• John (unregistered)

    Some people are very rule bound. It wasn't that WTFy. Either that or she was just messing with him.

  • bozo (unregistered)
    Comment held for moderation.
  • ParkinT (cs)

    Working in a CMMI/Gov't/Highly-Corporate environment I can really appreciate how ridiculous 'process' seems at times.

    This one sounds a little "OCD" to me.

  • Jeroen Brattinga (unregistered)

    OMG! What's next? People e-mailing someone who's just 10 feet away? Oh, wait...

  • phleabo (unregistered)

    Maybe she really did need to call - perhaps they randomly check the phone logs for that kind of thing, and if she didn't actually make the phone call to the number listed in the paperwork, she'd get in trouble.

    Or maybe she's an idiot.

  • Dave (unregistered) in reply to Jeroen Brattinga
    Jeroen Brattinga:
    OMG! What's next? People e-mailing someone who's just 10 feet away? Oh, wait...

    Yes, if the company procedure states that only an emailed response is acceptable. Suppose the person hadn't been phoned/emailled "because they were standing right in front of me" and subsequently there was a problem? Where's the audit trail?

  • JimM (cs)

    Sounds more like a covering of one's own arse, to me. If Snoofle turns out to be a no-hoper, she can always say "Well, I called his previous employer and all the details checked out fine!". It's not the secretary's fault the rules don't always apply...

  • biziclop (unregistered)

    I wouldn't believe this story if I hadn't experienced the same myself.

    (Only it was with the company doctor and her insisting I called her on the phone to make an appointment.)

  • Tuomas (unregistered)

    You must obey the process. Always.

  • biziclop (unregistered) in reply to Dave
    Dave:
    Jeroen Brattinga:
    OMG! What's next? People e-mailing someone who's just 10 feet away? Oh, wait...

    Yes, if the company procedure states that only an emailed response is acceptable. Suppose the person hadn't been phoned/emailled "because they were standing right in front of me" and subsequently there was a problem? Where's the audit trail?

    Sarbanes-Oxley.

  • Black Phoenix (unregistered)

    Is it only me who felt sympathy for secretary? In my view that is a very good secretary who will do her job the best she can

  • Befuddled (unregistered) in reply to ParkinT
    ParkinT:
    Working in a CMMI/Gov't/Highly-Corporate environment I can really appreciate how ridiculous 'process' seems at times.

    At times?!?

    You mean like every day between the hours of 12:01am and midnight?

    Every business I've seen adopt standards like ISO:9001 Tick-IT and CMMI has slowed the rate at which it ships product to a trickle without any improvement in quality.

    They do have a sheaf of paper proving it's not anyone's fault when things go wrong though, and it keeps otherwise unemployable quality weasels in a job.

  • rumpelstiltskin (unregistered)

    If the clerk didn't follow the documented process, then she may have had to fill out a form describing the deviation, listing the risks, and requiring some sort of supervisor approval. At least, that's how documented processes are supposed to work. I'd be wary of a developer who shows so little regard for process; most (almost all) developers suck, and process, no matter how stupid process seems, is the only thing keeping them from really fouling things up.

  • Leahn (unregistered) in reply to Tuomas

    She was assimilated, dude. She cannot resist. Resistance is futile, you know?

  • Leahn (unregistered) in reply to Jeroen Brattinga
    Jeroen Brattinga:
    OMG! What's next? People e-mailing someone who's just 10 feet away? Oh, wait...

    I actually have to do this where I work because every decision has to be logged.

  • causa (unregistered)

    She's the perfect candidate for a CEO position!

    Brains, vision, AND stick-to-it-iveness.

  • krupa (unregistered)

    It's called CYA (Cover Your Ass). If you blindly follow the process every time regardless of individual details, you can't get in trouble for mistakes. It's also useful if you never want to be held accountable for making a decision based on your own judgement.

  • an anonymous coward (unregistered) in reply to rumpelstiltskin
    rumpelstiltskin:
    I'd be wary of a developer who shows so little regard for process; most (almost all) developers suck, and process, no matter how stupid process seems, is the only thing keeping them from really fouling things up.

    I'd be wary of a developer that didn't object to a phone call from someone standing within arm's reach.

    It's one thing to disregard coding standards in favor of your own, and it's another to call something that's stupid "stupid."

  • biziclop (unregistered) in reply to rumpelstiltskin
    rumpelstiltskin:
    If the clerk didn't follow the documented process, then she may have had to fill out a form describing the deviation, listing the risks, and requiring some sort of supervisor approval. At least, that's how documented processes are supposed to work. I'd be wary of a developer who shows so little regard for process; most (almost all) developers suck, and process, no matter how stupid process seems, is the only thing keeping them from really fouling things up.

