Open Carry Means Open Insults

, , , , | Right | March 30, 2021

I manage the sales department at a salvage yard — a type of recycling facility that buys old vehicles and then allows people to come in and pull parts off them to purchase.

This is currently a male-dominated field, and unfortunately, theft and aggression are an everyday issue for myself and my mostly female coworkers. Because of this, I open-carry my .380 handgun while I’m working. It’s worth mentioning that I am a female in my mid-twenties, and I do have my handgun license, even though I don’t need one to open-carry in this state.

These are just a few of the things that have been said to me, all by men, while carrying:

Customer: “That’s cute. Is it real?”

Customer: “Better not argue with her; she’ll shoot you!”

Customer: *Whispering* “I’ll bet she doesn’t even know how to use it.”

Customer: “I’d better not steal anything today, huh?!”

Customer: “How many people have you shot?”

Customer: “Can I hold it? I just want to see how heavy it is.”

What surprises me most is how offended they get when I tell them that, no, they can’t hold it. What sane person would hand a loaded firearm to a complete stranger?!

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Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Press The Green Button

, , , , , | Working | March 25, 2021

I am asked to train the new guy; I have trained people many times before and without any major issues. The problem with [New Guy] is that he doesn’t want to listen, doesn’t want to do anything he considers an order, and immediately tries to cut corners, so I make sure to be perfectly clear and record what I tell him at all times.

Me: “When we pull the head into the station, we follow the onscreen instructions.”

New Guy: “Yeah, I can see that!”

Me: “Once that is complete, we need to wait a few seconds for the data to save and then hit the green button.”

A big flashing countdown is on the screen telling you to wait.

Me: “Do you want to give it a go?”

New Guy: “I think I can do that. I’m not stupid.”

Me: “It’s part of the training.”

[New Guy] rushes his way through the operation as quickly as he can, and as soon as he finishes, he hits the green button.

Me: “Okay, good. But you need to remember to wait five seconds before hitting the button. If you don’t, the data might not save and someone will have to redo everything you just did.”

Just as I finish my sentence, the break bell rings, and [New Guy] wanders off without another word. I mention to the line leader that I went through the process with [New Guy] only once and that he should probably be checked up on before being left to his own devices.

The next morning, I see that the charts are massively down, production numbers are down, and overtime is way up. It hasn’t looked this bad all year. I look into why and realise straight away what happened. Unsurprisingly, there is an emergency meeting called.

Boss: “We lost nine hours of work last night and two shifts of parts. What happened?”

Me: “It looks like the new starter didn’t follow instructions and hit the save button without waiting, so it didn’t save any of the work. I trained him the right way and made sure to point this out.”

Shift Leader: “When [New Guy] was finished, I watched him and told him three times to wait. I didn’t leave until I saw him do it properly.”

Boss: “Well, I have a report from the individual saying that no one told him this, despite him asking several times; it wasn’t clear that he had to wait.”

Me: “What do you think really happened?”

Boss: “Yeah, I will talk to Human Resources tomorrow.”

[New Guy] was put on an even easier job but lasted only two more months.

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Crying Over Spilled Idiot

, , , , | Working | March 17, 2021

For as long as I can remember, employees have not been allowed a drink on the factory floor. Sure, you can have a drink in the break rooms, and you can go grab a drink if it is really hot. But no drinks at the workstation! I’ve never really questioned it; it is the rule and you get told off if you don’t follow it. It is easier to comply than it is to go out of your way to break the rules.

This summer is hot — unbearably hot. The company dishes out coffee mugs with screw-on lids. The rule is: use this cup or no drinks! Again, not a problem. I, like many, fill mine with water and use it as I work.

It is about this time that [Coworker] starts. [Coworker] is one of those guys whose motto is, “You can’t tell me what to do.” He seems to pick something totally arbitrary or just plain annoying to rally against, and once it is in his head he won’t put it down. It’s a shame because he does get on with his work, when he feels like it.

