Overtime Crime, Part 11

, , , , , | | Working | August 16, 2019

(I run payroll for a temporary employment agency. Employees are hired by us to work for a client for a ninety-day trial, and then employees are eligible to be hired directly by our client. We usually agree to the client’s work policies, but policies must adhere to federal and state labor laws. One particular client does not like anyone to work over forty hours. Today, I received a call from an employee about her time card.)

Employee: “I need to change my hours on my last time card from 41 to 40 hours because I am not supposed to work overtime.” 

Me: “Sorry, I cannot change the hours if that is what you worked.”

Employee: “Well, I will have to leave early today, so they won’t have to pay overtime.”

Me: “Again, sorry. I already ran that week’s payroll, plus you have started a new week. You cannot roll hours from one week to another week just so you don’t incur overtime.”

Employee: “But I can get in trouble for working overtime.”

Me: *huffing* “I am not fussing at you. I understand they have a policy against overtime, but you and [Client] both signed the time card stating that your hours were correct.”

Employee: “But I said it was okay not to pay me overtime since I wasn’t watching my hours close enough. [Client] said that I need to come in early to make sure I am prepared to start work on time but that it is considered personal time. I am okay with that being personal time and accidentally recorded it as work time.”

Me: *surprised* “Wait, [Client] is requiring you to be at work early? First, what are you doing when you come in early? Second, federal law actually prohibits you from consenting not to be paid for the hours you actually worked.”

Employee: “I am booting up my computer and preparing for customers.”

Me: “Just so you know, according to federal and state law, you have to be paid for the hours you actually work, including overtime. Overtime is calculated during the established pay period and you cannot alter hours or move them from one week to another to avoid overtime. Again, [Client] signed the time card and you acknowledged on the phone that you did work those hours.”

Employee: “Oh, okay. Thank you for the information.”

Me: “Look, I am on your side, and it’s the law. [Client] can make it a policy not to work overtime and can discipline you working over forty hours. You will need to watch your time this week and then take off early on the last day of the pay period if needed. Make sure you inform your supervisor of this the day before or whatever notification they need.”

Employee: “Oh, okay.”

Overtime Crime, Part 10
Overtime Crime, Part 9
Overtime Crime, Part 8

Defeating The Guardian Of The Wine-Coolers  

, , , , , | | Working | August 16, 2019

(I am 25 years old and am a legal guardian to my 17-year-old younger brother. We are shopping at a wholesale store for a get-together I am having with a couple of friends. I decide I want to buy some wine coolers for the get-together since all my friends are over the age of 21. I usually like doing this by myself but I am already running late and figure since I am already at the store I buy my wine coolers from, I might as well buy them then and there, completely forgetting about my younger brother’s age and the law — my bad. We are finally checking out. When they get to the wine coolers, I show my ID as per usual. This conversation happens while I’m adjusting everything in our cart.)

Cashier: *to my brother* “May I see your ID, please?”

Brother: “What for?”

Cashier: “I need to see your ID for the wine coolers.”

Brother: “They are for him, not me.”

Cashier: “Since both of you are together, I have to see your ID; otherwise, I can’t sell you this.”

(I finally get back to them and hear the last part of her sentence.)

Me: “Can’t sell us what?”

Cashier: “The wine coolers.”

(At that point, I finally remember about his age and the law.)

Me: “Oh, I completely forgot about the law. Well, he is still a minor and I am his legal guardian; since these are for me you won’t need to see his ID.”

Cashier: “Since he is a minor I can’t sell you the wine coolers; it’s against the law.”

Me: “Normally, it’s against the law, but in this case, it is different since I’m his legal guardian. If you want, we can show you our IDs to confirm that we are related and living in the same address.”

(We proceed to show her our IDs.)

Cashier: “You are indeed related and under the same address but he is still a minor and I can’t sell to someone with a minor.”

Me: “So you don’t sell to parents that come with their kids?”

Cashier: “Well, that’s different since they are parent and child and the parents are responsible for the child.”

Me: “Well, I am responsible for him, since that is what legal guardianship is, so it shouldn’t be any different.”

(This goes on for a bit until a manager overhears our conversation and comes over to see what is going on.)

Manager: “What seems to be the problem?”

Cashier: “They are wanting to buy the wine coolers while one of them is still a minor.”

Me: “Yes, he is a minor, but I am his legal guardian. We are brothers and live under the same address; we already showed her our IDs to confirm the relationship and address.”

Manager: “Did they show you their IDs with the same address?”

Cashier: “Yeah, but he is still a minor. It’s against the law.”

Manager: “Okay.” *proceeded to clear the flag on the register* “Your total will be [total].”

(I proceed to pay when I hear this.)

Cashier: “Hey, you can’t do that; it’s against the law.”

Manager: “Normally, yes, but since he stated that he is a legal guardian, he is like a stand-in parent.” *to me* “Here is your receipt.”

Me: “Thank you.”

(We started leaving while still hearing the cashier and manager “arguing” about what had happened.)

From The Look Of Things…

, , , , | | Working | August 16, 2019

(I work at a clinic on an Air Force base with both active duty and civilian employees. We’re having our morning huddle, going over updates for the day. The airman running the meeting gets to the work orders.)

Airman: “And we have the soap dispenser in the office that’s not working—“

Me: *interrupting him* “It’s working now.”

Boss: “Yeah, facilities came and just looked at it and it started working again.”

Sergeant: *deadpan* “I say the same thing about my airmen.”

