please hold the line

I’m submitting to my company for tuition reimbursement for my current term. In order to begin coursework, I have to have a pre-authorization, which means I have to complete a form, get my line manager (not the person who I deal with day to day) to sign it and submit it. The instructions on the form say to fax it to the education assistance department, and if you have any questions an email address is provided. I don’t have a fax machine. I mean…who the hell faxes things? Probably my grandma. So, I scanned the signed form and attached it to an email that I sent to the designated address. Soon after, I received a call from an unnamed person at my unnamed company regarding the email.

Her: Hello, I received your email, but you need to fax the form.
Me: Well, I attached the form to the email. Didn’t you get the attachment?
Her: Yes. But the form has to be faxed.
Me: Can’t you just print it off from the email?
Her: Yes. But the form has to be faxed.
Me: Does the fax go to some other location or something?
Her: No.
Me: Hm. Ok, well…does the fax go into some electronic queue or something?
Her: No. It comes into the fax machine, and that’s how it gets assigned to a processor.
Me: Um.
Her: So, you need to fax it.
Me: Well, how about this. Can you do me a favor? Print the form. Then walk over to the fax machine and set it in the receipt tray. That will work, won’t it?
Her: No. The form needs to be faxed.

Her tone conveyed a deep sense of annoyance with me. Rather than upset the beast and risk not receiving an approval, I found a way to fax the form. Unemployment is over 9% and this is the best person we could find to handle this process?

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2 responses to “please hold the line

  1. I have no clever comment but I had to respond. I am at a loss for words.

  2. This is so sad. Dogmatic process adherence for the….um…loss.

    I know! Can we go find one of those college grads who can’t get even get a job at Starbucks or Pizza Hut (because those are being filled by older, unemployed adults) and give them her job? I’m betting they could not only accept an emailed document, but could rewrite the process into something that makes sense and no longer relies on dinosaur technology. I think there are probably a few people hanging out around Wall Street who would love her job, as a matter of fact. *evil grin*

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