, but then again, I love a challenge (and I have nothing else to write about).  So, please bear with me.

Meet FussyFranco:

Age: 40ish

Spirit Age: 12

Likes: Playing annoying pranks and bitching

Dislikes: Jokes directed toward him

Origin: Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Quote: This is not something I think  I should see when I go peepee.

'Franco' is our business partner.  He is rarely in the office.  When he is there, he likes to play pranks on us.  Not funny pranks, however, completely retarded ones like: putting lotion in the earpiece of our phones or taking the track ball out of our mouses.  One day, I came back from lunch to find all of my paperclips scattered all over my desk.  I heard a distinct twittering, girlish giggle coming from the back area.  Yeah, that's....hilarious.  Or something.  It took me 1/2 a second to sweep them into a trash can and get on with my day.

'Franco' is originally from Quebec and, while not actually a Frenchman, I often refer to him as 'Frenchie' because he is a prissy, snobby little twerp.  Oh, and because he really hates being called 'Frenchie'.  "Ooops, sorry, I'm just an ignorant American that doesn't understand the difference....(prick)"

Meet CarlosTheComedian:

Age: 19

Spirit Age: 9

Likes: To make people laugh

Dislikes: Stuffy, uptight dickwads 

Origin: ...uh, somewhere in Mexico

Quote: "Hey, Awesomeness, you should totally come to work dressed like a panda bear.  That would be sweet."

'Carlos' is my newest employee.  He's a fun-loving kid.  He is a bit mischievous, but never malicious.  He somehow manages to get his work done in spite of his shenanigans, which is probably his most endearing quality.

Lately, 'Carlos' has been on a health kick.  On a slow Saturday, he drew a picture of himself with, like, a 12 pack of abs and captioned it 'Carlos the beast 2 months from now.' This picture got copied and plastered all over the office.

Two weeks ago, while Carlos was helping at another office, we took down his buff pictures and replaced them with a picture of him looking like Fat Bastard captioned 'Carlos the beast 2 months from now'.  We all had a good laugh over it.  We left the pictures up because they just rule.

Meet EmployeeVonMunchausen:

Age: 33

Spirit Age: 96

Likes: Attention

Dislikes: Lack of pity

Origin: Juarez, Mexico

Quote: "My stomach feels like it's on fire and I'm peeing blood, but I think I'll make it."

If Melman and Gloria from Madagascar had a baby, it would be EmployeeVonMunchausen.  She has his personality and her physique.  I would say more, but that's pretty much all there is to her.

So "The Incident":

On Thursday, Franco comes strolling into the office and starts bitching because I didn't notice him for almost 5 minutes.  (I was working, you know, like sometimes people do while they're at work.)  He's yammering on and on about how he's just going to call me next time...(really?) when I notice his appearance. 

Franco is usually dressed in either a primly pressed button-down shirt or an equally wrinkle-free polo and dress slacks.  His hair is normally gelled up  in carefully manicured 'I care about looking like I don't care about my hair' spikes.

On Thursday, Franco was wearing a maroon v-neck sweater, white button down shirt and maroon and gold striped tie.  His hair was completely flat and combed off to one side. 

Exactly like this, minus the robe, glasses and wand.

Without thinking, I asked, "What's up with the Harry Potter look?"  He (thankfully and surprisingly) took no offense and complained that everyone's been teasing him about looking like a college kid all day.

When he walked away, Carlos started laughing and asked if I really called him Harry Potter.  He was impressed and I was totally his hero for the next 30 minutes or so. 

About 15 minutes later, I was sitting with a client in our lobby when I hear Franco yell, "That is not appropriate!  I am offended.  Do you really think that's funny?"  What the hell is he getting his panties in a bunch over?

He pulls me aside and proceeds to chew me out for 20 minutes because Carlos called another employee to tell her that I called Franco 'Harry Potter.'  Ugh, seriously?  I was the one who called you names, you douche.  So now I have to sit through, "I can't believe how mean he is.  I am not going to go to HR, because I don't want to get anyone in trouble, but I was very offended.  That was totally uncalled for...."  Yadda, yadda, yadda, yadda....

