August 24 2006

Work Diaries (30): The END

So I finally did it, I quit. My boss couldn’t believe his ears, he kept on asking me if I was sure, and if there was anything he could do to keep me, but I’ve given him many chances, and I’ve worked with him long enough to know that his promises are nothing but ineffective words.
It’s really funny how you work your head off and no one even seems to notice until you make up your mind to leave, only then it’s as if you’ve whacked them with a magical stick making them finally realize they’re actually losing a hard-working uncomplaining overqualified person. And as a result they will start bombarding you with calls and emails to convince you of staying… but that’s when they also realize that it’s really too late.

Anyway, after finally getting over my resignation, my boss decided to look for a replacement. He thought, the sooner he hires a new one, the more time (s)he will be trained by me. So he had a recruitment ad published every other day for 2 weeks. He interviewed a huge number of candidates, it was either they were, “not good enough”, or they were “good enough”, but when told about the demanding nature of the job they freaked out, some believing it was underpaid, and others complaining it was too much for a single person and even if the salary was tripled they wont take it… the best part was, my boss, or my ex-boss (damn it feels great to say that), never told the candidates about the true nature of the job and the real load of work, he only mentioned few parts of the horrible truth!
Anyway this whole interviewing process was a nightmare, and after each interview he would come back to me and ask me whether I’ve changed my mind and would like to keep my job… UNTIL one day and after my lunch break he came to me with a big smile asking me to call the owner of the last CV he received. I went over the CV, honestly, it seemed really impressive. A graduate from a prestigious university abroad, very good experience, and above all an engineer, I mean if I am a languages’ graduate and everyone believed I did a marvellous job even in the technical issues, how would an engineer do? Plus my x-boss is an engineer as well, they’ll get along just fine!
I called the lady and she sounded confident, I was relieved because time was passing by and the less days left, the harder it was for me to teach the new employee ALL what I used to do!

ex-Boss: She’s the one, I felt she was just like you, and I have a very good feeling about her. Call her at once and inform her that she’s been hired.
Eman: My pleasure, this is good news, can’t wait to meet her and train her.
ex-Boss: Great. By the way, I will give you her contract of employment to pass it to the lawyer, then we’ll work on her insurance policy, I want things to be perfect for her to feel motivated.
Eman: (Perfect! Motivation! Words I’ve never experienced in your damn company)
Whatever you say!

I called her, she was thrilled, I was too, I couldn’t wait for the day I’ll finally hand over my keys and walk out that door with no return. Also, I just love passing good news to people… just as much as I hate passing bad news to them.

Day 1: I finally got to meet my replacement. Usually, I’m terrible in this whole first impression analysis. Whenever I think a person was great, they turn out to be awful, and the other way around.
My first impression was: she’s nothing I thought she was, nothing near what my ex-boss thought she was. She looked stupid, spoke stupid, stared at me stupidly and everything about her was just not right!
Which –in my terms- automatically translated into: she was the perfect replacement.

Day 2: Training began. I started slowly and elaborately explained how things work. Something I never had, I had no training whatsoever during all the time I worked for this company.
She kept nodding and whenever I asked her if she understood, she’d say: were you a teacher? I’d never get such training and such patience anywhere else. Thanks, I completely understand.

Day 3:
Eman: Are you sure you’re following, I have this feeling you’re not completely getting what I’m saying!
Her: No I am. Everything clear.
Eman: Any questions till now?
Her: Where did you get your glasses from, they’re cool?
Eman: excuse me!!!!

Day 4:
Eman: Before we go any further, I would like you to practice what I’ve theoretically taught you till now. So here’s the PC, show me how you do it.
Her: Hmm, let’s see. I’m a bit nervous.
Eman: Take your time.
(1 hour later)
Eman: Are you sure you understood what I was teaching you the past couple of days.
Her: Frankly, I have no idea whatsoever.
Eman: (I thought so!) ok, we’ll go over it again.(looks like my 1st impression thingie is finally working)

Day 5: I get her contract. She’s getting paid double my salary starting from day one, with a 5% share of the annual company profit, which I never had, and a medical insurance, that I never had either. Not to mention the many other benefits I never even dreamt of having…

Day 6:
Eman: We went over this a hundred times for God’s sake, PLEASE FOCUS and ask whenever you feel you don’t understand, we’re running out of time here!
Her: Ok ok. Just this one time. And hey, you have to teach me how you make this coffee, it’s fantastic!
Eman: (I already did you airhead)

Day 8:
Her: You know what, maybe I do understand what you’re saying but I get so nervous when I apply that I forget all info. So would you be kind enough to WRITE me everything you’re saying so that I could keep record!
Eman: (I can’t believe she’s asking ME to write her notes) Can’t you take notes yourself.
Her: The thing is, my handwriting gets a bit weird when I write fast that I understand absolutely nothing when I refer to it, plus I like your handwriting. You can write while you’re explaining to save time.
Eman: (Oh really!)

