I work for a ginormous multinational corporation which holds a certain level of cache in the business world, and I happen to have a reasonably important position for a “non salaried” employee, since I am in charge of ordering, lease contracts, supplies and spare parts. With that said there are times, very rare when I am forced to deal with a company that is larger than we are. It is even rarer when I have to deal with a company that is larger than we are and treats us as if we are smaller than they are. Then there is that one in a lifetime company that treats us like we don’t exist unless they want to get paid. I happen to have two of these, and eliminated one of them a few weeks ago, and have finally found a way to eliminate the other one.
You can’t even imagine the relief when I finally decided I had had enough of the water filtration company that we had gotten all of our coolers from. The company had been with this company for longer than I had been here (10 years) and their units hadn’t worked right for longer than I had been here too. Unfortunately it was impossible to actually get someone on the phone to come and fix the units. The bills showed up every month without a hitch (actually they still do I just don’t pay them anymore) but calling them meant an answering machine and no call back. The infuriating part was that it had never actually occurred to me that I didn’t have to put up with this because it had been the company norm for so long. People were overjoyed when new units from a different company showed up, and for less money a month too. Watch me do the idiot dance.
Now of course the propane issue for our lift trucks has seemed to be a wholly different ordeal. They show up on time, give us great service, refill our tanks, reload the cages, and they have done this twice a week every week for longer than I have been here. The service has been stellar, but there was a different problem which is much harder to explain. Well it isn’t hard to explain it is simply hard to believe. When the ginormous multinational corporation bought my little company and made it part of Ginormous Multinational Corporation Inc the parent company of the little company we bought the propane from took over our contract. Well the little guys bring us our propane, without a hitch, and the huge company that bought them who will remain nameless (AMERIGAS!) refuses to send us a bill. No seriously, for the last 3 years they have NEVER sent us a bill, and I can’t fix this.
Of course every 12 to 16 months they call everyone from the CEO to the CFO of the company out in Ohio and threaten to cut us off. They call the Plant Leader and the Comptroller of this facility and ask them what the issue is, they patch them through to me, I tell them what is going on, they say the corporate leader friendly version of “f*cking Amerigas” and then the company attorney has to call and tell them to send us a bill. They still won’t. Sooner or later one of the collections agents will get a hold of me and after phone tag for a week or so they will send me a spreadsheet with what we owe them. They still won’t send us a bill. How messed up is that?
Unfortunately the problem is that it is hard to get liquid propane pre-filled in cylinders dropped off, and our friends at the company we won’t mention (AMERIGAS!) have that market cornered. I don’t see how when they won’t send people bills but from all of my research in this area that has been the norm until a little truck from a company we buy our welding supplies from came down the driveway, and the salesman told me that they stocked lift truck propane now. I’m sure he’ll lift the restraining order he had to get on me from laying a huge kiss on him when he told me that, after I get the contract set up, but then again maybe they will e too afraid to bill me, and then here we go again.