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General Manager, General A**hole

, , , , | Working | September 17, 2021

I show up to my fast food franchise for an afternoon shift and find we are already knee-deep in OMG-ville. The lineup is huge, with lots of students and various other downtownies. I clock in five minutes early, wash my hands, and take stock of garnish.

We are almost out of tomatoes, low on lettuce, low on onions. I run to the back fridge where all the toppings are kept, only to see that things are so hectic that there are no backup bowls of garnishes prepared!

As quickly as I can, I make a bunch of bowls of lettuce and onions and bring those up front along with tomatoes and put away the extra bowls.

General Manager: “[My Name], you need to work faster! You were too slow getting up here with three bowls of stuff.” 

I try to explain that I was actually filling three or four bowls quickly so we’d have more when we ran out — every thirty minutes or so — but she just scoffs, turns her back on me, and barks at me to get to the cash. 

Roughly five minutes later, she literally starts screaming at me — IN FRONT OF CUSTOMERS — to get off the registers and get back to garnish. At this point, I have had enough and I admit, I snap.

Me: “[General Manager], I am sick and tired of being constantly belittled and badgered about every little thing. I’m doing my best to help my coworkers out and you screaming at me isn’t making things better.”

General Manager: “You don’t seem to value your job. I can easily fire you and find someone to replace you quickly.”

I guess she expects me to roll over and grovel for my job. That doesn’t happen.

I look her dead in the eye without even flinching. I am admittedly on new-employee probation, but my probation has been nothing but verbal abuse from her. This is still in front of all the customers and ALL my coworkers.

Me: “I can walk right out of this place right now and leave you deep in the weeds. The threat you made about my being under probation and how you can get rid of me at any time goes two f****** ways! I can quit without notice, too!”

She grabs me by the elbow. Yes, you read that right: she GRABS me. I’m not sure what she thinks this will do, but the one thing it does NOT do is deescalate the situation.

I shrug off her hand once and tell her not to touch me, but she grabs me again. I shrug her off again.

Me: “If you touch me one more time, I will charge you with assault. I do not want you to touch me, and you have no right to touch me. I have multiple witnesses, so kindly back the f*** off of me.”

She abruptly left me alone and was very cheery and kind to me, but I typed up my resignation that night and handed it to her the next day.

She got a hilariously panicked look on her face. Apparently, having her bluff called made her realize exactly how dire her straits were. She tried all sorts of tactics to make me stay, like telling me how I was leaving my coworkers in the lurch and how hard it would be for me to find another job, and when that didn’t work, she practically begged me to at least give her two weeks.

I told her to take the job and shove it. It wasn’t worth my self-respect.

Because we were chronically understaffed as it was, the look of sheer despair on her face as I walked out gave me a warm, fuzzy feeling. The fuzzy feeling got even warmer after I made a phone call to her higher-ups, with some very specific details. I never did see her at that franchise again.

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Following Orders… Literally

, , , , | Working | September 17, 2021

Back in the mid-1980s, I was a junior Non-Commissioned Officer that worked across from a Major in a cubicle farm. I didn’t actually work for him — he had several dozen junior enlisted and NCOs working for him — but my desk was just the closest to his.

I was the single person in charge of tracking all computers and peripherals for the unit, and I was writing software and creating databases and procedures for a couple hundred new computers that were to be installed in a different building, so my BS tolerance was fairly low. The fact that I also reported to a full Colonel granted me a bit of leeway in my ability to get away with things.

The major stepped into my cubicle.

Major: “Sergeant [My Name], I need a copy of this floppy disk right away.”

Me: “Sir, can you ask someone else to do it? I’m kind of busy.”

Major: “No, you’re closest, and I need you to do this now!

Me: “No problem, Major.”

I take the disk, walk over to the copy machine, slap the disk onto the glass, and make a paper copy of the disk. I hand him the disk and the paper.

Me: “Will there be anything else, sir?”

