Everything was going fine until my first incident with someone about three months into the job. Aayush and I had to fill out paper timesheets every week, then fax them back to SmartTech, who we kept in contact with, usually through our account rep James; he was married to Tina, the recruiter. But he had an assistant named Susan, with whom I was exchanging trivial emails about something. At the end of one, she signed off and concluded with a reminder to fill out and submit a weekly report, which I’ll call a TPS report in homage to the movie Office Space. I wrote her back.
Randy: TPS report? What’s that?
Susan: The client requires you to fill that out every week.
I had no idea what she was talking about and was months into the job.
R: This is the first I’ve heard of it.
S: You and Aayush haven’t been doing your TPS reports?
I turned to my cube mate. “Hey Aayush, have you ever heard of a TPS report?”
He looked over one shoulder. “No.”
R: He’s never heard of one either.
S: I am reporting this to your manager! If you are found to be in violation of corporate policy, you will be dealt with and corrected!
My eyebrows shot up. “What the hell? Holy shit!”
“What?” Aayush asked, probably surprised by my language.
“Hold on.” I forwarded the email to James and told him I’d call in a few minutes. Then I related Susan’s threat to Aayush, whose eyes widened before he smiled. The phrase “dealt with and corrected” amused both of us. We weren’t the only ones. Five minutes later, I called James. When he answered, the first thing I heard was laughter.
Relaxing at his tone, I said, “I assume you’ve seen Susan’s email.”
“Yeah, man. Don’t worry.”
“What’s up with this?”
“Some of our other clients need that report, but not United Systems.”
I looked over at Aayush, who laughed when I asked, “So we aren’t going to be dealt with and corrected?”
His non-stop laughter increased. “Not unless you want to be.”
“Part of me was sort of looking forward to it. Is Susan really young or something? Right out of college?”
Dryly, he asked, “How could you tell?”
“She seems flush with newfound power to destroy.”
“I could tell you stories, man. I don’t think she’ll be around much longer.”
“Not the first time? Can you imagine what her boyfriend must be like?”
“Very obedient, I’m sure.”
We laughed and hung up.