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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Monday, January 24, 2011

My Crazy Week, Part 3: The Stabbing

On Thursday, I was about 2 minutes away from ending my lunch when the yelling started.  I had no idea what was happening, but I have one of those weird instincts that directs me toward potential danger.  Much like the dumb people in horror movies.  If I were watching myself, I'd yell, "No, Awesomeness!  Stop!!  The killer is out there!" Then I'd watch myself get harpooned and flung off of a balcony.

Anyway, I hauled my ass out of the breakroom to find two men running around the lobby.  One of them was throwing our signs, stands and other marketing tools we keep laying around, at the other.  We also had a client in the lobby, so my priority became getting her behind a door and out of the way.

Especially after the knife came out.  Now I know that this isn't some game of Ring Around The Rosies gone wrong.  My staff was on top of it, as no less than 3 of the 4 were on the phone with 911 by the time I was pulling the client through the door that leads to our breakroom.  The 4th was rushing to help me get the client to safety.

We didn't actually see the stabbing, and thank goodness, because no one wants to witness that.  We just knew that the guy being chased suddenly had blood coming from 2 places on his head and the chaser was running out the door.

The cops showed up within a minute.  That's the one nice thing about the neighborhood I work in; there's always a ton of crime, but it means the police are always near.

After the dust settled on the actual activity, the back story came out: Stabber's girlfriend was raped, Stabber thought Stabbee did it.  He showed up at Stabbee's doorstep and started attacking him.  Stabbee ran.  Why he ran to our office is so far beyond me, I don't even have a guess, but that's what he did.

Stabber came back with the girlfriend at some point before the cops left and turned himself in.  At least we don't have to worry about him coming back to silence us.

Of course, then the real excitement starts.  When the grapevine effect kicks in and the story starts circulating around, it takes some really interesting turns:

  • Stabber's girlfriend also ended up getting stabbed.
  • Client was thrown to the ground and kicked.  (Today, the story was she was taken away in an ambulance.)
  • Stabber's girlfriend also got arrested.
  • Blood was everywhere and they shut down the office. (The blood only got on his shirt.)
It was also interesting to see the differences in reactions to the events across the members of the staff:

  • EVM kept swearing she thought Stabber was going to pull a gun and start shooting everyone.
  • Lead Employee (again, she really needs a nickname...) just cared that client was fine, otherwise, it was Thursday.
  • The two employees from sales just cared that the clients that were sitting in front of them would come back in (I'm not sure one of them will).
  • I got mad.  
At first, I was mad at Stabber.  He was the apparent bad guy in this.  Then I looked at the video.  Stabbee ran into the office, yelled at the staff  that someone was after him and to call the cops (the yelling I heard), ran back out of the building and started yelling and pointing at Stabber, only to be chased back in by Stabber.  Now, I think Stabbee brought this on himself a little.

This coming from the girl that ran right into the fray.

Stabbee is fine.  He's got some stitches and staples, but he lives to lure potential murderers into the office another day.
Sunday, January 23, 2011

My Crazy Week, Part 2: Pimp Daddy

As an establishment that deals in finances, validating a person's signature is something we do from open to close and in a multitude of ways.  From merely checking an I.D. to providing a Signature Guarantee or affixing a Medallion Stamp, if you've got a signature, we can make it official.  One of our most popular demands is for the service of a Notary Public.

Nowadays, everything needs to be notarized.  I notarize field trip forms for parents (sorry, kids of today, no one trusts you anymore), I notarize vehicle titles, adoption papers, affidavits, wills and trust papers.  One time I was asked to notarize a ... we'll just call it a contract for physical favors.  As a professional, I declined.  As an unprofessional, I thought it was the funniest thing ever and so wanted to do it.

There are a couple of different ways you can notarize a signature.  The first way is by acknowledgement.  This means that you are merely acknowledging that the person who appeared before you is the person who was entitled to sign the document and that you verified their signature.  It's the most common notarization.  The other way to notarize is by jurat.  For a jurat, the document you're notarizing must be completed in its entirety and the signer must swear that the contents are true and correct.  This type of notarization is used for documents where the integrity of the information is paramount.  This would be used for affidavits and such.

