WORST Task You've Been Given at Work?

isa2130953's picture
Rank: Neanderthal | 2,682

Now this questions really depends on personality and preference. So far I would have to say mine is recruitment..... strange I know. While I have met many amazing people, and actually hired a few through Wall Street Oasis, you also have to deal with a LOT of bull sh*tters.

More than I was expecting.....

Definitely has given me a fresh outlook on the process from behind the scenes but out of things that I will choose to do in the future, it will be at the bottom of my list.

What about you?

Comments (109)

Aug 8, 2019

Filing - basically when I had no work to do in industry and my manager didn't have much to do either

Aug 8, 2019

When I used to work in accounting I had to do so much filing..... lol I feel that.

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Aug 16, 2019

I get asked to file shit a lot. I am hourly so I get paid either way but its kinda annoying, especially when there are others in the department that only work about 50% of the day and just chill out the rest of the day.

Its annoying even though sometimes its throwing papers in a literal file that the other person could have done in 30 seconds.

Don't quit!
Aug 8, 2019

a company sent the search fund that i intern for its balance sheet as a pdf. we wanted it in excel. i typed 40 months x 150 line items per month = like 6000 numbers into this spreadsheet

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Aug 8, 2019

actually was kind of fun though

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Aug 8, 2019

there's a pdf to excel software that I utilized during my internship last year that works pretty well

Aug 8, 2019

Yeah, when I did accounting people would always request their aging reports in excel and my system generated it in a pdf so I used random pdf to excel sites. Would never be able to type all of that out hahaha

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Aug 8, 2019

i tried using one of those sites but it didn't really work

Aug 9, 2019

You can literally just use acrobat to save as excel doc and then clean it up. Guaranteed to be faster than data entry.

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Aug 8, 2019

No need for sketchy programs if you're at work, Acrobat Pro will do it if it's not a protected PDF. File -> Save As Other -> Spreadsheet -> Microsoft Excel Workbook

General rule of thumb is that if you find yourself doing some very tedious task, there is probably a way to automate it, and if that's the case there is an answer somewhere out there on the internet for how to do it.

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Aug 8, 2019

Good to know! Thanks. Those sites are pretty annoying haha

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Aug 8, 2019

My company back then didn't have that but note definitely taken!

Aug 29, 2019

Unfortunately, if it's a protected PDF you're kinda SOL. Just had one of those the other day. Famejranc said it was a balance sheet, so I'm guessing that would likely be protected. Ugh! I would de be dying.

Aug 9, 2019

My friend, you need a good macro. That would have dropped your work time down to about 5 minutes lol

Aug 9, 2019

wtf, why not just ask the company for the excel file

Aug 9, 2019

I feel bad everyone is coming for @famejranc I am sure he knows he has options now haha

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Aug 12, 2019

If firms aren't using macros to automate processes like this, they will become obsolete. That is insane.

Aug 12, 2019

I think they assume everyone will just figure out their resources. I did that at my old firm because there was NO way in hell i was typing each individually ahhaha

Aug 8, 2019

Worst task at work I was given was to fire someone (at my previous job). He wasn't performing well but it was really painful to actually do to someone.

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Aug 8, 2019

I've done that too...... I felt incredibly awkward because it was our first conversation and it was pushed on to me by another department. Also she wasn't getting the memo which made it even worse since I had to be a b*tch at the end

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Aug 12, 2019

Would love to hear more of that story.

Funniest
Aug 8, 2019

During my summer internship there was a bring your child to work day. That morning, the admin lady who was in charge of it had some kind of emergency and ended up not being able to come in until late.

MD emails "its ok. intern will handle kids"

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Aug 8, 2019

i can fill in the blanks from there hahaha. hopefully they didn't burn the place down

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Aug 9, 2019

At least they probably needed less handholding and threw fewer tantrums than some of the clients I've had to deal with

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Aug 9, 2019

yesterday this client got pissed I didn't want to fund his "genius idea" for a nonproprietary tinder for startups lmao i know the feeling

Aug 8, 2019

Plotting 300 markers on a map during my last internship.
Typical intern task.

Aug 8, 2019

Send to graphics center next time

Aug 8, 2019

Such a task is typically done by interns, at that bank.

