It’s A Trap!

, , , , | Working | January 12, 2021

When I am sixteen, I get my first job busing tables and washing dishes in a restaurant during summer break. At the beginning of the summer, shortly after I start working, my family plans a week-long vacation later in the summer. I ask my boss if I can have that week off, and he tells me to write my request down on the Requests Calendar. I do so, let him know that I’ve written in the dates, and don’t think anything about it until the next day when my boss tracks me down.

Boss: “Hey, [My Name]. I see you requested [vacation dates] off on the calendar?”

Me: “Yeah, I did. Did I do something wrong?”

Boss: “No, it looks okay. But in the future, you should only use pencil on the calendar; pen ink tends to smear, so it gets hard to read sometimes.”

Me: “Oh, I wasn’t told about that. There wasn’t a pencil or anything by the calendar, so I just grabbed the first thing I could find to write with.”

Boss: “That’s fine. Just make sure you find a pencil next time.”

Fast forward a few weeks. The week before my family vacation, my mom schedules a dentist appointment for me for the week after we get back. Remembering my boss’s instructions, I find a pencil and write in my request for the day of my appointment on the calendar.

My vacation comes and goes, and the day of my dentist appointment arrives. I’m sitting in the dentist chair and my phone starts ringing in my pocket. Obviously, I don’t answer it. Immediately after, it rings again… and then again… and then again. Finally, after the fourth call, it stops ringing.

After my appointment, I check my phone and see that every call was from my boss. I get back to the waiting room, and my mom asks me if I made sure to request the day off work; apparently, my boss had called her, too, trying to find out why I wasn’t at work.

When I get to work the next day, my boss tries to chew me out for skipping work. I insist that I requested the day off and walk over to the calendar to prove it to him. I find the day in question… and see very clear evidence of pencil eraser.

Yep. My boss erased my request. Some of my coworkers later told me he was known for doing that, which was why he insisted that everybody wrote their requests in pencil. Everybody else had learned to take pictures of the calendar as proof, but nobody told me that. Luckily, the new school year started soon after and I was able to leave that job. I found a better job with a much better boss the next summer.

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