Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Do not spill the buckets of stupid

Ahh, more boneheadedness at work. I may have mentioned before that half the call center is moving to a new building. (If I didn't: Half the call center is moving to a new building.) We occupy two levels of the old building, and we are evacuating the upper level. As mentioned, we have a shift change that takes effect the first week of June, at which time the people who are moving to the new building will move.
What you think would transpire: On the appointed day in June, everyone pulls up stakes and goes where they're going: This is a blackmail photo the folks who are moving to the new building go there, the remaining people upstairs move downstairs, and the people downstairs go to their new teams/seats. One swift movement for all.
What actually is transpiring: TODAY the people who are moving to the new building moved to the upper story, the people who are staying came downstairs, and even the people who were already downstairs had to move; everyone is now grouped by the teams they are going to be on in two and a half weeks, but still report to their regular supervisors (who also moved, so finding them is a challenge). In June the people upstairs depart for the new building and the shift changes become effective.
The stated purpose of this funky dance is to "reduce disruption", which it might very well do for the people who are staying in this building (such as myself) but causes the people who are leaving to move twice... Riiiiight. It was explained that it wouldn't make sense to move people to the new location then those who are going to be in this building right back after the change; interesting non sequiteur since if everyone moved on the same day, just once in June, no one would be juggled. Par for the course here.

Last night we were given some time to pack up and move our goods from our old cubes. At first we were told that it would the the last fifteen minutes of our shift, then later they changed that to going in waves, ergo we moved up to an hour before the end of our shifts... thus we didn't have our helpful materials at hand for the last hour. Another par for the course. I left home about an hour early so I could set up my computer, and got to work only half an hour early because of a multiple car accident which the radio said was blocking 2 lanes but by the time I got to the site it had been cleared (but you wouldn't know that by the miles of backed-up traffic). So I got things the way I want them on the box, started arranging the cubicle so it had reason and purpose, and the first thing I did after punching in was spilled Mountain Dew all over the place so despite sponging off the desktop and so forth repeatedly it's still sticky in places. This goes great with the pound of crumbs I shook out of the keyboard. I presume this is a band Initially we were also told that we'd have fifteen minutes at the start of our shift to get our stuff arranged but, alas, that didn't get offered today, so it was probably a good thing that I arrived early (since I wound up taking that 15 minutes as "idle work" rather than an offical code that doesn't count against my stats). Still another par for the course. And don't get me started on how in my monthly review yesterday I was told my schedule adherance was low due to my being a "Phone Pal", one of the good techs who greenhorns sit with to learn solutions and how to operate the tools... yes, this hit is partially my fault, but when I am scheduled for lunch at 4:00pm and the trainers don't bring the n00bies out to sit with people until about 3:30pm, whatcha gonna do? Make them move after one call? How helpful is that? I like my new seat, though it's in the windowless yet overly warm part of the building, and my new team has some bright people on it hidden among the folks with annoying voices or personalities... my theory is that since they had the shifts listed by time and supervisor instead of just random times like the last shift-bid, the bothersome people conspired to work together. How one of the help desk guys (some of their group has been moved to this section apparently) and his girlfriend wound up back-to-back is pure kismet.

Skat-ologic humorI'm just glad this has been a short week for me, courtesy of being in another state on my first workday of the week. I'm still sort of basking in that afterglow. What a difference a little vacation makes! I wasn't aware before I left that they would be shuffling everyone around this week, so in a karmic way the stupid balanced out the happy... and tomorrow's my Friday. I'll be happy when it's my weekend again, and when I can go travelling again (mid-June and again the first weekend in July) -- and more pressingly, I'll be really happy when my work surface isn't sticky anymore.

My hubby drinks gallons of Mountain Dew. He loves that syrupy sweet soda.
What a sticky mess that had to be on your desk!
The goings on at your workplace seem chaotic. Try not to get dizzy.
my move to the dungeon has placed me near some very loud and annoying people. JOY!
Illiterate: I know those loud and annoying people. :-D At least you have windows around you... my chocolate mint is wondering what the hell happened to its sun!

Jamie: Yeah, somewhat chaotic. Today we had this training about how to use the internal knowledge base, which didn't really cover what to do about all that information which is not in it and we don't know. But at least now we know a little more about how to search it for the information that, oh yeah, isn't in there. :)
Jamie, thank you for the nice words in the pervious section! :-)

chocolate minths and vampires have one thing in common, don't they?
That would be the fangs, wouldn't it?
Sounds like typical company insanity with that move. My favorite company moment was at Nixdorf (in Germany) when there was speculation that the head guy was negotiating over a bonus for stepping down early. They put up a company bulletin on all the boards saying the rumors were not true. The next morning they hung up signs saying he was resigning with a bonus of however many millions. On some boards the two notices hung side by side.
I know what you mean, Indie. Dec 21, 2002 the head of the ISP call center I had been at said there was no truth to the rumors that the center would be closing. And on Jan 21, 2003 everyone got their pink slips. The last day of work would be Feb 16 (odd rule, you had to be there 45 days into the new year to get the bonus for the last full year), but anyone there at the time would be paid through March and receive their yearly bonuses for 2002 plus qualify for unemployment insurance.

You can pretty much guess there was a lot of housecleaning prior to 2/16. They even had bonus security in the building the day the announcement was made and thereafter so that there wouldn't be rioting or pillaging, they LOVED us. I was one who didn't get his bonus, the month and a half 'severance', or unemployment bennies. The reason the company stated for closing the center was to save $20 million in 2003.

Can't say whether that worked or not, will say they musta like it because they repeated it with the other call centers in January 2004... with one difference: no preparatory announcement. People got to work that day and were greeted by a sign and guard saying they'd been downsized, SURPRISE!
Jamie: You asked for it, you got it:

The Flickr Icicle Lights in the Offseason group has been created. Become a member immediately!
Nixdorf was desperately looking for people to leave: early retirment, severance pay, etc. They even took entire departments and formed them into independent companies, which went bust shortly afterwards. I took the severance pay and went back to university for a few years.
I checked out the icicles.
I'll have a pic to add to your collection soon.
I already have the place in mind. I just have to remember to bring my camera along with me next time I go into town.
Looking forward to it, Jamie. :)

Not a good situation, Indie... off to school with you. :) A friend is scratching her head right now -- she was hired to fill a position at this company that hadn't been created and as yet still hasn't been created. Her boss knows there's a need but HIS boss (not quite familiar with the value of firewalls on networks, etc.) doesn't want to discuss the matter. She was asking me and some other friends whether she should stick around to fulfill the employment agreement she signed (they'd pay for her certs if she will stay until Feb 07) despite having no guarantee of the job she was promised or a continuing job period, or go now and eat the payback costs of the certs because she'll have them to offer competitors immediately. Answer most of the asked gave: stick it out (the uncertainty is killing her, not the job itself), finish getting your certs on their tab, and if you still don't have the promised job on the day your agreement is fulfilled get outta there.
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