[Boss] Is Sus AF!

, , , , | Working | February 13, 2021

I work with a lot of customer data, so it’s required that I lock my office when I leave for the day. I always check this before I leave. One morning, I walk in and my office door is unlocked and cracked open. There are three people who have keys to my office: me, my boss, and the custodian. My boss and I don’t always get along, but I don’t think much of it, as she doesn’t really get along with anyone.

Me: “Hey, [Boss]!”

Boss: “Yeah?”

Me: “Why is my door open?”

Boss: “Maybe you left it unlocked. Or you didn’t pull the door all the way closed.”

Me: “Hmm. I thought I locked and double-checked it last night.”

I start triple-checking my office door before I leave every day. A week later, it happens again. This time, the door is unlocked and wide open, and some stuff on my desk has been moved around. This time, I KNOW I didn’t leave the door open or unlocked.

Me: “Uh… [Boss]?”

Boss: “Yes?”

Me: “Was anyone in my office last night or this morning?”

Boss: “Why?”

Me: “My door was wide open and my desk was messed with.”

Boss: “Cleaning crew, maybe?”

Me: “They’ve never done that before.”

My suspicions are raised, but I don’t say anything. The next day, I walk into work. The door to my office is wide open and the lights are on.

Me:Again?! What the heck?!”

I hear noises inside. I pop my head around the door frame. My boss is digging through my customer files.

Me: “Mystery solved!”

My boss jumps and stares at me.

Boss: “Oh! [My Name], you scared me!”

Me: “What are you doing?”

Boss: “I’m your boss. I can be in here if I want.”

She folds her arms and glares at me.

Me: “Is there something you’re looking for? I can help you find it.”

Boss: “The file for [Customer].”

Me: “No problem.”

The file in question is right in plain sight. I walk in, grab it, and hand it to her.

Boss: “Thank you.”

Me: “You could’ve just asked me to find it for you. I don’t mind.”

My boss’s face turns red.

Boss: “I’m your boss.”

Me: “And I’m offering to help. Do you want me to show you my system? In this drawer are files that I’m actively working on, and—”

Boss: “I can be in your office any time I want. I don’t need to justify anything to you.”

She spins around and walks out. I can’t resist one parting shot.

Me: “Make sure you shut and lock the door when you’re done!”

I turned to my work and found that she’d gone through my desk and drawers, as well. I sighed irritably. I don’t work there anymore. I’m still not sure what she was hoping to find.

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You Mean You Don’t Have A Clone?

, , , , , | Working | February 12, 2021

My very first job is as a temporary office assistant in the admin area of a non-profit that offers therapeutic services to disadvantaged kids. My job is sort of tacked on to the existing business structure, so while I work primarily with the office staff, technically, I report directly to the chief financial officer. In retrospect, I’m pretty sure this is partially nepotism at work — my mom is also at a high level in the company, though I do not work for her directly — but in this case, it works out for the company as a whole.

I have worked at this job for a couple of summers with no complaints; it is all pretty standard data entry and filing duties. But then, one summer, I am told that they have a new office manager. My mom mentions that they have had some complaints from the other staff about her, but it has been brushed off thus far because they feel that the old manager was too lax with the workers and they were simply upset that they didn’t get to slack off as much anymore.

This office is actually a converted residential home, so one of the oddities of it is that the “archive” — files pertaining to patients who no longer come to the practice but have to be retained for a number of years for legal reasons — is actually out in a converted garage. I am working on purging the archive of aged-out files, which means I am out in the garage for a lot of my shift most of the time.

On my first day with the new manager, I come in, do the daily filing of documents that have been dropped off by therapists throughout yesterday, and then go out to the garage to work on my project. About fifteen minutes in, the inter-office phone rings and I answer.

Office Manager: “[My Name], you’re supposed to finish the current filing before you work on the archives.”

Me: *Confused* “I’m sorry, I thought I’d finished all of it.”

Office Manager: “Well, I’m looking at the inbox and it has paperwork in it still. Get it done.”

Me: “Okay, I’ll be right back in.”

I go back inside and find about three sheets of paper in the inbox. I think that when I picked up the stack I simply missed a few pages at the bottom, so I file them without thinking much of it and go back out to the garage. Another fifteen minutes pass, and I get another call.

Office Manager: “This is unacceptable, [My Name]! When I tell you to do something, I expect it to be done!”

I’m now thoroughly confused and a bit worried, as I’ve never been yelled at at this job before. 

Me: “What do you mean? I came in and filed what was left in the inbox! I’m sure of it!”

Office Manager: “Then why are there still papers in it?! Get back in here and do your job right now!

