More Office Idiocy

:: Ring ::

ME: Jodi Lastname.
IDIOT: I’m sending you an e-mail regarding Project X.
ME: Okay. Hang up

E-mail arrives. I review it. It does not call for an immediate response.

:: Ring ::

ME: Jodi Lastname.
IDIOT: Did you get my e-mail?
ME: Yes. I think it’s pretty clear; was there something else you wanted to add to it, or that we should discuss before the meeting?
IDIOT: No, I just wanted to make sure you got it.

My dear Idiot, I know that to you e-mail is a form of magic, only made possible by the timely sacrifice of baby “hampsters” to some unknowable god of technology, but it is reliable magic. If you send someone an e-mail, you can assume they will get it if it doesn’t bounce back to you. Furthermore, you can actually set your e-mail preferences to receive a receipt when the recipient reads your e-mail. Surely someone in your office can help you change your settings accordingly. Stillfurthermore, even if your e-mail requires a response, it is usual to allow the recipient more than five minutes to read, digest, and respond. If you need an instant response to a pressing question, pick up the phone; that’s what it’s for.

You do this all the time, dear Idiot: “I’m sending you a fax.” Fax “Did you get the fax?” “You should talk to John about this.” *Five minutes later: “Did you talk to John?” Stop it before I staple your tie to your forehead.

And quit asking me to put things on your calendar for you. I am not your assistant, I am your colleague, and your cheerful total ignorance of all things computer-related (including how to use Outlook) doesn’t make you look charmingly inept, it makes you look stupid.

Wow, you should demand that 10 seconds of your day back.


Actually, this bugs the shit out of me, too.

You know you can program rules in Outlook such that individual messages are handled differently based on all sorts of criteria? For example, you can tell Outlook that if a message is received from one particular person, a response is sent to the effect that “I have received your message and will review it and respond as appropriate in due course. Now put down the crack pipe, you anal-retentive bag of crocodile puke.”

Tools > Rules Wizard > New > Start from blank rule.

If you want to be really clever, you can make the response short and informal so it looks like you’re emailing the person back yourself to confirm receipt. The only thing is, you have to think about how you’ll explain it if they happen to send you something at 3am and get the same response.

Just shoot him.

As for the calendar thing, just claim that you forgot how to work it. That’s what I do, after I made the stupid mistake of letting someone find out I knew how to do stuff like auto-reply, auto-forward and enter appointments and such in Outlook. The people who depend on you to do that are dumb enough to believe that someone can forget something simple like that. :wink:

I swear to God I got this fax the other day.

At least mine has humor value.

I’ve seen that one.

But the greatest one–I swear I am not making this up. I was working in a law office and I had to fax a copy of a certificate. The person asked me, “Can you fax the original?”

Um, sure. Can you fax me a dollar for the expense of doing so?

If Outlook has any sort of time option, that’s easy enough to do:

IF: received between time I get into office and time I leave office:

Respond with: “I have received your email and will take action as necessary blah blah don’t call me, I’ll call you.”

IF: received at the impossible hour of 3 AM:

Respond with: “Hello, this is Jodi’s computer. I have received your email. Unless you would like to be answered with phone static, do not call me asking if I received your email. Since I have no moral code, I have no problem stapling your stapes to your prostate and hulahooping the result.”

YMMV, of course:)

Well, it’s not just the “did you get it?” it’s also the “I’m sending it!” “I’m sending a fax/Did you get the fax?” I know the last machine you successfully worked was a buttonhook, but you don’t have to announce your intention to use an alternative means of communication. The whole point of the alternative means of communication is so that you don’t freaking call me 10 times a day.

He also prints out all his e-mail and puts it in a big file marked “e-mail.” I’m sure that’s related as well, but at least doesn’t involve me. I just had a bad day, I guess. I know this will totally surprise you (:rolleyes:), but my patience is not infinite.

