|Annals of Employment: Tony the Ax versus The Phone Company
||[Sep. 9th, 2009|04:15 pm]
The American Caliban
For a short time I worked at an internet service provider. They served medium-sized businesses. These guys really had their act together. All the tech people were smart. The bosses were hardcore ex Sun engineers. And they had a guarantee of reliability or your money back, which was unusual at the time.
That reimbursement didn't get made, because they were good. Money was made.
Then one day the upstream provider, The Phone Company, failed. Suddenly the company was not providing any service at all to most of its customers. Not only were they looking like idiots, they were also now paying back all these customers. A gigantic taxi meter of money loss was running.
So our CFO called up The Phone Company. They were evasive in the usual phone company way. Probably told him they needed to "provision" something, or that it was "under investigation." The CFO was a nice guy, easy-going, loved his family and his vintage Corvette. He was also Italian-American from New Jersey. This is what he sounded like on the phone.
STOP, SHUT UP NOW. SHUT THE FUCK UP. I'M TAWKIN. I'M TAWKIN ABOUT WHAT YOU'RE DOING WHICH IS FUCKING FIXING THIS SHIT. GET YOUR FWUCKING ACT TOGETHER OR I'M GONNA FLY UP THERE AND CUT YOUR FWUCKING BALLS OFF. DON'T EXPLAIN. YOUR EXPLANATIONS ARE FUCKING SHIT, THEY'RE DIARRHEA. SHUT THE FUCK UP AND FIX IT NOW. DID YOU FIX IT YET? DID I HEAR YOU SAY YOU FIXED IT? I DIDN'T HEAR YOU SAY YOU FIXED IT, SO SHUT THE FUCK UP.
I'M SHITTING OUT MY FUCKING BUSINESS HERE AND YOU'RE GOING TO LICK IT UP. DID YOU FIX IT YET? IT'S FIXED, RIGHT? NO? DO YOU WANT TO FUCKING SEE ME IN PERSON? YOU DON'T WANT TO FUCKING SEE ME IN PERSON, EVER.
They fixed it.
I was standing outside his office in fascinated horror. There was spittle on his desk and he was half standing out of the chair, leaning over the desk to scream into the phone. He clicked it off and slumped back in the chair for a few seconds and then looked up at me.
"I really hate doing that."