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Workplace Comedy

The gossip mill is abuzz with the news that the girl at work who trained me to “student surpasses teacher” level forced my former boss to make good on a lunch he owes her. He owes everyone in the office lunch, and this is the first time he’s ever actually done something about it. Why would he do this?

Simple answer: the idiot, who I left her to finish training, cannot learn. The Trainer wanted to go out and have lunch with The Boss to discuss, at length, her problems with The Idiot. But, of course, nothing happened. He’s been backed into a corner, and he’s finally admitting it. Because, remember, if she fires The Idiot, work slows from her aunt, and his lead man—brother-in-law of the aunt—has threatened at least once to make a power play to usurp The Boss’s job. This is bad because, at this point, the lead man does all the work and The Boss takes all the credit.

Turns out: it’s not just up to The Boss. He doesn’t manage the entire branch, and the actual branch manager—as well as the regional manager—are exceedingly unhappy. The Trainer has tried to keep up with it as best she can, but she’s juggling more responsibilities than she deserves, so the warranty work has slowed down. Customers have started complaining, and The Boss can only stave them off with the “the other guy quit and she hasn’t been trained” excuse for so long.

This week, shit has really hit the fan.

On Monday, the branch manager discovered The Idiot’s MySpace tendencies, and was both irritated and revolted when he learned her MySpace login implies her disgusting fatness is supposed to be sexy*. Yeah, they’ve used VNC for as long as I’ve worked there to monitor HTTP traffic, which is why I’d sit around on Hotline (or sit around writing in a WordPad file I’d e-mail to myself at the end of the day) but never did anything too obscene or abusive when I was on the web. I’d never be dumb enough, for instance, to constantly login to MySpace, a site notorious for excessive and unnecessary page loading and refreshing.

Normally, Internet abuse is usually handled with a stern talking-to. If it increases, you may get written up. Getting written up is actually fairly difficult because, even without the branch manager’s lasseiz-faire management style, the company doesn’t use a “point” system like many companies I’ve worked for, where they say it’s “three strikes, you’re out” when in actuality, it’s more like 30 strikes. But you can get written up for more minor infractions. At this company, it really is three strikes, you’re out, but you have to do something really severe to get written up…

…unless somebody with the authority has it in for you. So combining the horrible work with the Internet abuse, the branch manager felt okay writing her up. It’s clear from her past work that it’s not a one-time thing. She got written up. Two strikes left.

Lying is another sure way to get written up quicker than usual (again, going back to the theory that you’re pissing off someone in authority—most bosses don’t like being lied to, especially when it’s glaring). As a random example, let’s say you have car trouble. You start work at seven, and you work 20 minutes away, so you warm your car up at around 6:30. Only it doesn’t start. You try for five or 10 minutes to get it started, but it’s pretty clear that’s not happening. So at 6:40-ish, you call in and say, “I’m going to be late.” It’s still 20 minutes or so before you’re scheduled to start, you have a reasonable excuse—no muss, no fuss, unless you do it every day for a month or something.

Here’s what you don’t do: not show up and leave everyone wondering where you are until around 8:30 before calling up to say, “Hey, I had car trouble, but I’m on my way.” This is what The Idiot and her aunt did on Wednesday. It’s common knowledge that the aunt picks up The Idiot every morning, so it was only surprising that neither one showed up in the sense that they should have been there. It was more surprising that both of them called within 30 seconds of each other to announce they’d be late, after already being 90 minutes late. So it’s pretty clear that they were both lying, although nobody knows why.

The thing that cracks me up about this more than anything is that the aunt was formerly an exceptional worker—fast, efficient, and smart (all things considered). Ever since The Idiot started, the aunt’s work has declined rapidly—meaning that, instead of hiring a new employee, The Boss has actually kinda lost one. Or two, if you count me.

Thanks to the obviousness of the lie and the violation of company policy (it is written in the handbook that you have to call at least five minutes early if you’re going to be late, and seriously, five minutes is pretty generous), both the aunt and The Idiot got written up. Maybe it’ll be a wake-up call for the aunt. Hell, maybe getting written up twice in one week will be a wake-up call for The Idiot, too.

Snicker time: because I quit, The Boss has lost what little shot he had (not much of one, to be honest, so it’s kind of a hollow victory) to become the branch manager of a new branch.

I sat back there and, thanks to some creative accounting, made the branch around $10,000 in about four months (that’s excluding the other three months I spent trying to figure out how to creatively account). For the most part, this is chump change, except they went from making the tiniest profit in the company to falling somewhere around the middle of the pack. Now they’re headed back to loser status. That’s the magic of being a college graduate (even one from an art school) working far, far, far below your skill level. I managed to do a lot of things not even The Trainer figured out.

Because I’m gone, the regional manager is starting to think maybe The Boss doesn’t have a clue what he’s doing—he doesn’t know how to hang on to valuable employees, and he’ll replace them with any mangy moron he can find. I have been told that, in the wake of my quitting, they took the warranty situation very seriously as a deciding factor before tossing his name completely out of the hat for the new branch. I know it’s mean, but it makes me very, very happy.

*Unlike certain folks who may read this blog, I am of a mindset that “big” can be beautiful. I was raised in the Midwest, so that kind of mindset is pretty ingrained. However, in this case…maybe it’s because she’s such an idiot, or maybe it’s because she clearly does think she’s sexy, but nothing is more nauseating than attempting to look at her.

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