Like most large organisations, the place that pays me to turn up has an intranet (like the internet but only works inside our network). The front page of the website has a script that shows different quotes everytime you refresh the page. Here’s a few examples of what appears:

  • The mind is a wonderful thing; everyone should have one – Charles Faulkner
  • You create your opportunities by asking for them. – Patty Hansen
  • I haven’t lost my mind; it’s backed up on tape somewhere.
  • Most people would rather die than think: many do.
    —Bertrand Russell

Since I work in the section that maintains the intranet and happen to sit near my manager, I get to answer his phone whenever he is in meetings. This usually means I end up acting as a proxy by answering some of the questions intended for him. It was this scenario that caused me to be on the end of a phone call from the head of our entire division. The call went like this:

Head: We’ve had a complaint from someone in one of the other divisions (note from Amy – it was a very political division) about one of the quotes on the intranet

Amy: Which one?

Head: “It’s not the flying that’s dangerous, it’s the crashing.”

Amy: And they have a problem with that? (said in a monotone voice)

Head: Well considering the helicopter crash last weekend…..

Amy: You’ll have to speak to HR, they look after the quotes and the content on the frontpage.

Ok, now I’m sympathetic to the families of the people who died helping the tsunami victims but I’m not sympathetic to the request of some oversensitive drongo. That quote has survived 9/11 and numerous other plane and helicopter crashes, so just because they happen to see it a day after this one happens doesn’t mean it has to be removed. It was written long before it happened and I know I’m smart enough to realise that.

The rise in customer service has been of benefit to us all, but the horrid side effect is that they now pander to every extremist who rings up to complain. The silent majority who loved the fact that Janet Jackson’s nipple was shown at the superbowl will never get to see it again because three prudish people rang up to complain. Yeah, because no child has never seen their mother’s nipple.

Recently the homophobes who thought they’d won the battle in America by banning gay marriage lost the war when the law was used against them. A guy who bashed his girlfriend got away with it because the law deemed it wasn’t domestic abuse because they only lived together. I don’t get why anyone would want to get married, but I don’t ring up politicians and try to ban marriage all together!

Yes I understand that people have opinions and we should respect them, but there should be some common sense built in to these things. That quote wasn’t going to kill or maim anyone, so get a grip and move on people!



2 thoughts on “Phone call of madness

  1. Big Brother says:

    Dear Ms O’Brien:

    It is with regret that I must advise you that your employment with XXXXXXX has been terminated. The reasons for your dismissal are as follows:

    a) Bringing the reputation of you employer into disrepute (Para 3.4, Section 2 – XXXXXXX Staff Award
    b) Inappropriate use of XXXXXXX’s Technology Assets (Para 6.9 – XXXXXXX Code of Conduct)
    c) I don’t like you

    You termination is effective from Friday 15 April 2005.

    Yours Sincerely
    Chief Information Officer

  2. Amyo says:

    Oh dear. Luckily you added section c) which allows me to go to my union and work out a resolution. I’m hoping for a large settlement that will pay off my house and allow me to travel for a few years without having to turn up to work.

    In the meantime I’ll pack up my Harry Kewell pictures and soccer lego man and vacate the building. Extended holiday here I come!!!


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