Aug 9, 2019

Uhhh try Mapping Intern bro - hate paying for it, but totally worth the time saving

Aug 8, 2019

Work

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Aug 8, 2019

One of my bosses dumped a massive raw-data churn analysis on me late one night. 3,800 rows composed of a mix of yearly/monthly subscription data that needed to be smoothed and converted completely to monthly (so for example a yearly payment had to be divided by 12 and spread out the next 11 months). Ended up working 38 hours straight as a result... worst experience I've ever had

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Aug 8, 2019

Wow that sounds annoying lmao you're a TROOPER

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Aug 9, 2019

going thru a list of 10000+ companies and figure out which ones were in our target industries.

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Aug 9, 2019
  • Taking a 8 hours train just to make a random guy sign one paper
  • Each time the MD was coming, as an intern I had to bring him a medium latte and a can of coke zero ( a can not a bottle!)
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Aug 9, 2019

and what happened if you brought a bottle instead lmao

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Aug 9, 2019

Two possibilities :

He will first say that you are an idiot or he would say to you to go buy another one

Aug 9, 2019

Doing months worth of expenses after heavy travel for someone who is extremely unorganized. What should have taken an hour or less took ~6...unfolding months of crumpled receipts, looking through Uber/Lyft account, logging into their hotel accounts.

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Aug 9, 2019
Lester Diamond:

Doing months worth of expenses after heavy travel for someone who is extremely unorganized. What should have taken an hour or less took ~6...unfolding months of crumpled receipts, looking through Uber/Lyft account, logging into their hotel accounts.

This sounds horrible wtf

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Aug 9, 2019

fr. sounds terrible

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Aug 9, 2019

Its embarrassing that someone wouldn't just do this themself.

Aug 9, 2019

I would feel uncomfortable being that messy and pushing that all on someone else. ppl never fail to amaze ma lmao

Aug 9, 2019

I was working on the construction of a power center as an intern with the general contractor the summer after my freshman year of college. The TPO roof had just been set, and I was tasked with managing/working with the temp labor guys to repeatedly hose down and sweep the roof for 3-4 days straight. It was over 100 degrees in August and I probably lost 10 lbs that week handing a push broom all day.

Another day on a different project I had to carry up 40-50 different fire extinguishers weighing 30 lbs apiece to various columns in a 4 story parking garage. I would take two at a time one in each hand and travel up the temporary stair case until I was done. It was worse than a two-a-day football practice

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Aug 9, 2019

I hope it was a paid internship haha

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Aug 9, 2019

$12/hour but invaluable experience. Some of the best guys I ever worked with - taught me so much about work ethic and handiness. Loyal guys that would come help me at the drop of a pin any time anywhere.

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Aug 12, 2019

getting out of the GC world now... never had stuff like that, but the usual. Trailer toilets freezing in the winter because the heat trace broke, walking up 20 flights because the hoist isn't installed yet in 90 degree, 100% humidity weather, punching 17 stories of curtain wall (that one wasn't too bad, I just streamed golf on my iPad while I had the intern write down the architects comments).

Aug 9, 2019

had to scan and organize 1.5 years worth of reconciliations during the first week of my accounting internship, and the scanner was messed up so I could only scan like 25 pages at a time. i had only gotten through 4 months after a week of straight scanning before I received other assignments and was able to pass it on to someone else

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Aug 9, 2019

yeah at my last company when we got audited i had to go in "the closet" which is our giant room of thousands of records to sort whatever the guy requested. it was super annoying and took days

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Aug 9, 2019

When I was an associate, we had a client (CEO of a midsize company in Mexico) who was coming up to our office in NYC for a couple days every week, for months on end, as part of a sale process. Since his visits were so regular, his wife & kids had gotten used to him bringing back certain things from every trip, including a specific batch of cupcake from a fancy bakery near our office. So every time he visited, we'd finish up the management presentations and he'd ask me to go get him a box of cupcakesfrom this place. And I could've passed that task down to an analyst, but we were doing such a shitty job of getting his company sold that I felt like personally delivering the cupcakes to him was the only thing I was accomplishing all week.

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Aug 9, 2019

You must've had a great life as an analyst if this is the worst task you've been given lol

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Aug 9, 2019

It wasn't all that bad. People who complain about analyst life are ridiculous IMHO. Yeah the hours get crazy long sometimes, but a lot of that time is goofing around with other analysts. The work is easy, you're surrounded by like minded people who are generally OK to spend time with. Not the best job, but far from the worst.