On Wednesday, we watched a car pull in.  Out of this car comes 3 ladies, all looking a little rough.  Like they've, um, been around the block a few times.  *wink, wink*  At this point, we couldn't see the driver of the vehicle because of glare, but we had enough entertainment just watching the Ladies climb out of the car and hold a mini-conference before coming into the office.

Lady #1 approached my Lead employee and asked to get a notarization on a form she presented.  It contained the certificate for a jurat, so Lead (I really, really need to come up with a nickname for her...) looked over the document to make sure it was completed in its entirety.  Of course it wasn't and it was 3 pages long.  Lady #1 had a lot of writing to do.

In the meantime, Ladies #2 and #3 kept looking anxiously out the window.  It was distracting to watch them whisper to one another and then, almost in unison, turn their heads to look back at their car.  I thought, "What in the what is going on here?"

My question was answered when, after about 5 minutes, a guy came in and started growling angrily at the girls.  "What's taking so long?  This was supposed to be done a long time ago....mumble, mumble, growl....yo' ass out to the car..."

He walked around like that in our lobby until the whole menagerie left.  Now, I'm not going to make a character judgement, but I will merely point out some facts:

  • Fact # 1: he was very sharply dressed.
  • Fact # 2: he carried a big, solid-looking walking stick.
  • Fact # 3: those ladies were very nervous around him.
  • Fact # 4: he was, very clearly, the boss of them.
...and from that, I will let you draw your own conclusions.
Friday, January 21, 2011

My Crazy Week, Part 1: The Applicant

My first clue that something was wrong was when I called this girl and she couldn't figure out how to work her phone.  The second was when I asked if she'd like to come in to interview and she said, "Sure."  Just a flat, blah, "Sure."  I didn't expect her to be "piss-my-pants" excited, but I knew with that non-committal reply that she was not a good fit.  We called our Recruiter and asked if it was necessary to even do an interview.  It wasn't.  Her application sucked, and neither MisManager nor I wanted to do it, but we decided to be nice and give her a courtesy interview.

I found out just how unexcited she really was when she called up about an hour before her interview and canceled.  No explanation, she just couldn't make it.  She wanted to reschedule for 15 minutes after we normally leave the office.  We said, uh no.  Then she offered to call us to let us know when she was going to be available later that day.  Wow...

Listen here, sister, we're interviewing because we're missing a member of our team.  This means we're doing extra work.  We. Are. Busy. You're off yer frickin' rocker if you think we're going to rearrange our whole damn day for you.

We called Recruiter and said we would like to pass on her all together.  Recruiter said, "No sweat!  I will call and let her know that you went with another applicant."  This was not a lie, since we'd already had 2 good interviews and another outstanding applicant on the way (this would be the one we selected).

What was a lie, was that Recruiter was going to call her.  Which, may not be fair, since I don't know if Flaky Applicant figured out how to work her phone.  So, Recruiter may have actually called her all day long.  She obviously never reached her, though, because the next day Flaky calls up again wanting to know why she didn't hear back from us about that interview.  She assertively pointed out that she was going to be available after 4:00.  Flaky left this message with one of my employees.

We called Recruiter to find out why she hadn't talked to Flaky.  She was out of the office.  And will continue to be until Monday.  Aw gawdammit.  Well, we'll just continue to ignore her calls I guess.

Until she calls again the next day and leaves a message with EVM.  Then calls later that day to insistently demand to hold for either me or MisManager.  I have no idea how long she was on hold, but I'm sure it was a record.

I guess we could have spoken with her, but we were occupied by other, more urgent matters, as I will discuss in later posts.  The rest of my crazy week will be broken down into a few parts, but will include:

  • Someone almost getting pimp slapped in our lobby.  Like, by a really real pimp.
  • Someone getting stabbed in the head in our lobby.  
  • The Amish.  (Okay, this will not get it's own post, but whatever in the hell are the Amish doing in Phoenix?)
  • Wackjob Wednesday.

I hope I have the brain cells to carry this forward.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011

How To Piss Off Your Boss

I knew yesterday was going to be an off day when EmployeeVonMunchausen showed up 5 minutes late with breakfast from Sonic.  Because nothing says, "I totally could've made it to work on time, but fuck you," like strolling in late with breakfast.

She follows that up with an indignant remark about us opening the office doors before she'd gotten a chance to get her desk ready.

