Thursday, October 22, 2009

Guten Morgen, Mein Overlord!

Big Machine's German overlords came to visit yesterday, and our supervisors were all aflutter over it, and had been for weeks. We were repeatedly reminded to dress like they paid us enough to buy nice clothes for ourselves, and several emails shot out informing us to clean our desks because THEY'RE COMING! MEIN GOTT, THEY'RE COMING!!

51% of Big Machine is owned by an enormous German retail conglomeration that owns several catalog stores. They don't oversee the day to day operations, but their presence allowed the founder to open a franchise in Dubai, so we're very Continental now. Yesterday was the first day since the takeover that a member of the Executive Board had flown all the way from Germany to visit the call center at Big Machine and take a whirlwind tour of cubicles and warehouse rows. How exciting! I bet he couldn't sleep the night before the trip. Book your honeymoon vacations now, Germans!

On the morning of the (MEIN GOTT!!) visit, I put on the nicest clothes I own: a brown button down shirt from Old Navy, dark brown pinstriped pants from, and a pair of 3" Michael Kors shoes I bought from Bluefly:

Aren't they gorgeous? Boy, did they hurt! I got to work right before 9:30 and hobbled approximately a quarter of a mile from the parking lot to the front door, only to find five people standing in front of the reception desk, hands folded in front of them, strained smiles on their faces.

"Waiting for our German Overlords?" I asked.

"Yes," they said.

"When are they coming?" I said, prying for news I could take upstairs and spread around the office, because I'm a team player like that.

One of the women looked at her watch. "Between now and this afternoon," she said.

"You mean you all have to stand here and wait until they get here?" I asked, floored.

"Oh, no..." she said, "No." And then she dropped her eyes and sort of shuffled around, and Jesus, they're totally going to stand there all fucking day waiting for these people. Honestly, no offense to my readers who are wildly rich and powerful, but oftentimes you guys really suck. This was one of those times.

I teetered upstairs and over to my desk, which is at the far end of the call center. I sat down and started cleaning it off, while the supervisors whirled around taking everyone's coat off the back of her chair and I don't know, probably burning them so the sight of them wouldn't offend.*

Thirty minutes later, the Overlords appeared, were salaamed in by the people from Human Resources, walked upstairs, stood at the top of the stairs to the call center for two seconds, then left.

Everyone was really indignant that the Overlords didn't bother walking through the call center, since we'd all been forced to give a damn about it, but I think they've lost perspective on how dreary call centers actually are. If I was a German Overlord, I wouldn't have spent more than two seconds there, either.

On the plus side, a parade was thrown in honor of my shoes, and all day long, everywhere I limped there was an awful lot of OMG Shoez!ing. My shoes were the most exciting thing that happened to everyone all day.

They really are quite nice.

*Seriously, what is it with employers and their hatred of coats? I can't tell you how many crappy jobs I've had where I've slogged though several feet of snow, only to arrive at work and have the manager be pissy because I needed a place to put a coat.