Entitled To Training To Be Entitled

, , , , , , , | Working | June 23, 2019

(I take over the responsibility of running a small team at work. It is clear that they are unhappy so I do all I can to help them out, talk with them regularly, and generally keep them running smoothly. Things improve quickly, but one person always has a complaint, be it work related or otherwise. He asks to speak to me in private.)

Worker: “I’ve got a problem. Why am I being paid much less than everyone else?”

Me: “I don’t know your exact wage, but I don’t think you are.”

Worker: “Well, I know that I am! [Worker #1] and [Worker #2] get paid a lot more than me.”

Me: “They have been in the position for much longer than you, have completed their training, and have had pay increases based on their yearly performance.”

Worker: “Okay, well, how do I complete my training?”

Me: “You have to show competence in each area of the job; there is a sign-off sheet for each skill. When you and I are happy with the skill we will both sign. When you have signed all of them, you are officially trained.”

Worker: “Okay, I want to do that.”

(I collect all of the training sheets. They have been written to cover one skill each; I improved them to make sure it’s very clear. You can actually use the sheet to help you with the job. Under each one, you sign to say that you are competent in that skill and have received training, and that if you fail to follow the instructions you may be questioned and possibly, in extreme cases, disciplined. I give the pack to him and hear nothing until I am called into HR.)

HR Manager: “We have had a complaint about unfair treatment and entrapment. Apparently, you have asked [Worker] to sign something that will get him in trouble.”

Me: “That would be the training document; have you read it?”

HR Manager: “Yes.”

Me: “And you can see that it is nothing like entrapment and everyone has been treated the same?”

HR Manager: “Yes, that was all. Thanks.”

(Not to be put off, I explain everything to the worker again and tell him how this is fair and normal. He accepts and I hear nothing back until I get called into HR again.)

HR Manager: “We have had a complaint that you are paying someone who works for you less, because of his race.”

Me: “This would be [Worker]?”

HR Manager: “I cannot say.”

Me: “Okay, I am going to pretend that [Worker] is the only person reporting to me of a different race and explain. [Worker] will be paid the full amount for the role, minus merit increases earned by others for their long service. He can only do this once he has signed the training documents. This has been explained.”

HR Manager: “And if he refuses to sign?”

Me: “No one can make a mistake and not face discipline if it is appropriate. That is what this is about. If he truly believes that he cannot do the job after several months and multiple training sessions, I will happily transfer him to any other department that needs him.”

HR Manager: “To be honest with you, I have already spoken to the individual, and I think that this is the case, but I need to follow the process.”

(I hoped that this was all over; I had been nothing but patient and tried to help and explain. He seemed to understand and be happy with the extra effort I was doing to get him more money. To my surprise, the worker took me to an independent tribunal, which sided in my favour. He then took me to another tribunal that sided in my favour. He later signed the documents and got the pay rise without issue.)

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A Scrabble To Find The Scribbler

, , , , , | Working | April 29, 2019

(At the factory where I work, coworkers suddenly start writing “funny” messages on the doors and walls of our toilets. It turns out it’s some kind of contest between them. Clearly, management isn’t thrilled, and issues a memo that if anyone is caught in the act they’ll be fired on the spot. But since these are toilets, it is illegal to install camera surveillance. Without any means of surveillance, the memo has no effect and the walls and doors get smeared with more new “funnies” every day. One day, the maintenance department thinks they’ve found a solution in a paint that is supposed to be resistant against all sorts of pens, markers, crayons, etc. They invite a salesman to demonstrate the product. The man comes in with a lot of samples and we all get to try to write on the samples with anything we can come up with: markers, pens, lipstick, pencils, and even spray paint. Nothing sticks to the samples. The salesman cleans every sample without any effort.)

Head Maintenance: “That’s nice. But I want to see this stuff on one door of our toilets.”

Salesman: “Sure you can. I’ll treat one of your doors with our product, but you’ll have to sign this order for it first.”

Head Maintenance: “There’s no way I’m going to buy a product if I haven’t tested it in real life. That’s why we asked for a demonstration in the first place. We’re done.”

(Management found a cheaper solution. They painted the toilets and hired someone to clean the toilets whenever workers used them. That man also checked the toilets for new scribbles. As a result, two coworkers were fired. The walls and doors stayed clean.)

 

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That’s All Phone Books Are Good For Now

, , , , , , | Working | April 19, 2019

(Before he retires, my dad is a fitter machinist and loves to play practical jokes.)

Dad: “Hey, [Colleague], I took up a collection for you.”

Colleague: “What for?”

Dad: “Phone books.”

(Dad gets a big stack of phone books he’s borrowed from all the offices and sets it down in front of her.)

Colleague: “But what for?”

Dad: “Well, I heard you got a new car.”

Colleague: “Um, yeah?”

Dad: “Well, if you sit on these, you can see over the steering wheel.”

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This Prank Doesn’t Lose Steam

, , , , , , , | Working | April 15, 2019

(Before he retires, my dad is a fitter machinist and works in a range of pharmaceuticals, food factories, and coal mines over the years. I love to hear all his stories about practical jokes and things that he has done over the years. And no, he has never been fired or reprimanded. In fact, he is usually incredibly well-liked and promoted continually since he works incredibly hard whenever he isn’t pranking someone or goofing off. He works with a great friend who, while apparently clever, seems to have some incredibly ditzy moments.)

Dad: “This would clean up better if we could steam clean it. Ah, I know! [Friend], take this bucket and go ask [Colleague across the factory] for some steam.”

(Thinking he’ll clue into the joke after a minute or so, he is surprised when [Friend] nods and leaves with the bucket. After a few minutes, [Friend] comes back, and surprise, surprise, the bucket is empty.)

Friend: “Ah, no! It’s gone. Hang on. I’ll go again. I must have spilled it.”

Dad: *trying his best at a serious face* “Okay.”

(As soon as he’s gone, he calls the extension for [Colleague], who exclaims that he thought [Friend] was pranking him. Dad laughs and explains briefly, and then [Colleague] puts Dad on loudspeaker so he can listen when [Friend] arrives.)

Friend: “I need some more. I spilled it.”

Colleague: “Ah, I know what it is. It evaporated. What you’ll have to do is pour it quickly and then run to the back with it before it disappears. Here, take two just to be sure.”

(Dad hears a few noises and then it goes silent for a moment before [Colleague] picks up, laughing.)

Colleague: “He’s on his way.”

(Dad hung up and, sure enough, [Friend] was running through the factory, carrying a bucket in each hand, with all of the operators staring at him, and he arrived panting with two empty buckets.)

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Unfiltered Story #147114

, , , | Unfiltered | April 15, 2019

I am the most junior worker at a specialty manufacturer, so I get to answer the phones when it rings. This is in the mid 90’s, well before map apps.
Me:”<Manufacturer>, how can I help you?”
Customer: “I need to bring some material down to be cut, where is <our street>?
Me:”It runs parallel to <major street> between <street> and <street>. If you’re coming from the west end of the city, don’t speed on <our street>. There’s a speed trap, lots of people visiting us get tickets.
About an hour later, the customer arrives.
Customer: “I got a speeding ticket on <our street>!
Me: “I did tell you about the speed trap, sir.”
Customer:(sheepishly) “…yeah…”
The whole reason I started telling customers was all the complaints I heard about people getting tickets…