Day 12:
(at that point I actually stopped feeling my fingers, and I can’t believe I’ve written her all these papers)
Eman: So that’s about all of it. Now, we have few time left, let’s use it to practice. Before we do, do you have any questions about any term, any duty, any technical or legal or accounting task?
Her: How did you manage to do this alone? I’m gonna ask for assistance or I’ll quit.
Eman: (that soon!) well, you’ll get things under control in no time as long as you keep your attention with me.
Her: No seriously, I can’t do this alone. I’m talking to the boss.

Day 16:
ex-Boss: After I return from my business trip I will make sure to get her an assistant, she says it’s too much.
Eman: (*^&#*#^&***) I thought we were not allowed to even dream of assistance here, wasn’t that what you told me earlier?
ex-Boss: I admit I was so unfair to you, so I wont do the same mistake with her, can’t lose such a good candidate. Isn’t she just smart?
Eman: Well, you hired her and I’m training her (while I on the other hand, had no one to turn to and had to figure out things on my own). Why don’t you test her, give her a task and see how she’s doing!
ex-Boss: No need for that, don’t want to get her nervous, I know she’s good.
Eman: (I warned you) Ok then I guess I did my part, few days and I’ll be gone.

Day 18:
Eman: Sure, no final questions?
Her: Well, I’ve been wanting to ask you something ever since I came here.
Eman: (finally) go ahead.
Her: Is this your natural eye color?
Eman: (should I throw myself from the window, or would electrifying myself with the fax wires be faster?)

Day 20:
Eman: You haven’t done anything right. I explained, I wrote you everything, neither my words nor my written notes that you keep referring to every 2 minutes got you to do things right, WHY DON’T U ASK WHEN U DON’T UNDERSTAND!
Her: Explain to me this one more time please.
Eman: (would somebody be kind enough to shoot me!)

Day 22:
Eman: Look, I went through this over and over, you ask no questions, and you didn’t do one right thing ever since you came, and now you’re asking me to chill and GOSSIP! I have no time for gossiping, and you need to know that I wont be there for you when I leave, don’t count on me helping you after I walk out this door!
Her: I promise I wont bother you at all. And now enough work and tell me, this woman next door, what’s her story, she’s kind of weird! And this young man upstairs…
Eman: (what’s this? Am I getting a heart attack, oh please God no!)

Day 25:
Eman: Are you sure you don’t want to test her?
ex-Boss: No. I’m sure of her smartness and abilities.
Eman: Ok then tomorrow is my last day I would like to have a small meeting with both of you to finalize things before I leave.
ex-Boss: You got it.

Last day:
(After explaining to my ex-boss how I’ve trained her and showed him my handwritten files, I asked both of them whether they had any questions)
ex-Boss & Her: No everything’s clear.
Eman: Then I guess I’m done, will leave now and I expect you to respect my personal life and refer to me only in emergencies.
ex-Boss & Her: clear.
Eman: Bye then.
ex-Boss: Thank you for everything Eman, you’ll be greatly missed, you’ve been so great!
Eman: (what did he just say? I can’t believe it! Is that him speaking?) I’ll miss here too (what a liar you are Eman). Thanks a lot.

I took my papers and things, handed over the keys, opened the door, walked away, and I never even had the least urge to look back to get a final glimpse of this place that’s been a part of my life for over 2 years. I didn’t even have this itch I usually have after resigning, to think: God what have I done! I didn’t have regrets, didn’t feel a fraction of bitterness or sadness for leaving.
The weather was cool that day, little soft drops of rain tickled my face, I headed to the car, and saw everything differently, the street didn’t look the same anymore, the neighbourhood was different… I felt like a bird let out of a cage to taste the delicious freedom.
When I got inside the car, I opened the windows to let in fresh air and suddenly had this wild scream of joy that caused a young man passing by me to freak out and look at me as if I was just released from some kind of mentally-challenged facility. But I was overwhelmed with happiness to care about anything else.
It was a feeling I’ll never ever forget for as long as I’d live. This company was out of my life!
P.s. It wasn’t… I suffered for about a month after leaving because my ex-boss realized how big a mistake he’s done hiring my replacement. They both kept calling me and emailing me to help them get the work correctly done as if I still worked there. The only way I ended things seriously was by being mean, i.e. turning off my cell phone, not replying to their emails and simply pretending I didn’t exist.
And that folks, THAT, was the real end to my work nightmare…

