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It Costs Nothing To Mind Your Own Business

, , , , , | Working | January 6, 2022

[Coworker] is a nosy woman; she’s always in other people’s business. Most people accept it, but it annoys me no end.

I have a couple of VIPs visiting. [Coworker] has been bugging me for information for weeks, despite it having nothing to do with her.

The morning of the visit:

Coworker: “Oh, I booked meeting room one for you.”

Me: “You had it booked? I was trying to book that for weeks!”

Coworker: “Well, now you don’t have to, and I got lunches ordered.”

Me: “Err, why did you order lunch?”

Coworker: “A ‘thank you’ is more normal.”

Me: “Sorry, thank you. But why did you order lunch? Did you get approval? You don’t even know allergies.”

Coworker: “Well, no, but guests always eat lunch. I paid and will claim it back.”

Me: “I would talk to [Manager] if I were you. Booking anything without authorisation might not get approved. Also, we aren’t staying for lunch. When I couldn’t book the room, we decided to take the VIPs to [Other Site]; we will eat there.”

Coworker: “Well, you could take the food with you!”

Me: “We booked tables days ago. You should have said something.”

Or just kept your nose out and let me do my job.

Coworker: “Well, what am I supposed to do with fifty sandwiches?”

Me: “Talk to [Manager]. I can’t make use of them, sorry.”

[Coworker] ran off to argue with the manager, who told her that she shouldn’t be booking things without authorisation or even talking to others and that she was lucky she had paid her own money or she would be getting a write-up for spending company money.

Apparently, [Coworker] tried selling the sandwiches in the break room but took the majority home with her.

Maybe If You Focused On Your Job You Wouldn’t Need The Money?

, , , , | Working | January 6, 2022

[Coworker] hustled me out of some money last year. She made a stained glass effect painting with my name on it — apparently, I said I like stained glass? — handed it to me, and then asked for a “donation” to cover the costs. I was unprepared and too put upon to say no.

She tried it again, this time with food. She baked some passable savouries and only mentioned the price after people picked them up. It’s like everything she does comes at a cost. She once charged a coworker a few pence for a cup of tea because she used her teabags (not the company-provided free ones) when she offered to make drinks.

I keep well away from her, and I don’t take anything from her.

One morning, she comes in with a covered pot and walks straight to me.

Coworker: “Hey, [My Name]. I made you some food for your trip this weekend.”

I don’t know how she knows about it; I don’t even talk to her.

Me: “Oh, really? You didn’t have to.”

Coworker: “It’s chicken wings in BBQ sauce.”

My trip is to a well-known fishing resort; however. I don’t fish and will be staying at the all-inclusive resort, so they are useless to me.

Me: “They look… lovely…. but I’m a vegetarian; I can’t eat these.”

Coworker: “What? You’re eating meat now.”

Me: “No, look. It’s the vegetarian version. See?”

Coworker: “Well, maybe you could take them for your fishing buddies; they would appreciate them.”

Me: “Oh, it’s just me and my wife going.” *Quickly* “She’s vegetarian, too.”

Coworker: “Well, I can’t eat it. I don’t even like chicken. I paid a lot for all the ingredients. I need the money back!”

She looks at me expectantly, the pot still aimed at me.

Me: “Sorry I can’t be more help. Why don’t you put them in the break room?”

Coworker: “No, Human Resources told me I couldn’t sell my food in there anymore or they would write me up.”

Get the hint, [Coworker]!

She stood around for a while before eventually leaving.

Coworker #2: “How long have you been vegetarian?”

Me: “Since yesterday when the shop only had vegetarian sandwiches left. But seriously, did you see that chicken? Scrawny, cheap stuff.”

Coworker #2: “Yeah, I bought some food off her last month. Wasn’t even cooked properly.”

We mentioned it to HR, but as she said she was only going to ask for “donations,” she wasn’t technically breaking any rules. They still told her to pack it in, but not before she tried again by making me a salad that was mostly onion. I politely refused.

You’ve Soiled Coworker Relations Here

, , , , | Working | January 4, 2022

I’m at work eating a homemade trail mix; it’s a bit of a treat, full of dried fruit, nuts, dark chocolate, and cereal.

Coworker: “Oh, lots of fructose in that!”

Me: *Joking* “Probably what makes it taste so good.”

Coworker: “No, seriously, don’t you know fructose is bad for you? You shouldn’t eat that!”

Me: “Err, I’m pretty sure I’m fine with eating it, thank you. I don’t need dietary advice from you.”

Coworker: *Huffs* “You don’t have to be rude about it!”

I manage to make myself feel bad about it but put it out of my mind. She will probably make another complaint, but until then, I enjoy my snack.

The next week, I bring more in but don’t get around to eating it right away. Luckily, when I do, I spot something odd in the mix: brown, soft, and odorless. It takes me a few minutes to release that it’s soil! And the only person with a plant on her desk is [Coworker].

I march right over to her.

Me: “I know what you did and I’m going to make you pay for it.”

Coworker: “Prove it!”

Me: “I don’t need to; there’s a camera right there! And as soon as [Manager] gets back, I’m reporting you!”

She went pale and begged me to reconsider. When the manager came back, she rushed in before me and tried to say that it was a friendly prank “gone wrong,” but I made it clear that it was malicious and could be treated as poisoning, especially if there was plant food in the soil.

It all got escalated to Human Resources, and she was given a final written warning and had her desk moved out of the office.

That was a bit of a shame as she will probably never realise that there was no camera, only one of those alarm motion sensors.

Give Flowers To Your Coworkers Or You’re A Bully… We Guess

, , , , , | Working | January 4, 2022

My company does an awards-ceremony-type appreciation “event”, like a morale booster. Every quarter, they put out a bottle of (non-alcoholic) drink and some snacks and give out “funny” awards.

