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Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Birth of Captain Nubbin!

Good afternoon!

So this week on Face Book I promised that I had a new nickname for NBM my boss at Stuff, Installed.  

I did not get out of bed Monday morning expecting to be putting a new name into the record for my boss, but wow, did he earn it this week.

Last week I shared with you five things he did that made Michael Scott, the oblivious goofball boss from "The Office."  If you haven't read my Five for Friday last week, go read it.  We'll wait.

 Okay welcome back.

So this week I thought it couldn't get any worse.  Surely, I thought to myself, we've hit the peek of the ridiculous, childish, gross, icky behavior and NBM will, certainly, at some point return to proper boss behavior.

I'm starting to wonder if proper boss behavior is just that: childish, gross and icky.

And then, on Wednesday, NBM answered that question and earned himself a new nickname.

To be honest, NGTJ, PM, and I had been tossing around new nicknames for him.  Officially, NBM didn't have a nickname.  We would just listen to him rant about this or that, or make some kind of ridiculous proclamation and then retire into his office to watch golf or basketball on his phone.  And we'd whisper, like those filthy raggeddy people in "Les Miserables" when they sang songs about revolution, we'd whisper, What is it, you say, you do here?"

On Wednesday, the skies cleared and it became obvious just, exactly, what NBM's new name would be.

It went like this:  at 8:25 Tuesday morning I place a phone call to a potential client.  The phone rang once, clicked and went dead. This happens frequently in my line of work.  It means one of a couple things:  The client has hung up without the courtesy of saying any words to me or there was a disconnection in the phone.  I chose to call the number again.  This time the man answered and before I could tell him who I was, he laid in to me with a tirade about how this was too early to call a home  (for the record, he'd asked us to call him...and he'd not answered his phone at other times of the day and evening.)  and that his wife had had a rough night  (oh, dude, do NOT go there with me.) and that I was basically a horrible person for, you know, doing my job and what he'd asked us to do.  I said, "What would a good time be to reach you?"  He spouted something.  I don't know.  I don't care.  I was busy killing his lead so that NGTJ and I would not have to suffer this abuse again.

At 9 AM Wednesday morning a gentleman called the office demanding, rudely, to speak to the branch manager.  Well, that's not going to happen unless he proves he needs to talk to the branch manager because, see, NBM never takes calls.  I mean never.  I mean if someone calls and asks for him by name we've been instructed to tell them he's not in, he's never in.  If someone walks into the office for any reason, he dives into his office and informs us, like he has to, that he's not there.  He takes no calls...he talks to no one.  Because his time is spent in much other, more important ways, like watching golf and basketball on his phone or writing poorly spelled, woefully constructed rants for the local newspaper, which he then puts on my desk to edit down to 300 words or less.

After the verbal dance that is my duty every time someone asks to speak to the branch manager, it became clear this guy was not going to leave a message, he was not going away, and he was really outraged about something.  I wasn't in the mood to take more abuse.  By Wednesday morning I'm pretty much battle scarred anyway.  So I put him through.  NBM talked to the guy for about twenty minutes.

After the conversation, NBM walked out of his office and spent the next fifteen minutes talking about how rude the man was and what a jerk he was and how unreasonable he was.  We dissected this phone conversation  (It was a big deal...after all, it was the first incoming phone call he'd taken in more than a month.) for a long time and I explained and rexplained exactly what I'd said the day before.

None of this was necessary, because NBM has the capability to listen to any and all phone calls made or received on my phone and on NGTJ's phone.  No, not all phone calls are recorded for "training purposes" just the ones she and I make because, well, NBM is always perfection on the phone. So, we could have saved ourselves quite a bit of time on Wednesday had he just gone in and listened to the original phone call.

At least, that's what should have happened.  Instead, he spent two hours NOT being able to listen to the phone call and not knowing why.  See, remember last week he got a new computer, and he installed it by himself and swore up and down he didn't know why anyone else was having issues with their new computer because his was working PERFECTLY...and then he went golfing?  Yeah, well, turns out, maybe his ability to install a computer wasn't so perfect because he spent two hours on Wednesday stomping around, cursing, calling people at our corporate office and cursing at them, all all because for some reason he couldn't "access" the database that allows him to listen to our calls.

