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A Satisfying Fall From Grace

, , , , , | Working | December 27, 2021

I worked in a fast food restaurant, and one of my coworkers did an exceptionally fantastic job with any task he was assigned to, whether it was as a cashier or working in food prep. It came to no surprise to any of us when he was promoted to a shift manager position.

Our actual surprise was that he somehow confused the word “manager” with “Gestapo.” He constantly stood next to working people and was either snapping his fingers or clapping his hands: “LET’S GO! LET’S GO! MOVE IT!” Mess up an order? He’d go grab the poor prep worker from the kitchen and then say, right in front of the customer:

Manager: “Is this what you call customer service? How long have you been working here? Apologize to him right now!” *To the customer* “Sir, we’ll get you another order made, and I’m writing him up for this right now! This is inexcusable!”

He would constantly give blatantly obvious instructions to crew workers on how to do their jobs, even though many of them were “veterans” who had been there ten or more years and could recite protocols while in a coma. Write-ups started streaming in from him over petty issues like clocking in two minutes late from break or forgetting to give a customer their receipt, which infuriated many of us since a lot of us had been there for years without a single blemish on our records.

One day, I called in to let my work know I would be fifteen or thirty minutes late because my car was not starting and I was taking a bus instead (I don’t trust Uber), and I was unlucky enough to have him pick up the phone.

Manager: “Why didn’t you prepare to leave earlier? It’s your responsibility to make sure you get here on time! I’m starting to consider having a talk with [General Manager] about whether you should even be here! You need to take your job more seriously!”

I arrived at work on time after pestering my roommate for a ride, and as expected, [Manager] was there driving everyone like sled dogs. As I was listening to a customer give her order, he walked past me, snapped his finger repeatedly, and snarled, “Pick it up!” as though I was supposed to control how fast the customer was deciding. Then, as I was putting her order together, he barked:

Manager: “Napkins! Ketchup packet! Come on. You know the drill already!”

I locked my register, grabbed his hand, shook it, and walked to the back.

Manager: “Where do you think you are going?”

Me: “Unemployment office.”

Manager: “No, stay right there— HEY! [Coworker], that’s too much lettuce! This is the third time—”

Coworker: “Goodbye, sir.”

They walked to the back with me.

We both left just as we said we would, and as word got around, three more employees walked out that same shift. When I returned to the restaurant the following day to turn in my uniform, the general manager met up with me and took me to the office. There, he put me on the phone with the franchise owner, who apologized to me and reassured me that this situation would be handled immediately.

Surprisingly enough, that shift manager wasn’t fired, but please believe me when I tell you that it felt GREAT to come in to work the next day to see him dressing in a common crew uniform, looking completely humiliated. He quit after three weeks of being relegated to all the mundane tasks such as deep cleaning machines and handling delivery all by himself with no help.

A Christmas Lesson To Rival Scrooge

, , , , , | Working | CREDIT: jpcog | December 25, 2021

I work as a manager for a very large pizza chain that is franchised, and the franchisee at my particular store happens to be a supreme penny pincher to the point where our broom broke a year ago and we’re still using it.

Generally, after we close, it takes us anywhere from ten to ninety minutes to get the store cleaned up and all the next-day prep done, depending on how busy we’ve been that day.

The franchisee who runs the store is not happy with how long it takes us to do all this and has been complaining to me incessantly.

Franchisee: “It costs me too much when you take so long! You all need to be done with your work and clocked out within fifteen minutes of closing.”

That is completely impossible 99% of the time. My quickest record is ten minutes, but it has taken up to two and a half hours for the longest.

One day, he complains for the umpteenth time:

Franchisee: “You take too long to close up! I could easily get it all done alone far faster than your team does!”

I decide, okay, we’ll be out within fifteen minutes from closing.

This particular day, however, is Christmas Eve. This is one of our most chaotic days of the year due to the combination of the ton of people who want pizza for the occasion and lack of staff due to most of them saying they can’t work over Christmas. Managers usually have to double our hours over Christmas to keep the place running. So, as expected, we have an absolutely chaotic day with everything running behind, all while being understaffed and swamped in orders.

And then closing time comes. The franchisee has long gone home, leaving me with my two coworkers to close up, and the store is an utter mess. Usually, I get most stuff done before we even close, but there hasn’t been a single opportunity all day. The floor is littered with food and rubbish and the stack of dishes to do is four people high — literally four piles, a person high each.

I tell my coworkers to sweep and mop the floor while I blitz through all the cash counting and end-of-day paperwork, and we get all that done in about ten minutes. Now, we’re standing there with the pile of dishes and all the next-day prep to be done.

Me: “Well, the boss wants us out within fifteen minutes, so I guess we don’t have time to do all this.”

