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Working At This Dentist’s Is Like Pulling Teeth

, , , , , , | Working | November 1, 2019

(My first job is as a dental nurse working with the city’s university dental hygienist course. I love the job, and I get on well with the students and the tutors. However, I quickly start to find that I don’t get on so well with the other nurses. The majority of nurses have worked with each other for a long time, know each other outside of work, and have the same interests. At first, this doesn’t matter, but slowly, things start to get unfair. I often find myself on the crappy end of jobs, and one of them causes me do serious damage to my right wrist; I tear the tendons and am signed off work for a long time. This is where things get super bad, as my manager never reports the accident, which is something she gets in a lot of trouble for. When I eventually return, I am on very light duties, spending more time as a glorified receptionist than a nurse. The other nurses double-down on their disdain for me. I suddenly find myself even more left out than before, and any slight mistake is blown out of proportion. One of the nurses actually yells at me in front of trainees because I haven’t signed a cleaning sheet. When I complain to the head nurse, she says that I was in the wrong so tough, despite the fact I admitted to the mistake, but I am angry about the way it was handled. I cannot describe the misery I feel for the next six months, but luckily, I am able to find another job in a field that is as far removed from dentistry as possible. On the Monday morning after I get the contract for the new job, I approach the head nurse on clinic first thing before clinic starts.)

Me: “Morning, [Head Nurse], can I have a quick word with you?”

Head Nurse: “No, I’m going up for breakfast break now. It can wait.”

Me: “It can’t really; I won’t get time to talk to you about this before clinic starts, otherwise.”

Head Nurse: “Sorry, not happening.”

Me: *shouting across the clinic as she walks off* “Okay, I’ll leave my resignation letter here, then!”

(She d*** near sprinted back to me, asking if I was joking. I smiled, told her no, and handed her the letter before turning and going back to my duties. I was, at that time, the one who made all of the department appointments, organised clinics, and knew the brand-new booking system better than anyone else. That next month as I served my notice, watching the panic slowly dawn on them was the best!)

Being Childless Can Be Taxi-ing 

, , , , , , , | Working | October 28, 2019

I was meeting a friend for breakfast one morning, and rather than drive I decided to get a taxi using a well-known taxi app.

Everything was going fine until I innocently mentioned that my weekend plans involved visiting my baby niece. The driver asked if I had kids or was married, and I happily said no and that I had no intention of either.

Big. Mistake.

I was treated to the remaining fifteen-minute journey listening to a lecture on how his culture’s children were better than mine because they stay with their parents, care for them, and don’t leave them. He said I probably moved out as soon as I could, because that is what “my culture” encouraged. He was genuinely shocked when I said I visit my parents weekly and we all live very close to each other.

As I seriously considered how painful it would be to ditch out of a car doing 40 mph on a busy road, he then started extolling the benefits of arranged marriage, how well it worked, and why it was the best thing ever. He said I should really consider it because I need to have kids, because who would look after me when I am old, otherwise?

Throughout, his tone was calm and reasonable, and he kept asking if I agreed with him — prompting non-committal noises from me. I was honestly worried at making him angry if I disagreed, like he was waiting for me to say something.

When we arrived at the restaurant, he parked about as far away as he could manage. It was raining. I didn’t care. 

Next time someone asks me about my personal life, I’m going to stick to the tried and tested “Yes, I have a son! He is three and moves very quickly! He’s a fussy eater, though. Want to see a picture? Yes, I know that’s a snake… Where are you going?”

Going Mute On The Commute

, , , , , | Working | October 22, 2019

(I am about to be made redundant and so have been searching desperately for a new job. I have posted my CV on several job sites and set up various alerts for jobs in the West Midlands. I’ve had various agencies call me offering me various jobs that either aren’t in the field I currently work in, pay way too little for me to accept, or in one memorable instance, require a little too much travel.)

Agent: “Hi there. I am calling on behalf of [Agency]. I think you would be a perfect match for a six-month contract we have.”

Me: “Great! What’s the job?”

Agent: *describes a pretty good job offer with good pay* “…and it’s based in Watford.”

Me: “I’m sorry; did you say Watford?”

Agent: “Yes, is that a problem?”

Me: “Just a bit. You know I live in Birmingham?”

Agent: “Yes… Is it a bit too far for you?”

Me: “It’s over 80 miles away!”

Agent: “Oh! Well, you could always stay in a hotel during the week!”

(I have done this before in a previous job for 18- months and hated it, so I am not willing to even entertain it.)

Me: “What? No way. I doubt the company would pay that expense.”

Agent: “Would you be willing to relocate maybe?”

Me: “No! Why would I leave a city I have grown up in, and move away from immediate family for a contract job? And nothing you have said hints at a relocation payment.”

Agent: “Uh, well, no, you’d have to pay for it yourself. Maybe you could stay with family close by?”

Me: “Okay, no. That is ridiculous. I am not taking a job that means I would never be home.”

Agent: “Well, it would only be for six months. Are you sure it’s a deal-breaker?”

