Friday, November 29, 2019

Accounting Files - Is that What You Call Them?

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I now have a computer and have been tasked with following up with some delinquent customers.  I figure this should be an easy task to attack and complete successfully.  After seeing the handwritten  "delinquent list" (this should have been my first clue), I notice that some of these customers are really overdue.  I find it difficult to believe that a small company could afford to let customers go that long without paying, but I am quickly learning that I am frequently surprised here.

I ask "The Boss" to load the accounting software on my computer, or allow me access through the network.  Surprise.... we are not networked. You may find that statement surprising, my next comment will take your breath away - this organization does not have or utilize an accounting program!  When I question how AP/AR and handled, the response not only made my head spin, but also made everything revert to slow motion.  A/R was kept track of on Microsoft Word!!!   Here is how it works - each month a new Word document was started, as a sale was made (and shipped), it was entered into the word processing file (customer name, invoice number, what they purchased and what they owed).  When a customer would send payment, that line was deleted from the file.  I guess as this protocol was being explained to me, I must have given "The Boss" a strange look (my Mom used to always say that I didn't have much of a poker face), because he asked me what was wrong.  I quickly said nothing and knew that this was going to be the basis of a great story to my other business minded friends. 

As I sat down to start my task of following up on delinquent payments and quickly discovered, in addition to not having an accounting program, this organization also did not have a customer list (how the hell are they remotely successful).  As a normal thinking person would deduct, this made contacting these organizations quite difficult, because I did not have contact name, contact number, etc. 

Being able to work independently and outside of the box,  I decided that maybe I should go back to the original work order (there had to be some useful information there).   I asked where these files were located and was directed to "the third drawer of the black file cabinet"; I opened the drawer and immediately time seemed to stand still.  In this drawer were old 10 x 17 envelopes addressed to the organization (these were envelopes that had been sent to the company - I guess they practice recycling).  On the front of the used envelope I pulled out of the drawer, I saw, in big letters "SEPTEMBER".  I peered inside the envelope what I found was a hodgepodge of information - handwritten order form, work order (of course, without any contact information) and maybe some shipping information; non of which were bound together for each order.  So, if you wanted to find all the components of invoice #100, you would have to go through the ENTIRE envelope and HOPE that it was included in the correct month "file".

This task was not going to be as easy as I had once thought.

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Nothing Like Starting the Workday and Seeing Your Breath

Fall is upon us and the weather is quickly turning brisk.  Some mornings this week, I have had to lightly scrape the car windows before venturing onto the highway to reach "The Nuthouse".  This morning was very cold and the window scraping took a bit longer and required a bit more effort than usual.

The past few mornings when I sat at my "desk", it seemed a bit chilly in the office, but I just attributed it to me being incredibly wimpy (I HATE the cold - which is why I am so looking forward to vacation).  When I arrived this morning it was much colder than I had expected or than it was any previous morning.  I ACTUALLY SAW MY BREATH!!!  When I asked "The Boss" about the temperature and why it was so cold, he informed me that he has to turn the electric heat on each morning upon arrival and to save money, he turns it off each night.   

I am so happy I will be out of here before Winter actually arrives, I can only imagine how miserable it would be first thing in the AM; I bet you would see your breath well past noon.

Friday, November 15, 2019

I Learned a New Symptom of Color Blindness Today...

As I have discussed previously, we have a few "nuts" that reside in this Nut House; they seem like nice enough people (a bit strange), but all in all nice individuals.  I have begun to sense a bit of hostility between "The Boss" and the salesman Mike.  I guess a better way to describe it would be, one sided hostility - I think "The Boss" has issues with Mike.  Now, maybe it is his holy than thou, born again Christian ways, but I think it may go a bit deeper than that.  This looks like it could be an interesting, ongoing saga - I'll keep you posted. 

