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That’s The Way The COO Crumbles

, , , , , , | Working | CREDIT: velocity_boy00 | October 6, 2022

This story is from June of 2012. This story takes place in Australia where we have very stringent laws around employment, firing, hiring, redundancies, maternity, etc.

I started working for this particular company in March of 2011. I was hired basically on the spot once I demonstrated my knowledge of the product that I would be working on, and I started two days later because of a deadline that had to be met. I had a very specific contract for what I did. I was thrown into the deep end, and a sleepless seven days followed, but by the end, I managed to do a decent job on the first of many products.

Two months after I started, my direct boss, the general manager, was let go and not really replaced properly, but a consultant took over their responsibilities. I should also add that majority of our operations were in Australia while a smaller team operated in the UK, which is also where the CEO was based, despite 80-90% of products coming out of our office. Toward the third quarter of 2011, the CEO’s contract ended and was not renewed, so the hunt began for a new CEO. One was eventually found, and they began working in the UK location.

After a very busy 2011, hiring approximately thirty new employees, and launching a bunch of new products, business was booming… until the second week of January 2012. By this point, upper management couldn’t stay on top of everything, and they brought in the Chief Operating Officer of the parent company to oversee operations in Australia (because we had a lot going on, but the CEO was based in the UK and new).

At this point, we had a group meeting where we learned about the future of the company. We learned that operations in Australia would cease on June 30th, 2012 — the end of the financial year in Australia. This was followed by management explaining that everyone except a handful of people would be made redundant with payouts. The handful who would remain would instead be made redundant after finishing their projects at the end of 2012.

Over the next five months, as operations were slowly winding up and people started to exit the company, I lined up a few job interviews. One of these was my dream job, based in Europe, working in the exact field I wanted to be in. I kept this quiet, telling only a handful of my closest friends at my current job. The recruitment process took quite a few weeks, many late-night Skype interviews, and general chats. It was a big job and a massive interview process, and toward the end of May, I was still in the running for this dream job, and by this point, pretty much everyone knew, wishing me luck.

Around came the start of June, and everyone started to get their redundancy letters, giving them twenty-eight days of official notice outlining their pay schedules and all legal entitlements. When I say everyone, I mean everyone… except me. I found this very strange but quickly realised it was because if I handed in my notice, I wouldn’t be entitled to a payout, and the company would get to save a few thousand dollars.

This is where my malicious compliance kicked in. I kept quiet and didn’t say anything. By about the second week of June, I found out that I didn’t get my dream job, and I told one other person but made sure they didn’t tell anyone else.

Fast forward to the last week of June. Now, there were just seven employees including me left in the office alongside the general manager, Chief Operating Officer, and Chief Financial Officer. Everyone, except me, had packed up their desks, and at this point, they were just showing up to basically be social and reminisce.

On the second to last day, I ran into the COO next to my desk. (Remember, he was from the parent company, brought in to oversee the winding up of operations.)

COO: “You must be saddened that tomorrow is the last day.”

Me: “Oh, is it? I know it’ll be quiet, but I didn’t realise it was my last day.”

He took a closer look at my desk, still not packed up, and got the most confused look on his face.

COO: “Yeah, it’s everyone’s last day. Why wouldn’t it be your last?”

Me: “Oh, I never got a redundancy letter.”

I could see the expression on his face go from “Huh?” to “Oh, s***.” In the hope that I would get a different job and resign so I wouldn’t get redundancy entitlements, among everything else going on, between the general manager, COO, and CFO, they had forgotten to issue me an official redundancy notice. And the COO had just realized this.

COO: “Oh, come and see me in my office in thirty minutes.”

Half an hour later, I went to his office. He was sitting there with the CFO. There were a few papers on the desk.

COO: “Sorry we didn’t do this properly at an earlier point, but here is all your redundancy paperwork.”

The first piece of paper was the official letter. I picked it up and started reading, and the first thing that caught my eye was the date; it had been backdated to twenty-seven days before. Now, this was a two-copy letter that needed to be signed by both employer and employee. I put it down on the desk.

Me: “That’s not today’s date.”

COO: *Getting flustered* “Sorry we forgot to get it to you, but the notice was issued on that day.”

Me: “It might’ve been issued then, but this is the first I’m seeing of it, and you’ll note it hasn’t been signed by me.”

COO: “Yes, but you knew this was coming.”

Me: “I did, but I assumed I’d be retained for longer because I wasn’t given official notice.”

COO: “What do you want us to do now?”

Me: “Put today’s date on it and I’ll sign it.”

COO: “But legally, we need to wrap up operations before the end of the month. We can’t do that.”

Me: “You could try to fire me, instead, but I don’t think the Fair Work Commission would be satisfied with your reason of me not wanting to sign a falsified redundancy letter.”

He was now very flustered. Meanwhile, I was just laughing my a** off in my head.

COO: “Okay, let me change this for you.”

He disappeared and came back with another copy with the correct date.

COO: “Okay, here you go.”

Me: “I’m not signing this yet.”

COO: “Why not?”

Me: “Well, I’ve got twenty-eight more days of legal employment now, which means I’m owed an extra day and a bit of annual leave in my final pay schedule.”

The COO looked at the CFO, and the CFO looked at him and nodded in agreement. He changed my payout schedule, adding another day of annual leave to it, printed it out, and handed it to me. I carefully looked over everything; it was all in order now. I signed the paperwork and we both got copies.

COO: “So, what will you be doing here for the next twenty-eight days?”

Me: “Nothing. I’m not coming back after today.”

COO: “But you are legally employed for another four weeks. We can’t be paying you for nothing. You should help out the IT guy and pack up some boxes.”