August 2 2006

“1 Million Arabs Not Worth A Jewish Fingernail”

Those were the words of extremist Rabbi Yaacov Perrin, who murdered praying Palestinians back in 1994.
Arabs feel, now more than ever, that those words reflect the opinion of the whole world and not the Rabbi’s alone. Their lives are worthless compared to Israelis. They
believe that the world is fine with thousands of Arabs being displaced and butchered in cold blood, but let someone harm one Israeli, and the world will go crazy.

Just came across a great article by Sandy Tolan, the article, although a bit long, but is definitely worth reading. I’ve selected few parts of it to share on my blog, you can read
the article in full here.

“Under the pretext of forcing the release of a single soldier “kidnapped by terrorists” (or, if you prefer, “captured by the resistance”), Israel has done the following: seized members of a democratically elected government; bombed its interior ministry, the prime minister’s offices, and a school; threatened another sovereign state (Syria) with a menacing overflight; dropped leaflets from the air, warning of harm to the civilian population if it does not “follow all orders of the IDF” (Israel Defense Forces); loosed nocturnal “sound bombs” under orders from the Israeli prime minister to “make sure no one sleeps at night in Gaza”; fired missiles into residential areas, killing children; and demolished a power station that was the sole generator of electricity and running water for hundreds of thousands of Gazans.

In the most recent Israeli attacks on Gaza, as in countless explosions of battles past, the trauma is only reengaged. Fifty-eight summers after the Nakba — as Palestinian women again sell off their gold to buy olives and bread; as Israeli planes again drop leaflets with dire warnings for Arab civilians; as doctors lacking medicines or electricity again struggle to rescue the wounded — a déjà vu settles over the old men and women of the refugee camps, and in the vast diaspora beyond, reminding them of yet another bitter anniversary year.The latest attacks by Israel in Gaza, ostensibly on behalf of a single soldier, recall the comments by extremist Rabbi Yaacov Perrin, in his eulogy for American Jewish settler Baruch Goldstein, who in 1994 slaughtered 27 Palestinians praying in the Cave of the Patriarchs, part of the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron. “One million Arabs,” Perrin declared, “are not worth a Jewish fingernail.”

Israelis, too, are a traumatized people, and Israel’s current actions are driven in part by a hard determination, born of the Holocaust, to “never again go like sheep to the slaughter.” But if “never again” drives the politics of reprisal, few seem to notice that the reprisals themselves are completely out of scale to the provocation: For every crude
Qassam rocket falling usually harmlessly and far from its target, dozens, sometimes hundreds of shells rain down with far more destructive power on the Palestinians. For
one missing soldier, a million and a half Gazans are made to suffer. Today, Israel’s policy is a case of “never again” gone mad.
The irony is that, contrary to helping build the safe harbor they have sought for so long, the Israeli government, just like the U.S. in Iraq, is only sowing the seeds of more hatred and rage.”

April 25 2006

Work Diaries (29): It’s About Time!

