01 May 2007

Wednesday - Some Great Reward

The company has just presented Short Shouty Bloke with a brand new Mercedes as a bonus for bringing in a large and profitable account. This was news was announced glowingly in today's Company Weekly Bulletin causing Dan to seethe with envy and Gareth to start polishing his Magnum .45.

Of course there isn't much profit left once we've paid out for all the extra staff to deal with the generated complaints - the customer base for this account being the over 65's, in particular pensioners that would make Victor Meldew seem like a really happy-go-lucky kind of chap - the complaints ratio is effectively 1 to every policy sold.

That's in addition to the inordinate delays in the business transfer process which isn't even working because this project was all rushed through under the catch-all mantra of 'It's a profitable account' and corners had to be cut and unrealistic deadlines met because 'it was a profitable account.'

Short Shouty Bloke has zoomed into the sunset in his brand new Merc, happy in the knowledge that he brought in the account within deadline and oblivious to the fact that what he brought in doesn't actually work.
But then getting the system to work wouldn't have got him his Merc.

When the board eventually come looking for someone to blame (clue - it won't be SSB) I'll be hiding under a rock somehwere and I won't come out until the last of the corpses have been buried.

Tuesday - The Circle of Strife

Sorry I've not blogged for a while but I hope to rectify that situation over the next few days.

I believe that I've uncovered the reason for my underlying paranoia.

Apparently, I have been held accountable for all of the faults with the feedback logging system even though I had nothing to do with its development or design. This may have been due to Kate's recommendations for improving the platform which I'd helped her to document.

Somehow between the few months that the document detailing improvements got lost in Anne's vacillation and the auditor visit, my name became irrevocably linked to all of the problems associated with the feedback system instead of the solution that I'd helped to create.

This would explain why I'd find myself fending off questions like 'How do you add a second complainent?' as if I was the all-knowing oracle of the application.

As to Kate's original proposal, this re-emerged this week, albeit with a new author on the title page - one of the consultants Diamond Des had brought in to sort out the feedback system problems following the auditor visit.

Both Anne and Des are going to launch a project to implement the consultant's recommendations.

I suppose if you've paid someone £30,000 just to relay staff suggestions, then you have to justify it really, don't you.

12 April 2007

Wednesday - The Seat of Power

Suddenly I'm motivated. I came into work with a spring in my step anticipating all of the tasks I can complete today.

Anne's off and although I'm loathe to say it, I'm in charge.

Perhaps I really am the company man that Dave the cheeky cockney geezer claimed I was.

I started off the day playing down my elevated status. I was determined not to be corrupted by power.

"Are you in charge then?" Gareth asked sarcastically.

"No. No. No. I'm just a glorified milk monitor. Just making sure that any urgent emails sent to Anne are dealt with,"

I made a point of sitting at my own desk and not in Anne's office just to emphasise this. My resistance lasted twenty minutes.

Ted walked by as I switched on her PC.

"Making yourself at home?" he asked.

That sort of insolence will be noted on his file.

11 April 2007

Tuesday - Coma or no Coma?

'Life on Mars'. The last ever episode. Discuss.

05 April 2007

Thursday - The Last Resort

There is good news and even better news.

It's the Easter Bank Holiday so I'm not back at work until Tuesday.

And Anne is off on holiday for the week I return - hooray!

She beckoned me into her cave and broke the news.

"I'll forward my emails to you while I'm off," she said instantly inflating my own sense of self-importance, before pricking it with the comment "Jez is also on holiday and I don't want to add to Tracey's stress levels at the moment, so it'll have to be you."

Wednesday - Paranoia

I'm getting more and more paranoid. I have the sneaking suspicion that I'm either being blamed for something or someone is saying something behind my back and I can't quite put my finger on it. It's almost got to the stage where I've started to say 'It wasn't me!' whenever anyone asks who was responsible for something.

It all seemed to have started from a couple emails that I've already blogged about. I just wish Anne would give me the chance to defend myself and repudiate any accusations. But they won't.