    No process can beat a resourceful idiot. Or a resourceful clever person. Or virtually anybody who has half a brain and want to foul things up deliberately.

  • Rakan (unregistered)

    That is what they call living the companies culture.

  • RobM (unregistered)

    Maybe she's been criticised by a WTF of a boss in the past for not following procedures exactly, regardless of common sense.

    I've been criticised for not "following procedure" in an old job where part of my job was to develop new procedures and "solutions" for my team. Difficult to develop new processes without testing them and trying them out first, one would think...

  • real_aardvark (cs)

    Clearly snoofle is not a man who likes to mess with peoople's minds.

    Had that been me, I'd have answered on the mobile, and (whilst looking intently into the secretary's eyes) said,

    "What? Mr Snoofle, did you say? I think I've heard of him ... isn't he that guy with his silhouette in the 'Most Wanted' poster at the local post office? I can't be sure -- it's just a silhouette. Perhaps you'd better ring them. It's your duty as a concerned citizen, goddamnit."

    It's not as if I'd have wanted the job anyway.

    I agree with Robert Townsend in "Up the Organisation," who had a two-word chapter on how to handle the Personnel -- as was -- department:

    "Fire them."

  • Jared (unregistered)

    I actually think she did the correct thing. If you have a company policy then you are obligated to follow that policy even when it makes sense (so long as it is within the laws, not immoral, etc.). For example, another article was about someone who got fired on the spot after handing a child a 15 cent candy in order to stop the kid from screaming and disrupting other customers. Doesn’t make sense, but the rule was that no “freebies” were to be given. Period. If a company has a rule, and your boss is a dick and wants to fire you, then you follow the rule even though it’s completely stupid and counter productive.

  • John Tolbert (unregistered)

    LOL, thats the craziest thing I have ever heard. I would have walked out too. LOL.

    JJ www.Ultimate-Anonymity.com

  • they might record the calls (unregistered)

    They might record and screen the calls to make sure that procedure is followed. So it might not be the fault of the secretary. She just wants to keep her job.

  • Jonathan (And I work in Consulting) (unregistered)

    I am strangely aroused by that story. This is probably a bad trend.

    Or it may just be an attraction to a certain type of woman ...

  • amadeuvf (unregistered) in reply to Tuomas

    even when it's a stupid situation....

    lol ^_^

  • TheRider (cs) in reply to Befuddled
    Befuddled:
    Every business I've seen adopt standards like ISO:9001 Tick-IT and CMMI has slowed the rate at which it ships product to a trickle without any improvement in quality.
    Somebody explained ISO:9000 something like this to me: You will get certified that you have a defined process in place for all things you produce. The certification does not assert the quality of the output. It rather asserts reliability, repeatability and trackability of the process. Therefore, if you have a repeatable process whose output is garbage, and always will be garbage, you will get certified. You can thus be a certified ISO:9000 garbage producer.
  • Anonymous Cow-herd (unregistered)

    Is this the comments page for the "Stupid Secretary WTF" article? Have there been more than 20 comments before this one?

    Sorry, but I need to check on these things.

  • biziclop (unregistered) in reply to they might record the calls
    they might record the calls:
    They might record and screen the calls to make sure that procedure is followed. So it might not be the fault of the secretary. She just wants to keep her job.

    She surely could've said: "Look, let's pretend it made sense and let me call you just to cover all bases, right?"

    You have to follow the procedures but a little bit of self-awareness is surely not against the law. If it is, flee as fast as you can.

  • Aaron (cs)

    Could have been cute, depending on the mood. Maybe she was just having some fun?

  • ... (unregistered) in reply to Tuomas

    To Toumas

    If you truly believe that you need to wake the f*** up!

  • biziclop (unregistered) in reply to TheRider
    TheRider:
    Befuddled:
    Every business I've seen adopt standards like ISO:9001 Tick-IT and CMMI has slowed the rate at which it ships product to a trickle without any improvement in quality.
    Somebody explained ISO:9000 something like this to me: You will get certified that you have a defined process in place for all things you produce. The certification does not assert the quality of the output. It rather asserts reliability, repeatability and trackability of the process. Therefore, if you have a repeatable process whose output is garbage, and always will be garbage, you will get certified. You can thus be a certified ISO:9000 garbage producer.

    The Dilbert version was better:

    Consultant: To get an ISO 9000 certificate you have to prove to your customers that you follow a consistent process. PHB: That's easy, we always lie to our customers.

  • Anonymous Cow-herd (unregistered) in reply to ...
    ...:
    To Toumas

    If you truly believe that you need to wake the f*** up!

    Welcome to The Daily WTF. Nobody here likes you.

