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This is a question Corporate Idiocy

Comedian Al Murray recounts a run-in with industrial-scale stupidity: "Car insurance company rang, without having sent me a renewal letter, asking for money. Made them answer security questions." In the same vein, tell us your stories about pointless paperwork and corporate quarter-wits

(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 12:13)
Pages: Popular, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

I am assured this is true by someone I trust*
A certain large telecommunications company whose adverts are always wank** was getting lots of grief over the amount of time it took them to deal with faults, especially those which should have been a high priority.

So, after much management bullshitting brainstorming it was decided that they needed special teams of engineers based in strategic locations around the country that could be called upon at any time to attend major faults and get things running again quickly. So far, so sensible.

At the time, said company was earning profits not unadjacent to £90 per second so were able to throw money at the problem. One bright idea, because major outages could happen at night and/or by busy roads, was to provide the engineers with special reflective tabards to ensure their safety. These tabards were marked with the initials of the name given to this special group of engineers so they could be easily identified by colleagues as being the expert troubleshooters.

The name given to this elite squad that was initialled in 3-inch high letters onto their tabards?


*his dad's a former engineer and ALLEGEDLY still has the tabard.
**except the Stephen Hawking one

(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 23:25, 2 replies)
University Challenged
Ok, so it's council stupidity, not corporate, but it's certainly in the spirit of this QOTW...

Back in the 1990s, when I started university, my grant cheque was late turning up in the first term. Given my LEA was the London Borough of Lambeth, that was hardly a surprise. They weren't exactly famed for their efficiency. But as days turned into weeks, and weeks into months, there was still no sign of it and I was starting to get a little worried, although whenever I rang them they insisted it had been sent out to my university.

Someone suggested I go to the assistant dean of students to get her to take it up on my behalf. Again, with the phone on speaker so I could hear what was being said, they insisted to her that it had been sent out. We were getting nowhere. Then she had the bright idea of asking them to confirm the address they had sent it to.

After the sound of some papers being shuffled, they were back with the answer: 'University of Wales College of Cardiff, Aberystwyth, Wales..." Upon being challenged as to why they'd sent it to Aberystwyth when I was, in fact, in Cardiff as they well knew, there was a pause, followed by: "Er... isn't Cardiff in Aberystwyth...?"

The cheque was still late every term for the next four years, but at least it eventually arrived in the correct part of Wales instead of somewhere else 73 miles away. Never found out why Aberystwyth sat on the cheque instead of sending it back to Lambeth or on to Cardiff either.
(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 22:51, Reply)
Lets be honest here
Corporations are bit's of paper. It the wankers who work for them and go out of there way to make life difficult who are responsible. People like YOU!
(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 22:08, 19 replies)
P C World - probably one of many
In short, I have had a laptop that I have had fault with ever since around 3 months from purchase. The only problem was that as I was travelling a lot and barely in the UK it was a bitch to sort out. Got it 'fixed' under the International Warranty in Canada - didn't fix the problem.

Eventually I was back in the UK for a few weeks so took it to their tech support. They said I needed to get an independent service report of which the cost will be refunded if it was found to be not my fault.

Got the service report, which listed a few things wrong, one of which being a cracked mother board or something similar. Submitted it for repair once they were satisfied it wasn't my fault, and left the country for another year before they fixed it.

My dad collected it when it was 'fixed' by them, but had no idea of the issue with it so it sat there until I got back just under a year later. Tried it again and despite being repaired the problem was still there. So I checked the report from the engineers which listed most of the faults that the independent guys found repaired, except the mother board.

Phoned PC World...

PCW - Sorry to hear that sir, but our new policy is that you need to send it to us at your expense of 50 pounds, and we will test it, and if we deem it to not be your fault we will repair it and refund the money

Me - I don't actually have 50 quid knocking around right now. Besides, I got an independent report which did exactly the same thing last year

PCW - Yes, but we found a lot of these reports were listing problems that our guys deemed weren't actually there, as demonstrated by your problem

Me - Do you not think, that as the main problem listed wasn't actually fixed, and the problem is still recurring, that the report may have actually been correct and that you should fix this problem before charging me further?