2 Months Earlier…
I have really had it with my boss, he keeps giving me more and more tasks, more and more responsibilities, more and more duties, as if I’m some kind of robot. I had to face him and have a very serious talk with him to explain that I can no longer go on this way, no matter how good I am, I’m still flesh and blood, I can’t continue this way, this is pure slavery. And I don’t want to keep whining and complaining about how much I hate my job, I had to do something. I did try before to draw some limits, but they never worked, maybe coz I never used a really serious way of discussion! So I decided to go right away and talk to him. And just when I pick up myself to go to his office, I find him at my office door…
Boss: Eman, I need you to leave everything and take a look at this, I want you to translate this, then go to our client in person, hand it out to him, get it signed by him, drop by our lawyer, get the contract approved , come back here before 3 and scan the contract as well as the first 70 pages of the proposal, and have them emailed to our headquarters by 5!
Eman: Well, I’m afraid it’s impossible, I can’t do all this alone, in that short time, look, I’ve been meaning to talk to you about this whole thing, seriously…
Boss: Eman, let’s do the talking later, this is really urgent, everything emailed by 5, end of story. (he goes away)
Eman: WAIT! I cannot do all this.
Boss: Sorry? what’s up Eman? what’s this new tone!
Eman: Actually, we need to talk right now, I will not do anything else before we’re done with the conversation.
Boss:(looking really pissed off) Ok, make it quick, let’s talk in my office.
We go to his office. He picks up some kind of paper, adds it to a pile of files, and gives them all to me.
Boss: I need those double-checked and signed by you by tomorrow afternoon. So you were saying?
Eman: Listen, I believe you’ve got used to me doing everything here, I’m basically doing every single thing in the office. I’m no machine, I have capabilities, and when I say I can’t do this or that, you get offended and accuse me of not doing my job.
Boss: I see where this is going, look, if you mean you need me to hire a new employee, then better not have those dreams, I’m never EVER going to hire someone to help.
Eman: But I can’t go on like that. Look at our branches worldwide, my work is done by 5 employees, each is paid double my salary!
Boss: So it’s about money huh!
Eman: No, although I believe I’m really underpaid, but still I’m arguing about exhaustion here, I can’t do all this alone. I’m expected to give you professional quality work on all levels, on time, with no help whatsoever, and I get nothing in return, no appreciation, no money, no promotion, nothing but more work! it’s not fair, and I wont wait till I make mistakes and take responsibilities of unbelievable pressure ok!
Boss: Listen, there’s no raise, because our revenues weren’t that much. And I’d rather help you myself than hire a new employee and pay him/her a salary. Ok. I’ll help you out and will do my best not to overload you.
Eman: (not completely convinced, but at least I’ll give it a last chance) Fine, starting this minute, we’ll split work.
I end up doing the whole thing alone, coz it turns out he had an URGENT meeting and couldn’t make it to the lawyer.
For a whole month, I get no assistance whatsoever, just more and more work to do. Not only from my boss, but from our head management abroad. Tight deadlines, a lot of work, and I’m supposed to be on time and expected to make no mistakes whatsoever.
Continue reading

January 27 2006

Work Diaries (28): The Danish Cartoonist!

Today isn’t just my day. I’m sick, exhausted and working my head off to meet deadlines that have been given to me in a very short notice! Anyway, few minutes after I’ve got back from my lunch break, a client (a foreigner, doesn’t matter what nationality) is at the company door. He came to meet the boss, who was out. So I asked him to wait in my office till my boss arrives.
After a quick chitchat I got back to my work and he just looked through the window. Suddenly he strikes me with this question.
Client: You must be feeling ashamed of what your people are doing!
Eman: Sorry! (what the hell is he talking about)
Client: You know, the Danish cartoonist and the whole fuss Muslims did about that, come on, boycotting Denmark, asking for a punishment… this is quite silly I must say. (laughs)
Eman: Aha, that’s what you’re talking about then!
Client: I mean no offence to you, you’re different, you’re open-minded, not like those backward conservatives! are you even 100% Arab?

Continue reading

December 18 2005

Work Diaries (27): Talk about “deadlines”!

So I took 5 workdays off to be able to go to London… from Monday to Friday.
When I came back, first thing I did was check my emails, and what do I find?
I find an email from my boss, who approved my days off request, and signed it as well…

Subject: FWD: URGENT!
Can you please take care of the below query, I have no time at all. Please pay attention to the deadline!

(My Boss’s name)

—–Original Message—-
From: *********
Sent: Wednesday, December 07, 2005 8:00 AM
To: (My Boss’ name)
Subject: URGENT!
Importance: High

Good morning,

Please, I need you to send me the ————————–.
Please consider this a HIGHLY URGENT query.
I expect your feedback by the end of TODAY.


September 7 2005

Work Diaries (26): now this is embarrassing!

Today was a very busy and tough day for me at work. I was feeling a bit sick for the past couple of days, and then I got a quick, yet heavy, rain shower on my way to my in-laws’ place yesterday, so today I woke up feeling worse.

