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Some People Make You Need Gene Therapy

, , , , , | Working | September 11, 2017

(A coworker comes up to my desk to drop off some paperwork. He notices a photo on my desk. I am white.)

Coworker: “Who’s this?”

Me: “My son.”

Coworker: “Your son is black?”

Me: “He’s adopted.”

Coworker: “Oh. I think it’s great that gay couples can adopt.”

Me: “Yeah, it certainly makes us happy.”

Coworker: “It stops you contributing to the gene pool.” *walks away*

Wouldn’t Hurt To Try The Gangsta Lifestyle

, , , | Working | September 10, 2017

(The roll of paper in our credit card machine is about to run out, so I ask my coworker to grab me a new one. She opens the cabinet without moving aside, and leans over the door in such a way that it digs into her.)

Coworker: “…ow.”

Me: “Don’t hurt yourself!”

Coworker: “Can’t hurt a gangsta!”

Not So Hot About Your Hot Dogs

, , , , | Working | September 8, 2017

(I recently got hired as a laundry person; it is my job to gather the dirty towels from the female locker rooms, and place them in the washer. There is another guy who does the towels from the men’s locker rooms, and he is always listening to his headphones, but he nods to me. I’m a naturally quiet person, so I’m just folding the towels. I have a bad feeling about him, but I just put it off.)

Coworker: “Hi.”

Me: “Hi.”

(He gives me a weird look and takes off. Later, as I’m loading up the washer, he sneaks up behind me and forcefully takes the wet towels and shoves them into the washer, nearly hitting me. I can hear the music on his headphones. It’s rap with some explicit lyrics… against females.)

Coworker: “You have to do it fast!” *condescendingly* “Understand?”

Me: “Okay… Thanks.”

(The next day, he comes up to me again while I’m folding.)

Coworker: “Hey! You like eating hot dogs?”

Me: “Uh, no, I don’t like hot dogs.”

(His expression suddenly turns to a rage.)

Coworker: “You don’t have to be uptight! Work can be fun, you know!”

(He glared at me, fists clenched, and I felt very unsafe, since there was no one else around at that moment. He stormed off, and I was left feeling bewildered. I told the truth, I don’t like hot dogs. Or maybe he was alluding to something? I told my supervisor exactly what happened and he told the guy to leave me alone. He didn’t say anything else to me, but stood there, glaring with fists clenched, while I worked, and it was so creepy that I left soon after. Luckily, I was able to find another job after, without creeps as coworkers.)

Drop Bad Management Or Drop Calls

, , , , | Working | September 7, 2017

I work in a call centre that runs two main services, and our clients pay us to take calls from their customers on their behalf. Service A is very generic, used by most of our clients, and everyone is trained on it by default. Service B is more specialised, and each client has it tailored to their individual business needs, so any agents dealing with service B need in-depth training for the individual client before taking calls for them.

Usually all but two colleagues leave at 6 pm, then the last people leave at 8 pm when the call centre closes. On this Monday afternoon, however, and for the whole week, everyone else was scheduled to leave by 5:30, leaving one colleague dealing with two busy channels, by herself, for two and a half hours. Around mid-afternoon, she started feeling a bit unwell, took some over-the-counter drugs, and hoped for the best. Towards five, she was feeling very unwell, and asked if anyone else would be willing to cover her shift, but as they would be effectively doing 11.5 to 12 hours in a day, no one was willing. She let a manager know, but they, too, were unable to find anyone who could cover the evening shift, and she was told she would just have to deal with it.

By 6:15, she was shaking and holding her head in pain. She put a customer on hold and started crying as she stared at the screen, trembling like crazy, so we decided to call a team leader over, as we weren’t sure if she was able to do so herself. We couldn’t hear much of what she said to the team leader, as we were a bit far away and she was struggling to get words out, but we gathered that her head felt like it was on fire, and she could no longer read what was on the screen. The TL started to panic, as our colleague clearly wasn’t able to continue, all the other service B lines had closed before 6 pm, and there wasn’t anyone else in the call centre who was trained for it. Since this line was for our biggest client, we could not just close it. In the end, the TL found someone who had about half a day’s training on service B for this client, instead of the usual two-week training required, (and no training whatsoever for the other clients our colleague was covering). They were asked to do as much as they could, and arrange callbacks for the rest of the team the next day. Our ill coworker went home and did not return until Wednesday.

Despite this situation, and the importance of this client, when the new rota was released later that week, management refused to go back to the old system of having two people present until 7, and kept arranging for everyone, save one, to leave by 5:30, or 6 pm about twice a week. They also refused to “waste resources” training up late-night back-ups because of the greater call volumes for service A. This pattern continued for another six weeks, with one more person getting ill on the day they were due to do a late shift, and another person quitting because of it. After six weeks, the big client decided to terminate the service B contract with us, due to the number of complaints they had regarding excessive wait times and being an inability to get through to anyone after 6 pm. Most of the team lost their jobs, but the manager responsible for setting rotas and monitoring incoming call wait times and dropped calls did not.

About To Start A Flame War

, , , , | Working | September 7, 2017

(I’m chatting with a coworker about the recent return of the television show, “Agents of SHIELD,” and the newest version of the superhero Ghost Rider. The office car enthusiast hears our discussion, and joins the conversation, mildly offended.)

Car Enthusiast: “Did I hear you say that motorcycles are cooler than muscle cars?”

Me: “No. I said a FLAMING motorcycle being driven by a DEMON with a flaming skull for a head is cooler than a FLAMING muscle car being driven by a DEMON with a flaming skull for a head.”

Car Enthusiast: “Oh.” *backs away slowly*