Management Never Learns That You Get What You Pay For

, , , , , | Working | January 24, 2019

Back when I worked as an IT technician in a factory, I had a female colleague who worked as one of our factory technicians. She was a very good technician — highly capable. Part of her job involved spending a lot of time working with a particular system that formed a core part of our production line. She became very competent with this system, and so became our go-to person if we had any issues.

One day she got word that management was doing an internal trawl to recruit someone who would manage this system. My colleague was very keen to apply, and everyone in our department — including our IT Manager, my colleague’s boss — said she should go for it. Initially, she didn’t tell our Head of Department, but when he found out he said that “while he’d be sorry to lose someone who was such a good IT Technician, he couldn’t think of anyone better qualified for the job.” Staff in other departments were excited to hear she had applied, too, because they knew she’d be really good at it.

Well, her interview rolled round, and she came away feeling very positive. The interview panel — which consisted of two directors and one of the senior managers — seemed to be impressed with her. It seemed that she would be a dead cert for this job.

Then management announced their decision: instead of hiring my colleague, they hired someone else: a young woman who had only been in the company about six months compared to my colleague’s two and a half years, was in no way IT literate — IT ability was pretty much a requirement for this job — and actually knew next to nothing about the system. In fact, the only thing she had over my colleague was that she worked as an admin clerk in a department that made the greatest use of this system. My colleague was disappointed, but disappointment soon turned to anger and frustration when the newly appointed “Administrator” for this system ended up phoning my colleague every day because she needed help with the system that she was supposed to be managing!

We later heard through the company grapevine that someone in higher management selected this person over my colleague on the basis that if they hired my colleague, “they’d have to pay her more because she’s an IT technician,” whereas if they hired someone who was just an admin clerk and less experienced in the system, “they could pay her an admin clerk salary.”

And people wonder why so many of my colleagues left the company — me included — to go on to better opportunities elsewhere!

Small Town Worries

, , , , , | Working | January 24, 2019

(I work in a small hotel in a small town in Canada. It is winter and we are dead. We do have a hockey tournament in town this weekend and three teams are staying with us, but they are all arriving tomorrow except for a small handful of rooms. Usually, when we are dead like this I read a book, or play on the computer, but I’ve been doing a lot of crochet projects for Christmas lately and I have one last project to finish in the next two days. Knowing we will be slow, I bring the project to work to try and finish before the weekend. I’ve done this before, though not often, and the owner and several staff members have seen me doing it before with no issue. For some reason, today is different.)

Owner: “You can’t be doing that at the desk.”

Me: *surprised but rolling with it* “Oh, okay.”

Owner: “When we are slow like this you should be on the computer, checking reservations to make sure we have all the information. If you’ve checked today’s, then check tomorrow and other upcoming days. Or go online and look up restaurant locations and local events so you can tell guests about them if they ask. Find out where the train station is so you can give directions to guests.”

Me: “Okay.”

(All the while, I was thinking to myself: “I’ve lived here for three years, and have been visiting my wife and her family here since we started dating almost eight years ago. I always took the train up, so I know where the train station is. We are a small town of about 25,000, and we are a river tourism town; there is NOTHING going on in town right now except for the hockey tournament that is all coming in tomorrow. If I check future reservations, I’ll be all the way into June or July — that’s how slow it gets here in the winter. I know and have been to almost all the restaurants in town with my wife or her family. Not sure what else you really want me to do here.” To appease the owner, I went and checked the guest information for that day and compared it to the other places we keep records; it was all accurate. That took two minutes. I went and looked at all the arrivals for that weekend. Three hockey teams were to arrive the next day, and some of them were missing info, but I couldn’t put it in until they arrived, anyway, so I was not sure what the point of that was. Ten more minutes. I checked out the local tourism website and found the events calendar. It was blank, just like I’d thought, but I did add the link to our desktop for future use. Five more minutes. I checked Google for all the local restaurants; they were all still open and none of them had moved. Three more minutes. Half an hour later, I’ve done everything the owner asked, so now I’m on NAR submitting this story before going to read some myself.)

Soda… So Dumb

, , , , | Working | January 23, 2019

(At my district, several teachers work in one building in the morning and another in the afternoon. We used to have an hour to eat lunch and drive across town, but our new principal reduced the time to forty minutes. We complained that this left us insufficient time to eat, and we’d either have to skip lunch or eat while driving. She insisted that with proper time management we could do it. She said she wasn’t asking us to do anything she didn’t do herself. One day, as I’m leaving to drive to the other school, I see the principal get out of her car.)

Me: “Another meeting at the central office?”

Principal: “No, I was just feeling stressed so I decided to drive to [Fast Food Restaurant] and treat myself to a large soda.”

(We have a soda machine in the building.)

True Love Defeats All Obstacles… Except For Ex-Bosses

, , , , , , , | Friendly | January 21, 2019

(I used to work at a historic museum giving tours of the dungeon. I left to pursue a full-time job in my home state, but a few months ago I returned to the city to visit friends and had this conversation with a former coworker. It should also be noted that I tend to have very low self-esteem and have terrible luck in the dating department.)

Coworker: “Oh, by the way, we were going through the comment cards on the dungeon tours, and apparently, a lot of people liked you!”

Me: “Oh, good! I really enjoyed giving the tours.”

Coworker: “Yeah, apparently, you got a bunch of phone numbers, too.”

Me: “Wait. What?”

Coworker: “Yeah, I guess a lot of people thought you were cute and wanted to give you their number.”

Me: “Did you save the comment cards?”

Coworker: “No, [Boss] threw them away.”

Me: “[Coworker]! This could have been my only chance at true love! My soulmate could have been in those cards, and you threw them away!

Coworker: “Hey, don’t blame me! It was [Boss]!”

(The boss’s wife, who lives above the museum, comes in with their toddler.)

Boss’s Wife: “Hey, [My Name]! Long time no see!”


Boss’s Wife: “We missed you, too.”

One Day My Prints Will Come

, , , , | Working | January 19, 2019

(I have recently started a new job. I need to send out over 800 letters, so I ask my supervisor some questions.)

Me: “Is there a usual vendor we use for printing and mailing?”

Supervisor: “Oh, we don’t do that directly. All our printing and mailing gets done through [Consulting Firm].”

(This isn’t unusual, so I let the firm know to expect some info from us to set up the mailing. I get to work, put together the draft, and send it to my supervisor.)

Me: “Can you look this over? If everything is okay, I can send it right off to [Consulting Firm].”

Supervisor: “It looks fine, but why are you sending it to [Consulting Firm]?”

Me: “Because you told me they handle all our printing and mail?”

Supervisor: “Not for something this small; we can print it all directly in the office. It will be cheaper that way.”

(I’m a bit frustrated by this but I let it go. The next day…)

Me: “Hey, can I get an expense approval for a box of paper?”

Supervisor: “What do we need all that paper for?”

Me: “For the letter I need to send out.”

Supervisor: “Oh, just send it over to [Local Print Shop]. They are the vendor we usually use for printing and mailing.”

(That finally answered the first question I had asked.)

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