23 Sep 2009

Devoid of Pointlessness

"I want to raise a requisition to hire a software developer " I told the suspicous but not unhelpful Singaporean who was manning the Corporate Helpline 1

frustration by e-magic


I glanced at my watch, it was 11:35pm in Singapore. I wondered how she had ended up doing that lonely job in the middle of the night and whether all her friends from Uni were at this moment in a crowded bar at the harbour enjoyng chilli crab and beers. I resisted the impulse to ask her what time she got off that evening..

"Do you have authority to hire software developers", she asked.
This was a trick question, of course, but I wasn't born yesterday.
"No, I don't have the authority", I replied, evenly, "I'm only a level 7B. No, what I want to do is raise a request to hire a software developer; which will route to my Global Department Head to authorise"

(fifteen all)

"But has your Global Department Head", she countered, "given you prior authorisation to make this request?"

(thirty-fifteen)

I paused and considered this carefully for a moment.

"I'm going", I said slowly, "I'm going to say: 'yes' " (I'm good)

We stared the whites of each others eyes 2  for a moment or two, sizing each-other up..... and she blinked:

"Very well, then: in order to raise a requisition you have to use the I-Buy system"
"I thought that might be the case, but I am not an authorised user of I-Buy"
"Aaaah"

(deuce)

On my screen I watched the Project Phoenix count-down clock flip over: 10,944 hours until we go live. I had wasted the whole of hour 10,945 on this.

Over the phone I heard a bleep and  I wondered if my young interlocutor was allowed a cell-phone in the call centre - were her mates at the bar at this very second tweeting her photos of the crab she was missing? Or was there a boyfriend texting patiently at home, and english lessons, and proud parents and a dream to one day move to Manhattan?  Did she yearn, I wondered, did she yearn, in that lonely call centre late at night for a job that made a difference? a job devoid of pointlessness, a job that contributed something measurable to the company for which she worked?

"Can you give me.."
"I'm not authorised to give you I-Buy authorisation.  You need to complete a request for I-Buy, which will be routed to your manager to approve"

"So .. I make a request... for the authority... to make a request?"

But I knew not to push it any further; and I sighed, and clicked on the link she had already emailed me.


================================
1 Press 1 for Technical Support, Press 2 for Building Maintenance Press 3 for Human Resources...  3 .....  You have pressed 3, Human Resources.  Please don't press 3 unless your need is urgent.


2 Yes, that's right -  we were on the phone. It's a metaphor.

9 comments:

fellow cubie dweller said...

Another scorcher of a post Alibert, beautifully written. It all makes getting up in the morning worthwhile.
:-)


Sigh, what a come-down from nearly saving the multiverse but a day or so ago.

M4GD said...

You mean you never read your HR manual before calling? You’re wasting bank resources in making unnecessary calls. Applying Dilbert Logic to the grave situation at hand: Dogbert will deduct the long distance call charge from your next pay check! And since you were glaringly careless and called during London (not Singapore) peak hours, they’ll deduct it twice!! And since your bad luck allocated you a female helpline attendant (opposite to common understanding they are more expensive than male helpline attendants), the call charge will be deducted thrice!

Devoid of Pointlessness…huh? Well, that’s your problem right there: ‘You never ask what is the point? You just do it! Dogbert ends his lecture and leaves while instructing the staff chorus to sing: 'Bad Botogol' using the Brideshead Revisted theme music as background and all broadcasted via the Global Bank intercom!:-)
SO, how did I do? did I get the summary of your last night nightmare correct?;-)

M4GD said...

Two for the love of books =

1. Logicomix
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/27/books/review/Holt-t.html?nl=books&emc=booksupdateema3

This is original and thought-provoking.

2. Bicycle Diaries by a Bike-Seat Philosopher
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/27/books/review/Nicholson-t.html?nl=books&emc=booksupdateema3

GI Botogol You have enough material to launch your own bicycle diaries on this side of the Atlantic. Who can beat ‘The pâté in your helmet’ incident? No one!

Botogol said...

@M4Gd - thanks for the recommendations, they look good.
Noone calls the HR helpline a second time

M4GD said...
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M4GD said...

Morning…The Botogols and friends may find this interesting:
From October 1 – November 14th, 2009
American artist duo Kahn/Selesnick, present their recent project titled “Eisbergfreidstadt” for the first time outside the US, at the Worlds End Contemporary, London.
The artistic pair simultaneously divulge and distort history through their photographs, representations and pieces of currency, deck of cards, and clothing made of fictitious cash.
http://www.wecontemporary.com/#/kahn/selesnick
I think it’s worth a visit.
PS Disclaimer: I have no connection whatsoever with the artists and/or the organizers. I mention it only for the love of everything called ‘Art.’

M4GD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
M4GD said...

Men’s Underwear as an Economic Indicator
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/27/weekinreview/27healy.html?ex=1269748800&en=13f30cabe8e75d2d&ei=5087&WT.mc_id=NYT-E-I-NYT-E-AT-0930-L22

So, Imagine you are a guest on Letterman and you are asked: Mr Botogol as a future Economics teacher what will be the Economic Indicator you will recommend to use in addition to the originals in the foregoing article?

I’m guessing you will say a cool thing like: The rate of increase in the Jedi followers! :-)

PS I’m thrilled that the NHS is dabbling in homeopathy;0)

M4GD said...

Well well well …Meta Data…may be geeky to some but not unusual! Apart from good to ‘know thyself’, to others she is a dream come true – especially for marketing and advertising agencies. And if she did not do it, It’s already done on her behalf…every time she swipes a credit card or enters in or out of a building, drives her car, visits websites, makes a phone call, adds Facebook posts, and voluntarily gives her biometrics to be stored somewhere in a not so secure government files...Her slides say: Welcome to the FW (a.k.a Fishbowl World) and the joy of its analysis! She adds: Be one step ahead of yourself and the FW as we are all marching to the beat of a song we tend to ignore - it’s called: ‘borrowed time’!

Two thumbs up for the very cool side bar selection!