She’s Got You On The Hook

, , , , | Working | June 7, 2021

My coworker is complaining about a task that our manager gave her, telling me she finds it hard and time-consuming. It’s actually a task that I really like, so I offer to swap my final task of the day with her. My task was to move stock that is hanging on hooks in an aisle to a new position at the end of the aisle. It is literally moving less than a metre, an easy job as the stock could be moved while still on the display hooks. I have already cleared the new area.

I explain exactly what needs to be done and my coworker nods and agrees, and I head to the office to complete her task. Both tasks should only take ten to twenty minutes. I head back out after completing her task to find that both areas that I was supposed to work on are completely empty.

Me: “[Coworker], where is the stock that is supposed to be here?”

Coworker: “Oh, that’s in a trolley at the front of the store.”

Me: “What? Why is it in a trolley?”

Coworker: “Because you wanted it taken off ready for you to do.”

I sigh and grab the trolley, noting that all of the stock is now mixed together.

Me: “Where are all the hooks?”

Coworker: “I put them away, out in the dock.”

It took me almost two hours to sort all the mixed stock and find where she had put all the hooks, and I even had to print new tickets up as she had thrown them out. I had to stay back to do it in my own time. The next time she complained about being given the other task, I just shrugged and went about doing my own tasks. She could never understand why I wouldn’t do it even though I liked doing it.

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Picky, Picky Pickups

, , , , | Working | June 2, 2021

I work the night shift from 6:00 pm to 6:00 am and like to sleep in a little on my off days. I generally opt for online grocery pickup whenever I can. I place an order for groceries to pick up between 7:00 and 8:00 pm and arrive at the store at 7:30 pm. I call the grocery pickup department and give them my information. 

Employee: “Hello, it looks like we have your order ready to go, but unfortunately, it is past our designated pickup time and you will have to come back tomorrow.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I scheduled for pickup between 7:00 and 8:00 and it is currently 7:30. I don’t see why I can’t have my order.”

Employee: “Ma’am, we do not walk any orders out at this time. You will have to come back tomorrow.”

I am frustrated and cannot come back tomorrow as I need to sleep during the day and work that night.

Me: “When I placed my order online, this was an available time slot, and I have my confirmation email. Is there any way we can resolve this so I can get my groceries, please?”

Employee: “Please hold.”

The employee abruptly places me on hold without explanation.

Manager: “Hello, this is [Store.] How can I help you today?” 

Me: “Hi, I just got off the phone with an employee in online pickup and they said they can’t bring my order out at this time even though I reserved this time slot online. I received a confirmation email for my slot as well as an email today confirming my order for pickup between 7:00 and 8:00 pm. Is there any way I can get my order tonight?”

Manager: *Sounds frustrated* “Absolutely. I am so sorry for this inconvenience. Your order will be right out.”

Upon arriving home, I noted that the manager had included an additional bag with a few cards, promotional items, and a store gift card. I still don’t know what happened with the employee, but I’m glad I got my order!

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Stubbornness Will Be Your Downfall

, , , , , , | Working | June 1, 2021

I’ve trained one of my coworkers to use some software. It’s not exactly hard, but you need to do things in precise order or the software won’t work quite right.

Me: “Hey, [Coworker], just noticed a few blips in the data you sent over.”

Coworker: *Abruptly* “Well, I did it right!”

Me: “I’m not saying it’s wrong; it just maybe needs looking at, tweaking maybe. Let me show you.”

She sighs dramatically. I try to show her on her screen but she does all she can to not look. It’s a bit pathetic and more like a child being told off than a forty-something woman.

Me: “Instead of copying the data from there, if you copy from here, it will be formatted properly.”

Coworker: “Yeah, yeah.”

I leave it there. I don’t need her rudeness. She has had as much training as me; I shouldn’t even need to train her. The next week, more data, more issues.

Me: “Could you please resend that data? It’s not formatted properly.”

Coworker: “No. If you want it a certain way, then you do it.”

Me: “Okay, fine. Don’t say I haven’t made every effort.”

She mutters something under her breath. I ignore it and manipulate the data by hand. It’s not a big deal but annoying and time-consuming. I jot down everything she said and the times and dates for everything, because I know what is happening next.

The following week, I am on holiday. The reason I deal with the data after [Coworker] is that it is needed by a senior manager. I tidy it up more as a favour to him as we get on well, and that I know he is stupid busy.

I come back in from holiday to find several emails from my boss.

Boss: “[My Name], what is this mess of data? I know you help me out, but half of it isn’t even spelt correctly.”

Boss: “Sorry! Just saw that you’re on holiday and this didn’t come from you. I will address this with the right person.”

The third and fourth emails are to my coworker but I get copied.

Boss: “[Coworker], this data is not up to the standard that is expected; there are a number of basic mistakes that are not acceptable. Please redo this immediately and send this to me by the end of the day.”

The next day:

Boss: “I didn’t receive the data yesterday, despite making it clear that it was needed. Please send this ASAP or I will have to discuss this with your boss.”

