Here We Pokémon Go Again, Part 42

, , , , , , | Working | September 5, 2019

(While managers usually schedule our breaks, there’s some flexibility. My coworker comes on the radio to ask about it.)

Coworker: “Hey, [Manager], when’s my break?”

Manager: “It’s at [time].”

Coworker: “Can I take it earlier?”

Manager: “Uh, I guess so. What’s up?”

Coworker: “There’s an event going on in Pokémon Go…”

Manager: *sighs* “All right, go take your break…”

Here We Pokémon Go Again, Part 41
Here We Pokémon Go Again, Part 40
Here We Pokémon Go Again, Part 39
Here We Pokémon Go Again, Part 38

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Real Time Printing

, , , , , | Working | September 5, 2019

(I work in the IT department in the office. An employee calls me to have a look at an issue she is having. She tells me the printer isn’t working, and she thinks it might need more ink. The following conversation happens when I arrive at her desk.)

Coworker: “There’s something wrong with the printer. It won’t let me change the page.” 

Me: *a little confused* “Can you show me what you mean?”

Coworker: “See, this one I could change before I got it out.” *shows me a printed page she had sitting in the printer tray* “But the printer isn’t letting me change this one.” *pulls up another Word Doc that is locked for editing*

Me: “I can fix that. Can I just sit for a moment?”

(A few clicks and she’s good to go.)

Coworker: “Oh, good. Thank you. I was worried that the printer was just too full, or it needed more ink before I made a change.”

Me: *still a little confused* “Nope, your printer is fine. And you’re all set now.” 

(As I was walking back to my desk it occurred to me what she meant. I think she believed that every document she sees on her computer screen has a corresponding physical page in her printer, and editing a Doc means the printer changes the page as she does so. Clicking “print” is just how she gets the page out.)

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Will Freeze That Trick

, , , , | Working | September 4, 2019

(I am a high school student, hired for a new fast food restaurant that is under construction. During training, I have to go to another franchise across town.)

Worker: “Hey, new guy. Before you leave tonight, you need to mop the freezer.”

(I run a bucket of hot mop water, but it takes only an instant for the mop to freeze to the floor. I try to keep it moving as quickly as possible, but there are icy mop-prints all over the floor. Before long, it’s mopped as well as I can get it. I empty the mop bucket and go home. The next day, I get a phone call.)

Manager: “Don’t bother coming in today. The health department shut us down for a couple of days. Some idiot went and mopped the freezer.”

Me: “Really? I wonder who that could have been?”

(As far as I know, they never pulled that trick on the new guys again.)

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Trying To Get A Stranglehold In The Office

, , , , , , , , | Working | September 4, 2019

As a child, I frequently had other people grab my shoulders and back to jump up on me and put me in a chokehold or even straight-up use a jump rope to try to strangle me. This was a near-daily occurrence and resulted in me being sent to the hospital more than once, and I have scars on my neck from a few particularly bad incidents. The teachers and administrators at the school where this was happening refused to do anything, but that’s another story entirely. The short of it is that I spent about five years getting strangled on a near-daily basis.

As a result of this, I have C-PTSD and cannot stand to have people touching my shoulders and upper back, especially from behind, unless I’m very close with them, and even then, they ask for permission before doing it. Occasional brushes don’t seem to have as severe a reaction, but anything firm is a wild card. The result of someone touching — and especially grabbing — me there has a variety of outcomes, and there seems to be no correlation between the situation and the severity of my reaction. If I and the person who touched me are lucky, I’ll just freeze up for a few seconds. If we’re both unlucky, I swing at them.

When I started my new job, I explained all of this to HR, including that despite years of therapy, I’ve had very little improvement, and they cleared me and said I wouldn’t be held liable by the company if someone grabbed me and I had a severe reaction to it. Pretty much their only requirement was that every other month, I provide receipts from my therapist as proof I was still going, and we had to make a formal document describing my condition and their assurance I wouldn’t face retaliation for it. When my boss learned of my condition, she was kind enough to move me from my cubicle to the office next to her so it would be less likely that someone could accidentally “sneak up” on me. I also have mirrors on the wall across from the door — which I keep open — in case I’m turned away from my computer, and I have a sign next to my door asking people to please knock if my back is turned.

One coworker just flat-out does not get this. Every time he greets me, it’s by grabbing my shoulder or putting a hand on my back, and even though I’ve asked him to stop and informed him of my condition multiple times, it continues. There are times it feels he even goes out of his way to do it. It’s gotten to the point that even my coworkers who only know that I don’t like my back and shoulders being touched, not the extent of my condition, tense up when they see him next to me.

A couple of days ago, it happened again, but he was completely behind me and I had no way of knowing who it was that grabbed my shoulder. Instinct kicked in, and I spun around and punched him in the throat, then again in the nose. A few coworkers came over to help calm me down and get me seated in a corner so no one would be capable of touching me without me seeing first while someone else contacted HR. The coworker who kept touching me without my permission got there first and told them I walked up and punched him without a reason, and three people from HR ended up coming over to the area I work in.

Thankfully, I didn’t have to say a thing. My other coworkers vouched for me, as did a supervisor who knows the extent of my condition and has seen me talk to the other coworker about boundaries and why I didn’t want him touching me there multiple times. All three of the HR employees were furious.

Later that night, when I got home, I found a bruise on my shoulder where he grabbed me.

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That Bag Of Chips Ended Up Being Costlier Than Ever

, , , , , | Friendly | September 4, 2019

I am working as a shift leader at a movie theatre. Concession closes about ten minutes after the last shows start and the crew leaves once the tills are counted and everything has been cleaned and refilled for the next morning, leaving only two people to spend the time doodling around and checking theatres as the films drop out.

This evening has been slow but fun, as I got to work with two of my favorite coworkers, friends I also hang with off of work. Being a shift leader gives me power over them at work and more responsibility but it has never really affected our friendship until now. [Coworker #1] and I are the ones staying tonight, so [Coworker #2] comes up to us after she has changed out of her uniform for some small talk before leaving. As she’s beginning to walk away, she tells us that she will take a bag of chips with her but pay the next time she works. I sense alarm bells ringing and tell her I am not okay with that. 

The chain we work for is very generous with staff discounts and lenient with us. They trust us, and I am of the opinion that such trust should be respected and not taken advantage of; I do not want to see that trust disappear. [Coworker #2] taking a bag of chips might not seem like a huge deal, but it puts a lot of responsibility on me and [Coworker #1] to make sure she actually pays for it later, which she could claim to have done on a day when [Coworker #1] and I don’t work, and she could easily forget it, as well. I trust my friend, but I am not comfortable with this and I tell her that if she’s craving chips so badly, there is a gas station ten minutes away by bike that’s open 24/7.

[Coworker #2] throws a huge fit, but I stand my ground, and it is with sadness that I watch her flounce off. 

The next day, she sends me a text apologising, telling me I was right and she was wrong. She has talked with another friend who works in retail who had agreed with me. The apology is accepted, but clearly, something broke between us that evening. We used to hang at work and off of work several times a week. Afterward, we only hang at work. We still chat like before, but our times together off of work dwindle to maybe once every two months, often when [Coworker #1] is with us. Later that year, I am not even invited to her birthday party, and while she says the party was a surprise for her and others were organising it, they still know that I was one of her closest friends and I should have been on the list by default. Some might claim I was too harsh — it’s just a bag of chips after all — but even though I miss the friendship we used to have, my conscience is clear.

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