Boss Has Reached Your Tea-Total

, , , , | Working | June 15, 2017

(The company owner is a man well-known for only hiring young women to work for him, and he openly brags that he wants all of his employees to be scared of him. We have hired a new intern who is very good at her job, but she’s quite a confident girl and isn’t visibly cowed by him, so he goes out of his way to make her life difficult. This whole communication is via email.)

Boss: *to Intern* “I have decided that since you are not integrating into the company very well, you need to make everyone in the office tea once a day. I would like you to do this at precisely 3:45 everyday, without fail.”

(We are all a bit taken aback by this request, as there are 21 people in the office, and generally we all make our own tea when we feel like it. We all help her out by giving her a heads up when 3:45 comes round, and she is expected to drop whatever she is doing, no matter how important, and make 21 cups of tea, even if we don’t want one. One day, the boss is in an afternoon meeting.)

Boss: *at 3:50* “Would you care to explain why I did not receive my cup of tea at 3:45 as instructed?”

Intern: “I am very sorry, but I was told you were in a meeting which was not to be disturbed under any conditions. Next time, I will bring your tea in.”

(The next day, the boss is in another meeting. The intern knocks, and asks if any of the clients would like a drink and also brings the boss his tea as instructed.)

Boss: “I am extremely unimpressed by your behaviour this afternoon. I don’t expect to have important meetings interrupted by a junior member of staff for non-emergency matters.”

(Both she and I were fired within the month, and couldn’t be more glad!)

1 Thumbs
  • Katherine Alice Thompson

    Of all the rotten spoiled behavior!

  • Kevin Conti

    The intern needs to take a page out of Lily Tomlin’s book. This guy sounds like a sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot.

    • Clay

      Where on earth are you getting hypocritical from?

      • CapnWinters

        After the first meeting he demanded to know why she didn’t give him his tea, and she explained that she was following his request. When she followed the tea order with the next meeting, he called her out on interrupting him.

        • Daistis

          that’s not hypocritical tho that’s just contradicting himself

          • Dana Corby

            That’s setting your employee up to fail so you can fire them for failing — a classic move of sexist (and incompetent) bosses.

          • Vulpis

            I was looking for Arguments!

      • BarlowGirl

        It’s a quote from 9 to 5.

      • Jourdan Townsend

        *Head desk*

    • I Troll Libtards

      Look up the definition of bigot. This guy is not it. He’s many other things, but not a bigot.

      • Vercalos

        Not enough evidence to say either way, really. If he treats all women like that, then he is.

        • Rob Tonka

          Wouldn’t that = sexist or mysogynist and not bigot?

          • Dana Corby

            Rob, sexism and misogyny are forms of bigotry, which is defined as prejudice against or dislike of individuals based upon their membership in a class or group. Haters gonna hate.

          • Leah

            Actually, bigotry is an intolerance towards other people’s opinions. You get racists and sexists who are still happy to let other people have their own opinions.

          • Vercalos

            By definition, both sexists and misogynists are bigots. Bigot is a catch-all term for anyone acting with prejudice against a group of people due to some characteristic, such as race, gender, or religion.

            So, all misogynists are bigots, but not all bigots are misogynists.

          • Leah

            “Bigot is a catch-all term for anyone acting with prejudice against a group of people”
            No, it’s not. According to Merriam-Webster bigotry is an “obstinate or intolerant devotion to one’s own opinions and prejudices”; according to Oxford it’s “Intolerance towards those who hold different opinions from oneself”.

            You can get racists, sexists, whatever who quite happily tolerate people with different opinions.

          • Yet if their opinion of certain races and genders trumps others opinions of certain races and genders….

          • Leah

            I didn’t say none of them are bigots. I just said that’s not what bigotry is.

      • Jourdan Townsend

        I would say, “Did you not read the above?” but given your name, I can save myself the trouble.

    • Kate Avery

      Before any other comments come in about what part of this Kevin’s comment the boss does not represent, it’s a reference to the movie 9 to 5. It’s a repeated, direct quote from Lily Tomlin’s character (Dolly Parton and Jane Fonda are in it as well), and Tomlin may have used it elsewhere. Even if you aren’t familiar with the movie (it’s not exactly recent), the fact he mentions Tomlin directly should spark the notion it’s referring to something.

      • Kevin Conti

        Thank you Kate! I was hoping someone would get the reference. 🙂

      • Jim Mason

        I’m rather sad to see the people arguing on this one.

    • Vulpis

      Nah. Waste of rat poison, really. Though I do wonder that this company doesn’t have a HR department…couldn’t this treatment be considered harassment?

