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Chapter 30: Newbies are People Too

Dear Journal, now that my dad is out the way, hunting down the evil wizard in the air duct, this has given me a chance to get to know the new recruits a little better.

I started talking to the new guys about why they decided to work at Centrifico technologies and they all seemed to go into a trance and started reciting the same line “Centrifico Technologies is one of the leading technology firms in the world and was rated amongst the top employers to work for”. They then seemed to “snap out of it” and appeared confused as to where they were and what had just happened.

Strangely, no matter how much I asked the new guys about what their interests were and what they did for fun, they kept asking if this was in fact the best time to be talking about “non work related affairs” and it was then suggested that this conversation be postponed until a designated break period.

The astounding thing was that even though they had only been on the job for a few days, they had processed as many TPR forms as I could do in a month and to make matters worse they appeared to enjoy it. I’m starting to run out of work to give them and this is already after I made up the new “regulation” that these reports needed to be completed in triplicate and in three different languages. (I had originally told them four “different” languages till I was told by Charlie that “Spanish” and “Mexican” are the same language – smart ass).

I couldn’t seem to identify with these kids, until I finally made the starting realization that they must in fact be robots. They don’t appear to eat or take any breaks. I’ve never seen any of them ever go to the bathroom (not even to take a nap or avoid work for a half hour like a normal person) and the things these kids can do with a computer would put the molemen in the IT department to shame.

The only apparent positive coming from their robotic level of activity is that I have almost no work to do and the department is way ahead of schedule. This fact has not gone unnoticed and in true Centrifico Technology spirit, I am the one who is getting all the praise, despite the fact that I haven’t lifted a finger except to try and make more work for these little cyborgs.

I don’t know what it means, but Mr Berkley has invited me to a departmental golf day this Friday as a reward. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing, but hey, at least it’s not work.

 
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Posted by on October 3, 2011 in journal

 

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Chapter 11: Performance Review

Dear Journal

Today marks my 6 month anniversary here at Centrifico Technologies, and wow has it passed “quickly”, painstakingly, mind-numbingly “quickly”. To mark this momentous occasion I am supposed to be having my first performance review with Mr Berkley.

I have been waiting in the review room for about 30mins now waiting for his podgy little frame to walk through the door. When he eventually does arrive he seems oddly sombre as if he is the bearer of ill news. I can’t imagine what he bad he could say about my work since I haven’t really been given anything to do except TPR forms and alphabetising reports.

In all honesty if it weren’t for building booby traps in my cubicle, trying to converse with the evil wizard in the airduct and destroying printer suppliers to ensure the printer girl returns, I don’t know what I’d spend my day doing.

He starts off by saying that he is content with what he has seen from me, at which point I am not certain whether he is referring to the TPR forms or my other extra-curricular activities. However, he is concerned that I am not “living up to my potential”.

“Christopher, my boy” he wheezes as he rattles on in a condescending tone, “you need to be more like Eddie or Jimmy”.
“Sure they take about an hour to do what you manage to complete in about 15minutes, and it’s usually laden with all sorts of mistakes and irregularities, and in Eddie’s case the odd coffee spill here or there.”
“But they try hard and at the end of the day isn’t that more important than simply getting the job done?”

“No. No it isn’t” I replied, but this was met with the staple response of “I don’t expect you to understand” (well I was easily meeting his expectations here).

He then pulled his chair closer to the table, perched his stumpy little elbows on the faux wood surface, leant in and looked me dead in the eyes as he said “You have a lot of potential, my boy. Why you remind me of me at your age.”

I was torn between several conflicting emotions. Most prevalent were those of utter despair at the prospect of turning out like Mr B, relative anger at the insulting insinuation that he and I were in any way similar, but most of all an uncontrollable nausea as his breath wafted into my defenceless nostrils and oozed down my throat.
It was ghastly and thick, I could taste it. Like year old milk and ashtrays.

I couldn’t stand it anymore. All I could do to prevent passing out was to vomit all over myself, the faux wooden table and Mr B.

The performance review ended pretty much immediately at that point.
I wonder how I did.

 
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Posted by on June 3, 2011 in journal

 

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Chapter 10: My Boss’s Boss’s Boss’s Boss

Dear Journal

Today the entire office seems to be in a flutter of activity. All around there were Goblins, trolls and human beings, all running around frantically with boxes and files as if time were of the essence.

Dodging the human and inhuman traffic proved quite difficult as I sought some sort of explanation for the frenzy. As I stepped into Eddie, the coffee dwarf’s cubicle, I noticed even he, the “World’s Greatest Lover” was furiously working at the paper shredder, feeding it ream upon ream of paper. I wanted to stop him but he seemed in no mood to talk and besides his feverish paper destruction was sure to bring “printer girl” back to the office sooner.