[Coworker] took a few days off due to “stress” following this. Of course, she blamed me for it all. No one believed her, as I’ve trained many others without issue, and the fact that I documented everything just was the icing on the cake.

She continued to blame me and refused to be trained by me. As I was the trainer for many of the tasks, this just meant she couldn’t learn anything new. In one case, I had to train someone solely to train her. As all pay rises are directly linked to performance and the number of tasks able to be completed, she was just hurting herself.

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Jobs Are For Working. Who Knew?

, , , , , | Working | May 31, 2021

I work in the parts department of a [Brand #1] car dealership. We have a small crew with only three employees, plus a manager. We recently had one of our coworkers quit to move on to new opportunities, and as you do, our manager hired a new employee. We hired a guy who previously worked at a [Brand #2] car dealership. He seems a little shy and quiet when he shows up, but I think nothing of it. I’d be more uneasy if he was loud, boisterous, and buddy-buddy on the first day.

We get to training, and we ask the usual first-day questions. All his answers are short and curt. No follow-up. No back and forth. No questions. Quiet guy, still all good in my brain.

Being the most senior employee, training falls in my realm of responsibilities. I start training him. I know I can be a bit fast in explaining things, and there are a lot of acronyms and odd three-letter commands to use our software. Sometimes I feel like Robin Williams bellowing out acronyms like in that one scene in “Good Morning Vietnam”. I make sure to stop myself regularly to ask, “Am I going too fast?”, “Does this make sense?”, “Any questions?” Again, his answers are short and curt, and he seems to be following along.

After coming back from lunch, we hop back to it. A parts request comes through the computer: something simple, like an oil change. Even on day one, it’s pretty easy stuff, and he said he’s used our software before.

New Hire:  “What do I do again?”  

I slowly realize he’s not retained much from the morning.

Me: “Click on [Software].”

He clicks on the wrong tab.

New Hire: “This one?”

Me: “No, [software]”

He clicks on the web browser.

New Hire: “This one?”

Me: “No, [Software]. The green one.”

He clicks on a red tab.

New Hire: “This one?”

My optimist brain thinks, “Okay, he could be colourblind maybe. My bad.” So I point.

Me: “This one.”

New Hire: “Okay.” *Clicks* “What do I do again?” 

Conversations like this happen again and again all afternoon, with both me and my other veteran coworker. I do my best to keep my patience, to stay positive, and overall, to be courteous. I do not just show him how to do it; I make him do it — on the job training. Alas, there’s not much improvement by day’s end.

I’m a bit torn. The pessimist in my brain says, “Not the best hire we’ve had in a while.” The optimist asks, “Could just be day-one jitters. Were you a rockstar on day one?” No, I was not, but I was better than that. Tomorrow, we shall train anew. New day, new opportunities!

I have the early shift, starting at 7:30 am, my veteran coworker starts at 8:00, and the new hire is due to start at 8:30. But 9:00 am rolls around and no new hire. Car troubles? Sick? Slept in? Happens to the best of us, even on your second day. Hope he’s okay. Thanks, optimist brain.

Then, my manager strolls on by.

Manager: “What happened with the new guy yesterday?”

Me: “What?” 

Coworker: “Uhh, [My Name] trained him?”  

Manager: “Well, he just called and said he quit.”

Me: “Wait! What? Why?”

Manager: “That’s why I’m here. He called in and said he wasn’t coming back in. I asked him why he wasn’t coming back, and his answer was just, ‘Ask your employees,’ and he hung up. What did you guys do?”

Me: “I made him work?”

My manager just shrugged and gave us a look that said, “Not your problem, his. We’re good.” [New Hire] still comes up in conversation from time to time, and to this day, we are still trying to figure out what we did to offend him so much. Did he expect his first day to be a lazy orientation? Fill out paperwork, go play on the swings, watch some TV, nap, and then go home early? Did he really not expect to work on his first day?

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No Use Crying Over Expired Milk

, , , , | Working | May 27, 2021

My boss discovers the milk’s expiration date is today, but rather than being a freaking adult and maybe tossing it in the trash can less than two feet away, she decides to try and bully me into it.

Boss: “[My Name], when was the last time the fridge was cleaned out?”

Me: “Every Wednesday.”

Boss: “It needs to be cleaned out.”

Me: “The only thing in there is milk. Everything else is people’s lunches for today.”

Boss: “We don’t want another ‘incident’ with our fridge smelling.”

Me: “Okay?”

Boss: “Just clean it out.”

Me: “I am working on something right now. I will get to it at the end of today.”

Time passes and she decides to loudly declare, so the whole office can hear it:

Boss: “Ew! The fridge is so disgusting. You really need to clean it out! It is so gross in there! You don’t want another ‘incident.’”

I didn’t comment because it was so childish and immature, and again, there was just milk in there. She was acting like the fridge was packed full of rotting food.

She didn’t get the response she wanted and left. I decided to make myself a cup of tea and check the expiration date on the milk. Sure enough, it expired that day. It was still good but since it was Friday, I used the milk and turned and threw it in the trash less than two feet away. Shocking how difficult that was! I was positively exhausted from the effort!

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