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Double The Size, Half The Intelligence

, , | Working | March 7, 2014

(I work for a rapidly growing research/manufacturing company doing all of their inventory maintenance and the majority of the purchasing. I am the only person who works in the warehouse/stockroom even though it is clearly a job for two people. That, combined with the fact that the computer they give me is old enough that it is running Windows ME, means that it is hard for me to keep up with purchasing all our supplies. I get called into the conference room for a surprise meeting with the head of HR, the VP of operations, and my supervisor. I assume it is to discuss getting another person down in the warehouse so I can keep up with the purchasing, which has more than doubled in the last three months.)

VP: “Do you know why you’re here?”

Me: “Well, I assume it’s so we can discuss the productivity in the warehouse.”

VP: *looking disappointed* “So you have noticed that you have been getting behind with the orders for the past few months?”

Me: “Well, yeah. We added a new research lab and an entire new manufacturing facility so the purchasing has increased a lot.”

HR: “[Name], I think everyone here knows that’s not the source of the problem.”

(My supervisor and I look at each other, confused.)

Me: “It isn’t? I thought it was pretty obvious that the demands on the warehouse have more than doubled when we doubled the size of our facility.”

VP: “[Name], we’ve had reports that you have been watching movies on your computer instead of working.”

Me: “What?! Who told you that? I haven’t been doing that! I don’t have time for that!”

HR: “[Name], I think it would be best for you just to come clean at this time.”

Me: “Have you seen my computer? It barely handles email! There is no chance it could possibly play a video!”

VP: “There is no other explanation for why you suddenly started falling behind.”

Me: “When did I start getting behind? Was it about three months ago, when the new lab and production facility opened?”

HR: “Yes. We think that maybe you just sort of gave up with the increased work and that is when you started watching movies.”

(My supervisor and I are stunned into silence.)

Supervisor: “… [My Name], I need to discuss this with [VP] and [HR]. Could you please go back to the warehouse?”

(I found out later that the ‘reports’ came from a meeting with the executives where they were brainstorming about reasons why the purchasing and warehouse might be falling behind. They decided that I gave up and started watching movies on my computer, and so that is what they reported to HR. My new warehouse assistant started about two weeks after this meeting, and the VP avoided talking to me whenever she saw me. I found and started a new job four weeks after the meeting.)

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