Talking About Music Therapy Requires Therapy

, , , , | Working | October 14, 2017

(I can’t complain too much because I end up getting my license renewed in 10 minutes, but I have the weirdest conversation with the employee who processes it.)

Employee: “Wow, 21? Did you get hammered on your birthday?”

Me: *the question takes me by surprise, but I laugh a bit* “Oh, no; I just went out for a drink with some friends. I was living in New York before coming back to Colorado, which is why the license is so expired.”

Employee: “Oh. So, what were you in New York for?”

Me: “Completing my clinical hours for a degree in music therapy. I worked in hospice, on an adult and pediatric program.”

Employee: “Aw, where babies go to die?”

Me: *pause* “Unfortunately, yes, sometimes.”

Employee: “So, music therapy. You help people sleep?”

Me: “Not quite.”

(I explained a little about music therapy, grabbed my license, and shimmied on out of there. All I know is that I didn’t go through four years of school and 1,200 clinical hours to help people sleep!)

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Don’t Mess With Family (Business)

, , , , , , , | Working | October 13, 2017

(My wife and I have owned a café a few blocks from our house for over a year. I suck at cooking, so 90% of the time I’m a stay-at-home dad to our two-year-old, while my wife is at the café nigh on constantly. I do help out from time to time, and I’ve met most of the employees. I decide to bring our daughter in for lunch one day, since she’s been begging for mummy since she woke up.)

Me: *talking to new employee I’d never seen before* “Hi, is [Wife] in? I’d like to speak to her.”

New Employee: *rolls eyes and sighs* “I don’t know.”

Me: “Could you please find out?”

New Employee: *sighs again* “I can get the boss for you, but I don’t know who [Wife] is.”

Me: “[Wife] is the boss.”

New Employee: *snorts* “No, she isn’t. You’ve been lied to, mate.”

Me: *getting pretty angry at this point about how rude this girl is* “Just get the boss, then.”

New Employee: “Fine, if you’re going to be rude about it!”

(She stalks off. My daughter climbs up onto one of the chairs and sits at the table, pretending to read the menu and excitedly telling anyone who walks past, “SEE MY MUMMY!”)

New Employee: *stalks back over* “He’s coming. Could you control your kid, please? She’s bothering the other customers.”

Me: “She’s not hurting anyone.”

New Employee: “Ugh, whatever.”

(She flounces off to serve someone. A very frazzled looking [Brother-In-Law] comes out of the office and sees me.)

Brother-In-Law: “Oh, it’s just you! I thought it was another bloody complaint about her. [Wife] will be back in a bit; she just ran to get the milk order. Hey there, [Daughter]!”

(My daughter grins and giggles at the sight of her uncle, and in her excitement, knocks over her sippy cup she’d brought with her. It’s spill-proof, so it just falls to the floor and rolls under the table.)

Daughter: “Uh-oh! Sorry, Daddy!”

Me: “That’s fine, sweetie.”

(Before I can get over there, the new employee storms over, picks up the sippy cup, and SLAMS it onto the table, narrowly missing my daughter’s hand. The sudden noise and the girl’s angry face scares my daughter, who begins to cry.)

Brother-In-Law: “Hey! What the h***?!”

New Employee: “She’s been running around wrecking the place since he walked in, demanding to see some lady. He can’t control his kid, and he’s obviously picked up with some woman who lied about being the boss here to seem important.”

Me: “I asked to see [Wife] and she has been nothing but rude. Should I tell her or should you?”

(My brother-in-law has picked up my daughter and is cuddling her, trying to stop her from crying.)

Brother-In-Law: “[New Employee], [Wife] is the boss.”

New Employee: “No, she isn’t. [Supervisor who happens to be my sister-in-law] said some married couple owned the place. She’s not married; she doesn’t wear a ring.”

Me: “She doesn’t wear a ring because when she cooks it tears the gloves. It’s on a necklace instead.”

New Employee: “Ugh, whatever. Could you just stay out of this?”

Me: “Here, take a look at my license.”

(I hand her my wallet, and she flips it open and looks at my license. I’ve never seen someone go so pale so quickly as this employee when she looks at my surname — the name of the d*** café.)

Me: *to [Brother-In-Law]* “Has she had her warnings?”

Brother-In-Law: *grins* “Two, in writing. [Wife] wanted to give her one last chance.”

Me: “I’d say she’s used that.” *to her* “You’re fired.”

New Employee: *stammering* “You can’t do that! You’re not the boss! I’m sorry! I won’t do it again!”

Wife: *who has apparently been standing quietly in the office doorway for a few minutes and has heard enough* “I am definitely the boss, and you are definitely fired.”

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They All Want To Be Left Holding The Baby

, , , | Working | September 29, 2017

(One of my closest friends works in a shoe shop with very large windows. Our other close friend has gotten me into the habit of making weird faces, or at least waving at her when she’s working; much to the amusement of her coworkers. My insanely sociable one-year-old also likes to wave at her unofficial auntie, and since she loves shoes and all the attention from the other female staff, it’s better than Christmas for her when we go inside. We have just gotten her her first pair of shoes a few weeks ago this incident, which is when her fan-club starts.)

Me: *to daughter* “Oh, Auntie [Friend]’s working today! Say hiya!”

([Friend] waves at us, then runs out of the shop.)

Friend: “Can I borrow your baby?”

Me: “Sure. Give her back when she’s 18!”

Friend: *going inside* “[New Worker]’s on her last day of training here, and we need to train her on fitting baby shoes.”

(We go in, and my daughter gets lots of attention as her feet are measured and the fit of her shoes are checked again. The trainee does a great job, and we go about our business. A few months later, I go in with my mother while my daughter is at home with her dad and my friend is off work.)

Worker: *as we’re leaving* “Where’s your little helper today?”

Me: “At home with her dad; thank God!”

(They laugh, but I can tell they’re disappointed not to see her, which is cute in itself. A few days later, my friend runs outside after waving again.)

Friend: “Can I take her inside? The girls want to see her!”

Me: *smiling* “Okay, you take her there and I’ll take the buggy.”

Friend: “I’m pretty sure if [Owner]’s watching the cameras, he’s wondering why I just stole a baby!”

(My daughter got lots of attention, got to play with shoes, and got to sit in the tiny chair in the kid’s section. I swear, she could set the place on fire and they’d all adore it!)

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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.)

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How To Survive A Testing Restaurant

, , | Working | September 26, 2017

(I live in a very small, rather remote town; as such, we only have one fast food joint that’s open late. The service is terrible; the wait times are long, they get something wrong at least every second order, and their staff is rude. But because they lack competition, they get away with it. It’s 11:30 pm, and a friend and I are grabbing something to eat before going out. I already dread the expectation of having to deal with that restaurant, but my friend tells me to watch and learn. He goes up to the counter and orders a complicated and unusual order. All of a sudden, the employee acts really friendly, he receives his order before me and most of the other people waiting, and he even gets a couple of extra sauces for free. We sit down. Contrary to my meal, his is even correct.)

Me: “Wow, that’s new! How did you do that?”

Friend: “Before moving here, I worked at another restaurant of the same franchise. That’s the order they had us memorize, even before hygiene rules. It’s the order test customers use.”

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