I know what you're thinking...

But just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean that no-one is talking about me.

02 April 2007

Monday - Tea, Ern?

When I joined the company all those years ago, part of the induction training focused on the impact of bad service on the reputation of the company. If you provide a good service, the recipient will tell 1 other person. If you provide a bad service, then statistics indicate that they'll tell 1o people about their experience and possibly even write to 'Watchdog'.

Now if the board understand this, do they understand what sort of impact redundancy has upon the company's reputation amongst its customer base?

It was announced that another office was to close today with the loss of 57 jobs. I'm sure that the board would have issued a press release to the stock exchange about 'reducing costs and improving efficiency' blah-de-blah-de-blah! But aren't those 57 staff potential customers as well?

Do you think that they are going to buy the company's products in the future? Do you think they are going to recommend the company's products to their friends and families? I think not.

'Its only 57 people,' the board might say, however if you remember the induction training statistics the negative impact of this decision will not just swing their purchase decisions but those of their families and friends. So how many customers has the business lost? And if you count up all of the redundancies over the past 10 years - it numbers thousands not hundreds - have the board really improved our operating ratio? No. I think you'll find that in reality they've merely alienated a great number of potential customers.

No matter how many stock market announcements you make, it means nothing if no-one is buying from you.

Its bad enough that our present crop of customers have to endure long waiting times, advisers that cannot understand them and numerous cock-ups due to the constant movement of work from continent to continent without creating a lifetime of disgruntled customers from within.

Anyway my rant is over now. Please accept my apologies. Sometimes I wish my biggest problem could be the same as Dan's or Jo's - how to persuade Ted to get a round of drinks in from the machine.

28 March 2007

Wednesday - Fork in the Toaster

I start to worry when certain individuals approach or email me with a simple but unexplained question about working practice, take the answer and then leave without further explanation.

Case in Point: Anne materialised at my shoulder and then asked. "Luke, how do you log MD complaints on the Feedback log?"

I answered, albeit slowly and by careful picking each word of my answer whilst watching for the slightest tic in Anne's enormous puff pastry face that might indicate if I was on the wrong track. I knew the answer but I didn't know if the answer I knew was the answer that Anne wanted.

"Ok" said Anne non-commitally as I'd placed the full-stop at the end of my sentence. She waddled back to her cave to chew over the remains of some temps.

Within two hours an email from Jez had pinged into my inbox. He simply asked the same question but there was no backstory to his question. Rather than simple fire off a reply, I approached his desk.

"Why do you want to know about the feedback log?" I asked him.

"Oh. Anne just wanted to know."

"But I told her this morning."

"I didn't know that," Jez said. "Still. I've told her what we do here. How do you deal with them. Just so I can make sure we're doing it right."

I had nothing to hide, I thought, my confidence growing, perhaps foolishly. I told Jez what I'd already told Anne. After all, both Kate and I had prepared an lengthy suggestion for improving this process, although our document probably now served as bedding in Anne's cave.

"Ok," said Jez. "Thanks."

Should I be worried? Sometimes I would be safer probing live electrical items with inappropriate tools than I would be going to work.

At least the danger is obvious.

Tuesday - The Obligatory Flashback Episode

I've been writing this blog for a year now and I'm still here! Plodding away with the occasional musing. With uncannily good timing the Sunday Times ran an article about blogs at the weekend and in particular the high number of blog abandonment, the internet is becoming a bit of a blog graveyard. With bloggers giving up the task of recording their own thoughts after just a couple of postings. Apathy will be the internets downfall!

You only have to look at my links on the right hand side - Rachel from North London is but a very suspicious 404 not found error, and Shuffling Chunks hasn't resurfaced since Christmas Day.

I suppose we have to consider why we do this. Am I so arrogant as to believe that anyone is really interested in what is happening in my life? My visitor count would suggest not. For me this is a form of therapy and if you've just stumbled upon this blog and get something out of your visit, then that's a bonus.

In true sitcom style I'm going to revisit some of my better postings. Have a read. See what you think.

