“Personal Issues” Apparently Means “Running From The Law”

, , , , | Legal | June 14, 2021

It’s the grand opening of a new store in the chain, about forty miles from my store. All the bigwigs are there, as well as most of the store managers from my district.

I got a text this morning from my manager, asking me to resend an email to the district manager because the system was down when he tried to send it last night.

The email went something like this.

Manager: “I’m taking the weekend off. Having personal issues. Please apply my personal time. If this is a big deal, consider it my two-week notice.”

Thing is, he is due at the new store tomorrow to help with the grand opening. It should be no surprise that the district manager is furious. I get a call from her later that morning saying that [Other Store Manager] will be coming and I am to help him however I can.

Then, things take a new turn.

[Other Store Manager] shows up and asks for the last two months worth of credit signature slips. Surprised, as I only thought he was going to help cover the store, I show him where to find them.

As it turns out, when the manager buys gasoline, he manually enters the credit card number and then scribbles on the slip. I asked him about it last month, and he told me it was a company card from his “other job” that he has permission to use.

Well, apparently, he didn’t have permission.

After [Other Store Manager] gathers all the slips and compares them to a valid slip where the card was scanned by the cardholder, he calls the district manager, who comes in and calls the police.

Turns out [Manager] is on probation for theft and immediately started stealing again as soon as he got this job.

The district manager changes the safe combination and the office PC password and re-keys the security tape box. 

We now have orders to call the police if [Manager] comes into the store. I kind of doubt he will, though, as I suspect that he got wind of something stirring over this and just disappeared — by the barest skin of his teeth, apparently.

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God Help You If You Have To Use The Restroom

, , , , , , | Working | June 14, 2021

When I started working at my university as an admission counselor, the role was fulfilling but incredibly stressful. Every second of our day was scheduled by the higher-ups and we had to manually mark our status on the computer. Teams were measured by how closely their statuses aligned with their schedules. I stressed over meeting steep call quotas and enrollment goals. I worked from home one day per week and my supervisor was extremely strict with making sure I kept to my schedule. If my computer went idle when I wasn’t on break, she would message me to make sure I was working.

After eight months in this role, the health crisis hit and we became fully remote. I was living with my parents and sister, so I had to work from the basement, which was the only place I wouldn’t be disturbed while on a call. It was quite cold and lonely down there, which, in addition to the mental distress of living in a global crisis, made the rigidity of my job unbearable. I really liked the university, and the pay and benefits were too incredible to give up, so I began applying for roles in other departments. I was soon offered a position in the registrar.

My new role was absolutely nothing like the old one. I didn’t have to clock in or out, and no one cared how I structured my day. I actually had a meeting with my boss a few weeks ago where she told me someone had reported to her that I had been idle for more than fifteen minutes, and my boss went on a rant about how she doesn’t want her employees to feel like they’re being monitored and she doesn’t care what our schedule looks like so long as we get the work done. It was such a stark contrast to the boss who made me feel like a criminal for taking a couple of extra minutes of break time that I almost started crying on the call. It is really nice to know I now have a supervisor who will stick up for me and actually cares about the work we do, rather than arbitrary bureaucratic restrictions.

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Barely Managing To Manage

, , , | Working | June 10, 2021

We have a sales manager who is a bit of a control freak, so disorganized she couldn’t find her way out of a paper bag, and highly insecure. She likes the perception of looking busy and like she is on top of things, and as a result often blames others for her being unable to complete certain tasks. She also hates anyone who questions her authority.

This sales manager even made it her mission to try and get me fired for being “mouthy” because I had the utter audacity to not back her up in a client meeting after repeatedly telling her in private that we did not have the bandwidth to do what the client was asking. Basically, she wanted to fire me because I refused to compromise my ethics to get a contract so she could get the commission and allow her to throw me under the bus down the line when it ultimately did not work out. Obviously, she lost.

My well-meaning boss will often assign me portions of the sales manager’s work to “surprise” her. Usually, this is after she feels slighted and, bless his soul, is supposed to be an olive branch to this finicky, immature woman to placate her and make things “run smoothly.” I know it isn’t a good idea, but I am not going to say no because he is my boss and it usually means he wants it done. I usually complete the task and send it off to him for feedback, and then he insists I walk it down to her in her office.

The response is always the same.

Sales Manager: “Who the h*** told you to do this?!”

She rants for five minutes about how I shouldn’t be wasting my time on this and how she almost had it done.

Me: “[Boss] did. He wanted to surprise you.”

Sales Manager: “Oh. Okay, then.”

Me: “…”

I leave without an apology for being sniped at or a thank you for doing her job for her. And of course, she takes credit despite being unable to do this task for the past two weeks and not changing a thing, because why wouldn’t she?

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Play Impossible Games…

, , , , , , | Working | June 10, 2021

I work at a small department store. Our company has a rewards program that has been around for years. This year, however, the company is pushing us hard to get people to sign up. As such, they have put out a new policy; all employees have to get a certain percentage of customers to sign up for the program or they risk disciplinary action or even potential termination. These quotas are set by the company, though store managers can make them higher if they want to.

Our store manager, unfortunately, is one of those people with ridiculously high standards. For a while, she sets the bar at 35%, already a good amount above the company standard, and most of us are just barely able to reach it. After a week, she decides to double the quota to 70%. Considering how negatively received the program is and the very low sign-up rate, this new quota seems absolutely asinine, but our store manager nevertheless enforces it. Four employees at our store get fired and many others get written up because they miss the absurdly high quota.

But it doesn’t stop there. After those firings, the store manager decides that even 70% isn’t enough. Nope. She now wants us to sign up every single customer we check out and tells us that there will be no more write-ups for missing the quota, only firings. The only problem? Many of our regulars either are already members or are just plain uninterested, making it literally impossible to fulfill a 100% signup rate. Even when we point this out to her, she just tells us to figure it out. Our assistant store manager walks out on her.

Predictably, nobody in the store is able to meet the goal of getting every customer to sign up. And how does the store manager respond? By firing the store’s entire staff for not meeting her literally impossible standard.

This attracts the attention of the regional manager, who is very curious about the store’s staff roster suddenly going from over twenty employees down to just the store manager. I don’t know what exactly transpires between the two of them in that meeting, but I do know that it ends with most of us being reinstated with all benefits –aside from the few who found different jobs — the quota-based policy being permanently scrapped in favor of a more intuitive, incentive-based policy, and our now ex-store manager out of a job.

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Pure Poetry

, , , , | Right | June 9, 2021

A guest approaches my pretzel stand. I happen to be with my manager.

Guest: “Can you help me? I can’t find my father.”

She opens her touristy fanny pack, which is full to the brim with odds and ends, and shows me her phone.

Guest: “Battery died. Can I use your phone?”

I’m about to say that we’re not allowed to carry phones while on shift, but my manager allows the woman to use his phone. She calls her elderly father and we manage to find him nearby, safe and sound.

My manager has a big smirk on his face once we find the father, and I ask him about it. He simply points to the customer’s fanny pack.

Manager: “It’s a knick-knack fanny pack, give the girl a phone. Her old man is roaming alone!”

Me: “…I quit.”

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