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Not The Brightest (Broken) Bulb

, , , , , , , | Working | November 30, 2022

As a summer job, I used to work the midnight-to-8:00-am shift at a popular twenty-four-hour fast food place. On quiet weekdays, I usually worked alone, which suited me perfectly.

One night when I clocked in, my manager was waiting to introduce me to my new trainee. I later heard from the day shift that [Trainee] was a friend of the manager and needed a job because he was on probation, but [Trainee] and I never really talked other than for me to tell him how to clean and for him to tell me that he knew a better way.

The way I showed him to clean the sidewalk along the front of the store was to hose it off, scrub it as necessary with a stiff push broom, and then hose it off again.

But [Trainee] knew a better way.

A few nights later, I was cleaning the grill and heard a crash and a muffled obscenity. I looked out the window to see that [Trainee] had been mopping the sidewalk and as he had lifted the mop to put it into the wringer, he had smashed the broom handle through some fairly expensive overhead neon lights.

He swept up the broken glass and disappeared into the manager’s office for the last couple of hours of our shift.

Fine with me.

As usual, the manager came in while I was busy serving breakfasts and disappeared into his office with [Trainee].

When I clocked out, [Manager] called me into his office to discuss the consequences of my having broken the neon lights.

I probably shouldn’t have smiled, because that triggered a lecture about trivializing the damage.

I pointed out that only an idiot would use the mop on the sidewalk. I looked at [Trainee], who looked at the floor.

I pointed out that [Trainee] is dangerously stupid and dishonest, so I would never have left him alone inside the store while I went outside long enough to clean the sidewalk.

I pointed out that only one of us still had glass fragments in his hair, and that it wasn’t me.

Regardless, [Manager] told me that he had no choice but to fire me for negligent damage to the store.

I told him that, since I was going back to school in two weeks and was tired of working with liars and idiots, I was absolutely fine with leaving him with [Trainee] as his graveyard shift.

I guess tradition requires me to say that the franchise went bankrupt the next month, but in all honesty, I never looked back.

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