The Hellhole

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

There are days when I don't mind my job that much, I make lots of tangible progress on a project and reflect on that with satisfaction, or I do something that makes us big money and I'm happy, but then there are other days when I want to stab myself in the eye with my fountain pen. Last Friday was a day of the latter kind.

There's this client that is WAY overdue paying their bills and one facet of my job is collections, so I'm trying diligently to collect. I'll spare everyone the rigors and ridiculousness of all that got us to this point, but I finally have them agreeing to abide by the terms of the contract they signed, admitting that they owe us X amount of overdue money, and reluctantly and with much ado agreeing to cut me a check. So I think - foolishly, it seems - that because of the substantial amount of money involved, I will give them my FedEx account number so they can overnight the already cut check, as I am willing to pay $12 - $15 to get the payment in the very next day, because this client, this contract, this whole endeavor, has been SO CURSED that there's no doubt in my mind that the check will be stranded on someone's desk for 10 days while they're on vacation, then lost in the mail, then we'll have to argue about everything all over again and I'll be six weeks trying to get it sorted out and a replacement check issued.

All that fuckwittage is one thing but I never expected getting adult, literate, college-educated people to fill out a FedEx airbill to take - I kid you not - over a dozen e-mails. I'm not even exaggerating, I counted them. Here is a brief rundown:

Last Wednesday I e-mail the girl who's my contact in A/P, writing that if she will FedEx the check instead of snail mail, she can use our FedEx account, which is XXXXwhatever. No reply.

The next morning I e-mail her again for status and to ask again if she can FedEx it, repeat my account number. No reply.

I am getting P.O.'d with being ignored so I e-mail that girl's boss (the Wicked Witch of the East Coast, or WWEC) asking the same question, again including my account number. No reply.

A couple hours later, WWEC e-mails MY boss, as if out of the blue and like I haven't been trying my damndest for weeks to collect this money, "Hey, your check is ready, if you want us to FedEx it you need to provide an account number, otherwise it will be mailed."

The Boss e-mails me "please handle".

Growling, I e-mail WWEC with the FedEx account number I've sent 3 times already, including mere hours ago directly to her.

WWEC e-mails The Boss, copying me, and asks for our address. Our address which is IN BRIGHT BOLD PURPLE on every single one of the FIFTEEN, count 'em, 15! invoices she has (15 because the same 3 months have had to be mailed three times and e-mailed twice).

The Boss e-mails me "please handle". Because, of course, I would never take the initiative to actually respond to a freakin' e-mail unless he specifically directed me to do so, right?!?

I e-mail WWEC the address. Without comment. I'm on the track to sainthood, I am.

Then some different minion that I've never interacted with before e-mails me asking if I will confirm the company name. Erm. Oooooookay. See above rant re: invoices. They apparently don't know who we are, but they've written us a huge check. Don't know who I'm with but are going to send said check to me. Seems like they've got bigger problems than getting me paid.

The Boss who was copied on that e-mail forwards it to me with "please handle". Because, though I've worked for him for well over a decade, he evidently thinks I lack the intelligence to figure this out.

I e-mail the new minion our company name and add, "For purposes of the FedEx airbill my name is Helly MyLastName and my direct line is 404.XXX.XXXX."

New minion e-mails back "thanks".

Then, I thought I was through with this ordeal but apparently I'm as stupid as The Boss thinks, because what happened next was that my phone rang. It was yet another, totally different person who says she has a FedEx going to me and will I confirm every. single. detail. outlined above - yes, ladies and gentlemen, including my PHONE NUMBER which she must have and someone must have given her because she mutha-frickin' just CALLED ME ON IT. She also wonders are we open tomorrow (which would have been the Saturday). No, we aren't, so she needs to send it next business day. " day?" she repeats, as if she's never heard those words before, as if those particular syllables strung together do not compute.

All weekend, when I wasn't reveling in the delight of our new puppeh, I was captivated by the suspense of wondering if I'd get my package come Monday or find one of those "attempted delivery" stickers on my door. I did get it, but only thanks to the intrepid, friendly folks at FedEx - my office is across the hall from the FedEx office in our complex, see, and when these complete and utter tv-brainmushed ambulatory vacuum tubes PUT THE WRONG SUITE NUMBER on the airbill, AFTER ALL WE'D BEEN THROUGH, Joe FedEx recognized my name, nabbed my envelope and brought it to me anyhow.

Is it me? Well, reading through my blog entries, yeah, I know it's me. Other people seem to manage driving to work, doing their jobs, getting mail, making bank deposits, going shopping, various everyday events of life without this kind of heartache, tears and fuckwittage. But really, come on - IT'S NOT THAT HARD. You have a check in your hand paying for an invoice that ought to be right in front of you - if it's not, why are you writing the big-ass check? Isn't it a safe bet the check probably goes to the company name at the address and phone number printed on the freaking invoice?!? And maybe ought to be directed to the pesky chick who's been dogging you by phone and e-mail for the last several weeks for this money?!?



  • I don't understand how some of these people manage to breathe.

    (side note: I saw a kickass T-shirt the other day with the legend "YOU ARE NOW BREATHING MANUALLY").


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:20 PM  

  • Me neither, Phil. And I want one of those t-shirts.

    By Blogger Helly, at 8:30 AM  

  • Wait!!!! Do we work at the same place?? I'm pretty sure I've had to deal with these people too ;)

    By Blogger A Margarita, at 9:38 AM  

  • Hehe I remember you telling me this story on friday, and you still tell it just and great as you did on friday.

    Sorry you had to deal with morons! I have to deal with some as well every other day or so :)

    By Anonymous Ashley, at 9:52 AM  

  • Margarita, believe it or not these people ARE in NYC. I'm thinking of e-mailing you the Wicked Witch's address so you can beat her about the head and shoulders with a Jimmy Choo pump. You'd totally do that for me, wouldn't you?

    Ashley - Ha, yeah, it's a repeat for you. Of course, what I didn't know on Friday was that they'd still get the suite number wrong after all that.

    By Blogger Helly, at 11:01 AM  

  • I'm still stuck on you screaming. Primally. Tee-hee! You're just so cute.

    In a totally non-lesbian way.


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:23 PM  

  • I wish I could lie and say I got through your entire post, only I won't and just say this: I'm sorry I couldn't go with the blow by blow of the incompetents that make up this work-world. I will take your word that these people are mo-mos, and we'll just leave it there.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:10 PM  

  • It's the Derek the Dumbass Syndrome. Amazing!

    By Blogger Nancy, at 9:14 PM  

  • Wow, Helly:

    Dumbasses or the world's most passive-aggressive arseholes ever?


    By Blogger Topcat, at 9:14 AM  

  • Sandy, I totally felt the latter, but The Boss says I shouldn't ascribe to malice what is explained by stupidity and that they really are just. that. stoopit.

    By Blogger Helly, at 9:18 AM  

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