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Shutting Down Your Attempts At Shutting Down

, | Working | February 1, 2017

(Our city is going through a particularly bad winter, with weather that’s extreme for the area. The city decides to shut down for one bad approaching ice storm, and recommends that other area businesses do the same for a long weekend. I get up on the morning of the first day to find my roommate getting ready for work.)

Me: “Aren’t you guys closed today like everyone else?”

Roommate: “Nope. When I asked my supervisor last night, she said, and I quote, ‘If an earthquake occurs, and the ground opens up to swallow [Call Center], then you will still report to work to find out which center we will reassign you to.’ So I get to go in today. Hooray.”

(She goes to work, and the storm arrives exactly at 11 am, as predicted. My roommate sticks it out, but her coworkers are getting fed up and leaving, risking not only bad driving conditions, but also being written up at work. Finally around three pm, my roommate is told that she is allowed to go home without the risk of disciplinary action. The center is going to remain open, thanks to one stubborn boss who refuses to close. My roommate carefully drives home, but just as she is arriving, her car slides on ice and she manages to do $3000 worth of damage to the undercarriage of her car. She is cold and frustrated by the time she walks in the door at four. She tells me what happened, and how she got a text from a coworker saying that other bosses finally overrode the stubborn one, and they closed the center shortly after she left. We are watching a movie a little later when she gets a text alert and snickers at the message.)

Me: “What’s so funny?”

Roommate: “Schadenfreude. The boss who refused to close the center got stuck sleeping there overnight.”

(The boss was fine. He had power and food to last him until he could safely leave. But the company magically changed their tune after that, offering cash bonuses to employees who opted to come in during bad weather, and closing the center much, much sooner. Funny how the employees can go hang when the weather gets dangerous, but when something bad happens to the boss, they fall all over themselves to change the policies!)

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