Wednesday, May 27, 2015

How about no?

Ever get crap complaints and then the hero complainer offers to fly in and fix them? I would like to tell all of these potential Mr. and Ms. Fix-its to fuck off. Don't call us, we'll call you.
An email I received today at work started out like this:


Do you plan on updating your website anytime soon? I love your organization and all that it has done for me in the past (and for others), but your website should be updated to reflect current standards. Unfortunately, your site is not accessible to people with vision, learning, cognitive and other impairments that may make it hard to navigate your site.

Mind you - I have a sibling who is visually impaired and I know you can adjust font size. I'm not trying to be insensitive, but I'm just curious - what are "current standards," (is this a test?) and how exactly do you implement them? Guess what - it's also not friendly for tech un-savvy people. Probably also for people who can't read.
It continues:

Do you have a dedicated staff member who runs the website? If not, do you have a volunteer? I would love to help with this. I would also be happy to simply give you some recommendations.

And a passion for being a pain in the ass, apparently.

Tip for the uninitiated: we're probably not going to reply to your email with one that says, "Why, yes! You negative complainer, you, I'd freaking love to take advantage of your offers to help. You're probably more fun in the flesh even than over email! When would you like to stop by?"

How about no? Is that a good answer for you?

I think there should be a time limit on the amount we have to spend dealing with those who aren't the brightest crayons in the box. Take this email I got from a student:

I would like to finish my internship with your organization. Attached is my resume.

Um. How about some details? Such as availability? Why you want to work here? Did you just copy and paste to every organization that came up with a "mental health" search online? And...why didn't you finish the last one?

And my answer will probably be...wait for about no? I need a shirt with those words on it. Or maybe I'll tattoo them on my forehead.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Staggering genius

You know I love my job and more importantly, the cause we work for.

You know what I love even more? You fellow blogging buddies, because you will read my rants when it gets near event time! The event is Sunday. I am getting bombarded by stupid until then.

Once again, I could not, would not make this stuff up. In fact, I could probably inspire a whole study about the human brain (or lack thereof, in some folks) just based on calls and emails from today. But here you go:

Caller: "We're from out of town - Salem. Where do we park?"
What I wanted to say: "Well, in the glow-in-the-dark spots, obviously."
What my friend texted: "In the witch spots, obviously. Wait - wrong Salem!"
I sent out the FAQ to our entire email list today - everyone who participated in the event last year and signed up this year. My friend, who is on the email list, emailed in response, "Hey, RK! How about I ask you questions you've already answered here, instead of reading the email? Just kidding!"

And lo and behold, not 15 minutes later, that's what someone did.

First she called our office. Then she called a county chapter's executive director. Then she emailed me. All of the questions had been answered verbatim in the email she said she read before calling and emailing.

Example: "The FAQ says team captains can turn in money for the entire team. So if one of my team members gives me money, and I'm the captain, I can turn it in for her?"

No, sunshine, you should eat it. 
Before you think I'm an uber bitch, please keep in mind that 1. I have no assistant, 2. this event has 4,000 people, and 3. I've already sent out all of the information, as well as posted it in multiple places, that people are asking about.

But the one that actually made me laugh was sent last night. And it started with, "Good morning..."

This person said she had emailed people asking for donations during registration but forgot who she emailed. Could I let her know?

Not being a clairvoyant, not so much.

I said I had no way of tracking this, suggesting she add a line in her email apologizing if people got it twice.

She wrote back asking the same question.

I had to sit on my hands to resist the urge to type, "I'm still not psychic, but I may become so if you ask one more time, nicely."

Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Sh*t I don't understand

Tell me if you do. Once again, I would not, could not make this stuff up.

- Driving down the street with sloppy, handwritten signs decrying a political party and saying "the worst cities and states" are run by them. What exactly is the driver hoping for? That passing vehicles will suddenly jump up and say, "Why, YES, my good man! You must be right! Let me go change my voter registration RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE, and let's all move to a state run by your guys!"
- Someone who thinks that 10 days before an event with 4,000 people - which I am in charge of - I  have time for her to come to my office and SIT AND WALK HER THROUGH THE EVENT WEBSITE, step by step. And show her how it works. Because she signed up online, and she's not very good with computers. (Her words, not mine.)
- Someone whining to me that she was doing "the work of three people!" When I inquired what that entailed, it was three kinds of work. So the rest of us are all doing the jobs of about 27 people, methinks.

- Another genius calling me last week and insisting that we should move this event (the location of which is printed on posters, brochures, etc., and scheduled with vendors and volunteers) right into downtown. "Because," she said, "Lots of groups get permits at the last minute and do that." Yeah - protesters!

I simplified my reply: "There's no parking downtown."

Caller: "Oh! Okay."

Since that worked so well, perhaps it should be my answer to everything from now on! It might work. It's Portlandia, after all.