The trick to get out of it is to take a sneak peek at the human resources manager’s wall diary a few weeks before and schedule a customer visit. No matter how many times they reschedule it, I can still avoid it. (They haven’t figured it out yet!)

My coworker and I are outside on break, as are many others.

Coworker: “Hey, you missed the awards yesterday.”

Me: “I know, but you know, the customers come first, and they asked to see me. So what could I do?”

Coworker: “Oh, such bad luck. You won an award, by the way.”

Me: *Sarcastically* “Great. Cash prize, was it?”

Coworker: “Yeah, but I told them you would rather take the flowers.”

Like every other “prize” they give out.

Me: “Oh, you know me so well.”

Coworker: “I stuck them in water. You want them?”

Me: “Well, I could neglect them until they turn into potpourri. Or you can have them?”

Coworker: “Yeah, I already gave them to my wife. Thanks, by the way.”

Me: “Nothing says, ‘I love you,’ like a gift of flowers that you didn’t pay for.”

Coworker: *Joking* “Could you win another award in a few weeks? It’s her birthday.”

Me: “Such an old romantic. I—”

Before I can continue, I see [Coworker #2] rush in and toward the HR office. He is the same person who complained about me eating “foreign food” because it smelt too much (it was noodle soup) and that a charity collection shouldn’t be allowed because it wasn’t the corporate chosen one (it was for a coworker’s wife).

Me: “[Coworker #2] Cry Baby is causing issues again. If they ask you, tell them I told you to look after the flowers and we didn’t have this conversation.”

Coworker: “Come on. He isn’t going to complain about… Actually, yes, he probably is.”

And yes, we were pulled into HR with accusations of theft and bullying behaviour — also a new one: apparently using “triggering language” on purpose in front of [Coworker #2]. We denied everything, acted dumb, and stuck to our story. With absolutely no evidence, it went no further. 

Eventually, complaining about everything and everyone caught up to him. We got bought out and everyone had to reapply for their jobs; [Coworker #2] was the only one that wasn’t re-hired.

We’re Ready To Throw A Fit On Your Behalf!

, , , , , | Working | January 4, 2022

I worked for a family-owned company for about nine years. I worked the warehouse, managed the showroom, and eventually managed the warehouse before I moved on. I thought the work was easy but required effort. Summer days it was hot in the warehouse, so you’d sweat. It was a warehouse job.

We, the warehouse guys, had gone a couple of years without any kind of raise and word got back to the owner that some of us were a bit irritated. He opted to do a little something for us, but it would be based on performance; the better we did, the more we’d see in return.

Not counting the warehouse manager, there were five warehouse employees. Every warehouse employee had four stores that we were in charge of pulling, packing, and shipping orders for each week. The owner said that for each order we pulled without having any mistakes on it, he would pay us an extra $10 per order. So, every week, every warehouse employee had the opportunity to earn an extra $40. In the end, if you pulled four perfect store orders every week for a full year, you could earn an extra $2,080; that comes out to a dollar raise.

The idea was great. The other guys and I were excited. Do your work, make a few extra bucks. What could go wrong?

Most store orders took around three or four hours of your day to pull, palletize, and make ready to ship. I could tear through these store lists and get my store pulled usually an hour or more before the others guys finished. I’d move on to other tasks — receiving, shipping parcels, and so on. The other guys started going slower and slower with their lists to make sure they were doing it 100% correctly to earn that extra $10. Going slower meant they weren’t helping out with other aspects of the job, such as cleaning, receiving, and helping with customers. Then, it would come down to the other warehouse guys trying to all help each other pull all the orders — some attempt to work together.

After a store order was pulled, staged, and shipped, when one of the satellite branches received the order, they would send us a mistake sheet of any inventory shipped incorrectly or missed. Any mistake on that sheet we’d double-check against our inventory to make sure the mistake was legit.

This whole extra-$10-deal lasted just shy of forty-four weeks. I kept all the correctly shipped store orders I had done. Each one was put in my desk drawer. Up until the day this all ended, I had 168 perfect pulled orders out of 175 that I did. That was an extra $1,680 I had earned that year.

The next closest warehouse guy to me had about 30 correctly pulled orders out of 175. This wasn’t really the problem, though. The problem was that these guys, since they helped each other pull each other’s orders, would spend hours a day arguing that someone else screwed up the order and it wasn’t their fault and they should still be given $10. This was a constant issue for months, along with them not helping with other aspects of the job, which means I was doing a lot of extra work without help. I went to the warehouse manager multiple times about how it was becoming irritating that I was not getting help with other tasks and the other guys were constantly fighting amongst themselves about why they should be paid an extra $10.

After nothing was done from my complaints, I walked into the warehouse manager’s supervisor’s office. I shut his door and explained the situation over the past few months. I told him I was done with the crying and lack of help and I wanted the $10 bonus canceled even though I was the one to lose out the most.

The supervisor agreed with me. We walked out to the warehouse, and he gathered everyone and told us all that the extra $10 bonus was done. The other warehouse guys were pissed. They started yelling at me and I just snapped right back that I was one that lost out the most in this situation because they couldn’t get their crap together and do their jobs correctly. I took my stack of 168 sheets I had from my perfectly pulled orders and threw them at the guys.

Me: “I had 168 perfectly pulled orders — that’s $1,680 — and here you guys are crying over the handful of perfect orders you managed to do. I’m pissed at you for screwing up something good because you can’t stop fighting with each other and can’t do your jobs correctly like you’re supposed to.”

Not one of the other warehouse guys said anything else after that. They knew I was pissed. I gave up something good, the bonus money, just so I could get more help from them as they always should have been doing.