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That Plan Went Straight Into The Bin

, , , , | Legal | August 23, 2021

We have a big site visit soon, so unusually, I go around the yard and check everything is in order. I see a guy out of place looking around.

Me: “Can I help you?”

Man: “Err, yes, I’m here for the bins.”

Me: “Bins? What bins?”

Man: “The big metal ones.”

Me: “And what would you want with them?”

Man: “Well, I was told that I could.”

He begins muttering and walks away. I manage to get a photo of his car as he drives away. I let security know and they thank me. In fact, it gives them the cause to get and install that camera they’ve been meaning to.

A few weeks later:

Security: “I think your friend turned up again.”

Me: “Who?”

Security: “That guy you took a photo of.”

Me: “Oh, really? What did he want?”

Security: “He tried to break into the yard. Is this him?”

He shows me a close-up, high-resolution photo of the guy in the car.

Me: “Yeah, that’s him. How did you get such a great photo?” 

Security: “Oh, he drove into the new security camera. It nearly landed on his bonnet. He still tried breaking in after that, though.”

Me: “Not the smartest guy, then?”

The police caught him not long after. The best part was that he was the brother of one of the guys working there. They must have been working together. Unfortunately for both of them, the scrap bins were emptied for the visit, so he stole nothing. The would-be thief got jail time and his brother got the sack.

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Clean Up Your Act If You Want A Promotion

, , , , | Working | August 17, 2021

[Coworker] works on the shop floor and was recently promoted up from being the cleaner. He is a nice enough guy but undeniably a bit dim. They give him the easy jobs to do, and sometimes that can prove a bit difficult.

We are chatting on a break about one of the guys being promoted. [Coworker] wanders over, looking agitated.

Coworker: “I applied for that job, didn’t even get an interview.”

Me: “Oh, really? The engineer job?”

Coworker: “Yeah, all because I didn’t go to college.”

Me: “Yeah, I saw that on the job description. I didn’t think that would be a job you’d… be interested in.”

Coworker: “Well, maybe. I could just go back to my old job if I didn’t like it. I said that to [Manager], but he wouldn’t listen.”

Me: “Maybe next time, huh?”

Coworker: “Nah, I’m going over his head. I’ll tell them if I don’t get that job, I’m leaving.”

Me: “But [Other Coworker] already has the job. He starts next week!”

Coworker: “Don’t care. In fact, I’m going to HR now!”

I didn’t see what happened, but apparently, he came out of the office shouting and swearing, grabbed his coat, and left! That was the last we saw of him for a few months, until we had a new cleaner; it was [Coworker]!

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Time To Scrap Your Lazy Ways

, , , , , | Legal | August 5, 2021

I work in a factory that makes parts for performance high-end cars with a very famous name and very expensive price tag. Of course, everything has to be supplied to very exacting standards. What people don’t know is that even small parts can also have high safety implications.

Me: “I’ve been reading [Customer]’s requirements. Did you realise we are supposed to be destroying the bad parts?”

Director: “We throw them in the skip; I’m sure that’s destroyed enough.”

Me: “There is a massive clause about this. I don’t think this is something we should overlook. There seem to be some pretty serious concerns here.”

Director: “Well, if you are concerned, speak to [Manager].”

I know the manager won’t care, doesn’t care, and doesn’t respect me or my job, so I try something new when I head downstairs

Me: “Are we destroying the defective parts for [Customer]?”

Manager: “Don’t see the point. They’re bad anyway.”

Me: “Oh, it’s just that [Director] wanted to know.”

Manager: “Oh, okay, then. I will make sure!”

He goes off and gets one of the guys to snap all the parts in half before throwing them away. He calls me over.

Manager: “There you go, ‘destroyed.’”

Me: “That’s great. Saved us a potential court case.”

Manager: “Court case?! What are you on about?”

Me: “Oh, someone got caught stealing sun visors from the bins at another company and was selling them online. The problem is that not only was it stealing from the company but also the sun visors weren’t crash-tested, which would be deadly. Not only a court case but massive bad PR. [Customer] sued and closed the factory.”

Manager: “Oh, I, err…”

Me: “So, is this all the scrap? This doesn’t look enough.”

Manager: “Oh. I, err… Yes, I am sure it is. I am, yes.”

Me: “Great! Then there isn’t a problem.”