It seems that [Coworker] doesn’t like to use the mugs and will bring bottles of drink in. He was told off a few times, so he hides the bottles. Someone points this out to a leader, so [Coworker] gets extremely passive-aggressive and keeps bringing in drinks anyway.

A few months go on and the spectacle of [Coworker] and his drinks becomes a bit boring. I am only aware that it is an issue when they call the entire shop floor together about a recent “issue.”

Leader: “Someone spilt a bottle of cola over a handmade, custom car interior. Not only do we have to scrap this, but it was already late. And it was a replacement for one already sent wrong. The customer is not going to be happy!

General muttering and swearing goes around the crowd and [Coworker]’s name is mentioned several times.

Another Coworker: “Does this mean we are going to lose our drinks?”

There’s more swearing and general cursing of [Coworker].

Leader: “Now, now… No, you will not be losing your drinks. The matter has been solved another way. But please continue to use the provided non-spill cups.”

I looked around and realised that I hadn’t seen [Coworker] for a few days. It looks like his attitude of not being told what to do got him told to go home and not to come back.

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His Complaint Doesn’t Hold Water

, , , , | Working | March 15, 2021

I normally work in the office, but today I’m spending the day on the factory floor. It is in the middle of a heatwave, and I’m certainly missing the air-conditioning, but I have a job to do.

About mid-morning, someone wheels in a couple of pallets of bottled water and encourages everyone to take one if needed.

I let the crowd grab theirs and then grab one myself and try to go back to what I was doing.

Worker: “Hey, they’re not for you.”

Me: “Water has been provided for everyone working on the shop floor.”

Worker: “But you work in the office; I’ve seen you.”

Me: “But, as you might be able to tell, I am currently working on the shop floor and feel the heat just like you do.”

Worker: “I’m not having this.”

He stomps off towards the production manager, who walks over to me. The production manager is a massive man, broad and tall. He is an intimidating figure, but luckily, he is a reasonable guy.

Production Manager: “What’s the problem?”

Me: “Oh, nothing. [Worker] over there thinks I don’t sweat.”

Production Manager: “Oh, you’re doing that timing thing today, ain’t you?”

Me: “Yeah, should be done before quitting time.”

Production Manager: “Bloody [Worker] told me you were taking all the water to the office. I will deal with him.”

He walked off. The whole shop floor could hear his booming voice shouting after [Worker]. It was funny to see someone who had been so aggressive just moments before sniveling and caught out in a lie. 

[Worker] didn’t bother me afterward, and I thoroughly enjoyed my drink of water.

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Work Cuter, Not Harder

, , , , | Working | March 5, 2021

I used to have a coworker that was very pretty, slim, and tall. As we worked in a factory mainly employing men, she received a lot of attention.

While some would have struggled with the attention, she loved it. She would have pretty much strangers buying her food, opening doors, getting her coffee, taking her rubbish away, etc. To be fair to her, she never encouraged it or led the guys on, but she never discouraged it, either.

More than anything, it appeared a bit pathetic to me; men would fall over each other to try to impress her, but she clearly wasn’t interested in them.

A few months in, she admitted to me that she hated her job, but as she didn’t have to do any work, she could spend the day on Facebook.

This surprised me. Everyone in the office was stressed. We had massive deadlines and a huge amount of pressure. Many people had left the company because of stress. Some roles only had a nine-month expectancy. So, how was this possible?

I started to pay attention. She would get a task and then straight away approach one of the male workers and ask them for help. She actually gave a job to one guy and then went for a coffee with a friend.

I saw her get away with this for months until a new boss, a woman, started. Suddenly, she wasn’t able to get rid of these jobs and was expected to do them herself. Only then did she admit — in a flood of tears — that she didn’t know how; she had spent a year fluttering her eyelashes and never learnt to do her own job!

She spent six months on probation before it was understood that she didn’t have even a clue and she was fired.

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