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LJ Idol 9, Week 1: Jayus

I see that my boss has come in for the day, so with a big smile on my face, I sidle into the Service office, where he’s sitting at his desk. In my best Perky McCheerful voice, I ask, “Would you like to know how my morning has gone?”

He side-eyes me from his computer, taking in the scan report I’m holding close to my chest. “Not when you put it like that,” he replies, but he turns to see what I have for him.

“So, 142 was over $20, 143 was over </em>$80</em>, and 144 was short $500

These are our service desk drawers. My boss is . . . not pleased.

“Lottery scanning is all over the place,” I continue, handing him my scan report. “I’ll let you take a look at the numbers while I get Western Union.” I bounce out of the office, still smiling.

Just as my Western Union report is printing, the last one I need to check for discrepancies, my boss comes out of his office to the service desk, flailing and going on about “why is it so hard to push the right buttons on the screen for lotto?”

I continue to smile. In fact, I am barely holding back giggles. I was not laughing an hour ago, when I had to count each one of those drawers twice, to make sure my totals were correct, not to mention double-checking that I didn’t somehow miss a cash drop for the $500 drawer and having to emerge from my Cave of Solitude (also known as the cash office) to make sure some stray bills didn’t get stuck behind in a register drawer. All of which set me behind in my workflow. I had some interesting things to say an hour ago, most of which aren’t really work-appropriate. But there’s no one to hear me back there.

But now it’s hilarious. The Sunday morning service desk crew also finds it pretty amusing, since neither they nor I were working the desk the day before--the day I’m balancing for--and we all agree that it’s really not that hard to push the right buttons.

I can only control so many things. I can’t control whether or not people at the service desk who are not me push the right buttons when they sell and redeem lottery tickets. I can’t control whether or not a cashier makes sure a tax-exempt slip has the customer’s exempt number written on it, or whether someone made a mistake loading instant tickets into the lottery vending machine. I can’t control whether the full-time cash office person emails me the postal inventory so I can update it.

And ultimately, these things aren’t even my problem. They’re my boss’s problem--all I do is discover them. The worst thing that happens to me is that it takes a little longer to finish my work, which, yeah, I've been up since 3:30am, and I'd rather not stay any longer than necessary, but I still get paid by the hour.

So when these things I can’t control happen, I can either rant and rave and clench my fists, and have a bad day, or I can laugh at all the crap the day throws at me and have a good day.

Today, I had a good day.


( 18 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 17th, 2014 05:07 pm (UTC)
Different job...same stuff. Today is one of those "full moon" days when every crazy thinks we can "fix" their problems. I just shake my head and laugh before I actually scream!
Mar. 18th, 2014 04:55 pm (UTC)
Ugh, yes, I must laugh lest I scream is a favorite saying of mine.

Somehow, when my day is full of petty annoyances, I have trouble laughing it off. When it's big problems, and stuff is going wrong every time I turn around, that's when it's hysterical. Probably because that's when I most need it as a defense mechanism.
Mar. 17th, 2014 11:04 pm (UTC)
Maybe it's time to win the lottery, not just do accounting for it! Cute story!
Mar. 18th, 2014 04:56 pm (UTC)
Oddly enough, I hardly ever play the lottery, even though I spend a lot of time working with it.

Mar. 19th, 2014 01:09 am (UTC)
I think that's true of everyone who knows anything about how lotteries work!
Mar. 18th, 2014 03:12 pm (UTC)
You're right. Sometimes, laughter really is the best option.
Mar. 18th, 2014 04:57 pm (UTC)
It really is. It's way better than getting into my car at the end of the day and bursting into tears. Thanks for reading!
Mar. 18th, 2014 04:18 pm (UTC)
500 missing dollars sounds stressful because wouldn't everyone at work be under suspicion? Yeah, having the mindset of it being your boss's problem is probably better than stressing.

Oh and I <3 Tom Lehrer.
Mar. 18th, 2014 05:09 pm (UTC)
Yes and no. Everybody who was on desk that day will be on audit, because all three drawers were off by amounts over our "acceptable" threshold, and everyone who signed into the $500 drawer is probably on audit every day for a week or two. But context is important, and that's what the scan report gives us, because it shows the difference between what we rang up and what we actually did. So if there are no or very minor discrepancies in the scan report, then there's a much more serious problem to investigate.

With the very large discrepancies showing for lottery sales and redemptions, that means that the vast majority of the overages and the shortage are errors. They're really bad errors, but it's not likely to be theft. Employee theft usually doesn't happen with large amounts, anyway. Small amounts--that won't be missed because they're below our balancing threshold--taken repeatedly over a period of time is much more common.

Tom Lehrer is awesome. :D
Mar. 19th, 2014 02:17 am (UTC)
When ravenshrinkery worked in a convenience store, the most memorable theft was of two underage employees (code names Tweedledumb and Tweedledumber) walking beer out of the store without paying for it, and getting caught on camera. :P
Mar. 19th, 2014 03:15 am (UTC)
I love your ending on this!
Mar. 19th, 2014 03:09 pm (UTC)
Nicely done!
Mar. 19th, 2014 08:44 pm (UTC)
He side-eyes me from his computer, taking in the scan report I’m holding close to my chest. “Not when you put it like that,”

lol. I've had that exact interaction with my boss many times -- nice to know others partake in that as well. Enjoyed this piece! :)
Mar. 19th, 2014 11:21 pm (UTC)
Oh, I've had those days. I always avoided my manager then -- it wasn't my problem, but that wouldn't stop him from trying to make it mine! I'm glad you can laugh over it. :)
Mar. 20th, 2014 01:41 am (UTC)
Sometimes you just have to laugh! I have to do it all the time at my job.
Mar. 20th, 2014 06:09 am (UTC)
And dats the way to have a good day!..:)...loved reading this..
Mar. 20th, 2014 01:33 pm (UTC)
This just seems like an excellent way of dealing with something that could be very stressful!
Mar. 20th, 2014 10:53 pm (UTC)
loved this!
( 18 comments — Leave a comment )

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