Me: “Yes, I am, and even if distance wasn’t a problem, I have a pet…”

Agent: “Oh! Oh, yeah, I totally get that. Pets are a big responsibility! Thank you for your time anyway!”

(So, the fact that I didn’t want to have an eighty-mile commute, relocate, live out of a hotel, or couch surf for six months was not a valid excuse, but the second I mentioned having a pet it was understandable? Not to mention that this guy hadn’t even thought to check a map before calling me! I am still baffled to this day.)

Very Bitter About It

, , , , | Right | September 5, 2019

(I work in a rock pub, and on this particular Saturday we are short-staffed and low on our draft beers — so low, in fact, that by 10:00 pm we are out of cider, lager, pilsner, and bitter! We still have about four other drafts to choose from, and a selection of bottled beers and ales. All of the drafts that are off have a glass over them to show they are empty. One customer has been in since before my shift started at 8:00, and so is aware of which drafts are off.)

Customer: “Can I have a pint of [Bitter]?”

Me: “Sorry, sir, we’ve run out of that; can I get you something else?”

Customer: “For f***’s sake. Fine, what bottles have you got?”

Me: “Well, [Bottle #1] and [Beer #1] have been popular substitutes.”

Customer: “How much is [Bottle #1]?”

Me: “It’s [price].”

Customer: “What about [Beer #1]? How much is that?”

Me: “It’s [slightly higher price].”

Customer: *exasperated sigh* “What kind of s***hole is this?”

(I blink at the customer, slightly surprised by the comment is he is a semi-regular here.)

Me: “Well, sir, it is the kind of s***hole you are more than welcome to leave.”

(He looked at me slightly taken aback and hopefully realising how stupid his comment was before ordering his beer.)

Feeding The Top Some Nuggets Of Information  

, , , , , | Working | September 3, 2019

(I am working an IT job that has me getting off work about midnight every night at a 24/7 location. On occasion, I stop by a fast food place on the way home to get some chicken nuggets for my wife and me. The last few times I went before this incident, their card reader was always down and I rarely carry cash on me. After several times of this happening, I get suspicious. Tonight, I have cash and I pull into the drive-thru at 12:15 am. There is a small line of maybe five or six cars and only a couple of people inside. After ten minutes of waiting, the two cars in front of me drive off. That’s odd, so I pull up to the window.)

Me: *after ten minutes of waiting* “Hello?” *no answer*

(After a few more minutes, I leave the drive-thru and pull around to go inside. There is an employee just sitting in the lobby doing nothing, maybe on break or something — I’m not sure. I get to the door and it’s locked. She points me back to the drive-thru, so that’s where I go.)

Me: *five more minutes of waiting* “Is anyone there?” *no answer*

(At this point, it’s almost 12:30. Normally, I would have driven off by now, but I have a vested interest in this that I’ll explain in a moment. I pull out of the drive-thru and see people going into the door to the lobby on the opposite side I had tried. I go in.)

Me: *walks up to the counter* 

Worker: “What can I get you?”

Me: *places order and pays* “Is there something wrong with the drive-thru speaker?”

Worker: “I don’t know.”

(About this time, a manager walks up and I ask her the same question.)

Manager: “I don’t know nothin’ about that. I was in the back.”

Me: “Well, I sat in the drive-thru for fifteen minutes and no one even greeted me. I thought it was broken.”

Drive-Thru Worker: *from the window* “I ain’t got time for that. I got orders to make!”

Me: “Also, why is it that you aren’t taking cards at night lately?”

Manager: “We shut the card machines down at midnight.”

(The manager’s attitude overall is rude and uncaring of the situation. I wait another while to get my food and finally leave. I leave the restaurant fifty minutes after I first arrived, for two orders of nuggets. Here is where my vested interest comes into play. My wife’s family is closely associated with this chain and their national program assisting school-aged children with serious physical illness and injury to catch up on their learning. My mother-in-law works for a co-op that basically allows all of the owners to interact and help each other with various tasks, including marketing and customer complaints. My mother-in-law is on a first-name basis with the owner and district manager of most of the chain’s stores in the area, including this one. I file a complaint that night, and the next day…)

Co-op Worker: “Hello, I’m calling in reference to the complaint you filed.”

Me: “Ah, yes, thank you for calling!”

Co-op Worker: “Can you tell me what happened?”

Me: “First, let me start off by telling you who I am.”

(I explain who I am and my family’s relationship. She knows immediately who I am.)

Co-op Worker: *after some small talk* “So, tell me what happened.”

Me: *explains what happened* “Honestly, it was so bad. The only reason you haven’t lost all of your nighttime revenue is that you are the only 24-hour burger place in the area. I was going to call [District Manager] directly but thought this might be a better avenue first.”

Co-op Worker: “I apologize for all of this.”

Me: “Also, is it normal to have the card readers turned off at midnight at your stores?”

Co-op Worker: “That should never happen. I will look into this.”

(About a week went by and I decided to stop by and see if anything had changed. I was in and out in less than ten minutes and was able to use my card. I didn’t recognize anyone in the store this time, and I later found out from my mother-in-law that the entire night shift had been FIRED!)