I had no idea if that looked like all the scrap, but given how nervous he was, I suspected things were probably going missing.

Rumour had it that an employee was caught stealing our parts from the bin and was fired, but who let him and how he knew when the cameras were shut off is a mystery.

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Follow. The. Instructions.

, , , , , , | Working | August 4, 2021

Boss: “Can you teach [Coworker] how to take data off [machine]?”

Me: “I don’t know how to.”

Boss: “Oh, it’s simple. Here, I’ll write it down.”

Me: “[Coworker] has been using that kit for a year. If it’s this simple, why can’t he do it already?”

Boss: “You’ll see. If you manage to teach him, I will buy you lunch.”

Spurred on by the chance of free lunch, I go down to the machine, follow the instructions, and manage to do it okay. I rewrite the instructions to be a little clearer and even draw pictures of the icons. I book some time with [Coworker].

Me: “Let’s go through this together. Have you got something to take notes?”

Coworker: “No, I’ve done this before. I will be fine.”

Me: “Okay, if you insist. First, click on the blue icon called…”

We slowly go through the steps. We find a couple of steps he wasn’t doing properly, so I figure we have cracked it.

A few days later…

Boss: “Did you train [Coworker] yet? There is no data from the machine.”

Me: “Yes, I went through it with him. I proved it was working myself, and then when he did it we proved it again.”

Boss: “Go train him again. There is no data for the last few days.”

I go through it with him again. He is making the same mistakes as last time, so I print a copy of my instructions and tape it to the machine. A week or so later…

Boss: “[Coworker] tells me he can’t get the data off the machine. He says you didn’t explain it properly or the instructions were wrong. I don’t know, but can you get down there and check?”

Me: “It’s literally six steps and it works when you follow the very clear instructions. I will go talk with him.”

I go down.

Me: “Okay, [Coworker]. Show me what’s wrong. Hang on, where are your instructions?”

Coworker: “I don’t know. They must have fallen off!”

They were taped on, so I know he is lying.

Me: “Well, it’s a good job I have spares — one for the machine, one for you, and one I will put on the notice board. Now, can you show me what isn’t working?”

He starts the process, again doing it his way and not the right way. Of course, it doesn’t work that way. We repeat it following my instructions and it works perfectly the first time.

Me: “Okay, I have proven this way works several times. Every time you have an issue, you aren’t following the instructions. I’m going to let [Boss] know it works following the instructions.”

He grumbled something, but I didn’t listen. I let our boss know what was happening. [Coworker] didn’t tell anyone but he had three more issues the following week and decided to stop doing it altogether.

No one else in the department had his issue. Eventually, my boss went down and walked him through the same paperwork, word for word. Suddenly, [Coworker] understood completely and gushed about how easy it was and how [Boss] had described it so well — if only “someone” did it sooner. My boss told him to stop being stupid and treat me with respect.

He never seemed to have an issue again.

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Weeding Out The Ne’er Do Wells

, , , , , | Working | August 2, 2021

My company has a strict drug policy. They make a massive deal of it when you start. It’s part of your probation and it’s mentioned on every company notice board.

While it isn’t something I partake in, I have a “live and let live” philosophy when outside of work, but at work, we use large drills, presses, grinding wheels, high voltage, etc. — lots of things you could potentially kill yourself or even others with — so I get why the company has such a strict line.

I’m sat outside having a smoke with a guy I sort of know. He is a laid-back guy, and he’s often late, often sneaking off, and often not where he should be. 

Coworker: “I’ve got this stupid drugs test later.”

Me: “Oh, yeah, I heard that there was a round of random drug—”

Coworker: *Interrupting* “It’s stupid! Why should they tell me how to live my life?!”

Me: “That guy lost his foot at [other site]. He was way out of it.”

Coworker: “Well, he was stupid, then. Why should the rest of us suffer?”

Me: “You nervous?”

Coworker: “What? Why? No, I’m all right.”

We sit in silence for a while.

Coworker: “How long do you think these tests can… I mean, how long does pot stay in your system?”

Me: “I think they can tell if you’ve done it in the last few days.”

Coworker: “S***. Well, I got to go.”

I didn’t see [Coworker] again. Apparently, he was smoking something he shouldn’t at lunch on company property. The stupid thing was that he had a week’s notice and the company would have called it off if he’d said he had a problem and accepted some help.

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