Who Wants To Go On A Power Trip?

, , , , | Working | April 16, 2021

We’ve just gotten a new general manager and she’s learning the ropes. Everyone’s a little frustrated with her because she likes to go on little power trips, but we’re trying to be patient and let her get used to having her own store.

Right before she started with us, my boyfriend and I got a new puppy, and since I work close to home, I go home on my lunch breaks to let him outside and play with him for a few minutes. We get thirty minutes, and sometimes I take thirty-two or thirty-five minutes, so the new GM sits me down to talk about it. I agree to be more careful about getting back on time and the rest of the week I’m only punched out for twenty-five to twenty-seven minutes.

The new GM goes back to her training club for a few weeks, and this week is her first week as the official GM, no longer the GM in training. The puppy is big enough now that I don’t have to go home on my lunches, on the GM’s first official day, I eat lunch at work.

I’m in the back on my lunch break, crocheting and listening to a podcast, wearing huge headphones. [General Manager] walks in and bustles around for a moment before calling my name. I pause my podcast.

Me: “Yeah?”

General Manager: “Are you on lunch?”

I look down at my crocheting.

Me: “Um, yeah.”

General Manager: “Okay.”

She goes about her business. I think that’s weird, but whatever. An hour and a half later, I’m at the front desk with her.

Me: “Oh, let me show you a new pic of my puppy! He’s gotten so big, I don’t have to go home on my lunches anymore!”

General Manager: “Did you do what I told you and put newspapers on the floor so he didn’t mess it up?”

Me: “Uh, no, I don’t want him thinking peeing on the floor is okay, but he’s big enough to hold his bladder now.”

General Manager: “[My Name], I’m begging you, please, please, please. You’ve got to make sure you’re getting back before thirty minutes have passed. We can’t be taking long lunches!”

Me: *Totally baffled* “Um, I don’t.”

General Manager: “You don’t?”

Me: “No, I literally just told you I don’t! And you talked to me today while I was on lunch, and you asked me if I was!”

General Manager: “Well, I can’t have you taking excessive breaks, then. You can make your coffee and sit back there for a moment, but don’t spend too much time in the break room.”

Me: *Holds up my coffee* “I don’t. I make my coffee and bring it out here to drink. Even if I have to eat a protein bar, I wolf it down so I’m not back there for long.”

General Manager: “Well, you know [Regional Manager] is on my back. I gotta impress her, gotta stop all the bad habits here!”

Me: “Okay…”

I still don’t know what on earth happened there. Totally baffled me. I’m leaving for a better job soon anyway, so I’m just trying to stay out of her way. Not sure if she’s got it out for me in particular or if it was another power trip.

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Those Who Can, Do. Those Who Can’t, Train.

, , , , | Working | April 9, 2021

I am hired at a big government laboratory that handles sensitive biological samples. Some of the testing we perform is very time-critical and finicky; everything has to be carefully categorized and organization is super strict.

I am about a month into training and I am still only being allowed to perform the most basic tasks. Every part of my training has to be verified by a superior and there are numerous forms to fill out.

One day, a woman from the admin office who I have met once approaches me. 

Admin: “It’s [Wrong Name starting with my first initial], right? We’ve got a new college intern and I need you to train her on how to put these samples into [Complicated Database].”

Me: “It’s [My Name], actually, and I’m sorry, but I don’t know a single thing about that system. I’m not going to be able to train her.”

Admin: “All you have to do is read the training manual and then show it to her. Make sure you sign all of the paperwork saying she’s finished training.”

She starts to walk away. I follow her.

Me: “I’m not comfortable training someone on something that I know nothing of. What if something goes wrong?” 

Admin: *Now walking faster* “I’m too busy to train her; you’re just sitting around. She needs to be trained. I don’t get why this is so hard for you.” 

I ended up taking the issue up with my superior. It turns out that it WAS [Admin]’s job to train the intern but she simply didn’t want to. Funnily enough, [Admin] was only mad for about a week and then was back to her tricks. I was commended for following procedures, but in reality, I was just terrified of messing everything up.

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No Allowance For Such Nonsense

, , , , , | Working | CREDIT: SuspiciousAttitude71 | April 7, 2021

Earlier this summer, I temporarily took a job as a roofing salesperson for a construction company. The job description said I was managing a book of insurance agents and realtors, working referrals. In the interview, the boss was adamant that there was no door-knocking —just working relationships and referrals. I took the job and came to learn about week into my hire that they expected five or more hours a day of door-knocking. I could’ve quit right away but I figured I’d give it a go for a bit and just see how things went.

The job was full commission with a small weekly vehicle allowance, and I wasn’t responsible for working a regular schedule. But eventually, my boss started expecting everyone to work a regular schedule and report “at least forty hours” on our timecard app.

