Wednesday, 9 December 2009


This will probably be the death of me. I can barely contain my horror.

Allow me to elucidate.

Recently, in a moment of Great Success, we were appointed as Irish agents to a US-based company. This can be described as "very good". For a few weeks we've been going through all the details of what this actually involves, and part of it is that they have some kind of in-house system for tracking their cargo which we must now have access to.

This, already, spells Trouble.

Anyway, I came in on to the office to see an e-mail from our contact at said company, advising that their system was now up and running in our office and we would soon be expected to be entering bookings and so on to said system.

With a sensation I would describe as "dread", I sez to The Boss :

"Apparently their system is now installed here, but I can't see anything on my PC."

The Boss : "Oh, I got them to put it on my computer."

Ah, fuck.

I don't know quite how to politely say "That's fucking mental, you're a fucking disaster-waiting-to-happen around anything more technologically advanced than a lightbulb", so I try a lateral approach :

"Uh, would it not make more sense to have it on my PC, as I'm sure you'll probably not want to get bogged down in updating their system and so on?"

The Boss : "No, you'll be doing it. But I want to see everything that happens with it."


Here's me : "So, uh, you want me to operate this system, whatever that might involve, from your desk?... uh, you don't think that might be.. inconvenient?"


The Boss : "No."

Oh, well that's cleared that up then.

So... I'm thinking, this is completely fucked. But it can't get any worse OH YES IT FUCKING WELL CAN!

The other company's IT person is going to phone us on Friday from New York and spend "around an hour" explaining how to use this system. And The Boss has laid down the law - she will be taking that phone call. She will spend an hour having the system that I am to use explained to her and then.. she will "explain" it to me.


I have considered my options; reasoning with her is out, of course, simply ridiculous; quitting in the current economic climate seems unwise; stabbing her to death with a pen seems potentially messy. I'm thinking I might try and get hit by a car on the way home tonight, maybe, if I can get one at just the right speed; I don't want to die, but I'm thinking probably having two broken legs and a bit of concussion seems like a reasonable way to get out of having her "explain" this system to me on Friday afternoon.

I cannot allow this to happen. Something must be done.


  1. Roll on Friday! should be hilarious xD

  2. Can't you call the person in New York privately and explain the situation?

    What about the person that manages your boss?

  3. Record the call. You can get a plug-in for most office phones for a voice reorder.

    If it works, you can use the recording for your own reference, and whenever you worry about your own sanity you can play it back and listen to someone else get batshit wound up.

    If it doesn't work (ie, she finds the cord and the voice recorder) you can enjoy watching the moment she finally gets physical confirmation someone is hacking into her.

  4. Can you somehow ghost the drive, and use that on a separate partition on your computer? or could you see if the boss still has the files needed to install the stuff on your computer?

  5. I'm with Mr Anonymous - pre-empt the call and have a quiet word with the IT chap at the other end.

  6. the reasonable thing to do would be to have the call on speakerphone. too bad she's not reasonable. why don't you have her job, again? since you are far more competent than her. oh the ridiculousness of it all.

  7. Furthermore, I'm quit shocked she's willing to have something on her computer that accesses their in-house tracking system. Is she not afraid this technological communication will go both ways and they will be able to see everything on her computer via their magic network portal? That's how these things work, right? For this reason, CLEARLY best to have them switch it to your computer.

  8. You can't phone up an important new client and say "Hey, you know what, actually, round here it's madder than a fucking troop of circus clowns on acid, please don't be alarmed, but the person in charge is completely insane and dangerously incompetent. Now; can you give us total access to your vital computer tracking system..."

  9. Swap the phones round at the wall points, which are presumably adjacent to one another. When the call comes in, tell them you've had a hard drive failure, and get them to reinstall the software to your PC. Then do the tutorial or whatever.

    Then swap the phones back. Never tell her.

    If caught, fiddle with the phone points, and "mend" it. Or revert to the hacking conspiracy.

  10. " can't phone up an important new client and say Hey, you know what, actually, round here it's madder than a fucking troop of circus clowns on acid..."

    Yes, you can. All the members of any IT department in a reasonably-sized organisation will completely understand. In fact, they'll welcome the opportunity to speak to someone who isn't a complete moron. And I speak from experience.

  11. Oh dear - you have my sympathies.

  12. Doooooomed! You're doooooomed!

    Actually, and I'm sure you were going to do this anyway, just ignore everything she says, be completely out of the room when the IT person calls (poor sod), then, sometime next week, ring back ask for "a little help clearing up a couple of teeny points" then get the whole thing explained to you by some other poor helldesk bastard.

  13. I can't wait. If you could somehow record the call, or at least listen in and type it out verbatim... I have popcorn on standby...

    (I feel really bad for you, however this level of entertainment should still be appreciated!!)

  14. Oh my.
    I have been binging merrily through your archives for the past several days in lieu of writing my thesis on Schopenhauer-- somehow the idea of eternal existential suffering seems far better embodied by what goes on at your office on a daily basis. You, sir, have my sympathies. Please survive, and keep writing.

  15. As soon as you arrive at work, put laxatives in her coffee. Repeat judiciously until she is forced to flee the office. Offer to take the phone call in her place and be very sympathetic.

  16. Therefore, send not to know for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee.

  17. Maybe the interwebs connection on her computer could 'mysteriously' go down on friday, meaning it'll have to be installed on yours? ;)

  18. Why are you people giving the koala advice?

    We want this to happen, don't we?

    I'm already booking a quiet room where I won't be disturbed on Friday.

  19. I feel for you poor Koala, I really do. And yet I am so looking forward to Friday also.

    And Jess' comment above caused a coffee/keyboard incident when I laughed out loud. You must follow these instructions.

  20. I really want this to happen. So please don't do any of the above. Very much looking forward to seeing what's happened on Saturday morning.

    You should throw the name of the system out there. Some kind soul might have access to a user guide.

  21. You poor bastard.

  22. Oh oh please PLEEEASE record it like Jess said...

  23. OK - here is the skinny :

    I have now spoken to New York. "The software" as it turns out is just a wee clicky link on my desktop that connects via the internet to said system, so that's sorted. (Yes, why the fuck didn't I just have it from the outset, but that's a different story) - By a bit of a leading conversation - not entirely unlike some of the suggestions above, and done in the most low-key fashion I could muster, the chap in NY ended up suggesting "Hey, you should really be on in this too so what we'll do is set up a conference call instead."

    So - good news for me, in that I'm not going to have The Boss explaining this to me. Good news for you lot, I would imagine, in that I'm going to spend an hour or two on a conference call tomorrow with both The Boss at the other side of the room and the IT guy at the other side of the Atlantic, who is probably unwittingly right on the cusp of the worst working day of his life. I feel pity for him in advance, and this is probably going to be highly embarassing-by-proxy, but is doubtless going to provide some Fried Golden Nuggets of Boss Crazy...

    ... my report shall be on your collective desktops, ASAP...

  24. koala, i work in help desk and have for about 2 years now. as painful as those kinds of calls are, they provide so much in the way of smoke break / dinner table material it's generally worth it. don't pity him too much.