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The Grass Started To Grow Again And The Animals Came Back

, , , , , | Working | January 12, 2022

I have a coworker who is very dramatic. We are both on the management team with several other leaders in our large workplace. She is rude, will announce mistakes of the staff very loudly for everyone to hear, and has spread horrible rumours. She has the mentality that her team will always be perfect, and everyone else is the problem. She has had warnings for her behaviour and is on her last legs. 

Today, we are having our daily catch-up between all the teams to see the workload, and those leaving are handing over to the next shift. My oh-so-lovely coworker starts complaining and yelling about a task not completed by all shifts — including hers today, but she won’t admit that.

Coworker #1: “And if [task] is not completed by the time I start my shift tomorrow, I am walking out that door. We have KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and you lot are too lazy to do them, and I am sick of this bulls***! Get it done or I am out that door!”

All of the team are either looking at each other trying not to laugh or completely zoned out because we are all over listening to her rants. She leaves for the day and my boss, [Coworker #2], and I start talking.

Boss: “What the h***? Out the door? Really?”

Coworker #2: “Yeah, it’s like a power trip phrase for her. She thinks we care or that we would be lost without her — that if she walked, we would be begging for her to come back. I can’t wait for the day she actually walks. I’ll be dancing. Maybe we should leave [task] unfinished if it actually gets rid of her.”

It wasn’t the next day, but a few days later, she had her monthly “personal development” session with a superior and it was suggested she try to take a bit more constructive criticism on board and think about how her team can improve. She started screaming her head off and stormed out of work saying, “I’m done!”

She tried to come back two hours later, but her swipe cards had already been deactivated as she had abandoned her position, which meant she also lost all her built-up leave entitlements and payouts. I could see [Coworker #2] dancing at her station after the spectacle. My workplace was suddenly a very peaceful and enjoyable place to work. It’s amazing how one person can change an atmosphere with their toxicity.

The Train Of Thought Is Still Boarding At The Station

, , , , , , | Working | January 12, 2022

I’m working away, fixing one of the rebuilds. I get it done and send it down the line. What should happen is the next one automatically rolling into the station, but nothing comes.

I look up the line and it looks like the line is full. So, what’s the hold-up?! I go to the previous station to ask the guy what’s going on.

Me: “Hey, what’s with the delay?”

Worker: “Yeah, I’m doing it.”

He isn’t; he is on his phone, just kind of spaced out.

Me: “Well, you should be two in front of me. Why are you so behind? Did something happen? I’ve got no work.”

Worker: “I said I’m doing it!”

Fine, whatever. He should know what he’s doing; he’s been here long enough. I grabbed a drink and went back to my station.

I waited a while — still no work. I headed back to the previous station again. When I got there, the guy was just standing there, listening to music. It looked like he hadn’t done a thing.

I let my manager know my numbers were going to be down and why. I didn’t see it happen, but the guy got dragged into the office, apparently stinking of weed, and he had no idea why everyone was annoyed at him.

He refused a drug test, refused any help, and refused to give up his car keys.

What was going to be a written warning and suspension turned into getting the police called to stop him from driving away and ultimately led to him being fired on the spot.

Nope, It’s Not Your Job… Anymore

, , , , , , | Working | January 12, 2022

One of the managers has to take some time off for urgent “family matters”. The details are quite sad and you would think people would get on and do what they could to take the load off him or at least not give the guy more stress.

But not [Employee]. [Employee] doesn’t care about anything past his nose. I’ve had the joy of dealing with him while his actual manager spends most of his time at home.

Me: “[Employee], your numbers are terrible this month. What’s going on?”

He just shrugs.

Me: “No, seriously. You’ve done less than anyone. What’s the issue?”

Employee: “The machine keeps playing up.”

Me: “When did you highlight it?”

He just looks at me funny.

Me: “When did you tell someone that it was playing up”

Employee: “Not my job, is it?”

Me: “Your job, [Employee], is to follow the work instructions. On every work instruction is the contact details of maintenance, who it states must be contacted in case of issues with machinery.”

Employee: “No, it doesn’t, and even if it does, how am I supposed to contact them when I’m stood here?”

I get the work instruction, find the one he signed, and point out the bold print.

Me: “‘Contact maintenance on [number] or tell [Supervisor].’”

Employee: “Well, I didn’t see that.”

Me: “Nope, you saw it, and I know you’ve raised issues before. I’m passing you over for a write-up.”

Employee: “That’s bulls***. [Manager] would never write me up.”

Me: “Guess what? He’s not here. I am.”

Employee: “Well, I’ll call him.”

Me: “You dare, and I will have you written up for that, as well. He is not to be disturbed and you know d*** well why.”

He stormed off. I passed the details to Human Resources. As I was talking to them, they got a call from [Manager]. Apparently, [Employee] called him several times. When he answered and told him to stop calling, [Employee] hit him with a barrage of profanity.

The write-up I put forward wasn’t needed; they fired [Employee] without it. He was gone before the end of the day.

