Even though the boss does everything in his power to prevent it, the new company website is proceeding at a snail’s pace. He frequently brags to people how this project has been his baby for “years” now. Yeah, excelling at being an idiot is something to be proud of. Remember: Boss is another word for the opposite of results.
This week something strange happened. In spite of the boss’ efforts, a customer actually placed an order and attempted to buy some of his inane shit.
It was an odd moment.
I reviewed the order and thought, “This one is suspicious.” After being in ecommerce for over 10 years, you tend to develop a spidey sense about these things. The customer’s name was weird, the billing and shipping addresses were different, and the billing address had a real zip code but the city and state had been spoofed. It’s hard to believe that even now, in the year 2012, the credit card system doesn’t really check addresses. The address verification system (AVS) only checks the street number and the zip code. That’s it. The street name, city and state fields are not checked. Makes your wallet feel secure, doesn’t it?
I was surprised later in the day when Mr. Weird Name’s order shipped out. It was $1,000 worth of the pointless shit we sell. (Actually it’s worse than “pointless” but that part of the story won’t ever be told.) I shrugged and went on with my day. If there is one thing I’ve been taught during the last year and working for this asshole it’s that the boss always knows best.
The very next day the same customer decided he wanted a lot more stuff from us and attempted to place a HUGE order. And he wanted it shipped “next day air.” That particular shipping method is a blaring red flag. Fast shipping reduces the odds that the fraudsters will get caught and it’s easy to pay for when you are using someone’s credit card without permission. (This is also known as stealing although the world of law enforcement does little about the problem.)
Suddenly the boss was suspicious. Too bad for him he already shipped the product. Curious, I googled the address and found a website where a lot of people had shipped there and lost money due to fraud. I passed on the information to the boss who immediately took credit for figuring it out himself. Well, lying does happen to be his forte.
Then the boss threw his little shit fit. “I can’t believe there are people like that out there,” he lamented. “Doesn’t anyone tell the truth anymore? This sort of thing is like a cancer.”
I just about threw up my lunch. He actually dared to use that word? “Cancer?” Are you fucking shitting me?
Let’s take a moment to review a few things about my boss:
- He’s the biggest liar I’ve ever known yet paradoxically considers himself the renaissance man of virtue, morality, compassion and an upstanding person. He also believes his sense of humor is funny (it is remarkably the opposite) and that he’s going to be “God” to his own planet someday and that I’m going to Hell.
- Just like my last boss (they have a lot in common), he did a shitty job photoshopping a picture stolen from the internet with his business name to make it look like his place of business. He prominently features this photo on his website.
- The boss sells exclusively on the internet. The purpose of the fake picture is two-fold. One, to give customers a sense that we are legitimate and not just a bunch of assholes working out of a garage. And secondly, to keep his supply of products flowing since his manufacturers don’t like to sell to internet-only outfits. Therefore he has to convince them he actually has a physical retail location, too.
- If any customers call and actually try to visit our non-existent store he becomes quite agitated and rude and does everything in his power to keep them away.
- One day he brought his own son into our office and taught him how to photoshop a FAKE business license rather than pay a $35 fee to the city. I shit you not. It was a touching generational moment of the passing down of fatherly wisdom. “This is how I do business, son.”
- When his supply chain figures out that he won’t follow their rules, they “blacklist” him. This means they won’t sell him their products any more. This is somewhat of a problem since it leaves him no way to make his profits. So he invents fake companies with fake owner names and establishes mail drops all over the country. These mail drops receive shipments and then forward them to us, thus doubling both transit time and shipping costs. Yeah, the dude is brilliant.
- In order to maintain cover, he frequently has to have someone stand in for him when dealing with sales reps that already know who he is, the sound of his voice, etc. He tried to force me and the cow orker to provide this function, but we both refused on ethical grounds. Then he had a great idea. “I’ll tell them that the fake identity for this faux-company is deaf and can therefore only use email. That way they won’t recognize the sound of my voice.” I shit you not.
- Last, but not least, if you try to return a product, he’ll charge a 15 percent restocking fee. The reason for this is that we only sell “new” product. Once a product has been opened, in theory it can only be “liquidated” as “used” at places like eBay and at less than full price. That is what the restocking fee is supposed to cover. But when he gets the product back, though, he inspects the hell out of it and if it still looks “new” he puts it back on the shelf for the next sucker stupid enough to buy from us. That 15 percent restocking fee he collected becomes a gleeful personal bonus.
And this is the guy who has the balls to call lies and fraud on the internet a “cancer.”
Well, he’s partly right.
Sadly, there are a lot of bosses out there just like yours !
Our sympathies…but hey…thank your lucky stars you work for this fine fellow. He may abuse but this lets you amuse…the rest of us who get to NOT be there in person.