Saturday, April 23, 2005

Can We Say "Whatever"

I have been getting a lot of mileage out of that one word this week, but on the good side I am seeing how simple tasks can take a really long time, but I am working on the patience to practice this:

Me: The network seems to be running slow, it's taking quite a while to open a document.
Pat (office manager): (looking over my shoulder) where are you, that screen doesn't look right.
I went to file 'open'
Did you go to MCCDOCS?
Yes, once I went to open I browsed to MCCDOCS
Oh you can't do that on this network
Huh? That's how you do it
No, you have to go into MCCDOCS and open it from there
I don't understand.
There's a link on your desktop (I click on 'show desktop) No you have to close your window to get there
(Start closing windows)
Why do you have all those windows open?
I've been working in different programs
No, you have to close them, you can only have one open at a time.
(All windows safely closed with desktop appearing (meanwhile document I was waiting for had opened and is now closed) click on My Computer, browse to MCCDOCS folder find needed document, wait) The network seems to be running slow.
There may be a problem right now, but you have to open documents from here.
But I've been opening them from within the program.
No, you can't do that on this network.

When I first started she showed me how to answer the phones, call an extension if it was for one of the two estimators, once I tell them who is on the phone I do nothing and they pick up the line on hold. Well that resulted in people actually getting their phone calls, so it was changed to I answer the phone, put the caller on hold, tell her who is calling and who they think they want to talk to and then she decides who they get to talk to (usually her), she then goes to the person who the call was for and asks them whatever the caller wanted and then calls the person back with the new questions from the intended receiver (usally Kevin the cool estimator, rumored to have a drinking problem and be incapable of working, the only evidence of incapability on his part that I have seen is that the office manager is still able to walk). This week I was told that since I don't really know enough about what is going on she'll just answer the phone from now on. Whatever

Second week I was there:
Why don't you update the list of plans in the back room
There are four bins of plans A-E, F-L, M-R, S-Z with a listing above on four sheets of paper with the same breakdown. I pull out all the plans and check off what is on the list and write in what is not. Now ready to enter them into the computer to print the list and Pat comes out to show me where the document is. MCCDOS-Misc lists no not there, MCCDOCS-back room nope not there either, MCCDOCS-Masters hum where could it be.
Do you know what it is called, I can do a search?
You have to know where it is to do a search
Ten minutes later, during which great restraint was practiced not to grab the mouse from her hand. We had the file, more correctly files. Four word documents one for A-E, etc.
Why don't I just put this in excel so we can....
No, it needs to be in word.
Well, I can put it all in one document and then set page breaks...
No they need to be separate documents.
Since we dispose of them when the bid has expired - should I put the bid date on the form?
No We don't need that
I update the sheets, I do sneak in tables to eliminate all the tabs in the middle and to sort alphabetically once I have put them all in, but this is invisible on the printed document.
This week:
We need to start going through the plans in the back room and get rid of the ones we don't need anymore, you need to go through and get the bid dates for each set of plans. I don't know why she (the person I am temping for) didn't put that on there to start with (yeah, I wonder too, what could she have been thinking, "whatever"?) You need to call who we made the bid to and see what the status is.
So I get the bid dates and start pulling the actual proposals so I know who we made the bid to.
Why are you going through the proposals?
So I can see who we made the bid to and call them to get the status.
Well, you need to do that for every proposal not just the ones that have plans in the back room.
What do you do with the old proposals?
We scan the take off (I know what that is) and then shred the rest.
Do you put the results on Bid Results spreadsheet?
No, why would we do that (why indeed, what was I thinking), just make a note in the proposal log if we got the job or not.
So some of these we may have gotten the job, and I am calling looking totally stupid.
I'll put them in order by construction manager so I'm not calling the same company a dozen times.
It could be different project managers anyway, so don't waste the time.
Yes, yes, no wasted time here.
So I start making phone calls, mostly leaving messages, but some are so old that I'm pretty sure either the job is done or will never be done, I set those aside to ask her about later.
This one is from May of last year a residential driveway.
Did you call them?
No, I thought maybe you would know so I wouldn't have to call
No you need to call on everyone.
People start returning my calls.
Joe Blow is on the phone why did you call him?
To get the status for the Smith driveway from last June.
Oh, you didn't need to call on that one that job is so old it's either been done or cancelled. Go ahead and talk to him since he called back.
John Doe is on the phone, why did you call him?
To get the status on the church proposal from December.
Oh, we got that job and finished it last month. Go ahead and talk to him since he called back.
Walking past my desk. What is all this?
The take offs from the proposals that are no longer valid.
Oh, we don't need these we only keep them if there's a possibility we may be doing the job.
Wha--Oh nevermind, whatever

1 comment:

ez said...

This post was psychologically painful to read. I can't imagine how painful it was to live. I love that you are sneaking things in wherever you can rather than saying "whatever" and leaving stupids tabs all over the place.