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This Kind Of Boss Won’t Even Accept Your Death

, , , , | Working | January 16, 2023

I am rear-ended by a speeding driver and, as such, I am late for work for the first time in over a year. I call in to tell management but nobody answers. Eventually, I leave a message with the fitting room attendant and ask for someone to call back to confirm that they got the message. This is actually how we have been trained to do callouts: three attempts to contact a manager and then leave a message with the fitting room to be relayed. Then, a manager calls back to confirm the details.

I am two hours late because the guy wants to exchange insurance but not actually give me his information until the police arrive. It was a fender bender, nothing major, but he is furious.

When I finally get to work, [Manager] pulls me into his office. He is fairly new at our location and often reminds me of someone who peaked on the high school football team and has been trying to ride that wave ever since.

Manager: “You know, when we set the schedule, we expect you to be here. The team does not work if you are not pulling your weight.”

Me: “Yes, I’m sorry. I was in an accident this morning by [Intersection] and—”

Manager: “I don’t care.”

Me: “I did call, but—”

Manager: “Again, I don’t care.”

Me: “Okay… I can prove it.”

Manager: *Rolling his eyes* “Sure, you did. When did you call?”

I pull up my call log to show the list of attempts to contact someone.

Me: “I called every five minutes for half an hour. No one answered, so I left a message at the fitting room.”

Manager: “The fact remains that you need to talk to someone if you’re going to be late.”

Me: “But… how can I talk to someone when no one answers the phone?”

Manager: “That’s not my problem. You need to figure it out.”

Me: “I… I don’t know what I’m supposed to do here. I followed protocol. I called and called, but no one answered. I left a message like we were told to do. What more am I supposed to do?”

Manager: “You need to talk to a manager when you call out. I don’t care if it takes one call or one hundred. I will not accept these messages from the fitting room attendant anymore.”

Me: “Okay.”

Manager: “I wanted to fire you, but [Store Leader] said you deserve another chance. Instead, you’ll be written up and it will serve as a final warning. Any more lateness and you will be terminated.”

Me: “Okay.”

I sign the write-up and leave the office. Later, I pass [Store Leader]. 

Store Leader: “[My Name], I heard you had a rough morning. Everything okay?”

Me: “Well, no. Not really. [Manager] said we can’t leave messages at the fitting room anymore? He wrote me up for being late and not notifying anyone. I showed him that I called several times this morning but no one answered. I don’t know what else I was supposed to do.”

Store Leader: *Confused* “You did everything right. Can you show me the calls?”

I show him the calls.

Me: “And then I spoke to [Fitting Room Attendant], and she said she would pass the message along.”

Store Leader: “Did you get a call back confirming your message was transferred?”

Me: “No, just [Manager] writing me up. So I assume he got the message at some point.”

Store Leader: “Right… Okay. Don’t worry about this. I will fix it. You are not in trouble.”

Shortly thereafter, [Store Leader] told me that my write-up had been reversed. Apparently, he had not talked to [Manager] about firing me, but he had heard about my callout when someone else asked if I was okay.

She Couldn’t Have Just Tickled Their Foot Or Something?!

, , , , , , | Working | January 16, 2023

CONTENT WARNING: Car Accident, Serious Injury


I used to work at a store but quit to get a job outside of retail. About a year after I left, I was in an awful car accident. I was paralyzed from the waist down, and my partner nearly died.

About six months later, I visit some friends at the store where I used to work. Obviously, I am in a wheelchair.

Me: “Oh, hey, [Manager]!”

The manager in question disliked me, but nobody was quite sure why. She gives a partial wave and then wanders off, texting on her phone.

Friend: “Yeah, she’s been bad about being on her phone lately. At least it keeps her from messing up training new hires.”

Me: “Oh, geez. Is she still doing that?”

I notice the manager coming around the other side of me but don’t think much of it. Suddenly, my wheelchair is tipped forward, and I’m dumped onto the floor. I look up to see the manager holding my chair.

Me: “What the f***?!”

Manager: “Oh, I thought you were faking it. I wanted to see if you really were hurt.”

She wanders off. I have to have a friend help me get back into my wheelchair.

I end up calling the store manager later, and she is horrified to hear what happened.

Store Manager: “[My Name], I am so sorry! Back when we heard about the accident, she mentioned thinking you were lying for attention, but I didn’t think she’d go that far!”

[Manager] ended up getting fired. I had the option of pressing charges, but I decided it wasn’t worth the hassle.