  • Volmarias (cs) in reply to JimM

    It's all very silly, though it would have been nice of the secretary to at least explain why she had to call him (provides an independant trail for CYA). Yes, it's still rather silly in that I could claim that I did XYZ and then it would be "verified" from their point of view, but at least they can prove that they've performed due diligance if later down the line I end up hosting a TF2 server on a client's box.

  • NCBloodhound (cs)

    Individuals and interactions over processes and tools Working software over comprehensive documentation Customer collaboration over contract negotiation Responding to change over following a plan

    'nuff said

    http://agilemanifesto.org/

  • Contractor-rific (unregistered)

    Same thing applies in government work:

    It is more important to follow the rules than to do the right (or sensible) thing.

  • George Nacht (unregistered) in reply to phleabo
    phleabo:
    Maybe she really did need to call - perhaps they randomly check the phone logs for that kind of thing, and if she didn't actually make the phone call to the number listed in the paperwork, she'd get in trouble.

    .

    Absolutely agreed, same procedure here. Wait, what do you mean ,,randomly"?

  • jtl (unregistered)

    Secretaries have it hard. My fiance' was fired for not picking up the phone before the 2nd ring.

  • PoweRoy (cs)

    Read this one a while back on this site already?

  • robzyc (cs)

    I would have denied all knowledge of myself and then took my clothes off and ran around licking the walls.

    I can do crazy stupid too.

    Although, to be fair, in this case it was probably just the job saying she HAS to follow procedure.

  • michal (unregistered)

    Maybe the calls are recorded?

  • SenTree (cs) in reply to TheRider
    TheRider:
    Befuddled:
    Every business I've seen adopt standards like ISO:9001 Tick-IT and CMMI has slowed the rate at which it ships product to a trickle without any improvement in quality.
    Somebody explained ISO:9000 something like this to me: You will get certified that you have a defined process in place for all things you produce. The certification does not assert the quality of the output. It rather asserts reliability, repeatability and trackability of the process. Therefore, if you have a repeatable process whose output is garbage, and always will be garbage, you will get certified. You can thus be a certified ISO:9000 garbage producer.
    You are absolutely correct, sir ! Our current QA regime is a case in point. A good ISO auditor will actually go beyond the letter of the standard and point out areas where process improvements could raise product quality, but if the corporate attitude is 'how can we get ISO9000 with minimum effort' instead of 'how can we improve our product quality' he's wasting his breath. </rant>
  • TheRider (cs) in reply to PoweRoy
    PoweRoy:
    Read this one a while back on this site already?
    Most probably. That's why it's in the category "Best of the Sidebar". And this may be a hint, too: "Originally posted to the sidebar by "snoofle"..."
  • real_aardvark (cs) in reply to NCBloodhound
    NCBloodhound:
    Individuals and interactions over processes and tools Working software over comprehensive documentation Customer collaboration over contract negotiation Responding to change over following a plan

    'nuff said

    http://agilemanifesto.org/

    You want an agile secretary now?

    Plz send teh picz. Do they come on nice shiny 3x5 cards?

  • Tamahome (unregistered)

    Enorme \o/

  • Befuddled (unregistered) in reply to TheRider
    TheRider:
    Befuddled:
    Every business I've seen adopt standards like ISO:9001 Tick-IT and CMMI has slowed the rate at which it ships product to a trickle without any improvement in quality.
    Somebody explained ISO:9000 something like this to me: You will get certified that you have a defined process in place for all things you produce. The certification does not assert the quality of the output. It rather asserts reliability, repeatability and trackability of the process. Therefore, if you have a repeatable process whose output is garbage, and always will be garbage, you will get certified. You can thus be a certified ISO:9000 garbage producer.

    Yep that's pretty much the case, but what I've found is that you will produce garbage more slowly and that the culture shifts to a lack of responsibility.

    The process is always to blame, not the people, and when things go wrong everything is fixed by changing the process to include a step to check for that specific thing going wrong.

    Nobody learns, the process grows more and more complex and three years later you fold or get sold.

  • Peter Gibbins (unregistered)

    This story would be great if it were real. Do you recognize my name? You should if you worked at Initech, which you didn't because it is a fictional company. Next time you make up a story try some original material.

  • PeriSoft (cs)

    Too bad he couldn't take the job and play around with the company without ruining his resume. If the secretary is like that, I bet there's a lot of other great WTF material.

    One of the things I'd like to do, if I can sell my business and have enough money to do what I want, is to get some random low and mid level jobs, and screw around. Get a part-time gig at best buy, and show up in an Aston Martin but act totally normal... Cashier at Wal Mart and see if being completely relaxed helps you get ahead, or if you get fired...

  • SM1 (unregistered)

    When she called I would have said: "Sorry, I can't talk right now. I am in an interview process".

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