Non-IT WTFs: the mail monkey

  • SockDev

    I used to work for a mortgage lender that got borged into a bank. It's now been several years since I was part of that particular endeavour, and I don't feel as though I need to entirely protect their failures.

    There's a whole raft of specifically IT WTFs and I'm so tempted to hand those over for full on articles (though, hopefully, as a series more entertaining than Erik's) but for now, here's the first WTF I encountered.

    I started out in this particular company as a mail monkey. The mail room would get all the company in-bound mail, and sort it out to each department, and I was one of the mail monkeys for the department I worked in.

    Seeing that this was a mortgage company, that worked only through brokers, all submission of applications and documentary evidence of ID and everything else got supplied by post. So each day there'd be probably 250 letters coming into the department that needed to be sifted through to work out which regional team would be dealing with it, not including all the faxes throughout the day. There were (at the time) 4 regional teams.

    So, 9am, each of the teams' mail monkeys would come into the department and find a pile of post to sort through, and invariably it wouldn't be for their team (since the mail room neither knows nor cares which regional team would deal with it). The result of all this was that by 10am, all the teams would probably have the right mail, and by 11am, some of it would have actually been matched to files.

    And it never occurred to anyone why this was wrong because, of course, "this is how we've always done it". They'd been doing this for years before I came along.

    It was absolutely obvious to me that all it needed was someone coming in at 8am to sift through and sort out all the mail to the teams, so matching mail to physical files could start at 9am ready for when people were just starting work.

    Fortunately, a few weeks after I'd started, I had occasion to request starting at 8am on the Friday morning so I could leave an hour early because I had weekend plans and wanted to get away ASAP without taking extra holiday. And that hour made so much different to throughput. So much so that when I came back the following week, I was able to persuade management to let me shift my hours permanently to 8am-4.30pm. It suited me better for travel but meant everything flowed so much more fluidly.

  • Management defines change as something that risks them getting blamed for something.

  • @Arantor said:

    though, hopefully, as a series more entertaining than Erik's


  • @Arantor said:

    (though, hopefully, as a series more entertaining than Erik's)

    With a bar that low, you shouldn't have any difficulty being entertaining.

  • SockDev

    Oh yes. This was properly a cover-your-arse company. Some of the WTFs I'll cover that were IT related will demonstrate how messed up this company was (last I heard it was still being run by the administrators because they couldn't find anyone to sell it to)

    That was the anti-WTF of it... I saw the opening and took advantage of unrelated circumstances to demonstrate the benefits of what I would otherwise have proposed. This way, I got to avoid all the meetings and bureaucracy. The sum total of bureaucracy I managed to generate this way was an email from my immediate team leader to the team to notify them that my hours would henceforth be different. No meetings, no mess.

    I sometimes wonder if that wasn't in itself a WTF 😃

  • This post is deleted!

  • It's been years since medical school, so remind me. Disemboweling in your species, fatal or non-fatal?

    <!-- Posted by SockBot 0.12.5 "Guileful Ginny" on Thu Oct 30 2014 12:13:08 GMT-0400 (EDT)-->

  • WTF?<wtf

  • The spammer was going around @-mentioning the bot.

  • Oooohhhhh...I saw his topic, but missed the individual posts. Oh, well, at least this bumps the post count up.

  • Figure it'd be worthwhile to bring it up to @accalia if the bots can ignore mentions from new users, but that might be a bit much since it'd have to do a lookup for every mention.

  • Probably not worth it.

  • Request has also been made by @PJH over here:

    But implementation details would need to be worked out and dunno what all it would take to do look ups on the mentioner.

  • Ah, in a category I have muted, that'd be why I didn't see that it'd already been requested.

  • SockDev

    @ChaosTheEternal said:

    Figure it'd be worthwhile to bring it up to @accalia if the bots can ignore mentions from new users, but that might be a bit much since it'd have to do a lookup for every mention.

    was hoping not to have to do that.... but yeah i'm looking into it now. follow progress here:

  • Or! We could not have stupid shitty gimmick bots at all!

  • SockDev

    get @pjh ot @apapadimoulis or anyone else on the admins list to tell me to cut it out and i will.

    until then i'm having a blast working on them!

  • Or pester the Discodevs for a (decent) ignore-user feature.


  • @PJH said:

    Or pester the Discodevs for a (decent) ignore-user feature.

    Is there a not-decent one? I'm not aware of even a broken attempt at that.

  • SockDev

    Something Tells me that @pjh finds the bots at least marginally amusing.

    either that or he's still humouring us.

    but since i win either way (for now) i'm not going to question it!

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