'Hey do you remember that time when...'

wibble wibble wibble screen fade

Diary of a Wage Slave: Friday - Bogged Down by Detail

Diary of a Wage Slave: Wednesday - PG Rating

Diary of a Wage Slave: Tuesday - Wax on, wax off

Diary of a Wage Slave: Tuesday - I want it done and I want it done now!

Diary of a Wage Slave: Anne's Blog

Diary of a Wage Slave: Wednesday - Greener grass

See. This blog used to be much funnier!

26 March 2007

Monday - Stop the Clocks

Summertime began yesterday and with it, the loss of one hour.

As expected Jo, turned up marginally later than usual, the reason given that she hadn't adjusted her clock so thought it was an hour earlier than it was. She doesn't make my task of defending her easy.

Dan suggested that next year, the clocks go forward on a Monday rather than a Sunday, preferrably at 4PM. I told him I'd put his request to Tony.

12 March 2007

Monday - Every Office has 'em

If you really want to make yourself popular in your place of work, here are a few pointers that'll bestow the user with the reputation of having a rapier quick, Noel Coward style of wit.

1) If someone asks you if you want a drink from the drinks machine, tell them that you'd love a whisky or whatever alcoholic beverage takes your fancy. This way you'll be telling your colleagues that not only are you funny, but you're so stressed from working so hard that you're turning to drink!

2) When someone asks what day it is, inform them that it is (Mon/Tues/Wednes..etc day) and it will continue to be so ALL DAY!

3) If you have some blank wall space, please decorate it with an amusing cartoon of some men, rolling on the floor laughing with the caption 'You want it when?!" underneath. I never fail to raise a little chuckle whenever I see this amusing delight.

4) If you get the opportunity, send a select sample of your colleagues videos of people with fireworks up their arses that you've found on YouTube. Even better, send them a copy of that complaint letter to NTL that has been doing the e-rounds since 1998.

5) Write 'Happy Birthday' on Wedding Cards and 'Merry Christmas' on Birthday cards.

Do all of these and workplace popularity will be yours. Feel free to add any other suggestions in the comments!

08 March 2007

Wednesday - One of our knive's is missing

Another team leader meeting in the board room for added secrecy and away from attentive ears.

Jez must be slipping. It took him all of four minutes before he made a crack about Jo. Tracey had booked some holiday - her second already in the year and he'd commented that she was almost away from the office as often as Jo. I did the rightful thing and defended my team member.

"In the past twelve month's Jo has only been ill twice. Which is less than Steve in your team. She's improved a lot since our last little chat," I said, stating absolute facts that negated the reputation that had dogged Jo.

Jez appeared stunned as if I'd just hit him over the head with a giant mallet. But to be honest I've had enough of the snidey character assasinations that were so persistent in the office.

As Ted told me when he was my Mr Miyagi for that week last year, if you tell people something is true often enough, eventually they have no choice but to believe it.

"To be honest with you," I continued in the meeting. "Jo isn't a career person, she only wants to make some money so that she can go out and enjoy herself at the weekend."

Anne, who had left the womb aged 57, looked as me as if I'd just started talking in Mandarin. The concept of not living for work so totally alien to her I might as well have suggested that some people like to chew off their own heads.

"But she works really well when she's here," I continued. "But she's starting to feel that people are getting at her and this is affecting her work. I wouldn't want to lose her from the team."

Anne thought for a moment before speaking. "If someone can't take the strain they shouldn't be in this job. We need to start weeding out the shirkers that are dragging this department down. Don't be taken in by Jo.We can't continue to support people who just want to take from this company and don't want to give anything back. Be careful with your dealings with her, Luke. People like that are always judging others by their own standards and accusing colleagues of their own behaviors."

Quite. I thought.

07 March 2007

Tuesday - No Asshole's allowed

Not much of a blog today but Dan's has indicated that he might put an entry into the staff suggestion scheme that the company introduce a 'No Asshole's rule' as proposed by Robert Sutton.

I don't know who should be more worried - Anne or me.