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That’s Not What “Diversity” Means

, , , , | Working | October 18, 2021

My company is making a large push to be more diverse and inclusive. It’s a great initiative, but some of the quotes in training are a bit odd to hear.

Trainer: “Something really inspiring happened to me this year. Three years ago, I was one of only three women on a ten-person team pitching this project. This year, we put together another team to bid on a similar project, and I was so surprised and happy to see all ten of the individuals were women. It’s so amazing to see how much more diverse this company has become.”

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Short And Not So Sweet

, , , , , | Working | October 18, 2021

I saw a pair of shorts in a shop window for dirt cheap, but it was Sunday, so the shop was closed. When I went back the next day, I found the owners, an old couple, standing right by the door, which I thought was perfect because I didn’t have to go in and could just point at the item. I stood near the door and called out, and the male owner came up to me.

Me: “Hi, this pair of shorts you have here?” *Pointing* “What size are they?”

Male Owner: “It’s [price]. It’s for a double bed.”

Realising he thinks I mean the bed sheet that is currently placed in front of the window, obscuring the view of the pair of shorts, I try again.

Me: “No, no, the shorts!

I gesture with my hands near my knees where the shorts would normally end.

Female Owner: Shorts, [Male Owner]! He wants shorts!

Me: “Yeah, shorts — these ones behind here. What size are they?”

Male Owner: “No.”

Thinking he’s maybe hard of hearing and having trouble understanding me because of the mask I’m wearing, I go a little slower and a little clearer.

Me: “What size are they? Are they a small, medium, large?”

Male Owner: “No!”

Me: *Now baffled* “No?”

Male Owner: “No.”

Me: “Okay.” *Walks off*

I wonder how much they normally sell at that shop.

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Some Bosses Expect The Impossible

, , , , , | Working | October 13, 2021

A few times a year, I get laryngitis and cannot even utter a squeak. I don’t get a whole lot of warning when it’s about to hit me, but when it does, I’m pretty much a street mime until it decides to pass. I don’t tend to call off work unless I’m so ill that I feel like I can’t legitimately do my job. When you answer calls all day long, not having a voice falls into this category.

One day, a few hours into my shift, my voice goes out completely. I frantically write a note to my supervisor explaining what has happened and that I will need to go home.

Supervisor: “No, you cannot leave! We’ve had way too many people call out today! Get back on the phone right now!”

Rather than argue, I decide to just do what I’m told. I get back on the phone and allow the calls to roll in. I attempt to greet each customer, but of course, nothing comes out of my mouth. The customers repeat, “Hello?” several times before finally hanging up. This goes on for about an hour.

Finally, my supervisor comes over to me.

Supervisor: “Umm… so, Quality was trying to monitor your calls just now. You can go home. Take as long as you need to get your voice back.”

I could have been snarky. Instead, I just wrote a polite, “Thank you,” and clocked out for the day. I’m still not sure how they expected me to do over-the-phone tech support without being able to talk.

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Closing The Store And Closing The Door On Employee-Manager Relations

, , , , | Working | October 13, 2021

I was working at a restaurant for six months on probation. Lawfully speaking, if a restaurant wants a person to continue working, they are obliged to provide a full contract to the employee; otherwise, they are breaking labor law. However, most companies get around this by “goading” an employee into quitting if they don’t want them by slashing hours or scrutinizing their work meticulously. It’s a scumbag tactic and this restaurant is no exception.

It’s a late Saturday afternoon and I am due to finish at 6:00 pm. Our supervisor, who is the biggest brown nose you will ever meet, has talked non-stop about his friends who are out on the town this night, directly implying that he wants to go out with them even though he is closing. He knows that I am busy on Saturday evenings with my own podcast, so he hasn’t asked me if I would be interested in closing. At 5:50 pm, the following message appears on our Facebook group.

Restaurant Manager: “[Supervisor], you can leave at 6:00. [My Name] will close tonight.”

For the record, I would have happily considered closing, if I were asked. But now I feel that I am being forced to so the supervisor can have a good night, so I decide to stand up for myself.

Me: “No, I cannot close tonight. I’m busy.”

Restaurant Manager: “[Supervisor] is not feeling so good, [My Name], and nobody else knows how to close. You haven’t had many hours recently, either, so you can close tonight and make up for them.”

Me: “And that’s my problem, because? You decided to cut my hours this month, and even if I closed tonight — which I am not doing — I would be looking at only two hours, tops, if we’re lucky. It would not make any difference to the hours I normally did before. Sorry, [Restaurant Manager], but I am not closing.”

Restaurant Manager: “What are you doing tonight, then, [My Name]? Going out?”

Me: “Not that it is relevant, but I actually have a podcast lined up.”

Restaurant Manager: “Nobody cares about your stupid videos, [My Name].”

Now I’m DEFINITELY not doing it.

Me: “Do you honestly believe that saying stuff like that is supposed to encourage my decision? It has, just not in the way you want. I am leaving in five minutes, as my shift ends at 6:00 pm.”

Restaurant Manager: “[My Name], if you leave at 6:00 pm despite being told to stay, you will not get your tips for this week.”

Me: “Hmm, yeah, I really think that’s not happening. I’ll tell you what. Let me offer you a different choice. How about I still leave at 6:00 pm, I still get my tips, and you get the benefit of my silence when I do not report this conversation to my union. How does that sound?”

I had applied and joined a union when I started because of a previous issue that happened exactly like this. The restaurant manager had no choice but to keep the supervisor on that night, which he hated me for, but honestly, I couldn’t have cared less. I left that job the next week and entered a new job that I love.

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Did I ASK For A Consultation?

, , , , | Working | October 8, 2021

I was hired to a firm after some rigorous testing. They were first going to hire me as a consultant through another firm, but after seeing my test results, they decided that they wanted me to be hired directly to the company, which I agreed to.

As I was still getting used to my new job, I was called in for a meeting together with everyone else who was employed by the company; consultants were not allowed to attend. I was putting my things in drawers at my desk while my coworker waited to show me to the meeting room when the head of a neighbouring department came by.

Department Head: “Where are you going?”

Me: “To the meeting with everyone else.”

Department Head: “That is not for you.”

Me: “I was invited, though; they said everyone should be there.”

Department Head: “It is not for consultants.”

Me: “I am not a consultant.”

Department Head: “Yes, you are. You are hired as a consultant.”

Me: “No, I’m hired directly by [Company].”

Department Head: “No, you are hired here through [Consultant Firm] as a consultant.”

Me: “I was recruited through them, yes, but my contract is with [Company] and I am hired by the company directly.”

Department Head: “No, you are not. You are a consultant. You’ve misread your contract.”

Considering he wasn’t my boss and not the head of Human Resources, I doubt he had ever even seen my contract.

Coworker: “She is supposed to be at the meeting. Our boss asked me to help her to it.”

He finally let us leave but followed us to the meeting, and I saw him talk to my boss. After that, he barely ever spoke to me again unless he absolutely had to.

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