One Door Closes, A Realization Opens

, , , | Working | October 12, 2017

(I am “the IT guy” for a large distribution center with lots of automation and machinery. I am checking the wireless network signal in a work module that has three floors of product racks crammed into a two-story building, with conveyor belts running through it to boot. I finish in the back of the module and decide to use the back stairway instead of walking back through the crowded module, but the door is jammed shut. Walking back to the front, I meet the head of security.)

Guard: “Hey, [My Name], did you open that back stairwell door?”

Me: “I tried, but it was stuck and wouldn’t open more than an inch or so.”

Guard: “That’s a fire exit door, so when it gets opened we have an alarm go off in the monitoring station. We would’ve called the fire department, except there was only a single door in alarm.”

Me: “Sorry, didn’t know.”

(There were no “emergency exit” signs on the door, or any other indicators that it was a fire exit. The guard and I begin going our separate ways, then I stop and call back to him.)

Me: “Hey, [Guard], seeing as how that’s a fire exit door, is the fact that it wouldn’t open a problem?”

Guard: *look of startled realization creeps across his face* “I think I’ll call maintenance.”

Measuring The Time

, , , , | Right | October 9, 2017

(I usually work in the factory, but on this day I am replacing our sales person who is sick, when a customer comes in.)

Customer: “I need someone to come to my house and take the measures for the windows I want to order, but they can only come after four in the evening because I am at work until then.”

(I set it all up and tell her our technician will call her and come by next day after four. The next day, the lady returns.)

Customer: “What kind of a business is this?”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Customer: “You said someone would come to my house and take the measurements. Why hasn’t anyone come?”

Me: “Didn’t you say that we can’t reach you before four o’clock?”

Customer: “So?”

Me: “Ma’am, it’s half past two.”

Customer: “Well, I got off early.”

They’ll Come Later, Alligator

, , , , | Working | September 20, 2017

(I work third shift. Second shift is notoriously slovenly, to the point that we often spend upwards of two hours getting the plant shipshape again. Today they have left the place fairly clean for once.)

Coworker: “It’s actually kind of eerie when second shift doesn’t leave us a disaster area. It’s like, ‘I’m supposed to be up to my a** in alligators right now! Where are all the alligators?’”

Going On Break With No Paper Trail

, , , , | Working | August 20, 2017

(Once in a while, and only on Saturdays, they have four to eight people working on papers at a table in the back. It’s literally the easiest thing you can do there since all you have to do is put a paper in a bigger pile of papers, carry it over to a machine, and push it through. That’s it. One night, a new girl comes in.)

Me: “Hello.”

New Girl: “Hey…”

(Shortly after that we get the papers. We start and then about an hour later this gem happens:)

New Girl: *sigh* “I’m going on break.”

Me: “Uh, you can’t just go on break. Wait until they send you.”

New Girl: “Well, when are they going to do that?”

Me: “It’s gonna be a short night so, honestly, I don’t think we’ll get one, but maybe we’ll get a ten minute break later.”

New Girl: “No break…? Isn’t that, like, illegal?”

Me: “Well, no. New Jersey law says that you only get a half hour break after six hours. Since this only takes about four hours, we won’t get a break. I’ve done this a few times, though, so I know that eventually we’ll run out of paper and we’ll get a short break. It might be even longer if the machine breaks down instead.”

New Girl: “So you’re telling me that after touching this dirty paper for about an hour, I’m not even going to get a break.”

Me: “Yes… but there’s a good chance we wi—”

New Girl: *scoffs* “I’m going on break.”

(She grabbed her phone and left. I and other people working at the time were flabbergasted. We did eventually get our break, but she wouldn’t know since she was gone for about an hour or two. She eventually came back and continued to work for the remaining hour and then left. I’m glad she didn’t look at me during that hour, since I’m positive I glared at her every time I looked her way. Luckily, that was the only time that happened since I haven’t seen her there since.)

Unfiltered Story #90279

, , | Unfiltered | June 24, 2017

I took over the responsibility of running a small team at work, it was clear that they were unhappy so i did all i could to help them out, talk with them regularly and generally keep them running smoothly.

Things improved quickly, but one person always had a complaint, be it work related or otherwise.

He asked 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: Ok, 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: Ok 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 was very clear. You could actually use the sheet to help you in the job. Under each one you signed to say that you are competent in that skill and have received training, that if you fail to follow the instruction 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 explained everything to the worker again and how this was fair and normal, he accepted and i heard 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: Ok, 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 her 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, 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 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 again 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 payrise without issue.

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