The most humorous episode involving the camera system was not a taped recording, however. If the monitor was on while the VCR was recording, you would see a live feed of the four cameras. If you switched it to one camera, you would hear audio. You wouldn't hear audio on the recording unless you confined it to the recording to a single camera at normal speed. The monitor and VCR was in my office, but I rarely had the monitor and/or audio on while I was there, in spite of my boss encouraging me to do so. There were few things I could imagine less interesting than monitoring the dispatch center or the shop. Sometimes I would turn it on and keep the audio low, and if something weird seemed to be going on, I would turn it up.
For part of my time there, I shared an office with our Lien Personnel, and one young lady who worked there was working at her desk one day while the camera was on. Her husband was one of our drivers. At that time I was managing the dispatchers and lien personnel, but not the drivers. The Driver Manager was in the dispatch center, talking to the dispatcher on-duty. I wasn't paying attention, but they were talking about the driver who was the husband of the lien specialist, and she was listening to them. I don't know how crazy your house is, but have you ever been sitting at home, watching TV or reading, and all of a sudden there is shouting and quick movement going on around you, and you have NO IDEA what is going on? That's what happened in my office, the dispatch center, and the space in between that day. Apparently the dispatcher on-duty and Driver Manager made disparaging comments about the driver who was married to the lien specialist, she heard it, and she made a beeline to the dispatch center to give them an earful. They must have been VERY surprised when she made her entrance.
The dispatcher on-duty figured it out first, and she ran into my office, yelling something about how the monitor shouldn't be on, and I realized that there was drama occurring. After I made heads or tails of all of the shouting, I just started laughing. I told the dispatcher on-duty, "Well, I guess you need to be more careful about talking behind people's backs, because you never know who might be listening." She was livid, and embarrassed. You know how people in a work environment tend to complain about coworkers they don't like, but not in the presence of that coworker or anyone else who might be an ally to that coworker, and then when they are in the presence of that coworker they are all smiles and fake-nice? Well, when their true colors show, it can be quite interesting—it’s usually something in a shade of red. Just the look of horror, embarrassment, and disbelief on that dispatcher's face made me laugh heartily. And then there was the Driver Manager, who had a lot of 'splainin' to do, having spoken profanely about the work performance of one of his employees to another employee who did not have management status. The look on his face was more like, "Why did I come to work today?"
It was the lien specialist who impressed me the most. She did not mince words, even to her husband’s boss, the Driver Manager. She was only 18 at the time, and that was the first of many times I witnessed her asserting herself. I eventually counted her as one of my most valuable employees, and she figured into many episodes worth relating.
Conversations in the dispatch center were quite cordial for awhile after that.
Have a safe and profitable week.