I had to work on a report for my boss, because he was too busy, and then just around my only lunch break, he remembered that we had a deadline for a client’s proposal. So I had to work my head off to meet the deadline, or else, we’ll be in a very bad situation.
I felt I almost passed out! But we got things done and I had my lunch.
When I got back to the office, I found my boss with a very angry face, he told me:
Boss: Eman, I’m in deep SHIT! Sorry for my language! (he always says “shit” and follows up with an apology!)
Eman: Why’s that? Is there something wrong with the proposal?
Boss: No, not that, I went to their headquarters to hand it out personally, but they said the time was over and they can’t accept our proposal any more! I asked to meet the manager but he was out! I’m afraid we lost a project!

Like I even had the strength to care!! All I said was: oh, all that work for nothing!!! And went to my office. Out of curiosity, I looked in the papers of the client to check on the terms. I found out that the deadline is today indeed, but the last time to submit the proposal is 5 p.m.! And it was still 3:30 p.m.!!
I went to the boss, explained the thing to him, he was happy, and taken with joy he said: Eman, you saved us, I’ll leave you the honour of going there yourself to submit the proposal!
I had no power to walk one more step, I told him that, and he said that he has a meeting coming up! So he basically left me no choice but go there myself!
I reached the client’s building at 4:10 p.m., I introduced myself to the receptionist, handed out my business card, explained why I was there, she asked me to go to the 2nd floor.
The 2nd floor had another receptionist, I introduced myself, gave my business card, explained why I was there, and then she asked me to go to the 4th floor.
Seeing that it was the last floor in this building I was happy I wouldn’t be asked to go to a 5th or 6th floor. So with a smiling face, I introduced myself AGAIN, gave another business card, explained why I was there, and then, the receptionist kindly asked me to go back to the 3rd floor, where I introduced myself and all, and then the receptionist told me to go to the secretary’s office on the left.
I went there, to find this lovely office overlooking the managers meeting room. I explained the whole issue to the secretary, and she said she can do nothing, it’s up to the manager. So she pointed at him through the glass window and asked me to simply go in.
I saw that he was in the middle of a meeting, with many people surrounding him, a board, a projector and all. So I asked her: don’t you think you should at least notify him before I get in.
She said: if I do, you’ll have to wait and might pass the deadline time! So this is the only way I can help. I’ll just pretend I didn’t see you and you went there by yourself, ok!
I knew it was wrong and I had to wait, but well, it’s either that or we’ll lose a project! So I said to myself: what the hell! I’m going there, I knocked on the door, he looked at me, I had a very very very serious face, so he waved his hand asking me to get in, being happy that he let me in without complications, I was so proud, I smiled, walked in his direction with fast steady steps, my head up high, so confident, so optimistic that he’d accept our proposal. He was also walking in my direction, and then BOOM!
No, we didn’t hit each other, it was my face against the damn extremely clean invisible glass door! It was too strong that I couldn’t feel my nose for the few first minutes!
I turned all red, the whole meeting room were staring at me, some laughing, some feeling sorry for my red nose… ah it was so so embarrassing!
The manager offered me a glass of water, and asked if I was alright. I thanked him and then I saw my face in the mirror opposite to me, and my face features on the glass door I hit, and then all I did was laugh!
The manager, who was hardly holding his laughs first, surrendered and laughed along. He then listened to what I had to say about the deadline and said: We can’t make you come all the way here, and have your nose hit that strong, and then let you down.
Give me that proposal!

And so I went back to the office to my boss with great news and a red nose! 🙂

August 3 2005

Work Diaries (25 ): Fax Me Baby One More Time!

Today was unbelievable, my fax machine kept beeping all day long, no, not too many faxes, it was only one.
The thing is, a company we deal with sent us a fax in the morning. It had the name of another company, i.e. it was not meant to reach us, but obviously it was sent to us by accident, and since the info is SUPPOSED to be confidential, I immediately called the sender and explained to her that she has to re-send the fax to the other company. She thanked me and apologized for the mistake.
Just as I hung up, the fax machine started beeping the receiving signal again, I checked it out: the same fax! So I called again.
Eman: Miss, seriously, you have the wrong number, make sure you send it to the right company this time.
Sender: Oops! Sorry, I’ll make sure this doesn’t happen again.

10 minutes later…
beeeeep (the fax machine receiving). I take a look and AGAIN the same damn fax! So, I call.
Eman: Hi, I..
Sender: (in a rude manner) YOU AGAIN! What do you want this time?
Eman: I’m the one who’s supposed to be angry, so lower your voice while speaking and get this straight: YOU SENT US THE FAX BY MISTAKE AGAIN!
Sender: ok ok, will deal with this.

