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Unfiltered Story #57050

Unfiltered | December 30, 2016

A few years ago I worked in the garden center of a home improvement store. We were going through our spring hiring rush and almost half the new hires were coming out to the garden center; one of them in particular started a couple weeks before the rest started coming on. For this account we’ll call him “Stephen.”

As I said, several other guys hired on only a couple weeks after Stephen, so they didn’t know he was new also. One afternoon before spring traffic had really started to pick up, some of the new guys asked Stephen if he thought the bosses would mind if they left early since it was so slow. Stephen said “I don’t see why not,” and three or four of the guys left. The department manager was not happy about it, since there was plenty of setup work to be done.

A couple of weeks after that Stephen and I were working the same shift on a day when the weather was particularly bad. He asked me if I thought it would be OK for him to leave early, and I said it might be alright, just to check with the assistant manager first… knowing that particular manager wouldn’t go for it. The manager checked in with Stephen every quarter hour for the rest of the shift to give him things to do and keep him on task.

Stephen’s catch phrase at work was to “just call it good.” He’d do the bare minimum on a task and “just call it good” and go to walk around or take a break or whatever. It became a running joke between me and another coworker to stop in the middle of anything, wave dismissively at the task and “just call it good,” of course only when Stephen wasn’t around to hear us. Once that coworker and I were flat-stacking the fence pickets when Stephen wandered over and suggested we “just call it good.” We had a hard time keeping straight faces until he walked away again.

Stephen left the store almost three years ago but “I don’t see why not” and “just call it good” are still running jokes between me and some of the other guys who were around then.

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