Saturday, April 14, 2007

A Mini Train Wreck

Update: For those who wish to skip the rant and move straight to the dog update, I have moved the update to the top of this report:

Smokey update: Smokey is hopped up on steroids and doing much, much better. We are weaning him off of the Prednizone slowly and hope his condition continues to improve even in the absence of carcinogenic ulcer inducing medications.

Rant: I just had my first melt down of the season. Probably not my last.

A client called today, to ask why they just received a big package full of envelopes. Inside were all of their tax returns, with checks that they wrote yesterday, when they were in my office. Trying to be helpful, I offered to mail them from our office so they wouldn't have to stand in line at the post office. Oh, and they asked me to hold them until Monday so they could move money around to cover the checks. Very well, I said. We'll take care of it. Little did I know just how incompetent we are when it comes to routine tasks.

I gave a stack of "naked" white envelopes, addressed to various government agencies to my assistant, and asked her to mail them certified ("because these are tax returns with big checks inside" or something to that effect) and do this on Monday, per client request. I gave her the client's number to charge the postage to (because we're cheap like that).

Imagine my horror when the client called and asked why the returns were mailed to them instead of the Government. And why didn't we wait until Monday to mail them, like he asked? *gulp*

So then, I looked on my assistant's desk for another stack of tax returns I had asked her to mail for a different client (same thing, also for Monday mailing), and on her desk was a copy of the certified receipt showing the client address instead of the government agencies. Only this client lives in Virginia(!) and is out of the country!!

Thankfully, a different assistant was here today and she was able to retrieve the local package by courier from the client and the certified mailing to VA by making a hasty run to the USPS Distribution Center (otherwise, I would have had to ask Jen or Beth to go by the client's home in the DC area to pick it up and get it postmarked by Tuesday ;-).

Now, I know there is one more package out there. The client hasn't yet received it (because it was mailed regular mail...let's hope it gets there before the deadline so we can retrieve it as well). At least there are not large checks in this one, but it is yet another smoldering ember just waiting to ignite. *sigh*

I am very grateful for the assistant's persistence in tracking down the VA package today, and I realize this could have turned out much worse, so I'm at least thankful for that. And I'm glad the assistant responsible for the mistake wasn't here today to take the brunt of my frustration. For the little things, we must be grateful. Having patience is very difficult at this time of year!

Onward...only 3 and a half more days!

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At 7:37 PM, April 14, 2007, Anonymous Jim said...


That's definitely worthy of a meltdown. I have the shakes just from reading it.

Glad Smokey's okay!

At 8:15 PM, April 14, 2007, Blogger Gwynne said...

Jim, you'll appreciate the fact that the assistant's husband works for the USPS, so she knew the inside track to get to the package. Thank God for small favors! :-)

At 11:25 AM, April 15, 2007, Blogger DarkoV said...

The Peter Principle.
It's scary how fast some folks reach their level of incompetence these days.
And we wonder why so many service-oriented jobs are being shipped to India, Singapore, and Kenya (yep... a lot of the service catalogs are going that way), when we here seem to have som many problems dealing with the simple things.

Hey! That train whistle! Did you hear it? That's the slow freight we're taking ot the Third World, folks (and we're rolling the tracks, like a rug, behind ud).

At 1:46 PM, April 15, 2007, Blogger beth said...

Wow. Well, I'm glad that you were able to retrieve the two and hope that you can get the other. And, well, that maybe the admin might not be working there too much longer. Cause dang.

It's nearly over! (Well, kinda. You seem to manage to stay incredibly busy all year long.)

At 3:54 PM, April 15, 2007, Blogger Gwynne said...

Darko, true enough. You read the World is Flat?

Beth, that is my guess as well...this is not her first mistake and the admin here on Saturday was her supervisor. :-( In her defense, she was complaining about being tired last week, but dang it, we all are!

At 4:26 PM, April 15, 2007, Blogger Eric said...

Yikes! I think trainwreck is an understatement.

Hang in there...

At 6:31 PM, April 15, 2007, Blogger Rachel said...

Oh dear! That is the last thing you need to happen!


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