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A Disgusting Customer, And Management’s No Help

, , , , , , | Right | February 6, 2023

I am on the phone with a customer who is angry due to issues with his router. I am running around to different departments, trying to get him a new router sent out via next-day delivery.

I am asthmatic, and I’m out of breath from running up and down stairs when I return to the phone.

Me: “Okay, sir, I can get next-day delivery for you!”

Customer: “Listen to you, all out of breath. You’re so fat and lazy! If you can’t get fitter, you should just go kill yourself.”

Me: *In a firm and authoritative voice* “Do not speak to me like that, sir, or I won’t help you.”

Customer: “How dare you?! I want to talk to a manager!”

My managers blamed me, even after listening to the call and hearing what the customer had said, and I was threatened with disciplinary action.

There’s No Time To Do Anything To Meet About!

, , , , , , | Working | February 3, 2023

We had a time when upper-level managers were demanding weekly status updates. Once a week with team leads attending to give the updates was reasonable and quite manageable.

Then, there was a crisis, and they started doing the status updates twice a week. This was worse but still manageable, even when the team leads needed backup from the people actually doing the work.

Over the next few months, they raised the requirement to the entire workgroup going — walking to another building for this pointless meeting for an hour and then walking back! It took about an hour and a half each time… every single effing day!

Then, they wanted the meeting twice a day, because our backlog was getting worse. There was absolutely no recognition of the impact losing 20% of our available work time to this pointless meeting was having on our productivity… and our manager wouldn’t do anything! (That was the worst manager I ever had — worse than the guy most of us didn’t know was a drinker until the day he showed up sober!)

Eventually, one of the team leaders got the point across to an only marginally incompetent manager, who allowed the team leaders to represent the work group and report on any issues they couldn’t answer at the next meeting.

Sometime after that, we got new high-level management, who reduced the meetings to first twice a week and then back to once a week, with the group managers reporting and bringing any people needed for detail reports.

It was the strangest thing, but our productivity rose sharply once we were working on projects instead of spending all of our time explaining why we were so badly behind.

Do It For The Kids! Just Not Yours.

, , , , , | Working | February 3, 2023

I work in a daycare and am currently pregnant. It is a high-risk pregnancy, so during the last two months, I’ve had appointments twice a week involving growth ultrasounds and non-stress tests. I work four tens, so I schedule one of the appointments on my day off, but I need additional time off on one of the days I am scheduled to work.

I inform my director of the situation and provide a doctor’s note explaining why these appointments are necessary. He tells me he will inform the rest of the administration and they will work with me to make sure I have coverage.

I plan my appointment around my lunch break and ask for a two-hour break instead of one hour to give some wiggle room, but I am always back within an hour and a half, if not earlier. I give reminders as my appointments come up and on the day of.

However, every time I am gone for an appointment, I get multiple calls asking when I will be back and to hurry up. The person who covers for me complains, as well. I talk to my director about how it is extremely stressful for me when this happens, but nothing changes.

One day, the assistant director asks if she can speak with me.

Assistant Director: “Having you gone additional time during the week isn’t working for us. You’ll need to have your appointments on your day off.”

Me: “[Director] said he was willing to work with me on this. It’s two appointments every week. I have one of the appointments on my day off. I still need additional time for the second appointment. I am also always back earlier than what was planned. I only drive there, do the appointment, and drive right back to work.”

Assistant Director: “We really need you here instead. Do you honestly need to have two appointments every week? With my pregnancy, it was only once a week toward the end.” 

Me: “Yes, I do. If you need me to come in earlier on those days, I can, but I really need to attend these appointments. I could also come in on my regular day off after my other appointment if needed.”

Assistant Director: “Did you know you’re allowed to refuse procedures or appointments? Your doctor can’t make you go.”

I take a long pause before I respond.

Me: “This is a high-risk pregnancy. The tests are to ensure that my child is able to tolerate labor and survive birth. Are you denying my doctor’s note?”

Assistant Director: “Well, no. It would be you denying your appointment with your doctor.”

Me: “Ah. Understood.”

Assistant Director: “Perfect! I’m glad we could come to an understanding.”

The following day, I go in and explain what happened to my director. I then hand him my resignation letter. 

Director: “What’s this?”

Me: “My two-week notice.”

Director: “I thought you were going to work up until you gave birth?”

Me: “And I thought administration would be more understanding.” 

When the assistant director found out, she tried guilting me into staying for the kids and said that I should have talked to her first and we could have “figured something out”. 

I made sure during my last two weeks to take my time during my appointments and take the full two hours instead of hurrying back. 

I also enjoyed not working the last few weeks of pregnancy and can happily say I gave birth to a beautiful, healthy little girl.

He Doesn’t See The Problem Because His Eyes Have Already Melted

, , , , , , , | Working | February 1, 2023

Fifty years ago, I worked a summer job in a factory in New Jersey. We didn’t actually manufacture anything. The widgets were made in the UK and shipped to us so they could be labeled, “Packaged in the USA.” We sat on an assembly line and boxed blister packs of the widgets.

One day, the machine that formed the plastic started acting up and oozing out gases. We called over one of the managers who were known as engineers — although I tend to doubt they had degrees.

Coworker #1: “Something’s wrong. The machine is spreading gases that make our eyes hurt.”

[Engineer] nodded and turned to [Coworker #2].

Engineer: “Do your eyes hurt?”

Coworker #2: “Yes.”

[Engineer] nodded again and turned to [Coworker #3].

Engineer: “Do your eyes hurt?”

Coworker #3: “Yes.”

And so on. When he reached the end of the line, he went back to [Coworker #1].

Engineer: “See? Everyone’s eyes hurt.”

And he walked off.

Worst. Prize. EVER.

, , , , , | Working | February 1, 2023

I’m a pretty hard worker. In fact, I typically have more throughput than most of my coworkers.

Every month, the office has some sort of contest. Typically, I don’t win these contests because they’re for metrics I don’t particularly care for, like how many coworker commendations you get or how good your client-service rating is. (I’m middle of the pack for client-service rating because I’m not willing to fob my difficult clients off on other people like the frontrunners are.)

The contest this month was total case files completed. I knocked it out of the park, completing 127 case files during the month compared to the next-highest coworker’s 59.

So, I won the prize! And the grand prize for all this work? A coupon for a day to wear jeans to work. I’m autistic, I don’t like the feel of jeans against my legs, and I don’t own any jeans.

I asked if I could wear sweatpants instead. Nope.

So, I bought a very tasteful woman’s jean dress and I wore that instead over a long-sleeved blouse and a pair of tights. I got a few complaints for cross-dressing, but I pointed out that the coupon didn’t specify that the jeans had to be pants.

My manager said next time he’ll just let me wear sweatpants. I donated the dress to charity after. I don’t like canvas.