Today was absolutely the funniest day at work I’ve had in a long time. First, I need to set up the cast of characters…you might want to take notes for reference later, or maybe make some flash cards. Or a flow chart might help too...anyhow, follow along with me:
VP: The jackass Vice President that did my performance review last week
CFO: The CFO (like you couldn’t figure that out!)
Controller: Also one of my friends
HRB: The Human Resource Bitch (also one of my friends, and the Bitch part is said with all the love in the world)
BUL: Business Unit Leader (I always snicker when I type out BUL)
PM: Project Manager who reports to the BUL
AP Manager: Also a friend of mine (hey, always keep friends in Accounting, right?)
Eeyore: My boss, the king of doom and gloom
Me: Um, me.
Okay, let me set the scene. I was sitting at my desk around 9:15 AM when I started hearing our super-obnoxious receptionist page the CFO over and over again that the VP was on the phone and it was an EMERGENCY. She has this horrid nasally northern accent and it makes you want to ram an icepick into your eardrums just to hear her talk, let alone bellow across the paging system.
Of course, no one can find the CFO. People started running up and down the hallways of the building looking for him, while the receptionist continued to bellow like a mournful cow, “CFO, pick up VP on line 50, it’s an EMERGENCY!” Now I started to think that something was seriously wrong, like maybe someone had been injured on one of the jobsites or there had some kind of natural disaster, fire, flood, whatever. Then, the receptionist started screeching that everyone needed to close out our Outlook IMMEDIATELY. Uh, okay…whatever.
Things calmed down so I decided to walk over to the Accounting building to drop off an invoice with the AP Manager. As I walked into her office, I happened to glance to the left into the copy room and noticed a crowd standing around our server. It was the IT guy, the VP, the Controller, the CFO, and the HRB all standing around like they were at a funeral viewing and talking in very hushed tones. Oh, I thought – server problems.
The AP Manager happened to be trying somewhat discreetly to eavesdrop but wasn’t having any luck. “Something’s up, did you notice VP in there?” she whispered. I nodded yes, tried to eavesdrop myself but had zero luck. So I moseyed on down the hall to do my daily polling for friends to have lunch with and as I was standing in my friend B’s office, the CFO popped in and asked me if I had a moment to come into his office. Uh-oh. I couldn’t imagine for the life of me what in the hell he would want to talk to ME about, and I started feeling sick to my stomach. Maybe all that porn I’ve been downloading at work had finally caught up with me! Or the escort service on the AMEX! Egads!
I entered his office and he motioned me to shut the door. Then he said, “I need to know if you received a certain e-mail this morning from VP.” I replied that no, I hadn’t received anything from VP in several days. “Oh, well, do you normally get copied on any e-mails that are sent to the Project Management e-mail group?” Again, I replied no and told him that my understanding was that only Project Managers and Assistant Project Managers were members of that e-mail group.
“Well, we had a very embarrassing moment this morning, and some highly confidential information was e-mailed to a lot of people that shouldn’t have seen it. If you end up receiving the e-mail, or hear of anyone who has, would you please let me know? I would really appreciate it.”
See, that was his big mistake. You can’t just tell me something like that and think that I’m not going to do everything in my power to find out what the hell was in that e-mail. So the game was on.
Without going into the whole long saga of how I found out, basically what happened is that our Controller sends the VP an Excel spreadsheet with the quarterly projections at the end of each quarter. She also has different worksheets attached that have the company budget and a crapload of other information. If you go to the last tab, it has a complete list of all of the salaries in the company. Apparently, even though VP has been getting this spreadsheet for SIX YEARS now, he’s never gone past the first or second tab so he had no idea that the salary information was in the document at all.
So, VP e-mailed the Project Management group the spreadsheet yesterday – this was the first time ever he has actually done this because he wants them to review their own projections prior to our quarterly job cost meetings. This morning, the PM opened up his e-mail and started checking all of the worksheets in the document, and discovered much to his horror everyone’s salaries (including the fact that he makes less than certain other people which I’m sure he found highly insulting). So the following chain of events set into motion:
PM called his BUL out of an important meeting to inform him of the information that is in the e-mail and how pissed off he was…
BUL immediately called the HRB to notify her that PM is pissed off because of his salary…
HRB went to the CFO to tell him that there is a serious problem with this e-mail and wanted to know what kind of damage control to do…
CFO tried to get in touch with VP but got no answer, so he left a message on his cell phone…
VP got the message and reportedly said, and I quote, “HOLY SHIT.”
The poor IT guy spent three hours trying to extricate the e-mails from everyone’s accounts. However, he missed one important person. My boss, Eeyore.
Eeyore is the king of the hard drive. He will almost NEVER save anything to the network at all. Well, Eeyore had opened his copy of the e-mail yesterday afternoon and saved the spreadsheet to his hard drive. The second he returned from a jobsite meeting, I went skulking into his office to share my juicy little gossip. His eyes brightened as he said, “You know how you always make fun of me for using my C drive? Well, guess what I did last night…” So as we prepared to open up the spreadsheet to take a little peek, giggling like two little kids looking at a Playboy, CFO stuck his head in the door…
“Um, Eeyore? Might I have a word with you for a moment alone?”
The next time I saw Eeyore, he was laughing as he walked down the hall. CFO made sure that the e-mail was deleted off of his laptop, and that the attachment was deleted as well. And that his recycling bin was empty. Curses, foiled again!
I think one of the funniest parts of the entire day was the fact that most of our Project Managers are very busy guys, and profit projection time is something that is universally dreaded. So they had filed the e-mail under the "yawn, I'll read it this weekend since profit projections aren't due until Tuesday". Poor little PM was just trying to be diligent and get his done early, but it opened a huge can of worms which resulted in a major shitstorm which required shutting down the server, scouring Outlook for the e-mail, and a lot of pissed-off Project Managers who never got to look at the Juiciest E-Mail of the Millenium. I can't tell you how many of them came in my office, looking like they were trying to score crack or something, and whispering, "Did you get...you know...the e-mail?"
I was relating the whole story to Joey tonight over dinner and he was just laughing and shaking his head. He knows everyone that I work with and could not believe that the VP did something so stupid.
Joey: That has to be the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard of someone doing!
Me: Yeah, and you know what I find so hard to believe? That VP had never even READ the rest of the spreadsheet in SIX YEARS.
Joey: And this is the guy that says you can’t be an engineer?
Me: Yeah, but at least I can send an e-mail properly.
Karma is a bitch. Today was a great day.