Now, back to the main bit of wisdom I learned today.  First of all, Mike is color blind; since he is not disarming bombs, I don't really think this issue would be a problem in his vocational choice of sales.  Clearly, I was wrong!  Today "The Boss" was totally preoccupied with an odor emitting from his office.  This odor could be the result of one of many things - garbage that has not been removed, food stuff that he (the Boss) has not consumed (the man eats CONSTANTLY) or an animal who has decided that his area looked like a nice place to end it all (I can see where that might happen). 

This ongoing preoccupation with the odor had the boss asking EVERYONE (on more than one occasion), if they could smell something in his office.  I don't know what he expected this insane questioning to do to rectify the smell; maybe if questioned enough, the smell would just go away.

Mike was out on a sales call for the morning and was fortunate, in that he had missed "smell-gate".  When he arrived back to the office, he heard "The Boss" talking about the smell to Adam in the warehouse.  Mike made the mistake of casually asking "what smell", to which "The Boss" snottily replied "your color blind, you won't be able to smell it".  I swear on my life that this was the exchange!!   Mike just shook his head and walked away.

I guess the smell in his office was emitting a red glow (isn't red the color that people suffering from color blindness cannot see?)

Monday, November 11, 2019

One Week Down (almost), Let the Memos Begin!

Well, I am almost done with my first week and I have decided that "The Boss" is a bit eccentric, I know... you say "we all are in a certain way".  I can appreciate this, but I think he might just be a bit more extreme than I am used to.  For example he LOVES to write memos! I have reported in the past, we only have a handful of people who work here and we are located in a very small space - you would think he could just stand in the middle of the room and tell everyone, but no.  The following is a memo that was received yesterday concerning the refrigerator:

To:  All Employees
From "The Boss"
Re:  Refrigerator

We are planning on emptying the refrigerator this weekend.  If you would like to reclaim any of your personal items, please do so by Friday afternoon.  All items left after Friday will be disposed of.  There are rumors that the contents are being considered to be weapons of mass destruction.  I know I am responsible for this also.

The funniest part of this memo is that the refrigerator is similar in size to those that are in college dorms.  This thing can barely hold lunch if EVERYONE brought one in, but I guess it was large enough to contain WMD's and warrant a memo.  I can't wait to see what occurs when something BIG happens here.

Basic update:  I did FINALLY receive a computer yesterday and I still haven't used the bathroom.  Good times!

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Meeting of the "Characters"

The "crew" at this organization is quite an interesting menagerie to say the least.  The warehouse has two employees and the office has three employees (this includes "the Boss"). 

We'll start with the warehouse; the warehouse manager is a large man approximately 40 years old.  In my short conversation with "Adam", I discover that he still lives at home with his parents and he is working for "fun".  Now he is not independently wealthy, but rather he just needs to work to support his pizza and beer habit.  Did I mention that the warehouse manager seems lazy and sloppy; this is just the type of person you need in a position of warehouse manager! 

The second warehouse employee is named Alex, he is approximately 45 years old and seems like a great guy.  He is quiet, minds his business and is always working on something.  He is very attentive to detail and spends a large portion of the day picking up after the sloppy warehouse manager.

The office staff consists three people; one is "the Boss", the second is a man named Mike, he is approximately 45 years and I quickly discover he is a born again Christian.  Not that there is anything wrong with the religious beliefs of an individual, but I just am just a bit uncomfortable having it brought up to me so quickly after meeting someone.  I quickly learn from "this open book" that he was a wild child during his younger years and is now trying to make up for it.  I think he trying to convince me to join his "team"

The third employee is a woman named Rachel.  Rachel is 30 something and is a bit overly friendly.  You know the type, someone who speaks and sugar spills from their mouths.  She seems very nice, but after a few moments of speaking with her I feel like I have a sugar high and I cannot get away quick enough.  She is not a large woman, but she has a tendency to wear her clothes a bit on the tight side, which is not the most flattering.

The Boss assures me he is working on hiring additional staff because business is going quite well.

