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Friday, September 27, 2013

Five for Friday: The crazies may be gone, but my job is still insane...and hilarious.

Good afternoon!

I was starting to think that, with the departure of Elsie W., Noelle C., and Aqua Girl/Pandora, my job was no longer going to be funny.  I especially thought that when the newest in the line of ISP's showed up.  Her name is Kay and folks, I'm delighted to say that since Kay showed up, I no longer wish to die every single day.  I no longer wish to leave Stuff, Installed. 

Now part of that is that Kay is hilarious.  She's a fluffy girl, like me, and we laugh a lot.  Yes, she's twenty years younger than I am, but her sense of humor and mine a very close.  I think our boisterous laughter is starting to confuse NBM.  He doesn't know how to deal with two women in the office who like each other and have zero interest in him on any level.

Part of the reason I like my job once more is because, well, I'm a genius.  Rather, I'm being hailed as a genius.  See, in order to get someone normal into that ISP chair, I had to figure out how to make the work schedule more normal.  NBM wasn't going to do it, he's not an outside the box thinker.  But, after some serious pondering, I hit upon a plan that not only gave Kay a two day weekend, but also gave me...a THREE DAY WEEKEND!

Yes, I now work a 12 hour day on Mondays...but I have Fridays off!  TAH DAH!


The downside to all this, however, is that my face book posts are no longer filled with misery and stupidity. I was starting to worry that I was no longer funny.

And then I started to really listen to our customers and I realized that I am working in a gold mine of ridiculousness.  Which brings me to my five for Friday:  Five things that happened in the last ten days to remind me that my job is still insane and hilarious:

5)  "My job is wait for someone to insult me like that."

I'm really starting to think that the AARP population is out to make my life difficult on purpose.  Earlier this week a gent walked into my showroom and started asking me questions about what we do and don't install here at Stuff, Installed.  He asked if we installed toilets or sinks.  I said no, and explained what we do.  He asked if we installed windows.  Again, I said no and again I explained what we do.

He then asked me, "Well what good are you?"

Hey, I'm a lady.  And I was wearing jewelry and perfume and nice lady like looking clothes that day and darn it all I didn't feel the need to have Mr. REALLY Old Spice question my purpose in life. 

And so I let fly with, "I wait here all day for people like you to ask me that very question,"

4)  "And I assumed you weren't a jackass. Guess we were both wrong."


Mr. Really Old Spice didn't stop his insults. Most of you know I have a candy dish on my desk.  And when people say, "May I take a piece of candy,"  what I say, nay, what everyone in a polite society says is, "Sure, help yourself."

This jackwagon decided he was going to be cute.  When I said that, he picked up the whole dish and started heading for the door. Now, granted, he was old, so it wasn't like he was moving at the speed of light, but still, I sat down at my desk and waited to see if he was really, truly, going to walk off with my entire pile of candy...and the dish as well.

By the time he got to the door, he stopped  (I think he was winded from the walk) and he looked at me and said, "Hey, you said I could help myself."

Now, I wanted to say a lot of things.  But what I said was, "Well, I didn't think you were the kind that stole from ladies.  But hey, if you truly need that candy dish, well, you're right, I did say help yourself."

It took him about five minutes to old man stroll back to  my desk, put the candy dish in its spot and go back to the door. 

3)  "Just how filthy are you?"

Part of my job at Stuff, Installed is to take customer calls  from people who have questions or problems with the stuff we install.  Most of the time it's very simple and I'm able to solve a problem in a few minutes.  I'm just that awesome.  But then there are days that I get a call that's so wildly out there I start to think about just how I managed to fall into a job where all of our customers are naked when they are using our product.

This week I took a call from a lady, let's call her Edna.  Edna was old, OF COURSE, and had a problem.  See, we installed a bath tub in her home.  Now we installed that tub almost ten years ago.  But hey, there's a lifetime warranty on the tub so long as she doesn't do anything stupid with it, like clog dance in it wearing golf shoes or drill a hole in it.

Edna wanted to install a safety bar.  No problem, I said, and I quoted her a price.  All was well.  Then Edna launched into a complaint I'd never gotten before.

"When you installed my tub I had a lever that I could pull up and down to empty the tub. But when you installed my tub you put the stopped in the drain and that's how I'm supposed to get the water to drain out, but pushing on that stopper."

I'm with her so far.

"Well, when you installed the tub, you told me I couldn't have that lever because you didn't install that kind of thing."

"That's correct," I tell her.  "You drain our tubs by pushing on the stopper in the drain."

"Well I just say your TV commercial and I watched it very carefully and you have that lever on your tubs now, and I want one."

I curse the day we ever put together a TV commercial.  It's a nice commercial, don't get me wrong.  But we can't afford to run it during prime time, so we run these commercials during the day, on the Game Show Network, or on those networks that run reruns from the 1950's.  The people who see our commercials are people who are watching 1950's TV during the day.  They are not people who can see the TV screen that well, or who can hear all that well.  I know because I take calls from them and 99% of the time the TV is SCREAMING in the back ground.

