Shenanigans [NOT 29/9/21]

Michael Bluth from Arrested Development with quote "I don't know what I expected"
I really don't know what I expected

Hi, friends!

What malarkey and shenanigans have you been dealing with this week?

We had a big virtual meeting with the CIO or whatnot at work (I can’t keep the upper titles straight, and honestly I don’t care to try that hard), and turns out they’ve doing a reorg.

Which, fine, whatever. Reorgs aren’t worth getting worried about until there’s details on the ground.

Annnnnnnnd a few hours later we got a powerpoint with a new chart breaking down how job titles will be organized.

My entire team… none of our titles exist in the new org chart. We reached out to our VP and politely were like WTF and they confirmed we’ll just get new titles or whatever. I just….don’t see a benefit to all this malarky since it’s not like there are any benefits or pay changes according to the powerpoint. We’re not worried about job security, because I think as long as you’re not convicted of murder* you won’t lose your job.

*not even joking, a few years ago a guy who worked in my building was charged and convicted with murdering his ex girlfriend



  1. At Nortel circa 2005, we had some director from North America (I worked in NA, but I was working anywhere but NA) give us a presentation about a reorg in our organization where none of our jobs and dept were in the reorg.  At the time, we thought the reason why was because that said director was in charge of the reorg and want to kick our asses out to the curb (said power play.)  He also annouced the “retirement” of our director (obstacle 1 removed.)


    I made a few calls to some influential people higher up about said reorg (I doubt I was the only one) as I called into question the rationale and integrity of that particular director who I never heard of before and who came literally out of nowhere.  Several months later, that director and his org were disappeared in the next round of layoffs to no one but their shock.

    Turns out we were partially correct.  It was a powerplay.  This group was jammed into our organization to survive the previous round of layoffs and their director was the ambitious sort who thought if he could kiss the ass of our then clueless VP that he would wipe out rivals/take over their jobs in this new organization.  He managed to convince the VP to let him handle the reorg (because he and his team weren’t busy doing work unlike ours.)

    1. He thought we idiots wouldn’t see thru his scam.

    2. He thought his teams were smart.

    3. He thought that our jobs were easy to take.

    He was wrong on all three points.

    Mine and others screams helped initiate a business review.  Upon review the beancounters found out that our team of 20 cost a mere 3.5 million USD a year to run to do 150% of the work that said director’s team of 85 did at 9 million USD a year did.

    Audios, mother fucker.


    • That story brought a huge smile to my face!

  2. Back when we taught college as adjuncts, one of my wife’s students murdered someone in a drug deal.

    My wife is dealing with a “reorg” now. She is director of a city library, and has been for 17 years. Traditionally the library is totally neglected by the city. The building is old and shabby and run-down, and my wife’s old boss was like “don’t talk to me or bother me.” Periodically there are calls to close it and the old voters rise up and say “fuck you, I want my library.”

    That boss retired and now there’s a new boss. Good news is she wants to upgrade the library and is spearheading a massive renovation. Bad news is she’s blundering around going “now what does everybody DO here?” Uh, they order books and check books in and out and do electronic media and … So I’ve helped my wife do no less than four org charts. The most recent one was the “old” organization because the new boss needs to understand how things “used to be.”

    I’m like fuck it, that’s HISTORY. Who gives a shit? But my wife has to play this stupid game, so here goes another org chart …

    • A few years ago I had a student who was under indictment for selling fentanyl in quantity.  He was a former police detective.  The class was about prison.

    • ugh…

      I’ve worked in a couple of public libraries, and it seems like despite being a really minor part of the city/county/state budget, they are always getting targeting for budget cuts, and having to explain and justify everything.

      And librarians are really underpaid for the amount of education they have, to the point where a lot are independently wealthy, and doing it more as a “hobby”.

      • They are always targeted at budget cut time, but no one can find anything to cut. Years of starving the place for funds means they spend like a fraction of 1% of the city budget, and nobody makes any kind of decent salary. So even if the voters didn’t go to bat (and they always have) they’d literally have to close the entire library to “save” money, and the money is pocket change to the city. So in a weird way, the lack of budget is a defensive measure? Literally the annual firework show at the 4th of July costs five times the library’s annual budget. I’m not exaggerating.

