I Don’t Think I Like Your Tone(r)

, , , , , | Working | May 20, 2020

I am about a month in at my new job. There is an unofficial rota amongst the staff that goes desk by desk to replace the printer toner and paper. My desk happens to be next, and the toner is running low.

Me: “[Manager], do we have gloves for changing out the printer, and can we get the window open in there?”

Manager: “Why on earth would you need gloves?” 

Me: “Because I don’t want to get toner on my hands?”

Manager: “Aww, your poor delicate hands?”

Me: “The toner is hazardous, and it’s recommended you use gloves when working with it. The window also needs to be opened to ventilate the room. There are warnings on the box.” 

Manager: “That seems a bit extreme for us.”

Me: “Well, if you want me to change the toner, that’s what you have to do.”

Manager: “You really go to extreme lengths to procrastinate. If you didn’t want to do it, you could have just said.”

Me: “I have no issue with doing it, as long as it doesn’t affect my health.”

Manager: “Well, we change the ink out every other week, and no one has taken ill from it.”

Me: “Then you’re very lucky.”

The manager tells me not to bother and he’ll get someone else to do it. Not fifteen minutes later, [Manager] comes out, hands black and holding an empty toner tube.

Manager: “See, [My Name], nothing to it!”

I’m not impressed and I grab a fresh box. Thankfully, they’re in another room.

Me: “‘Warning: contents may be carcinogenic. Prolonged exposure can result in liver and kidney damage. Ensure the area is well ventilated and that gloves are used while handling.’”

[Manager] scoffed at it and continued with his day, but one by one the people in the office inspected the box, reading the warning themselves. During lunch, I heard a couple of them talking about how their last checkups with the doctor indicated the early signs of liver disease, and one man saying he was asthmatic and was going to opt out of the rota.

A month later, there is a box of gloves that everyone dips into when the toner needs changed, and the window in there is now always open. The manager doesn’t say anything but still changes the toner like he always does.

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