Social Notworking

, , , , , | Working | September 12, 2017

(One of my coworkers was recently let go for defamatory public statements she made about our company on her very public social media account. We have a social media policy in which we agree not to discuss our workplace or coworkers in a negative way via social media. To take this further, after my coworker is fired, our supervisors come around and require us to add them on social media, so they can “monitor” for breaches of policy. I am uncomfortable with this, as I am a VERY private person and only have a social media account in order for out-of-state relatives to be able to keep up with my kids, as both of my parents and all my siblings live in different states.)

Boss: “I need you to review the social media policy again, and re-sign that you agree to the terms. You will also need to add me on [Popular Social Media Site].”

Me: “I completely agree with the social media policy, and I never discuss my work or my coworkers on social media. However, I am not comfortable with adding you to my social media. It has photos and posts about my children, and I have not worked here or known you long enough to give you access to my private life.”

Boss: “If you don’t add me, then we will consider it an act of insubordination, and you will be subject to further action, up to and including termination.”

Me: “You are free to do whatever you feel is necessary; however, I would like to point out that should you terminate my employment you would be opening [Company] up to a lawsuit.”

Boss: “It is perfectly legal for us to monitor our employees’ social media accounts and take action based on posts that may negatively affect our business!”

Me: “It is legal for you to monitor your employees’ public social media posts. It’s even legal to monitor our company computers and read messages and posts that may have been made from them, as that’s considered company property, and we have no reasonable expectation of privacy. However, it is not legal in this state to force your employees to give up their own right to privacy as a condition of employment. Given that we have two lawyers on staff, I’m very surprised that this was considered a legal and ethical idea. I’m not adding you to [Social Media].”

Boss: *goes white* “…you know, [My Name], I believe that you aren’t posting anything bad about [Company]. I think signing this is enough. You don’t have to add me.”

(It turns out, it was my supervisors idea and it was never vetted by the legal team! As soon as they heard about it, he was written up, and no one had to add their respective bosses!)

The Boss Is No Shrimping Violet

, , , , , , , | Working | September 12, 2017

(My sister and I are craving [Specialty Drinks] and we stop at [Popular Fast Food Restaurant] to treat ourselves. After placing our orders, we’re waiting, and we get to experience this interaction:)

Employee #2: *to the manager as she runs out of the kitchen* “Hey, [Manager], you need to talk to [Employee #1]. He’s back there eating shrimp again, and now I need some air.”

Manager: “D*** it, again? Fine. Hey, [Employee #1]!”

Employee #1: *sticks head out of kitchen while chewing* “What?”

Manager: “Are you eating seafood?”

Employee #1: “H*** yeah!”

Manager: “We don’t serve seafood at [Restaurant], so, none in the kitchen.”

Employee #1: “Why the f*** not?”

Manager: “There are people like [Employee #2] who are allergic to seafood, and we don’t have it on our allergen list.”

Employee #1: “F*** that, [racial slur]. I love shrimp.”

Manager: *apparently losing patience* “You can’t eat it in [Restaurant].”

Employee #1: *stuffs piece of shrimp into his mouth with a gloved hand*

Manager: “Okay. Fine. You’re fired. Let’s head to the office.”

Employee #1: “What the f***, [racial slur]! You can’t fire me!”

Manager: *authoritatively* “Office. Now.”

(He started towards the back. Employee #1 followed angrily. My sister and I left with our order. We were both glad we didn’t order any food, because my sister is deathly allergic to shrimp.)

Making You Go Docu-mental

, , , | Working | September 12, 2017

(I work at a craft store as a stock person. A truck comes in at three am and we have until nine am [when the doors open] to get things put away. Each person usually gets a section of the store to work on. Mine is in framing, a total of ten aisles of product, some of them itty-bitty to go on individual pegs. Everyone else only has two aisles. I am usually alone with six u-boats [think of narrow, flatbed carts, piled as high as you are tall with boxes]; everyone else gets two or three. My manager storms over and loudly berates me where my coworkers can hear her.)

Manager: “It shouldn’t take you this long to put stuff away! We’re going to be hiring seasonal people soon, and if they end up working circles around you, then you won’t be working here anymore!”

Me: “[Manager], I have double the workload of everyone else, and five times the distance to travel.”

Manager: “I don’t want to hear excuses. Next time you have a shift, I’m going to watch you to see how you can do better.”

Me: “All righty then.”

