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Life at Work

Okay, I've finally found something that's more frustrating than a boss in a shitty mood, a co-worker who listens to Enya, and a busybody office manager, and it's something that - unless you're one of the powerful few in IT - you have absolutely no control over. You can avoid your boss, throw Enya in the shredder, and ignore the office manager, but you can't do a goddamn thing when your office's Internet goes down.

If you're like me, you're really screwed because we rely on outside IT people, and they're slipperier than an eel in an oil spill.

And once they blame it all on the ISP, which admittedly sucks worse than any ISP imaginable, you're totally fucked, because there is no such thing as customer service at these places, especially the one my company uses, which I'd never even heard of before I came to work there.

Customer service representatives delight in telling you they can probably fix it by next Thursday, and there will be a sizable fee for that, even though it's their fault. We even threatened them with a lawsuit, because we lost so much business as a result. I wasn't actually on the phone with them at the time, but I think I heard them laughing from across the room, through my co-worker's receiver.

It's not just losing business that sucks. I complete the majority of my work using internal files, so for me my work isn't so much impacted as my ability to step back from work and take a breather. I mean, I do use the Internet for business purposes, to look up files and forms and such, but mostly, it's my equivalent of a cigarette break. I need to check my e-mail. I need to use my online music service because I'm sick of listening to the songs on my iPod over and over again. I need to shoot someone an IM every now and then. I need to know what CNN has to say every couple of hours, not to mention checking out what's new from my colleaugues here at The Beachwood Reporter.

I'm not one of those people who spends all day every day surfing the Web and disguising it as work. I accomplish a lot, most days. But I can't accomplish it and stay sane without access to the outside world, and when you're stuck in an inner office a gajillion feet in the air, the Net provides you with that access.

They better have it fixed by Monday. Otherwise, I might really start telling people around here what I think about them. And that can't possibly have a good outcome.

J. Bird is the Beachwood Reporter's pseudononmyous workplace affairs correspondent. You can see the complete Life at Work collection here.



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Posted on September 8, 2006


MUSIC - The Weekend In Chicago Rock.
TV - Time For Royal Scroungers To Earn Their Keep.
POLITICS - More College Aid Going To The Rich.
SPORTS - Bears At Peak McCaskey.

BOOKS - Before Breitbart.

PEOPLE PLACES & THINGS - Chicagoetry: New Fucking Frying Pan.


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