Perhaps I’m just a big whiny bitch, but shit like the tiny tale I’m about to share really drives me nuts. Of course it’s also what keeps me employed, but life is kooky like that.
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Last December our returns department faxed a request for a return authorization to some company. We’ll call them Ballbusting Pricks Inc. in order to protect their identity and further express my displeasure with their way of doing business.
So a month goes by with no response to our request, and as a result it is resubmitted. Another month, no answer. A third fax is sent, which also fails to generate any sort of reply. Since this is not necessarily uncommon in our industry, our policy is to give it three goes and then a phone call before finally throwing in the towel. (I’m going to ignore for a moment the fact that our returns department rarely bothers with the phone call portion of this “policy”, making my life much more miserable since we rarely if ever come out on the right end of the deal). Of course, “throwing in the towel” means destroying the product and then hitting the company up with a bill for it. It’s our way of saying, “give us what we want or we’ll just take it”.
So back in June I get a call from some woman at Ballbusting Pricks Inc., wondering why we deducted $800 bucks off of our recent payment. I explained the situation and – per her request – faxed her a copy of the detail.
A month later I get an email from this woman asking me about the “status of the return”. I reminded her that we had *destroyed* the product, so there wasn’t much new in the way of “status”. She then asked for a proof of destruction (standard request) as well as proof that we had actually made the fax requests we were claiming. I can’t say as though I’ve ever been asked that before, but whatever, we had our confirmation reports, so I sent them over. She then sends me… wait for it… A RETURN AUTHORIZATION!
Whoopee! You’ve just given me permission to return product which I’ve told you on two separate occasions HAS BEEN DESTROYED! While I contemplated the logic in such a move, I discovered said return authorization was in fact for some other company for some other product which had nothing to do with what we were talking about. I pointed this out to her and awaited her next move. I received it today.
What I actually received was an email from some other woman in her company (which included the entire email trail of my dealings with Ballbusting Pricks Inc. Employee #1). The curious thing was that it was not sent to me, but to some high-up muckity-muck in MY company, and I was merely CC’d. The basic gist of Employee #2’s email was, “here’s the authorization we issued in December, please see that your deduction is paid back.” Now, why Employee #1 didn’t just send that to me back in June when I first explained the situation, I’m not sure. It certainly would have made life easier. And why they chose to suddenly deal with somebody ELSE at my company, rather than continue dealing with me, I’m equally unsure of. It’s not the like the tone of any of the emails was hostile (on either end). Nor had I ever flat out refused to payback our deduction should they ever provide proof that our initial requests did not go unanswered. Instead what I get is an email to somebody of vague importance that by it’s mere existence implies I have been difficult to work with and unwilling to do what was asked of me. It makes me look bad, assuming of course you don’t bother to read the chain of emails that would seem to indicate things progressed somewhat rationally.
Anyway, I read the email this morning, got sufficiently worked up about it, muttered to myself quite a bit, and even made plans to vent my aggravation in the post you are now reading. I then fired off a response thanking her for providing the info I had asked for three months ago and apologized for the confusion, offering to payback the deduction since it seems “we misplaced the authorization when it was originally sent”. Whether that’s true or not, who can say? I have zero faith in our staff as it is, so I’m willing to assume it’s possible. Either way, $800 bucks is such a small drop in the well that it’s already not been worth the time we’ve spent getting to this point that I can write it off and never think of it again without anyone else batting an eyelash. My only hope is that the entire incident didn’t make it’s way to my boss, because while I’m 99% sure he’d understand once I explained it, those kind of things never look good no matter how they turned out.
The coda for our little story: I had CC’d the muckity-muck on my response to Employee #2 this morning in order to let him know I was handling it.
It bounced back.
I’m pretty sure the guy left the company a couple of months ago (which dawned on me when I got the bounceback). So I should be free-and-clear of any trickle down repercussions. Which is good, considering the circumstances. In the meantime, I’ve made a mental note to bitchslap Employee #1 of Ballbusting Pricks Inc. should we ever meet.