All Aboard The Lazy Train(ing)

, , , , , | Working | April 21, 2021

Everyone who works for me has to get their training sheets signed off before they get their full pay. It’s not my rule, but I admit that it works and it’s pretty simple — it takes a week at most.

We have a guy transfer over from another shop. I know they had problems with him, but we are desperate and it’s not like I’ve not dealt with difficult people before.

Employee: “Why is my pay so low? I was told it would be [higher amount]!”

Me: “It will be once you finish the training; it was all explained in the letter.”

Employee: “I’m not working for that!”

Me: “The training is a week. It isn’t even hard, just normal workday stuff.”

Employee: “Well, I’m not doing it!”

Me: “Okay, we will find someone else.”

I walk away. No training means no pay rise. Before I get round to making the call to replace him, I hear that he wants to do the training after all.

Me: “There are ten training sheets to sign off. Some we can just do with a quick run-through. Others may take a little longer to ensure you’re happy.”

I hand him the sign-off sheet.

Employee: “What is this?”

Me: “A sign-off sheet. Once you and I are happy that you understand the training given, we both sign.”

Employee: “You can’t make me sign that!”

Me: “No, but you won’t go any further without it. We’ve been through this already.”

Employee: “But I want the money.”

Me: “Do the training, then. Simple.”

He walked away from me. I let my boss know and he backed me up. I mentally prepared for another new starter when my boss called me in. He let me know that the new worker had claimed discrimination based on his race and the fact that he was the only person getting “less money than all the white people.” I explained to my boss that all [Employee] had to do was complete the training, but he made me take the day paid while they investigated anyway.

I came back the next day and the new guy was not there. Officially, he had quit. I wish I had been there for that conversation.

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Past Performance, My Dude

, , , , , | Working | April 20, 2021

I work for a large company and have two people working for me: [Coworker #1] and [Coworker #2]. [Coworker #1] is hardworking, always on time, and happy to help. [Coworker #2] is her opposite; he has been late several times already this year and won’t do anything he deems “not his job.”

Both are great people and work well together; however, when a vacancy comes up for a senior position in another department, I recommend [Coworker #1]. She has all the qualities needed and the right attitude.

A few weeks later, I learn that there have been many applications — including [Coworker #1] and [Coworker #2] — but [Coworker #1] got the offer. They publicly state that it was largely helped by my personal recommendation.

[Coworker #2] comes to me, very angry.

Coworker #2: “Why did you recommend [Coworker #1]?”

Me: “I felt she was well suited for the job.”

Coworker #2: “That’s favouritism! You should have recommended us both or neither.”

Me: “No, I will never stand in the way of people progressing, and frankly, the promotion wouldn’t suit you.”

Coworker #2: “How do you know?”

Me: “The job includes working longer hours, working helping different teams, and, importantly, needs excellent timekeeping and organisation.”

Coworker #2: “You don’t know! I could do all that if I wanted to!”

Me: “You expect to be given a job, based on no evidence that you could perform any of what they are asking, instead of us giving it to someone who has demonstrated that they can time and time again?” 

Coworker #2: “I, err, well… It’s still not fair. I’m going to human resources!”

He did and he put in a complaint against me, which was disregarded immediately. HR told him that we can recommend anyone we like, and frankly, it was part of my job to develop people. 

As he still wouldn’t back down, they brought the interviewing manager over, who told him brutally that even if the Pope had given him a recommendation, he still wouldn’t have gotten the job!

[Coworker #2] sulked for months and nearly got himself fired for his resulting behaviour. Happily, he has finally agreed to let me develop him and his skills and he is doing much better.

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We Want Solutions That Involve Changing Nothing

, , , , , | Working | April 20, 2021

I work as a contractor, taking roles in companies that are having serious quality problems. 

Having worked for several companies in many industries, I have gotten pretty good at finding out why problems occur and how to fix them.

This one company is having major issues with deliveries to their main customer. Every month, they are sent a list of missing parts. The company has to make a load of spares and then airfreight them across the globe to get them delivered in time.

The company is sure that their supplier is making it up but can’t prove it. 

My first step is the packing area, I am introduced to a hate-filled, haggard woman that initially refuses to look at me. I’m told she is the person that packs everything and of course could make no mistakes. 

Me: “Hi, my name is [My Name]. I’ve been asked to help out with [Customer].”