I’m terrified of getting fired, so I bustle back inside and, sure enough, there are papers in the inbox. But this time, I look at the dates on them. All of them are dated today, which means the therapists dropped them off while I was outside, which is normal operating procedure. Normally, I would not be filing these papers until tomorrow. I point this out to the office manager.

Office Manager: “I don’t care how you used to do things. I’m in charge now, and you will keep this inbox empty or there will be consequences!”

Even at sixteen, I know this is an absurd expectation. I’d never make any headway on the archiving project if I had to drop it every five minutes to run in and check the inbox, and even if I did do that, then I might still miss a page or two just due to timing. Never having had a problem like this, I go back to the archive and call the CFO in tears. I have NEVER called my direct boss before this, but I don’t know what to do to appease this woman, and I was told that if I ever had any problems I should call her.

I explain my dilemma and tell her I’m sorry but I don’t see how I’m supposed to purge the archive and know what’s going on in another building entirely at the same time. She calms me down, tells me she’ll call the office manager to get this straightened out, and instructs me to just work on the archives. I don’t know what is said, but the office manager leaves me alone about the inbox from then on.

This isn’t the last issue I have with this woman. She often makes ludicrous requests, including expecting me, a small sixteen-year-old girl, to move a couch that was placed on a stack of boxes that reaches taller than I do, in order to rifle through said boxes for a file I already know isn’t there. I solve that one by simply hiding in the archive for fifteen minutes and then telling the office manager the file isn’t in the boxes. She never questions why the couch is still on top of them.

Every incident is reported either directly to the CFO or to my mom, who I’m sure relays it to her in turn. When I come back to the office the next summer, the office manager is gone. I’m pretty sure that they started taking the complaints of the staff more seriously after I started joining in — nepotism used for good, for once, I suppose!

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You Must Shoes To Use Your Brain

, , , | Working | February 12, 2021

It’s day one of the mandatory military training that every male in Singapore has to go through. We’ve been issued our new kit, but clearly, they used the measurements from our pre-enlistment checkup. At least two years ago. Needless to say, a lot of stuff doesn’t fit.

Sergeant: “Boys, let’s save some time. Try to trade with each other first before we go down to return the gear that doesn’t fit.”

My shoes are too small, so I try to find someone with bigger shoes to trade with. Alas, the problem everyone has is that their stuff is too small, not too big, so the trading is failing.

Me: “Hey, [Sectionmate #1]. Your shoes are too small, right?”

Sectionmate #1: “Yeah. Wanna trade?”

Me: “Something like that. See, mine are too small for me, as well, but yours are about my size. So, how about you give me yours and trade mine in?”

Sectionmate #1: “Huh. Good idea. Deal.”

I take his shoes and he takes mine. Later, when the sergeant calls everyone to line up with the stuff they want to resend:

Sergeant: “Hey, [Sectionmate #1], how come you’re here? I saw you and [My Name] trade shoes just now.”

Sectionmate #1: “Both of us have shoes that are too small. But mine fit him just fine, so I gave him mine.”

Sergeant: “So, does that mean that his fit you?”

Sectionmate #1: “No. His feet are smaller than mine, so his shoes definitely don’t fit me. I’m taking his down to exchange.”

Sergeant: “Uh-huh. So then why did you swap if they don’t fit?”

Me: “His shoes are too small for him, but they’re pretty much my size, so I took them off his hands. He’s taking my shoes down because they definitely don’t fit him. We traded to save me the trouble of going down myself.”

Sergeant: “So do you need to go down or not?”

We went back and forth for quite a while until we finally managed to get the idea into his head. Meanwhile, the rest of the boys were muttering things like, “Why didn’t we think of that?” Is trading such a hard concept to wrap their heads around?

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Does “Closed” Have No Meaning For ANYONE?

, , , , , , | Working | February 12, 2021

I’m about seventeen or eighteen and have just started my first “real” job in a supermarket deli. I have not yet experienced any rude or entitled customers. We have a sign-in and sign-out sheet in the deli as well as a machine in the employee break room to clock in and out; we are expected to use both. It is 10:00 pm and everything is shut down and closed; I go to sign out on the sign-out sheet but there isn’t a pen. No worries, I think to myself. I’ll go clock out, borrow a pen from the break room, and come back to sign the sheet. 

I come back and see a well-dressed customer standing in front of the deli counter, looking expectantly at me as I come through the deli gate. My hair is down, I have no apron or hat, and my handbag is slung over my shoulder. The lights in every deli case are off, half of our stock has been put away in the back room and everything else — the products, the slicers, you name it — is covered in large plastic sheets. By every indication, the deli has shut for the night.

