Disrespect My Authoritah

| Working | July 6, 2012

(I am working in a roading company. One of our tests is to rate stone chips for cleanliness in order to see if they can be used for certain applications. This test has a 20 minute waiting period for settling in a column of water. Note that all tests in a laboratory like this need to be done to a proscribed international standard, or the laboratory can be closed down.)

Supervisor: “Are you doing the Cleanness tests?”

Me: “Yes, there’s five of them.”

Supervisor: “How come you take so long to do them? I hear you sit the tubes on the bench for 20 minutes!”

Me: “That’s part of the test procedure.”

Supervisor: *laughs* “You come up with some good excuses to slack off, I’ll give you that! Look, you know you can work around the manual, don’t you? There’s bound to be some short cut in it!”

Me: “I don’t think there is, but if you can find one, I’ll do it gladly.”

Supervisor: “I’m going to check out the manual right now. You try and challenge me, and you’ll see what happens!”

(I get two tests done completely and am working on a third when he returns.)

Supervisor: *grinning* “So, you think you’re pretty clever about the Cleanness test method?”

Me: “Well, I have been doing it for—”

Supervisor: “Oh, you were right…but I’ve just been into your personnel file and written a note saying you have a problem with authority. How do you like THOSE onions, clever boy?!”

(From then on, every time we had a new manager—which we did frequently—the person with a “problem with authority” was always singled out and made special notice of by the new manager.)

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