(My guess?  He couldn't remember the website address and since it wasn't in his FAVORITES list on his computer yet, he was convinced his computer was malfunctioning for reasons that were NOT his fault or that Corporate was loaded with liars and criminals or that everyone everywhere was wrong and stupid except for him.  Really, when he gets lit this, it's like watching a second graders struggle with a math problem to the point of hysterics.  

NBM kept talking about how this man told him he was convinced NBM wouldn't do anything about the problem.  That's pretty much our attitude around here.  A problem comes up, NBM stomps around cursing for a couple hours, and then someone else will solve the issue.  Either he'll pass it up to the owner, or PM and I, or the sales guys, or NGTJ will figure it out, but NBM rarely actually DOES anything.  I sort of have to applaud the man for being that intuitive. 

After wrestling unsuccessfully with this for two hours, and talking about it with me for the same amount of time a sick thought dawned on me.  He wanted me to apologize to this guy.

FOR WHAT?  For doing my job?

I let this wash over me for a while and about the fourth time he brought the phone call up to me that morning I said, "So, would you like me to apologize to him?"

I have not seen that expression on anyone's face since the day I told the math department in my high school that I wasn't going to take physics.  There was relief, joy, and a certain light of "oh good, you've finally realized you're a moron" in his expression.

We stared at each other for a few seconds and then he said, "Well what you should say, what I would say, would be this..." and he launched into a long soliloquy on what he'd say to make things right between Stuff, Installed and the guy NBM had spent the last several hours insulting and cussing out.

Apparently I have no self esteem.  I dialed the number and left a groveling message apologizing for my rude tone of voice and promising that if he gave Stuff, Installed another chance he would certainly never experience such awful treatment.

Satisfied that the problem was solved, and that he'd proven he would DO SOMETHING, and exhausted from a morning of not looking at basketball scores, NBM went on a long lunch that didn't end until Thursday morning.

Thursday morning he attacked the problem with renewed vigor for reasons I don't understand.  After all, I apologized. We were just waiting, I thought, for the man to call back and do business with us.

But this was far from over.This time...and remember I never make anything up....NBM decided to hook up his old computer, find his FAVORITES list and listen to the call that way.  Which he did...although it took him two hours of yelling and stomping and crawling on the floor around my desk  (he decided that rather than hook his computer up in the privacy of his own office, he'd do it at my old desk next to where I sit now.  His noisiness crushed any ability I had to do my job for most of the morning.)  He managed to hook up the computer and TAH DAH "found" the phone call.  (It wasn't lost.  He is just one of those guys that commits NOTHING to memory and therefore if he can't find a web address then there must be a malfunction in the computer.)

He made me listen to the phone call.  And what do you know?  I WAS PERFECTLY LOVELY AND POLITE and the man was A COMPLETE AND TOTAL JERK.

NBM looked at me and said, "Well you didn't say anything the way he told me you said it.  You did everything just right."

I glared at him.  "And you made me apologize to him."

NBM said, "Yes I did."

He then decided he needed this man's email address.  Why?  Well isn't it obvious?  Having proved HE WAS RIGHT, NBM was now going to send the evidence to the man proving that I wasn't a horrible rude person and that yes, he IS A GOOD AND PRODUCTIVE manager who DID SOMETHING.

I looked up the email address, what do you know?  Turns out, this guy pulled the same nonsense on NGTJ back in September when he asked us to call him and then she called and he hung up on her twice.  So...it really wasn't me, this guy is just one of those people...you know the type, the ones who just live to be rude.

No one torments my office girls but me.
NBM saw that and moved into a whole different gear of upset.  He started talking about how he was going to write all of this in an email and he was going to give the man what for for being rude to his office girls. 

Yep, we live in 1955 and he's Don Stinkin' Draper and we are the office girls.

I don't know how this will end, but I know this:  NGTJ and I will wind up taking the brunt of whatever rage the man has left in him because if he calls back, he probably will, we all know NBM won't take that call.

Somehow, it will wind up still being our fault.

So, I promised you a new nickname for NBM and you shall have it.  Ladies and gentlemen, my boss will now be known as...

CAPTAIN NUBBIN!

Why Captain Nubbin?

Well, those of you who watch the TV shows "Friends" will recognize the word "nubbin" as the affectionate term Chandler used for his third nipple. A body part that really doesn't belong, and has NO practical use, and only serves to annoy people or gross them out.


I find the nickname appropriate...





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