Me: *Cheerfully* “Hi, just letting you know we are closed tonight! I’m just—”

Customer: “No, you’re not.”

I don’t know what I was expecting, but the customer’s response comes from so far out of left field that I am honestly taken aback for a moment.

Me: “Er…”

Customer: “Are you not going to serve me?”

Me: “Um, I’ve already clocked off. It’s past 10:00. The deli closes at 10:00 pm—”

Customer: *Firmly* “No, it doesn’t. It closes when the rest of the store closes.”

I stare at him for a moment, not sure how to proceed with his complete denial. I open my mouth to suggest calling a manager over, but he beats me to it.

Customer: “I see how it is. That’s fine; I’ll go get your manager.”

Frowning, I go to the drawer to sign the sheet. As I’m leaving, the customer comes back with one of the night managers in tow. The customer complains to the manager that I won’t serve him, and the manager goes behind the counter, lifts the plastic sheet off the slicer I just spent twenty minutes cleaning, and starts slicing the customer’s ham for him.

Me: *Quietly, to the manager* “Just for future reference, can you tell me what the protocol is when a customer asks for something after the deli is closed and the usual deli workers are clocked out? Do you come into the deli to serve the late-night customers? Do you also clean the slicer afterward? Because [Deli Manager] gets upset when things aren’t clean in the morning.”

Manager: “Don’t worry about it.”

Me: “Well, I need to know because if this happens again, I want to make sure I’m doing the right thing. Is what you’re doing now standard procedure here?”

The manager just waves a hand dismissively.

I see I’m not going to get an answer, so I give up and go to walk away. The customer stops me on my way out and asks for my name. Without thinking, I give it to him. Like I said, this is my first Not Always Right customer in my first-ever job; I am not very smart yet. 

Customer: “Okay, [My Name]. I work for [My Supermarket] and I’m going to see what the head office thinks about your work ethic.”

I never got a proper answer — from anyone — on what store policy was if a customer wanted deli products after the deli was closed. Thankfully, there were no repeat incidents where the issue came up again, and I also never heard anything from that customer. I have no idea if he actually contacted anyone or not. But thanks to his parting words, I did spend a good few days anxiously stressing that I’d lost my job almost as soon as it had begun. What a jerk.

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Things That Should Be Illegal, Exhibit A

, , , , | Working | February 10, 2021

Many colleges have something called “capstone projects” for undergraduates in their last year. The idea is to get experience in their fields. Often, engineering colleges will have multidisciplinary capstone projects that are sponsored and paid for by companies for a few thousand dollars. It is a great way to exploit free labor, but often, the results are not particularly meaningful.

My company decides to participate, and by some miracle, we end up with a young man outside of our project’s scope who has the sought-after skill we need. He, therefore, ends up doing the bulk of the project.

However, one of the requirements is being able to interface with a virtual reality headset with our program. It is obviously more difficult and none of our engineers have done it yet. Nevertheless, he soldiers through it and promises to get it done. For the entire nine months of this project, my boss is falsely promising this outstanding young man a job, pending the success of this project. She has me, the contact point, reiterate it several times with her listening on the phone.

Even two weeks after graduation, he continues to work on our project for free with the hope it will result in a job. When I ask if we should be paying him or taking him on as an intern, I am met with scoffs on how this is part of his project and it’s expected of him. So essentially, my boss is holding the threat of not graduating and the promise of a job over his head.

Finally fed up with it all, I decide to schedule a time to get company equipment from him so my boss can either hire him or stop stringing him along. That Friday, she calls him and later tells me that she wants me to reiterate once more that we want to hire him, but we need a couple of weeks to budget it all.

I waste my Sunday driving to a town two hours away to pick up this laptop because, at this point, he has obviously gone home. When I meet him there, he is in a foul mood. I smile and tell him that we would enjoy working with him in the future, to which I get a rather curt, “Whatever.”

That night, I call my boss, and this witch of a woman tells me that she told him that she couldn’t hire him.

She had no intentions of hiring him but wanted me to look like the bad guy!

Unfortunately, this is not the first nor last time she has done something like this. She also strung along with a guy she had made a job offer to but refused to let him work more than eight hours, forcing him to be able to unable to pay off his student debt or even rent, and dropped another intern’s internship from forty hours a week, to fifteen, to ultimately nine hours at the very last minute so she couldn’t find a better internship.

These are three young people who wanted to work for our company and were deeply excited about it but had their livelihoods jeopardized and finances strained by this truly horrendous, thoughtless woman — all so she could save a few bucks to give herself a raise.

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