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Most Helpful
Aug 9, 2019

A couple years out of college, the firm I worked for was a lot smaller and there was a lot of interaction between the partners and people at all levels. Myself and another girl were the juniors on the desk, and the head partner came up to us one day. He was a totally cool guy, and I very much looked up to him then, and even more so now.

I think it was around Valentine's day, and he asked my female colleauge if she could do a favor for him by going to a specific jewelry store and pick out a pair of earrings for his wife. He just said that he had very bad judgment when it came to jewelry and was trying to a new route.

My colleague was happy to do it, and the partner gave her his credit card .. with the only instructions being earrings and to "keep it under 15."

Next week the partner comes by and is like verbally high-fiving my colleague because his wife absolutely loved the earrings.. He thanked her profusely for her help.

Then abotu 3 weeks later, he comes back by our area -- this time more discretely.. and says to my colleague "hey, did you know how much you spent on those earrings? My statement says you spent $14,899" ... My colleague was like "yeah, under 15, that's what you said"

He meant $1,500 ...

Fortunately like I said this guy is totally cool so he ended up laughing off the miscommunication and bought us lunch.

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Aug 9, 2019

good thing that money didn't matter to him too much lol bc thats a big ass difference

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Aug 9, 2019

fuckin order of magnitude lmao

Aug 9, 2019
MXJ60606:

A couple years out of college, the firm I worked for was a lot smaller and there was a lot of interaction between the partners and people at all levels. Myself and another girl were the juniors on the desk, and the head partner came up to us one day. He was a totally cool guy, and I very much looked up to him then, and even more so now.

I think it was around Valentine's day, and he asked my female colleauge if she could do a favor for him by going to a specific jewelry store and pick out a pair of earrings for his wife. He just said that he had very bad judgment when it came to jewelry and was trying to a new route.

My colleague was happy to do it, and the partner gave her his credit card .. with the only instructions being earrings and to "keep it under 15."

Next week the partner comes by and is like verbally high-fiving my colleague because his wife absolutely loved the earrings.. He thanked her profusely for her help.

Then abotu 3 weeks later, he comes back by our area -- this time more discretely.. and says to my colleague "hey, did you know how much you spent on those earrings? My statement says you spent $14,899" ... My colleague was like "yeah, under 15, that's what you said"

He meant $1,500 ...

Fortunately like I said this guy is totally cool so he ended up laughing off the miscommunication and bought us lunch.

Who says 15 meaning $1500? Glad he was cool about it though. Your friend made the right call.

Aug 9, 2019

Yeah I mean I was right there and heard the whole conversation .. based on how he said it, the store she was being sent to (it wasn't Jared the Galleria of jewelry), and this partner's likely net worth .. I totally thought he meant 15K

Maybe he learned not only a lesson in communication, but also the reason why his wife was not digging the previous jewelry he purchased.

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Aug 9, 2019

A client that ran a national chain of daycares sent us pdfs of the handwritten sign in logs for 10 different locations across the country over the past quarter. My fellow analysts and I had to manually input these into excel so the client could get a view of peak activity during the day to optimize their teacher : child ratio. Took two full days.

Aug 9, 2019

As an intern, I was asked to index business cards for one of our partners.

I was handed two gallon-sized ziplock bags full of cards collected over the past 5 years (thousands of cards). It took me multiple days to input and double-check all the information into his database (full name, title, company name, division, contact information, business address).

Not going to lie, my hands physically ached when I finished this project.

Aug 9, 2019

Nothing beats typing thousands of things into a database haha your hands hurt at first and it ends up messing up your vision in a few years

Aug 9, 2019

At last internship we were moving offices and I was given the task of going through manager offices and going through 10s of filing cabinets and removing folders of documents to take the paper clips and bulldog clips out... from there had to throw the folders of papers into the shredding bin. had boxes full of clips by the time I was done. I never want to see a bulldog clip again brings back bad memories.

Aug 9, 2019

Hope they at least gave you other constructive work.... Makes me mad when companies take advantage to that extent

Aug 11, 2019

Yeah luckily it was the only awful task I had. Rest of the internship was pretty good.

