When I worked in a large computer company – we had a buddy system. when our Buddy was on holiday we picked up their voicemail and sorted out any small queries. Simply enough you might think – that is until I was buddied with Tommy. Now Tommy was a top sales person and really funny to have on our team – but as a Buddy, he was a bloody nightmare.
We worked then in a call centre as sales agents (sorry Business executives!) and we took incoming calls for customer buying laptops, computers and printers. I frequently heard Tommy apologise to customers while he spoke to his PA Maureen. ‘Maureen book me on the 6am flight to Reykjavik, but make sure I am home in time for the Launch Party’. We would all be in stitches. Tommy helped pass the monotony of eight hours on a phone.
So, as I picked up his voice mails while he was on holidays, it soon became apparent that Maureen had taken on a life of her own. ‘Yeah, Maureen is posting that out – I overheard Tommy ask her himself’, one said. ‘I think it was supposed to be couriered out, but Maureen’s son was sick that day and she was to do it when she came back’ another said.
News of Maureen got to my boss and the Customer Service Manager – so Tommy was called into a meeting a few weeks later. The whole team waited with bated breath to hear Tommy announce Maureen’s public demise.
‘Well, Tommy – what happened about Maureen?’
‘Listen, I told them Maureen is very upset by this whole episode, imagine if I said you didn’t exist?’ he asked the Customer Service Manager.
‘Then she told me I would have to stop making up stories, that there is no Maureen and no one in sales has a PA. I had to send Maureen home she was so upset’ he lamented.
By the following week, there was no mention of Maureen until one quiet afternoon when a direct call came into Tommy’s phone. I overheard the call…..
Good man Sean, good to hear…..
(shouting) I AM SPEAKING AS LOUD AS I CAN
WRONG SPEAKERS? NO, NO, I SENT OUT THE …..
DID YOU SPEAK TO TECH SUPP……
RIGHT SO, T250 IS COMPATIBLE AND NOT THE T500
EMBEDDED SOUND CARD INCOMPATIBILITY?…..
DRUM? I SAY DRUM?
NO, NO SEAN, NOT YOU, I WAS SAYING D..R..U..M..
SEAN THIS IS A SERIOUS MATTER, AND I TAKE IT VERY SERIOUSLY –
TAKE IT FURTHER?
PUT IT THIS WAY, IF MAUREEN SENT OUT THE WRONG SPEAKERS, THEN HER DAYS HERE ARE NUMBERED.
NOT AT ALL SEAN. GLAD TO HELP.
BYE NOW. BYE.
‘Stupid fecker – who wouldn’t know about incompatible embedded sound card eh?’ – Tommy was on www.irishjobs.ie all afternoon and was gone by the time poor deafened Sean called back and got speaking to yours truly!