Saturday, November 5, 2011

Temp-orary Insanity

My Facebook status: “Coworkers are like spouses. Everyone gets along great in the beginning but after awhile you just want to shove their faces in their oatmeal when they start talking.”
Work has been incredibly aggravating lately. There is too much work and not enough people to get it all done. This is happening in every single corporation everywhere. So many corporations are soaring along at pre-recession profit levels while all their employees slowly lose their minds.

Along with being busy, I spend my days talking to a lot of people who are not very bright. On top of being not very bright, they are incredibly, persistently needy. Earlier this week I had one of those days that took my patience and blew it into smithereens. We had a system conversion a few months ago and after that many months and a week full of training, none of my salesmen can figure out how to use their computers.

I had an email exchange with one salesperson who could not understand why an invoice was at $0 in the old system we hadn’t used in three months but was open in the new system. I explained to her five times that all the invoices in the old system said $0 because we are no longer fucking using that system when I just suddenly quit responding and decided to go home. She was obviously not going to understand what I was saying no matter how I said it. Directly after this exchange, The Temp struck.

My boss brought in The Temp to help out with resolving our small dollar disputes. If you see The Temp in the break room you have to swiftly and stealthily run in the other direction. If she catches you, she will start talking at you and never, ever, ever stop. I shot off a report to The Temp and was packing up when I got an email response from her. Now mind you, I had gotten about 200 demanding emails already that day and my patience level was at negative four billion. Also, I had just gotten over the flu, my daughter had just gotten the flu, and I always have a bajillion hours of homework so I hadn’t slept in about a year at this point.

The Temp (via email): “There are two Ns in my name, not one.”

Instead of writing, “NOBODY FUCKING CARES!!!” and going home, I responded: “My apologies.”

About three seconds later she called me.

The Temp: “I just wanted you to know that my name has two Ns so you don’t spell it wrong again.”

Me: “Okay.”

The Temp: “Well, once people do it once, they keep on doing it.”

Me: “Okay.”

The Temp: “I’m not mad at you.”

Me: “Okay. It’s 5:00, I have to go home now. Bye.” I hung up without waiting for a response.

I have been occasionally accused in the past of having less than stellar people skills. Some people would use this moment as an example. I think quite the opposite though. I was people skilling the hell out of this situation. Instead of writing, “My apologies that your parents were fucking stupid and didn’t know how to spell your name,” I simply wrote “My apologies.” That took super-human will power and self restraint. When she called me I really wanted to say, “I will not hesitate to walk two aisles over and strangle you with your phone cord if you do not shut up right this second”, but all I said was, “Okay.” I think I deserve a fucking People Handling of The Year award for responding with an incredibly awkward, stony cold “Okay.” You are welcome The Temp. You are very welcome.

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