PCW - Sorry, it's a new problem as far as we are concerned - 50 quid please

Me - I leave the country again in less than a week and am not sure when I will return

PCW - Sorry, it's a new pro........
(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 22:06, 1 reply)
Had my wallet stolen
So phoned Egg to cancel my card

"Hello Egg how can i help"
"Hi i would like to cancel my card"
"ok can i take first and sixth letters of your password"
"Hmmm... i have know idea, can you give me a clue?"
"it's an animal"
"M and Y?"
"no sorry, you have two more try's"
"C and E?"
"No sorry"
"Hold on! what happens if i keep getting it wrong?"
"Your card is canceled"
"Fucking genius!"
(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 21:55, 3 replies)
My street has residents parking, so you need a permit
I don't own a car, but occasionally rent one, so was interested to see that the council did short term ones for rental cars.

I got a form to apply for some, but I never got any further:
You need to supply the number plate. Before you rent the car. I wonder if anyone has *ever* bought any?
(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 21:53, 2 replies)
More corporate wankage
While they were doing the 5S rampage at Honeywell I went through a supply closet and found a coffee cup from some previous corporate campaign back when they were Allied Signal. It's a beautiful dark blue with metallic gold stars on it, and across the top it says STAR: Striving To Achieve Results.

God knows how much money and effort went into that one as well. No one there could remember what STAR was supposed to be about, or why there were coffee mugs made.

Dilbert is not a cartoon, it's a documentary.
(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 20:52, 5 replies)
Broadband stupidity
The long version would take a while so I'll give you the short version.
At the beginning of December I had internet and phone problems (connection constantly dropping, no dial tone), 7 phone calls, 4 line tests, 3 weeks and one threat to terminate my contract later it's fixed.

Just at the end of last month these issues resurfaced. 5 phone calls, 3 weeks, 2 inside engineer visits, 2 line tests, much blame on me for my internet woe, 1 new router and a visit from a BT openreach engineer later, I have internet again!

Moral of the story? Talktalk have the worst customer service and tech support known to anyone and if you want anything fixed you have to call them up constantly to complain about it.

Suffice to say the BT guy was lovely, though he didn't have anything nice to say about talktalk's tech support. Meanwhile I'm just counting down the days till the contract with Talktalk ends.
(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 20:29, 4 replies)
Energy supplier security questions
Called my energy supplier to give them a new set of readings for my bill.

They started asking for my date of birth. I asked why. They said it was a security question, so I said "no", not that there was anything that they could do about it because they didn't actually know; I'd never supplied that information to them.

OK, says they, what's your phone number. Not telling, says I.

Is your house owned or rented? Not telling.

Look, you have to answer at least one of our security questions, says they. Why replies I, they're just the same questions that everyone else asks and they're not very secure are they; anyone can find that information out.

They're not the same questions, and if anyone calls pretending to be you, they don't know what we're going to ask them, counters they.

But you don't know who I am, and you've just told me what the questions are.

Erm, says they
(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 20:17, 2 replies)

I once worked as a corporate headhunter. Taught those cunts for firing me!
(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 20:05, Reply)
Development reviews.
One menial task I have is to ensure my minions process 50 or so cheque payments per week so that the cheques are in the post within 5 working days.

My boss has to counter-sign the cheques. "so shouldn't my target be to ensure that they're ready to sign within 3 or 4 days"

"no. Make sure they're signed and posted within 5"

Righto then...
(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 20:01, 2 replies)
One time I went for an interview...
and they gave me a form to fill in for travel expenses. I sent it off to them, and a few days later I got a letter from them. I opened it expecting a cheque, but found inside the form I'd just sent them, and a letter. The letter informed me that I'd sent the form to the wrong address, and gave me the correct one. I cross-referenced the old and new addresses, to find they were the exact same building, but a different office. Apparently it was more efficient to send the form back to me and have me re-send it than for them to just walk it to another office.

