Anything I write that has to do with writing will be in From Pico's Pen, my author's blog. Everything that doesn't fit any of the sites I write on will be here. This is my practice. I could have kept it private and farmed out the good stuff but I found my readers like too much of it to do that. It isn't a diary because there are things I keep to myself but you can learn a great deal about me from the randomness you will find here.

Friday, 18 March 2016

The Pants Department

Courtesy Pixabay

I worked for a period of time as a telephone sales representative for an after market tractor cab manufacturer. They were not a great place to work and shall remain nameless. We used a customer relations management program and our working with it provided some comic relief.

I don't know if it was CEO Dad or CEO Mom who decided that we should no longer short form company names when making notes on customer accounts. I rarely short formed those anyway. No big deal, most of us didn't have any trouble following instructions. The problem was the notes that were already there. Computer genius second son of the CEOs decided he would start fixing the problem. He started with the Caterpillar. They are a heavy equipment manufacturer that is known by almost everyone as Cats. A program was executed to replace all the incidences of Cat in the system and substituting Caterpillar. Does anyone see where this is going?

Yep, Janine and I watched weird things happen to our notes in front of our very eyes. I sent a customer a catalog and suddenly the notes said I sent them a caterpillaralog. One of our other equipment manufacturers Bobcat became Bobcaterpillar. The change was reversed by said genius, who at least thought it was as funny as we did.

Most of our business was directly with equipment dealers and we needed to record in the notes who the company representative we dealt with was and their department. There was a separate field for that information. The usual entries were Admin, Sales or Parts. The most common was probably Parts.

The reason I mention that is the company briefly employed a young lady in our department who was obviously quite dyslexic. CEO Mom decided that dyslexic meant retarded, which I found offensive especially since her own notes showed dyslexia to a lesser degree. Almost invariably Parts was written Prats. Nobody made any effort to fix the error so I started changing them to Pants. Pants is less noticeable than Prats and it remained an overlooked misspelling as long as I worked there. Almost two years of my private joke.

Not many heavy equipment or tractor dealers have clothing departments so if you ever happen to be working for a cab manufacturer and you notice company contacts in the pants department that's my fault. Admittedly not the most mature thing I ever did, but part of me still finds this amusing.

The notes did provide other moments of humour. CEO's oldest son wrote some hysterically unprofessional notes on a couple accounts. I don't disagree with his sentiments toward the customer but I would never write something like that in the notes. I wouldn't want anything like that to come back and bite me.