Then comes the barrage of asinine questions: 
"Awesomeness, the software that runs our daily reports isn't working.  We got a message saying it's down at every office.  What do you want me to do?"  
Um, wait until it's working again and then pull the reports.

"Awesomeness, my sales tracking software is still not working!  What do you want me to do?"
The same thing I wanted you to do on Friday, when you first reported the problem.  Call tech support and have them figure it out.  That's, like, their job and stuff.

"Awesomeness, I have a phone call for MisManager, but she's got a client.  What do you want me to do?"
(No, really.) I want you to take a message or send the client to her voicemail.

Anything after that, I battled the urge to say, "I want you to banish yourself to an alternate dimension."

We were short-handed because "Carlos's" last day was the previous Thursday and Jailbait is on vacation.  I'm trying to juggle in some interviews to replace "Carlos" and this is really my #1 priority.  I needed her to be on top of her game today.  Instead, I got this bungler that thought it was appropriate to procrastinate her lunch by half an hour, thereby screwing me out of half an hour of my lunch.  This was time I desperately needed so I could readjust my mental focus before continuing on with interviews.

Then the final straw: she couldn't figure out how to resolve her work at the end of the day.  There are some things that can't wait until the next day to get sorted out.  She managed to find every single one of those things and fuck it up.

Does she really have to ax murder someone to get fired?  (Sadly, I'm convinced the answer is yes.)

Interestingly, my horoscope agrees that a come-to-Jesus is in order.  This really was written just for me.  The only thing missing is my name.

January 19, 2011

  1. TaurusTaurus (4/20-5/20)
    Uh oh. You've been trying and trying and trying some more to Just Say No to being mad -- still -- but you just can't seem to get rid of that urge to let go and let you-know-who have it. The problem is that just about everyone around you -- even those not ordinarily prone to 'yessing' you for brownie points -- seems to agree. Oh, this one calls for drastic measures. How about a sit-down talk? A 'state of the relationship' kind of thing? Neutral turf and chaperones/advisors are a must.
Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Strangest Thing Happened....

Mr. A had an encounter at a Walgreens the other day that was probably the strangest display of assholery that I’ve ever heard of.  I will be telling this story for a while.

He set out Sunday afternoon to get some supplies for our son, who was battling a temp that settled comfortably around 103.  He enters the Walgreens to the immediate display of a 6’2” man, dressed in full cowboy regalia….with his face painted like a clown.  Cowboy Clown is talking up the lady at the register and Mr. A just figured that he was winding up a transaction (I assume he would be purchasing balloons and chewing tobacco) and he’d be on his way.

When he finished selecting his items and made his way back to the cash register, however, he discovered the giant redneck clown was still yakking away at the cashier.  This was mighty annoying considering that the dude should have moved on a long time ago.  As he's waiting for them to wrap up their chatting, he caught the topic: the cashier is really interested in leaving her illustrious career in cashiering to work parties as a balloon-bending clown.

Awesome.  So now Mr. A can't get service at the store, and get our son his medicine, because this ass clown wants to be a clown clown.  Mr. A tried to get the cashier's attention, as the clowning was not pertinent business for the Walgreen's and he (rightfully) thought that his service should have been a priority.

Clowny and his grasshopper had other ideas, because both ignored him.  Neither of them thought for a minute that it was a good idea to get on with the business she was there for.  So what does Mr. A do?

He pushed the clown out of his way and tossed all of his stuff in front of the cashier.

At this point in the story, I had to have him stop for a minute so I could catch my breath from laughing so hard.  How many people get to say that they had to push a 6'2" cowboy clown?

So how does Clowny take being physically handled?

He ignores Mr. A.  

Because Clowny is ignoring Mr. A, so does the cashier.  They just carry on their clown college conversation. She does, however, ring up his items, so it wasn't a total waste of effort.

Like I said, I will be telling this one for a while.
Saturday, January 8, 2011

I Know I'm Missing Something

It's been a long time since I've had any gripes with EmployeeVonMunchausen.  The last month, actually, has been bliss.  She hasn't called in, she hasn't overshared, she didn't withdraw and pout in her little corner.  For the first time in a very, very long time, she acted like an adult member of my team.  What changed?  I'll speculate and say:

  • She got the head of H.R. involved in our war.  Honestly, she didn't get anything of use out of the encounter, but she did get an empathetic ear.  This is something she has not had in the office for quite some time.  She burned us all a long time ago.