Manager, Manage! Part 6

, , , , , , , | Working | January 16, 2023

A few years ago, I got a job working in the deli at a local [Grocery Store]. I quickly became indispensable, especially when it came to one specific thing: frying chicken on Fridays when the fried chicken was on sale. It was an eight-hour shift of CONSTANTLY filling the fryers with as much chicken as could fit, hefting around heavy cases of raw chicken, bending over the hot oil to lower the chicken in, and breathing in all the smoke coming out, all while people demanded to know why we didn’t have more chicken already cooked.

Unfortunately, I was a little TOO indispensable.

It started with me begging [Store Manager] to not work EVERY single Friday. He promised he’d try to get the other workers sometime to train on the chicken fryer, but Fridays were so busy that it was always all hands on deck, with me frying and everybody else up front selling. I was stuck.

Then, I got engaged, and I wanted to move in with my soon-to-be wife, but they lived across town. Luckily, there was another [Grocery Store] two blocks from their house! I asked [Store Manager] about transferring. This was in May.

Store Manager: “Oh, well, we just don’t have enough staff. We’re really working on hiring some new people for the deli, and I’d be happy to sign off on your transfer once we have enough people.”

This was during the global health crisis, when literally every retail and food service place was struggling to find staff. People were quitting left and right. But eventually, we got some new people, and of course, I was the one training them. On every day but Friday, I made sure to train them as best I could, and they were quickly great workers.

I eventually asked [Store Manager] about a transfer again in August.

Store Manager: “Oh, but so many of our staff are still pretty new and don’t have that much experience. The deli really needs you right now. Once they have some more experience under their belt, then I’d be happy to sign off on that transfer.”

I waited a couple more months. I even got married! I was married, but I couldn’t live with my now-wife because their place was too far from my job, and I didn’t have a car.

But the people I had trained were some of the most reliable workers we had at this point, and we even got a transfer! That’s right: someone from another store transferred to the deli, so we had someone with plenty of experience!

I managed to get [Store Manager] to sit down with me again. By now, it was October.

Store Manager: “Well… I would, but it’s just too close to the holiday season! You know how busy it gets. We just really need the help for the holidays. But things really slow down in January, so it should be a good time then!”

I wanted to grab him and yell, “I ASKED IN MAY! IT’S YOUR FAULT IT’S CLOSE TO THE HOLIDAYS NOW!”

I was miserable. But it was a job. Almost a month later, my wife came to me and told me that I was clearly suffering and that [Store Manager] was never going to let me go. They knew I didn’t have another job lined up yet — I was always exhausted from work! — but encouraged me to quit anyway. I said I’d think about it. They even said I shouldn’t even put in notice, just quit without notice.

Then, the Thanksgiving schedule came out. I was so looking forward to getting to spend some time with family, and Thanksgiving day was always dead anyway! But there I was, scheduled from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. There were already enough other people scheduled; I was just there as extra help and in case somebody called out. Something inside me snapped.

I waited until the Monday before Thanksgiving, which was my day off, and called [Store Manager].

Me: “Hey, it’s [My Name]. I just wanted to let you know that I’m quitting, effective immediately.”

Store Manager: “Oh. Um… Okay… Effective immediately?”

Me: “Yep! Okay, bye!”

I enjoyed my relaxing Thanksgiving with family and then started job hunting.

I got a much better job in January, and I love it! One perk? I’m driving all over town, and sometimes I take my breaks right by my old [Grocery Store] and go in to get a beverage! Everyone is always happy to see me and talks about how much they miss me — everyone except [Store Manager], who gets to see me in my fancy new uniform while he’s working his butt off in the departments that he somehow can’t find enough staff for!

Manager, Manage! Part 5
Manager, Manage! Part 4
Manager, Manage! Part 3
Manager, Manage! Part 2
Manager, Manage!

Should’ve Taken That Yes When She Had The Chance

, , , , , , , , , , | Working | January 16, 2023

I went for a job interview at a college for a position as a Lab Technician. The Ph.D. boss did mention that the lab techs all work eighty-hour weeks for a salary of $21,000, even though it was a big-name university. But the interview went well otherwise.

Me: “Yes, I’ll take the job.”

Boss: “I want you to wait a few days and think about it.”

A few days later, she called me and said the salary had dropped to $17,000 — actually standard for peon lab techs — but ever eager, I said:

Me: “Yes! I’ll take the job!”

Boss: “No, I want you to take a few more days and think about it, and I’ll call you back.”

