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Nepotism Doesn’t Always Pay Off

, , , , , | Working | January 10, 2022

I found retirement to be just a little too slow for me. I wanted to travel more but my pension just wouldn’t cut it. So, I took a little part-time job at a small cafe to bring in a little extra cash.

Everyone was really nice, and it wasn’t long until I was pretty much running the place — dealing with suppliers, stock management, sales, cooking the lot. It felt good to be so useful again.

One day:

Owner: “I don’t want to take anything away from you, but I want to give my nephew a chance in the business.”

Me: “That’s your prerogative. What would he be doing?”

Owner: “Well, he would be the store manager.”

Me: “So, doing what I’m doing now?”

Owner: “Yes, but I don’t want you to take it as a statement on anything you are doing. Genuinely, I really appreciate everything you are doing and we still need you in the store. But you know, family.”

Me: “Sure, I get it. I will go back to doing my normal job.”

I am a little put-out, and I don’t fancy being managed by someone less than half my age, but this wasn’t supposed to be anything other than a bit of extra spending money, so I get over it quickly.

Unfortunately, his nephew was wet behind the ears and thought being a good manager was being ruthless and strict.

Me: “Did you get my holiday form?”

Nephew: “Oh, yeah, I will look at it when I get a chance.”

Me: “Okay. Just to remind you, I won’t be here for a week next month.”

Nephew: “Well, I think I will tell you when you’re not here.”

Me: “No, I’m telling you. I gave you plenty of notice to arrange cover.”

Nephew: “We will see.”

A week before I was set to go, he sent me a message that my holiday wasn’t approved. I just ignored it; I’d like to see him try anything. 

On my first day on holiday, I got a call from the owner.

Owner: “I heard you’re not at work today. Are you okay?”

Me: “Yes, I’m on holiday. I did put the form in at least two months ago.”

Owner: “Oh, I wasn’t told. Did [Nephew] know?”

Me: “Yes, I reminded him last month.”

Owner: “Oh, okay, thanks. And enjoy your holiday.”

I did, and when I got back, I found out that the shop had to close for most of the week and the nephew was nowhere to be found. Turns out he wanted a day off at the same time I was off, didn’t try to organise any cover, and then just didn’t open the shop. Food was wasted and customers were angry. I was back running things the next day.

Wood You Believe It?

, , , , , | Friendly | January 10, 2022

I have an overgrown piece of land that I haven’t touched in many many years, partly as I’ve never had a use for it and partly the cost of a skip or hiring a van. A friend offers the use of his dad’s old landscaping tools, so I figure I should at least cut it back, even if I have to figure out how to get rid of it later.

I start with the dead trees, cutting them down and then into smaller logs. I sit them around the front, well out of the way of the path still. Then, I head round back to tackle some of the bushes and thorny vines. It takes a few days. Then, I have another small tree I can now reach to cut up, again into small, movable pieces. I bring them round front and go to stack them with the rest, but they’re missing.

I search around to make sure they haven’t rolled away or some kids haven’t kicked them down the road. But no, gone.

Good job, as I didn’t want them, I suppose. I stack the rest of the wood, slightly closer to the path, to lure my wood thief into unwittingly doing me another favour. Sure enough, a few days later, the wood is gone. I get on with the rest of the weeding and digging.

I get a knock on the door. A middle-aged guy is stood there.

Man: “Got any more wood?”

Me: “Oh, no, sorry.”

Man: “What about them?”

He points to the neighbours’ garden and two ornamental trees.

Me: “No, they belong to the neighbours.”

Man: “That one?”

He points behind himself.

Me: “That would be the council’s tree.”

Man: “Oh, can I borrow your saw?”

Images of several missing telegraph poles going missing flash to mind.

Me: “Sorry, no. Try the DIY store up the road.”

I shut the door but kept a watch. He tried looking through to the back anyway, hoping no doubt for some hidden forest, but then he dejectedly loped off. It was that very day I put up some cameras and hid all my wooden spoons, just in case he returned.

Shortest One-Night Stand Ever

, , , , , , , | Friendly | January 8, 2022

Some friends and I are leaving an end-of-season event for the sports club we represent at University. We’ve just piled into a taxi to take us back to a friend’s house, where we’re staying.

Since this event hosts dozens of University teams, and it’s just ended, there are a lot of almost identical-looking taxis lined up, waiting to collect their passengers.