        And you’re right about librarians. Most of them are women, with a primary breadwinner at home, so they aren’t trying to support a family. And there is one that works there that’s extremely wealthy (family money, nothing she earned), and no one can understand why she bothers. She’s getting married soon and we all assume she’ll quit shortly thereafter.

  3. I think a lot of reorgs are only done to justify someone’s job, because they’re the deadweight. So they shuffle things around to make it look like they’re necessary and valuable.

    I did have some shenanigans to deal with this week. I’ve mentioned before an ongoing issue with Lowe’s, specifically their credit card company Synchrony. They owed me money, took months to get it, then they demanded it back. I went to the store, found an assistant manager who understood the problem. We worked it out. Then last month I get a notice from Synchrony that they were crediting my account for the amount plus an additional $100. I called again, explained the entire saga once more. I finally got the person to understand that they owed me nothing, I owed them nothing. I wanted the balance on the account to reflect that. And then I wanted to close the account. She assured me that it was done, over, I’d never have to deal with them again. This week I got a check in the mail for a completely different amount. Back on the phone, explained yet again, asked them to cancel the check, and was once more promised it was over. Told them I wanted the account closed and they said NO! WTF? They said they don’t close accounts. I give up, keep it open but I’m never using that card again. Do I believe it’s finally settled? No, I do not.

    • Hah! We went through an episode with Citgo (gas card). Somebody jacked our card and ran up charges. My wife (it’s in her name) calls and says, that’s not us or our charges, we’ve never been to that city, shut the card down. Who charges $350 at a gas station?

      In their infinite wisdom, Citgo sends us a new card. Which we never received, because the criminals changed the mailing address. More charges ensue. My wife goes after them again. Not our charges, we didn’t get the card, SHUT THE FUCKING ACCOUNT DOWN.

      Uh-huh. Citgo opens a third account and allows the criminals to charge more money because they keep sending the card to the fucking criminals.


      Well, ma’am, you don’t have to be rude. We’ll issue you a new card … NO GODDAMMIT NO NO NO NO MORE FUCKING CARD CLOSE THE FUCKING ACCOUNT WE WILL NEVER DO BUSINESS WITH YOU AGAIN.

      I have no doubt that we still have an account with Citgo. And somebody’s probably charging burritos at a gas station right now.

      • @bryanlsplinter Wow, they’d rather let a criminal rack up charges that they won’t pay , and that you aren’t legally responsible for than lose a damn account? I wonder if they penalize the call center associates for closed accounts in some way?

        • I mean, I absolutely don’t know. My wife kept patiently going over it with them each time. Walking them through it. Going over our address. And then they’d send another card to the criminals. I guess you’re right — the call center schmuck got dinged if someone cancelled the card. But they lost like $800. You’d think that would count for something?

    • How can they not close an account? Like legally – how can they not do that if the balance is cleared and the customer requests it? The fuck???

      • I know, you’d think I’d have the right to say whether or not I have an account with them! I don’t know know what else to do at this point.

        • I’ve had the same problem with my credit union. I had to have a checking account that I don’t use to get a car loan. Loans are all paid off — close the account. Uh, no, we don’t do that. What do you mean? Well, we just keep it open. You may want it someday. But I’m getting service charges. Well, we’ll clear those. OR YOU COULD CLOSE THE FUCKING ACCOUNT.

      • It’s long enough ago that I can’t remember the details, but I once had someone tell me I couldn’t close an account (checking, maybe?), because they needed to keep it open in case I did anything that would charge the account or something.  It was obnoxious.  might have been Bank of America, but not certain…

  4. A previous company where I worked as a contractor went through a McKinsey consulting process and tried to do stack ranking, where all of the regular employees had to go through a huge review, and then the top 20% got bonuses, the middle 60% stayed the same, and the bottom 20% got fired.

    Except the McKinsey geniuses and the execs didn’t realize that stack ranking only works when you’re looking at a ton of largely interchangable employees, so firing a chunk of them theoretically means you can just hire new replacements.

