Making A Boob Of The HR Process

, , , , , | Working | July 10, 2018

(I am at work in a lift waiting to go up. The doors open on a floor, and two women and one man enter. The man is a member of senior management, and although I don’t work directly for him, he commands a lot of respect due to his authority. After one of the women leaves, he glances at me.)

Manager: “You look perkier than you did the other day.”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Manager: “You looked miserable the last time I saw you.”

Me: “Oh, I was probably having a down day.”

(The other woman smiles knowingly at me.)

Manager: “Did you get a new bra?”

Me: “What?”

Manager: “It’s your boobs. They look a lot firmer. Did you get a new bra?”

Me: “I don’t think that’s any of your business!”

Manager: “Don’t worry. I’m gay. If I were straight, though, I’d motorboat you.”

(The woman and I looked aghast, and the woman quickly pushed the button for the next floor. We jumped out and headed straight to HR. The HR manager — who is a woman — laughed at us, asking if we knew he was gay, and refused to file a complaint because it was impossible for him to be inappropriate with women because of his sexuality. We instead told our respective managers, and the issue was quickly escalated to the board of directors. It then came out that a lot of women had had similar experiences with him, and that the HR manager had been protecting him because he was her brother-in-law. The man simply lost his job, while the HR manager was offered a lower position, on the grounds that she also receive training on the matter of harassment in the workplace. She refused and is now not working with us, either.)

It’s My Day Off So Truck Off

, , , , | Working | July 6, 2018

(I work at a fast food restaurant located in a large department store. We have a larger sister store across town with whom we share certain employees. We have a group of teenage boys who usually come over on delivery days to receive the order from the truck and stock everything in our stockroom and freezer. Today is a delivery day. One of the boys is off this day and has come in to order his lunch. I take his order and turn to make his drink when my boss comes around the corner.)

Boss: “[Boy]! What are you doing here? The truck is pulling in; I need you to get to the back.”

Boy: “Um, but why, though?”

Boss: “Because you’re just so special… Okay, enough joking around. Get to the back.”

Boy: “But why, though?”

Boss: “Because the truck is here!”

Boy: “But why do I have to go?”

Boss: “Because the truck is here and it needs to be unloaded.”

Boy: “Yeah, but why me?”

Boss: “Because! That’s what you’re bein’ paid to do! Now stop fooling around and get to the back. Take the keys and get going!”

Boy: “But… but why me?”

Boss: “Because…”

Me: “Hey, [Boy], your order is ready. Enjoy your day off.”

Boss: “Oh… You aren’t working today?”

Boy: “No! I’m just here for lunch.”

Boss: “Oh, my gosh, I am so sorry! Well, better let the rest of the staff know not to come to [Location] when [Boss] is working. He’ll put you right to work!”

(The other boys showed up right about then and we all had a good laugh. The boy got a free ice cream for his trouble.)

Locked Into This Task

, , , , | Working | July 6, 2018

(It is after closing time and we are clearing up the restaurant when my boss calls me over.)

Boss: [My Name], could you do me a favour?”

Me: “Sure.”

Boss: “Could you lock me in the van?”

Me: “What?!”

Boss: “I need you to lock me in the van.”

Me: “Why?”

(Turns out he wanted to test if the light went off when the van was locked, but what a way to phrase that!)

Every Day The Same Old Story

, , , , | Working | July 4, 2018

(I work in one-on-one and small group sessions with our customers. My shifts are based on customer availability, but I try to do as many back-to-back sessions as possible to maximize my productivity while I am there. I would prefer to do longer shifts and fewer days, but someone keeps putting customers on my schedule in a way that I am there every day of the week, sometimes for only an hour or two. There have even been a few days when I was supposed to be off or work at a later time, but I’ve been called in because a customer was available right then. This has been going on for months, and I’m beyond frustrated; I feel like I can’t make plans because when my schedule changes, management expects me to drop everything and get to work. I’ve had multiple conversations with management and left notes on my calendar in case they “forget,” which happens a lot. I’ve finally had enough, and after clearing it with the store manager, I block off our two slowest days of the week: Monday and Thursday. I still have plenty of time in the remaining days to see customers. On this particular day, I arrive to see that someone has opened my days off and scheduled one person on each of these days, meaning I am going to be at work for one hour Monday and one hour Thursday, plus all the hours scheduled the other five days of the week. I’m at the end of my rope, so I hunt down a manager. The assistant manager is the only one on duty.)

