Tuesday, April 17, 2007

now this is silly

I was tired and grumpy at work today. I had a great night last night at the Poetry Slam, but paid for it today with tiredness and a short fuse.

Co-worker comes in needing me to order something using the new computerized purchasing system (she's been locked out of the system for inexplicable reasons). I'm due to go in for re-training, haven't used the program yet, in a terrible rush needing to get out the door to a meeting (and did I mention grumpy?)

Co-worker is apologizing. If you want, we could do it tomorrow (but tomorrow will be worse when I check my schedule). I say, "Let's do it." Now we both feel bad, she for inconveniencing me. Me for not doing a great job of being a supportive and friendly co-worker. I pull out my training manual and follow the instructions, with co-worker coaching me with info that Purchasing gave her, and her copy of the manual. Of course it does not work. Keeps spitting unintelligible error messages at me and making precious minutes of data entry into squishy little fields disappear and need to be redone. Like this:

ERROR: Wrong syntax hooglebloob. Should snigwipple as: XX:_,_,_) (Did I mention the original program was written in GERMAN?)

So I don't know what the heck snigwipple is anyway because I missed the advanced snig functions course that was held at 3:15pm on Chrismas Eve.

I phone Purchasing they say, "we don't know how to work it. we're transferring you to helpdesk."

Ayyyyeeeeee! I am falling into a pit of gooo.

"Hello. Helpdesk."

"I need help with Shopping Cart."

"Just a moment. I will transfer you to our shopping cart specialist on duty."

Does co-worker detect that I am about to lose it? I give her a progress report, "I'm on hold with helpdesk, waiting for a shopping specialist."

Shopping cart specialist helps me figure out my gross and vast error (don't put a dollar sign before the dollar amount). She advises me on how to correctly fill out several other fields. Then she says, "Should work now." Just call me right back if you have any more problems. Ten seconds later all of my work is wiped out, again. I phone helpdesk back and ask for Shopping Cart specialist by name. (This is 15 seconds later.) They tell me that she has not been in the office all day. "Can we take your number and ask her to call you back?"

I am near tears now. Not tears of laughter. "No," I say, "I'm late for a meeting. I'll call her tomorrow." I hope co-worker did not hear that catch in my voice.

"Okay, let's try one more time before we give up"

Somehow we get the info all inputted and I push "submit" or whatever it is. I get my completed order, confirmed sent to my boss for approval and ready to print. For the $475 item I thought I just ordered, the total is $1,325. Lots of tax, I guess.

Suddenly, coworker and I are laughing hysterically. I dash off a hyperbolic email to my boss and the buyer who will receive this order, including an explanation that I do not actually want a geotechnical engineer. I really want a training consultant, but that's not on the menu, and helpdesk suggested that a geotechnical engineer is the closest existing listing to a training consultant. (Hmmm, what should I do when I need to order hats? Oh! Manhole covers, yup, that'll do.)

I still have 10 minutes to get to my meeting, fifteen minutes away by car. I thank co-worker for putting up with grumpy me. She says thanks for helping her order a geotechnical engineer. Tomorrow let's order some anthrax vaccine. We agree it was hell, but also the best laugh we had all day.

question: did you receive any error messages today?

mompoet - Error Message: my order was not printed (figures)

1 comment:

Imran said...

Thank God no!

Grumpy you is a good friend to your coworker. You're a good person.

Have a great week.