  • She started posting for positions at other locations.  In a desperate get-me-the-fuck-outta-here maneuver, she started putting herself out there for every open position that she thought she had a chance of landing.  Nice try, but the managers of those offices called me.  I hate to shoot myself in the foot, but I hate the idea of passing along a horrible employee more.  My relationship with my peers means a lot to me.  Besides, I sincerely don't wish her on anyone.

  • She started posting for positions outside the company.  I was, obviously, not listed as a reference for her, so I never got to weigh in on any of that.  It's better that way.
Yesterday, she found out that the last of the internal positions declined her, so she decided to call a meeting with me.

What she said:

I'm actually really happy that it didn't work out.  I feel that the last month has been really good and it's like old times again.  I wanted to let you know that I'm interested in talking about what I need to do to move forward to the next level.
What I heard:

Well, since I got fucked out of every other job I applied for, I'm stuck trying to make this work out.  I have been a total shit head for the last year, but I'm just crazy enough to ask for a promotion on the heels of one of the worst performances I've ever turned out.  Whadda ya say?
I'm a good sport.  I gave her some criteria.  The next level of promotion for her is to Lead Representative.  I already have a Lead.  She's awesome, because she's everything EVM is not: dependable, assertive, respectful...sane.  This is what I need as my right hand.

The next act to this circus comes later in the day.  EVM has been suffering from a sinus infection for about a week now.  In all of this time, she's known what was wrong with her, but has not tried to get an appointment with her doctor or to check into Urgent Care.  Very suddenly, after returning from lunch, she says, "I just can't take this anymore, I need to go to Urgent Care.  I'm just going."

Well, now.  I guess I'm not going to stop her, but I'm wondering what's changed between this morning, when she seemed okay enough to be there, and 1:00.

My best guess: our discussion.  She's testing me to see if we really are "cool".  I hate tests and I suck at them.

Guess who doesn't accrue any sick time until the end of the month.  Right, EVM.  So, to start off the year, she's got -4 hours of sick time.  Guess who's getting another warning to start off her new year off right.

Experience tells me that this game just started.  Maybe I could have some fun this time if I understood the rules or the object, but I have no clue.  Whatever this damn game is, though, I'm determined to win in the end.

It's on.
Wednesday, January 5, 2011

It's Dead, Jim

"Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." --Albert Einstein

Dear Landscapers:

When the ocotillo in front of our building was blown over during the hail storm a couple of months ago, you really should have tossed it out.  Instead, you replanted the thing.  There was no hope of recovery for this plant.  It was pulled up by its roots and was laying on its side for days.

So now we have this dead plant decorating our building.  I, sure as shit, wasn't about to go dig the damn thing up, so I let it go.

Until it blew over again.  I called our facilities department to make sure you knew that you really needed to get rid of it this time.  Like, fuh-reelz.  You must not have gotten the message, though, because the thing was up again when I got in to work the next day.

Until it blew over again.  This time, it snapped apart right above the roots (because that's what dead plants do sometimes; they're just kinda funny like that) and I naively thought, "Oh, yeah, it's definitely getting thrown out now.  No. Doubt."

Except when I got in the next morning, it was back up again.  Propped up with rocks.

Are you fucking serious?!

Then it blew over.  Again.  This time, I made sure to catch your asses out there AS YOU WERE TRYING TO PROP THE FUCKING THING UP AGAIN.  What do you say to me when I asked you to throw it out?

I'm going to have to ask my supervisor.  He's the one who told us to put it back up.

Sonofabitch.  When the manager of the property you're paid to work on tells you to throw away a very dead plant that keeps blowing over, just throw the fucking thing out. I told you to refer your supervisor to me, because I wanted to talk to him before you left.

I turn to go inside and could clearly see you signalling to the guy trying to Bernie my dead ocotillo.  I know enough Spanish to understand that you were telling him to take it down.  Less than a minute later, the truck was up front so you could get rid of the dead plant.

Huh.  I guess you have walkie-talkie implants that give you instant access to your supervisor.  Your landscaping business must be more lucrative than I thought.