While You Were Away, Or, An Open Letter To My Former Desk Neighbor

Dear [name redacted],

During my brief visits over the past couple of weeks to send reports via ftp, which I am still unable to do at my regular desk, you commented that you wondered how the sales managers would fare while you went on vacation.  I thought it would be worthwhile to inform you how it went, and the answer is not particularly well.  As this is a very Nathanish tale, I hope you do not mind giving you the details so that when you return from your vacation you may have a good laugh at what happened here in the meantime.  As is my custom as a writer [1], names have been redacted to protect the innocent, or in this case, the guilty or merely unfortunate.

While the first day you were gone was uneventful enough, things did not go so well yesterday.  As it happens, yesterday was the first of the month, and like Bone Thugs ‘N Harmony, it was not as straightforward as it should have been.  My first attempt to send the final Medicaid report and sales report to one of our largest external clients was blocked by our building’s maintenance man putting a large pipe of some kind into a space in the ceiling, and he said that it would be about half an hour or so before he was done.  I gave him forty-five minutes before returning and it was a less than auspicious experience, as there was some sort of foul-smelling and gray colored junk that was all over the walls as well as over parts of my old desk.  Needless to say, it was not a particularly enjoyable experience to send reports under such circumstances.  If that had been everything, though, I would have felt no need to write you this letter.

No, alas, things got worse.  I knew there was trouble this morning as I was attempting to work my way through a matching file and my hypervigilance picked up that I was being talked about by my former supervisor, who within a few seconds, after receiving the all clear from my current supervisor, asked me to return to the fishbowl and watch over the queues for the rest of the afternoon because we were being flooded with calls.  I imagine that this particular scenario is one that you had in mind, although it is probably unlikely that Friday would have been the day you expected the phones to be busier than usual, to the point where our trusty sales manager expects there to be close to 500 daily sales before all is said and done, a very respectable number indeed.  Anyway, this is the sort of day I used to be out around noon given my hours and the sort of day you would relax on and maybe change some priority skilling.  No such luck today.

So, why did I have to spend half a dozen hours or so on a Friday afternoon in a smelly office where there was an attempt to clear the air by leaving the door open with a fan blowing the odor out?  There are some some rumors at least that there was flooding in Indianapolis that knocked out the main call center for that same external client whose reports were delayed yesterday.  As a result, hundreds of calls came our way today, and let us hope that our agents knew what to do with them.  As for me, I find it more than a little bit grimly humorous that I should first find my work hindered by a flood within our office, and that I should spend more time here in its aftermath attempting to become used to the odor–who knows how long that will last–because of a more severe flood in another call center.  Life is full of such bizarre but appropriate coincidences.  I hope your vacation is going well, and that you did not mind me sharing some of the more odd experiences of my own life with you.  I had to share it with someone, after all, and you are probably one of the few people who would likely care.


Your former neighbor

[1] See, for example:







About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
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6 Responses to While You Were Away, Or, An Open Letter To My Former Desk Neighbor

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