Thursday, 28 August 2008

Get notted…

So I am in charge for the next couple of days. Excellent. Interrupted writing time. Oh yes, and I’ll probably do that in charge stuff as well…at some point…maybe at the end of chapter 7. Anyway I was telling an ex-work colleague this via email. No, not best friend Ethel because she is very, very sick and off work - translation = painting her house. So the ex-work colleague – let’s call her Svetlana - and I were reminiscing about a place I used to work at. She still works there. It is a government department. I am still not sure how I lasted a year in that place as me and it were a really bad fit. I am not good on rules. Yes – probably not the best person to leave in charge but there it is. I am very bad when it comes to obeying other people's rules. At this old job, I would, without fail, get 'notted' on a daily basis. It was a pain in the arse. What is notted? Is it legal? Does it hurt? Will it scar? All good questions.

To get a 'not' means you haven't followed a rule - as in 'you are not good enough.' Yes, I had a few hundred nots on my record. The rules were all to do with the placement of notes on a file. They had to be set out in a certain way and if by some chance or really slack arse behaviour, like me, you set them out willy-nilly in your own interpretation of note taking then you got notted. Nothing was allowed to be in abbreviations and everything had to follow a certain pattern or you were counseled as to why you had a problem with following procedure. Yes, I got counseled a lot. Is there a problem Amarinda? No. Do you find it hard to read the instructions? There are instructions? Do you realize by putting the notes in against standard is wrong? Yes, it will cause a tear in the fabric of society as we know it and that will never be able to be repaired. This is serious Amarinda. I know, it’s nearly 4pm and I don’t want to be late going home so let’s wrap this counseling up shall we? Yes, I am a total pain in the arse. I would hate me as an employee. Funny this is, it was grudgingly acknowledged that I did the most work. I think that drove them extra special crazy that I just ignored the stupid rules.
Example of my terrible note behaviour -

Lmtcmb re pif extn npa will ref to oca - perfectly obvious isn’t it?

s/w mrs - advsd deny if no $$ by cob & recon 2 ap -
well duh

Mr sd shld py by c/c @ p-shop - advsd no $$ no srv
- easy

These are bad naughty notes. They are forbidden on government department land. If you have ever worked in an Aussie call centre though these are second nature to you. There are others but they are too obscure – and some we just made up for fun to confuse people. So, looking at those non standard government notes you can probably tell I got notted a lot. It really didn’t worry me much as I knew and they knew they were not about to sack a fast worker. They just lectured me harder on writing properly. My editor is now nodding her head in understanding. Funny thing was I used to get asked to train a lot of people and yeah, I did my best, depending on mood, to teach the right thing as I believe it was. I just enjoyed the wrong way for myself. There's something fun about being a pain in the arse.

Does notting scar? Oh yeah. Getting notted used to upset a lot of people because they would walk in and first thing they would see would be all their mistakes. Not a pleasant way to start the day with. Morale in the mornings was lower than a snake’s belly. Yet the hierarchy could not see that as ‘rules had to be obeyed’. So what if a stray comma or a full stop wasn’t in the right place? Is it worth making a record on someone's file about? Is it worth slapping someone over the hand for? Hell no. So I have to ask why such a bloody stupid system existed? They’re in all workplaces. These workplaces then wonder why they bleed staff. Constantly telling people they are ‘not’ good enough is just wrong. Tight, stringent rules are wrong. People are not machines and cannot always be perfect. The stress levels in that job were insane. Yes, some rules should be obeyed – i.e - road rules for they are for the good of all but when some tinpot god writes a work manual and wants everyone to obey it slavishly or else then that tinpot god needs to have a dose of reality. Problem is they never seem to. They are the ones that are pushed higher up the corporate ladder. Work? Stupid. Survive? Any way you can. After all work is not real life.

What is the most dumb arsed rule you ever had to follow? Or are you a thwarter of rules? I cannot be the only one…come on – shock us.
Go ahead: Live with abandon. Be outrageous at any age. What are you saving your best self for?


barbara huffert said...

I used to go to staff meetings and listen to the montor staff did this, this, this, and this wrong week after week after week. After suggesting to my boss that management throw out the occasional monitor staff did this correctly to help encourage the monitor staff week after week after week I am now excused from the meetings.

Anny Cook said...

No personal e-mails... It was considered personal to say "Have a nice day." at the end of a company e-mail.

No personal phone calls. Even if the school was calling to say that your kid was bleeding. The last personal phone call I received was the call from the househunk telling me we had been transferred. Yay!

Regina Carlysle said...

The way I'd have to answer the phone at one workplace really got my panties in a twist. It was stupid, overly cheerful and longer than death. Years ago, but it went something like this. "Good afternoon. It's a great day at Tradin' Times! (said in a peppy voice) How may I help you today?" Everyone HATED it, especially the men. Texas men don't like to say things that make them sound like wuss' and this sure did.

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

Having to wear pantyhose in the summer. YUCK! and the dumb phone things too. hate those.

Sandra Cox said...

Good blog but my brain is too fried to mention anything worthwhile other than don't you hate workin the day job?

Ashley Ladd said...

The worst rule? Having to wear uniforms in the AF and King's Island. I used to hate wearing them.

At my day job, the switchboard operator has to answer, "Peace Be With You (name of company)".

As for the abbreviations, I can read most of them, mainly because they look a lot like my heiroglyphics at the day job - guess customer service is alike world wide. I always use "cc" for credit card and "$" for dollars/money and "@" for about or approximately and I drop vowels. We're only supposed to use one line per entry so we have to write short.