Monday, April 23, 2012

Another Reason Oggy Is Bad At Clerical Work

Let's say I count and sort a pile of 25 forms. That's called a "First".  Now, that pile is going to be counted again by someone else. That's called a "Second" It's a redundancy feature to ensure no one says we lost their form. Now, I counted 25 and also counted 5 groups of 5 so I've counted the 25 forms twice to make sure the number is right. Then I pass it on to another person to count again, to double-check my count. OK?

That person counts and reaches the same number, 25. They approve the count and the forms move a step closer toward redemption. But wait, if they count 24 or 26 then they will count again to make sure they didn't miscount and if they reach 24 or 26 again then they say, "Oggy, you got 24 in this pile. Give me another." And they say it really loud and disdainfully and everyone at the table will turn and sneer.

Woman who smells like cigarettes: "What's wrong? You can't count to 25?"
Man with radio on head: "Go back to grade school, Oggy."
Kid with toothpick in mouth: "25 is the number that comes after 24. Remember?"
Team Lead: "Please count 25 forms! Not 24 and not 26. I want thorough before speed."
Group Lead: "Double check your work! Always double check your own work. No mistakes, people!"
Crusty Veteran: "It's not rocket science folks. 25 forms is 25 forms."
School Bus Driver: "Oggy, wake up."
Kid who smells like beer: "Party too hard last night, Oggy?" (we get off work at 3 am and return at 4pm.)
Lady with coke-bottle glasses: "Maybe we should number each form for you? Would that help? Put a big red number on the corner?"
Woman with no teeth: "Wear your glasses. Or get some glasses. Something is wrong with you, boy."
Man with pants down around his ass crack: "They got a counting class after hours to help you with your counting, Oggy. Want me to sign you up?"
Woman who regularly miscounts: "24? How can you count to 24? You slow?"
Security Guard: "Shoot, Oggy, you slow and stupid. Stupid and slow."
Janitor: "Usually the fast guy is the one who counts 24. Old Oggy is slow as cold honey and still gets it wrong. Damn shame."
Optimist: "Keep trying, Oggy. You'll catch on. Last time you got 23 so you gettin' better."
Pessimist: Can't teach anyone anything. Kids don't listen.
Know it all: "They got a retard table where you only have to count to 5. Is that where you want to go?"
Gossip Hag: "It's a shame. Man can't count numbers. You only learn your tens? Is that it?"
Gangstah in training: "My three year old daughter can count to 25. Maybe she'll take Oggy's seat?"
Foreman: "If you can't count to 25 then turn in your badge."
Quality Checker: "You can count out loud, Oggy. Get a calculator if it'll help. Just give me 25."

And on and the petty complaint is the only fluctuation in the tedium of the night. You have absolutely no excuse so you shut up. You with your B.A degree and years of counting boogers in your nose can not count to 25. You counted 24 and somehow thought you had 25. Idiot.

But this is what keeps me up at night.....if the second counter, the person checking my count, counts 25 then why don't they recount again to make sure they didn't count wrong and got the right number??

See, this is a philosophical question because they count once and immediately get the same number as I did that doesn't mean they didn't count wrong. Because when they count out 24 then they usually recount to make sure they really got 24. But when they count 25, why not recount to make sure they got 25? No, they usually process it as 25 assuming that they and I both counted 25 but it's possible that we both counted wrong the first time.

So now I recount twice no matter what. I recount in groups of 5 counting A,B,C,D,E and then I count to 25. And if there is any doubt then I count in groups of 5 again. And invariably, I will count out 24 in a pile I thought was 25 and there will be one form that is stuck to the staple of another form and it piggybacked into my count. So I double and triple check my count before it is double checked by someone else. It's become an obsession...Is there 25 in that pile? Can I be sure? Can I guarantee my count was not flawed?

So the joke was that I once double checked someone's pile and found only 24. So I double checked my own double check and found 25. And then I questioned if I had counted correctly so I counted out 5 piles of 5 and found only 24. So I double checked that one at a time and truly there were only 24.
"Hey, this pile only has 24. I need an extra."

So after ten minutes of insults and jibes and joshing and threats and shame, someone hands me a single form. And I hand that form to someone else.
"Can you confirm this is one form?"
"You want me to double a single form?"
"Yes, to be sure." There is venom in my voice.
"I'm sure."
"Ok. Sign a form that says this is one form."
"You can go to hell.
Then I take the single form and scour the three pages for any piggybacked forms. Then the whole cycle starts over again as I ensure the pile I have now has 25. It's a fucking awesome job. It feels like I'm in the movie Brazil.

And to make matters worse, since we work according to mail cycles I've been working on mail two days old and according to all the paperwork I sign it's still Friday even though I think it is Sunday. Or is it Saturday and I'm writing down Thursday's date? And was that 25 or 26? And 04-20-2012 is the date I sign but sometimes I sign it  04-20-2122 because that's sequentially the way I've been counting. And if I make a single mistake on a cover sheet there has to be a witnessed destruction of that piece of paper by three people involving a near lockdown of the facility to completely obliterate the incorrect number. And then I go on to write 04-21-2223 or 04-19-2021 or 04-20-2020....until I'm almost insane because I don't know what day it is and I don't know what day the company wants me to think it is and I'm working on mail that isn't related to the accurate date and I'm intentionally writing down another day and never actually write down today's date....and I'm trying to memorize my ID numbers using the visuaization technique and I'm pretty much going loony. Today I shot rubber bands at the ceiling and argued how to properly use the staple removal jaws.
Creative Commons License
Man in the Van by Oggy Bleacher is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.