The woman ignores me.

Me: “Perhaps you could help me understand what might be the issue?”

Woman: “Well, they’re making it up, aren’t they!”

Me: “Okay. Do we have any paperwork that proves what we packed?”

Woman: “Oh, I knew this would happen. What has it been, five minutes? And you are blaming me?”

Me: “I didn’t say anything about blame.”

Woman: “No, I don’t want to talk to you anymore.”

And she refuses to speak to me. I catch up with the owner. He is as limp as wet lettuce and makes some stupid excuse not to deal with her. He asks me to try again tomorrow. So I do.

Me: “Good morning! Can we chat?”

Woman: “I suppose.”

Me: “So, we need to prove that the customer is losing these parts.”

Woman: “I don’t see what the fuss is about. They cost pennies to make.”

Me: “And hundreds of pounds to replace and ship, every month. I was told that because of these complaints, the company is barely making any money.”

Woman: “I don’t see what that has to do with me!”

I spent a month trying to work through the problems, being ignored by staff, and trying to wet nurse the directors. I eventually found a foolproof, quick, and cheap solution to fix the problem. However, the directors were too scared to implement it, in case it inconvenienced the staff.

I told the company they were wasting their money hiring me if they would not implement my solutions and respectfully ended my contract early.

They call me from time to time to come back in and help. I decline.

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The Free Lunch Was Only The Beginning Of The Perks

, , , , , , | Learning | April 20, 2021

I’m completing the final year of my apprenticeship for my company. They come around and ask us if we could volunteer to attend a school event to promote the company and potentially encourage the next generation of apprentices.

As soon as it’s clear that this won’t be paid as overtime and only for an extra day off, most of the guys refuse to help, moaning about “free labour.” However, I volunteer as I reckon that four hours worked on a Saturday for eight hours holiday is probably still a good deal.

We do the event and I enjoy it way more than I thought. Inspiring young minds and seeing how they handle the tasks is enjoyable. I help a few of the school kids and get some good feedback on the day. Plus, we get a free lunch and I am already planning what to do with my day off.

When I finish my apprenticeship, the other in my year and I are interviewed to see where we will be placed. There are a few hotly contested areas so we all want to do well.

Interviewer: “Sorry, but have we met?”

Me: “I’m not sure, sorry.”

Interviewer: “Didn’t you do that school event?”

Me: “Oh, yes, sorry. I recognise you.”

Interviewer: “I remember. You really took charge that day. I was impressed.”

Apprentice Manager: “You know, he volunteered that day without pay.” *Smiles at me*

Interviewer: “Really? Oh, that really shows dedication. Listen, we are going off track, but there is a really promising role in [department]. They have been looking for someone who is willing to learn and succeed. It’s not strictly an [ex]apprentice position, but I think they would consider you. What do you think?”

Me: “That’s great, thank you!”

It took some convincing, but I got the job! A couple of the other guys in my year tried to lodge a complaint, saying that they would have volunteered if they had known, or something, but it was thrown out before it got anywhere.

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Useless IT Worker, Reporting For Duty

, , , , , | Working | April 19, 2021

I come into my office one day, fire up my computer, and realise that I have no Internet. This has happened before since this was a temporary office set up for just me and my colleague for approximately two years before we were meant to move to another location. I try using my phone as a wireless hotspot. No Internet on my phone. That’s okay; I’ll just give IT a call and see what they have to say. 

IT is located about an hour away by car in another town.

IT: “No, we haven’t had any other complaints about the Internet. Have you tried rebooting your computer?”

Me: “Since the Internet on my phone doesn’t work, either, I’m sure this isn’t just a computer problem, but I have tried rebooting it already. No luck.”

IT: “Well, nobody has reported any problem, so there isn’t any problem with the Internet.”

Me: “I’m reporting it now. My colleagues probably won’t come to work for another hour so it’s no surprise that you haven’t heard anything from another person yet.”

IT: “I don’t see any problem, but I will look into it and will email you what I find, okay?”

Me: “No, since I don’t have Internet, I won’t be able to receive your email, whatever you find. Can you please text me?”

IT: “Okay, I will do that. Bye.”

Six hours later, after spending the day reading a magazine and talking s*** with people, the Internet came back. On my work email, there was an email from IT saying that there was a problem with the Internet in my area. Gee, thanks.

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