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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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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Who Flipped On The Crazy? Part 3 - The Final Chapter





An open letter to EmployeeVonMunchausen

Yesterday, when I had to take you aside and ask you to get your shit straight, I wasn't expecting a complete turn around.  Not only did you come back out relieved and happy-looking, you were chit-chatting and acting like a normal person.  I was amazed!  For a moment I felt like I must have said something profound -- like in the movies.  

Get busy livin' or get busy dyin'. -- Andy Dufresne "The Shawshank Redemption"
I thought maybe I should give up this 9-5 shit and just start inspiring people for a living like that douche Dr. Phil (but with more hair...and less slime).  Until you started chit-chatting about the new book series that you're reading.  It started out great: you were totally excited about some books that you found.  I was happy to hear the passion in your voice as you were describing the plot of this amazing new series.  And then the details start pouring in:

It's a teen series.

About vampires.

Or, I'm sorry, people who are "marked" by vampires.

And they have to go to vampire school.

Where they learn to ...? I guess give each other blowies in front of their classmates?

Vampire porn.

You're talking to me about your vampire porn?  On a list of things I don't want to know about you, this ranks at #2.  It's only holding the #2 spot because I'm sure there's something else about you that will eventually top that.  I just hope I never find out.

You're a 33-year old lonely gal who craves attention and has a strong fixation with the current vampire craze. I have a hard time hearing about your smut books without also picturing...

Anyway, for the love of all that is holy, please shut the fuck up about your porno books.

Sincerely,

Awesomeness
Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Who Flipped On The Crazy? Part 2



The continuing saga...

I get in to work yesterday, fully anticipating a craptacular time.  I was not disappointed.  It was moments after arriving that I discover two things: 1) EmployeeVonMunchausen is piiiiiiiiiiiiiiissed about something.  I don't really have time to coddle her, so I chose to ignore the shit out of her and 2) the intern was not coming in until later that day.  Oh, awesome.  Me and Lil Miss Sunshine alone.  For hours.  Spectacular.

This, of course, does not stop MisManager from calling a meeting with me.  She's been dying to give me a report about the things that happened while I was gone.  The more she talked the more I began to mentally sort her list of complaints into different categories:

I. The Stuff She Actually Witnessed

She can give firsthand testimony to:
  • The fact that one of the crew ("Carlos") was spinning around on his chair while talking to his coworkers during some down time.
  • MisManager brought the whole crew potted flowers.  "Carlos" colored one of the 2 flowers that bloomed on my Lead's potted daisy with a black Sharpie.  She told him that was rude and she couldn't believe he would do that (he's a 20 year old kid who lives to antagonize my Lead....why was she so surprised?).  Then she got mad at him for trying to exchange the defaced plant with his own.  She accused him of being ungrateful.  Make up your damn mind lady.
All of this amounts to "who gives a shit."

II. The Stuff She Heard From Other People

Not too many details in this category.  Apparently when my people complain to her, she doesn't think too much of doing that pesky "asking questions" thing.  This is why I didn't want to get too worked up over the list she gave me until I'd had a chance to talk to my people.

She said that others complained to her about:
  • "Carlos" and Jailbait (hereafter referred to collectively as The Boys) were playing the whole time.  They, according to second hand story, partied all week and snapped at anyone who tried to get them to do anything.
  • The Boys didn't help perform any of the tasks to open the office.
  • The Boys didn't help perform any of the tasks to close the office.
All of this is stupid petty bullshit that I obliterated with about 2 minutes of investigation.  Uh, we have record logs of the times that we interacted with our clients.  We also have a checklist that employees initial for closing.  It's not hard to work that shit out.  Oh, and the strenuous opening tasks: get the mail bag ready and make sure we take the customer pick-up tray out of lock up.  Even if they didn't help participate, who gives a fuck?

The conclusion: they helped a proportionate amount of clients and Jailbait himself initialed more than half the crap on the nightly checklist.

This is why details are important.  Next time she needs to do what I do when I get this pettiness in front of me: explain to them exactly what they need to "put in that person's file".  Yeah....I'm taking you seriously and we're in it together.  Gimme the goods, Tiger (that's what she said)....  What ends up happening, most of the time, is a lot of immediate back pedaling.  That's what I thought.  Shaddup! 

