No Longer Allowed To Pick Up Your Dead Weight

, , , , , , , | Working | March 7, 2018

(I work two different jobs, one through the week, the other only on the weekends. I have just had a minor surgery on my upper right arm. After the procedure, I am told that I am not allowed to lift more than ten pounds for the next two weeks, in order to fully recover. This is fine; my first job as a librarian allows me to sit at a computer and doesn’t often require me to carry heavy objects. My second job as a cashier, however, requires me to lift 24-packs of water, 30-packs of beer, etc., because customers often place these on the belt. I let both jobs know ahead of time that I would be having surgery, and made sure to get a note from my doctor saying I wasn’t allowed to lift more than ten pounds. I go into my second job early to hand them the note and see if I can work at the self-check lanes for my shift, which is only four hours long. There is one person who never works register, because they complain that it “hurts their back” to check for a long period of time, and they happen to be working at this time.)

Me: “Hey, [Coworker #1], I had surgery the other day, and I have a doctor’s note here saying that I can’t lift more than 10 pounds. I see that [Coworker #2] is on the self-check; do you think they’ll let me switch them?”

Coworker #1: “Probably not, but we can go over and ask, anyway.”

(We walk over to [Coworker #2]. I have a noticeable bandage on my right arm.)

Coworker #1: “[My Name] has a doctor’s note saying she can’t lift more than ten pounds. Would it be okay if you moved over to a regular lane?”

Coworker #2: *takes a brief glance at my bandaged arm and sighs* “Well, my back’s been bothering me today, and I really don’t feel like checking right now.”

Me: “But I just had surgery the other day, and I have a note that says I am not allowed to lift a certain amount; it could tear the stitches.”

Coworker #2: “Well, I guess, but my back has been hurting.”

Me: *cuts in, slightly annoyed* “Look: I have an official doctor’s note, and I think that it’s a little more valid than you just saying that your back is hurting.”

Coworker #2: *huffs* “Fine, but if my back starts bothering me, I want to switch back.”

(They stalked away to the regular checkout lanes, and I took my place at the self-check. The entire time we worked, they apparently talked about me to our other coworkers, and occasionally they shot me dirty looks. They did ask what I had surgery for, as if the bandage wasn’t enough proof. Shockingly, they never did ask to switch, so I guess their back wasn’t hurting them as much as they thought!)

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