Howard Logistics Assistant Freight Manager Mike Kostoff, who has consistently failed to demonstrate any meaningful understanding of freight logistics in his four years with the company, has nevertheless been able to manufacture a mostly positive reputation among company management in the corporate headquarters and other regional offices with his contribution of well-timed quips and one-liners on numerous conference calls, on which he otherwise remains silent.
"He never knows what the hell anyone is talking about on our conference calls," reported freight analyst Cherie Wright, who works for Kostoff. "But he knows a lot of key words and concepts that he read in his first month from the employee handbook, and he'll use one in some smartass remark after we review the quarterly numbers with Minneapolis to make it sound like he does."
Kostoff, who has not been on time to work in two years, most recently made a successful attempt to hide rank incompetence with a wisecrack on a Tuesday efficiency call, saying "Geez guys, my 3 year old kid can trace better than this!" referring to the practice of "tracing," freight industry vernacular for a carrier's attempt to locate misplaced cargo. The quip was met with appreciative guffaws from others on the line. Kostoff then muted his phone for the remainder of the call, including the eight minutes spent discussing the least efficient cost centers in the company, of which Kostoff's is one.
Regional manager Ted James praised Kostoff after the call, remarking that he is "always on-point" and "clearly excels at finding important details in the data." Kostoff spent the rest of the day following the 10 AM call researching a new sectional couch online.