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What Do You Mean, I Have To Spend Time With My Kid?!

, , , , , , | Learning Related | June 25, 2022

This happens during lunchtime in kindergarten. One of the parents calls and wants to talk to me. Apparently, both parents have gotten [contagious illness], and they tell me they’ll pick their kid up ASAP.

One hour later, the dad is finally here. Parents aren’t allowed to enter the building because of the health crisis. While his kid is getting ready, I talk to the dad. There are also other parents outside waiting for their children.

Dad: “So, now that we have [illness], what about our child?”

As he says this everyone takes a huge step back from him.

Me: “What do you mean?”

Dad: “We can still bring him, right?”

Me: “I have to talk with my boss about this, but I’ll let you know as soon as possible.”

He stays for thirty more minutes, telling me how he’s vaccinated and he’s thinking about going grocery shopping. I say goodbye like five times because I want him to leave. I don’t have time for small talk, and I don’t want him here when he has [illness]. He finally leaves.

I ask my boss if they can bring their child, and he gets furious. Apparently, they weren’t even allowed to pick up their child at all. As soon as they got their positive test, they should have gone to quarantine. And he most definitely wasn’t allowed to stay here and talk about the weather and stuff.

I email the dad.

Me: “[Child] can come, but you’re not allowed to bring or pick him up. Someone else has to do this until you have a negative test and can leave quarantine again.”

Dad: “This is outrageous. We’re just staying outside. Can’t you make an exception? We don’t have family or friends that can do this for us. [Child] needs to go to kindergarten. And we’re vaccinated so it should be okay. We don’t even go into quarantine.”

Me: “I am sorry, sir, but there is nothing I can do. I don’t make rules and it doesn’t matter if you’re vaccinated or not. You NEED to stay at home because you got [illness]. You’re not even allowed to get groceries or mail, and if you bring your child, we won’t take him inside.”

Dad: “Then [Child] won’t attend kindergarten. Even though I don’t understand these rules. They’re dumb. It’s your fault that he’ll miss out on everything. What are we supposed to do with our child? We can’t play with him for a week or even longer.”

Me: “As I said, I don’t make the rules. Please stay home and get well soon.”

The dad never talked to me again about anything. The audacity of some people…

When the kindergarten was closed due to [health crisis], or children weren’t allowed to come to kindergarten, we got so many complaints like: “What am I supposed to do/play with my child?” “My child is bored. What should I do?” “I can’t do this anymore; when can I finally bring my child again?” “My child is driving me nuts; when are you open again?” 

Don’t have a child if you apparently don’t want one!

A Directionless Conversation

, , , | Right | June 24, 2022

I went to Germany with my parents while my mum was on sabbatical. I studied German for one year in high school, and I was doing extra studying with a tutor, but I didn’t have many practical language skills. I realized while at the mall that I needed to find the toilet, and I was excited because I had just learned how to ask. I found the nearest attendant.

Me: “Bitte, wo ist die toilette?”

The attendant said something back in very rapid German. I paused, and then said in English:

Me: “Sorry, I knew how to ask where the toilet was, but I didn’t think about whether I would understand the answer. Can you repeat that in English?”

I got a rather dirty look from the attendant, who wasn’t impressed by me wasting her time. The next time I met with my tutor, I insisted we start learning words used in directions so that I would be ready if the situation ever happened again.

A Sickening Amount Of Line Cutting

, , , , | Right | June 9, 2022

The post office has a red light installed at the entrance that shows if the post office is full (maximum of six customers) or not. If the light is green, you can enter. If not, you have to wait until someone leaves.

I have been waiting for a few minutes and am next in line, standing right before the door outside, when, all of a sudden, a woman comes from behind and tries to squeeze past me, pushing me in the process. Irritated, I reflexively hold out my arm to block her from entering, because, well, I am next in line and the light is red, so no one is allowed to go in.

Me: “Hey, you can’t go in right now. I am next!”

Woman: “But I only need to fill out a form!”

She physically tries to push past me again.

Me: “So what? You cannot just cut in line!”

Woman: “But I only have to fill out a form; I don’t have a package!”

At this point, she is still trying to push me, and I REALLY do not like that, so I firmly plant myself in front of the door and confront her.

Me: “That does not matter! We are all waiting to go in. Will you please back up?!”

She just stares at me like I have suddenly grown two heads and starts yelling:

Woman: “You are sick! You are a sick person, that’s what you are! You need help!

Me: *Flabbergasted* “What?!”

Woman:You are a sick person! You are a psychopath! You need help! You need a psychiatrist!

While she is having her tantrum, another man has managed to slip past me and inside the building, while the light is still red. It happens so fast and I am so distracted that I have no time to react at all. Of course, once the woman sees this, she grows even angrier.

Woman: “Why do you let him go in front? Is this a joke? It’s because I am a foreigner! You Germans are all the same!”

While she does have an accent, this obviously has nothing to do with the fact that I do not want her to just cut in line. She’s also not wearing a mask, which is mandatory at this time.

I am so done with her and do not want to cause any more drama, so I just turn around and try to ignore her while she continues her tirade. After about the tenth “YOU ARE SICK!” comment, I counter:

Me: “Well, I am not sick, but if you do not wear a mask, you soon will be!”

Woman: “I am not sick! You are a psycho! I am a doctor!”

Luckily, the light then went green and I could finally go in. When I came back out, she was gone, fortunately.

The post workers could not see the entrance directly from their counters because of how the building was organized. If they could, maybe one of them might have intervened.

The Squeaky Wheel Gets The Greasy Manager Fired

, , , , , | Working | June 8, 2022

I started a new job while the direct manager was on paid time off. I’d only met them for a short period of time during my application. I was hired for a vacancy that had been open for quite a while and the company just couldn’t get someone to stick it out with them. That was a huge red flag, but it was a very difficult and specific role and I’d done something very similar for a partner company, so I knew it was possible that they just hadn’t found the right person so far.