The next day, I accepted a different $21,000 salary job, so when she called with a third offer of a $10,000 salary per year, saying that I could also work for another research lab to make enough money to pay rent, I politely declined. Cue the outrage.

Boss: “How dare you lead me on like that?!”

I ran into her and her terrified and stressed lab tech crew years later and confirmed that I had dodged a bullet when I walked away.

Doing Even Less Than The Least You Could Do

, , , , | Working | CREDIT: alexann23 | January 13, 2023

I’m seventeen, and I am a waitress, server, and cashier at a semi-local Italian chain. I recently had to take a month off of work for health reasons, since I was in the emergency room and then had to spend time in inpatient care. While I was away, there were huge changes at my job, including new managers and two new employees.

I’ve only been working there since last June, but I picked things up pretty quickly, barring the first day that I had to deal with a packed dining room by myself while still in training; I’d messed up pretty badly with the computer system and needed the manager’s help. Still, it happens.

Yesterday, I met a new girl for the first time. It was her third day, and she was still in training. She’s my age and a complete sweetheart, and as the dining room slowly became more and more packed, we made a great team. She got to practice working with the computers and talking to customers while I took down the orders and showed her how everything worked. It was her first time “properly” serving there, and she really did great considering that, certainly at first.

The other two people who were working were a middle-aged manager and one other hourly employee. The managers at my job will also serve and work the counters; basically, all waitresses have to do double the work, and we still get paid dirt, but that’s another story.

I was running between the dining room and the counters to try to keep up — although we can only serve a maximum of two people at the counters picking up or placing orders at a time. It was to the point where my manager and her friend had bundled up and complained about how cold it was, while I was flushed, with my coat off, covered in sweat. (I cleaned myself up when dealing with the food, of course.)

The manager and her friend were sitting down together, alternating between scrolling on their phones and talking, only getting up to answer the phones when they’d already rung five-plus times and having people wait at the counters to be helped for ten-plus minutes. It was massively irritating, but I didn’t have the time or energy to confront them.

About halfway through my shift, my manager told me that I couldn’t just go in between the dining room and the counter, and if I didn’t pick one or the other she’d withhold my tips for both since I “wasn’t fully invested in either.” Ouch.

[Manager] gave me a choice on paper, but in reality, she made it perfectly clear that I was stuck behind the counter and the new girl, the trainee, was on her own. There was nothing I could really do, so I just stayed at the counter, though that was plenty slammed in and of itself, and I really, really could have used my two coworkers who were screwing around on their phones. I didn’t have time to answer phone calls, pack up orders, check people out, and take to-go orders all at once, and I had one particularly angry woman call me a “lazy b****” for leaving her on hold for about two minutes. (That stuck with me.) While I was doing all this, the new girl was stuck with a packed dining room and no help.

About twenty minutes into it, [Manager] approached me looking both angry and sheepish. Basically, the trainee had messed up and charged the wrong orders to the wrong cards and needed help, though the way [Manager] phrased this was:

Manager: “You know, you don’t have to stay by the counter the whole time. That’s not what I meant.”

I looked over and could see her friend on her phone still, and the manager herself still had AirPods in and a show playing on her own phone screen. I responded in my sweetest, most respectful voice:

Me: “I’m sorry, but as we only get paid $10 an hour, my tips are too vital for me to forfeit them, so I’m going to stay put.”

(For context, the minimum wage is $15.65 where I live.)

[Manager] was floored, and instead of helping either of us herself, she waddled back to her seat and resumed her show.

Of course, I ended up checking in with the trainee and asked if she needed my help and whether the mistake was sorted out. She said that she had things back under control and a lot of the people dining in were headed out, which was great because the counter was still slammed.

This morning, apparently, a customer called in and complained that “the blonde girl [me] and the girl with braids [Trainee] were so busy that they were sweating, while the two other women [manager and her buddy] were sitting on their phones.” I only wish I could’ve seen [Manager]’s face when she heard about the complaint.

I am definitely planning on reporting my manager to the state, but I’m still trying to figure out the best way to do so. I’ve been applying for other jobs but haven’t heard back and I can’t afford to be fired in retaliation. I’m a self-supporting seventeen-year-old who has bills due regardless and is trying really hard to not drop out of school, especially so close to graduation. I’ve been put in touch with social programs and assistance, but they all take a really long time to hear back from.

So far, I haven’t made a report as there’s no way to do a state audit without the name of the employee (me!) being revealed.