Sunday, March 30, 2008

Workbrain Needs a Lobotomy

Ah, Sunday morning. Listening to music on Rhapsody. Drinking coffee. Waiting for Roxanne to wake up so we can decide what, if anything, we want to do today. I'm actually off today, on a Sunday. The last Sunday I had off was January 6. By my count, that's eleven straight Sundays, including Easter Sunday, which we normally would've been closed on, but corporate greed decided we needed to be open on the holiday. It's about 10:40 am as I write this. Normally, I'd be scrambling to get a shower, get breakfast and get dressed to be at work by 12:30. But not today! I'm off today. And why am I off? Because I had to bloody request it, that's why. And for the record, I'm scheduled to work next Sunday that I know of, which will probably start another stretch of a dozen Sundays until I request one off. My manager said that she now is expected to work at least two Sundays a month, so maybe I won't have to work every Sunday, but I'll believe that when I see it.

You see, the company I work for uses a piece of software called 'Workbrain.' Sounds cool, eh? Well it f---ing sucks! This, presumably expensive, software program is supposed to create a balanced schedule based on sales projections, store hours, and, of course, the individual's productivity based on their sales. Balanced, my left nut! How's it balanced for one person to work every Sunday? The stupid program thinks I'm the only key-holder available on Sunday! Sure, my manager's tried to fix it, but the information won't take for some reason, and so I get stuck with working every Sunday. But that's not the only thing this great and wonderful software does that makes no sense. Let me give you a typical schedule of mine for a given week; in fact, I'll give you two weeks so you can see that it's a constant, not just a fluke (keep in mind, our pay week runs from Saturday through Friday):

March 22 – 28
Saturday 11:30am – 9:00pm
Sunday 12:30pm – 6:00pm
Monday OFF
Tuesday 9:00am – 1:00pm
Wednesday OFF
Thursday 8:30am – 11:30am (what was the f---ing point of even going in?)
Friday 11:15am – 9:00pm

March 29 – April 4
Saturday 9:00am – 1:15pm
Sunday OFF (remember, I requested this one)
Monday 8:30am – 1:30pm (and the next person comes in at 11:30am, so I'll be opening alone)
Tuesday 8:30am – 9:00pm (yep, 12 ½ hour day because the manager's on vacation and the other key-holder needs a day off too)
Wednesday OFF (the other key-holder gets to do the 12 ½ hour routine)
Thursday 8:30am – 6:15pm
Friday 8:30am – 1:30pm

And then, on the following Saturday, April 5, I don't got in until 5:00pm and have a schedule in which I do nothing but close every night, occasionally going in as early as 11:15am or as late as 5:00pm. Sure, that makes sense, right?

Now, you'd think that the manager would have some control over all this. NOPE. The district manager has basically forbidden the store managers from making edits to the schedule; it is to be worked as Workbrain did it, because Workbrain did it that way for a reason. Yeah, the reason is the programmer was a moron! The schedule makes no sense when on one day I'll work a 10 hour shift, only to have a three or four hour shift on a couple of other days; please, for the love of Mike just give me five, six-to-eight hour shifts like a normal person and rotate the freakin' weekends! That's the problem with allowing a computer program to do the scheduling instead of a person; there's no sense of fairness or balance. The machine just sees numbers and tries to predict who needs to be where and when. But, it can't even do that right, not when it schedules a mere two people on a Saturday night, but will have three working until an hour before closing on a mid-week day. Please, someone give Workbrain a programming lobotomy – it has a mental disorder!

~ JC

Upcoming: The results for the poll at the Blogger version of my blog will be posted on Tuesday (possibly not until late, if you happened to notice my schedule above for that day). You still have Sunday and Monday to vote. So far, “Tweak the layout and content, but keep it” has the lead at 50%, while the smart asses that actually chose “42” are at 30%, and the simple answer of “Keep it” is at 20%.

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