I started training under the supervision of my manager’s manager and a colleague who had done the job on top of her own for a time, and everything went well at first. It was extremely similar to what I had done in the past, and after just a few days, I was doing it on my own. The colleague was very relieved and complimented me, and the manager was satisfied with the positive feedback we got from the customers.

Then, my direct manager came back and I found out why all the others had quit.

Manager: “Did you do [task]? And why didn’t you send me a list if you’ve done it?”

Me: “I did, and the list is on your taskboard in the program.”

Manager: “No, that’s all wrong! I need that in my mail so I can print it out and check it! Don’t you know anything?”

Me: “We are not allowed to print that data! And what do you mean? Check it? There’s nothing to check. It’s just a list with all jobs done today, automatically documented by the system. What do you want to check on paper? Just do the final authorisation in the system.”

Manager: “I need to check if you’ve run all jobs! Are you stupid?”

Me: “Again, how do you do that on a printout? The list is generated by the system when a job is run through. A job that’s not on the list isn’t done and still stays in the inbox until it’s done. I finished all the jobs I could. The others are on ‘wait for reply’. They’re not authorized by the customer yet. So, what do you need that list for? Since we are not allowed to print that, there’s no way to get it out of the system into a list to send to you.”

Manager: “Then type it out and stop arguing. I need that list!”

He stomped off and I was stumped. I then wrote a mail to him, with his boss and my colleague in CC, telling him that I wasn’t trained in creating the list he wanted, asking how to get that data out since typing a list with hundreds of jobs wasn’t feasible, asking if there was any news about a change in data protection I wasn’t told of, and telling them that I didn’t appreciate not being fully trained.

I got the answer that there weren’t any changes in procedure and to just do my job as I was told and send in my list.

Five minutes later, my direct manager appeared at my workstation again and started berating me. In his opinion, I was belligerent and insubordinate.

Unbeknownst to him, his own boss, who had been in the loop during training, had appeared behind him not much later. He turned white as a sheet when he heard his boss quietly telling him to come into his office.

The next day, I got a message saying that, from now on, all processes would run directly through my boss’s boss, and my former direct manager was no longer responsible for me.

I was now directly supervised by my boss’s boss, and the coworker who trained me was then given the role to follow up and authorize the jobs I’d finished.

That wasn’t a problem for her to do since that last step was a mere formality; she was only expected to do a random test on a few of them and then mass-authorise them all — a job that could be done in thirty minutes tops.

In the following days, we could see our manager’s boss meandering through the department, speaking with everyone, asking them what they did and how they did it. After a few more weeks, my former direct manager was gone and my colleague was promoted to his role.

As we heard through the grapevine, that stupid moron had created tons of extra steps and “checked” all kinds of lists all day that no one needed with several colleagues who thought it was all authorized by his boss.

Somehow, he’d managed to convince his boss that all of them were needed because his employees were so lazy and constantly skipped steps. No one ever spoke up, so it went on and on.

But the person who had my job retired, and he tried to pull this stunt at that task, too, although it was impossible to follow his demand and the retiree didn’t do it, either.

But the new hires didn’t dare to fight that nonsense; they tried to type the list and finally quit in frustration since they couldn’t get any real work done because of that and got scolded. Neither his boss nor the colleague knew about what was going on.

Me not being able to keep it down and bucking against his insane demands exposed his practices. It turned out he’d barely done anything productive all day when others followed suit. I’ve always been a hothead, and it had gotten me in trouble before, but this time, it was just what was needed: a person without a filter!

Our big boss was now much more involved in our everyday work to not let something like that happen again. He mentored my former coworker much more closely and she became a great manager.

She Doesn’t Speak A**hole

, , , , , | Right | June 8, 2022

It is a well-known fact that in Germany, English is taught as a second language in schools, and your average person will know some amount of English to hold a reasonable conversation. In fact, it’s quite near expected for people (especially in larger cities) to speak more than one language. However, there are many immigrants from other countries who can speak their mother language and German as a second language but do not speak any amount of English at all.

This incident occurs in a fast food restaurant where I am working. A military member from a nearby Army post comes in and begins speaking to the cashier, who is from Serbia and does not speak a drop of English.

Me: *Walking up* “She doesn’t speak English. I can help you—”

Customer: “Was I talking to you? She’s a big girl; she doesn’t need a translating babysitter! Let her handle it on her own!”

I put my hands up in an “I warned you”/”Not my problem” expression and walk back to my register.

He begins giving his order with the poor cashier staring quizzically back at him and entering products she only understands by the brand name. She finalizes the order, and as my coworkers are putting it together, I already know where this one is going.

No surprise, five minutes after receiving his food, he’s back at the register again.

Customer: “Excuse me. I asked for [item]. This is a [slightly different item], and my wife can’t eat this because of allergies. You also put ketchup on this one after I told you no ketchup… Hello, are you listening to me?”

Cashier: *Blank stare*

Me: “She… doesn’t… speak… English.”

The customer glares at the cashier and then walks over to me while grumbling insults under his breath.

Customer: “Maybe you oughta hire people who can, as opposed to people who are just too lazy and unmotivated to make the effort to learn. There are people like tourists who come to this country, you know, and top-notch service is mandatory.”

Me: “And there are people from less advantaged countries who come to this country for a better life. If she can learn the official local language and contribute as a working taxpayer, then I think it’s good enough. What’s wrong with your order?”

The man explained what he wanted in an icy cold manner, and I went ahead and corrected his order. It was just a shame I wasn’t a manager because I would have booted him out without a refund and banned him!