Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Ah. The joys of payroll.

I posted this elsewhere sometime ago, and meant to double post to here, but never got round to it and lost the link. Found it today (thanks Google).

10 ways to nark off your payroll department

I work for a large payroll company and I'm currently working on a payroll that is a rather well known utilities company in the UK. For those inexperienced with contacting payroll, here are 10 easy ways of getting your payroll clerk aggravated:
  1. A convo on the lines of this:Employee: "I'm paying too much tax." Me: "Have you handed in your P45?" Employee: "No. Do I have to?"
  2. Rant. And Rant. And Rant. And swear. It don't get you anywhere honey. My trick is to hold the phone away from my ear until you've finished. I can't understand a word you're saying anyway. Other tactics, include, at best, terminating the conversation. At worst, putting you on speaker so the Payroll Manager can hear. PM has hot line to top man (or woman) at client. So be warned and watch your language.
  3. Holding your baby whilst on the phone and allowing it to BAWL down the phone so I cannot hear a word you're saying, and yours and my blood pressure goes up. Oh yeah, I can do without Sky Sports on in the background too. Turn it off!
  4. Telling me your life story, your latest operation, the troubles with your daughter, son, husband, wife, partner. It won't get the sympathy vote - the client doesn't pay us to cause sympathy to make us change the rules. I'm sorry for you - honestly - but it will not cause any change in the stance. Tell your sob story to your boss - HE can probably make things happen. We can't.
  5. Tell me how to do my job, or tell me you could DO my job. One woman tried to teach me the joys of customer service (somewhere along the line of the customer is always right). The biggest laugh I got was when I was at the lower end of the pay scale (around £5) per hour and had an employee in a shop (on £3 per hour) telling me that payroll was easy and she could do my job, and indeed, HAD done my job. Right, lady, so why didn't you stay in payroll rather than be on your feet ALL day for £2 less an hour?
  6. Tell me its MY job to chase up YOUR personal information. No. Its you or your manager. Beck and call girls (and boys) we are not.
  7. Phone up at 9am on pay day, consultant unavailable, other consultant takes your phone number promising I will phone you back....you phone back at 9:30am demanding to know why I haven't phoned back. We get close to 200 phone calls on pay day, and your call stating that your union dues balance is incorrect is NOT priority. Oh, and we have until 3pm the next working day to phone back UNLESS you've been severely underpaid.
  8. Be on over £50K, be underpaid by the price of a Malteser, and DEMAND payment NOW. Since when should I pay you out of principle, when I have a girl who's been underpaid SEVERELY, which was maybe ours, maybe the client's fault, and they say - its OK, I can wait. You high paid employees should be ASHAMED.
  9. Say "I bet your pay is never wrong". Oh boy. Of course my pay has been wrong on occasion, because, like yours, MY payroll department is human. I don't get on the phone and talk to them the way you talk to them. (They're too close for a start)
  10. Say "My pay is wrong every month". Y'know, out of morbid curiosity, all payroll clerks check this statement out. We usually find that your pay was wrong one month (our fault), wrong the next month (because we fixed our error, and the client, out of 'kindness' or some form of weird humour, instruct us to do something specific to fix it, so the correction is doubled up, and you're paid wrong again), and then....nowt. Rien. Nada. Your pay has been right 9 months in a row. Be careful again, we have the hot line to your boss and we record every query.

There are more. Much more. But these will do for now.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Farewell to The Red Baron

This is about 5 days too late, but better late than weak tea.

I started watching F1 in '96 - I think mainly because a certain British driver was doing rather well. He, along with most of the others in the paddock, and the entire F1 fanbase had something to say about one Herr Michael Schumacher. Most of it uncomplimentary.

Damon, of course, won the F1 World Championship that year, although a lot of peeps were saying it was more down to his car rather than his driving ability. Michael had got himself disqualified - from the whole season. I don't remember the full details (though trying to run Hill off the road had something to do with it) but I don't think that British had been that pleased since 1966.

Course, I went along with the views of a lot of the fraternity - here was one arrogant, self centred, precocious son of a gun.

Then I watched his driving over the next 10 years and the disgust turned into utter admiration.

Oh yeah, sure, there were 'incidents'. And I'm not about to excuse them. Some of them were Michael all over, some of them he admitted and some of them weren't even his fault (but because he was 'involved' this all added to the 'Schumacher is ruining F1' debate)

I hear a lot about Senna - I wasn't watching in those days, but it seems that those that say that, although Schumacher is, statistically, the greatest F1 racing driver there ever was, that Senna is still their number 1 all time greatest racing driver.

For those that know all there is to know about racing, this could be informed opinion. Unfortunately, for the majority that say that it is down, in part, to that niggling little irration we have with all things and people German (though we do like Mercedes) and in part they don't want to be associated with someone that they think cheated his way to stardom.

You don't cheat all 90+ wins.

And I hate conjecture. Like when they say 'Senna would have wiped the floor with him'. Senna's dead guys. Senna could have been just seriously injured and given up racing the next day. He could have been so shaken up that he was never the same again. Or he could have been knocked down by a bus after the season ended. Conjecture is pointless. Just look at the guy's ability, particularly when Brundle, who is not, it has to be said, Schumacher's greatest fan, be awstruck by the sort of talent he displayed last Saturday. Effectively running last, he finished fourth and it seemed that every lap included another jaw-dropping, edge of the sofa with screams manouvre. It was like he was saying 'This is Me, this is what F1 will be missing when I'm gone and I am, and always will be, the greatest there ever was'.

Arrogance? Oh sure. But who cares about arrogance when you see a car driven so perfectly?

Some said Schumacher ruined F1. But I, for one, will probably not watch much more because of him dropping out. I can't see anyone beating his records, and I can't see any other personality in the paddock that will give us something to talk about on Monday morning. You see, one thing that Michael wasn't, was boring.

Farewell Michael, gosh I'll miss you.