You’ve Fallen For One Of The Classic Blunders

, , , , , | Working | May 3, 2021

I work for an insurance company. I’m on vacation, enjoying myself and relaxing, when I suddenly receive a text message. It is from my direct supervisor.

Supervisor: “YOU’RE FIRED!”

This particular supervisor has hated me from the day she started working with me. I’m initially puzzled and furious that she’d fire me via text without any reasoning behind it, much less wait until I’m on vacation to do so. I’m about to reply asking why I was fired when I notice something.

She sent me that text message in a group conversation. With my boss.

A few moments later, another message appears in the conversation.

Boss: “[Supervisor], come to my office. Right now, please. [My Name], I’m sorry about that. You’re not fired.”

I ended up getting a few laughs out of a moment that nearly ruined my vacation. When I returned to work five days later, my supervisor was nowhere in sight and her formerly-cluttered desk was now completely empty.

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Open Source And Closed Mind

, , , , | Working | May 3, 2021

I’m a programmer who has the unfortunate luck of being assigned to work with a notoriously awful manager. For the non-geeks, a library is a collection of prewritten code provided by someone else. If many people are likely to have the same issue, then odds are there is already a library written to help with that issue, and a smart programmer will look for one before trying to reinvent the wheel. Not only does this save time, but a popular library will be far better tested and significantly less prone to errors than something you wrote by hand.

Manager: “I don’t want you to use any external libraries.”

Me: “Why not?”

Manager: “I had a project where we were using a library that changed their licensing terms. We had to spend a lot of time and money removing it because it was too expensive to pay for a new license, and I don’t want to do that again.”

Me: “Oh, so it’s only licensed libraries you don’t want to use?”

Manager: “No, I don’t want to use any libraries at all.”

Me: “But most libraries are open source. They’re completely free; there’s no way we would have to worry about paying for licenses.”

Manager: “They could always change it to charge money later.”

Me: “I’m pretty sure they can’t. They’re published with licenses that explicitly say they can’t charge money for it! Charging money is anathema to the very concept of the open-source community!”

Manager: “I’m still not going to take the chance.”

Me: *Taking a deep breath* “Okay, but I want to use Boost. It’s practically synonymous with C++. Half the stuff that ends up in C++ first spends time as a Boost library before being adopted. I don’t think any programmers do C without Boost. You might as well worry that they will start charging for C++ itself!”

Manager: “I said no.”

And so, I ended up spending at least 60% of my time on that contract writing networking logic that is freely provided by Boost. It was oddly nostalgic, working on the sort of challenges I was assigned to do in college, but it was hardly the most efficient use of my time.

Shockingly, that project ended up behind schedule and stayed that way long after I left. The fact that the manager’s personality tended to drive programmers away within months of starting the job likely also played a role in his falling behind. Either way, I’m happy to be working on a new contract where I can use any library I d*** well please.

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Skimpy Clothes, Skimpier Morals

, , , , , , | Working | CREDIT: viodox0259 | April 30, 2021

I work in a casino. The waitresses at this casino have to wear very thin, sexy clothes. They aren’t borderline legal, but it is noticed. One day, management calls all the waitresses to come in and explain that they are changing their outfits to something even sexier. Now, these new dresses are very, very borderline legal.

Staff: “No way. We’re not wearing that.”

So, Friday night came, and the staff worked their whole shift. Then, at the end of their shift, they were all called into a meeting and they were all fired. We had no waitresses for a couple of days.

Welp, the father of one of those ladies was a pretty big-time lawyer. He brought the casino to court and won. They won big. Good for them!

This story is part of our Best Of April 2021 roundup!

Read the next Best Of April 2021 roundup story!

Read the Best Of April 2021 roundup!

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Who The Heck Is The Captain On This Ship?!

, , , | Working | April 30, 2021

As part of my job, I am required to set up floor displays of stock. Usually, if the store manager hasn’t told us how he wants it to look and is not available, we set the areas up and when he’s available he either approves or not.

The store I work at is fairly new and really there’s been no real definition of staff roles around the store. I am setting up a display when a coworker who always seems to be with the store manager and has a hand in basically everything around the store comes up to me.

Coworker #1: “That’s not the right place for that to go. It should be part of the next section.”

Me: “But I thought [Store Manager] wanted it here; he got us to clear out this area yesterday.”

Coworker #1: “No, it needs to move, and you need to put [other stock] here. It’s what [Store Manager] will want.”

I do as instructed. The next day, when the store manager is back in the store, he comes to look through my department.

Store Manager: “[My Name], why is [stock] up here?”

Me: “[Coworker #1] told me that’s where it goes.”

Store Manager: *Sighs* “When will [Coworker #1] understand that he doesn’t run this place? He’s not a manager. Don’t listen to him in future. It’s just [Coworker #2] and me that you need to listen to; she’s head of this department.”

That’s news to me because I have never even seen that coworker even enter the department I work in. I don’t, until a few weeks later when [Store Manager] is away for a week. [Coworker #2] comes into the department with [Coworker #1] as I am unpacking some new stock.  

Coworker #2: “[My Name], what are you up to?”

Me: “Just working out how to display the new stock we have. [Store Manager] wants it put against this wall as a floor stack. I am just opening cartons to see sizes and numbers of the stock available to create the stacks.”

[Coworker #2] talks to me as if I don’t know what I am doing.

Coworker #2: “Well, what if we do it this way: put the larger items to the back and then stagger them down to the smaller items?”

I internally roll my eyes because that’s the way I always do this sort of stacking. Then, she turns to [Coworker #1].

Coworker #2: “Is it all right with you if it’s done that way?”

[Coworker #1] agreed and they wandered off, leaving me to think that maybe [Store Manager] should talk to his second in command and tell her that [Coworker #1] isn’t her boss.

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Here’s An Itemized List Of Thirty Years Of Disagreements

, , , , | Learning | April 28, 2021

I work at a university. I worked as an administrative assistant in the physical science department for just over a year before transferring to an advising position for incoming freshmen.

My (now former) boss had a nasty habit of: 

  1. spreading gossip (which I hate) about anyone and everyone to anyone and everyone, 
  2. refusing to respect my boundaries and being both verbally abusive and emotionally manipulative,  
  3. taking personal offense at any action they deemed “against” them, and 
  4. taking those offenses and turning them into personal vendettas they tried to spread around campus by making up exorbitant lies.

I joined their vendetta list when I changed jobs without their “permission” (their words). The lies that have thus far gotten back to me include, but are not limited to:

  1. I was a spy and was reporting all of their doings back to the dean so that they would get in trouble all the time.
  2. Because of my excellent spy work, they are being demoted from department head to regular faculty — despite the fact they wrote an official memo requesting that they be allowed to step down.
  3. I spread rumors all over campus that they hated the dean (their boss, whom they do hate) and undermined both their relationship and the dean’s position (which my former boss does all the time to anyone they talk to).

The best rumor, though, came through recently. My former boss claims that I am under investigation by both human resources and the campus police because I have been demanding/extorting money — a felony — from instructors and other staff to do work for them, despite the fact that I look like I’m eighteen and am about as intimidating as a dandelion. And apparently, I am about to be fired for it (I’m not).

All in all, it’s just free — if sometimes inconvenient — entertainment for me, though I did report that last one just in case it made its way to people who don’t know me and became a real issue. Transferring jobs was one of the best things I’ve ever done; I’m not struggling with depression as much and am doing much better emotionally overall. 

And to be honest, it makes me smile every time I remember that I’m living rent-free in their head with the rest of their vendetta collection.

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