Thursday, August 27, 2009

S is for the way you SUCK at communication.

I really dislike working with idiots, morons, a-holes, douche-nozzles, twat-waffles or anyone else that falls into that circus of People Who Irritate Me. But then, who does? If you do, what's the secret? And don't say booze.

It's even more frustrating sometimes working with a friend, someone I know who can be quite intelligent, when they insist on being the most difficult human being on the planet.

Okay. That may be a bit of an over exaggeration. He's just being the most difficult human in this zip code.

He sends me an email that basically says 'hey, here's a job that needs to get done, stuff needs to be ordered.' Because that's my job: to order stuff.

I take a look at the order and note some discrepancies. One section of the order says "X" is needed. Another section says "Y" is needed.

The numbers are very similar, but not exact. Since I want to make sure the right thing gets ordered, I reply back to Mr. Pain N. Ass with a very pleasant and very work appropriate version of what is essentially "WTF?"

No, really, I wrote out my concerns to make it as plain as dirt. "This says X and this says Y. Are they the same? If not please clarify."

Hey! That rhymes! I think I shall call it Ode To Asshat.

These two emails were exchanged on Tuesday. Wednesday morning arrives, and to work so do I, and when I open my emails I see that no reply has been sent. Okay, no biggie. I'll send another email!

"Wasssssup? Hey bro, can you look at the email I sent yesterday? Need more 4-1-1 on the order, yo!"

This morning? Yeah. Still nothing. Sigh. Okay. He replied to every other email I sent him in the last two days, maybe he just missed this one these two. And I have that sneaky little 'read receipt' action going so I know he hasn't even opened them yet.

So I send out Email Number Three this morning while I make a mental note to call him about it later. But he replies back to my voice messages even less frequently than he does my emails so I'd have to catch him when he's not screening calls.

Before I get the chance to act on the mental note he calls me about some other issue he has.

"Oh, by the way," I say. "Take a look at that email I sent out this morning when you get the chance."

"I'm going to be busy all day," he says. "In and out of meetings," he says.

"Okay... but if you get the chance..."

"Thursday is my busiest day."

"Yeah. Got it. You're a busy fellow. You tell me that every chance you get. But please, just take a look at it when you get a moment. I'd liked to finish processing the order--"

"Just order the parts," he says before I can finish my sentence.

I took a deep breath. Counted to 10. Refrained from banging the phone on my desk.

"I can't. That's why I sent you the email, which will take one minute of your time to read and respond to, SO WHEN YOU GET A FREE MINUTE..."

This is the kind of relationship we have. One day we'll be all sunshine and smiles and rainbow farts galore. The next we're a bunch of bitchy cats hissing at each other.

He continued to throw up more excuses as to why he couldn't read my email. At no point did I ever say it was a dire emergency that required IMMEDIATE attention so I'm getting frazzled that he has THE NERVE to get frazzled at me. I was just giving him a verbal post-it note to read a damn email when he had some damn free time. Even if it was tomorrow. That was all. No pressure.

All he had to say was, 'I'll take a look at it when I can.'


We hang up. Less than a minute later the twerp reads the email. Too busy my ass.

Then, because he likes being an ass, he responds by not responding to my original question. This is a staple in his Email Reply Repertoire.

My question was this: "X doesn't match Y. Are they the same? If not, which is needed?"

His response could have been one of the following:

1) X
2) Y
3) yes, they're the same

Either would have been perfectly acceptable. (Heh. "Acceptable." That sounds so catty.)

His actual response was this: "Order 5. They replaced the WRTT (Work Related Technical Term) without telling anyone."

Seriously. Nowhere in that reply is the answer to my inquiry. It's like trying to decode a puzzle without a decoder ring.

My reply to the reply was thus: "Yeah. I know to order 5. That wasn't the question. My question had to do with two different part numbers being listed on the order. ARE THEY THE SAME PART OR NOT?"

I've caught problems like this before. Slight mix ups. Slight typos. Shit happens. I like to keep that shit to a minimum. Shame on me.

His next reply, and I swear this is a direct copy+paste: "Not the same machine was altered tai"


It took me awhile to figure out he missed a period in there. I was thinking he meant "not the same machine" and I was ready to hit something. So, okay, not the same. That still doesn't tell me which to order. And the last bit? No friggin clue.

I called his extension but it rang and rang until it went to voice mail.

My follow up reply instead: "Not the same part. Got it. So which part IS needed? And what the hell does "tai" mean? Call me when you're not busy. I need help deciphering your crazy language."

A couple of minutes later he called.

And clarification was finally achieved.

Five seconds of his life to say 'order this one not that one.' It required no further research on his part. All he had to do was look at the numbers and go 'oh, this one.'


Yet the ability to type that in an email was beyond his capabilities. Don't give me a history of the machine. I don't care. I. Don't. Care. Just answer the damn question.

I know he's not stupid, so I'm left believing he's doing it just to be a pain in my ass. To 'get my goat' as the ol' goat would say.

I think I'll blame my premature grey hair on him.

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