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Just Another Perk Of Being The Owner

, , , , , | Working | CREDIT: Goobersniper | June 22, 2022

I worked in a very popular, large, cool, and trendy beachside cafe in the 2000s. The owner was a South American Australian. He manned the coffee machine and took orders for coffee also. To the customer, he had no personality or sense of humor and would not speak unless spoken to. But to his staff and friends, he was a warm-hearted, intelligent, funny, fair, generous, and honest guy. Here are some quotes I can remember from him, all uttered with no expression on his face whatsoever, always.

Customer #1: “Could I have a double decaf, soy mochaccino, please?”

Boss: “Why?”

He would then just not make it, and when the customer came back asking where their coffee was, he would give their money back and point at the door.

Customer #2: “This latte isn’t hot enough. I asked for it to be very hot!”

Boss: “If you can hold it for five seconds, you can have it for free.”

They couldn’t.

Customer #3: “I’m not paying ten dollars for a pie.”

Boss: “You can have it for free if you promise never to come back.”

He delivered a plate of breakfast to an outdoor roadside table.

Customer #4: “I said no toast!

[Boss] took the toast from the plate and frisbeed it into the back of a passing truck.

His actions made no difference to the popularity of his business at all. Even the most entitled jerks weren’t game to take him on. He was a true legend in hospitality; I tip my hat.

Gotta Have Something To Do When You’re Snowed In

, , , , , , , | Working | June 22, 2022

Back in the 1970s, I was in the local shopping plaza to pick up food as a snowstorm had started.

I heard this conversation take place.

Beauty Salon Owner: “I’m going to close up now. How about you?”

Liquor Store Owner: “Lady, I can’t close. I’m a public service!”

That’s One Way To Fight Back Against Unfairness

, , , , | Working | CREDIT: Teekno | June 17, 2022

Back in the early 1990s, I was working for a company that provided staffing for US government agencies. I was a system administrator at a large Department of Transportation facility. One day, I walked in and was told to see my supervisor, who very apologetically told me that Uncle Sam no longer wanted me working there, and, well, I was fired. I was told to go to the contracting company’s office on the other side of town, which I had never been to save the day I was hired.

Shocked, I drove up there. I was like twenty-four and had never been fired before. In retrospect, I know what happened: the project I was working on was failing, not because of anything I did or didn’t do — the concept itself was flawed. There were three people who worked on the project: two were federal full-time employees, plus me, the contractor. Anyone who has had experience with this knows the contractors are the first to go.

I sat down with the manager of the local branch, who had an email from the government employee in charge of the doomed project, listing a parade of horribles that I had done. Some of the minor ones were true (I had been late a few times) but the major ones were just… fabrications.

Manager: “They claim that there was a problem with the networking and that a contractor had to be engaged to fix the problem. Is that true?”

Me: “Well… yes. I am that contractor. I diagnosed the problem, and then I fixed the problem. That’s my job. Or at least it was until a couple of hours ago.”

The manager realized pretty quickly what was going on — not that it got me my job back. As we went through the separation procedures, he told me that per company policy, he was required to document that I was not eligible for unemployment compensation. I just nodded because I didn’t know much about these things.

Manager: “You are now getting two weeks of notice. For the next two weeks, you are to show up to my office.”

He offered the use of office equipment to print resumes, apply for other jobs, and the like.

After a couple of days, he said he’d set up an interview for me for another project at the same facility. Sure! I went down there and sat with the project manager. The interview lasted less than five minutes.

Project Manager: “We’re a COBOL shop here. What’s your experience with COBOL?”

COBOL is Common Business Oriented Language, a computer programming language.

Me: “None whatsoever.”

We both realized it was a bad fit. I went back to the office, confused as h***. The site manager knew I didn’t have COBOL experience. Why did he send me there?

I found out a few weeks later. I had applied for unemployment compensation anyway, upon the urging of friends who said that the “policy” sounded really sketchy. I had an interview at the unemployment office. They looked over the paperwork and noticed the form that said “ineligible,” and the lady explained that I could contest that. I said sure.

Employee: “Have you been applying for work?”

Me: “Yes.”

Employee: “And have you had any interviews?”

I told her about the one I had. Her eyes widened and she smiled.

Employee: “If they interviewed you for another position, that means you were not terminated for cause. You were let go because of a lack of work. That’s a layoff.”

She then marked on the paper that I was eligible for unemployment compensation.

I asked if I still needed to contest their findings.

Employee: “No. They can contest my determination, but given that they actively tried to keep you employed after these events, it’s not gonna fly. He did you a big favor by sending you on that interview.”

Here’s A Tip: Earn Your Own Tips!