20 minutes later…
Again the same fax. So I call AGAIN!
Eman: what’s the matter with you? Why do you keep sending us this fax?
Sender: I’m fed up really!
Eman: YOU? Ok listen miss, honestly, if I was some cheap bastard I wouldn’t give a damn, but I’m being really nice here and I’m doing you a damn favor, WHICH you are not appreciating. For the last time I’m telling you to check out the number, or tell you what, write down the correct number, here you go…. (I give her the number)
Sender: I have the right number, so..
Eman: please just let’s make sure you have it.
Sender: Ok
Eman: here you go(……..). So now, if I get this fax one more time, I’m going to talk to your manager, understood!
Sender: is that a threat?!
Eman: yeah dear it is, you’ve wasted enough time and paper for nothing, you are sabotaging the receiving of other important faxes we are awaiting, and above all, you’ve sent confidential info to us, which will get you in big trouble if you don’t look out.
Sender: ok, ok.

2 minutes later…
I get the very same fax. I call her manager and explain everything.
Manager: (shocked) WHAT!
Eman: Just like I told you. Now I mean no harm to anyone, just make sure this doesn’t happen again.
Manager: No problem at all. I truly apologize.

5 minutes later…
(beeeep) .. I check the fax, and FINALLY I got a different fax that is really for us.
But wait, there’s another (beeep), what the hell? it’s the same old fax again!!!

I faxed them back their fax with a note that says: WRONG FAX NUMBER! but I didn’t do this only once, I faxed them my note every 15 minutes even when they called and said they got my fax. I know that’s evil and so unlike me, but to hell with everything, I wanted to teach them a lesson 😉

May 13 2005

Work Diaries (24): Get me the ticket!

We hired a freelancer to work with us on a very important project. Of course we’re responsible for all his reservations.
I contacted the hotel 2 weeks before his arrival, everything went so smooth. Actually I never had problems with any hotel I dealt with here, except for one, and it was just regarding some formalities with their boss. Other than that, hotels in Tunisia are so reliable, helpful and hospitable.

Then I had to make an internal flight reservation for our freelancer. I never had any problems with any travel agency I dealt with either. But there’s this one that we found the best so we kept dealing with them. But this time was an exception!
I made a reservation 1 month in advance for an internal flight. I got the confirmation, and THEY suggested they’d drop by our office to deliver the ticket and get the payment upon delivery. I agreed!
Of course I called every other day to get the ticket but they always assured me they’d bring it “tomorrow”.
The guy arrived, few days left and we have no ticket. I called and suggest I’d send them someone to pick it up and give them a cheque, but they INSISTED they’d make up for the inconvenience caused by the delay and will deliver it themselves. Again, made the same mistake and AGREED!
1 day before the flight: They call and apologize because they wont be able to deliver it. I fight with them, transfer them to my boss, who fights with them again, and then AGREES that they deliver the ticket next morning since the flight is at 3 p.m.
The day of the flight:
8 a.m.: I call to remind them how urgent it is they keep their promise, they say: Don’t Worry!
10 a.m.: I call again, they tell me: Stop Worrying, don’t you trust us?
11 a.m.: I call again, they tell me: sorry, we can’t deliver it. If you like you can come.
The boss & freelancer were in a meeting with a client until an hour before the flight. I can’t leave the office, because there are tax audits who will come in 30 minutes. I call the boss…
Eman: Hi, we have a problem, the travel agency can’t deliver the ticket!
Boss: what? Those x@*^&*%^#%^& …He hangs up.
I redial: Boss, so what do we do now?
Boss: those H@^&#()#*()KHJDHJKD …He hangs up
I redial: Ok, they suck big time, but what do we do?
Boss: deal with it. Those &*(HDSO&()#@HL
And he hangs up, leaving me the responsibility of “dealing with it”!
I try to call a messenger to go there, but they are not available. So I call the agency and do just like my boss: DEAL WITH IT, I WANT THE TICKET ON MY DESK ASAP!
10 minutes later I get a fax from them: Dear Mrs. Eman, we were finally able to solve the problem, we will send you the ticket first thing in tomorrow morning!
I call them and remind them he should be on board at 3 p.m. TODAY! They explain they can’t deliver it today no matter what. So I end up begging the messenger to make an exception and go pick the ticket, he does, he saves the day and the freelancer got the ticket on time.

