Friday, May 04, 2007

How did you get this number?

How goes it folks?

It’s been said that all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. I wonder why they never mention the fact that it also makes Jack cranky and exhausted.

Oh, right. I’m here to speak about focusing on the positive.

Today at work I received a phone call from a lady in Finance (o god, an accountant), who was evidently having some sort of voicemail issue. Shoving aside the discussion on how and why Enterprise VoIP (in addition to telecommunications systems and companies that must be dealt with in relation to said systems, in general) makes me want to shoot myself in the face, I’ll simply make note of the way this lady commenced an unstoppable blathering as soon as I answered the phone.

I’m not sure how widespread this is in general, but I’m increasingly finding that intra-company calls don’t have near the decorum they had even six months ago. Is it not only customary, but courteous in general to identify yourself over the phone to someone with whom you DO NOT have regular dealings? Not only do these people in question increasingly fail to say who they are, but also display a tendency to immediately begin demanding things (as soon as I courteously identify myself).

Although, it does seem like most of these types are the ones who specifically should not even have my direct line telephone number in the first place. Note to self: Yell at boss AGAIN at the next opportunity to stop giving out our number willy-nilly and encouraging these people to just “give us a call”. Regardless, if things keep going as they have, I’m going to have no choice but to up the intensity level of my telephonic rebukes. And I mean no choice. Things are just escaping my lips before I even know they’re gone, which brings me back to the Finance creature.

At long last I managed to stem her oral diuretics long enough to get the info necessary to pull documentation and see who was working on her issue. I began to read through the notes to get some idea of what was really happening. The tech in question had “fixed” the problem that was never really a problem. This was a PEBKAC* issue. Right when I started to try and tell her about it, she received an email stating that her issue had been resolved.

*Problem Exists Between Keyboard And Chair

Of course, she, being from Finance, kept informing me in no uncertain terms that the problem was NOT fixed and that so-and-so (who I am evidently supposed to know, more poor etiquette) tried to call and couldn’t leave a voicemail.

Did it ever occur to you that the person who tried to call you may be every bit as, if not more, empty-headed than you are!?!?

That’s what I screamed in my head, not out loud. I was still hanging on but only by a thread. I wanted only to explain in one simple sentence that I would have the tech call her when he returned from his meeting. No joy, the oral diarrhea was flowing once more.

Since I had been interrupted from other work by taking the call in the first place, I told her I was reading more notes while I worked on the issue she originally interrupted, making her wait. She didn’t notice, of course, opting instead to go into a holding pattern of “pleasant talk.”

“How is your day going?”

I’m sorry, did you just ask me something and then actually stop making noise?

“It’s not bad (till you called me- be amicable, be amicable), you know, for being at work. (I wouldn’t really say I’ve been missing it, Bob)

“Well, at least you’re getting a paycheck, right?”

“Uhhhhh, yeaaaaah.

Thanks, lady. What a new and positive revelation sure to add meaning and uplift me as I go about the rest of my day. Thanks for “Paying it Forward” or whatever the fuck it is you’re doing.

“I just always try to focus on the positive”

(I wish I was podcasting this, so I could do the voice. Ewww, the whiny, trying to compensate for inner misery by erecting a shield of pop-religio-psychobabble-positivity bullshit to cover it in the hopes that everyone will think she's just as happy as she's trying to put on, voice)

“What does it profit a man if he gains all the world’s riches, but loses his soul?”

Whoa! Where did that come from?

Dead silence, and that is not an exaggeration-she stopped cold. The only other word out of her mouth for the (quite shortened) remainder of our conversation was, “okay.” Telling the story makes my head flash with visions of her still at the desk holding the phone, blinking, these 11 hours later.

Funny, yes, but also slightly disconcerting was my own Hershey Squirt of the mouth. One minute I’m trying to maintain cordiality in the face of all that is awful, and the next finds me tossing a Scriptural/philosophical brick on a woman who, judging from her ability to work a telephone, likely struggles in fathoming the intricate mysteries of preparing Lean Cuisine dinners.

Other questions/remarks that flashed through my mind, pre-Jesus Tourettes:

-You must know about “The Secret”.
-Do you know who moved my cheese?
-Have you ever been to Guyana?
-Tell me about your latest scrapbooking project.
-Yeah, I read Tony Robbins once, too. The scene went bad when I mixed in some Carlton Sheets and woke up three days later with a “For Rent” sign stuck in my ass.