    At this place, there were a bunch of small departments where the employees almost all had highly specific, nontransferable expertise. So when they fired a bunch of people, mission critical functions were suddenly left undone, and nobody could do the jobs except the people they fired. Entire departments were crippled because one of their ten employees were out of commission.

    So they ended up rehiring all of those supposed low performers at inflated rates just to stay afloat. And then they finally rehired them back to their old jobs at higher salaries.

    I’ve been deeply skeptical of stack ranking ever since. Bill Gates was a huge champion, and everything I’ve read said that his managers ended up just gaming the system as best they could to keep Microsoft running. But he was convinced of some theoretical advantage of harsh competition letting the cream rise to the top, instead of having managers who knew what they were doing run the show. Which shows why Microsoft for so long has been such a sluggish, non-innovative company that relies on pure market size to survive.

    • It’s such a huge part of boss brain: “If we have enough metrics, we’ll be able to find the people who aren’t working hard!” Well, the answer to that is the managers who are trying to track the people doing the actual work! But no, no, surely THAT can’t be the answer…

      • It will FOREVER bumfuzzle me,, that soooo many folks in corporateland just DON’T grok the usefulness of a good system of occasional/regular auditing, snd that they’d rather waste spend alllll kinds of time assessing any and ALL other “metrics” they can find…


        Rather than simply determining what *ought* to be getting done, and then sampling/probing &  running the damn audits, to assess whether/not what they want regarding output/ throughput is actually getting done (and the accuracy thereof!)🙃

    • I hate stacked ranking because it fosters a “fuck you, I got mine” attitude which is the anthesis of a team mentality.  I’ve found the most effective work groups I’ve been a part of including my current job as a powder monkey/production lackey has been revolving around getting those people to work together.

      Also gutting critical functions is what eventually killed us at Nortel.  Our last unlamented shithead of a CEO was from GE, who did similar shitty things.  He thought telecom systems were like lightbulbs and more so telecom engineers/software devs.  When he gutted those groups, he basically killed off what made us good (customer support and field engineering).

      It is why this former Jack Welch fan is laughing as GE drowns in its own bullshit.

  5. I had to deal with a “genius” architect (did you know that all architects are genuises? probably not because you’d have to be one to think so) who had one of his non-genius minions (presumably the minion of his minion designer – who is about as “genius” in their own mind) mix a grey (red/yellow) epoxy with a grey (blue/green) paint to create a colour they wanted. They explained to me how the colour should be able to be made, in both epoxy and paint, with 4 pigments. After explaining to them that physics is real and that even if it were possible the pigments for epoxy and paint are completely different pigments rendering it IMpossible, I was told that I was wrong.

    “On what basis?” I asked.

    “Well, I know a little bit about colour.”

    “If ever you’re interested, I’ll teach you the rest of what you don’t know.”

    “I think we are going to take our services elsewhere.”

    “Fair enough.”

    *no one else in North America does what I do*

    Fast-forward 3 hours…

    “Ummm…hey…do you think you can come up with something close to our gray?”

    “Sure thing. That’s what I do but usually in REVERSE. (Next time come to me prior to making a fool of yourself – I wanted to say)”

    • at least tell me that wasn’t to generate an epoxy adhesive that served some sort of structural function.  Like, it was “just” paint.  right?

      • For an epoxy floor (without honouring the saw cuts *gasp*) and to match the walls in paint.

        • that’s not right…

  6. The shenanigans & (good!) hijinks are about to start back up again at the grocery store, I think!😃🤗💝


    We just got back our old overnight manager (who’s been out with an injury the last few months), and I’m looking forward to at least *some* semblance of getting the store whipped back into shape again😉😈

    This isn’t my old (excellent) grocery manager–that one manages at my old store…. but this one IS all about rotating the inventory, pulling the dead(expired) items off the floor and getting them either out to second harvest or the reclamation center–just like i am(😈), and not doing stupid things…

    Soooooo we’ll hopefully start being a *decent* store again reasonably soon🥳😁


    The returned overnighter and the regular daytime guy (who’s been allowing/requiring that the expired stuff stay on the shelves ’til it sells–no matter how far past date) totally butt heads, but it’s NICE to have another good manager back in the store, and in my corner, working toward doing the right things ethics-wise *and* for our customers😁


    Last night, we already got some of the canned pumpkin that was being left in backstock out to the sales floor (this is stuff from last fall–one brand *only* comes in as a special allotment/special order mid-fall… we still had about 8 cases of it from last year down there (I know, because of my *old store’s* grocery manager–he explained that particular pumpkin product’s situation to me when I was at the old store, so that I could tell the customers who were looking for it!😉). Half the cases of the special brand, and a bunch of cases of our store brand got put out last night.


