Friday, August 01, 2008

That's When the Phone Lines Went Dead

When I first started working at my current job last year, Bob, my boss, and I spent a lot of time together. Cherie, at the time, wasn't working there, the other worker was on vacation, and there were no other employees. Thus, I was mainly trained by Bob, all day, everyday. I heard a lot of his life stories, which I found both fascinating and entertaining. After those first few weeks, the other worker came back from vacation, Cherie came back to the store, and Bob spent very little time in the store overall.

Bob took me out to lunch on Monday, just the two of us, to resolve the major problems that had occurred over the weekend. We achieved our directive and I was once again privileged with stories from his life.

Last year, one of the stories he told me was of Quest. Quest is a phone/Internet provider and, according to him, entirely inept. They could never do ANYTHING correctly, and he had countless horror stories to back this up. During our lunch, he mentioned that to save money, our store would be switching to Quest. I was stunned.

"Quest? The same entirely inept Quest that you spoke so highly of? But, why?"
He answered that they needed to ave money, and the monthly bill would be almost $100 dollars cheaper.

"But what of the horror stories? We can't run our store if they screw up our phone lines!"

"$100 a month!" And that ended that conversation.

Yeah, you can guess what happened. Wednesday afternoon our phones went dead, the store next door started receiving our calls, and worst of all, or Internet was down. No Internet means no main system. No main system means we cannot receive anything, order anything, or sell anything. So, boxes that needed receiving were stacked in the corner, things to be ordered were made into a list, and we photocopied drivers licences with credit cards when people "purchased" something so we could put it into the system when it was fixed.

Quest assured that it would be fixed by Thursday morning. They lied. All day Thursday, I added to the stack of boxes, the list of things to order, and the stack of paperwork of photocopies highly sensitive information. All day I let people walk out of the store with things they hadn't actually paid or yet.

Quest assured us that it would be fixed by Friday morning. They lied.
Today, the Quest guy showed up 7 hours late. He fixed our phone line, but in doing so, crashed the store next door's system, leaving them without credit card machines.
2 hours after that, Josh fixed the Internet by himself, and I began the task of entering in all the purchases. Things went well, until the end. Problem 1) There was one order missing, I remember the sale, but the paperwork was gone. Problem 2) On one of the photocopies, three of the credit card numbers were unreadable.

So, Josh and I tried hacking the credit card, coming up with different combinations, writing down which ones we had tried, turning he paper upside down and sideways to see if we could distinguish the numbers...all to no avail. I spent a long time digging through papers on the cashwrap, digging through papers in my box, digging through papers in Bob's stack, and digging through the garbage. Finally, I found the missing purchase. And yeah, ALL the credit card numbers were unreadable.

I think I now have horror stories of my own to back up the Quest theory.

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