The main form of communication at my place of work is the memo. I am mostly a receiver of such memos, though on occasion I do fire a few back. I fired one off today in a round of memos concerning a particularly deadbeat co-worker. I reprint it here, sans names. I think it is self-explanatory.
From: Receiving Staff
October 6, 2009-10-06
Re: Action plan for S’s absence.
It has come to my attention that some of the managers feel there is a need to revise the “action plan” for the days when S. is absent. The ‘plan’, as it currently stands, is for the receivers (usually Bear and sometimes R.) to wait until a manager informs them of S.’s absence. The receiver then approaches the general merchandise buyers to find out which general merchandise items are most in need of being received. Those items are taken care of, and then as much as what is normally S.’s work is then incorporated into the receiver’s daily work as possible.
The flaws in this plan, as I see it, lie first in the chronically poor communications of the bookstore. Receivers very often do not know if S. is absent or merely late until they are informed. Second, during rush periods, such as last week, there is little time to do both our normal workload and S.’s.
However, if a new plan is needed in order to keep the General Merchandise flowing as well in S.’s absence as it does in his presence, I have prepared the following new plan, with the day carefully timed out.
To begin with, as soon as a manager approaches a receiver to fill in for S. (henceforth to be referred to as “the loser”) the loser will immediately return home and phone in that he will be late due to some ailment of their spouse's and will be in at either 11:00, (meaning 11:30ish) or 1:00 in the afternoon (meaning 2:00ish). (Note: On the days when R. is the loser he will need to be supplied with a spouse for this purpose. )
Assuming the loser comes in at 11:30ish, he will then commence with complaining about the amount of work that has accumulated and how no one ever helps him at his work even though everyone else is ‘just surfing the web.’ The loser will then commence surfing the web, with a focus on looking up car websites and e-mail.
At 11:53, the loser will shift some paperwork from one pile to another.
At 12:02, the loser will begin fielding phone calls from the garage regarding his car. (Note: Bear does not have a car, and will need to be provided with one on the days when he is the loser.)
Around 12:30, upon being informed by a buyer that some item is desperately needed on the sales floor, the loser will then blind receive the entire purchase order (PO), despite the fact that only two items of a thirty line PO arrived. Web surfing will resume, unless interrupted by the presence of a living human being of the non managerial persuasion. Then loser will strike up a conversation about cars with said human being. If interrupted by a living human being of the managerial persuasion, the loser will strike up a conversation about his impossible workload.
At 1:00 the loser will go for lunch and get royally stoned. This is critical to the rest of the day’s operations.
At 2:00, the loser will return from lunch, and commence with more web surfing.
At 2:09, the loser will pull up work screen and stare long and meaningfully into it’s blue-grey depths.
At 2:15, upon being asked why is so much work accumulating, the loser will point around at the pile and demand how anyone can be expected to do this much work. Then back to web surfing.
At 2:37, upon being informed again that there is a desperate need for some other item, the loser will then blind receive the wrong PO.
Around 3:00 ish, the loser will do another blind receive of a fairly large skid and send the entire contents upstairs to be counted by the staff up there, although it is not their job. They will inform him of any discrepancies, so it doesn’t much matter.
At 3:07 the loser will shift his weight from his right butt cheek to his left.
At 3:10 the loser check his e-mail for the tenth time that day.
At 3:24, the loser will go out and sacrifice a goat. This is about as useful as anything else the loser has done up to this point. We expect grounds to set up an appropriate altar in the commons for this purpose and supply it with both wood and a goat. If a goat is not to be found, then a cow, chicken, goose, groundhog, fluffy bunny, skunk, walrus, platypus or associate professor will be an acceptable substitute.
At 4:10 the loser will wonder why no one has helped him. Then he will go back to the web.
At 5:00, the loser will do one final web search/e-mail check of the day, which will take him a little over the normal work hours, thus proving, in the loser’s mind, his dedication to his difficult job. As he prepares to leave the loser will inform any staff still present that he will be a little late on the morrow, coming in at 11:00, meaning 11:30.
Here concludes the plan. As you can see, I have tried to get the schedule as close to S.’s actual day as possible. I would like to add: now that we have taken care of getting S.’s job done in his absence, perhaps management should devote a little time to getting his job done in his presence.