Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I'm a tolerator, I tolerate.

I am a tolerator (I’m assuming google just hasn’t had time to update their records to show that this is a word….bear with them, they have a lot to do). And in the words of my beloved Bill Murray “I’m a sailor! I sail!” Sailing is not the point. Tolerating is.
I attended a meeting not too long ago in which we discussed the proper and improper phone rolling sequence that was occurring in the office. If Person A (who by the way, is a very important person, or VIP for the sake of this post) doesn’t answer their phone, it rolls to Person B. Person B’s phone also rings at Person D’s station. If B doesn’t answer, it’s up to C to pick it up. Although by this time the phone has been ringing for 12 minutes, they still have 2 rings to pick it up. If they can’t catch it that quick (or are “around the corner” which is slang for “using the restroom” which is apparently too rude to say aloud these days….) then the real fun begins. Once A, B, C, and D don’t pick it up, it just starts ringing everywhere. Every phone in the entire building starts ringing until some Unsuspecting Secretary (US) answers the phone “This is Amy, how can I help you” and then the person who called make the request, which of course  US can’t help with at all given that she’s never even heard of (much less met) VIP A.  
The point of all this ringing and rolling is quite simply this: When a human being calls, VIP A wants a human being to answer. For some reason it doesn't matter how many human beings they have to talk to in order to get who they really want. A human being must answer. Every. Single. Time. In theory it’s less frustrating to talk to a real live person who knows nothing about why you are calling or who you really need, than get the “3 rings. Voice mail.” procedure that is used by every other company on the planet.
The best part of this meeting was the following exchange offered by VIP A and Person B.
A: “VIP 007 called me the other day and said he got my voice mail. How does that happen?”
B: “I don’t know. It should never do that.” Then B proceeds to explain the entire rolling sequence. (see above)
A: “Huh. So voice mail never comes in, right?”
B: “Right.”
A: “Must have been a fluke in the system.” (ready to move on.)
B: Furiously writing in her notebook “Well, we’ll figure out what happened. We can’t tolerate flukes.”
Seriously. B can’t tolerate flukes. She was absolutely serious. While I might have painted this picture to make A and B look like insane human beings, they are actually very nice, down to earth individuals and I think the world of them both.
But seriously? What kind of person can’t tolerate flukes? I sure can.
In fact I LIVE for flukes.
Josh: “How come we didn’t have dinner tonight?”
Me: “Dunno. Usually we do. Must’ve been a fluke.”
Boss: “Why did this report show 20 instead of 10?”
Me: “Hmmmm. Certainly not because of any error on my part. Gotta be a fluke.”
I probably give the almighty Fluke a lot more credit than is deserved. One thing I know for sure is that I am definitely a fluke-tolerator....I don’t think it’s really a bad thing.

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