Miss Information is annoyed by the payroll departmentOne of Miss Information’s assigned duties is to fill in the timesheets so people get paid. She is really bad at it. She inexplicably forgot to pay one of her reference desk colleagues for a month or so, even though she worked side by side with this woman every day. (Luckily through some miracle of accounting, she got paid anyway.) Besides just forgetting about people’s existence, her counting ability sucks. In her world if people work approximately 70 hours, that’s good enough. But just try explaining that to those anal bastards in the payroll department who want to know exactly who worked, when and for how long.
The whole process is pretty 19th century. Miss Information counts up the number of hours people work on her fingers, enters the information into a spreadsheet and prints out a copy. She then faxes a copy downtown where the payroll people do something mysterious which results in people getting paid. (Actually, Miss Information is fairly certain that they count up the number of hours on their fingers and enter the information into a different spreadsheet. It all seems pretty stupid, but then she’s no accountant.)
In spite of her dislike of all things numerical, Miss Information has a good solid working knowledge of Excel. She actually enjoys it. She understands it. Sure, somebody else has to do all the tricky figuring out formulas and stuff, but nobody in the building can beat her at manipulating spreadsheets.
And she does admit to occasionally tampering with the payroll spreadsheet. Sometimes she has to use two rows to enter all the pertinent information, for example when somebody takes vacation time and sick time on the same day. Because she can’t bear for things to be out of order alphabetically (everyone has their anal moments), she moves things around so they make sense. This does mess up the page breaks, but Miss Information is a good soldier and resets them so the document prints out all nice and neat (which she then faxes downtown, etc.)
Today, Miss Information got a message that the payroll clerks want her to stop messing with the page breaks. It seems that even though they are fine when she faxes them, they don’t come out as nicely on the payroll machine. For some reason this causes the payroll department to not pay people. This seems fairly harsh. Miss Information has only a very basic knowledge of fax machines, but she is pretty sure that the information she sends out is received in its entirety on the other end—whether the page breaks are lined up right or not.
So, she promises from now on to quit messing with the page breaks. She doesn’t want to incur the wrath of the payroll department who up to now have been so very good about paying her. Her one wish for next year is that they update this stupid antiquated method of paying people. If they can’t convert to an automated system, could they at least let her send the document electronically? It would be like the best Christmas present ever.