Pop Goes The Miss Auschwitz

Another instrument failed in Customer Sim this morning. The sheer amount of brand new boxes dying over there just before shipping out to customers is staggering. Olaf called my extension asking for help with an electrical failure on a Sig Gen. He also mentioned there was something else he wanted to show me, but he didn’t elaborate any further. I’d have to wait until arriving at his desk to find out what the mystery item was. Most of the time when I receive calls from Customer Sim I end up wasting my effort on false alarms unless the call is placed by Olaf or Marc. Those two guys are the only employees in their area catching real problems. That Android guy constantly calls to complain about stuck front panel keys on our boxes. When I test them they work properly, when Mr. Android jams his fingers into the front panel buttons like a jackhammer they’re tucked behind the metal front panel frame. He’s too stupid to realize the problem is being caused by himself even though we’ve been arguing over this issue dozens of times. I’m sick of him. And of course Five Watt calls us far too often about random dumb shit that supposedly failed. She’s retarded.

Olaf’s desk is a short walk from my department. I make a right in the aisle by my workbench, go past shipping and make another right into Customer Sim. They’re located directly across from four cubicles that make up our Warranty Service Group. Those poor folks have been completely buried in work for months thanks to a high volume of broken gear returning to the factory for extensive repairs. Warranty Service Group is a bad scene these days.

Standing behind Olaf I gave him a nod and asked what the problem was. Turns out as he ran a unit through some simple software tests the sucker came unlocked on a frequency and then completely barfed on him. The front panel display screen was covered in a weird black box in the upper left hand corner we have nicknamed “The Black Screen Of Death.” Inside the BSOD there’s a bunch of coded text mumbo-jumbo gibberish none of us can make any sense of. Usually I have Customer Sim take a digital picture of the BSOD and then simply bring the instrument back to my area. I call the code monkeys over in software engineering, and then dump the box on JP which makes him extra happy. As I disconnected the Signal Generator and slid it onto a rolling table to bring back into Sources, Olaf produced a tin box and placed it on his workbench.

The little metal cube Olaf had was covered in Halloween horror scenes. Monsters and gravestones were sparsely complemented by forlorn trees with a full moon in the background. A hand crank on the right side of the box had a little red ball on the end. Olaf told me to give it a whirl. I smirked and began to spin the handle with my clenched fist. Music erupted from the little box. I then realized it was a sort of warped jack-in-the-box meant for people with a dark sense of humor. As I continued rotating the little handle a door flew open and a female figure with greasy hair and a twisted face popped upwards at me. It seemed strangely familiar somehow, but I couldn’t place it. Olaf watched me intently. A few moments later I got it.

“That’s Miss Auschwitz,” I mumbled sarcastically.

Olaf jumped backwards in his chair laughing out loud while slapping his hands together. “YES!” He shouted.

Awesome. Fucking awesome. I giggled some more while staring at the horrible little witch sticking out of the lid of that novelty pop-goes-the-weasel toy. It really did look like her, the resemblance to Miss Auschwitz was uncanny. Very close to real life with her vacant menacing gaze, pinched scowl across her mouth, and bad taste in attire. Olaf hates her even more than I do because like most departments in this division whenever Miss Auschwitz shows up you are about to experience concentration camp-strength levels of pain that only she can deliver. She has repeatedly gone into Customer Sim intent on making life as difficult as possible for them with petty demands and by claiming a variety of minor safety violations. This gives Miss Auschwitz a form of control over other employees that she seems to crave like a drug addiction. I sure wish somebody in management would do us all a favor and fire the bitch already.

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~ by factorypeasant on August 13, 2007.

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