So, anyway, I re-sent it and got another letter with my cheque...but with my name misspelled. The bank wouldn't accept it, so I phoned the company and asked them to send another. They apparently didn't have any of my information on file, and had no proof of my original claim, so they sent me a new form. Only this time I didn't have the train tickets as I'd already sent them and they'd lost/destroyed them. I printed the ticket reference details from an email, but they didn't accept this as proof. Eventually I gave up, as the amount wasn't really worth claiming for at this point. I wonder if they were purposefully doing it just to avoid giving me my £20 back.
(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 19:59, 2 replies)
Wat Nest...
I once received a phone call from someone claiming to be fraud protection at my bank. They told me they wanted to go through my credit card history to check that everything was legit.

They then asked for proof that I was me, e.g. name, date of birth, address, credit card number etc. It was at this point my fraud protection senses started tingling, so I asked them to prove they were from my bank.

They said they couldn't prove they were from my bank because they couldn't give personal information out. So I came up with a fool-proof plan to discover if they were who they said they were. I asked them for their phone number, hung up, and then called customer services at my bank.

"I've just been phoned by this number, and they claim to be from this bank. Can you confirm that this phone number belongs to your bank?" I asked.

The reply I got. "We are a large bank, and we have a lot of phone numbers, so it may be one of ours, or it may not..."

Thanks. Thanks a lot for that. Twats.
(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 19:13, 2 replies)

I love the way corporates will threaten to sue you if you infringe on their trademarks. Fuck them though. Just Do It.
(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 19:09, 2 replies)

My gfs mum is in debt - not entirely her fault, just circumstances sometimes overtake peoples ability to cope with them. Her bank send her an advisor (and charge £100 for the privilege)who suggest downsizing as the best solution. She agrees, her kids are grown up and a smaller house would be better. She applies to the same bank for a mortgage on a smaller house... and is refused... twice.

Things are looking a bit bleak for her atm being trapped by stupid banks who don't seem to allow people to follow their own advice.

(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 19:05, 5 replies)
cooling off period
Took out motorbike insurance for a week's time (this story is set further than a week ago, in the past).
The next day, before any of the bits of pointlessly wasted tree turned up with whoever-it-was' logo on them I decided to add my dad as a named rider.
Gave them a call, apparently it would be no extra on the premium but there would be a £15 'admin charge'.
Pointed out that the cover hadn't even started yet and I could just cancel it and sign up again in the same phonecall for additional net cost of 0 pounds.

'I'll just check with my supervisor.... Sir there will be no extra charge today'
Cheers robot phone mong.
(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 19:04, 3 replies)
So I got burgled...
... and the scrotes got away my with phone. And my wallet, containing all my cards and my cash. And my house keys. On Easter Sunday morning.

So now, I'm stuck in a house I can't leave because a team of scumbags have keys to it, a car I can't drive but can't let out of my sight because etc. etc., no money, no method of getting any money, and nobody is in at the bank for next few days. I have a major security problem, and I need a locksmith asap.

So I of course ring my excellent home insurers, who take all the details, take my crime number (thanks, cops!), and go through everything I need. It's all going great. Then...

"When the locksmith arrives, you'll need to pay him £160, then claim it back from us." Uh-oh.
"Well, will they take a cheque without a cheque guarantee card?"
"Oh no, sir, it has to be cash."
"Really. Well, that's going to be a problem, since, as I might have mentioned once or twice over the last forty minutes we've been talking, I've been ROBBED, and they have my wallet with all my cash, and all my means of getting cash, and in any case I can't leave the house because I NEED A LOCKSMITH FIRST."
"Can you call your bank?"
"It is Easter Sunday. Even B&Q are shut, ffs."
"Well, the locksmith has to be paid or they won't come out."
"Can't YOU pay them? Isn't that what I, y'know, PAY YOU for?"
"No, you have to pay them, then claim it back."
"I CAN'T!!!"
"Then we can't help you."