"Well, Ma'am, I don't know what to tell you, but we do not install those levers."

"You are trying to withhold the lever from me.  I want you to install that lever because I don't want to get out of the tub and then have to put my hand in that nasty bath water to empty the tub.  And now you're lying to me because I watched that commercial very carefully."

(It might not even be a commercial for Stuff, Installed.  Most people confuse us with the other 99 stuff installation companies out there.)

I tried to explain to this lady that I wasn't lying to her, but in the back of my mind I just couldn't help wondering just how dirty this woman was...and why she was so loathe to put her hand in the water mere seconds after she'd been SITTING IN IT.

"Well I'm going to have someone else put that grab bar in because you're just lying to me about the lever."

"Ma'am, I would not recommend having someone else install the safety bar because if you have someone else drill a hole in our product, you will void your warranty with us."

"I don't have a warranty with you."

I could go on...but I'll just say she accused me a second time of lying to her, this time about having a warranty.

2)  Three accents, two time zones and one computer later we discover that I'm not the idiot.

My computer has been a source of aggravation since the day I started at Stuff, Installed.  It's slow, it's unreliable, and it shuts down for no apparent reason some days.  But hey, I'm not a whiner...at least not at work.  But two weeks ago NBM realized that everyone's Internet was too slow for words and since it was starting to affect his ability to access ESPN.com on his work computer, he had someone come in and look at things. The tech informed him that if he had to work on my computer, he'd quit.

I got a new computer a week later.

I was not all that excited to install it.  See, even though my computer is slow, everything I need is right where it's supposed to be on it.  NBM assured me that the IT guy at our home office in Tennessee would transfer all my files from my computer to another computer in the office, we'd install my computer, and then he'd transfer all the files to the new computer.  "Should take five minutes" says NBM who has the technical knowledge of, well, let's just say I'm his go-to person when he can't figure out how to operate Face Book. Which is pretty much every day.

I won't bore you with the details, but the transferring of files from old computer to other old computer took two solid days.  See, the IT guy in Tennessee got stung by a Brown Recluse spider and had to leave early and the IT guy at the home office in Canada couldn't figure out what Tennessee had done with my files.

One day three, I called Canada after installing my new computer.  Canada again couldn't find my files, so I called Tennessee. Tennessee wasn't picking up his phone.  Finally, on day FOUR, Tennessee transferred my files from the second computer to my new computer.

Couple things:  I couldn't print.  I couldn't scan, and there was clearly no word processing program on the new computer.  I couldn't open any of my files.  Sure, they were there, but I wouldn't open them.

I called Canada because THAT'S where the computer came from.  After answering several questions, Canada again reloaded my files. This time I could open them...but still couldn't print or scan.  (No big deal...it's just that that's WHAT I DO ALL DAY.)

On day five I got an email from Canada.  Turns out...they sent me the wrong computer.  They sent me a computer destined for some other desk...one that was going to load all sorts of fancy programs and that's why it literally had NOTHING on it. They'd also sent us a second computer, one NBM was going to use to replace another ancient machine.  Canada wanted one of those back.  Since NBM didn't feel like crawling under my desk to get mine it was agreed he'd send the other one back.

One day six, I called Tennessee twice, asking that he help me load a scanning program onto my new computer. I never heard back from him.

But I'm a smart girl and I have an empty desk next to mine.  So now, on Monday, which will be day nine of the five minute file transfer, I'll hook up my old computer on that desk and I'll officially have command of two desks and two computers.

All because IT won't return a phone call.  Probably another spider bite.

1)  "Well, if you're out of band with, you're out of band with.  And yes, I see how that is my problem."

I fill out permits for building inspectors.  This involves talking to a lot of older guys, guys who were builders and plumbers, but retired and now inspect building and plumbing.

Last week I mailed a permit to a small town.  The building inspector is roughly 100 years old.  A couple days later I called to schedule the inspection.  He scheduled it, but informed me he hadn't received my paperwork yet.  I said it was weird, since I mailed it a week earlier and the town was four miles from my desk.

He inspected the building a few days later and still insisted he hadn't received the paperwork and the check.  (The check being the more important thing.)  He then had his secretary call me. She's younger than he is...by about four years.

She asked me a series of questions, implying that I was lying about mailing the forms.  Then she asked me where I'd mailed the forms.

"I mailed them to the address at the top of the form."

"Oh, well, there's your problem," she said.  "That's our physical address.  We don't get any mail here."

"Where should I have sent it?"

"Oh, to our P.O. box."

"I see," says I.  "And is that P.O. box number on the form?"

"Where did you get the form?"

"From your inspector.  He faxed it to me."

"Well he got it from our website.  And we ran out of band with on the website and just didn't have enough room for one more line on the forms.  So the P.O. Box number got left off the forms and it's not on the site."

So let me get this right.  You don't get mail at your actual location  (doubtful, since I've mailed things to them many times) and you have to get mail sent to an address you don't have listed anywhere on your forms.  And this is my problem how?

Oh yeah, my job is still insane. 

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