(The next shift, the manager has totally forgotten. I call her to observe. She tells me to sort everything into piles [which is how I always do it anyway]. I call her again when I finish that. She says she’ll be right over. After two minutes of standing around doing nothing, I give up and go to put the trash in the compactor, halfway across the store. I come back to my department and wait some more. And more. After ten more minutes of standing around, doing nothing, the manager shows up, barely glances at the piles, and says…)

Manager: “Good job. That’s all I wanted to see,” *walks off*

(My eye develops a twitch. A friend of mine says I should invoke the Three D’s of Retail: Document, Document, Document… because this looks like trouble. My next shift, the manager shows up again. She walks up with a slow, menacing pace, puts her hands on the counter between us and leans forward in an intimidating manner.)

Manager: “You have four u-boats. You have an hour and a half to get them all done. If you are not done, I will send you home and put someone on the section who will get it done more quickly.”

(I’m stressed now. I have to go into hyper drive. I throw empty boxes in a huge pile on the floor [at her command], sort things, and take things to each of the aisles at a dead run. Where I usually slide product where they belong in the proper slots, now I have to jam them in haphazardly. Products break, and have to be swept up and taken to the damaged bin. Ten minutes to my deadline, my stuff is put away, and I’m scrambling to put away my overstock.)

Manager: “See? You’re done!”

Me: “Actually, no, I’m not. I’m still putting my overstock up, and I was unable to bring anything down from our overstock to fill the holes.”

Manager: *visibly hesitates, then says* “But you’re done putting stuff away!”

Me: “Yes, I suppose technically I am, despite not being able to do my whole job.”

Manager: “But you’re done! Aren’t you proud of yourself? You should be proud of yourself!”

(I am not proud of being bullied into haphazard work and still only getting a third of my duties done. I am then sent to another section, again at her command, leaving a huge mess for someone else to have to clean up after me. Yet another shift comes by, and my manager drags me off the floor and rips into me.)

Manager: “I don’t know what we’re going to do to make you work faster, [My Name]. You should have been able to put all your stuff away, put up your overstock, and bring extras down to fill the holes. What can we do to bring down the time it takes you to do your job?”

Me: “I don’t think you can. I already said that I have double the workload of everyone else, and five times the distance to travel. If you could assign a coworker to help me with the workload…”

Manager: “You know what, all I’m hearing out of you is excuses. It’s the holidays; we’re going to be hiring 20 new people. I think you need to go home and think about it. Next week when you come in, I want you to either have a list of things we can train you on to do things better, where to put you where you CAN be effective, or you need to tell us whether this company is right for you.”

(I was silent and absolutely stunned. Had she seriously just told me to work off the clock?! I had been documenting from start to finish, so now it was time to bring down the hammer. I called the company hotline and listed everything; unreasonable demands, hostile attitude, toxic work environment, and the demand that I do a work-related project off the clock. At this point, I was done; if I got fired, I didn’t care. The company jumped like it had been stung. I was contacted by a local bigwig within a week, and I handed him my documentation, so that he could read everything. He spoke a lot of soothing, pretty corporate platitudes about the company working like a machine, and how much corporate wanted everything to be nothing but happy rainbows, and that if I HAD worked off the clock, he would have moved heaven and earth to make sure I was paid for that time. But after looking over my documentation, he sweated a few bullets and promised me that I would be kept anonymous, but that they were going to take care of the problem. To be fair… he told the truth. My manager left me alone from then on, only talking to me to give me directions and send me on my way. There wasn’t a single peep out of her about my speed for the rest of the time I worked there, until I moved and had to quit.)

This Just Isn’t Field-Working Anymore

, , , | Working | September 11, 2017

(There’s been a few rounds of restructuring, and the boss is chatting with me to see how I’m adjusting.)

Me: “For the most part, it’s been okay. I’m just a little disappointed. With all my new office duties, I barely get to do any field work anymore.”

Boss: “What’s wrong with that?”

Me: “Well, I love doing field work. I specifically got into this business to do the field work.”

Boss: “Oh.”

Me: “Why? What’s wrong?”

Boss: “Well, I always assumed you hated doing field work. Every step of this restructuring, I’ve been trying to get you back in the office as much as possible.”

Nothing Fun About Minimum Wage

, , , , | Working | September 11, 2017

Boss: “So, [My Name], what do you do for fun?”

Me: “You don’t pay me enough to afford ‘fun’.”

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