Sadly This Story Is A Copy Of So Many Others

, , , , , , , | | Working | August 15, 2019

Several years ago, I was working in the copy shop of a national chain retailer near my hometown. However, my long-distance boyfriend and I had decided to make things more short-distance, and I asked if I could see about transferring to a location closer to him. My store manager said he had talked to the manager of the store nearest him, and that they would be happy to have me, and would even make me a full-time worker, whereas at my current store I was only part-time.

The fact that they ostensibly hired me without even talking to me should have been my first red flag, but I had never transferred jobs before and just assumed that that was normal. After moving in with my boyfriend, I went by the store to meet with the manager. When I asked when they wanted me to start, they asked if I could start the very next day. Again, should have been a red flag, but after a long move, making money right away sounded good to me, so I accepted.

When I came in the next day, the general manager took me aside and told me that I “might see some things that weren’t right” in the department, but that I should just be sure to keep him updated and it would be fine. Now I was finally starting to feel a little uneasy, but I really couldn’t afford not to have a job, so I shrugged it off.

When I finally started working in the department, I found a supervisor who was overworked and frazzled, and a staff that was at best barely competent and at worst lazy and an active detriment to the job. The supervisor was friendly with me, but she was definitely nearing the end of her rope, and I think she knew the managers’ true plans for hiring me, even though at the time I still didn’t.

That came only a week or so later, when they offered me the supervisor’s position. Afraid that I’d lose my job altogether if I said no, I accepted.

The months after that were Hell. The former supervisor and the only other worker who actually cared both quit, which I couldn’t really blame them for, but it left me understaffed with useless employees in an incredibly busy copy center, as it was the only one in a thirty-mile radius. The other managers clearly had no idea how dire the situation was, as it became apparent to me that they thought the former supervisor “just didn’t try hard enough.” Meanwhile, none of them knew how to work the copy center, so were of no help to me, and would get onto me if I forsook even the smallest of my closing duties in favor of getting the unending backlog of orders finished. 

Add in nonsensical policies — for example, the fact that it was my job to clean out the bathrooms at night because “they’re right next to the copy center” — and two months in I was at the end of my rope. I didn’t even really get “days off” because, in spite of not being salaried, I would get calls at home constantly from my workers because they didn’t know how to do the very basic functions of their jobs, in spite of my repeated attempts to train them. All of my reports to the GM were met with “just make sure to write them up,” which did nothing because all of the write-ups just went into a folder in my department that never got looked at, and my workers knew it. Oh, and if I even approached my allotted 40 hours, I was sent home early, because God forbid I make overtime.

The one light at the end of the tunnel was that my GM had promised me that I would get final say on the new workers that he swore he was trying to get in. Then, one Friday he pulled me aside to give me “good news.” They had hired me some new workers, whom I had never met, in spite of promises to include me in the hiring process. I asked if they had any experience in print centers. Nope. None. The “good news” was that on top of all of the plates I was already spinning, I would also have to train completely green workers, who, regardless of work ethic, would be albatrosses around my neck for at least another month before they could even potentially pull some weight.

The next Monday I woke up. I thought about going into work, to the mountain of jobs my useless coworkers wouldn’t have touched, or worse, done entirely wrong and wasted product that I would have to replace. I thought about the incoming new workers who I would somehow have to find time to train between fixing mistakes and being screamed at by customers. And I promptly burst into inconsolable tears.

My boyfriend, who had been watching my mental decline over the last two months — who the week before had seen me wake up to answer my phone, so disoriented from lack of sleep that my legs actually gave out trying to get to it and I still answered it — calmed me down, grabbed my cell phone, and told me that I had to quit.


And I did. I believe my exact words on the phone to the morning manager were, “Hi, um… I’m not going to be coming in today… or ever.” It was like coming up for air after almost drowning. I instantly felt a weight lifted off of me. The GM called a few minutes later to try and talk me out of it, but I was firm. I just couldn’t do it anymore, and nothing was going to get me to set foot in that copy center again.

I struggled to find another job for a while, but after a while, my boyfriend and I both found jobs in a larger city, and we were preparing to move. Literally on our way out of his hometown, we stopped at that same store for a desk, the first time I’d been there since quitting. Almost the entire staff I remembered was gone; the only person I recognized was one of the computer techs, who I remembered as one of the few competent staff, and he was now a manager. I wasn’t overly surprised.


Cobbled Together Some Clothes

, , , , , , , | | Related | August 15, 2019

(I like to get all my errands done as early as I can on a weekend so the rest of my time off is mine. I go to a cobbler to get a zipper replaced on a boot whose teeth keep separating.)

Cobbler: “Hmm. This repair is expensive.”

Me: “What? What’s expensive? How much are you thinking?”

Cobbler: “It’d be, like $35.”

(The boots are over $600 new; their worth should be pretty obvious to someone in his field. I imagine the manufacturer would repair it for me — being a defective zipper — but I don’t want to waste my time figuring it out if I don’t have to.)

Me: “That’s… not expensive.”

(I pay and then head out, calling my aunt to complain that the race-to-the-bottom pricing we face every day now makes $35 seem too expensive to fix a boot.)

Aunt: “What are you wearing?”

Me: “Umm, a rock shirt and jeans.”

Aunt: “Ironic rock shirt or real rock shirt?”

Me: “Real rock shirt.”

Aunt: “Do your jeans fit?”

Me: *confused pause* “No.”

Aunt: “How’s your hair?”

Me: “Greasy and messy… Aww, man, he thought I was homeless.”

(Now I know why I get all my best deals when I shop Saturday morning.)

Page 1/20012345...Last