Sunday, August 7, 2011

air repair

The end of July brought a doozy of a heat wave to New York. Temperatures were over a hundred and everyone was miserable, and I spent it working at an air conditioning repair company.

The place was a small family company, and by family company I mean everyone there hated each other and screamed at each other all day long. They all had thick Brooklyn accents and called each other fucking morons about 3 times an hour. Any time I heard any of them talk to a customer on the phone they slammed the receiver down afterward and said, "Idiot." I was in heaven.

On Monday I was filling in for this girl who was on vacation, and they asked me to stay and help out during the heat. I came back on Tuesday and met the girl back from vacation, who I was supposed to be helping out by answering the phones. She got mad.

So they told me to go sit in the other room and "Chill out for a bit."

I went and sat in that room at a desk with no computer. I hadn't brought a book or anything and I didn't feel like drawing. So I just sat there for about an hour while everyone yelled at each other. The phone would ring and I would make an attempt to pick it up before the other girl did, but I was feeling pretty dejected.

After a while I think they forgot about me and I got bored so I decided I was going to answer the phone no matter what.

This ended up working out ok. I didn't know what to tell anyone who called so I just wrote down what they said in a notebook and told them I'd call them back. I never called anyone back. I wanted to call them back, but when I took my notebook around to the people in the office, no one knew the answers to anything. When was a technician going to such and such address? Can we install this? Something something service contract?

At first I thought I was just bad a taking notes, but it turns out the company just didn't know what the hell was going on, ever, at all. There was no order for how the technitions made visits. The main boss's son decided who was going where, and he just did whatever.

All I could do was tell anyone who called that I had no idea when someone would get there and that I would try and find out and I would call them back when I knew. Then I just waited in fear for them to call back to yell at me.

This went on for 2 and a half weeks.

The phones would stop ringing in the afternoon so they set me up with some bills to enter into the computer and a stack of past due invoices to follow up on. That was horrible, but at least I got to practice my polite but firm voice, which I practice at every opportunity. Most of it ended up just whoever the accounts payable contact was, they'd since been fired or something, so I was just tracking down someone new to fax it too. I like detective stuff like that.

They set me up in some lady's office to enter the bills, and she had this little gem on her desk. Yep.

But then last week it was some guy's birthday in the shop and she brought in a cake from a bakery. A BAKERY. So she can't be all bad.

I was wondering where you'd buy something like that so I tried to find it online, and came across it in this calalogue, next to a forest nymph.


Lee said...

You can't make this up.

Matt Chung said...

I love your blog.

Such a good post!

Did they sell hand chairs on that website too?

Nikki DeSautelle said...

Somewhere there is a warehouse just filled with hand chairs and Obama dragon statues, you know there is.

Chelsea Kirchoff said...

I cannot wait to see you in real life and hear you be mean to everyone and hate on everything. This post was so good! I can totally hear the Brooklyn accents and the swearing. Lovely.