Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Randomness and More

Thoughtless. Literally. This guy doesn't have a brain.

Yesterday, I received an email from a software vendor. Its name has been changed several times, such that it's unrecognizable as the company or name that I used to work for in northern California. It wasn't being sent to former employees, though; it was from the new sales representative -- the standard allow-me-to-introduce-myself salutation, followed by the be-sure-to-call-me-so-you-can-line-my-pockets-with-a-hefty-commission plea.

Pretty typical stuff. What was noticeable, and kept me from immediately deleting it was the fact that this person used the "To" line for all of his business contacts / clients, not "bcc." That bugged me. Who did he think he was, letting everyone else know who I am? And vice versa, I imagine. It would be like getting a hard copy via snail mail with the list of all of his potential clients. Not cool.

I was debating what to do with it -- respond and complain, quietly delete, nothing -- when another email zinged into my inbox, this one from one of the people who had also been directly addressed.

"Matt Moore

"You have given me one more reason to disrespect, dislike, and distrust [Your Company].

"What right do you have to broadcast my email address to your entire address book? Don't you have any net-courtesy?

"Get a clue.

"And remove me from your prospect list. [Your Company] has screwed my employers way too many times. I ain't interested now, and I won't be interested ever."

Cool. He copied everyone on it. Not so cool -- Matt Morris (incidentally, the same name as a guy I used to date. Wonder if it's him? I wouldn't put it past him to do something boneheaded like that) never responded with an apology. He one-upped himself by resending the same email, this time putting all the addresses in the bcc line. Nice.

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Cause and Effect

I know someone who works in a busy office environment with busy people who constantly and frequently need things delivered and picked up to and from clients, other executives, freelancers, other companies, etc. For this purpose, they "lease" two full-time couriers from a courier company. The only responsibility of these two couriers is to carry things. [French courrier, from Old French, from Old Italian corriere, from correre, to run, from Latin currere. See kers- in Indo-European Roots.] They are asked to be there at certain times of the day, with established runs, and when not otherwise occupied with pre-defined runs, they are to , you know, CARRY things from Point A to Destination B. Do not pass Go, do not stop, do not collect $200. Just do your job. Carry things.

I won't elaborate on all the things that go wrong with that plan on a daily basis. You wouldn't think this would be a difficult job. And maybe that's the problem. Maybe it's so simple, they feel the need to compound things by being difficult. Charge for five minutes of overtime. Refuse to take a lunch to get extra overtime. Gripe, moan and complain when asked to make a delivery. Don't show up on time. The list is endless and after awhile, nauseating. That two people can come up with so many reasons to not do something right -- amazes me.

The other day, one of the couriers, let's just call her, oh, Kathy, was asked by one of the aforementioned very busy executive assistants to deliver something. You know, she was asked to do. Her. Job. Kathy accepted the package and said to the assistant as she was turning to leave, "Lazy (insert derogatory insult reserved for women here)." Pot, meet kettle.

Shock. Seriously. The woman's job is to deliver things, and when asked to do so, rebels and verbally insults and assaults.

The assistant did the right thing -- she told the boss' assistant. Kathy was verbally reprimanded, and has been apologetic since. Not sincerely apologetic, mind you, but the type where you know you've done something naughty and don't want to get into more trouble, so you pretend to acknowledge your mistake. That kind. The wrong kind.

Yesterday, the written (first and final) warning was delivered to Kathy. (Not by courier, though. In person.) After receiving it, Kathy asked my friend, "What does 'insubordination' mean?"

(It means you shouldn't call people names when asked to do your job, dummy.)

Kathy: "The boss spoke to me about what happened, and I've been written up for it. I'm willing to take responsibility for saying what I did, but that doesn't mean I wasn't willing to do the job."

My friend: "You're lucky that (the person you were rude to) is the kind of person who would not press any kind of charges against you for hostile work environment or harassment or the other myriad of things she could do. She just won’t have anything more to do with you. She won’t do you in or anything."

Kathy: "Well, she did do me in. (pause) She got me written up.”

Her lack of ability to understand the basic fundamentals of cause and effect is probably the same lack of brains that causes her to not do her job very well. Just saying.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I went up to girls' camp on Friday. Not having any other valid excuse to go (I'm not officially part of our ward's Young Women leadership), I used the one that Linda needed my technical AV expertise for the pioneer program that night. She and I compiled/wrote/edited the script for it, C put together a fabulous slide show of pictures to match the words and music. Linda got permission from Michael McLean to use several of his songs, which was amazing. (Thanks, Michael!)

Linda acted as director, producer, musical director, and all-around amazing gal to pull it all together. She wrangled the girls together for practices several times before camp, enlisted narrators, soloists and an extremely talented actress to participate. The whole production was strung together by miracle after miracle -- from Michael personally giving us permission, to the writing and compiling of the script (the words simply flowed!), to borrowing a multimedia projector and sound system and microphones, to the girls all pulling together and doing a phenomenal job.

The program has unofficially been called "Light on a Distant Hill," because that's the name of the Michael's show that we pulled the main songs from, but that doesn't begin to describe what it was about.

July 24 is the anniversary of the Mormon pioneers arriving in the Salt Lake Valley after more than a decade of persecution at the hands of murderous mobs. That date is still celebrated annually to commemorate the sacrifice those early Saints made. Many people's lives, Mormons and non-Mormons alike, have been blessed because of those faithful pioneers. I am a descendant on both sides of my family of different pioneering families. However, many members of the church today are not. Such an important anniversary is noted not only because of the lives of our ancestors, but to also remember and ignite the flame of that same dedication and courage that we all have as modern-day pioneers.

The program starts off with some individual pioneer stories, then transitions into the "what about me?" phase, moving to the finale of how our lights need to shine from the inside out as we remember that pioneering spirit to lift and help those around us.

These meager words cannot begin to describe the combination of the script's words and feelings with the music and visuals. Trust me, it was fabulous.

Thanks to everyone who participated and helped make it a success.

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