Me: “Do you know who has been messing with my schedule?”

Assistant Manager: “What do you mean?”

Me: “We’ve had many conversations about me not being here every day of the week, yet it keeps happening. Now I have to come in for one person on each of the days I blocked off.”

Assistant Manager: “It’s only for a few hours. Is your job really that bad?” *laughs*

Me: “No, but it is inconvenient to have to come in every day. I blocked off two days a week, leaving plenty of time on the other days, but someone unblocked them.”

Assistant Manager: “Why would you block off days? We need you here for the customers.”

Me: “Yes, but if you’ll look at my schedule, I’m already here all of the other days, and there are still times available on those days. Why would I come in for one hour, two days? That’s not even cost-effective.”

Assistant Manager: *standing up as if she’s going to leave* “We need you here.”

Me: *realizing* “Did you schedule those people?”

Assistant Manager: “I did, and if you don’t like it, you can call them and explain that you don’t want to work that day.”

Me: “Seriously? Are you saying this is my fault?”

Assistant Manager: “If you’re not willing to do your job, I can find someone else who will.”

Me: *furious* “Do you work every day? Are you expected to be here all the time?”

Assistant Manager: *unphased* “You’re paid by the hour, so you’re making money with these people. Like I said, I’ll find someone else. You can call [Newly-Scheduled Customers] to see if they’ll switch, but that’s not very professional.”

Me: “Okay.”

(As I turn to leave, the manager catches up with me and steps in my way.)

Assistant Manager: “Those are paying customers you’re about to talk to.”

Me: “I’m not calling anyone.”

Assistant Manager: *getting mad* “Go back to the office and call your people. Now.”

Me: “Tell my replacement they can handle it.”

(The next day, the store manager called to ask why I wasn’t at work. I relayed the conversation, and he told me he would talk with the assistant manager but I still needed to come back. I refused. I stopped by the store as a customer a few days ago. They haven’t replaced me, but they have a new assistant manager!)

The Managers Are Independent Of The System

, , , , , , | | Working | July 4, 2018

I work at a newspaper. Independence Day, July 4th, is on a Tuesday this year. Some people want to take Monday, July 3rd, off so they don’t have to work one day, be off one day, and come back the next day. Six weeks before the week of July 4th, all the employees in our region get an email from the region’s general manager, telling us that if we want to take July 3rd off, we need to ask our department head first thing. So, that day, I ask my boss for July 3rd off. I get a reply through our email chat function about two days later, saying he’ll look into it and get back to me ASAP.

Two-and-a-half weeks later, I get an email saying, “I think not,” for my July 3rd leave, because he doesn’t want our department to be understaffed on that day. (Note: We are literally always understaffed by at least two people, and even more so at the moment because there’s been an open position since May that has yet to be filled. However, on a holiday week when basically everything shuts down for July 3rd, anyway, the need for reporters is even less.)

Come July 3rd, in chatting with coworkers, I find out that of the five people in the editorial department, four people, including my boss, have asked for that day off. Maybe all five of us, but I didn’t talk to the fifth person. Only my boss, who approves the vacation time, gets the day off.

In the sales department, a friend tells me she also asked for the day off. Because of the week’s schedule, 99% of her clients and potential clients are not working, so there is very little work she can do that day. She, too, is told no, because her boss, the general manager who told us to request it off early, is also not working July 3rd, and thus, my friend needs to be there.

The only people whose vacations are approved in my region for Monday, July 3rd: The department heads who choose whose vacation is approved.

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