      • Mike Carr

        Didn’t notice the part about this guy owning the company? Doubt he has any policies about harassment and if he did those policies don’t apply to him.

        • Sara Skinner

          Wrong… I own a buisness and there are at least 20 to 30 different laws and regulations that prohibit me from treating an employee this way…. even more regulations that prohibit me from treating men and women differently… and definitely regulations that prohibit me from only hiring “young women.”
          I would never do anything like this, I love my staff and I feel like we are a work family… but I know, as fact, that just because you own a company, it does not give you carte blanche to treat your employees however you see fit.

          • Mike Carr

            Agreed that this guy was violating a number of laws, But unless called on it and forced to do so by the appropriate government agency, he’s not going to have a.HR department with any sort of authority, least of all over himself.
            You value your staff but there are many company owners who don’t. I worked for a guy like this for a while. He wasn’t as blatantly sexist as the guy in the original post – he hired male employees and tried to intimidate them as well. The “you didn’t do as I asked/why are you doing that” attitude was standard procedure. He blamed poor employee retention on the fact that “some idiot online” advised people who resign to take a new job not accept counter-offers from their existing employer. (When I gave my notice, he asked how much more I was getting. When I told him I was getting $9000 more. he said I was worth more than just splitting the difference and offered me a $5000 raise to stay.)

          • Sara Skinner

            I’m glad you got a better offer and got out of that situation… but a little education can go a long way. Clearly you know what you are doing and that’s awesome, but the mentality of “oh, s/he owns the buisness so I can’t do anything about it” is toxic. There are always options if you are in a hostile work environment (ok, not always… if you are in an abuse or documentation or trafficking situation, it’s different and I’m not trying to victim blame)… but in relatively normal hostile work situations, a little education goes a long way and I have a little more than education and connections… not trying to be a jerk, honestly offering up advice or connections

  • Sonya

    Sounds like major hostile conditions.

    • Mouser

      I don’t know the UK laws on that.

      • Kirishima Touka

        You can’t legally fire someone without a reason (unlike the US, from the stories I’ve heard), but – as displayed in this story – bosses can fabricate reasons.

        • Dana Corby

          Yup. As I mentioned elsewhere, they set you up to fail and then fire you for the failure.

        • Mouser

          In the U.S. they often just lay you off. If they actually use the word “FIRE” it means a whole long list of problems. It’s why they try to get you to quit instead. They don’t have to pay unemployment then.

          • Sara Skinner

            It depends on a couple things… if you haven’t worked for more than (something like) 90 days, you can’t get unemployment from your most recent job… but as long as you haven’t already used unemployment and you have a recent previous job, you can collect from them. Also, if you quit your job and can provide evidence that you left because of a hostile work environment, you can collect unemployment from them as well. You can even collect partial unemployment if you were a full time employee for a significant amount of time and your hours were cut, (I want to say it has to be cut by half), without an acceptable reason.

  • Stephen

    Trouble brewing…

    • Logcabinlv

      Or is it brewing trouble…?

  • Pickwick2

    I wouldn’t have waited to get fired…I’d have made it happen!

    • Abigail Hermione Irwin

      Was just thinking the same thing … I wouldn’t have waited to be fired.

    • Max

      Dump the tea on his head. Or his lap.

      • NessaTameamea

        “so, your boss told my colleague that you came bursting through the door and THREW a cup of boiling hot tea at him across the conference table. Can you tell us more about that?”

        “Well, officer, one of my duties here is to bring him tea at 3:45pm sharp, he was very, very specific about that. Today I was running a little late. I looked at my watch before going into the conference room and figured the only way I can make it on time before it was 3:46pm was to throw the cup of tea over the table, so that’s what I did. How was I supposed to know he was that bad at catching things?”

    • Dawn Singleton

      Why would you WANT to get fired…..better off if you simply quit……getting fired is frowned upon by future employers.

      • Pickwick2

        The point is, I would not have stuck around.

      • Kirishima Touka

        So is quitting for “no reason”. If you say you didn’t get on with your boss, you look like an uncooperative whiner.

        Edit: Obviously there is a reason for quitting, but potential employers don’t like it if you leave a job without a new one to go to.

      • Novelista

        I’ve always heard that here in America, you can’t get unemployment unless you’re fired. (I think it’s more of how much you made and how many hours a week you worked, these days–that fired thing was from my know-it-all mother. *eye roll*)

        • NessaTameamea

          It’s the same in Germany. Quitting means you won’t get unemployment for four weeks. Don’t know if there’s any exceptions though.