I fought with him about it because, as a non-hourly or non-salary employee, there was nothing to report. I got paid only for the work I brought in. Whether I worked eighty or five hours, the pay was the same and there was no contractual obligation to my time.

He got upset that I didn’t just give in and he told me that, because I hadn’t filled out a timecard, they wouldn’t give me my weekly vehicle allowance. It wasn’t a huge amount of money, but it was a matter of principle; I don’t get paid for time worked, so why do they need to know my hours?

My best friend is a labor attorney, and I asked him what I could do. He said I should just threaten to call the department of labor for withholding wages. So, I told my boss I’d call the department of labor. At this point, I was already in the process of getting hired for a job I really wanted, so I was planning on quitting soon anyway; I figured the company had it coming for all their lies and deceitful nature.

They agreed to give me the allowance. But then, later that day, Human Resources rolled out a policy that said that they would now be paying out the allowance based on hours logged on our timecard app. It was the expectation that we’d log forty hours, and if you didn’t meet forty hours, they would deduct a prorated amount from the vehicle allowance. The policy also said it was retroactive for the previous week. Therefore, I didn’t get my allowance for that week’s pay, as I continued to not log everything. I was a little pissed off about it.

That week, our boss made us work a great many more hours than usual, commuting several hours a day, each way, to a town he wanted us to get some work in. I went into our timecard app and logged my hours for the week — *a lot* more than forty. When the pay came that week, I only got the regular allowance — for “forty” hours. I asked my boss where the rest was, and he said it was a flat rate. I cited the new policy and said he owed me based on the “hours worked” and that I’d be calling the department of labor if I didn’t get it.

They ended up giving me the allowance based on my full logged hours. Later that week, Human Resources emailed the department saying that full commission people were exempt from logging hours and would be receiving the flat pay.

I won. I ended up quitting a short time later, followed by pretty much the whole sales staff.

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Welcome To The Corner Store California

, , , | Working | April 6, 2021

I enter a store and go directly to the corner where I know I’ll find the articles I am interested in. I make my choice and go to the counter. Nobody is there. I wait patiently, thinking the person who should be behind the counter needed a bathroom break or something. No one shows. I yell. No reaction. I try again a bit louder. Nothing.

Fed up, I go up the stairs toward the doors, leaving the things I picked up on the counter. The doors are locked. Now, I’m a bit claustrophobic and the fact that I can’t get out makes me feel like freaking out. I manage to keep my anxiety down by taking action — I usually can stop a full-blown panic attack by diverting my attention if panic levels are not too high — and start looking up the number for the local police station. Google to the rescue! While on hold, I hear something at the door and it opens. The store owner or attendant or whoever has the key enters. I hang up.

Owner: *Accusingly* “How did you get in?”

I’m a tad ticked off.

Me: “Through the door!”

Owner: “Which door? How did you find the back door?”

Me: “I entered through that door.”

I indicate the door she just opened.

Owner: “Well, why didn’t you tell me you were in the store?!”

I’m totally flabbergasted, with a lot of responses going through my head, varying from the less polite to the very much less polite.

Me: “Why didn’t you warn me you were leaving?”

Owner: “You should have told me you were in here!”

Me: “Well, in a minute, I no longer will be. You’ll find the articles I picked on the counter.”

I need to add that I was in an obscured corner in an otherwise open plan shop. No, I did not see her behind the counter — which is placed directly opposite the door — upon entering, but I knew there was usually only one person in the shop and, as I said, I thought she was on a bathroom break. Thinking back, she probably was getting her purse and coat in the back, and as I made a beeline to the screened-off part of the store, we crossed each other unnoticed. I do understand she was a bit shocked finding someone in what she thought to be an empty shop — I was in plain view when she entered –and I probably would have been more forgiving if she was more apologetic and less accusing. To this day, I have never returned and I don’t plan to.

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An Extra Happy Meal

, , , , , , | Right | April 5, 2021

When I was a small child, I would spend part of the summer with my maternal grandmother. One day, we decided to stop by a fast food joint for lunch. This was a rare treat for me, and I was eagerly anticipating that delicious cheeseburger.

We went through the drive-thru and headed home to eat. Upon opening my kids’ meal, I was very distraught to discover that I had the toy and the fries but no burger. I was in tears as my grandmother called the restaurant. She knew the manager since she worked there part-time.

Less than half an hour later, that manager knocked on the door. He was holding a fresh kids’ meal, complete with another toy and fries. I was thrilled. It wasn’t until several decades later that I realized just how amazing that manager was for taking the time to personally deliver a kids’ meal to an upset child. His kind act has never been forgotten.

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