Diary Of A Freelancer  

, , , , , , | Working | January 15, 2020

Friday Morning: “Congratulations, you passed the phone interview. You start on Monday!”

Friday Afternoon: “No, wait, we want to have another phone interview on Monday, instead.”

Monday Morning: “Congrats, you passed the second phone interview. We want you for an in-person interview tomorrow. We’ll phone you by this afternoon with a time to come in tomorrow.”

Monday Afternoon: *nothing*

Tuesday: *nothing*

Wednesday Morning: “Hi, can you come in for an in-person interview in two hours?”

Wednesday Noon: “Congratulations, you passed the in-person interview. You start tomorrow.”

Wednesday Afternoon: “Sorry, we caught up on our backlog of work and don’t need you anymore. But if we do need you, would you be willing to be on call?”

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Not A Very Rewarding Attitude  

, , , , , , | Working | January 15, 2020

(I have to stop by a local big box electronics store in the middle of the workday to grab some USB drives for our IT department. I typically don’t shop here, but the usual store is several miles out of the way. I quickly grab what I need and go up to the first open register, where the cashier in uniform is wearing a name tag which says, “In Training,” and there is a woman in civvies wearing a “Trainer” name tag.)

Trainee: “Welcome to [Big Box Store]. Did you find everything you need?”

Me: “Yup.”

Trainee: “And did you have our [rewards plan] card with you?”

Me: “Nope, don’t have one.”

Trainee: “Well, sir, would you like to sign up? It’s free and you earn points with every purchase.”

Me: “Not today, I’m in a hurry, thanks.”

Trainee: “It only takes a few minutes to sign you up, sir; are you sure you don’t want it? It costs nothing!”

Me: “Nope, not interested.” 

(Normally, I’d take a harder stance on saying no, but the dude is in training so I figure I’ll let him practice his spiel and let it go after the “three-peat” rule is satisfied.)

Trainee: “But you can use your rewards points to get [Branded Item #1] and [Branded Item #2], in addition to coupons.”

Me: “Seriously, not interested. Just ring me up because I’m in a hurry.”

Trainee: “Okay, sir, no problem let’s get you checked out.”

(As the trainee reaches to start ringing up my stuff, the trainer taps him on the shoulder.)

Trainer: *super condescendingly and more than loud enough for me to hear her* “No, he didn’t sign up for the [rewards plan] card. Let me show you how it’s done.”

(The trainer then steps up to the register to take over the transaction.)

Trainer: “Now, sir, I think maybe he didn’t explain that the plan is free and—”

Me: *cutting her off* “I heard three times. I know about the plan. I’m in a hurry and very clearly not interested. This is now a hard no, which means you stop and ring me out.”

Trainer: “Oh, sir, you really aren’t listening to what I’m telling you. I’m trying to help you! Now—”

Me: *cutting her off again, crescendo-ing my deep voice into a full blown roar* “I understood every d***ed word! Stop insulting my intelligence. I know the plan is free, I know what the points can be used for, and I’m not bloody well interested. And I’ve made it very clear that I am in a hurry and trying to get out of here. Now, either you step aside and let the polite gentleman—” *pointing at trainee* “—ring me up, or I will shout loudly enough for the store manager to come here and take my complaint about your piss-poor service. If you’re going to waste my time and belittle both me and the guy who was actually doing his job right, I might as well make sure my time is being wasted filing a complaint ABOUT YOU!”

Trainer: “Well, you’re a lost cause.” *to trainee* “He’s your problem now.” *walks over to meet a security guard from the entryway, who is now halfway to the register*

Trainee: “I’m really very sorry, sir.”

Me: “Dude, you did your job right. I could have been a jacka** up front, and I would have if you hadn’t stopped after the mandated three attempts. You were fine and following your training; we have no problem.” *actually manages to pay for my three products as the security guard gets to the register*

Security: “Sir, you can’t be in here causing a scene. You need to pay and leave.”

Me: “I just paid. I’d have paid sooner but the idiot behind you—” *pointing at trainer* “—refused to ring me up because I won’t sign up for [rewards plan] card. Also, she was super rude to me and to the guy she’s supposed to be training. If being upset over that is a problem, please call the store manager and pull the recording from the camera there on the wall.”