The six of us are getting situated and we’re about to close the door, when a drunk young woman climbs into the taxi, SITS ON MY LAP, and closes the door behind her.

Friend: “Erm, [My Name], you can’t bring her back to my house!”

Everyone turns to stare at me and this person who I now realise is NOT another of our friends trying to catch a ride and is, in fact, a complete stranger.

The driver, of course, is annoyed that this girl is not seated safely, and my friends are giving me raised eyebrows, evidently thinking she’s a one-night stand in progress.

Me: “No idea who this is!” *To the girl* “Hey… I don’t think this is your taxi. Do you think you could get out? Maybe we can find the one you’re supposed to be in?”

After about ten seconds, it dawned on the girl that she was in a vehicle with people she didn’t know, and she opened the door and hopped out. I got out, too, so I could make sure she at least found someone she DID know, instead of leaving her swaying on the footpath alone.

Thankfully, the taxi behind ours had some confused-looking people waiting beside it who spotted our interloper and called her over. Satisfied she’d been returned to her friends, I got back in, CLOSED THE DOOR FIRST, and then buckled up so that we could finally be on our way.

And This Is Why We Have The Meetings

, , , , , | Working | January 7, 2022

Being dyslexic and growing up at a time where it wasn’t understood has really impacted my spelling. Still, today, as an adult what I write, read, and think don’t always tie up. Working from home, things get much harder, and what could have been a quick chat is now an email, which takes me so much longer.

Most people are understanding if I misspell something or use the wrong words… all apart from [Coworker], who seems to love pointing out little mistakes and telling people they should just “make more of an effort”. I’ve complained, but his boss seems to be completely detached from everything.

Out of the blue, the company starts to make a big thing about mental health and “wellness”. We are all invited to meetings to discuss the impact of working from home.

Host: “In conclusion, we need to be more alert and aware of the impacts work and life have on our mental health.”

Me: “And [Company] is taking mental health seriously?”

Host: “Yes, absolutely. This directive has come right from the top. We also have helplines and confidential mental health champions to talk to if you need to.”

Me: “So, if someone is causing mental health concerns in others, like belittling them constantly over minor details, then…?”

Host: “Oh, the company would certainly come down very hard on that individual.”

Coworker: “Well, there’s a limit, though, right? I mean, everyone has free speech.”

Host: “Sorry, I don’t understand.”

Coworker: “I mean, you can’t stop people from giving their opinion on others.”

Host: “I don’t think anyone is asking you to not have an opinion. But when that is needlessly aggressive, undermining, or just critical without due cause, we would need to speak to individuals on that.”

Coworker: “Well, I think it’s stupid. I should be able to give my opinion.”

Host: “Again, no one is stopping you from having an opinion. But I think it’s pretty clear what is appropriate and what isn’t. We need to be mindful that, at the moment, a lot of people are under additional strain and stress. Like I just presented.”

Coworker: “Well, I don’t agree.”

Host: “Perhaps we should talk afterward.”

It got very awkward. [Coworker] sat there with his arms folded until the session ended. I didn’t hear what was discussed, but I do know that [Coworker] was sent on several sensitivity and awareness courses. 

Very quickly, he stopped the snotty reply-all emails altogether. I’m still working on my spelling, but it certainly is nice not to have to worry about people ripping apart every email you send.

Should’ve Thought Of That A Bit Sooner

, , , , , | Working | January 7, 2022

I win an online auction. It isn’t cheap but still a lot less than new. I pay immediately, and I wait and wait. After a few weeks and still no dispatch notification, I email the seller.

Me: “Hi. I’m just checking, did this get dispatched?”

Seller: “Sorry, yes, it did.”

Another week goes by; the item is now late.

Me: “Hi. I’m just checking, as the item hasn’t arrived, when did this get sent?”

Seller: “Oh, sorry, I forgot to send it. I will try to do it tomorrow.”

Me: “Great, thanks. Please let me know when it gets sent.”

Another week…

Me: “Hi. Can you please confirm if this was sent, when it was sent, and the tracking number? I noticed that you have listed another item using the same pictures, so I am a little concerned about what is going on.”

Seller: “Yeah, I didn’t send it, sorry. To be honest, I wanted more money for it than I got, so I want to relist it. You can bid on the new auction if you like. Sorry again.”

I didn’t even look at the new listing. I submitted a claim and gave negative and honest feedback. I got my money back and the seller got restricted. I’m not sorry at all, which is probably the same as the seller.