This is Epth Nation

Epth is a state of mind, not a place. Reading this will give you a virtual drivers license in that state, but you'll still need to be 21 to purchase alcohol. And you can't get any there anyway, so stop asking.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Life Marches (actually Febuarys) On

I thought you might want to know what I go through on an average Friday here at my job, which is at a place that must not be named. It's not Papa John's, it's the other one. The GM of the store is not here today, and my two other bosses are off until 12:30, so who knows? Maybe I'll have a party in my room.

Today is a pretty important day; I've got a lot of stuff I need to get done before the deadly anti-holiday known as Inventory, which is a week from Sunday. Specifically, I've got to get 4 parts out of my parts inventory before they show up on the Inventory Sheet as losses, which they definitely are not. I'll spare you the details, but we have received credit for them already and just have to go through a paperwork hoop before Inventory happens. Plus, there's a bunch of other pressing crap that maybe I'll explain as the day goes by.

(I will add to this as the day goes along, so check back.)

8:02am – I arrive at work. It is raining outside, and the wind is blowing the blistering drops sideways and all up into my bizness. I would have been here at 8:00 sharp, except for this fricking semi from Oklahoma that was having trouble negotiating the last U-Turn I need to make before I arrive here. Just for the record, though, I didn’t get mad. I got even. By driving really fast around the semi when I got the chance. Ooo dang.

I walk freely through the store to the microwave in the break room and immediately start cooking the Papa John’s pizza I brought with me for breakfast. In my mind, it’s better to eat this sort of thing early in the day, so that I don’t have trouble sleeping at night. Of course, in half an hour I’ll probably feel uncomfortable and burpy, but I’m not worried about that right now.

I get into my L-shaped "office," the room where I spend most of my day, and I start typing this before doing any work. I promise that will be the last blog-referencing sentence in this post. Anyway, my day starts out like any other day: With me tearing the perforated sides off some paper. It's quiet. Nobody is around, especially the bosses, so I could do drugs in here and get away with it, if that was something I were prone to do. Hey, did you guys hear about that girl from Full House who married a cop and then got bored and developed a full-on meth addiction that she had to be intervened out of by John Stamos, Bob Saget, and the Olsen Twins? How wheels-off do you have to be to look bad to the Olsen Twins? Anyway, she's better now. And blaming her child stardom, but just a little. I wish I had the link.

8:35am -- I feel burpy, and I haven't even had my morning Dew yet. Oh, well, you know what they say: I burp, therefore I am. My existence has been proven by my internal discomfort.

8:47am – Just let the first technician of the day, Shawn, in the front door. Thanks to thumb stomach surgery, there’s about half as much of Shawn as there was a year-and-a-half ago. He’s not supposed to go in the front door for some unknown-to-me-but-loss-prevention-related reason, but I let him in anyway because of the well-known Shawn exemption (which he actually needed when he was 350lbs+, but still uses today. I don’t blame him.) We’re all supposed to stand at the extremely locked back door and pound on it in the morning, hoping that somebody is in the warehouse and hears it. Then, 5 seconds to 10 minutes later, the door opens. It’s a great, employee-friendly, and well-thought-out process, especially when it’s raining, as it is this morning.

I hate rain. Drought my behind -- more like deluge, if you ask me. This is the third rainfall we’ve had here in Dallas in three weeks. That's once a week! Shawn says he likes it because he wants the “burn ban” lifted. Apparently, he has stuff to burn. But then again, don’t we all?

8:57am -- Donald Trump talks like an autistic child who want his toys back. Why would anyone spend $500 to see him speak for an hour? 10 seconds, and I'm burying my head in my hands and cry/laughing.

9:14am -- Got my first guilt trip of the day. It's apparently "Wear Red Day for Women," so some chick just handed me a red sticker to wear. Hey, I love women as much as the next guy, but my first thought was, "What about men?" Heart disease is the #1 killer of men, too...why does everything have to be so segregated? Oh, yeah, I forgot, Feminism is dead. Ok, I'll wear this crushingly gay red dress sticker on my pocket, just for the ladies out there. I'm with you gals.

But seriously, let's all fight heart disease by eating less grease, lard, and trans fat, whatever that is. And wear red.

9:20am -- Just heard this page over the store's loudspeaker: "There's a person at the front door it looks like an employee I don't know what an employee's doing at the front door when they're supposed to be in back..." See?

9:48am -- It's been a pretty momentous few minutes. First of all, I had a bowel movement. Second of all, I got my check. Considering that I'm in the job for the money, this is the most important job-related moment in any give two-week period. Looking at my check, I see it's the same as usual. I thought for sure I had some incentive money coming. Looks like I was misled yet again by the people above me. I really need a new job.

As I was walking back to my room, I spotted a cart by the front door with a bunch of magazines inside. They're free motherboard magazines, with form factors and diagrams and everything!
This is exciting to me, shut up. They also had a meeting that thankfully I was in the bathroom during. The meetings are all the same -- blah blah protection plans blah blah attachment dollars blah blah sell vonage blah blah a bunch of stuff that doesn't apply to me in the service department.