Over the course of the day, I had that same conversation three times with increasingly senior representatives of the insurance company, increasingly unable to believe that nothing like this had ever happened before ever in the history of burglaries. But apparently not. There was no way round it, and their considered response was "You're on your own."

Happy ending - I called a local locksmith myself and gave him the gist. He came out within the hour {EDIT: and said it would be fine, he'd just leave me with an invoice and I could pay him when I "got sorted out". I said "Is Sunday usually busy?", and he said that he wasn't in fact supposed to be working, but I sounded like I was in trouble and needed help. So he got a tip on top of the cost of the locksmithing, and I recommend him to everyone I know. Top bloke.

Nobody I know uses that insurance company any more though...

tl;dr. Insurance companies are twatrags.
(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 19:03, 13 replies)
With regards to the quote in the question
Someone representing my bank called me unexpectedly the other day and told me that "they needed an appointment with me. Could I just answer some security questions?"
As it was them who'd called me I was a little dubious, so when she asked if I could confirm my address I told her I'd moved house a couple of times, and couldn't recall if I'd updated the bank.
"It could be Church Road...?"
"...No, we don't have that..."
"Or maybe Steeple View...?"
"No... It begins T R E...?"
That was good enough for me. They knew when I was lying, and they knew the beginning of my real address.
Still didn't keep the appointment though. Cheeky fuckers.
(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 18:35, Reply)
Bell(end) Canada
I have a house in Canada (ooh get you, croissant etc) but seeing as I am only there for a few weeks a year I get the utility bills sent to my home here in Blighty. When I first set all of these accounts up I was prepared to give them the benefit of the doubt with the 'slightly' unusual arrangement but all seemed to be fine until about June last year. Quite arbitrarily Bell had stopped sending me bills. Because I hadn't paid for several months and hadn't responded to reminders they had cut my house off. When I discovered this they advised me that according to their records I had called them in February and told them to change my correspondence address to Canada (obviously untrue and wholly illogical).

After asking them to reconnect, amend my details and offering to pay immediately for the 'missing' invoices I then spent a total of four and half hours talking to thirteen different Bell employees, visited one Bell outlet, paid the bills and a reconnection fee (they refused to waive this even though it was completely their fault) and being told on three separate occasions that is was all resolved only to find it was still disconnected and marked as unpaid. During this farrago they also refused to accept payment via MasterCard as 'our system can't accept credit card payments over the phone', told me that I had spelt my own name incorrectly, cut me off on three occasions and told me to stop using threatening language when I suggested that "I might be better talking to your most highly trained chimpanzee" which whilst rude is hardly threatening.
(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 18:18, 2 replies)
Personal Development Reviews...
...enough said.
(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 17:54, 8 replies)
No, tear the post it notes
Bear in mind that this was 1991 and post-it notes were still quite new.

I worked for a traditional firm of high street solicitors (attorneys for mercans) in my middle year of my law degree. I had one of those kind of tasks where you had to go through lots of ledgers and old books of account and note books, etc to find something relevant. Wedging pieces of paper as markers into the irregularly shaped books just wasn't hacking it so I thought the only sensible thing to use these new fangled post-it notes.

The receptionists was also the guardian of the stationery cupboard and she was not authorised to release post-it notes to anyone except a partner in the firm. I knew that Mr Kenward (no first names, all surnames - they only stopped requiring staff to call them sir the year before I joined!) had some on his desk and he was sensible.

I went into his office, overlooking the car park which contained the assorted Porsches, Range Rovers and Mercs belonging to the partners. Mr Kenward was happy to chat about his latest Lotus (the car not the flower) - he collected them.

