Monday, April 25, 2005

We need interns. (Working in the coal mine, going down down down...)

One of my projects is to create a system to ensure that the proper documents have been filed with the IRS. It’s a small project that was initially given to me because of my organizational skills. I’m actually finished with the project and am now awaiting transfer to the maintenance team.
It is quite simple, actually. The one thing I request all departments to do is submit the necessary paperwork and credentials to a central office. This office will sort, review and file the documents. This process has been quite successful. Process times have increased and compliance can ascertain areas of deficiency rather quickly.
One quirk is we ask these forms be sent paper clipped not stapled to allow for easier sorting for the staff. One department fails to understand this concept. In fact, they staple everything to the point I’m beginning to think they are doing it on purpose. Firstly, there documents are yellowing and appear to have spent a fortnight as bedding in a shantytown. Secondly, there are multiple staples in the oddest of places. Staples are found in the center, the bottom, the top, the sides. To add insult, none of these staples actually staple the packets together. They’re all crinkly and never perforate to the other end of the packet. Some staples are in the middle of the packet holding only two pages.
Let’s not get into the packet’s haphazard arrangement. A sane person would assume, page 1 precedes page 2 and so on. This department feels that as long as it’s stapled into a clump, page order is not necessary.
Needless to say, the staff that is in charge of sorting, copying, validating and filing are not happy when they receive an interoffice mail package from them. In addition to the hit and miss stapling, they seem to enjoy holding all documents until a 5 lbs package can be delivered. Interoffice mail is standard rate, folks. You don’t pay by pound. For our sake and the delivery boy’s sake, please submit these damn things timely.
Since the latest packet is approximately 7 lbs, I am assisting them. I’ve received 2 paper cuts and have cursed out the copy machine and the department 3 times now. No matter how many times I go through the copious pages, a stray staple will pass me and cause a jam in the copier. The copy machine is about to passcode itself from me.