    The spot where the pumpkin purees & pie fillings was empty on the home-shelf location before our little foray into backstock-land last night… so it was fun to be doing GOOD shenanigans again with my old friend-the overnight manager🤗😁🤪,  AND getting things out that’ll make our customers happy and-and getting inventory TURNED, so it doesn’t die for stupid reasons–like has happened FAR too often in the intervening months when this overnight manager was gone, and too little of our backstock has gotten worked/fed out to the shelves💖


    (An example/small sample of that backstock not getting worked;

    Last Saturday, I discovered that we had a few cases of Chex cereal that got moved to the back room in January–which apparently the daytime folks have entirely forgotten about–because they expired *Today* without ever hitting the home shelf location🙃😡🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬


    There was product in the slots it could’ve gone to on the home shelf location… annnnd the date on THOSE boxes is out sometime in 2022…. so obviously we’ve ORDERED those flavors of Chex in the intervening months–just never looked in the back room, to make sure we got all the old stuff out to sell, too🙄😒🤬)

    • Forgive me for thinking it shouldn’t be a compliment to a grocery store manager for ensuring the removal of expired items but here we are.

      • Aaaaabsolutely shouldn’t–but YEP!😉🙃


        And, Myo–THERE IS NO REASON for it–exxxxxcept that if (when) i *do* have the opportunity to get any pulls done, there are about 3 full carts of just expireds in a “light look” at any given aisle (let alone the close-dated stuff!)… whiiiiich would then show how poorly the grocery department is being run🙃


        And I’m pretty sure that’s why I got pulled off the grocery crew😕


        Thing is?


        If I COULD do what I’m best at and get the close-dates & expired stuff out? YES, we’d take a hit for a month, maybe 6 weeks, buuuuut then we could just keep UP with the dates on stuff & get things rotated out.


        And if we DID get to send things out to reclamation & second harvest, we’d ALSO be getting back either money/credit from corporate AND the tax write-offs of all the donated goods we send out (not MUCH, but a decent chunk of change when you do it consistently over the span of a year–especially in a store that Corporate offers a really generous “shrink cap” to, because we’re an urban “high theft” store!)

        Hard numbers? I typically used to spend the last 1-3 hours of any given shift facing & checking dates.

        In my first year, iirc, I made about 11K working there… that 1-3 hours a shift saved us *at LEAST* 3K on our shrink at inventory time (it may have been closer to 5K, I’m not quite sure what that store’s total sales on the year were. I know we were a “Million plus” store in sales, and that we were more than .3% under the expected shrink allotment… but I’m not sure *how far* past a million in sales, and whether we were closer to .32%, .35%, or .37%😉)… so in far less than 1/3 of my time, I saved the store more than 1/3 of the salary they paid me that year.



        • I did some part time work in grocery stores in college and as a teen, and I feel like anyone who’s spent any time in a grocery store, and paid attention to what shoppers were doing, would notice that a small, but not-insignificant percent will rifle through entire displays to get items with the latest expiration/sellby/whatever date.


          And I am certain those people take notice when a store repeatedly has out-of-date items, and likely tell their friends/family/coworkers/etc.


          I’m a horrible little goblin hermit with more durability than sense, and will happily eat canned goods with a “best-by” date years overdue that I find forgotten in my pantry, but seeing them in a store makes me suspicious…

          • YES!!!!

            (and SAME, to the “goblin hermit” bit, too, when it comes to the “best by” dates, tbh, if it’s just *me* eating it!😉)

            If I’m buying close-dated or “best by” recently-past-dated items from the discount grocery store?


            NOT a problem! (Because they’re the ones buying the stuff FROM our corporate reclamation place, tbh!🤣


            But if it’s on the shelf of a regular “first-quality only” grocery store?


