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An Urgent Issue That Needs (Ad)Dressing

, , , , , | Working | September 17, 2021

[Coworker] joined the team before we all started to work from home. I’ve met her twice and can’t stand her. She’s opinionated, she will force her opinion on everyone, and she is generally willfully ignorant of the world around her.

I had completely forgotten about her until I had to go back on site. The team decides to meet for lunch. I get there late and find only one chair left, next to [Coworker]. I fake a smile and sit down.

[Coworker] is already giving a speech about something inane.

Boss: “Well, yes, err… thank you, [Coworker]. How is everyone else?”

A few murmurs of general positive comments come from the group.

Boss: “Just one point of business, I promise, but while you are all here… while we are on video calls for the company, please can we remember that there is a dress code of sorts?”

Groans come from everyone.

Boss: “Now, now, I’m not asking for full business wear, but you need to be presentable; please, can we wear clothes and keep basic hygiene in mind? Hair brushed — you know, the basics.”

I’m a bit surprised that he has to bring this up. Everyone I’ve spoken to is professional and knows the basics of being in a business. Then, I find out who has the issue.

Coworker: “Well, I don’t think the company can tell us what to wear in our own home. It’s hot; I can’t wear my normal clothes!”

Boss: “Again, I’m not expecting you to. I wear a T-shirt and shorts. I’m just asking everyone to be presentable.”

Coworker: “Well, I don’t see the rule that working from home I have to…”

She continues for several minutes about off-topic and barely relevant points.

Boss: *Getting frustrated* “Your contract states that you must wear smart and presentable clothes. Okay? So smart and presentable clothes, please.”

Coworker: “But I think—”

Boss: “No, not think. Not open for discussion. [Coworker], please wear appropriate clothes.”

Coworker: “I don’t see why I am being singled out.”

Boss: “I’m not singling you out. I am making myself clear, as you seem to need additional explanation. [Coworker], please wear appropriate clothes when on video calls. Everyone, please wear appropriate clothes when on video.”

Coworker: “Then I will need additional breaks so I can get changed before each call.”

Boss: “No. Okay, [Coworker], we need to talk privately.”

I asked around after lunch, and it turned out that [Coworker] had been working in her stained pyjamas, even in video calls with senior management. There were even rumours of her bottoms falling down (mostly off-camera) as she bumbled around on video when she was supposed to be paying attention.

Eventually, they made her work in the office because of all the complaints. Thankfully, she manages to get dressed now.

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Raise The Stakes And They’ll Call Your Bluff

, , , , , | Working | September 17, 2021

I had a coworker who was really very good at his job — when he wanted to be. He was rather lazy and didn’t really show initiative. One day, he decided he wasn’t making enough money, so he almost stopped working altogether. He did the bare minimum to keep his job.

After about two months of this (and numerous counseling sessions with the boss), he marched into the boss’s office and demanded an almost 40% raise or he’d quit.  

The boss told him that wasn’t possible and wished him well in his new job.

The next day, the coworker came in and tried to retract this, but the boss said no, too late.

Moral of the story: before you threaten to quit, make sure you are actually valuable.

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If You Talk Big, You Have To Work Big

, , , , , , | Working | September 16, 2021

[Sales Guy] is one of the younger sales guys who is either some sort of bank robber or greatly exaggerates his lifestyle, as he is in an entry-level job on entry-level pay. [Sales Guy] hasn’t done anything today and it’s already 11:00 am. He wanders over to us and interrupts people actually doing some work.

Sales Guy: “Might get a new car this month.”

Coworker #1: “Didn’t you say you just got a car?”

Coworker #2: “Or were getting one?”

Sales Guy: “Yeah, yeah, I did. Don’t really like the colour.”

Coworker #1: “Oh, sure. Yeah, I might buy a new house. Don’t like the colour of the bathroom.”

Coworker #2: “What’s a bathroom? I just let my butler pick it up off the floor.” *Laughs*

Sales Guy: “Whatever, you guys. You’re just jealous. You’re not swag like me.”

Coworker 2: “What’s a swag?”

Sales Guy: “I hate you guys.” *Storms off*

Me: “He can’t even drive. The guy needs to get his head down or they will get rid of him.”

Coworker #1: “No chance; his mom is a friend of the boss.”

Turns out I was right; he didn’t last the week. [Sales Guy] made some stupid story up about how the other guys were stealing all of his sales, not thinking that they could check all the emails and phone calls he wasn’t making.

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How Do These People Operate Their Cars To Get To Work?!

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

I work at a small library branch where I have become, through no fault of my own, responsible for IT and technical issues. I have no formal training; I’m just the normal amount of tech-savvy for my generation, having grown up with computers and smartphones, while most of my coworkers are quite a bit older than me.

I’m a problem-solver at heart, so I don’t mind helping out, but there are a few coworkers who frustrate me to no end, because they will not even TRY to understand when I explain to them how to troubleshoot small problems like, “Have you tried turning it off and turning it on again?”

The first year I work at this branch, it is finally time to go on summer vacation. Joy and celebration, a whole four weeks where I can just mind my own business!

I know that there are probably going to be technical issues while I am away because there always are, so I sit down and write a long list of things that might happen, how to deal with those things, and who to call if said things do not resolve themselves on their own. I make sure that everyone who will be working during my vacation has read the list and understood it, I make sure that there are copies of the list everywhere, I make it clear that I will probably be unreachable for most of my vacation, and I leave a list of numbers to call in case something happens that is not on the list.

Then, I go on vacation. It is fantastic and I have a great time. Then, the last weekend before I am supposed to go back to work, I log into my work mail, just to check what happened while I was gone and what I will have to deal with on my first day back. I find a long string of increasingly annoyed emails from my boss, who is stationed at the main branch, about how I should have made sure everything was functioning correctly before I went on vacation.

I get back to work and find out that, two weeks into my vacation, there was a power outage. This apparently caused some kind of glitch that made our self-checkout machine stop working. As a result, my coworkers had spent the past two weeks checking everything out manually and they were not happy.

Coworker: “[My Name], finally! You need to fix this now. It’s been impossible to work like this.”

Me: “Ooookay? Did you look at my checklist at all?”

Coworker: “There was nothing on there about what we were supposed to do if the power went out.”

Me: “Did you look at step number one?”

Step number one for everything is, of course, “Turn it off and turn it on again.”

Coworker: “I don’t know how to do that! That’s what we have you for!”

I crawl under the self-checkout machine, turn it off, and turn it on again. While waiting for it to start up, I turn back to my coworker.

Me: “So, that’s how you do that, just like I showed everyone before I left. I have to ask though, did anyone call IT for help? Or the library system supplier? This is literally what they’re for, and the numbers are right there in the checklist.”

Coworker: “But you’re the one who deals with those people. We don’t know how to do all this technical stuff.”

Me: “If you call IT, they will tell you exactly how to do all this ‘technical stuff’. They are very nice people, I promise.”

Coworker: *Huffily* “Well, it’s still your job.”

The self-checkout machine started up again, connected to the servers, and worked perfectly within five minutes. I went back to my desk to try to apologize to my boss and explain in the kindest possible words that my coworkers were technical disasters who were incapable of following simple instructions. 

I tried to bring up the issue at the next staff meeting, but the general consensus among my coworkers was that I should just be on call for technical issues whenever I had time off. I said fine, as long as I got the appropriate pay rise. The boss said no. I did not stay much longer at that workplace.

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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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