Is Dr. Pepper Even A Real Doctor?

, , , , , | Working | December 2, 2020

My first job after college was at a company that didn’t allow flex time. The workday was 8:00 am to 4:30 pm with a thirty-minute lunch break at noon. As a result, for the first two and a half years that I was there, I was in the habit of taking my morning legally-mandated break at 10:00 am and my afternoon legally-mandated break at 2:00 pm.

Most of the rest of the day, I worked in a lab that didn’t allow food, and if you spilled a drink, you had to clean up before the person in charge chewed you out for spillage. So, on my break, I’d get a packet of peanuts and a machine-delivered fountain drink — paper cup, no lid — and go to my desk to eat the peanuts and drink the soda down far enough that spilling was unlikely.

During this time, I was continually in trouble with the manager three levels above me for “always” slacking off. When my immediate manager would defend me, [Upper Manager] would blow [Immediate Manager] off with “he’s got you snowed,” as if [Immediate Manager], who gave me my tasks and knew when I finished them, somehow didn’t know what I was doing as well as [Upper Manager] did.

Then, I found out something.

Coworker: “Apparently, [Upper Manager] uses the Dr. Pepper method.”

Back then, a Dr. Pepper clock had all blue numbers on it except for 10:00, 2:00, and 4:00, which were red.

Coworker: “At the red times on the clock during the day, [Upper Manager] walks around the areas where his people work, and if they look busy then, [Upper Manager] assumes they are busy all day.”

What did [Upper Manager] see me doing at 10:00 and 2:00? Eating peanuts and drinking a soda. He assumed that was all I did all day.

I shifted my morning break to 9:30 am and my afternoon one to 2:30 pm. Shortly after that…

Upper Manager: “[Immediate Manager], [My Name] has turned into such a hard worker! Please pass my praise [My Name].”

When [Immediate Manager] did as he was told, I burst out laughing.

Immediate Manager: “What’s so funny?”

I explained the Dr. Pepper method to him. [Immediate Manager] had noticed that I had shifted my two breaks by thirty minutes.

Me: “All the previous complaints from [Upper Manager] were a result of his seeing me eating peanuts and drinking soda at 10:00 and 2:00, and now that I do that at 9:30 and 2:30, with no other change, I am suddenly a hard worker.”

And then, I watched all respect for [Upper Manager] die in [Immediate Manager]’s eyes.

When I quit, I made sure the HR manager knew about [Upper Manager]’s moronic employee evaluation method. The HR manager was seriously displeased, and I suspect [Upper Manager] felt this displeasure at his next review.

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