He was not, however, happy to let me have any post-it notes. I thought that he was joking. I went along with having to explain why I needed them and what benefit they gave to traditional alternatives. I thought maybe it was some form of test - a bit of a mini-moot to sharpen the legal brain.

Nope. They were just tight. He gave me three of those small ones and told me to cut them into strips.

(post script - went to work for a large City firm before leaving to go freelance 5 years ago with a van load of office furniture and stationery which I am still getting through: somewhat on the other end of the scale).
(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 17:30, 6 replies)
O2 and my blackberry
I used to have a blackberry which i got from Dialaphone. One day it broke. So i rang O2 and they told me to bring it in for repair as it was within warranty.

Which i did...
and they sent if off for repair.

2 days later I received a call that my phone wasnt sent with a receipt. (something I had forgotten to hand in). So i go to o2 shop and hand in a copy of the receipt. Which I did.

The next day I am told my phone is waiting in the shop for collection. (wow that was quick!)

I pick it up to find its unrepaired. Apparantly without the receipt they instantly return the phone.

So, annoyed, I send it off again. With the receipt.

2 days later I receive a call saying its the wrong receipt (wrong IMIE No). I argue they are wrong, so I reprint the receipt from an email i have and march to the 02 shop again. They scan and email it to the repair man.

2 days later I receive a call saying the repair man had lost my receipt and required a new copy otherwise the phone wouldnt be repaired.

I return the shop again with the same copy I had printed off a few days earlier.

Next day - phone returned again un repaired - as following the first problem - without a receipt they automatically return the phone unrepaired, regardless if they were the ones responsible for it not having a receipt attached.

Phone resent and returned 10 days later.

30 days without my phone

£10 credit for 'inconvenience'
(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 16:54, 6 replies)
B.E.L.M. – Bringing Employment to Local Mongs...

The company I work for are ok. They are professional, courteous, and generally efficient. In fact I would go so far to say that their overall record is exemplary, However, they do unwittingly have one tiny glitch in their otherwise glittering infrastructure which qualifies as idiocy…

They employed me.

I wholeheartedly declare that I am quite possibly the laziest, most unprofessional, least competent, facepalm-inducing spasmazoid this side of the Outer Hebrides. Yet inexplicably, every day I am welcomed back into the building and accepted, with a seemingly cheerful ignorance of the fact that I quite blatantly don't know (or care) a gnat’s glistening scrotum about what I am supposedly doing for a living.

Yep – you guessed it - I work in IT. Here is just the most recent example of my knob-rottery for you to feast yer clappers round.

Six weeks ago I had been tasked by the ‘senior managers’ to compile a highly complicated and legally binding Standard Operating Procedure document on the activities and responsibilities of a certain department (exciting stuff!). The problem was, unfortunately, that I have not at any time had a veritable vejazzled clopper of a clue as to how said department actually works. It's not my department, I've never worked in that department, so fuck knows why they asked me to do this. Anyhoo, I found that there was little option but to do the standard, decent thing. I knuckled down, and then spent the whole time fannying about on B3ta, busying myself by doing utter, blinding fuck all, indulged in some pub lunches, and hoped that the problem would just.go.away.

However, earlier this morning my Outlook calendar reminded me that today was the day I had to present my work to my bosses. To be honest I had even forgotten that the meeting was even scheduled for today, such is my ‘finger-on-the-pulse’, go-getting conscientiousness. One way or another, I rapidly came to the conclusion that I was inevitably plunging armpit-deep into a shitstorm of biblical proportions.

So there I was...nursing my hangover and desperately trying to conjure up excuses to wriggle my way out of the bollocking I so richly deserved. In the midst of this panic, I remembered that I also had to do another tiny piece of work that I was actually capable of doing. My task was to conduct a brief security check on an ex-employee and plough through the crap he’d left behind after being recently made redundant. This poor bastard was called Sanjay, and he had apparently suffered quite badly with stress while he was here, and in time honoured tradition the company eventually…*ahem*…’managed him out of the business’ i.e - paid him off and got rid. I didn’t really know him very well but he seemed an alright guy, so it‘s a bit of a shame nonetheless…

Part of this ‘check’ I had to do involved having a quick shufty through his computer files. As I bumbled through the now unemployed chap’s folders, bleary-eyed, and trying to focus (whilst increasingly bricking my britches with fear of the impending kicking I was going to receive)…I happened across something truly magnificent.

