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Their Political Views Are Razor Sharp

, , , , , , | Right | April 20, 2022

For a short time, I was a notary/receptionist at a legal document preparation office. More often than not, we were preparing and executing trusts. I’ve met a few unusual people while here. But this couple stands out the most.

We were chatting while the office manager had to reprint a miss-signed page, come to find out that this couple had some very… odd points of view. They were convinced that Hurricane Katrina was so devastating because the Democrats were holding the storm in place with lasers.

Yes, lasers.

Yes, they were serious, because I made the mistake of asking more.

Just Do Your Own Job!

, , , , , | Working | April 19, 2022

My former manager is a real peach. Pardon my Southern. Fortunately, she is not my manager any longer, nor is she actually allowed to ask me to do anything — not even if the building was on fire and she needed help lifting a smoldering piece of scaffolding from her leg to escape.

Truthfully, I would still help her if she acted like a grown-up and ASKED for my help. However, it is out of her wheelhouse. Like, I said, real peach.

On the bright side, after I was no longer under her, I was promoted rather rapidly into a managerial position! We are now equals, which frustrates her even more.

Her new method to get me to do something is to now passive-aggressively hint until I “volunteer” to do it myself, but I have to do it in such a way that isn’t indicative of her “giving” me a task.

This happens in a conference call.

Former Manager: “[My Name], do you know if [Contractor] has been tracking bugs in [Program]?”

I am not responsible for this contractor; she is. I have received no training on the program she’s asking about.

Me: “I don’t know. I haven’t really looked or kept track of others’ tasks outside of [Subordinate #1], [Subordinate #2], and [Subordinate #3].”

Former Manager: “Did you look?”

Me: “I can look, but there is no good way to search for it.”

Former Manager: “You are an administrator. You should be able to look.”

Me: “I don’t get notifications for people not under me, and the search feature only works for tasks. I don’t know what he is working on.”

Former Manager: “You should be able to.”

At this point, I realize she wants to use me to basically “scold” [Contractor] in her stead for something she never told him to do. She already knows he hasn’t been putting in his bug reports. Basically, think of her as that “fun aunt” who likes to think she is cool, relatable, and down-to-earth so she hypes her nieces and nephews up on sugar and then sends them home to their parents covered in mud, knowing Mom or Dad is not going to be happy they ruined their new sneakers.

Me: “Can you show me how?”

Former Manager: “You should be able to do it!”

Me: “Okay, while I am not sure how. Would you like me to email him and ask?”

Notice the phrasing. I am asking her if she wants me to do something.

Former Manager: “No! I want you to look to see if he has entered any tasks.”

Me: “Well, I can certainly look, but as I said, to my knowledge, there is no way to search for who is assigned which tasks. If you know how, I would love for you to enlighten me.”

At this point, I have actually figured out how to search for tasks by clicking on individual profiles, which also shows me he has not logged on in two weeks. None of this needs actual administrator privilege to access. But as she clearly KNOWS how to search and just wants me to be the bad guy for her (on something that is pretty minor), I decide to continue yanking her chain.

Former Manager: “So, he hasn’t reported or been assigned one bug?”

Me: “I mean, if you check the bug list, he has a couple open, so he knows how to use it.”

Former Manager: “Has he put anything else in?”

Me: “I cannot see if he has or hasn’t.”

Former Manager: “You should be able to.”

Me: “How?”

There is a noticeable silence and I can hear the wheels turning in her head as she tries to figure out how to get out of this trap. She can either admit she checked and knows how to check or she can continue this cycle. I throw her a bone.

Me: “Why don’t I email him for you and ask? That seems best, right? Then, if he has any questions, we can figure it out together.”

Former Manager: *Grumbling* “Well, you should know how.”

Me: “I don’t know what to tell you. I received no training on this software and haven’t had a chance to create a training document for it. I recommend just talking to him.”

Former Manager: *Quick to change topic* “So, you are going to email him, yes?”

Me: “Sure.”

I made sure to mention in the email that she was asking him.

Man, This Really Pops My Corn

, , , , , | Working | April 15, 2022

I have a coworker who simultaneously plays the part of a self-declared germaphobe and the office “lunch thief”. And by lunch, I mean opened and unopened packages of personal snacks that are often on or in desks that are not her own.

We are in a global health crisis when I find chocolate missing from my desk. Thoroughly disgusted that someone who was JUST bragging about how careful she is being stole a half-eaten chocolate bar, I decide to merely deep clean my desk and let it go. I have no real proof of it anyway.

Then, my bags of popcorn start going missing, so I hide them in a coworker’s office. They end up going missing from there, too. This time, I have proof.

She makes the fatal mistake of bragging to her pet-of-the-week that she is so dedicated to the job that all she had for lunch is a big bag of popcorn! So, I copy both her and our boss on an email innocently asking if she saw my popcorn as it had walked off from under my desk. She eventually cops to it after some light banter between our boss and me about who would steal popcorn, and I lightly chide her by telling her, “If it isn’t in the communal space, it is not for the community.”

I think this is the end of it as my food finally stops going missing! 

But wait… there’s more.

I have just restocked the entire office with a bunch of sweet snacks and plan to get more healthy options but am hesitant due to worrying about how they will be received. My boss is on the same page.

Boss: “I love all the sweets, but do we have any healthy options?”

Me: “I was thinking about that. Apples and oranges would be good. Same for carrots. They will all last for a couple of weeks just fine. Right now, all we really have is pita chips and hummus.”

Boss: “Isn’t the hummus yours?”

Me: *Confused* “I brought it to share.”

Boss: “But you scolded her for taking your food earlier.”

