You know how when you are at the office and you are playing work Dodgeball by trying to avoid co-workers at all costs? But the moment you need them they are not around? Probably because you avoid them at all costs and they don’t want to be around you, but that’s besides the point?
Well, you know how you can make this Hunt for the Red October more frustrating and bitter?
That’s right. You make a game out of it. Or more specifically a Scavenger Hunt.
You know what I’m talking about right? That game you played when you were a kid where they gave you a clue (like you’ve ever had one) and you start a quest on finding the final prize which was hopefully a pot of gold doubloons, but probably ended up being one of those chocolate coins wrapped in gold foil? Chocolate may be a good concession prize, but when you were expecting a billion dollars worth of gold and you get a piece of chocolate, kind of disappointing.
So let’s play the world’s worst game of Tug of War with a customer. Your side is pulling for the “Keep the call as short as possible and with as little to do as possible after the call” and your customer is pulling for the “I need to drain your company dry and I won’t get off the phone until I get everything I want.” Fortunately, you have the strongman anchor of “I don’t have the authority to approve of that” guy on your side. But the customer has the “Let me get your name and number so I can know who to call back when this doesn’t happen” guy anchoring his side. You do your best to suspend the voice to voice battle, but then the real struggle begins with your first clue.
“The person you must speak to is a person without a clue not only in life, but for you either.” Easy! My supervisor!
So you go to your supervisor’s and they are not in their office. Of course. They are gone today, so that won’t help. But while you are in their office you spot a piece of paper sticking out from under their keyboard. The piece of paper says, “To Hansel and Gretel your helper, Chanel your inner strength.”
Hmmm, what could this clue mean? Hansel and Gretel followed a trail right? And how did they do it? Breadcrumbs. But it said channel your strength. No, wait a minute. It said Chanel. What is Chanel? I’ll look it up on Google. Oh duh. It’s perfume. Oh I get it. I’m supposed to follow the trail of perfume to find my next person. And we all know who that is. Your bosses boss. The one that wears waaay more than they should. Got it. To the next office.
She isn’t there. Of course. Because it’s before 10 o’clock. Shoot. The trail is running cold. If I don’t get something back to my customer soon, they are going to keep calling. Perhaps there is a clue in here. I look up on her computer and see spreadsheets. Many spreadsheets. Along the bottom, I see a bunch of tabs. And they seem to be forming words. “Ware in the world is Carmen San Diego’s house?” it says in consecutive tabs. Maybe this is a clue? Well, duh. I mean this paragraph is almost over and we need a clue.
Right away I notice the word Ware is spelled wrong in this context. What could that mean? And Carmen San Diego? What does she have to do with anything? Well, she is the elusive world traveler that no one can seem to catch. That reminds me of this chase I’m going through right now. But it never talks about her house. That seems out of place. Maybe…we could…combine the two out of place words? House-wares. No, we don’t have a housewares department. Oh my gosh, duh! Warehouse! To the warehouse! Let’s see if we can penetrate the impenetrable dungeon!
Several floors below the surface of the earth, uh, I mean the second floor, I approach the warehouse door. It is way cooler down here. I should have brought a jacket. But I can’t think about that now. I must get the elusive information to my customer or it will be too late. I take the large gargoyle shaped knocker in my hand and knock three times. Moments later, a large bearded fellow pulls the fortress door open a crack. “Password?” I don’t know. What is the password? “Um, Carmen San Diego?” “That is incorrect.”
I think for a moment longer. “Is it ‘I need to speak to the supervisor about an order?'” A long pause and the door opens slightly bigger. “That is correct….However, our lunch just started 3 seconds ago, so you are out of luck.” Dejectedly, I put my head down. My quest keeps running into dead ends. Certain doom awaits. Until, another clue slides under the door. “Making it rain, by spreading the sheets.”
Uh, what? So I’m supposed to find a weather man by making my bed? How is that going to help? We don’t have a weather department. And even if we did, they couldn’t make it rain. But people that make money, make it rain. And spreading sheets isn’t a bed. It’s a spreadsheet. Got it. So money and spreadsheets? Oooh, my gosh the accounting department.
I go try to find the accounting trolls, but they are in a meeting. There is no clue. I walk back to my desk ready to accept defeat in the Tug of War. I call the customer back. “I’m sorry, but my epic quest to find anyone has failed. I will keep trying and call you back when I find something.”
Kind of sheepishly the customer says, “Oh don’t worry about it. We got the package right here. It was just under our desk the whole time. Thanks for looking into it.”
Bitter Scavenge the Heck out of your Face Ben