            I will side-eye the SHIT out of that place, and won’t shop there again very often.😒😒😒

    • At my local CVS, which is like my company store, because it is nearby and I can maneuver in its aisles, there are huge signs on the two refrigerated cases where they sell the milk warning customers to check the expiration date before they bring it to the counter because they don’t do returns or exchanges on milk. Um, howzabout you have an employee go through the milk and remove the expired stuff and not make it available for purchase in the first place?

      • They probably have a stupid contract with the milk vendor that they don’t get reimbursed for returned milk, so they won’t take it.

    • Hi Emmer! Nice to see you.

  7. After a year and a half the powers that be finally came to a decision about when and how frequently we should be in the office: twice per month. That means I can finally dump my grandfathered train pass!

  8. I made an org chart for our household once.  I threw it out when I realized there were only two of us here and I was nowhere near the top.

    I report to our dog’s cat apparently.

  9. I do not complain though because that CVS sells these maple cookies that I am addicted to. They are made in Canada and they’re like Oreos, except they’re in the shape of maple leaves, of course they are, and both the cookie and the filling are maple flavored.

  10. ugh.

    I generally like my job, but lately there has been a bit of a pile-up of frustrations and annoyances.

    This week our direct supervisor is on vacation, and the next up the chain is “working remotely” – they’ve definitely been remote, and I just assume they are “working” for some value of “work”…

    But, seeing as we were completely unsupervised, and had a few frustrations earlier this week, we kinda slacked and commiserated and sorta got sidetracked on random stuff.  Not too terrible a day.

    There were a couple retirements recently, and there is a pretty well-equipped shop facility that is currently vacant.  A while back they were considering giving us keys so we could use it as office space, due to the social-distancing covid restrictions.  I opened my big dumb mouth, and said I was more interested in access to the shop equipment/tools than the office.  That immediately caused everyone to pause, and then retract the office space offer. Apparently there is “safety concerns”…

    I just want to, like, occasionally use the drill press or bench grinder.  It would literally save hours of time vs me sitting there with a dull file or scavenged sand paper trying to remove a burr on some metal, or trying to use some catastrophe of a kludge of clamps and weights and a cordless drill at a weird angle…

    And I guess what I am trying very hard not to take personally, is that there is one individual that is allowed access to and use of that facility, and they have already damaged at least four (expensive) pieces of equipment that I use regularly, and last time I saw them working, I believe they were using a vise-grip as a make shift chisel.  “oooh, but we have safety concerns about lochaber using a drill press”

    I think I’m gradually gaining some cred as being not-terrible at problem solving, and having some mechanical aptitude, at least wtih my coworkers and direct supervisor, I just have to try and not get over my head and continue to build some credibility with such things until I can gain some cred with the next tier of management.  I also think I should just start “doing” small things that are well within my capabilities, instead of proposing/asking that I do them.  We really don’t need a mechanic or machinist to simply change a saw blade… The amount of over-specialization is kinda ridiculous at times…

    • “And I guess what I am trying very hard not to take personally, is that there is one individual that is allowed access to and use of that facility…”

      Different field, of course, but good LORD do I ever feel you on this, my friend!!!


      I hope you DO get access, and soon, so you can do things with ease!💖

      It’s frustrating, and it SUCKS, when you’re stuck waiting on that *one* doofus--and the doofus is constantly dumbassing & costing the company ALL SORTS of dollars that you can see them burning!🙄😕🤬

      (Access to an ordering/scanning gun with login numbers is the issue over here!🙃)


  11. i cant get higher grade nuts and bolts that wont self destruct or get stuck..nor can i get a new drill i requested months ago….coz its too expensive

    but a fucking 50 grand machine (that i could have built for under a grand) gets approved instantly coz it saves the office paperwork

    we are also in a permanent state of renovation….coz management has decided this new layout will absodeffinitely work..and wont hear any dissent…

    then when it doesnt work….just comissions the next layout that will absodeffinitely work

    i should have taken a job with our builder contractors…they are making bank

    and then making bank to undo the previous bank…and make a new one

    ad infinitum … veni… vidi… iterum

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