Aug 10, 2019

I had a similar task as well, except I had to check the date on all the documents to see if they're <10 years old (keep). Took me 3 days but it was chill

Aug 9, 2019

Oo man, hate reminiscing on the good old banking days.

Worst task I was given was go through the real estate portfolio of a retailer asset by asset and google map each of them.

There were close to 1000 mall locations and I had to estimate whether each location had highway visibility and second level door access.

Talk about mind numbing!

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Aug 15, 2019

Similarly I had to underwrite a portfolio of class C malls for a CMBS loan off of poorly scanned in hard copy rent rolls. Terrible.

Aug 15, 2019

Haha oo man. Malls are fun. I had to do tear sheets for like 50 malls, four pages each. And the good part is that nobody every looked at them!

Aug 9, 2019

Way too many stories, but realize I still in college and stupid. A very high level individual invited me to dinner. Thank goodness he was cool and apologized and said what you need to do and He said he had expectations went home before than he thought.

"It's okay, I'll see you on the other side"

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Aug 9, 2019

Bval internship: Spent an entire week in front of the copier scanning several giant binders into the drive and then shredding the binder materials. Of course there were always multiple staples that were hidden from holding together too much paper that were discovered when the copier got stuck and required me to start all over after removing the staple. Whole week of that.

Also jackass always managed to mistype of few numbers into some massive historicals and had me dig through every time to find which number out of 2000 made a section not add up.

Secretary always tried to offload her work to interns, which blew my fucking mind. That copier thing was hers to do, but I honestly didn't mind sometimes bc it beat digging for wrong inputs for hours. I'm just still shocked that she felt ok with that since her sorry ass literally had nothing to do already and I was supposed to be helping analysts and VPs.

JUST DO IT. Don't let your memes be dreams.

Aug 11, 2019

This is so helpful! It's not like you're a robot or anything.

Array

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Aug 10, 2019

I was working for a real estate developer early in my career, as an analyst.

I was typically asked to clean the bosses car - both inside and out, late on a Friday afternoon, and pay for it out of pocket.

Same company, different crap job - I was tasked to assemble the pitch books, via the spiral binders.
Just one book, after the other. Page, after page.
Tons of those books got assembled.

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Aug 10, 2019

To flip this post premise, now as a manager I NEVER ask my co-workers to do tasks that are mind-numbing or beneath them.

I hire a virtual assistant in the Philippines to do things like web-scraping, email lookups, etc.

And I pay for this myself, out of pocket.

The work still has to get done, but I'd rather give the job to a person in the Philippines for $6/hr (a good wage for there, I'm told) rather than burden my colleagues who are living in a more expensive geography, and who would be annoyed at such work ... just like I was, back in the day.

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Aug 10, 2019

You have too much empathy. I hope I dont grow up to be you. If I do, I would never pay out of my pocket.

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Aug 10, 2019

well we'll see.
you're just a student.
You don't know the first thing about leading in the workforce.
Check back in in a decade or so and tell me how you've gotten on.

Also you'll find that there's plenty of out of pocket expenses once you're in the workforce.
$6/hr is a bargain to buy one's time back, and companies don't reimburse for VAs.

And keeping one's subordinates working on higher-value work, and more-interesting / rewarding work is also important.

To carry out your statement to its logical conclusion you're basically saying "no man, you should give your subordinates low-value, mundane tasks or do them yourself."

Does not make sense at all to do so.

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Aug 16, 2019

We had a super creepy client that would randomly ask for documents to be delivered on the weekend to his hotel room when he was in the city. After my analyst complained that he insisted she bring the docs up to his room (rather than drop a sealed envelope off at the desk) and opened the door in a robe I told her that I would deliver docs going forward.
I made one delivery and ran into the same thing. He threw open the door and seemed to be super disappointed it was dude delivering a DRAFT board book. He never asked us to deliver anything to his hotel again and we did two more carve out transactions for him. I sat across from him at a closing dinner a couple of months later and he wouldn't make eye contact with me.

    • 1
Aug 10, 2019

idk fam i just do what i gotta do & then i move on

Been an intern for a year

Aug 10, 2019

Nothing is worst till your mind think it is worst.