III. The Only Actual Problem That Occurred While I Was Out

MisManager and Lead were off to a development class, which left EmployeeVonMunchausen alone with The Boys for half a day.  I know she was dreading it, but she's been dying for opportunities to show how ready she is for a promotion.  There you go EVM.  You can do it!

But she didn't.  At all.  Her big plan to make nice and ensure a pleasant day, was to bake The Boys a pan of brownies.  YES!!  Then she follows it up with a speech that went like this:

I made you guys some brownies because I want us to have a good day.  I want to make it clear, though, that if you screw around I will tell MisManager.

Facepalm.

Oh, EmployeeVonMunchausen, no.  You had them at brownies!!!  Really, with them you just had to say, "Brownies!" (if you had to say anything) and they would have been your best friends.

This was my big concern because, according to MisManager The Boys were avoiding EVM for the rest of the week and their cooperation and communication totally broke down.  Oh man, I do not like coming back to personnel squabbles.

What did I do today?

I got everyone's stories.  Funny enough, no one else thought that The Boys were a problem.  Hmmmmm...  Oh, except for EmployeeVonMunchausen.  Surprise!  She actually started crying when I talked to her because last week was HELL for her.  Yeah, well, that's what happen when you say stupid shit to your coworkers and they don't want to talk to you.  Funny how that works.

Things are back to normal now.  I declared a "breather" day and we all just concentrated on having fun.  Together.  Even you EVM, even you.

Get ready for Part 3, however, because EmployeeVonMunchausen has a very interesting idea of how to contribute to group fun...

Sigh.  Thanks for the blog fodder, EVM.
Monday, July 19, 2010

Who Flipped On The Crazy? Part 1



The Monday after vacation is never pleasant, but this Monday was horrible for all the wrong reasons.  This will be in 2 parts, as I can pretty much guarantee I will get the rest of the story from my employees tomorrow--if they bother to show up, that is.

Here's what happened before I ever even made it in the door to work today:

  • I felt a little off.  I haven't been feeling very well the last couple of days, and I did have a scratchy throat, but I was in full-on illness denial mode.  Until I checked my temperature and, sure enough, 100.2.  Awesome.  Of course, calling in the day after your vacation is extremely douche-baggy, so I just though I'd go in and hang out at my desk for 8 hours "catching up" on the no work that I would probably have.  Not to mention all 20 emails...  I could have stretched it out, but then....
  • Jailbait called in.  Was he sick too?  Nope.  His brand new baby niece was in the hospital, so he stayed there all night with his family.  I don't want to be an asshole about that, but that's really not cool. Unless you're going to actually perform the medical functions necessary to save that baby's life, just get some rest and get in to work.  We could have made allowances for him to make and take calls from them all day, not to mention an extended lunch to visit in the middle of the day.  There were alternatives.  And because Jailbait called in...
  • I was stuck with a sourpuss EmployeeVonMunchausen all day.  OH YEAH!  Her, the brand new intern and me.  Holy crap was I excited about the day. (<--- real irony Alanis)
  • But before I can start my glorious day, I have to drop my daughter off at the preschool.  Her school is currently undergoing some renovations right now to add on 2 rooms, which is outstanding, except when the lady at the front desk doesn't know where to send us.

    Typically, what happens is that all of the kids get gathered up into one room until around 8:00 or so and then they're all shipped off to their age-appropriate classes.  So we were a little confused when the front desk lady told us to take our daughter straight to her class.  We questioned it further when the door that takes you out of the main building and leads out to the classrooms was locked.  She said, "It's okay to unlock it.  Someone must have accidentally done that."  Ooookaaaaaaay....

    My daughter's classroom is the farthest away from the main building and we have to cross 2 playgrounds to get there.  So imagine how pissed we are when we get there and THERE'S NO ONE IN THE FUCKING CLASSROOM.  We walked over to the class next door, where the slightly confused teacher told us to take our daughter back to the main building and put her in the room she usually starts out in.