I call them and ask them why this has happened, although they’ve always been very professional, they answer: you should’ve made the reservation early enough!!

April 29 2005

Work Diaries (23) : Damn Reservations!

Reservations! They’re supposed to be the means of saving people hours of waiting for an available table, saving them the embarrassment of finding no place on a special occasion, and most important of all, they’re supposed to guarantee a respectful service to customers and insure the positive cooperation of the place.

In my case, reservations have never served the purpose they’re meant to serve, and instead of simplifying things, they always complicated everything for me.
I really don’t know whether it’s coincidence, bad luck or what exactly that succeeds in making me suffer from restaurant reservations.

Anyway, here are some examples of my reservation nightmares…

1. I would like to make a reservation, PLEASE!
Eman: Hi, I would like to make a reservation for 5 people at 1:00 p.m.
Waiter: Ok, under what name?
Eman: …….
Waiter: How many people?
Eman: 5
Waiter: Done, 5 people under (….) for dinner
Eman: no, lunch, today at 1 p.m.
Waiter: Ok. Today, 1 p.m. (…), 2 people! Bye
(He hung up, I redial)
Eman: Hi, I just called concerning today’s reservation.
Waiter: Under what name?
Eman: (….)
Waiter: how many people?
Eman: I just called a minute ago, today (….) 1 p.m., FIVE people!
Waiter: Ah, remembered you, didn’t you say 2?
Eman: that’s why I’m calling again. It’s 5.
Waiter: ifff, ok, 5.
Eman: confirmed?
Waiter: YES!
(hung up)

At 1 p.m. my boss calls:
Boss: Eman, there is no reservation for us! Did you forget?
Eman: that’s impossible, put the waiter on.
Waiter: I have absolutely no idea about a reservation for them.
Eman: but I called this morning and everything was confirmed!! How come!
Waiter: sorry but we exchange shifts, so morning shifts are different than noon!
Eman: WHAT!! And why are reservations made for?
Waiter: so that you call and make a resrvation!
Eman: This is what I DID!
Waiter: you called in the wrong time!
(And my boss ended up hating me for the embarrassing situation and went on looking for another restaurant!)

2. Later please…
Eman: Hi, I’m calling to make a reservation.
Waiter: ok, let me take your details.
Eman: Reservation for (….), 3 people,…
Waiter: Wait a sec I don’t have a pen.
Eman: Ok, I’ll wait for you to get one.
Waiter: there are no pens on my desk.
Eman: ok I’ll hold till you go get one.
Waiter: I’m not going to look for A pen, just call later.
(and he HUNG UP)

3. No Answer…
Eman: Hi, I’d like to make a reservation please.
Waiter: …(silent)
Eman: Hello?! Can you hear me?
Waiter: yes, I can.
Eman: great, are there available places for dinner?
Waiter:…(silent again)
Eman: Coz I want to make a damn reservation.
Waiter: …(silent again)
Eman: This is so unbelievable, would you put on someone I can talk to?
…Toot, toot, toot, toot…
(obviously, he hung up)

4. Not in the mood…
Eman: Hi, I’d like to make a reservation.
Waiter: do you know what time it is?
Eman: 11 a.m.
Waiter: why the hell are you calling that early?
Eman: Sorry?
Waiter: ring me back again in 2 hours, what are you people, don’t you have manners?!
(and… he hung up)

5. Louder!
Eman: can I make a reservation for 2 tonight?
Waiter: What? Can you speak louder?
Eman: (in a louder tone) I would like to make a reservation for 2!
Waiter: WHAT?! I can’t hear you! LOUDER!
Eman: (in a “louderer” ;P tone)……….
(and he HUNG UP)

6. I give up…
Eman: Hi, are there available places for today’s lunch.
Waiter: Sure. How many people?
Eman: 2
Waiter: contact number please
Eman: (……)
Waiter: what’s the name?
Eman: (……)
Waiter: WHAT!
Eman: (…..)
Eman: It’s a foreign name, our company name. I’ll spell it for you, ok!
Waiter: yes please, do me a favor.
Eman: … (I spell the name, which is a bit long, I admit)
Waiter: What the hell? Forget about it, it’s too complicated and I can’t even pronounce it, look for another place you and your complicated company!

And he… ??

Yep, he hung up…

April 19 2005

Work Diaries (22): A Message… On Snow

Click Here for today’s diary.

Thanks to BaptizedLucifer for introducing Yellow Snow.