Cosplay: Angel

No good Deed goes unpunished

I wore many hats during my almost ten year span at Alienware and one of those hats was of an RMA clerk. RMA stands for Return Merchandise Authorization which means when you have a product that is broken or in need of exchange you send it to RMA and you either receive a repaired part or a brand new part.

As you can imagine with high end gaming machines you get a lot of parts mostly because people wanted to continue upgrades. I will take credit for introducing a better way to keep track of merchandise which came out of me not wanting to write everything by hand. The result of this was at the end of the month when we did our count it was easy to keep track of everything I received and sent out.

Now I won’t get into to many details, but when you do a monthly count there can be mistakes. Sometimes something was entered wrong or something is missing or mislabeled. Believe me it happens everywhere and when you have hundreds and thousands of parts you are bound to misplace some without it meaning it was stolen.

When a count is off there is a secondary audit. Yes, sometimes you have to write off a loss, but remember, Alienware used high end parts not cheap stuff so we did not like writing things off or losing things for that matter. So when an audit is done everyone has to hand count everything and do their best to make sure all items are accounted for.

At the end of an audit if there is still missing items it has to be written off, but this makes us look bad even if it happens everywhere. The key of course it to make the write off as low as possible and for the most part we did every well in not having to write off stuff as far as I know.

However, sometimes it happened and we were all reminded to double our efforts to make sure the next count would be better. I prided myself in not having to write off much in my department that was until one day when a large number of COA’s were missing.

COA’s are those windows stickers with the windows product keys on them. For Alienware those COA’s are the same as having the disc and are needed when we send them to Microsoft. We take the COA’s off of systems that were returned and cancelled.

My job was once I had a large batch of COA’s I was to take them to our returns accountant. Well when the COA’s came up missing I told my boss I gave it to her. Honestly, I thought I had. They asked her for them and she could not find them and so they were written off, but they were upset because it was a lot of money and was a mistake she was not known to make.

After the audit I cleaned my work space and found the COA’s stuck to a stack of papers I had printed just before the audit. Now I could have kept quiet and no one would have known, but the return accountant lady was my friend and damn me for having a conscious.

I took the COA’s to my boss who just gave me the “You screwed up look.” Here I thought they would be happy it wouldn’t be a write off, but I guess they had already sent notice to Microsoft so to undo it kind of looked bad and so the raff came back onto me.

In the end all I got was a write up which really didn’t mean anything considering my good record before and since then, but it still pissed me off to have gotten one. The important thing was the accountant lady did not take the rap and I apologized to her for the mistake and we became great friends even to this day.

Alright, enough of this text stuff, on to the sexy ladies!

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Cosplay: Rumble Roses

Truths about Alienware

There was too much cake:

Alienware is a Miami based company and as such there were a lot of people of Spanish decent. Well, if you don’t know Spanish people like to celebrate events, perhaps more so than others and those celebrations always have food and cake.

Remember the Seinfeld episode where Elaine hates the large number of office parties? Well, at Alienware there was some event at least three times a week. During my time in the Critical Issues department I must have had cake or some kind of pastry every other day. Now granted, it was my fault for eating so much, but damn who can say no to awesome Cuban cake?

Employee Sales were awesome:

I remember some people claiming we sold returned or damaged parts sometimes. Well let me tell you that is completely false. If a product had even a scratch it would either be returned to the manufacture or sold at the employee sale.

The employee sale was great because the leadership was nice enough to price the stuff real low so we all could get some stuff. We were surprised at the great condition of the merchandise and that was because we did not let bad stuff get by us. I was just glad we were so strict, I built several awesome computers for myself thanks to the employee sale.

There was an attack bird:

When we moved into our latest building we had a crazy blackbird that would swoop down and attack us while we walked from our car to the building. At first we thought it was a mother bird with a nest, but there was no nest and this went on for months.

It was weird too because the bird was smart and would only attack us from behind. We use to say it must be a Falcon Northwest bird. In the end they did some bird away service that gets rid of birds without hurting them. After all, we came in peace.

Enough of that

On to the Cosplay.



Cosplay: Red Alert

Alienware Facts: Behind the scenes edition

Instead of a story for this week I will instead present some facts about my time at Alienware.

Fact: We were gamers:

Pretty much 90% of us were gamers of some sort back during my time at Alienware. Some of us were true gaming geeks playing everything from PC to Console games going back to the 80’s. Often we would have LAN parties at the office and would go to various people’s homes to play console games. As long as the work got done reading and talking about gaming was allowed (well for most of us) and this did help us become better sales, customer service and tech support agents.

Fact: We had a mystery bathroom destroyer

9 times out of 10 the bathrooms were clean and pleasant, but at least once a day someone would go in and total destroy the bathroom rendering it useless for at least an hour. You would think it would be easy to figure out who it was, but we had multiple bathrooms and the person changed which one he or she (read: he) destroyed. We even considered pointing the cameras toward the door, but we didn’t.

Fact: The Bosses were pretty cool

What made even the toughest times fun was that most of the upper management were pretty cool people. They did not have the mentality that the workers were nothing more than paid slaves. In addition they were gamers as well and understood what it is like to be a gamer and to work in an environment of gaming. This allowed the workplace to be relatively stress-free. Not feeling the bosses breathing down your neck 24/7 made going to work much more enjoyable and I believe it showed in our productivity.

Fact: The Roach Coach had no Roaches

We called the lunch truck that came around every morning around 10:30 the roach coach, but in fact the food was really good and the truck was nice and clean. The guy who ran the truck was also nice and would even allow us to owe him if we were short. Now surly you could find fatty foods that any gamer would love on the coach, but it also offered some healthy choices such as fresh fruit and 100% juices. It was a nice break in the early part of the day.

Fact: Not everyone was discreet with their desktop wallpaper

Everyone was very professional at Alienware even the younger guys for many of whom this was their first non-fast food job. We knew all the rules about privacy and we understood ourselves that we wouldn’t want our private information being seen or read by others. However, some people forgot that we need to boot the PC before we begin work. We made it clear we would format a customer’s hard drive before returning the system and warned them to insure all items they wished to keep was backed-up.

In most cases this wasn’t an issue and we knew that even if the system was backed up it didn’t mean the original material would not remain on the PC. Since we knew this we made sure not to open folders or files on a customer’s PC, but there was nothing we could do about one’s desktop wallpaper.

One day while I was working in RMA I heard a Depot technician yell out “Holy Shit!” I turned and looked through the chain link fence dividing our departments to see a picture of a woman preforming an oral act on a man. The tech quickly selected a solid color background and went back to work. The PC was fixed and formatted and returned. Weeks later we receive an e-mail thanking us for fixing his machine and he included a picture of him standing next to the PC smiling with his wife.

Funny thing, the guy in the picture matched the guy on the wallpaper, the woman did not.

On with the Show

And now here’s something you’ll really like, Cosplay.