February 11, 2010

How Business Works

Yesterday, the laptop computer that I inherited from whoever had this job before me stopped working correctly.  Actually, it did stop working, period.  But computers never completely die.  They still throw up weird shit on the screen and make you believe that their malfunctioning is only temporary, when it is, in actuality, fatal.  This must be some type of defense mechanism so you don't immediately throw them in the trash, but continue to shower attention on them in the mistaken belief that they will heal themselves.

In fact, the only thing wrong with my computer was that the AC pack had failed, draining the battery to a point where it could not be recharged.  The company IT guy was quick to diagnose the problem and arranged to have someone come over with a new AC pack and battery.  Mr. Someone showed up less than a half hour later.

IT Guy:  Here's your AC adapter.

Me:  Thanks.  Hey, where's my new battery?

IT Guy:  (Looks at worksheet)  Doesn't say anything about a battery.

Me:  Seems silly to get a new AC adapter if I don't have a battery.

IT Guy:  Well, I have a battery with me.  I brought it for someone else, but they didn't want it because it costs 120 dollars.

Me:  You mean the company is going to charge me 120 dollars for a battery for a company computer?

IT Guy:  Nah, we'll charge your Department.  The woman I got this battery for didn't want it because her boss wouldn't pay for it.

Me:  Hmmm.  Maybe my boss won't pay for it either.

IT Guy:  You could do this ... take the battery and we'll charge your department 120 dollars, but if your boss raises a big ass stink with my boss, he'll back off and drop the charge.  He's done that before.  But only if the person getting the battery didn't know he was going to be charged 120 dollars.

Me:  But I know you're going to charge me 120 dollars ahead of time.

IT Guy:  Yeah, that's right, so that won't work.

Me:  Let's try this ... you act like you haven't met me and walk back out the door, then come back in.  Just say "here's your battery".

IT Guy:  Okay. (Backs out door, then comes back in)  "Knock, knock".  Here's your battery.

Me:  Thanks.  Oh look at the time!  I'm late for a meeting!  I have to run, so I'll miss the part where you tell me you're going to charge me 120 dollars for the battery. "WINK, WINK"

IT Guy:  Okay, bye.

All the world's a stage ...

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