And with that, we leave.

The next day, which is, of course, Christmas, we are closed and can’t work, but the boss decides to go in that morning and check that everything was done correctly. Of course, I get a message from him.

Franchisee: “Why is nothing done?!”

Me: “I made sure we were out of there within fifteen minutes, just like you wanted.”

I found out a couple of days later from a coworker that [Franchisee] spent his entire Christmas Day there doing all the cleaning and prep work on his own to get the store ready for Boxing Day, something my team and I could have done in a couple of hours. All because he wanted us out of the store quickly at night to save money.

He never complained about how long we took again.

Micromanagers Who Don’t Manage

, , , , | Working | December 24, 2021

We have a manager who is a bit of a nut. She used to manage me and would have me micromanage all her other employees because A) she had the attention span of a fish and the memory to match and B) she doesn’t like to be seen as the bad guy. Eventually, I change managers, though, and end up much happier. When under her, though, I used to manage her interns for her — a task she seems to remember well.

Fast forward to February, where she informs me in no uncertain terms that I am not managing her interns this summer. “Wonderful!” I think. “I can do my own work on time!”

By the end of March, she doesn’t have a plan in place and her boss gets frustrated, so he has me do it for her. Fast forward to May: she is not prepared, despite already having this plan with a budget, so I end up having to save the day after she goes on vacation the day her interns start — in part, in some strange attempt to show we cannot function without her. 

Her interns end up coming to me for help as she is clueless, useless, and frankly a hazard, providing misinformation and oversharing sensitive client info while telling them that they shouldn’t know. I help because I don’t want their internship to be too awful. Each time, she gets annoyed and reminds me that I am not in charge of them, but then she expects me to know exactly what they are doing, where they are, and when they will be in. She is not pleased when I hold firm and tell her to ask her own interns as I don’t know. I don’t even make the assignments.

It has led to some very repetitive conversations and some very silly questions, though. 

FAQ #1: “When is [Intern] going to be in?”

Answer #1: “I don’t know. Did you not talk to them about their schedule?”

FAQ #2: “What is [Intern] working on today?”

Answer #2: “I don’t know. What did you assign them yesterday, and did they complete it?”

FAQ #3: “What do we hope to accomplish by assigning [Intern] this task?” 

Answer #3: “Well, you are going to have to ask the person who assigned them that task as I have no control over assignments.”

It’s her. She is the taskmaster.

FAQ #4: “When do you think [Intern] will be completed with [task just learned about]?” *Or, alternatively* “What do you think the timeline is for completing [task I just learned about]?”

Answer #4: “I am unsure, as I have just heard about this task right now. Can you share more details?”

Spoiler: She tells me she will get back to me and never does.

FAQ #5: “Do you think we will be done by [arbitrary deadline]?”

Answer #5: “With what? I am going to need more context on what you are hoping to accomplish by then. Do you have a list of tasks?”

The answer is “everything”.

Of course, she gets mad with how “unhelpful” I am.

Do The Thing With The Thing

, , , | Right | December 22, 2021

A client is going over a design with me.

Client: “Oh it’s really really close, but there’s just one thing missing.”

Me: “Alright, tell me.”

Client: “Remember that one thing I said six months ago? Make it look like that.”

Me: “Do you remember?”

Client: “Actually, no, but make it look like that. You need to remember everything I’ve ever said, ever. Make it do that thing. Make it do that.”

Me: “About 80% of the time you change your mind and actually admit it and tell me so I don’t bill you. That’s why we have these meetings. You actually have said that before too.”

Client: “This one thing was an exception. Total exception. Super important.”

Me: “The thing you said six months ago?”

Client: “Yes.”

Me: “The thing that you yourself can’t remember.”

Client: “Yes. But I remember the long and short of what I said. Do it like that. Super super important.”

Me: “Sure, I’ll get right on that.”

Client: “You had better, I’m not paying unless that thing I said six months ago is done exactly how I said it.”

I carefully don’t bring this up for a few days and do nothing. They pay the invoice, and the project is complete.

Client: “Good, thanks, and it looks like you did that thing I said six months ago! Like I tell everyone here you are good overall, but sometimes we have to be firm with you and you’ll do what we ask. Thanks again.”

Yeah sure, you tell them that.

It Can Be Tough Sharing Your Birthday With Someone Famous

, , , , | Working | December 22, 2021

On 17th Dec, a manager from the accounting department asked me to design a birthday card for her friend.

Manager: “I want you to put Snowman, or Santa Claus, and another Christmas ornaments on it.”

Me: “It would look like a Christmas card then, not a birthday card.”

Manager: “But Christmas is Jesus’ birthday.”