    The trek back was filled with visions of violently shaking the front desk lady.  I get my daughter where he needs to go, while Mr. A tells Bad Direction Bertha that she's a dumbass.  Her response, "Heehee.  Oops!  I thought I saw them take the big kids over there." My daughter is a "big" kid only in height.  She seriously towers over everyone in her class and even some of the kids in the class ahead of her.  However, the lady's been there long enough to know that she's not a kindergartener.  I don't know what she was smoking today, but it was good shit.

    So now were running late thanks to Captain Dipshit...
  • And we run into road construction.  A megaton of it.  Everything is blocked off to one lane (down from 3 + a turn lane) in both directions.  Oh my fucking god.
  • We finally make it to Mr. A's work and laugh about the crappy day we're about to have.  Aww.
  • On to my work, where I do a last minute check in the mirror to make sure I don't look hideous and I found IT.  A gray hair.  My first.  Bummer.  I wouldn't even so much care, because at 34 it's just a matter of when anymore, but today?  Really?
Then the work day actually started...

(To Be Continued)
Thursday, July 8, 2010

Workplace Harassment: The Continuing Saga



The back story:

A few months ago, we ran a production contest and the prize was a coupon for shopping in the company catalog.  Not a super exciting prize, but whatever.  We had fun and made our goals.

My Lead employee won (I really need to come up with a nickname for her...) and she was all jazzed about ordering a travel mug.  Seriously, seriously way jazzed about this mug.

"Carlos" does the ordering, and was actually placing an order at the time that the contest ended.  Unfortunately, he forgot the mug.  We order every 2-4 weeks to cut shipping costs, so she had to wait a little longer for her mug.

The next order, she was up his ass about that mug.  Until she saw a confirmation, she reminded him every 30 minutes that she expected her prize on the next shipment over.  It got a little annoying, but we got her taken care of.

Until we got a notice a week later that the mug was on backorder.  It's like the groundhog saw his shadow.  It was potentially 6-8 more weeks of a blizzard of bitching.  I was hoping for some good news.

Well, we got news.  News that the mug was never going to come.  Oh, shit.  Okay. . . Maybe we can find a different travel mug in the catalog.  No.  Oh, shit.

Now she's whining about how she doesn't want anything else and she feels like she got ripped off.  Oh my god, please shoot me.  It took everything for me to not shake her and tell her to just SHUT THE FUCK UP.  We're on it.

We were so on it that we start to search the internet for a goddam mug.  If we do this, we know we have to pay for it out of our own pockets, but we don't care.  We just wanted her to shut the hell up about this mug.

We finally found this personalization website.  Thank goodness.  We though it would be sweet, after all that waiting, to have the mug engraved with her name.  Then we noticed that we had 4 lines of engraving available to us, so we thought it would be funny to put a special message on there for her.  Had we known that, in the week and a half it took for the thing to get here, that MisManager was going to take everything we did and label it as harassment -- despite the lack of actual complaint -- we would have thought twice about getting it delivered to the office...

So, during this week's meeting, she announces that our completion certificate for the harassment course is due by the end of the day.  She lays out her list of acceptable and unacceptable behaviors and topics.  She made sure we all know we would get either written up or fired if she caught us violating the rules.

Ten minutes later, the mug arrives.  We were trying desperately to get the girl's attention to let her know that maybe she should wait to open it, but she made such a huge deal about finally getting her mug that a crowd formed.  So, in front of everyone, she gets her mug with her special message from all of us:

Dear (Name)
Here's your freakin' mug
Quit your bitching

She loved it!  She was laughing her ass off.  She couldn't wait to take it home and show her family.

MisManager...not so thrilled with it.  So how did I get out of the write up she wanted to give me? By pointing out:

  • We ordered the mug before this whole mess started.
  • We ordered the mug on our own time.
  • We used our own money.
I escaped impending doom, but the sweet mug was thereafter banished from the office.  Bummer.
Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Eye Of The Beholder's Manager




Workplace Harassment.  We have an online course for it at work.  Lucky us, we get to take it whenever it's deemed necessary. Like last week.  I'm not going to say that we were angels, but it's not like we were completely out of control.  Well, perhaps we were, but I'll let you judge for yourself:

Exhibit 1: On Tuesdays we have a staff meeting.  To lead off the meeting and wake everyone up, we play an "icebreaker" game. These exercises are traditionally reserved for meetings where people need to get to know one another, but we do them anyway because it helps wake us up.  This week, MisManager was out of the office (as usual), so the employees in charge of the game decided we should all say our favorite pick up line.

