Some days I feel like a social worker, or possibly a health inspector.
Me: This is Clem, what can I do to you today?
User: Hi Clam, I have a… wait, what?
Me: What is the nature of your issue today?
User: Oh. This is Nancy downstairs, and I just put a ticket in for one of my employees I wanted you to look at please.
Me: Ok. Lets see here…
Frances would like a stand/lift or new PC. She feels her PC is attracting cockroaches and she thinks lifting it would make them less attracted to the heat her PC produces.
Me: Wait… what? Cockroaches aren’t attracted to heat alone.
User: Well, her desk is crawling with them, and we always seem to see them most often by the PC.
Me: Does she keep food at her desk?
User: Yes, she has two drawers worth of food. We all share what she brings in.
Me: Oh dear.
User: Can we hang the computer from the ceiling to keep the cockroaches off the desk maybe?
Me: Hang the computer from the… You’re kidding right? You’re fixing the wrong problem here.
User: Are you going to help me or do I have to call your supervisor.
Me: Wow. Ok. To tell the truth, I need to bring HR, facilities maintenance, and both of our supervisors into this one.
User: Thats more like it. Wait… what?
Me: Just a moment please.
*I had to hit mute here and catch my breath. I was simultaneously laughing and crying so hard*
Me: Ok. I’m back. For the time being there will be no more food at or in the desks until the facilities guy calls an exterminator and talks to all of you.
User: No need to call an exterminator. She already has roach traps clipped under her desk, and she spread roach killing paste along the bottom of the keyboard.
Me: You have got to be fucking kidding me…
User: Hey, no swearing in this department. I’ll have to have you written up.
Me: You’re fixing the wrong problem again.
Me: I’ll have facilities talk to you. Can you please move Frances to a different desk for now please. Working near that paste and eating roach feces isn’t healthy for her.
User: I cant move her, she’s signed into a phone right now.
Me: That desk is a biohazard. Move her as soon as she finishes her call.
User: I’d have to move her upstairs then!
Me: That sounds great. in fact, hold that thought.
User: Say, do you think the exterminator will take care of the ants too?
Me: What? How… but… uh… for crying out… please hold.
A bit of a rant here… most offices are glorified warehouses with poor ventilation and lots of insulated nooks for rodents to thrive in. All they need is a food source and they become a great habitat, especially during winter months. For some reason when ever people bring food to work they’re more worried about hiding their food from scavenging coworkers than protecting them from scavenging insects and rodents.
After the department was fumigated and all food purged I made a newbie I.T. guy clean the roach paste off the keyboard and then quarantine the computer in a plastic bag in a closet for a few weeks. Yes, ‘Frances’ had no computer at her desk during that time frame. Quarantining the computer was probably unnecessary, but damn it was satisfying.
Now, if only I could get rid of that chair that smells like urine I’ll feel like I made a difference.