A Tale Of Fired And Ice

, , , , , , , | | Working | June 7, 2019

(It snowed yesterday, turning into freezing rain overnight. I was an hour late coming into work last week — never set my alarm — so I have been very anxious trying to be on time or early every day since, so I run out the door without my snow boots, knowing it will only add time to my commute and make me even later. I make it to my car to find that the few inches of snow on my car are completely covered in ice. I text my bosses to let them know I am not going to be there on time due to the snow and ice, and I receive:)

Text From Boss: “Okay, drive safe.”

(In an effort to minimize how late I am going to be; I begin furiously chopping away at the ice. This is a difficult task, and my slip-on flats are exposing my feet to the elements. After about ten minutes, I decide it is time to get my boots. Walking probably quicker than I should back to my condo, I find myself lying on my back looking up at the sky with a sharp pain on the back of my head. I lay there for a few seconds, remember what my mission is, and scramble to my feet and onto the sidewalk. I swap out my footwear and shuffle back to the car. Once I break the car free, I text my bosses the update of my slip. While driving to work, I keep thinking about the pending “talk” with my boss and wonder if I am going to be fired. The minute I arrive at the office, 40 minutes late, I am surrounded by my bosses and coworkers, all of whom have adult children my age.)

Boss #1: “Oh, my gosh, are you okay?”

Coworker #1: “Do you think you have a concussion?”

Boss #1: “Do you need to go to the hospital?”

Coworker #1: “Did you make it here okay?”

(I’m an overly emotional person, and after thinking I would get fired, the frustration with the snow and ice, and the startling slip with a hard hit on my head, I burst into tears.)

Boss #1: “Oh, no! What’s wrong?”

Coworker #1: “Are you hurt?”

Boss #1: “Are you okay?”

Coworker #1: “Aww, why are you crying?”

Boss #1: “Do you need a hug?”

(My boss offers a hug, saying I remind her of her daughter my age, and tells me to take a few minutes in the bathroom to clean up and compose myself. All is well after that. The rest of the day is sprinkled with ice and concussion jokes, but they also sincerely keep checking in on me and my head. At one point, one of my bosses asks how I am feeling as she is walking out the door.)

Boss #2: “Hey, are you okay? How’s your head?”

Me: “It’s fine, thank you.”

([Boss #2] starts to close the door behind her.)

Coworker #1: “Hey, [My Name], how many [Boss #2]s do you see?”

Me: “Well, none, since she’s out the door.”

Coworker #1: “Okay, good. If you said two or one-and-a-half, I was going to be concerned.”

Coworker #2: “What day is it?”

Me: “Wednesday.”

Coworker #2: “Who’s the president?”

Me: “Don’t remind me…”

Coworker #1: “Okay, good, she’s aware. Don’t remind her, [Coworker #2].”

Coworker #2: “I was just making sure.”

Me: “That concussion is looking better and better.”

(Later that day, I decided to look up the official weather policy. If schools are delayed two hours or more or are canceled, employees are allowed an extra hour to arrive safely. I was within the hour, so I breathed a sigh of relief reading that. At the end of the day, with [Boss #1] gone, I talked to [Boss #2] about what was running through my head that morning. I told her I was scared I was going to get fired, but she assured me that as soon as [Boss #1] saw the text that I slipped and hit my head, she was extremely concerned and no anger was present at all. I get to be employed another day, and my alarm has been preset earlier for every work day, so I hopefully won’t have to worry about being late again.)

Not In Receipt Of The Regional Manager’s Face

, , , , , , , | | Working | June 7, 2019

The regional manager of the national chain I worked at had just announced his retirement and was taking something of a final tour of his stores to close out his tenure. Even though I’d worked the night shift the day before, I decided to come in early on my day off to see him speak. I accidentally showed up late and ended up standing in the back, where I could barely see him, but overall his talk — more of a town hall Q and A session, really — was pretty good.

Just as I was heading out, though, I bumped into one of my supervisors who asked me to cover a morning callout. I hadn’t hit my hour cap for the week yet, so I said yes, and ended up covering the opening two hours of the day as a greeter, aka the guy who checks receipts. Since we’d only just opened and there were barely any customers, it was an incredibly boring job, and I was pretty sleep-deprived to boot.

At maybe the hour-and-a-half mark, an older gentleman wandered past me with a large [Store] bag. I could tell from his body language that he was just looking at the displays, so I let him go about five feet or so beyond the security gates. When he started approaching the doors, though, I got antsy. He reached T-minus three feet from the exit bar, and my sleep-deprived brain yelled out, “Excuse me, sir. Can I see your receipt for the bag real quick?”

He turned around, shooting me a look of bewildered amusement, and I heard what sounded like the entire store bursting into laughter. I turned around to find not one, not two, but all twelve department managers, RSMs, and the general manager absolutely losing it behind me. They’d been giving the regional manager a tour of the building — the same regional manager I’d just gone ahead and receipt-tagged.

He was very nice about the whole thing, and he, in fact, had not just blatantly stolen from his own company. And I got a commendation from Asset Protection for representing our store’s security. I’m still embarrassed about the whole thing, and I’ve never worked morning shifts since.

Never Go Up Against A Scottish Grandmother

, , , , | | Right | June 6, 2019

(Our manager has a bit of a short temper and a toxic attitude. I am working late one evening when he comes into the kitchen in a furious rage.)