Oh, and they just e-mailed me the color of dots we're using for inventory. It's NEON YELLOW! Woo-hoo!

10:30am -- One of the techs appears to have called in sick, since he's not here. Oh, wait, there's a controversy, and I just heard the HR manager say, "You expect me to have all the answers?" Of course, he was smiling when he said it, so no biggie. The tech appears to have switched today for tomorrow, and whomever knew that failed to tell anybody about the switch. Hence, the controversy. Anyway, that leaves us with two techs for the day, and only one this morning. The phone is ringing constantly. At least there seem to be about 30 CSR's around to help out with stuff.

Explanation: The techs work on the computers, the CSR's work at the front counter and check computers in, do returns, cash out will calls, etc. I just sit back here and put out fires all day. That's my job. For example, I just put out a fire for a CSR girl by keeping great paperwork.

What I really want to accomplish this morning is getting my check from Papa Johns, which means getting in my car and making a 15-minute round trip. Can I do it? Can Bob the Builder build stuff? Yes he can! Ok..."Operation: Check Get" is in effect.

11:15am -- O: CG is an unqualified success. The loaf is in the breadbasket, if you know what I mean. There will be a similar operation this afternoon, involving the deposit of both of my checks into the bank. I'll be sure to keep you abreast of that.

While I was on my little Operation, a smartly dressed 40ish lady looked at me (I knew then that something was wrong -- smartly dressed 40ish ladies never make eye contact with me) and said, "Red dress -- alright..." She was congratulating me on the "Wear Red for Women" sticker I was proudly displaying on my chest. Then she scolded herself for not wearing any red. With this sticker, I am now a powerful force for guilt in the universe. If you see me, I will make you feel bad about yourself.

12:15pm -- The morning has been very productive for me. I put out a lot of fires. In about 15 minutes, I will go to lunch, because I am, as Brad Malm would say, an "eator." This has been a good day, because just about everything that I needed to receive today actually got here. I sincerely hope this afternoon is just as good.

1:30pm -- Overheard at the bank, woman talking to female teller:
"You aren't wearing red?"
"," (question mark materializes over head)
"Oh, it's just that it's Heart Health Day."
"Oh, I didn't know that."

Some advance word on these things would be nice. Just ask Juneteenth Day or Arbor Day.

1:45pm -- Bosses are here, time to "straighten up and fly right" as my dad would say. You know, some would say that the measure of a man is what he does when nobody's looking. I totally agree with that, but I still have the motivation of keeping The Man off my back. Friday afternoon is my traditional time to clean stuff up around here --sorting and filing papers, getting unnecessary things out of my room so they can miraculously reappear over the weekend, resolving annoying issues so I don't have to dread coming in on Monday, etc. I'm going to process acouple of parts we just received, and then go to Operation: Sort. I'll let you know how it goes.

2:50pm -- Operation: Sort is still in effect. I hope you're wearing red.

3:05pm -- Operation: Sort has to be put on hold for a pressing issue. Basically, a tech was supposed to order a motherboard but instead ordered a power supply. That tech isn't here today, so now I have to clean it up, because my supervisor doesn't "have time." Do I have time? Probably, since I'm currently typing this non-work-related blog post. Oh, dang...I wasn't going to self-reference.

Anyway, put out fires. That's what I do.

3:52pm -- The week, and National Women's Heart Health Day, is winding down in a big way. I suppose I should mention that there was an in-store birthday today, for which cookies were provided. They weren't home-made, but still, a free cookie day is a good day. Later on, I'm going to start Operation: See if there are any Cookies Left.

This is also my tradional time to get out the ol' "outstanding issues" folder and see what bags of flaming crap I can get off my porch before the weekend starts. Let's take a gander, shall we?

Issue 1: There's an Apple G5 restore CD that I had to use some creative means to get here for a customer, since the customer didn't want to call Apple herself. It came in sometime this week, and even though my name was promiently displayed on the label's "to:" section, it never got to me. Resolution: Sales Manager needs to get this thing off my hands. Where is he?

Issue 2: We need a part number for a certain computer board, specifically the infared board that enables the remote control to work (it's a Media Center PC). The part number lady is off today, so we have not received it yet. Resolution: Wait until Monday, then pester her.

Issue 3: There are 4 parts that are in my inventory that I haven't had a chance to adjust out as of yet (there was a big sale. It's also been very busy. Plus, I'm dreading having to walk my supervisor through the process. Plus, when we send them through Home Office will whine because it's been so long.), and it needs to be done by next Wednesday. Resolution: Get adjustments together today, walk supervisor through it on Monday. I'd better make sure he's here that day. Yep.

Issue 4: Order a power cord for a Proview monitor. For this, I need a Manager who's willing to use his credit card and be reimbursed the 50 bucks. Resolution: Put on back burner for now. Nobody cares.

So, that's pretty much my day. If something crazy happens in the last hour, I'll let you know.
If not, thanks for reading and eat less trans fat.


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