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Making Minutes Seem Like Hours

| Working | October 31, 2013

(I am witnessing a conversation between my manager and an employee.)

Employee: “I’m here a little early. Could I start my shift at 4 pm?”

(It is 4:48 pm. His shift starts at 5 pm.)

Manager: “Sorry, no. We have to do a debrief before the 5 pm shift starts.”

Employee: “So can we do that now?”

Manager: “We can do that in 12 minutes when the other employees get here.”

Employee: “But then I start my shift at 5 pm.”

Manager: “Yep.”

Employee: “But I’m here NOW.”

Manager: “And now isn’t 4 pm. You didn’t come to the 4-5 pm shift, and policy is to only let people start on the hour, so you’re going to have to wait until 5 pm.”

Employee: “Can’t you just say I worked the 4-5 pm?”

Manager: “No.”

Employee: “Why not?”

Manager: “Because you didn’t. I mean, what would you do if you were in my position? Are you going to lie to your boss for me?”

Employee: “Well, if you were in my position, you’d want someone to be nice to you!”

(The manager just gives the employee the most disapproving look I have ever seen, glaring at him over her glasses.)

Manager: “How about you do your job and I do mine?”

Employee: “My job isn’t that fun.”

Manager: “Well, that’s why we’re paying you. I mean, I wouldn’t be doing this job if I wasn’t getting paid.”

Employee: “What’s so bad about your job?”

(I mutter ‘dealing with people like you’ under my breath, but the employee doesn’t seem to hear me. The manager visibly tries not to laugh, though. A few minutes later…)

Employee: “So you’re paying me for 4-5 pm, right?”

Manager: “No. We’re paying you for the hours you actually worked.”

Employee: “That doesn’t seem fair!”

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