Sanjay had a file called ‘Standard Operating Procedure’. I was intrigued. So I had a peek.

It appears that some time ago, Sanjay had written an almost identical document to the one I was currently expected to do. And when I say ‘almost identical’, I mean that it was exactly.the.fucking.same…except for one, subtle difference. Just one, single word difference in fact. Hmm…

This thing was a motherfucking work of art. Concise, professional, brilliant…in the name of whiskey soaked fuck, I considered it worthy of some sort of award. However, I must mention that when Sanjay was here, although I thought he was ok, he wasn’t a particularly popular guy with everybody else, bless him. Although he had obviously worked his arse off quite diligently on this masterpiece, I remembered that when he presented it at the time to his managers it was barely afforded a glance, was simply dismissed as ‘completed….meh’ and quickly forgotten about, in order to enable another metric fuckload of work to be dumped on him.

This opportunity, however, presented me with a choice – and it took about an eighth of a nanosecond to make my decision…

Oh yes…In B3ta tradition I decided to sort of ‘pearoast’ his shit. Hard.

Quick as a flash I activated the ‘find and replace’ function on MSWord, and changed every instance of the word that was not relevant to me, to the one that was. I then signed my name at the bottom and handed it in as the hard earned fruits of my labour.

The whole process took just a few seconds. It must’ve taken Sanjay weeks. Not my proudest moment.

For reasons I cannot quite fathom however, (especially considering my performance), I appear to be relatively popular with my colleagues and managers, and so subsequently this comprehensive, 48 page, in-depth document is now cheerfully considered by all and sundry to be entirely of my own creation. All day I have sat here; being woken up and bothered consistently by colleagues thanking me for my efforts, and praising me for my writing prowess to put together such a wonderful piece of well-crafted corporate bollocks, which in turn will no doubt be archived away to the electronic equivalent of that warehouse at the end of Raiders of the lost Ark.

I know it’s just a matter of time before I get rumbled for being the procrastinating, incompetent fuck-knuckle that I undoubtedly am, but in the meantime, I choose to enjoy these small victories.

Even twats have to have jobs. I’m sorry that so many of you seem to have encountered the likes of me on so many occasions…you genuinely have my sympathies. But in the meantime, despite my conscience not exactly being ‘crystal’…I promise you I will not be running back to payroll tomorrow and insisting that they take back my salary.

Beer doesn't just buy itself, you know.
(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 16:50, 9 replies)
PC World 2003/4
Around early December there was the predicable shortage of games consoles, with parents resorting to more and more desperate/violent means of securing a games console for their snotty little shits darling offspring.

This was the year that the slimline PS2 was released, and within a few days, you couldn't get one for love nor money - any remaining stock was quickly snapped up by eBay entrepreneurs. We fielded hundreds of inquires a day from desperate parents and, yes, we received a fair amount of verbal abuse for having the temerity of not stocking a magic supply of the most sought after games console.

In store, we had a big Playstation display stand with several dummy console boxes, but no actual consoles in stock. This inevitably led to customers thinking they had struck gaming gold, and dashed their dummy box to the till only to be told by the till monkey that it was in fact just a dummy box and we had none - the customer's rage level reaching stratospheric levels by this point.

Sick of this abuse from wild-eyed disappointed parents, I made a sign to go over our PS2 display stand, to say that we had none in stock, and removed the dummy boxes and put them in the office. Saves disappointing the customers and cuts down on enquiries and abuse for the staff A good idea, no?

