The Office Top Five

Friday, 8 April 2005
The Complete Three Years at the Office Top Five:

Dumbest Customer Ever:
For a few weeks, I was assigned to call customers who have a free, name and address only listing in the directory, and try to convince them to take out paid advertising. This had its ups and downs, and also produced the dumbest enquiry I ever had...
Me:"So, can I check your lisitng in the directory (I read out the details)..."
Customer:"Yes that's correct. So you say this listing I have is free?"
Me:"That's right."
Customer:"So, does it cost any money to put a larger ad in the directory?"
NO YOU IDIOT! We do it out of the goodness of our hearts! We're running a community service! The other people with free listings just don't want to create more work for us, and the reason some ads are larger than others is because the people who put in the smaller ads don't feel that they are very important.

Most Obnoxious Customer Ever:
How could I pick just one?
Here's a standout. This happened a couple of years ago. I was sitting at reception when a guy came in with changes to his ads, demanding to see his sales consultant. The consultant wasn't in, so I explained that I'd be happy to note the changes and pass them on.
He said, "What would the secretary know? I want to see my consultant."
I expalined again that the consultant wasn't in and that I usually worked on ad changes.
He looked me up and down, then walked around the desk to where I sat and said, "You're just a dumb girl who answers the phone, what would you know? Get the manager."
I explained (politely, through clenched teeth) that the manager wasn't in either, and if he'd wait on THE OTHER side of the desk, I'd do his changes right then.
"I'm sick of this company! All I get to help me is a stuck-up kid?!? F%*K YOU!!!"
He knocked the pile of papers on the recption desk to the floor and stormed out. (Kid? Well, 24). He cancelled his advertising completely shortly after. He was missed.

Most Irritating Encounter With a Cow-Orker
This one's a tie.
=The guy in the office who thinks he's the manager, when he's not...for instance, lecturing employees for not being "professionally dressed", telling us off for chatting too loudly etc, and the usual...
Me:"Can you turn off your radio? I can't concentrate."
Him:"How about I turn it down to a level where it still drives you nuts, but you're too shy to complain a second time?"
Me:"Thank you."
Him:"It will creep back up over time."
=Ms. "I can't handle anything on my own, Nico can do it all."
I've written about her previously...I've been doing her job at 1/3 of her pay. That all ends today!

Most Incomprehensible Jargon From Head Office:
In the #AllEmployees email sent out to launch a new sales initiative:
"We will derive utility driven solutions from holistic requirements to improve customer executions."
For more, see The Dilbert Random Mission Statement Generator

What I'll Miss Most About This Place:
Being acknowledged for being very good at what I do.
(And the flipside...not being paid accordingly)

Cold Sydney Feet

Thursday, 7 April 2005
Two days left at my current job (one and a half, really, minus the time I've spent typing this!) and I still don't have another one. The interview on Tuesday went well I think, or as well as an interview can go at 11am when you've been up since five (bloody trackwork!). It's funny how every company likes to think it's so unique, but all offices, down to their mission statements, inspirational posters, buzzwords and, yes, interview questions, are staggeringly alike.

The more time I spend in Sydney, though, the less I want to move there. I've gone into some detail on this before, so I won't belabour the point. Perhaps my impressions are soured because on all recent trips I've arrived after a three-hour, early morning train journey, and I've been wearing uncomfortable clothes. Or I could just be overwhelmed, and a wimp, and looking for excuses to get out of it all. I don't know. Apparently 1000 people move to Sydney every week. They can't all be better equipped, more resourceful, and braver than me, could they?

There was one moment of humour. As I was walking out of Central Station, there was the standard bunch of panhandlers. One of them said to me, "Hey sweetie, got any spare change?"
"No, sorry", I said and kept walking.
He took umbrage. "Well, you've got money for that fancy hairdo."
I had to chuckle. I get my hair cut at a place that charges $20, and trim my neck with a razor myself. I also dye it myself - and my hair is very frizzy, and I was told by an interviewer last week that my hair looks sloppy and I should get it styled. But hey! A homeless (or lazy and greedy) guy thinks I have expensive looking hair! There's hope for me yet.

I did take the time to do a little window-shopping in the City. In an op-shop near the station, I saw an awesome black fringed flapper dress. Having recently seen The Cat's Miaow I've thought the flapper look was one I should try and it would look great with my hair (sloppy or no). But the shop assistant was busy and I didn't have time to wait to buy it.

Well, tomorrow's the big last day at this office, ever (after three long part-years!). So, I'll be bringing you some All Time Work Top Fives, from this job (thanks Cotard for the Top Five idea)...

  • Top Five Most Stupid Customers
  • Top Five Most Obnoxious Customers
  • Top Five Most Irritating Encounters With Cow-Orkers
  • Top Five Things I'll Miss About This Place!
  • It's All Happening Now

    Saturday, 2 April 2005
    Well, I must have said something right on Wednesday. I've been called back on Tuesday for a confirmation interview for an admin position. Basically, unless they hate me, I've got the job. And the pay is great.

    So now it's all real. Moving to Sydney was just a vague idea in my mind. But now it's actually happening. And I'll have to let my flat, find a new place to live, organise a "garage" sale and some going-away thingy.

    I'm too tired for all this!

    There is some good to come of this. Originally my interview was to be at 9am. However when I worked out that due to trackwork, getting to Sydney by then would mean leaving my house at half past the middle of the night, I pushed it back to 11am. This will make it too late for me to go back to work in Newcastle, so I might as well go to the Art Gallery. Or I could engage in less salubrious pursuits...last time I was in the City, I saw a sign outside a strip club advertising "We have lots of beautiful ladies, and a few ugly ones." That has be worth a visit, surely. But sadly when I was there it was only 12pm, so it was closed.

    I'm kidding. Girls from nice Catholic families don't go to strip clubs... at least not by themselves.

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