, , , , | Working | CREDIT: sjork | June 15, 2022

I worked at the counter at a little pizza spot. It was my first real restaurant job outside of fast food, and the idea of making tips had me absolutely hooked. On weekdays, it would just be me, so everything I made would go to me. On weekends, there would usually be two of us and we’d split the money fifty-fifty. We’d also split the tips on the online orders, but people usually didn’t tip online — or in person, really, if it was for takeout. No big deal.

A few months went by and we got a new manager. The dude seemed super nice, but I noticed he’d be shuffling through the tip jar around close when I wasn’t around, but I didn’t think much of it. Maybe he was just getting change for the drawer?

A few days later, a server came up to me while I was cleaning the bathrooms.

Server: “I just saw [Manager] taking money from the tip jar and pocketing it.”

After that, I started counting the money in the jar precisely at close and well within eyesight of the new manager. He no longer took money from my jar.

Unfortunately, he weaseled a way of changing the rules with the owner so that managers get an equal share of the online tips. I was making roughly $8 an hour and he had a salary with benefits. I left shortly after.

Do NOT Mess With Your Employees’ Breaks

, , , , | Working | June 15, 2022

The tech support company I work for has a lot of issues retaining employees, and the few that do stick around are pretty good at their jobs. One day, an opportunity comes up that they are looking to train someone to be the floor manager of the call center since the manager that was there recently left. (Yep, due to upper management and ownership; this is the reason they have issues keeping people.)

A couple of the senior techs suggest that I put my name in the hat to do it, but having been friends with the last floor manager and knowing everything that went on with him and why he left, I want nothing to do with it. Plus, I managed a small crew at a warehouse job I had, and I don’t like managing because of all the stupid people you have to deal with. It’s like being a babysitter for grown people and it sucks.

One of the other guys, who never managed before, takes them up on the offer and he starts out overseeing first, second, and third shift techs. On the third shift, there are sometimes two people working, but more often than not, it’s just one person.

The new floor manager has been working for a week now, and when I get in one morning, the guy on third shift is pissed. My work hours overlap third shift by an hour so he can pass off any important tickets to me or relay any important information or so I can help him with issues he doesn’t know how to fix. I get time to chat with him in the morning.

Third Shift Guy: “[New Manager] yelled at me last night because I wasn’t answering the phone while I was on my lunch break. He kept calling back, and when I got off break, I answered his call, and he yelled at me that I need to always be manning the phones and that I can’t take a lunch break.”

Me: “That’s not okay. You’re allowed a thirty-minute, unpaid lunch break for an eight-hour shift. You don’t have to answer the phones or do anything. You can take a break. I’ll let him know he can’t say that. But, I would strongly suggest you speak to Human Resources about it so your side of the story is on record. It is illegal for them to tell you that you cannot take a break. We have a voicemail system in place to handle any missed calls while you are on break, you get email notices if any voicemails are left, and you follow up on them when you’re off break. We have a system in place.”

The guy from third shift takes my advice and speaks to HR about it.

Fast forward to a few hours later when the manager and lead tech’s weekly meeting takes place.

New Manager: “Who told the third shift guy to talk to HR about being told he can’t take breaks? We need the phones covered at all times.”

Me: “Doesn’t matter who spoke to him about going to HR. You cannot tell people they cannot take a break. That’s going to get you into trouble. Employees here that work eight hours receive a thirty-minute unpaid lunch break. All employees get that.”

New Manager: “He cannot leave the phones. Period. If he needs to use the bathroom, he’s got to run and use it quickly and get back fast. If he wants to eat, he needs to eat at his desk and answer any call that comes in. He cannot just leave the phones.”

Me: “We have a system in place to handle missed calls. You cannot tell employees they cannot take a break, period. There seems to be something about this that you’re not understanding. Have you ever managed people before?”

New Manager: “My managing experience is not the issue here. He cannot leave the phones. He cannot take a break.”

Me: “I’m just trying to keep you from getting fired because if this issue continues, that’s what is going to happen. Upper management will just wash their hands of you and be done with it if you wish to keep acting the way you are. You cannot tell someone they cannot take a lunch break. There’s nothing more to discuss. You clearly don’t understand the repercussions of your actions, and you aren’t willing to listen to someone that used to manage people so you don’t get fired.”

New Manager: “You don’t get to tell me what to do.”

Me: “Fine. Be stupid, get fired. I tried to help you, but if you’re too ignorant and stubborn to take the help, then that’s on you. I’m done talking to you about this.”

[New Manager] sits there for a moment before saying anything.

New Manager: “You still shouldn’t have told them to go to HR. That’s the issue.”

Me: “Stop talking. You’re going to get yourself fired for saying stupid things.”

I didn’t work there much longer after that, and I heard that the new manager didn’t last in his position, but that’s not just on him; it’s also on upper management for not training him.