“Goodbye paperless, hello clueless”

– Dilbert strip

Maybe it’s not reliable - maybe he routinely fucks it up.

Does he know what email client you use? Receipts aren’t universal yet AFAIK.

But yes, that is very stupid. Very, very stupid to ring twice.

Wow, does he ever ask you to “print out the Internet”?

That has got to be one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard.

Sure I can fax the original. Sure! Do you understand that it still looks like a copy when you get it?!


One fine day my email was down. My colleague suggested emailing the tech guy to let him know.

Jodi works with Frank Chambers?

We are forced to do this with every single e-mail (sent or recieved) as part of our internal QA system. As well as saving the e-mail down in *.txt format in the individual job reference file on the server. Nothing like spending 60% of your day doing bloody admin. :frowning:

Maybe you should ask him to send you a telegram informing you of his desire to telephone notifying you of his intention to transmit e-mail alerting you to the impending fax. That way you’d have some additional advance warning and you could schedule an Outlook appointment for both of you at some mutually agreeable point in time.

Not only do we have to save and file paper copies of every damn thing we do, but we have to do this for the stuff we delete. I tried to explain that if it was unimportant enough to delete because it was completely and thoroughly of no use to anybody, we shouldn’t need an archive copy, but they didn’t buy it. Of course, these are the same people whose filing archive system is “Keep everything forever.” And yes, they are running out of room, and no, you can’t find anything.

[Strother Martin]
What we have here is a failure that communicates.
[/Strother Martin]

Jodi, can I pretty please pretty please PRETTY PLEASE be your Admin Assistant or Secretary? The fools I’m dealing with around here are making me want to go start my hair on fire. Lately, when I say I’m going to go smoke, it’s six of one, half a dozen of the other as to whether I’ll be sucking on a Marlboro in the courtyard, or a blowtorch. Take me now, God.

“Missy, the printer is busted. Can you fix it?” Sure thing, the “Add paper to paper tray 1” message that’s blinking should clear itself right up once I ADD PAPER! Oh, and ditto for the fax machine and the printer. And why the hell do you have to send things to me to print for you? Does your tool bar not have the File Print (or CTRL+P) command as well? Does my black and white printer make prettier printouts for you than the black and white printer that is IN YOUR LAB AND A FLOOR DOWN FROM ME AND RIGHT NEXT TO YOUR OFFICE? No? Then might I suggest you print your shit all by your lonesome, sweetheart, because I’m sick of walking halfway across the plant to deliver YOUR CRAP.

“Missy - will you be here at (insert godawful time of day here) PM? I have a 1400 page document I will need copied and bound for 10 people.” No, you dork, I won’t be. I got here at 5:30 this morning. YOU KNOW THIS. Just because YOU decided that 10 AM is your “spring out of bed and hit the road running” time does not mean that it is MINE. CALL KINKO’S.

“Missy, I’ve locked all of my keys in my office/car/desk/basement/attic, can you open my office and every single flipper/drawer/filing cabinet for me?” Sure thing, moron. Just as soon as I go walk all over the plant, find the locksmith, promise him sexual favors (hey - you haven’t seen my locksmith :wink: ) and perform the sacred sacrificial chicken ritual - no problem!! That should only take an hour or so. I don’t have umpteen other things to do this morning, oh no! I got here at 5:30 for a REASON - I have things I have to get DONE. You, after working here for 15 years, can’t keep track of your keys??? I have housepets with a longer span of attention - yet they gave YOU the Ph.D. Go Figure.

Jodi - where do I have to move to work for you?

Got that beat. Also in a law office. We had an elderly partner, a retired judge, who came to me once and said “I’ve been trying to fax this document, but it keeps coming back out of the machine. What’s wrong?”

Turns out he thought the fax machine would somehow take the pages he put into it and magically transmit them (the paper itself, not an electronic image of them) over the phone lines to the recipient.

This man had been a judge, for god’s sake.