Monday, May 07, 2007

Consequences and repercussions

Normally people get away with murder at my job. My manager Dick was on the phone with a customer today guffawing about "banging some Oriental chick in Fort Worth" and doubling over with laughter to hear her Texan accent. Dick makes vulgar and offensive remarks to customers on a regular basis, all in full earshot of the boss's office. Lois has a fluttery, high-strung hissy if any work gets assigned to her and makes every attempt to dump her work onto other people. Kurt does absolutely nothing but surf eBay all day and no longer even keeps up the pretense of looking busy.

But today, in a shocking reversal, someone in my office actually paid for his misdeeds. Maybe things are finally shaping up at HappyTech.

You'll remember Irv, my coworker who had a large stash of porn saved to a company computer. He was never disciplined because it couldn't be proven he was the culprit, but as a result we had our web-surfing privileges taken away temporarily and now the boss watches us all more closely. Everyone on the help desk developed a seething resentment of Irv, exacerbated by the vast disparity in our salaries. (Thanks for spreading that around, Dick.) The received wisdom used to be that Irv is Teflon. Nobody else in the office can do his job and firing him would prove disastrous.

Apparently his behavior has become more erratic lately though. There have been murmurs of odd behavior at meetings, his punctuality has faltered and the customers he trains have been calling the help desk with all sorts of bizarre misconceptions he planted in their heads. Last Friday morning Irv called in and said he'd be running a few minutes late, then he never showed up or called back. Nobody has ever done anything like that at HappyTech in the years I have worked there. Furthermore, when our manager tried to call him both the home and cell numbers he provided were wrong numbers.

He was back today but left at lunchtime. I assumed he had another off-site meeting until Dick told me, "He has been suspended without pay for the remainder of the week but I can't say more." Dick slings every bit of gossip he can get his paws on so if he can't say more something major is going down. Another indication: people are being cross-trained to do Irv's job. Looks like he's not so indispensable anymore.