You Can’t Help Those Who Don’t Want To Be Helped

, , , , , , | Working | January 12, 2022

During the last recession, I took a job at a company that makes special washers, springs, etc. I previously worked in high-accuracy, high-tech companies, and this is some of the most basic engineering I have worked with, but I am genuinely happy to have a job.

It is clear straight away that the team I am working with has been there forever, they’re all set in their ways, and they don’t like change. None of them speak to me and they all complain constantly. 

The current winge is about their office; it has shrunk slightly because the business needed the space. The office is still 40% bigger than it needs to be, but they complain anyway. 

This carries on for months until I’ve had enough. I suggest some ways we could make the space work better — new equipment that takes up less space and is easier to use, changing an empty desk into a work area, etc. It’s all stuff that I have seen working before and will make their lives easier.

The team hates every idea I give and responds with nonsense excuses or just refusing to listen. Knowing this is a dead-end, I shut up and get on with the work. They seem happy being miserable.

Months later, the same original gripes and complaints keep on coming. What is worse is that some of these old ways of working are affecting the customers, and now I am getting complaints from my boss, expecting me to stop them.

My boss brings me into a meeting room to discuss it.

Manager: “We are getting a lot of complaints about missing parts.”

Me: “Yes, they are being counted by hand, and mistakes will happen as long as we do this.”

Manager: “So, how do we improve?”

Me: “Stop the problem at its source; change from manual counting to a machine. It is inexpensive and will pay the company back in costs within a few years. It is simple to use and implement.”

Manager: “Great. So, why haven’t you said this before?”

Me: “Every suggestion is shot down by the team. When I try to encourage improvement, I get complaints. Then you discipline me for not working together with them and tell me to ‘toe the line’.”

Manager: “Ah, okay. Well, the next issue, then? Marks and damages. Lots of complaints here.”

Me: “I believe we have discussed this one, too. I wanted to test out some new worktops. But—”

Manager: “Oh, yes, there were some complaints from the team and we dropped it.”

Me: “I don’t know what to tell you. You employ me to fix these issues. I have given you multiple cost-effective options to do so, all proven with little to no risk. But the operator is telling you that he doesn’t want to even try, so we just don’t?! And the problems stay here forever. I have tried reason, I have tried demonstrating the savings and benefits, and I have tried bringing the team with me and hearing their ideas, but they don’t want to change. They are actively stopping progress and improvement.”

Manager: “Yes, a tricky one… Okay, so, the next issue.”

We went through the list and it was all the same. I’d make a suggestion, but the team wouldn’t like it or would refuse to try. The manager would like the idea but refuse to help.

I knew then that I was wasting my time in this job; nothing I would do could change anything. The company would rather lose thousands a month, and potentially customers, than ask the guy whose job it was to put parts in a bag to try something slightly different. I quit that month.

While You’re At It, Pick Up A Board Stretcher

, , , , , | Working | January 3, 2022

I’m pretty hands-on. I spent a lot of my childhood taking things apart to see how they worked and putting them back together. So, when I had the opportunity to do some work experience in my uncle’s factory, I was excited.

The first few days were great, but they clearly ran out of things for me to do, so they put me with [Employee]. He was a guy in his fifties who didn’t seem to want me there and wouldn’t let me help with anything!

After a day or two of following him around, I asked if I could actually “do” anything.

Employee: “When I was your age, I would have killed to have this opportunity.”

Me: “I’m not complaining. I was just hoping to help. Anything, at all. I’ve swept up twice already.”

Employee: “Why don’t you go over the road and see if they have any tartan paint?”

Finally having someone useful to do, I headed over the road to the paint shop, looking for a paint pot. After looking for something like “tartan red,” I realised that he was wasting my time. There was no tartan paint; he wanted me to ask for a paint that dried in a tartan pattern.

Shop Worker: “Can I help?”

Me: “Oh, no, thanks.”

Shop Worker: “Was there anything you were looking for in particular?”

Me: “Oh, yes. But it doesn’t matter.”

Shop Worker: “There is another paint shop down the road.”

Me: “Hmm? Oh, yes. Thank you.”

Still annoyed, I went out and grabbed a drink and took a long lunch. I mean, he wasn’t expecting me back from his fool’s errand anytime soon, right? I took my time and got back to the factory right as my lunch ended.

My uncle was there, furious.

Uncle: “Oh, thank God! There you are. I thought I was going to have to ring your parents.”

Me: “I got some lunch.”

Uncle: “Oh, that’s fine, really. But when I heard what [Employee] did, I called the paint shop; they told me you’d left for the next one and that we couldn’t find you there. I was worried that you got lost. Or worse.”

Me: “Sorry.”

Uncle: “Don’t apologize. [Employee] is an idiot and shouldn’t have done that. I’ve already had strong words with him.”

Me: “Oh, okay. Well, what should I do now?”

He sent me to the shops to buy some doughnuts for everyone. Then, I spent the rest of my time with him. It was great and he gave me a load of cash as “pay” on the last day for all the team help. Apparently, [Employee] felt so bad he put most of it in himself.