Thursday, January 13, 2005

Wanna know how a Japanese company works?

I have refrained from writing anything about work, because, well, you just never know who’s going to read it. Granted, I doubt how many people I work with will trawl the internet to pass time, and even if they did, I doubt they’d be interested in any English sites. So I guess I can take a little risk.

Here’s the situation, a faffer who mumbles, who is also a manager, sat on a big pile of unsorted matters, which is actually not all that complicated, but since he let it sit for so long hoping it'll go away, it's about to blow up in his face. At which point he goes to the boss asking for backup. Boss turns to me and another unsuspecting hardworking pawn, basically asking us to clean up the mess, giving us one week to do what faffer was supposed to have finished in the past two months, i.e. writing a quality agreement for a drug company A is making for us. We obligingly agreed to give it a crack, but soon found out that critical information is missing. We went back to boss and faffer and said, “Hey, we can’t write it without knowing how this drug is made.” Faffer who mumbles starts to mumble and this is when it really gets bizarre.

Instead of asking company A to send us the essential information, boss and faffer decides that the other pawn (TOP) and I can wing it and just use information on hand, and whatever we can’t make up, simply leave it blank for company A to fill in later. (All because for some mysterious reason, old faffer promised, probably under heavy influence of Schnapps, that he’d send them a draft agreement before their next meeting, and he was reluctant to go back on his words. It’s a face thing.) We were also informed that we should preferably finish the draft in 3 days so as to send it to company A for review before faffer’s second meeting with company A in Switzerland.

With the 3-day deadline hanging over our heads, TOP and I started to frantically cutting and pasting old information to make a quality agreement out of practically nothing. If you have never seen a quality agreement of a drug before, trust me when I tell you it’s a long (approx. 40 pages) document with a shit load of information that you just can’t grab out of thin air. You need your source information, damn it! Without it, our so-called first draft was a joke.

At this time, TOP and I decided to try one more time to convince our boss that if we sent out the agreement with gaping holes in it, we’d be the laughing stock of the entire pharmaceutical industry. We had a heated 30-minute discussion, involving much mumbling on faffer’s part but my brave fellow pawn and I stood our grounds. The result? I am now in charge of getting the essential information from company A and finishing the quality agreement.

How did that happen? Because I work for a Japanese company, that's how.


Hsin said...

Dammit woman, quit that dang job. You get no thanks, my dear, no thanks at all for all that crap.

And I suppose through it all, the faffer remains innocent of all wrong-doing??

Lynn said...

Of course not. I actually don't know what one has to do to get fired in this company.

I know, I really should quit, but I just don't know what else to do if I wasn't working. Also, they keep on throwing me bones to keep me interested. Of course, I always find out later that the bones are all traps to make me do someone else's work, but I keep hoping. A true Ah Q at heart.

Chao said...

In fact, most of us are some sorts of Ah Q in spirit. It’s 11:30 PM here, and I’m still here working my ass off because there’s a deadline and the person who suppose to finish it a week ago but did not. Of course with some legitimate excuse. The only one is not for sure is Bush. An idiot with a brave heart.

Thanks for writing all these stuff. In some way, I’m hoping you get annoyed more often. :) I like your dog! Say “good doggie” for me.