Potentially Explosive Neglect

, , , , , | Friendly | October 8, 2017

(I am speaking with my roommate who works at an art store, and used to work at [Popular Retail Chain], which shares a wall with the art store.)

Roommate: “So, we just evacuated [Art Store] because we smelled a gas leak.”

Me: “Did anyone tell [Popular Retail Chain]?”

Roommate: *long pause* “No.”

Projecting The End Of Your Job

, , , , , | Working | September 29, 2017

(Our company oversees several projects at once, and we rotate our staff from one to another whenever one ends. I am a manager running one of these projects. Another manager has transferred his employees over to me, with a warning that one in particular has been slacking off, and to keep an eye on her. Her first two days under me, she is noticeably less productive than anyone else, getting less than a third of what is expected completed by the end of the day. I sit down with her to go over our expectations and the problems we have been having with her work. I end up writing her up and placing her on review, which essentially means that as long as she can meet a minimum standard for only one of her next three shifts, we will keep her on staff. The entire conversation, she is combative and only reluctantly accepts being on review, only after being reminded that if she doesn’t go on review, she will be let go on the spot. The next three days, her performance doesn’t improve at all. Towards the end of her last shift on review, I tell her we can discuss her review once the meeting room is available, in about two minutes.)

Employee: “Ugh, can’t we just talk about it really quick here?!”

(There are several other employees in the room, and I’m not about to fire her in front of the rest of the staff, in case she causes a scene.)

Me: “No, I’ll go see if the meeting room is open.”

(I check the room, and when I get back, she is gone.)

Me: “Where did [Employee] go?”

Coworker: “She left; she said you told her it was all right if she went home early.”

(At this point I’m furious, so I decide to just call her and let her go in the morning before the next shift starts. On the phone the next day:)

Employee: “Ugh, what do you want?”

Me: “We need to discuss your review.”

Employee: “Can’t we talk about it at the office? I’m busy.”

Me: “No, actually. We—”

Employee: “I’m trying to sign a lease for a new apartment! I’ll call you back when I’m done!” *hangs up*

(Now, I’m fuming. At first, I felt bad about having to fire her, but now I’m looking forward to it. She calls back about 30 minutes later.)

Employee: “What is so important?!”

Me: “Since you haven’t improved your job performance, we are going to let you go.”

Employee: “What?! You can’t do that! You need to give me some warning before you fire me like this.”

Me: “What part of ‘you have three days to improve or we will take you off staff’ did you not understand?”

Employee: “But I just signed an apartment lease! Fine. I’ll just go back to [Previous Manager]’s project. What do you think of that?!”

Me: “You can’t. I’m not taking you off of the project; I’m firing you from [Company]. We went over this when you were written up.”

Employee: “But you don’t work for [Company]!”

Me: “Who do you think I work for?”

Employee: *pauses* “What about [third project]?”

Me: “Seriously? You don’t work for [Company] anymore; you can’t go to our other projects. We’ve already mailed your last check, and I’ve informed the other managers that you were let go, and instructed them to not let you onto company property.”

Employee: “UGH! I just signed a lease!”

(I spoke with the other manager, who told me that he had several missed calls from her since leaving early the night before. My guess is that she thought that if she could get transferred to another project before I could fire her, it would somehow save her job.)

Shared Confusion

, , , , , , | Related | September 29, 2017

(I am about fourteen. My mom and I share a weird connection; my dad calls it a “shared brain.”)

Mom: “Hey, [My Name], do you know where the uh… uh…”

Me: “Yeah, Mom, it is next to the uh… uh…”

Mom: “Smart-a**.”

(Pause.)

Mom: “Oh, I found it!. You were right; thanks, [My Name]!”

Dad: “…”

Droning On With Outrageous Demands

, , , , , | Right | September 26, 2017

(People can put their orders in online and then come in later to pick them up. Since I am the most comfortable with computers, I am put in charge of that department. I get an order that has a multitude of items that are currently out of stock. I assemble the email informing the customer that their items are not in stock yet, and that we will contact them when their order is ready, and I send it out. A couple of hours later, a woman comes up to my desk.)

Customer: “Hi, I’m [Name]. I’m here to pick up my order.”

(I punch her name into the computer.)

Me: “I’m sorry, but we’re still waiting for a restock. We will send you an email when we have the items in stock, and you can pick them up then.”

Customer: “No, you don’t understand; I need them now. Are you sure you haven’t checked the back?”

Me: “Ma’am, I know for certain that we don’t have these items in stock. Did you receive the automatic email saying we would notify you when your order is ready?”

Customer: “Yes, but it’s junk so I deleted it. Do you have my stuff or not?”

Me: “No, we don’t, because we still need to restock.”

Customer: “Then why do you offer this in the first place?! Can’t you have your drones fly faster?”

Me: “Pardon?”

Customer: “You know, the drones in the [Online Shopping Center] commercial! Once you order something, they can fly a piano straight to your house within 24 hours!”

(Apparently this woman thought that a single ten-pound drone could easily lift a 400-pound piano and get it to its destination in the blink of an eye. The conversation continued, as I tried to tell this woman that things take time to get here due to traffic, weather, drivers, etc. I reassured her that we would have her things in a few days. She ended up leaving in a huff, yelling that she would prove me wrong by ordering her items from [Online Shopping Center] and having them in her arms in ten minutes. The next time I saw her, we made eye contact, she turned bright red and hurried through self-checkout, and as she stormed past my counter she gave me the finger. I guess she didn’t get her items in ten minutes.)

Their Comprehension Is Cassini-Teeny-Weeny

, , , , , | Friendly | September 20, 2017

(It is the day before the Cassini space probe is scheduled to finish its mission and dive into Saturn, and some of us have been talking about it at the office, when [Coworker #1] walks by.)

Coworker #1: “It’s finally getting to Saturn? And they’re going to crash right into it?”

Me: “No. It’s been there a long time, taking pictures of the planet and its moons.”

Coworker #2: “It was launched in 1997, arrived at Saturn in 2004, and it’s been orbiting there ever since.”

Coworker #1: *entirely serious* “Oh, right. Gotcha. So… is it manned?”

Everyone In Earshot: *long, incredulous silence*

Coworker #2: “No.”

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