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Scheduling Your Own Termination

, , , , , , | Working | January 9, 2018

The office supply store where I used to work had a high rate of turnover for management. The store manager had horrible luck finding competent people to fill roles and refused to promote from within. One of the managers she hired was absolutely convinced that, as assistant manager, she was exempt from such tasks as helping customers, operating a cash register, or doing anything other than sitting all day long in the front office.

One day we were shorthanded by two or three employees — due to her scheduling failure — and she was the only manager in the store when there were usually two. This meant we were constantly requesting her to pull items from lockup, handle returns, do price overrides, etc., and at some point during the afternoon rush, she vanished.

We were so shorthanded, we couldn’t even spare an employee to try and find the woman, so we managed the best we could while constantly calling for her on the walkie-talkies, the store PA system, and even her personal cell phone. Then, we noticed that one of the store supervisors, who has limited authority in the store but no keys for lockup, was gone, too.

Customers who were waiting for items from lockup were getting angry and leaving. Lines were building up because we had only one cashier and the salesperson was busy assisting people on the floor. The print center was swamped because I was the only person working in that department. We were all repeatedly calling for either the assistant manager or the supervisor.

Finally, there was a lull in business, and the salesperson ran to the back for a stock check, only to find the assistant manager and the supervisor sitting on desk chairs, chatting it up like they were at home instead of on the clock! Furious, he demanded to know why they had left us high and dry out there and caused us to lose business, and what was her reply?

“I turned off my walkie because I got tired of everyone bugging me all the time!”

The employee herded the assistant manager and supervisor back out onto the floor, and the rest of us requested a formal sit-down with the store manager to discuss the incident. This wasn’t the only time she’d pulled a stunt like this one, but it was the last straw. After confirming the event on the security footage and watching the two employees kick back and chat in the warehouse, the manager was let go. Thank goodness.

Sick Of Your Morning Sickness

, , , , , | Related | January 9, 2018

(My mother-in-law is pretty traditional and incredibly opinionated: marriage before intimacy, and so on. Sometimes she speaks her often ridiculous opinions before she processes the logistics. Before I was married, if had a stomach bug or anything it was always the same:)

Mother-In-Law: “There’s a bug going around; you’ll live.”

(Fast forward to my honeymoon. We’re gone seven days. On the flight back, my husband and I both start feeling a bit gross: nausea, stomach cramps, etc. We pop in to see my husband’s family when we get back.)

Mother-In-Law: “You must be pregnant.”

Me: “Yeah, no. And, anyway, [Husband] is sick, too. Is he pregnant?”

Mother-In-Law: *ignoring my comment* “Trust me; you’re definitely pregnant. Get a test.”

(She walked away, leaving me dumbstruck. She never jumped to this confusion before we were married. I mean, we lived together for six years. And by the way, we were both fine.)

It’s Not Always Quitters Who Quit

, , , , , , | Working | January 9, 2018

(I have graduated from high school early, and I’m starting college. I’m barely 16 years old, and my mom is a broke single mother. For my graduation, she buys me a $400 used car, and I apply for financial aid so I can go to college. Part of my financial aid is a work-study job in the college cafeteria. My shift is supposed to be from 6:00 to 10:00 in the morning, but since I have a 10:00 class, the manager moves my shift to 5:45 to 9:45 so I can make it to class on time. Serving breakfast to surly college students is NOT fun, and almost every day, the boss gives me too much to do, so I’m late getting out of work. Now, I am in danger of being dropped from my class for excessive tardiness. I ask my mother for permission to quit my job and look for another one, and she says yes. I go to my boss.)

Me: “I’m sorry, but I need to quit this job. It’s interfering with my schoolwork and I need to get good grades.”

Boss: “You really need to stay and finish the job. Otherwise, all your life, you will feel like a quitter. I don’t accept your resignation.”

Me: *is stunned into silence*

(I go home and told my mom what happened. She gives me permission to stop going to work, so I go to class instead. Two days later, my boss calls me.)

Boss: “I’m sorry, but due to your attendance, I’m going to have to let you go.”

Me: “I can’t say I’m sorry about this. I quit two days ago, remember?”

(It took me years to get over feeling ashamed of losing one of my first jobs, but now when I think back on it, I’m proud that I stood up for myself.)

Drama Queen Meets The Queen’s English

, , , , , , | Right | January 9, 2018

(I am just arriving at my workstation at shift change, and I catch the tail end of an irate customer’s complaint to the staff member who I am relieving. I am English, but have been a legal resident in the US for almost 20 years. I have never lost my accent.)

Customer: “…and I called here the other day, and some woman with a British accent answered the phone, and I wonder how those people can even be allowed to work for you!”

Me: *addressing my colleague in my best and most cheerful Princess Diana voice* “Good afternoon, [Colleague], and how are you today?”

Customer: *glares at me and stomps off without another word*

Greed Burns

, , , , | Right | January 9, 2018

(I am working in a popular supermarket’s call center’s canteen as a general assistant. One weekend, our general manager is working as the chef in the kitchen, and another general assistant is working, as well. I am busy deep-cleaning the vending machine in our canteen when I see a potential customer approach.)

Customer: “Will I be able to get myself a coffee?”

Me: “No, sorry. The machine is in the middle of a clean cycle.”

Customer: “Are you sure there is no way to for me to get one?”

Me: “Sure, in ten minutes.”

Customer: “Well, why does it need cleaning?”

(By this point, I’m through not treating her like she is stupid.)

Me: “Because this is full of harmful cleaning chemicals, and we wouldn’t want anyone with bits in their coffee.”

Customer: “Okay.”

(Then, she proceeds to walk towards the canteen and ducks under the shutter — which is half-closed, as we are not open yet — whilst the other general assistant is setting up down the bottom. I finish cleaning up and go down to the general manager.)

Me: “Seriously, she just tried to get a coffee when I was busy cleaning the machine. How stupid can people be?”

Manager: “I know, right?” *laughs*

(The weekend manager was really chill and would only laugh at stupid customers, like when another one burnt herself on her cup of soup after she filled it to the top in her greed, and spilled it.)