this journal, by way of warning, may be slightly incomprehensible. i'm a tad tired. my brother and father are home for the weekend -well, more like a week, vacation really is a wonderful thing- and so of course that dreaded question comes up thursday afternoon at work: 'can you come in early tomorrow?' ... 'can i stick a spork up your nose?'
but of course, here i am, working. well, such as it is. the only useful parts of our system? are down. as in any, ya know, useful billing information that people might need. such as due dates? amounts due? if anybody calls up and wants to pay over the phone, we're screwed, coz that's down too. it's only a wonder we can still access people's policies. except of course that, since i'm not actually an agent, i'm not legally allowed to tell people what their coverages are. so, not much use to me there, really.
the worst part is that in lieu of any actual work, i have the following directive:
'fix file drawer
put canceled files
over 2 years in
relabel all file
it's like that crappy angst poetry you get from inexperienced 15 year olds. except about filing systems. what it doesn't mention is the Shredder of Inconvenience. when our old shredder died, glenn asked me to take a look at some online and see what was available. so i did, and i gave him a little list w/ ones that i thought looked good and where he might find them on the internet. the flaw? my boss is a man who repeatedly needs desktop resizing explained to him. who repeatedly needs text formating in ms word explained to him. who once asked me why the dvd he was trying to play wasn't working... ...in his cd-rom drive. so the fact that he doesn't understand how to use the internet, i suppose, should have entered into my mind when i handed him that list w/ urls, but did it? no, of course not.
so he goes out and buys a shredder. The Shredder of Inconvenience. when god woke up on that 8er day and said to himself, 'wow, that's a load of little people i've made. wonder what i can do to make their lives miserable?' he immediately thought of two things: modern english language spelling conventions and the shredder that my boss came back with that morning. the door doesn't stay shut, so that the automatic off will kick in every five minutes, prompting you to kick the door repeatedly while uttering every curse and voodoo hex that comes into your mind; the paper feed slot is covered by a slight overhang, so that you have to cajole your pages in, trying every conceivable angle until you at last hit upon that one that convinces the shredder you're serious; and the edges of the little basket are stepped, so that in order to successfully empty the basket into the trash bag with a majority of the quarter inch confetti pieces in the trashbag instead of on the floor, you need advanced training in either physics or acrobatics. and just in case you are tempted to think, 'well how many files can a tiny little agency have?' let me just inform you. there is only one full-fledged agent in this office, there are a total of three (3) people working here. we have ten filing cabinets filled to the brim. ten full-sized filing cabinets. four of which contain files that are no longer even active. as in people have cancelled their insurance with us, and we are required by law to keep those files for ten years. i found one file? older than i am. they had cancelled in 1980. i found another file? with an obituary in it. the guy had died. whatthehellwerewestilldoingwiththatfile!?
now i know we had a bit of an economic boom there in the 90s, but was it really so hard to find qualified employees that no one has touched these files in a decade? i strongly believe that to be true. one of my first tasks upon being hired was to clear out the quote files. these are people who called in for a quote and then never signed up with us. we decided that six months seemed a good cut-off date. i found three-year-old files in that drawer. i don't know about you, but i think if a person doesn't sign up w/in three years, he's probably not gonna. never even mind that after 6 months we would have to re-quote them anyway.
then there's my boss himself. now, besides the above-mentioned computer knowledge deficiencies, he's a name-dropper. he likes to tell me of all the important people who have their insurance policies with his agency. all the important people here in the city of columbus ohio. ... ... ... what the hell do i care if he insures the yacht belonging to the vice president in charge of human resources of whoop-dee-frickin-doo incorporated? at first, i was politely impressed. 'oh yeah?' i would say. 'well well,' i would say. my mistake. encouragement merely propagated the behaviour. now i make snide comments. the bank big-wig left, and i said, 'well, maybe he can tell me what's wrong with my account.' glenn said that no, he was just a human resources person, and i said, 'well maybe he can take care of my people problems then.'
or perhaps he can buy me a new shredder.