Friday, May 15, 2009

Stupid Corporate Tricks - #2

Today, let's continue with recounting some of the stupidity that rises to the top of the corporate heap. This particular episode took place at the same company involved in my previous post, Stupid Corporate Tricks - #1. This one was done by the branch manager for the Houston sales office.

Our offices had moved to a new building and along the way, we also got a new branch manager. This position was over the entire sales organization in the city. The new guy was hired after having spent a few years at our major competitor. The rumor mill had it that when he was fired from the competitor, the people who were under him on the organization chart all stood up and cheered. Then when they learned our company had hired him, the did the same thing again. Of course, I cannot confirm that, but it would not surprise me.

This particular guy was definitely a few tortillas short of a full enchilada plate. For example, he came over to my desk, totally out of the blue, with a porn magazine and opened it up to a picture of a young black woman who was, shall we say, quite under dressed. He said to me, "Hey take a look at this! That'll drive any prejudiced bones out of you, wont it?" So you get the idea of the type of person we are talking about here.

In any case, this particular sales office had one fax machine to support the entire office. It was very heavily used as you might imagine. This was also before the prevalence of email, so faxes were much more important than they are today. This machine was used for various documents coming in and going out of the office. One of the most prevalent types of documents that would arrive on the fax were orders being sent in by customers that all of us sales people had been working with. After all, this was a sales office, and this was a very efficient way to get things done. Otherwise, we would spend several hours travelling across town just to pick up the orders.

The branch manager was getting tired of waiting on the fax machine when he wanted to send something. So rather than getting a second one, he issued an edict. No more orders would be permitted to be faxed in, because they were tying up the fax machine when he wanted to use it. Pardon me? This was a sales office, and he actually shut down a major way that orders came into the company. Oh the stupidity of it all!! Or as Bugs Bunny might say, "What a maroon! What a nincompoop!" Rather than being responsible for getting new customers, perhaps he should have been put in charge of the Sales Prevention Department!

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