I mistakenly think he means my “work-wife,” who I teasingly complained ate said pita chips and hummus off my plate the day before.

Me: “Oh. That is just because she didn’t respect the pita to hummus ratio. [Work Wife] knows she is allowed to eat my food without asking.”

Boss: *Hinting* “I remember an email exchange about it.”

Me: “Oh! No. It wasn’t so much that I didn’t mind ‘sharing’. It was just that [Coworker] was removing food from my desk and sequestering it in her office for herself. As long as it isn’t in anyone else’s desk, or otherwise marked, that is fine.”

That witch had generously shared her stash with him and then made him feel guilty! She is definitely a wonder.

Lots To Unpack Here

, , , , | Working | April 14, 2022

I have just purchased and moved into my first home. I’m working on unpacking boxes when there is a knock at the door. I am a young-looking female. Most people guess my age to be about five years younger than I actually am.

Salesman: “Good afternoon! Is your mother home?”

Me: “Probably not, but she lives in another state, so I’m not certain. Is there something I can help you with?”

Salesman: “Ah. Is the homeowner around?”

Me: “Yes, I am the homeowner. How can I help you?”

Salesman: “Oh! Uh… well, I’m a real estate agent, and I’ve got several wonderful homes on the market!” *Hands me a flyer* “If you want to stop renting, I can help you purchase a home!”

Me: “Actually, I just purchased this home. I’m not renting.”

I gesture to the stacks of boxes behind me, indicating that I have just moved in.

Salesman: “Oh! Wonderful! Er, congratulations! Well, do you have any friends in the area looking to buy a home?” 

Once again, I gesture to the boxes behind me.

Me: “I literally just moved in, sir. I don’t know anyone yet.”

Salesman: “Oh. Right. Well, if you meet anyone looking to buy a home, could you pass that flyer along?”

Me: “Er… sure… Have a good day, sir.”

I’d wager he went on a break after that. Hopefully, he stops making assumptions about people.

Frustration Coming From All Sides

, , , , , | Right Working | March 28, 2022

I work for a call center of a major grocery chain. I am trained to take calls relating to online ordering and technical issues with the apps and website. Due to a decline of a certain health concern in the country, those calls are dropping off as people return to in-store. So, as retail typically does, I’m thrown into the store-related calls with no training other than what my trainer from the very beginning said several months ago:

Trainer: “This is for in-store; you won’t need to worry about this.”

One day, I get a call from a woman.

Me: “This is customer support. My name is [My Name]. How may I help you?”

Woman: *Already upset but keeping an even tone* “I want to make a complaint about my store. Can I do that here?”

Me: “Certainly. May I get some information from you so I can correctly process your complaint?” *Gets the information* “And what was the issue with your store?”

Woman: *Her tone rising slowly* “They never have what I want I stock! I check on the website before leaving my house, and when I get to the store, it’s never there! I make sure to check online before I leave the house so I don’t waste my time!”

Me: “I really do apologize for the frustration, ma’am, and I definitely will forward your complaint. Can I confirm a few things to make sure that you are getting the most updated information?”

Woman: “Fine, but I don’t see what that’s got to do with anything!”

I ask her to pull up the website and find out that the store she’s looking at is the default location that comes up the first time loading the site up… halfway across the country.

Me: “I do believe I have found the issue. You are looking at the store in [West Coast Location] when you need to change it to [Local Store]. I can walk you through the process. I know it can be confusing, and you are not the first person to make this mistake.”

Woman: *Voice still rising* “I did not make a mistake! Your website is wrong! I use it exactly as it should! It shouldn’t make a difference!”

Me: “I can assure you that it does make a difference. Different parts of the country have a need for different items, and because of that, they would have variations in availability.”

Woman: *Now screaming* “No! Listen to me! I AM DOING IT RIGHT! YOU ARE DOING IT WRONG!”

I start to pull up the abusive customer script we need to use. In training, I was told that if at any point I felt that I was being abused, I could use it. Due to a traumatic past, yelling of any kind can set me off, but I have a one-chance point where I’ll continue as if that didn’t happen in case it was just a reaction — some customers do get better after the initial yell without me reading the script. So, I continue on.

Me: “Again, I apologize for the confusion, ma’am. Once you update your store, you’ll be able to see—”

Woman: “YOU ARE NOT LISTENING TO ME! YOUR SITE IS MESSED UP! I DO IT RIGHT! I HAVE ALWAYS DONE IT RIGHT! WHAT THE H*** DO YOU THINK I’M DOING WRONG?!”

I take a deep breath while my hands shake. Then, I read off the script as that one chance has come and passed.

Me: “I understand you’re frustrated, and I want to assist you to the best of my ability. However, if you continue to speak to me in this manner, I’ll have to terminate the call.”

Woman: *Icily* “Well, good, because I don’t want to speak to you anymore. Get me your manager.”

Those are the magic words. I ask her to please hold, dial the supervisor line, and finish up my notes as there’s a wait for a couple of minutes. The supervisor I get is known for being wishy-washy about having your side, but I explain to her what happened, including needing to use the script and the customer’s response to it.

Supervisor: “And did she actually start cursing you out?”

Me: “Well, no, but she was screaming at me.”

Supervisor: “Screaming is not classified as abuse for the script. They have to be continuously cursing at you.”

I’m upset but I don’t have the energy to pick a fight.

Me: “That’s not how it was described to me, but I’ll know for the future.”

I sent the call over, and then I needed to take an extended break because I was so annoyed. I’d been screamed at all day and was sick of it.

I only lasted about two more weeks before I ended up quitting because of the constant “abuse” and nothing being done about it. Now I have a job that’s not customer-facing and I love it so much more.