After meeting this current group, I quickly have determined that this is going to be quite an interesting month!

*All names have been changed to protect the insane

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

My Little Voice Has Now Started to Scream

Well, I was able to make it past the guard shack (I guess I don't look like I am going to hold up an industrial park) and I now have to locate the "office" among all of these buildings that look exactly the same, do not have any numbers and are missing company names.  After driving around, I finally find the right place, park my car and walk toward the nondescript door on the side of the building.

As I enter the building, that will be my "home" for the next month, I couldn't help but notice the mess - there was STUFF everywhere, all areas seemed to be covered with grime and the whole area smelled a bit "different".   The area was filled, sometimes to the ceiling, with some sort of construction supplies (I guess this must be what they manufacture).  Since I was entering through the warehouse section, I was perplexed, but not very concerned (this is what warehouses always look like, right?)  Wow, was I wrong.....

I then entered the "office" area, which was covered with dust and had boxes, papers, garbage spread about (if I was smarter, I would have turned around and walked away).  I met with my supervisor (who was also the owner) and he apologized for the disarray (not the mess - but rather the disarray) and showed me to the area that would be my desk.  Again, I am overstating and giving too much credit, it wasn't a desk but rather a folding table.  I inquired about the location of my computer, to which he replied, "I haven't gotten around to getting one yet, but it is on my list"  (this "list" will soon become a long running joke). 

I spent some time with the owner getting the rundown of the business (he used to run the business from his basement, before moving here).  My curiosity was piqued, how the hell did this guy make money - it doesn't look like ANYTHING gets accomplished in this place.  Another important question was, what the hell am I going to be doing here!

I had not received a "tour" of the facility (he rented less than 1000 square feet, which was mostly warehouse space), and I needed to use the rest room.  I was told to go down the dark hall and that there were facilities both on the left and further down the hall on the right.  I guess I was numb from what I had already seen, because the words "down the dark hall" didn't send up the red flags; but it would only be moments before those "flags" would be flapping furiously in the wind.  The hall was not lit (hence the dark description from "the boss") and was billowing with construction supplies and other debris.  There were lights (or what were once lights), but they were now hanging from wires that looked like they could snap at any moment.

The bathroom I walked into looked like I had been transported into a horror movie.  It contained a window that looked like it had not been opened or cleaned this century, no sink or mirror and one toilet in the middle of the room.  The toilet was not white, but BROWN, I guess the cleaning crew had not yet visited this week.  I decided on that day that I would NEVER use the facilities while I was here.  Thank goodness I have a strong bladder!

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

My Life in the Cublicle - The Temporary Job that Has Lasted 2.5 Years!

How did I end up here?  That is a good question... I guess the answer begins with, I could not decide what I wanted to be when I grew up.  I know this is a problem faced by many individuals -- I tried college, but was more successful in discovering what I did not want to do rather than what was my true calling.  Much to the dismay of my parents, I filled some time with temporary work and actually liked the idea of changing scenery every week or so. There was no attachment, no commitment; I was like tumbleweed, I would roll into an office and roll back out before anyone really knew me.  That all changed 2 1/2 years ago.  It has been such a strange experience - sometimes it's difficult for me to even believe these things really occurred!

My placement agent called and said they had a great position for me that would last approximately four weeks.  Now keep in mind this is a longer gig than I usually agreed to, but I was saving up for a great vacation and thought that four weeks of steady pay would help me reach my ultimate goal - sand between my toes and sun on my shoulders (easily, my favorite thing)

I learned the job was at a manufacturing firm (I didn't even ask what they manufactured), situated in an "industrial park".  As I drove to the assignment, I was excited to see what this four weeks would hold and I was already figuring out what I was going to pack for my vacation.  As I came upon a guard shack, I was told I needed clearance to gain access and they had not been made aware of my arrival.  This should have been my first clue as to what was waiting for me, but as you can now imagine,  I didn't listen to that inner voice.....