Moshe Strugano & Co - An international law firm

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Aug 10, 2019

As an Associate in a well known middle market bank, I was asked, on a Friday at 10:30pm, while on vacation with my family to celebrate my grandfathers birthday, to "create" "spreadsheets" that would seem to answer questions that buyers had asked. The idea was to create the illusion of activity in the dataroom and make it seem like there was a lot of buyer interest. Not only was the task patently stupid, but it reeked of dishonesty and desperation. That was the moment I decided that I needed to get another job.

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Aug 10, 2019

Audit at Big 4.

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Aug 11, 2019

Right in the feels

Aug 12, 2019

Perspective is powerful. I will never complain of the nature of work at an investment bank knowing what I know.

Aug 11, 2019

Cold calling when I did a PWM internship.

Aug 11, 2019

Two things come to mind:

  1. Glorified data entry project which required going through binders of reviewed/highlighted legal documents and inputting information from them in an Access database. Normally this wouldn't be too bad (just boring), however the way in which we had to enter the data varied drastically depending on the type of document and information. You really had to pay close attention and be focused on the details, so you couldn't just zone out and watch stuff on Netflix on your other monitor the whole time. It was horribly tedious and stupid but detail oriented enough such that you still had to use your brain a lot. Me and someone else were eventually removed from the project because we were too slow and weren't going quickly enough.
  2. Was in a role that wasn't a great fit for me and had something dumped on me after a colleague left. We were supposed to assemble a bunch of Excel files and clean them with a SAS program by the following day. As I went through it I realized that it was an absolute nightmare and none of the underlying data was cleaned. Eventually it was 10pm and I was nowhere close to getting it finished, my manager called me and said "OK, I'm on my way back to the office." At that point I knew that I wasn't sleeping that night and the next 3 weeks absolutely sucked; pulled several all nighters (coming to that realization at 10pm and knowing that I'm not going to see my bed for another 24 hours is just awful beyond words). I'm amazed that I didn't quite right there because I knew that the job was not for me and I didn't care at all about the outcome of my work. Thankfully all of my responsibilities were transferred to more competent programmers over the next few weeks.
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Aug 11, 2019

As an Associate, I worked on the trade floor for a banks commodity desk. I managed the Nat Gas positions, from options to swaps, and futures. We would hedge our interest rate exposure on the book by trading the Libor over night. Essentially we hedged the affect of Rho on entire NG exposure. At the end of NYMEX close, we would calc pnl via mtm. There was a -20k loss every day just from Rho, which shouldnt have been happening due to the hedge. Avg pnl was +/- 300k. The money was going into a black box. They said to figure it out or I'm canned bc that was digging into our bonuses at yr end. Someone behind the scenes was taking it.

Aug 12, 2019

Did you figure it out?

A Dutchman in London

Aug 11, 2019

To go through statements

Aug 11, 2019

On a political campaign I had to go door to door with this creepy guy who wound up serving time in Federal prison for carrying out a blackmail-for-nudes scheme. Also had to walk door to door in the middle of a blizzard trying to find Republicans in Rhode Island to get someone on the ballot.

Working at an inner city DA's office, I worked in central booking giving the accused forms to get their property back which had been seized as evidence. My boss was barely literate and I basically had to type the same sentence over and over again (just changing names and serial numbers) for several weeks. That civil service one hour lunch break is amazing though.

Aug 12, 2019

lmao i've worked with the just released from prison crowd before and it was not fun. i have 0 judgements towards prior felons if they turned their lives around but every person at my last job basically ended up going back hahaha

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Aug 12, 2019

Hi @isa2130953
May be working with accounts was my hardest job to do as a fresher!

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Aug 12, 2019

Last summer as an intern, I had to write out instructions on how my boss could get ordained to be a minister at his buddy's destination wedding.

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Aug 12, 2019

After my freshman year in my first internship at a PWM firm I sorted through files to see which clients "had room to buy more products" or something along those lines. The other part of it was filing and reviewing resumes and recruiting FT employees if you can believe that.

Gave me a bad taste of the industry but I'm sure they aren't all like that.

Aug 12, 2019

My internship basically revolves around linkedin stalking people for hours and trying to get them to buy our product without being creepy.... I initially signed onto the job bc they said no cold calling is done and then i found out it was because the sales team was too new to start cold calling.

Aug 12, 2019
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Aug 29, 2019