Security: “Uh… You want me to pull the audio and video? Sir, that will show exactly what happened. If you’re lying, I’ll have you banned.”

Me: “Please, pull it. Watch it with the store manager.” *hands over business card* “Here’s my contact info, so if you need to ban me after what you see and hear, please do so.”

Security: “Okay, sir, I’m going to pull the recording.”

Trainer: “No, not necessary; I think he’s learned his lesson!”

Me: “It is necessary. Tell the store manager I look forward to hearing from him. Now, I have other places to be.”

(I emailed a complaint to corporate and I did hear back from the store manager the next day with an apology for the way I was treated. He offered me a free membership in [rewards plan] and a $50 coupon to win back my business. I told him I was voting with my wallet and taking all future business to the local independent shop, instead. The big box place has since gone out of business. Can’t imagine why that location was underperforming.)

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Because A Bandage Can Totally Fix A Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

, , , , , , | Working | January 15, 2020

(My boss refuses to believe employees who say they’re injured. We are working together in a small space with several obstacles, and he accidentally bumps me sideways, causing my head to bounce off a steel beam. After I regain consciousness about thirty seconds later, I slowly get to my feet, still dazed and bleeding.)

Me: “Boss, I’m taking the rest of today off and going to a doctor to be checked out.”

Boss: “No, you’re not. Go wash yourself up and slap on a bandage, and then get back in here.”

Me: “Not happening.”

Boss: “You’re being insubordinate. Do what I tell you.” 

(I walk out, wash off the blood from my forehead, bandage it up, and then go straight to HR to report what happened before heading for the doctor’s office. Luckily, it’s only a “mild” concussion. I take three days off and come back to work.)

Boss: “You disobeyed my orders. Sign this writeup.”

(I snatched the writeup from his hands and stalked off to HR again, showing them the unsigned writeup and mentioning a few things like “unsafe work environment” and “OSHA regulations.” The writeup was thrown out and my boss was demoted and transferred.)

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A Healthy Belief In Paranoia

, , , , , | Working | January 14, 2020

(The store I work in is small and quiet, sometimes not getting customers for an hour or more. Naturally, most of us spend a lot of time on our phones. I try to be professional about it and only be on my phone if there are no customers around. Even a single customer anywhere in the store, and my phone stays off, no matter how bored I get. None of my coworkers are that cautious, even though I keep reminding them that management can spy on us through the cameras at any time. One day, we’ve just opened, and the only people around are me at the register and the owner in the office. An hour later, he comes out and sees me sitting there playing with my phone. Worried he might disapprove, I immediately start defending myself.)

Me: “Sir, I swear I’m never on my phone when there are any customers around.”

Owner: “You know what? That’s what they all say… and you’re the only one I believe. You’re fine.”

(It’s an interesting feeling when you realize your paranoia was completely justified.)

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Will Have To Put A Freeze On Your Day Off

, , , , | Working | January 13, 2020

(I’m the only pregnant employee on staff currently but happen to have worked there for nearly seven years. I work in the grocery section of the store primarily but know a great deal about other departments especially involving maintenance. Defrosting the freezers takes an hour of defrosting plus the time for the removal of the food and shelving, getting a hose and hot water hooked up, and then cleaning it all up and putting it all back together. It’s a two-person job — one for the actual defrosting and one to run a shop vac to the drain and back to the freezer to remove the water as the hot water melts the ice. Each section of the freezer has to be done about once every five to eight months depending on how healthy the cooling units are.)

Me: “Hey, these frozen doors are getting warmer. You might want to defrost them before it gets critical.”

Freezer Department: “Yeah, I was gonna see how it looked tomorrow—” *Friday* “—and do it then.”

(Friday comes:)

Boss: “Hey! Can you come in and defrost the freezers? The freezer department started it but had to be someplace.”

Me: “If I don’t do it on my day off I’m gonna have to do it the morning of our busiest day of the week—” *Saturday* “—aren’t I?”

Boss: “Probably…”

Me: “I’ll be right in.”

(And that is why I make several dollars more than the entry-level employees.)

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