I’m An Idiot; Please Don’t Advise

, , , , , | Working | February 22, 2021

I’ve held a bit of a mantra for getting on in life: work hard and don’t make your boss’s life hard.

That is, don’t be the one that he has to chase; get the stuff he thinks is important done as a priority. That way, when job losses and promotions come up, your name will be associated with the right impression.

I’m working with a guy that is a bit younger than me. He is good at what he does and wants to climb the ladder as soon as possible. The problem is that he does it all the wrong way.

He is constantly one or two minutes late. While it’s not a big deal, his name is on the list of “worst offenders” that all the management sees. He constantly parks like an idiot, taking up two spaces or even blocking people in, so he’s seen as not a “team player” by many. And he is always scruffy; it’s fine for his job, but it is hard to picture him in a senior position looking like that. 

I try to talk to him and perhaps give him some advice.

Coworker: “You don’t know what you’re talking about. [Boss] likes me and I’m good at my job.”

Me: “Yes, you are, but remember in these situations that it is often other people pulling the strings and making those decisions.”

Coworker: *Defensively* “What do you know?”

Me: “Look. It’s just friendly advice; you don’t have to take it. But remember, I used to do [Boss]’s job in another company, so I know how they think.”

Coworker: “Yeah, and look at you now. Clearly knew what you were doing, to be demoted!”

I took my current job as the last one made me redundant, I took this role as it was a shorter commute and we just had our second child. However, [Coworker] didn’t deserve the explanation, so I just stopped trying to help him and walked away.

Months later, our boss took a long break to deal with personal issues and I was asked to step in temporarily. What my coworker didn’t know was that they knew our boss wasn’t coming back and this was like a probation period for me. Six months later, I had the job in full, and [Coworker] was now working for me. I gave him plenty of opportunities to develop and tried to help him many more times, but he fought me all the way.

He transferred out of the department and was let go shortly after for gross misconduct, backed up with poor attendance and a poor attitude. You can’t help them all.

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Washing The Misogyny Right Out Of Him

, , , , , | Romantic | February 22, 2021

When my aunt and uncle get married, around 1970, my uncle makes the unfortunately typical male assumption that my aunt will be doing all the housework, even though both of them are working full-time jobs as nurses. My aunt is a modern woman and is not happy about this. She decides to address the issue in a way that is still legendary in our family to this day.

One morning, my uncle is getting ready for work and wants to put on a clean shirt… only to discover that there isn’t a single shirt in his wardrobe, and he is running low on other items of clothing, as well. He goes to ask my aunt about it.

Uncle: “[Aunt], where are my shirts?”

Aunt: “Well, [Uncle], are they your shirts or my shirts?”

Uncle: *Puzzled* “Mine.”

Aunt: “Then why, pray tell, do you assume I would know anything about them?”

Uncle: “Well, haven’t you done the laundry?”

Aunt: *Pointedly* “And why exactly should I be the one doing the laundry?”

Uncle: “Well… you… I mean…”

My aunt gave her husband a good talking-to about how it was unfair of him to expect her to do all the housework on top of her job, just because she was a woman. He agreed to share the chores from then on, and their marriage was a very happy one after that. But my aunt did let him deal with the enormous pile of accumulated laundry to drive home the message.

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This Customer Has A Screeching Ignition

, , , , | Right | February 21, 2021

I pull into a parking space at my local hardware store. When I get out of my truck, I notice that the car next to mine has the keys in the ignition and the doors unlocked. I go straight to the service desk to let them know. They make an announcement:

Announcement: “Will the owner of a [vehicle] with [license plate] please return to your vehicle?”

Okay, good deed done. Time to get on with my day, right? Yeah, not so much. I get about three feet or so away when I see a woman run up to the counter, and the SCREECHING starts. Literally no warning or questioning, just straight into:

Customer: “What the f*** is your problem?! I can park anywhere I f****** want! Where is your manager, you b****?!”

It continues for a while, and I decide that if I can’t do a good deed for the day, I can at least have fun being a jerk.

I walk back out to the parking lot, and since I have a notepad with my shopping list and a pen to mark things off, I write this note.

Note: “I saw your keys in the ignition, and I was the one who had you paged so that your car wouldn’t be stolen. What I didn’t know was how horrible you are. The employees here do not deserve anything like what you did to them. Your keys are under your seat.”

I put the note under the windshield wiper, pulled her keys out of the ignition, and threw them under the seat, and just before I closed the door, I locked it. I moved my truck a few spots over, went back into the store, and finished my shopping. There was a locksmith vehicle on its way into the lot as I was leaving… for some reason.

Whether my response was appropriate or not, I’m not losing any sleep over it.

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Bye-Bye, Bigot!

, , , , | Friendly | February 21, 2021

I’ve been shopping with my husband. My seven-month-old is tired and fussy, so he drops us off at a coffee shop so I can breastfeed her whilst he finishes our shop. The only seat left is next to their loud vintage coffee machine and it keeps startling her from her feed.

As I sit, I watch a couple of older ladies point and snicker at a transgender woman who is minding her own business. They’re loudly commenting on her hair, dress, and stature, clearly unhappy with her even existing.

A table with an upholstered chair comes available and I get up, ready to move, as I’m struggling to carry my toddler — still feeding — and bags. The ladies loudly tut at me and sigh about “young mothers and unfortunate degenerates.”

All of a sudden, a chair is thrown back and the woman they were commenting on takes hold of my bags and coffee and makes a path for me to the table. She settles us down without saying anything, smiles at my copious thanks, and goes back to her table without any fuss.

Suddenly, a loud comment is directed at me.

Woman: “She could have asked if you needed help. How rude!”

Me: “At least she helped! You just bloody stay there, you miserable, small-minded cow! Enjoy your coffee and leave us ‘unfortunate degenerates’ alone.”

They silently finished their coffee and left. When my husband came back, I explained and he also thanked the kind woman. She refused all offers of thanks but reaffirmed my belief in humanity. Wherever you are, thank you!

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Not Promoting Good Feelings

, , , , | Working | February 20, 2021

At the time of this story, I’ve been working at this office for several years and am constantly called on to train new employees. I apply for a promotion but don’t get it. No big deal; I’ll go for the next one, right? Fast forward a couple of weeks, and they hire someone. They tell us that one of my coworkers, who is already in a similar role, is supposed to be training her. A member of upper management walks her over to me.

Upper Management: “[My Name], this is [New Coworker].”

Me: “Hi, it’s nice to meet you!”

New Coworker: “Likewise! They tell me you know everything around here and you’re the best person to ask for help.”

Me: “Well, that’s very kind, but I wouldn’t say I know everything.”

Upper Management: “Don’t be modest, [My Name]! You’re very knowledgeable. That’s why you’re going to train [New Person]!”

Me: “Wait, what?”

Upper Management: “Yep, you’re the one for the job!”

I’m the WHAT now? Okay. I blink a few times and smile at both of them.

Me: “Sure, no problem!”

And that’s the story of how my company passed me over for a promotion and then asked me to train the person who was hired for that very position. I turned in my notice a week later.

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