A cat by any other name

There are benefits to being ignored



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Meow to me

In the past nearly-four years I've had the same office, and the same desk. However, my company name has changed three times, each time growing larger.

The first two names knew that we existed. Our little satellite office was never slighted, forgotten, or otherwise missing from any mass communications sent out - not, of course, that they sent out much of that type of stuff, but the point is, they knew we were there.

The current company, and the one before that seem to keep forgetting about us. Oh, they remember the employees, but for whatever reason, our office is one of those that's been quite easy to forget. It got to the point of amusement to see people's confusion when I told them where I worked. "What? We have an office out *there*?". Uh yes. You've had one for over a year now. We're even listed on the website. Honest. Look, I'll show you!

But still, we get forgotten. When they sent out the email about the company picnic last summer, they forgot to include us. Company-wide newsletters would be circulated to all but us. It's become a joke, although so far it's only been amusing, if not occasionally slightly annoying. Until now.

With the company previous to the one we are now, all of us consultants possessed heavy, but marvelously loaded laptops, complete with SQL Server installed on NT server, all manner of software necessary for us to do our jobs, Jazz drive, and dual network cards. To sweeten the deal, we were also given docking stations and monitors, for those rare moments when we got to work from our own office instead of haring off hither thither and yon to wherever our latest project took us.

When we were swallowed, we were promptly issued new laptops, which possessed minimal software, didn't have servers, or even the ability to add them, and didn't even contain the latest version of the particular software our piece of the company sells and works with. Oh yeah, and to make it even more useful, it came fully loaded with Lotus Notes, an email program that I am convinced was developed by someone while he or she was either insane or just really, really angry. Basically, in order to do our work, we still had to cart along the old laptop, but in order to get our email, we had to now bring along the new one. Can we say 'inconvenient and annoying as hell'?

It's been months now - nearly a year, in fact, and we still have those old laptops, and there's a number of us who've been wondering when, or if, they'd ever want them back. Apparently they did. Weeks and weeks ago. But - oops!

Yes, as usual, they neglected to include our office in the mass email that went out letting everyone know how to turn in the old machine. The other laptops were collected, given brain wipes, and then auctioned off to any employee that wanted them. The inventory of all the old consulting equipment was then promptly deleted. Poof. No more laptops. Um. Well, almost.

Suddenly, those of us in the my little office have the upper hand. We've now all suddenly become the owners of a rather expensive piece of equipment that technically, no longer exists. Our own company doesn't want to deal with them because they're not sure how to handle something they don't recognize as theirs. Our office admin did some checking around for us and verified that yes, as far as the company was concerned, the laptops were no more, and it would be best for all concerned if they were to quietly disappear.

Something tells me that as work of this leaks out, they might become a bit more vigilant about making sure that our office is included in future emails, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. But in the meantime, you can bet that we're all going to take advantage of this rather unexpected surprise. Laptops. Outdated, perhaps, but quite good still, and they're free, and all because someone didn't pay attention to their 'cc' list.

Next time they forget us, I'll bet not a one of us will make a peep. Who knows what else they might neglect to collect from us next time. A few of us are eyeing some of the servers that are currently in ownership limbo at the same office - our older company never technically 'owned' them, and the new one doesn't have them on their list, and, well, some of us have been thinking about web servers.....hmm....