Me: “There’s nothing in my contract about packing up boxes, so I won’t be doing that. Also, if you read my contract, it says I’m employed to work on this one specific project only, and any other work outside of this needs to be agreed on separately. Since you sold my project to the competition yesterday and it is no longer at this company, I have no further contractual obligations to fulfil.”

The CFO was barely holding in his laughter.

COO: “Well, it’s not fair that we have to pay you an extra month for nothing.”

Me: “That’s not my problem. My contractual obligations have been fulfilled. I’m going to pack up and go home at 5:00 pm.”

COO: “Okay, please make sure it’s not before 5:00 pm.”

I went back to my desk and packed it up in less than five minutes, put all my personal belongings in a box, and just sat around doing nothing. One of my colleagues who was remaining for a few more months came over.

Coworker: “What was all that about?”

I explained everything in detail. He let out the biggest booming laugh, went to his office, closed the door, and continued laughing.

Fifteen mins later, the CFO came over.

CFO: “You don’t have to stay until the end of the day; you can take off whenever you want.”

And that is the story of how I got an extra month’s pay due to management’s incompetence.

This Guy Needs Help Before He Literally Gets Killed

, , , , , , , , | Working | October 5, 2022

I work in a facility that has a lumber yard, and I’ve only seen one person get fired.

This guy had only been working there for less than a day, maybe just a couple of hours even, and he decided to do some hard drugs in the lumber yard. You know, around heavy machinery and heavy materials, and where customers could see him.

He was very quickly escorted off the property after that — so quickly I never actually met him.

Cents-lessly Overreacting

, , , , | Right | October 3, 2022

I work in a grocery store’s gas station. We have a deal where if you spend $35, not including tax or deposits, you get one five-cents-off-per-litre deal attached to your loyalty card. The program resets every three months and any discounts you have on your card at the time are wiped off, and you have to buy another $35 to get it again.

A woman pulls up in a sedan and pumps $10 of gas — ONLY $10. She comes in to pay and tries to use her loyalty card and it doesn’t work, so we explain how the program works to her.

She starts screaming, actually SCREAMING, in my face about how we’re [ableist slur]s for resetting it on that day, and that she’s gonna make sure we lose our jobs, and that we will never be able to work in this city again, etc.

Now, as she’s screaming profanity at my face, I’m doing some mental math. I’ve figured out that her discount would be about thirty-nine cents. She is literally threatening my livelihood, safety, wellbeing, health, and job… over thirty-nine cents.

While she’s still yelling, I actually reach into my pocket and grab a dollar, throw it up onto the counter, and say:

Me: “THERE ARE TWO DISCOUNTS FOR YOU! GET THE H*** OUT!”

I guess when she saw how minuscule her savings were, she became embarrassed, because she went quiet and beet red. She then turned around and saw the line of people that had been building up behind her (at least four people), saw the disapproving looks on their faces, and left.

The next four people were VERY kind to me, which made me feel better.

To His Credit… Wait…

, , , | Working | October 3, 2022

I had a new boss who was hired from outside our industry. As the lead for our depot, I was responsible for many of the logistics and warehouse goings-on and had pretty much free rein from the main office as long as everything was taken care of. I had over twenty years of experience and had started at the bottom.

I came to find out that [New Boss] was taking credit for some of the accomplishments and improvements I had initiated and making me look like I was slacking. We had a big meeting at corporate one week, and I had a very nice chat with one of the higher-ups that I had known for years and found out what was being pulled.

About two weeks later, [Higher-Up] and some others of power showed up at the depot and called [New Boss] out on his scheme. They embarrassed the h*** out of him.

Higher-Up: “You are the general manager, but [My Name] is the one with the experience and know-how. We know that the things you’ve claimed as yours weren’t.”

[New Boss] lasted about two and a half weeks and then left. Needless to say, he mostly just sat in his office and left me alone until his departure.

I’m Your Roommate, Not Your Mother, Remember?

, , , , , , , , , | Learning | October 3, 2022

In my first semester of college, my roommate and I have the same class at 8:00 am. For the first few weeks, we get ready and walk there together. Then, one day, it’s about 7:45, and [Roommate] is still sleeping.

Me: “Hey, you might want to wake up. Class starts in a few minutes.”

Roommate: “Oh, my God, how rude are you?! I’m an adult. If I want to skip class and sleep in, I will. You’re not my mom! Don’t ever wake me up again!”

Me: “I’m sorry. I didn’t know you weren’t going. I won’t worry about you anymore.”

That and a few other things [Roommate] does make me realize I do not like her all that much. We stop trying to be friends and just live together. She often skips class or shows up late, and I never say anything about class again.

Another few weeks go by, and it’s an exam day. I have gotten into the habit of leaving early and going to a coffee shop in the morning. Even on the days that [Roommate] makes it on time, she is still asleep when I leave in the morning, so I don’t think anything about her still being asleep at 7:15 when I leave. I get back home a few hours later and she is asleep. I think she must have gone back to bed after class.

A few days later, I come home.

Roommate: “What the f*** is wrong with you?! We had a test on Friday and I missed it! Now I’m failing! Why didn’t you wake me up?! I can’t believe how rude you are that you can’t take a second out of your morning to wake me up for class.”

Me: “How was I supposed to know to wake you up? The last time I tried, you yelled and told me to never do so again. You’re always still asleep when I leave in the morning, so I didn’t know you were not going to get up.”

Roommate: “Not waking me up did not apply to test days! You could have at least told me about the test!”

Me: “It’s on the schedule and was announced in class for the week prior. You should have known we had a test.”

Roommate: “Obviously not, since I wasn’t awake. Now I’m probably going to have to retake the class, and it’s all your fault!”

Me: “Okay, well, I have lunch plans. See you later.”

She never missed another class again.