I managed to hear amongst the cacophony and confusion an intercom message stating that “Mr Simmons” had entered the building. I had no idea who this “Mr Simmons” was, but it was certain that it was his arrival that had the office in total panic.

New plastic trees were brought in to replace the old one’s which somehow had wilted (it appears that the Customer Service Department is a toxic environment even for non-living creatures). Fresh coffee was brewed – although it seemed that no one dared touch it. It was either strictly for our ominous visitor, or no one knew what real coffee was supposed to smell like and didn’t notice it. I could see that Eddie was staring at the freshly percolated elixir, sweating profusely, more so than usual.

“Who is Mr Simmons” I whispered to Eddie. The office fell deathly silent except for the sound of shredding paper, before a wave of laughter flooded through the office. I had no idea what was so funny, but one thing I have learnt about corporate “life” is it is never good to be the only one who doesn’t understand the joke so I laughed along nervously on this wave like a clown fish in a shark tank (odd analogy I know).

Mr Berkley walked over to me and seemed as if he was about to give me a backhand with his greasy little imp-claw, which would’ve been great because I had already decided to kill him so I could have used this as an excuse for self defence.

But alas he simply walked me into the stationery cupboard and closed the door behind him. He explained to me that Mr Simmons was the Regional Director of Centrifico Industries and a thus a very important individual. After explaining further how important Mr Simmons’ arrival was and that I shouldn’t embarrass the department he proceeded to leave, but not before locking me in the stationery cupboard.

As I sat amongst pens, clipboards and several other pieces of ammunition for my cubicle traps, I listened to the muffled applause and forced laughter as Mr Simmons walked through the department. I hope for his own safety he doesn’t walk into my cubicle.

I may never get to meet this Mr Simmons but his power over everyone here and the sheer terror his mere mention brings is most enviable. I must learn the secret of his power, but not before I steal as much stationery as I can – especially those magical sticky “post-it” things.

It’s about 7pm and it has gone awfully silent, I hope they haven’t forgotten me in here.

 
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Posted by on May 30, 2011 in journal

 

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Chapter 2: Meeting the Boss

Dear Journal

So I waited for several ours at my cubicle for “the Boss” to arrive, and when he did I was most uninspired. I expected no less a man than a giant, dressed in all his battle hardened yet polished armour. I imagined he would speak only in poetic verse, each word more powerful than the last, like some sort of word- Pyramid where the strong words would bully the smaller words beneath them.

What I was introduced to was some sort of imp-like creature named Mr Berkley, his only distinguishing feature was a distinct lack of any distinction. He offered me his claw in a gesture of what I can only assume is friendship, or in order to implant some sort of parasite beneath my skin – will have to see if any infection develops.

He explained to me that he had been working here at Centrifico Technologies for 15 years and that one day if I was lucky I would have his job. I wasn’t sure if this was meant to encourage me or warn me. He then proceeded to talk about his family, I listened intently as I knew very little of imp lore, but after the first 3 hours my eyes started to glaze over, much like Eddie, the coffee dwarf. I kept checking my hand for parasites, which I think started to unnerve him.

I asked him if he was in charge of the organisation at which point he laughed and explained to me that he was one of 3 managers in the customer service department who reported to several senior managers in this department which in turn was just one of 10 and that each of these 10 departments reported to a director who in turn reported to a Vice President who then presented to the Board, headed by the chairman who answered to the Global Board, run by the Global CEO. At which point I realised that my boss was far less important than he initially led me to believe.

Despite my every desire to run him through with my fountain pen, I managed to subdue these desires long enough for him to leave. Not killing this imp-man is going to prove to be quite a challenge indeed.

I asked him what exactly my quest entailed and explained to me that the world of customer service analytics is as exciting as it is dynamic, although he said these words in a hypnotic trance-like manner as if he were reading it off a banner behind me or was possessed by an evil wizard, perhaps the same one I heard in the air duct earlier.

He presented me with a monolithic sized book entitled “the basics of customer service” and was told to make sure I knew the contents backwards – this may prove to be quite challenging. He said that if I ever had any problems with the work I should just ask someone else.

I was then told to chat to Pamela in HR about the induction program, which would take me through the “in’s” and “out’s” of corporate structure. He then left saying “keep up the good work” what work he was referring to exactly I’m not sure.

I still have no idea what it is I am expected to do here

 
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Posted by on April 14, 2011 in journal

 

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