        • Alétheia

          I think it’s a little of both, really. Except in extreme cases, you usually can’t get unemployment if you quit, so it’s usually better to hold out and be fired. At the same time, you can’t get unemployment if you made too little and/or worked too few of hours, or were fired for certain reasons…

          (Though that doesn’t really apply to this story, anyway, since the girl in question was an intern. I don’t think unemployment covers intern positions, even if they’re paid ones, sadly…)

  • UrbanDweller64

    Don’t want to be working there anyway! Had a few bad bosses in the last 10 years but not anything like that!

  • Stephen

    Serve 21, catch-22

  • Flami

    What a jerk of a boss! I’m glad you’re both out of that situation!

    On another note; Now I want some tea, but I haven’t had breakfast yet.

    • Kirishima Touka

      So? In Britain we have tea with breakfast.

      • Flami

        I ended up delaying my white tea until after I’d had my breakfast.

  • Mad Hatter

    Wow. In the U.S., you could retire on the $’s you’d get from the inevitable law suit.

    • Illogically

      Not necessarily. If you’re in an at-will state, they can fire you for virtually any reason. Unless you can prove they fired you for something that violates federal discrimination laws, which can be pretty difficult.

    • Lou Miller

      Depending where you live that may not be the case.

      Melissa Nelson, 33 from Fort Dodge, Iowa, was fired from her job as a dental assistant simply because her boss found her irresistibly attractive.

      He sent her creepy text messages and even told her “if you see my pants bulging, you’ll know your clothes are too revealing.”

      In August 2010, Nelson filed a gender discrimination suit against her former boss, seeking damages and lost pay, in Iowa District Court. The judge dismissed the case before trial.

      In September 2012 the Iowa Supreme Court heard Melissa’s appeal. In December the seven justices ruled that although the one month’s severance was “ungenerous,” it is OK to terminate an employee “simply because the boss views the employee as an irresistible attraction.”

      She filed an appeal and the Iowa Supreme Court again came up with the same ruling,

      • Kitty

        Urgh; I love the law, but idiots like that should not be allowed to have a say in it. And yes that goes for the jury and judge.

  • Kathy Plester

    Surely this man can be taken to tribunal for creating a hostile work environment.

    That said I know it’s easier said than done to do which is a shame because a-holes like this need to be knocked down a million pegs.

  • Kitty

    Play up the clueless woman part. “But, Sir, just yesterday you reminded me that getting your tea at precisely 3:45 PM was an absolute necessity that took priority over ever possible occurence in the office…! I was merely doing as instructed.” (And then dump the hot tea in his lap)

    • Jay Mockingbird

      Yeah, I would’ve reminded him of that in front of the clients as loudly as I could without it being obnoxious.

      • Kirishima Touka

        Unfortunately he would have either denied it or interrupted her sentence before she could rat him out. Either way it makes the company look unprofessional in front of the clients, not just the boss.

        • Gnomer Denois

          If it’s the company owner (per the story) and not just a manager, then it’s deserved.

  • Nic

    Constructive dismissal – you’re both lucky to be out of there, but I’d seriously consider taking him to a Tribunal if at all possible.

  • Harold Wagner

    It is at this point you throw the tea in his face.

  • Matt Westwood

    He’s acting illegally. Make sure he’s taken to court.

  • Cathrope

    If this had happened in the U.S. instead of the UK I would be wondering if he’s one of the people that random golf courses would call me saying when people’s tee times are and I would call back canceling them. One day I got 10. 10! Calls from golf courses all over the country saying when tee times are and even though my name is in my voicemail, they would leave a real name of the person they meant to call.

  • Denton Young

    Someone needs to fire at this boss with a bazooka.

  • Zoccy

    It is mortifying that people like this actually exist.

  • Paprika Girl

    I once had a boss who joked that I, an assistant television director and the only chick on the staff, was brought in to “make him a sandwich.” So I did. Girly me, I happened to have attended culinary school, too. I made him the best damn sandwich he ever had in his life. Now he comes in sucking up to me in hopes that one day I might make him a sandwich again. I still hold it over his head.

  • allahboleh

    I don’t see the issue. The guy’s a jerk, and you don’t have to spend time around him anymore. Happy day!

  • Colin Burke

    Hey, Deadpool, how much you charge for a hitman job these days?

  • Nuckin Futz

    For all the brave, liberated, financially independent souls advocating leaving or exacting some kind of retaliation: Ain’t so easy with family and other financial considerations AND at an age when society looks at you as old, used up, un-hireable.