Then, Franco starts bitching about the 'Carlos the beast' pictures.  "I can't believe you would leave those offensive pictures up.  Think of how bad EmployeeVonMunchausen must feel when she has to look at that fat drawing that looks just like her all day..."

And the Toolie Award for Straightest Face After The Stupidest Comment goes to...


Honestly, no one -- not even her -- had thought about that.  The pictures are clearly labelled 'Carlos', which takes all the guesswork out of who we're poking fun at.  If anyone who normally works at the office would have been offended, it would have been EVM and she would have complained to HR by now.

And the Toolie Award for Biggest Spazzy Crybaby goes to...


The Toolie Award for The Most Ironically Offensive Complaint goes to...


Wow, dude, I think you're going to sweep all your categories!

Now, the final award is the Annual 'Swish And Flick: Harry Potter Look-Alike' Award and it goes to...

Don't forget to thank me in your speech, dick.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Pencil Me In

Okay, MisManager.  I'm going to explain something that's not a secret about me.  I am one of those anal-retentive types.  This is particularly why I manage your operations and I do it very effectively.  Sweating the small stuff is absolutely why I get out of bed in the morning.

It's not logical to me that people would not just show up to work on time/not work while they're on the clock/make very obvious rookie mistakes when they're 3 years out of new-hire training/commit to doing something and then totally blow it off... just like you.  I expect better from my staff, but when you breeze through the office long enough to show them how little you give a care about these standards, it renders all of my expectations ineffective.

The one in particular that you're on my gallows today for: committing to something and then totally blowing it off.  We've been talking performance reviews for weeks now.  You know I like to get them done and out of the way as soon as possible so they aren't hanging over our heads for months.  I do it while information from the last year is fresh in mind and so me and my staff can put the past year behind us and work on setting goals for the coming year.

TWO WEEK AGO:  We look at your calendar to select appropriate dates and times for the review.  We were both looking at the same thing.  You had the morning of the 1st and the 2nd completely free.  You said, "Send me an invite, so I can get that time booked."  Uh huh.  I've fallen for that before.  So what I did was send you an invite, write it in the schedule, invite the employees effected by the reviews and then talk to you every couple of days about it.  I know it might have been a little over-the-top, but you have a strange propensity toward finding anything else to do but pay attention to your responsibilities toward the office.

ONE WEEK AGO: I hand you the schedule.  Give you my bi-weekly lecture on how important it is to keep that time blocked and to just get these discussions over with.  You said, "Look!  My calendar is still free for those mornings...well, now I have to conduct a meeting on the morning of the 2nd, but I'll be here by 9:00."  Argh!  I knew it!  I explain one last time why it's so important that we keep this commitment.

MONDAY, FEBRUARY 1st: MisManager. MisManager.  9:30, MisManager.  10:30 you come strolling in the door.  Your morning: you had a morning meeting with the maintenance guy at the facility down the road.  No, bitch!  You had a morning meeting with me and my staff.  You wanted to get started, because clearly your Cup O' Stupid you had on the way in was kicking in.  Lunches start at 11:00.  Half an hour is not enough time to get even one, muchless, three performance reviews done.  Okay, well we only have one tomorrow, so I'll remind you of it one last time.  Your response: "I have that meeting in the morning, but I should be back by 9:00...then I scheduled a meeting with 2 other managers."  NO, BITCH!  You scheduled a meeting with me and the employee.  Two weeks ago.

Well thanks to my bitching up a Katrina-style storm gentle and tactful persuasion, I found some holes in your schedule those days and exploited the hell out of them to get these reviews done.  Then, the final kick to the head: you complained that you didn't have the copies of the reviews already on your desk.  You've scheduled a meeting with your manager and she's going to want to see them.  Oh I'll give you the copies all right, but I think you should stick them somewhere other than your desk.