the original kStyle blog.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Bad Cop Is Tired

I don't like being the heavy. I can do it if I have to, but it makes me tired. Shouldn't we all be able to talk things over gently and reach harmonious conclusions? We all work hard, we do. Even George the Salesman. Can't we just not do this?

A few weeks ago, I had to call up a freelancer, formerly our best freelancer of this sort, for the second time about the same project. It was still not right--materials arriving 3 weeks late with the art missing? really?--and I said, "Is this project being done in India?" And they said, "Yes." And I said, "I have no philosophical objections to work being done overseas. However, I have a serious practical objection when my project is screwed up." They brought the project to their US office. I also mentioned I may not work with them again. Ever.

Then there was my colleague who works remotely missing deadlines. I eventually had to tell his in-office supervisor. This was a really tough decision: on one hand, I had to do some serious CYA operations for my own safety and welfare. On the other, I know this remote employee does excellent work but is viewed with constant suspicion because he's not in the office. They are constantly threatening to terminate his contract because of office politics.

Then, if George the Salesman were not bad enough, his colleagues The Delivery Guys a. refused to help G. level the oven, b. did not have the delivery rebate form we were promised, and c. left the drawer of our old oven--which they were supposed to remove in entirety--on the front step. Yes! An oven drawer! On the front step! It's just fantastic! How is that even an option? I sent Lowe's (yes, Lowe's. Lowe's, don't shop there) an irate email. The central customer service has replied, but not the local branch, even though the HQ supposedly forwarded my complaint to the manager of the local store, promising me s/he would reply within 24 hours. So I must rain down more fire and brimstone upon Lowe's.

On top of that, the vet never phoned us with the results of the obscenely expensive blood work we had done for our sick cat. Thankfully she's now better, but for that price, you should send me the results on a freakin' engraved card. I called yesterday and they were closed for Veteran's Day. Today I was too busy to call.

And then, the freelance group that sent my project overseas and then brought it back--guess what? The project must be final Monday (they think Thursday, just to make sure I get it Monday) and today, I discovered a major error. MAJOR. ERROR. Oddly, it's a sort of error I had checked for, but either it was freshly introduced or somehow I missed it despite specifically checking for it. But it's a 101 kind of mistake, an assinine mistake that affects many other things in the project. I wish I could get into details, but I am skating on Blogging About The Workplace Ice. I had this Zen moment where I was just breathing IIIINNNN, breathing OOOOUUUTT as I called the Bad Freelancers (dialing felt slow-motion) and I said, calmly, "Is Kathy there?" (My contact.)

"She's not available Could I give you her voice mail?"

"Would you page her, please?"

"Actually, she had to run out this morning."

Crystalline calm: "Is there someone else I could speak to? There's something of an emergency with my project."

I was transferred to the department manager. I explained, "I'm specifically not panicking. I found a big error..."

Thankfully, they fixed it, and hopefully it's done now.

And then, the person who works remotely and sometimes misses deadlines emailed me to say that one of my best and most trusted freelancers missed some things so minor as to be insanely petty. So I asked this person: Are you a Virgo? And the answer was, Yes.

OH and P.S.: I forgot to tell y'all another whole thing with Other People's Deadline-Missing Screwing Up My Projects, but now I'm just plain tired.


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