Feels Like It Took Eight Hours To Get There

, , , , | Working | May 14, 2018

(I work in a big-name hotel that’s on one of the lower tiers of the corporation. Lately, we’ve been getting a lot of new employees to prepare for the busy season, including a few new housekeepers. One of them is a middle-aged woman. It is her first day, and she has to do the impossible: clock out.)

Me: “Okay, enter the last four of your SSN into this keypad.”

Coworker: *slowly thumbs in the numbers, then waits*

Me: “Okay, then hit the login button.”

(The button is very large, and it is the only button on the screen that isn’t a number. Finally, she does so. The screen shows the time, her time sheet, and four buttons, two of which are “clock in” and “clock out.”)

Me: “Now hit, ‘clock out.’”

Coworker: “It should say 1645.”

(It is 4:45 pm, and the clock shows this. The screen times out, logging her out.)

Me: “It’s 4:45. You have to log in again.”

Coworker: *slowly does so, then waits*

Me: “Now hit, ‘clock out.’”

Coworker: *turns to me* “But I didn’t clock in this morning.”

Me: *pointing to the time sheet* “Actually, it says you clocked in at 8:30 am.”

Coworker: “No, I didn’t clock in this morning.”

Me: “No, you did.”

(The screen times out. She, again, has to log in. I walk her through it for the third time. Once logged in, she stares at the screen, lost.)

Me: *getting irritated* “Now hit, ‘clock out.’” The one below, ‘clock in.’”

(Finally, miraculously, she hits the button. Far too hard. It doesn’t take. She stares at it. The screen times out. I walk her through this three more times until I finally flick the button for her.)

Me: “There. It says you clocked in at 8:30 and clocked out just now, at 4:49.”

Coworker: “So, how many hours is that?”

(By this time, we’re surrounded by three other employees waiting to use the time clock. I count every hour on my fingers aloud, slowly, directly in front of my coworker’s face.)

Me: “That’s eight hours.”

Coworker: “Oh, awesome!” *lifts her hand for a high five*

Me: *confounded, I oblige, lightly tapping her palm* “Yeah…”

(I’m still not sure why the woman seemed to be amazed to have worked a full shift, as if she was shocked she lasted that long. I very much doubt she has ever worked eight consecutive hours in her life.)

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