Monday, January 30, 2006

I am a CTG.

Ok, so, most of my readers probably won't think this is as funny as I do. But, someone circulated an article around my department called "I am a Front Desk Clerk" about the hotel industry, and we thought it was so hysterical that I decided to personalize it for the 15 of us. I've been up since 4:30am and it was a great creative break in my day. I asked Kiddo if she thought one who didn't work in my world could possibly see the humor in it, and she said that people who don't work in offices watch and enjoy The Office and Office Space all the time. Fair logic. And if you've ever worked in customer service ever, well, I think you'll get the gist:

I am a CTG.

I am a CTG. I have advanced degrees in public relations, marketing, business, advertising, computer science, civil engineering, plumbing, carpentry, and Chinese. I am also a mind-reader.

Of course I have the order that you faxed into the Boston office the day of the advance price cut-off, even though it is not in the files, the computer, or the office, and you have no proof that you actually did so.

It is totally not a problem for me to give you a 40'x60' custom-built SST booth with graphics made with your company logo. It’ll be ready before the show opens, even though that’s less than an hour away. And of course you can have free vacuuming; I know it’s my fault that the booth next to you left their trash in the aisle. I’m also happy to custom-dye your table drapes to match your eyes.

I am a CTG. I speak 25 languages. It’s obvious to me when you checked “will-call” on your labor order, you meant Sunday at 3pm. My company has entrusted me with all financial information and decisions as well, so it’s completely legitimate for me to give you straight-time pricing even though my guys will work until midnight at double-time rates.

I understand that Jo-Bob’s Custom-Made Toilet Seat Covers is a vast empire that will make or break our company. Yes, I am lying to you when I say that we don’t have any light dusty rose carpet. It’s not a problem for me to get some flown in from the San Francisco office, even though we’re in Miami. Yes, it is my fault that I didn’t anticipate your needing it, even though you never sent in an order form.

I am a CTG. I can hardly sleep at night knowing how much I ripped off a multi-billion dollar American pharmaceutical company by charging them $59 for a chair. I know exactly where your booth giveaways are, even though you have no idea who shipped them, what city they came from, your tracking number, or how many boxes were in your shipment. Yes, I know when you signed a credit card authorization form you weren’t actually authorizing us to use it. I’m happy to take blame for the fact that your 60” plasma television set has a scratch on the back corner of it, even though you shipped it across the country in a cardboard box.

I understand that you are the only exhibitor that has an early flight out tomorrow, so of course you have special permission to break down your booth before the hall closes, and I’m happy to go into the 18 tractor trailers of empty storage, find your 3 boxes that would have fit under your 6’ table, and bring them to you before I do anything else.

I am a CTG. I’m happy to take the blame for the exhibit hall temperature, the price of your airline ticket, your booth location, the lack of show traffic, how close the bathrooms are to your booth, and the war in Iraq. I realize when you sent your carpet order to Priority Networks, it would get to me eventually, and it’s totally my responsibility to make sure you wrote the correct booth number on your order form. I have no trouble getting you 8 labor guys, 8 hours each, for noon, even though you placed the order at 11:30am. They’re all just standing around outside waiting for us to throw ‘em some work. I’m also happy to let your toddler run around underneath the forklifts during move-in even though your show kit (which you have never read) specifically forbids it, since that one lady up front with the brown hair said it was OK.

Feel free to plug in your cell phone at my desk, use my computer to print things off your thumb drive that probably has a big fat virus on it, and use our fax machine to fax things to Japan. Go ahead and make 100 copies of your mailing labels while you’re at the fax machine, too. It only takes about a minute per sheet. I'll even provide the paper. Yes, I know internet access should be free anywhere your feet can take you, but since it’s not, I have a computer chip in my head that tells me exactly where Smart City is at all times, in case they aren’t at their desks.

I am a CTG: an accountant, a lost-and-found, a carpenter, an electrician, a teamster, a caterer, a wireless network guru, a manager, a concierge, a map, a verbal punching bag, and a honing beacon for the nearest Starbuck’s. Oh, and I know who took your wastebasket.
Respectfully re-created by Jamie Hawkins, with regards to the overworked, underpaid front desk clerk who wrote the original.


Anonymous Kiddo said...

That just made me get a giant headache and hate mankind. God. Clearly you and I are superior to everyone else in this world.

January 30, 2006 7:05 PM  
Blogger krysten said...

i think anyone in any kind of administrative position can appreciate what's going on here as well.

i ought to do one for being a mom...

January 31, 2006 6:55 AM  
Blogger Sylvain said...

You forgot to mention you also know where every session is being held, you're familiar with every way leading to the washrooms and you can read hieroglyphics. You're also a union negotiator who can make carpenters talk to electricians without pissing off the network guys :)

On the other hand, CTGs are notorious for having multiple forms in too many colors that need to filled properly and submited following a strange ritual involving being extra nice to someone who wishes they were somewhere else :)

I'll quit before being labeled as an annoying exhibitor...

January 31, 2006 7:18 AM  
Blogger hello jamie: said...

This is exactly what I'm talking about. How can you expect a 500-booth show to get YOUR electrical, furniture, labor, and freight, since you don't want to fill out the order forms? We're only unloading about 260,000 lbs of goods back there. From about 50 different trucking companies. And getting it all in the correct booth space.

I'm really sorry it's so out of your way to be "extra nice" to the people that do this for you. Geez.

I actually had a guy once (at Financial Professionals, natch) ask me to fill out one FOR him, because his secretary usually does it, and he just can't write that small. SERIOUSLY.

January 31, 2006 9:12 AM  
Blogger The Bagboy said...

See, THIS is why I withdrew my application. I would shoot someone in the face.

January 31, 2006 10:27 AM  
Blogger hello jamie: said...

I was thinking about it this morning, Bill, and thought maybe people would construe this post as a bitchfest. It was written toungue-in-cheek, and meant to be funny. I actually enjoy my job (most of the time) and customer service in general.

I only get stressed out when people are mean to me, and yes, it happens. But generally speaking, it's all good.

January 31, 2006 10:35 AM  
Blogger The Bagboy said...

See, I can't put up with that "I'm better than you because of my level of income and company postion" attitude. Which is why I left Dallas Theatre Center.

January 31, 2006 2:28 PM  

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