Apparently not - as soon as I returned from my lunch break I noticed my clear and informative signage had been torn down and the dummy boxes of a console we didn't have in stock had been re-erected.

The management had decided in their wisdom that keeping dummy boxes on display for a console we couldn't stock was not only acceptable, but a great opportunity for us to talk customers into buying one of the huge surplus of Nintendo Gamecube consoles we had floating around, which were losing the company money hand over fist every day, in lieu of a PS2. This didn't work of course, as the kids instructions to get a PS2 were very clear indeed, and just caused everybody concerned a fuckload of grief and trouble.

All over a piece of paper saying "out of stock" - fucking DSG cunts :o(

So glad I'm out of that game now...
(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 16:29, 3 replies)
Long arm of the bank
I needed to transfer some money quickly from my home account in the UK to the USA, where I was. I called my bank, and asked how I'd go about that. They gave me the relevant codes & numbers, and all seemed to be going well.

"Right sir," said the suit in the UK bank, "That's about it, now all I need is your signature on this form I have here, and we can go ahead..."
(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 16:27, 4 replies)
Call center doombrain

I forget why I was so angry I even forget which company I was so angry at. I had been on hold, transferred to the wrong people and generally fucked around so I was already at boiling point when I got to speak to some underpaid little tit who got my name wrong repeatedly and failed to grasp what ever it was I was angry about in the 1st place.

Then he asked me for my email address, at that time I was with a free email provider called bluebottle

I have an unusual surname so I spelled it out very slowly and clearly and gave some clarification on the email address I said

ME- "My email address is [email protected], that's m y u n u s u a l n a m e at bluebottle, like the fly, dot com"

TIT- "okay sir I'll read that back to you [email protected]"

(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 16:26, 6 replies)
I have just spent six months
Trying to retrieve payment for a relatively small bill from a very large and very well known British bank for services carried out on their behalf. During this protracted process I made several dozen telephone calls, sent/received numerous emails and faxes and discovered the following:
A bill won't be paid unless it is addressed incorrectly,
Legally binding agreements don't apply to banks,
UK payments must be authorised.by a gentleman in Singapore.,
Should this gentleman leave the firm his replacement will refuse to authorise anything that predates his appointment,
Some banks will explicitly and openly deny that another bank exists in Britain despite being given the sort and IBAN codes,
Threats of legal action are futile.
(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 16:22, 6 replies)
It always baffles me
How, if your phone breaks, the company will invariably refer you to a hotline number.

When my Samsung went last year, I ended up spending about £5 on a payphone getting through to them, to say, "My phone won't connect calls."

There was a pause, then: "So how the fuck did you phone me, then? Don't prank this line. *click*"
(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 15:48, 7 replies)
In the wake of Dr Shipman I now have to take ridiculously expensive exams and spend hours providing evidence to show I don't want to kill people.
This makes me want to kill people.
(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 15:42, 7 replies)
Team demotivation
Years ago the company I worked for invested a huge proportion of its annual profit for a "performance consultancy" to take the sales team off-site for a 2 day motivational course in Brighton. The sales team consisted of eight people of varying age and experience.

Legend has it that the senior management team had full disclosure of the agenda and had approved it prior to the trip.

The first day and a half was bog-standard fare, so team-building exercises, presentations and strategic planning and a heavy night on the piss. Nothing offensive, but also nothing worth paying an outside company for.

The final afternoon was the stuff of legend. Every person was sent away for an hour to compile a dossier on every other member of the team. Their profiling should include two things they liked about each person and one thing they disliked.

After the hour was up we regrouped and took it in turns to say our piece to every other member of the team. Two things became quickly apparent:

1/ It was clearly hard for people to come up with two things they liked about their colleagues.

2/ People were not content to only list one thing they disliked.

It was a horrible session that culminated in three people taking the train home early and four people resigning the following Monday morning.

Money well spent.
(, Thu 23 Feb 2012, 15:39, 13 replies)

This question is now closed.

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