I know.  Not appropriate.  I really didn't understand what the harm was, though.  We stuck to the cheesy stuff like, "Did you fart?  Because you just blew me away." and stayed away from the sexually suggestive ones like, "Do you have a little German in you?  [No.]  Do you want some?"  Honestly, it's the most fun we've had doing one of those things.

Eventually it got back to MisManager that we had done this in her absence and, even though no one actually took offense and everyone had a good time, she decided that we were no longer allowed to play an icebreaker game when she was out of the office.  Evidently, she felt that it was beyond us to tone it down to mere "What 3 things would you bring with you to a deserted island?" games.

Exhibit 2: "That's what she said."  Most of us are big fans of The Office.  Over the last year and a half that my crew has been working together, we've slowly worked that in (that's what she said) to our office conversation.  So when MisManager walks in and says (about our beach themed decorations for a promotion), "You'll have to explain some of that to me...I mean, I get the crabs..."  We trip over ourselves to let her know she just left herself wide open (that's what he said).

It's gotten to the point where the two boys have actually spent some of their own money and a good deal of downtime modifying a Staples "That was easy!" (that's what he said) button to actually say "that's what she said," when you push it.  I think it'll be a time saver.

Exhibit 3: Two of my four employees were born in Juarez, Mexico.  The town is not notorious for being a vacation paradise.  As a matter of fact, even to hear them talk about going back, it sounds like all the bad things you ever heard about going to Mexico.  Unless you're a woman, then it's a lot worse.  You'll be comforted to know, though, that I've been assured by one of my employees that the killing of their women "almost doesn't happen anymore."  Yeah...I still wouldn't go there.

So, when my Lead was describing her recent trip home in which she had to carry a lot of bribe money for the police (what you actually say is that you'd like to "buy them a cup of coffee" wink, wink) and she was afraid to go out with any less than 3 of her male relatives, another of my employees ("Carlos") chimed in and called Juarez "ghetto."

Now, Carlos is from the area just outside Cancun, which is a vacation paradise.  The comment could have been taken a lot of different ways, but she just thought it was snobby and annoying.  She also did whatever an employee should do when a comment bothers them, she let him know she was bothered by it.

By throwing water on him.

This exchange took place after work hours, so there weren't any witnesses to this outside our little group.  The girl from Juarez felt that she made her point to the snob from Cancun.  He thought it was funny.  Everyone had a good laugh.

Except MisManager.  For her, this was a final straw.  We are now officially "out of control."  So, as of her decree last week, all conversation has to be business appropriate.  Her exact words were, "Just imagine that a member of the Human Resources department were in the room with you at all times."  Oh, and the Workplace Harassment course.

That went well.  I decided that we needed to listen to it in between client visits.  Imagine my dismay when a client walked in as the lesson began explaining examples of "hostile work environment.  This is what she heard:

I can't stand that Ron.  I wish he'd go hang out in the corner with the other queers.

Holy crap!  Where the fuck is that mute button?!  I'd like to say I learned my lesson, but no.  Further into the slides, another client walked in on:

...his female supervisor often made sexual comments about his appearance, even going as far as to say she dreams about him naked.

Fuck.  That didn't go well.

It wasn't all bad though.  The highlight of my week was when we got a visit from MisManager's manager and the regional Vice President.  MisManager's manager got a call from her teenage daughter, who wanted to come by and get some money from her.  There was some concern expressed over the appropriateness of her dress, then some relief at the fact that "thankfully she's flat-chested."  We spent the next 7 minutes or so talking about our breasts.

Suck it MisManager.

For a closer, more frightening look at the murders of the women of Juarez, I can recommend The Daughters of Juarez: A True Story of Serial Murder South of the Border by Teresa Rodriguez.