Take The Train(ing)

, , , , | Working | March 1, 2021

I am moving departments and have to hand over my responsibilities to a new starter. I don’t have long and I’ve had it bite me in the a** before so I am super careful of how I do it.

After three attempts to arrange a meeting, the new starter shows up and tells me he already knows what the job entails. I give him a tour of the department; he barely acknowledges his surroundings. 

I set up another session in the office to go through the job in detail. I ask him if he needs training on any of the software. “No.” Showing how to make the monthly presentations. “No.” Anything he needs to know. “No.” He insists that he already knows what to do and rolls his eyes.

Fair enough. I wish him the best of luck and tell him that I will be contactable for the next three weeks.

A few months later, I bump into my old boss and ask how things are going,

Boss: “Your replacement is still finding his feet.”

Me: “Oh, really? Anything I can help with?”

Boss: “Well, could you show him how to create the monthly reports.”

Me: “I did try. He refused.”

Boss: “Oh, that’s not what he said.”

Me: “Yeah, tried several times. I’ve got it all on email and calendar invites. He refused everything: the presentation, the software, the reporting tools… I’ve not had any requests for help despite offering.”

Boss: “Do you have those emails still?”

Me: “Of course.”

I sent it all over to him. It turns out that anything the new guy got wrong or couldn’t do, he just blamed me. He just assumed that he could pick everything up and just change everything that he didn’t want to do his way. Some of the work I used to do was business-critical and HAD to be done that way for several other departments to do their job. He just stopped doing it. He didn’t last long and left a few months later.

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“Busy” Must Mean Something Else Here

, , , , , | Working | March 1, 2021

There’s an employee in my office who has been there for years. No one knows what she does, but she’s always “very busy” or “at the other site.”

Her boss doesn’t like confrontation so never asks her what she is doing and she gets away with doing whatever she wants for years. She gets verbally aggressive if pushed for any details from anyone.

One day, I am asked to spend some time with [Employee] to understand her tasks on problem reports. I manage them for our site, and evidently, she must manage them for the other (much smaller) site.

With blessings from her boss and mine, I drive to the other site only to find that she isn’t there. I am informed that the meeting doesn’t start for a few hours, but where is she? When she does arrive, she is visibly shocked to see me.

Employee: “Oh, what are you doing here?”

Me: “I was asked to understand your tasks on the problem reports. I made a new system and it might work here, as well.”

Employee: “Oh, well, yes, you probably shouldn’t bother. I have everything in hand. Besides, good luck getting these guys to adopt change.”

Me: “Well, I’m here now. Just pretend I’m not here.”

The meeting starts and is a complete joke. The participants are working on their laptops in silence. Eventually, I have to ask:

Me: “Sorry, but what is this meeting for?”

Manager: “Oh, we discuss the weekly problem reports.”

Me: “So… why are we not doing it?”

Manager: “Oh, we haven’t had a problem report in ages. We’re told—” *motions to [Employee]* “—that it is policy to hold these sessions anyway. So most of us use it as a quiet session to get on with work.”

I didn’t mention that there isn’t a policy at all, or that I don’t even hold weekly meetings, let alone a full-day session. The next day, my boss pulled me aside and asked if I could take over managing both sites as “[Employee] would be busy on other tasks.” What I didn’t realise was that those tasks were looking for another job. She “decided” to leave the business that month.

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Being Helpful Has A Musicality To It

, , , , | Right | February 28, 2021

As an avid musician, I like to go to music stores and shop around, looking at different instruments. I’m in a music shop near where I live, browsing the orchestral section. I’ve ordered a new trumpet and bass trombone and am just waiting for it to be brought out from the warehouse. I’m dressed in a navy blue jacket with a white shirt on, similar to the uniform of the shop.

An elderly couple walks up to me and asks a question.

Elderly Woman: “Excuse me, sir, would you be able to tell me where I could find [percussion instrument]?”

Me: “I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that.”

Elderly Woman: “Would you be able to help me find this instrument?”

She then shows me a picture of said instrument.

Me: “I’ll have a look around for you. I’m not a drummer or percussionist by trade, rather a brass musician, but I’ll try and help.”

We look, and I am unable to find it.

Elderly Man: “Would you be able to look at your store guide to help us find this?”

Me: “I don’t actually have a store guide, as I’m not an employee, but I figured that I’d try and help. It’ll be best to see an employee about it.”

Couple: “Okay.”

They go and ask about it and order their instruments. An employee announces that my instruments are ready for collection. I see that there are two large boxes and an additional small box that I did not order.

Me: “Why is there that additional box? I only ordered two items.”

Employee: “The couple over there told us of your generosity and how you tried to help them, and we figured you deserved a reward for it.”

Me: *To the couple and the employee* “Thank you so much.”

It was a Harmon mute, which I’d been looking for for a while.

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F*** You, I Got Mine

, , , , | Legal | February 27, 2021

My old machining lecturer used to work at a machine shop/factory as a machinist. They would work large blocks of aluminum down to saleable parts.

The factory manager would give them a bonus but take off money for every part in their scrap bin.

My lecturer was good but never got the full bonus, unlike his coworker. 

[Coworker] always got the full bonus, even with the new, difficult jobs. The funny thing was that [Coworker] didn’t even have any experience, and to talk to him, he seemed utterly clueless; the guys didn’t like him much.

That was, until the police turned up and took [Coworker] away. It turned out that when [Coworker] made a mistake, he cut a bit off at a time until the massive block of metal turned into dust and chips. 

He cost the company thousands to get a bonus of £50.

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What Are You Feeding Those Sparrows?!

, , , , , | Related | February 27, 2021

During the health crisis, my mum’s gotten exceptionally bored as she’s had to shield, so she has picked up the hobby of bird watching by looking at the front garden from her chair in the living room. She’s been very successful in getting birds — almost exclusively sparrows — to flock as she’s been putting an inordinate amount of varied bird food, plus housing, out for them on the tree just outside that window. These are probably the most pampered — and fattest — wild sparrows in the UK.

As we’ve been hit by snow, Mum’s aggressive bird feeding policy has only upped, resulting in a LOT of fat little sparrows gathering. As of the week of this story, we’ve got about a hundred of the little hooligans fighting over the abundance of food and attacking every other non-sparrow that so much as glances at it.

I’ve made a cup of tea and, upon reentering the living room, I notice that all the little fat things have gone and that a lone sparrowhawk — without any prey — is perched on the tree with the food on. I slowly get my phone out to take a picture.

My mum is sat in the chair next to the window.

Mum: “What are you doing?”

Me: “Don’t move; there’s a sparrowhawk.”

Mum: “It’s just a large sparrow.”

Me: “Did you actually look?”

She looks directly at the MUCH LARGER THAN A SPARROW sparrowhawk.

Mum: “It’s just a sparrow… Where are the other sparrows?”

I’m struggling with my phone whilst trying not to spill my tea.

Me: “They’ve f***ed off cause a sparrowhawk tried and failed to nom them.”

Mum: “It’s not a sparrow—”

The sparrowhawk flies off.

Mum: “Oh, it was a sparrowhawk. I thought it was a sparrow.”

Me: “It’s like 100 times the size! Only the colouring is similar!”

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