What’s the deal with stupid people getting union secretary gigs in Universities? Don’t get me wrong, I’ve met some great and helpful secretaries in my time. But so many of them are just so useless! I’ve been dealing a bit with one in the business office for our department trying to place orders for my students in senior design. Here are my two experiences so far:
- Took a couple of days to get my first order placed. Some of this lag (ie an hour or two) was me trying to figure out what all info they really needed on the form. Apparently they’ll order stuff off the web, but want you to write down the company’s address and phone number and such anyway (not like they could possibly look that up the same way I did on the company’s website). Get a call a while later saying there’s been some problems with the order. Drop by there to find out she’s leaving for the day at 12:30 (and it’s 12:15 and I’m in a hurry). For some reason that she wouldn’t explain she couldn’t order from the website I’d given her and had to order through a distributor. Not sure why she couldn’t order it… I gave her the web address that led directly to the product, and there’s an “add to cart” button prominently displayed on that page, but I’m figuring maybe she’s using a corporate card and they want her to go through a distributor or something. So she’s randomly selected Cabela’s outdoor goods and tried searching for the part I’m ordering and has the good sense to ask before submitting the order. It’s a good thing too since I’m trying to get an OEM GP S sensor and Cabela’s (being a consumer store) only carries the little handheld GPS units with lcd displays and so forth. I’ve got to go so I tell her I’ll find a distributor that carries it and place the order again the next day when she gets back into the office. Find 1 place in the US that carries it and they want $70 more for it than the manufacturer. So I figure I’ll press the issue the next day and ask why she can’t order it from the site I give her. I sort of watch what she’s doing and it’s clear she’s only entered the blah.com part of the address (instead of going directly to the link I’ve given her) and cluelessly tried to search around their site for the part in question. She apparently had better luck that day since she actually found it and confirmed it was the right thing and actually placed the order.
- Second order hasn’t been much better so far. I’d grabbed another form on my way to meet with one of my groups. Filled out the info and tried to drop it off at the office. Turns out they’re out for the day by 4:30. Not really surprising I guess, but you’d figure a big office that has to have at least 5 or 6 secretaries might be open till the end of the business day. But there’s a drop box outside the door for purchase orders so I stupidly drop it in. Haven’t heard anything in the following few days so I assume there haven’t been any problems and I’ll be notified when it arrives. Go to double check the order’s been placed after meeting with a group yesterday to find out she has no idea what I’m talking about (not entirely true, she tries to tell me baout the order I’d placed 2 weeks earlier). I confirm that the drop box is where I should put orders when they’re closed and she says she’ll double check the box. Turns out they only do a cursory visual inspection of the box to see if it has anything and don’t actually bother to open it unless it is overflowing with orders (only way I can see that they’d notice there was anything in there without actually checking). Sure enough my order was still sitting in there from when I dropped it off 5 days earlier. In theory the order’s been placed… now.
- Guess we’ll wait and see. Don’t have high hopes that my third encounter with this woman will go any better than the last two. I can understand having an off day, but it seems to be the only kind she has.