He looked like he was about to blow a fuse, but I just went back to my desk and continued my assigned duties. He didn’t say anything else to me, but I heard him go over to one of his NCOs and get the disk copied.

I did have to report to my Colonel to answer the Major’s complaint about me, but when I gave my side of the story, the Colonel laughed. The Major was also told that if he wished to task me with anything, it needed to go through the Colonel.

It pays to be a smarta** sometimes.

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Avocad-Oh, Be Nice!

, , , , | Working | September 16, 2021

We have a manager who is the least sympathetic person on the planet; this woman has no empathy or compassion to speak of. I once called her crying in pain because I needed EMERGENCY surgery due to an impacted wisdom tooth worming its way into my temporal-mandibular joint, and all she had to say was that I should wait to get it removed until a time more “convenient” for her. Basically, a raisin is where her heart should be.

We are discussing a new employee who is graduating with his Ph.D.; I am throwing him a party.

Owner: “When is the party?”

Me: “It is going to be [date]. I will get lunch and the cake he requested. I don’t know what we will do for lunch yet, but it cannot have avocados as he is allergic.”

Heartless Manager: “He is allergic to avocados? Poor thing. I couldn’t not eat avocados.”

Me: “Yeah, well, it shouldn’t affect things too much.”

Heartless Manager: *Continuing* “You know, I haven’t heard of an avocado allergy. There is no such thing. I bet he just doesn’t like them and says he is allergic.”

Don’t worry; she has zero say in the food choices, so she won’t get a chance to check that theory.

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Might Have To Tattoo That Info To Your Face

, , , , , | Working | September 15, 2021

We are based in a small town but have a contractor who lives internationally. She is going home to visit her mother for the first time in two years and will be working remotely for two months. We also have a manager whose communication skills are virtually non-existent and if you tell her something that doesn’t fit in her narrative, she will completely ignore it. It is like the conversation never happened and if she continues to pretend it never happened, you will miraculously move time and earth to make her outcome happen, no matter how impossible.

This conversation plays out on a daily basis over the two weeks leading up to her flying out on a Thursday.

Manager: “So, when do you leave?”

Contractor: “On [date].”

Manager: “Oh, really? I thought you left on [another date].”

Contractor: “Um, no… That is when I leave. I don’t have a car to get to [Much Larger Airport two hours away] so this was the only date that I could fly out.”

Manager: “We need to schedule a meeting with [Client]. When will you be available?”

This client only wants their meetings scheduled on Thursdays as it is their Friday.

Contractor: “I can do this Thursday or [Thursday after she flies home].”

Manager: “How about [date]?”

Contractor: “Well, my plane leaves at [time right after].”

Manager: “Oh… when do you leave again?”

I have a feeling this is going to be a long two months of our poor contractor fielding calls from this foolish woman at 2:00 am because she conveniently “forgot” they were halfway across the world. We will see if they even come back.

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Further Train(ing) Is Required

, , , , , , | Working | September 13, 2021

I worked for a while at a railway company. We had a big, busy office where customers could call in for help. Our network covered the Norfolk Broads, a National Park of rivers, waterways, marshes, and large, shallow lakes created by peat digging in the middle ages. Like all National Parks, the Broads is a popular summer tourist destination but has many fewer winter visitors. The result of this was that we had a summer timetable with more trains that stopped at more stations and a winter timetable with fewer trains and fewer stops. Unfortunately, that meant that sometimes visitors would be caught out when the timetables changed.

That was what happened one evening in September. An elderly couple had been out bird-watching in the reed marshes, and on returning to the station, their expected train had not arrived because the timetable had changed. They called our office and asked for help.

We called the head office since we had no one from senior management in. The problem was explained to the senior person at head office.

“Just tell them to walk along the tracks to the next station; there’s a train that calls there in just over an hour,” they said complacently.

Apparently, they didn’t think of the fast-fading light, the rising tide — yes, the river was tidal! — and the fact that, although no more trains would be calling at [Station] that evening, there would still be trains using the line!

We called a taxi for the couple and told them to send the bill to the rail company.

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