Wednesday, 26 June 2013

From the Desk of Ranty McRants-A-Lot

In my job, forms, lots and lots of them, fly across my desk all day long. Forms people have to fill out and send me so I can update their files with the information, forms I have to fill out to keep track of how many forms I've updated, forms my boss has to fill out to keep track of how many forms I've filled out that keep track of my progress updating's endless.

I'm an expert in form filling out. Excelle spreadsheets are my friend. Triplicate is not only fun but necessary. And lists. Don't get me started on lists! knew it was coming. That wasn't even the rant, it was just the job description.

The forms people have to fill out so I can update their files aren't all that complicated. Some people do it themselves and send them in, and that's cool. They get them mostly right. Well, sort of right. I can decipher what they meant in most cases. Usually....

It's the people who hire professionals to fill out their forms for them that make me daffy. They hire the professional, and the professional usually gets the form right and sends the form back to the customer for them to put the final touches on. And these are things the pro can't do for them. So they send the form and a detailed letter explaining to the customer what needs to be done.

Usually something uber complicated like, oh, I don't know....SIGN THE DAMN THING!!!!!!!
because people, if you don't sign it, I can't update your file. Really. All I can do is send it back to you with a letter politely asking you to sign it and return it to me, k-thanks.

Or, they need to attach receipts to show they paid the bills they said they paid, and the pro's letter details exactly which receipts I need to see. Staple them to your form and put the form in the envelope we've provided for that purpose and mail it to me. You don't even have to address the envelope, or even put a stamp on it. We've taken care of all that. All you have to do is staple, lick, pat and drop it in a mailbox.
Because people, if you don't send me the receipts, I can't update your file. All I can do is send the form back to you with a letter politely asking you to attach the receipts and return it to me, K-THANKS!

Or, the pros letter might tell them "Attached are two copies of your form, one for your records and one for you to mail in and have your file updated." So people, send me the form that says "Mail this Form" inside the big, black--outlined box at the top, and file the form that says "Keep this copy for your records" across the front of it in a brightly-coloured file folder in your desk drawer. AT HOME. Because I don't need both. All you're doing by sending me both is dulling the blades on my shredder. Then, in six months, when you realize you need a piece of information from that form, and you check your folder and find you don't have it, you'll mail me to ask me to send you a copy.

And in a month after that, when I haven't gotten around to it, you'll mail me another nasty note telling me I'm slow and, and don't I know how very important  and potentially life-altering it is that you have this information IMMEDIATLY!!!!

Then I will mail you a letter saying:

Dear Dumbass Sir,

Please find enclosed the form you requested. Your lack of planning is not my emergency, jerkface. We apologize for the delay in responding to your request. Please keep this copy of the  goddamn  form for your records. Idiot.

Your personal secretary,

Because I'm polite like that.
Well, and because sending the letter I'd really like to send will probably get me fired. ooh...hey.....I just had an idea.....

So, what about you? Do you like your day job? Or, like me, do you think your evil day job is, well, evil?


Anthology Authors said...

I like my day job. I'm a publisher, although I am vastly underpaid at the moment. (rubbing hands together) I have plans. Big, big plans! Mwahahaha ;)

However, I still see stupidity on a daily basis. You think people don't read forms? Well, how many people do you think read submission guidelines? (grin)

But, hey, at least I like my evil day job.

And no doubt, people are stupid. They've proved it time and time again.

Jaime Samms said...

Actually liking the job would go a long way to making this sort of stuff matter less, Marci.

Nimue Brown said...

Editing has been the day job for a while, although it's getting to the point where writing pays better. I suspect my job for this winter will be 'personal assistant to sexy artist bloke' which will mean I get all the forms...

Does make me wonder what you're being paid to do though :-)

Jaime Samms said...

Nimue, I'm getting paid mostly to be annoyed at people who can't follow very simple instructions. Just imagine you're the acquisitions editor at a nice little press and every other MS you look at shows quite clearly that the author who sent it in didn't follow the rules on the submission page. That isn't my job, but the frustration factor is probably about the same.

Anthology Authors said...

Oh, Jaime, you just described what happens to our submissions. ;) No, not really, but I did just receive two. One was just a query letter; the other had an attachment. I gave them the link to our submission guidelines and asked them to read them. HAHAHA

It does help a lot. I can't say I like every part of the job, but I do like what I do. :)