Manager: “YOU! GET YOUR F****** A*** OUT THERE AND APOLOGISE!”

Me: *taken aback* “What did I do?”

Manager: “YOU RUINED THAT COUPLE’S ENTIRE EVENING. AFTER YOU APOLOGISE, GET OUT OF MY RESTAURANT AND DON’T COME BACK!”

(I walk up to the couple I have been serving, confused and upset.)

Woman: “Oh, my. Are you all right, dear? You look like you’re on the verge of tears.”

Me: “I’m, I… I just want to a… apologise for ruining your evening. I’m so sorry for whatever I’ve—“

Woman: “Oh, um… Sorry, but would you mind quickly grabbing [Manager], please?”

(I walk back to the manager’s office, now even more distraught. I can only mutter out a few words before he literally drags me back out. Before he can say anything, however, the woman stands up, furious, and shouts at him.)

Woman: “NO. LET GO OF HIM, NOW! THAT IS NOT HOW YOU TREAT YOUR STAFF!” *after he sheepishly lets me go* “All I asked for was more salt, which at most would be a problem for your chef, not a busboy. You forced him to come out here and apologise for doing absolutely nothing. I asked you for salt, and I expect you to bring it. And I want to you on your knees, apologising to him. Your grandmother didn’t raise you to be a c***. She would be turning in her grave if she saw how you turned out.”

(To my surprise, the manager actually gets on his knees. I can only hear him mumble, which infuriates the woman further.)

Woman: “I didn’t catch that. SAY. IT. AGAIN!”

Manager: “I… I am sorry.”

Woman: *to me* “Is that acceptable?” *I nod* “Good. Now, you are going into the back and having a coffee before going home. And [Manager], you are paying him extra for your shameful behaviour.”

Manager: “But, [Woman], this is my rest—“

Woman: “That’s Mrs. [Last Name] to you. If you are going to act like one of my pupils, I will treat you like one.”

(She gives him another round of lecturing and we both head back into the kitchen. It is deathly silent. He turns to me.)

Manager: *in a whisper* “Get out of my restaurant, and don’t even think about showing yourself around here again.”

(I leave, feeling extremely confused and scared. I spend the next week fearful to do anything until I get a phone call from the restaurant.)

Manager: “[My Name], I just want to apologise for last week—“

Woman: *in the background* “With more sympathy, you heartless c***!”

Manager: “A-and I want to offer you your job back.”

(I’m completely taken aback by how far this woman will go, but I realise I can’t go back to working with him for fear of him exploding again.)

Me: “No, I don’t want that job anymore. I think I can do better.”

Manager: *snide* “You’re making a big mistake. Ow!”

(Rustling.)

Woman: “Did I hear that right? You told him to f*** off?”

Me: “Yes. I did.”

Woman: “Good. You’ll go far, I’m sure of it. Anyone can do better than him! Even at school he was a pain, and his grandmother, bless her soul, she knew how to raise them right, but he has always been a lost cause. Anyway, stick to it.” *hangs up*

(She was quite possibly the strangest woman I have ever met, but I’m glad that I had the chance. She did more than just protect me that day; she inspired me to work hard and not take so much crap from people.)

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Arrear Window

, , , , | | Working | June 5, 2019

(Jobs are scarce, so I take a job at a place where the boss/owner is seven shades of crazy. There’s almost no heating during winter, lousy pay, commission money constantly in arrears, and “bonus” is considered a taboo word, but he is quick to cut our pay or fine us for any infraction. But then, I find him to be legitimately creepy. One evening I have my little granddaughter over, and we play “marching band,” me with an imaginary baton marching up and down the kitchen, and my little granddaughter following me with an imaginary tuba.)

Boss: “Hey, I was outside your window yesterday evening, and you behaved like a crazy person! Are you taking drugs or something?”

(Here I am, standing in the shop, trying to process what he just said. There is just so much wrong with it I don’t know where to start, so finally I say something that makes everybody laugh:)

Me: “And what would I be buying the drugs with? The pittance you are paying me?!”

(Call us petty and cruel, but we waited until the Christmas office party, and then we told him that we quit en masse on the 31st. He cannot figure out why there are no new workers flocking to his shop.)

Waking Up And Smelling The Wasted Coffee

, , , , | | Working | June 3, 2019

I was working in the government office that answers law enforcement requests for driver’s license and vehicle registration inquiries. I usually worked second shift and the cleaning crew would come through shortly before that shift ended and third shift started. They cleaned the break area and emptied and cleaned the coffee pots and coffee machine. The third shift was covered by only one person and she drank a lot of coffee, but I’m not a coffee drinker at all.

The third shift employee was on vacation, so I was temporarily working in her place. The first morning, when the day shift started filtering in, there was some grumbling that there was no fresh coffee as they were used to. I explained that I don’t drink it, so hadn’t made any. The second or third morning, a supervisor approached me and asked if I could please start a pot of coffee at a time shortly before the day people started to arrive, and I said I would as it was an automatic system with the pre-measured packets. I just had to place the packet in the basket, insert the basket, and push the button, so it only took a moment and there was really no reason not to and no way to mess it up.

The next morning, I did as requested and started the coffee. It had just finished brewing maybe five minutes prior, when the first day worker walked in, that same supervisor. She approached the coffee machine, took the pot off the plate, poured it down the drain, and started another! Guess who didn’t have their morning coffee waiting for the remainder of the time I was filling in?

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