Sunday, November 18, 2012

The working life: Pony express‏

This is what is involved in trying to reach someone in Poland who doesn't answer her email:

1. Write a letter.
2. Discover your organization has letterhead.
3. Print the letter on letterhead. This means put the letterhead faceup in the printer. Walk back to your cubicle. Hit 'print.' Walk back to the printer. Wrong side. 

Put the letterhead facedown in the printer. Walk back to cubicle. Hit 'print.' Walk back to the printer. Right side but wrong direction. 

Put the letterhead facedown and facing the other way. Walk back to cubicle. Hit 'print.' Walk back to printer. The letter prints on the proper side and with the right orientation, but the address is printed over the logo.

Put another sheet of letterhead in the printer. We have now wasted three sheets of letterhead. Walk back to cubicle. Add more space between the top of the letter and the start of the copy. Hit 'print.' Walk back to printer. FINALLY.

4. Fax the letter.

Turn on the fax machine. 

Key in international fax number. Are you using the right format? Does having the zero in parentheses mean you are not supposed to use it if you are outside of Poland? Who knows?

Try to find thingy on fax machine indicating which side should be up.

Find it. Feed letter into fax. Hit 'start.'

Hear phone ring. Hear someone from your own organzation answer the phone and ask how to direct your call, which makes NO SENSE because hello, it's an international number.

Wait. Did you dial 9? Do you have to dial 9 with the fax? Who knows?

Wait. Wait. Wait. "Processing data" light flashes. Wait.

Get error report. Crap. 

Try sending again but starting with 9.

Wait. Wait. Wait.

No confirmation. Did it go through? Was it thwarted again? Who knows.

5. Mail the letter. Which means walking to the mailroom on your floor. Looking for an envelope. Putting the letter into the envelope. Taking it down to the mailroom. Wait. Do you have your cost center? Because the postage has to be charged to your cost center.

I miss having a secretary.

Wait. No, I don't. Because it would have taken a lot longer to get that letter out, even though I wouldn't have been the one fighting with the printer. Secretaries take smoke breaks and do your co-worker's work ahead of yours because he's a hottie.

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