The Squeaky Wheel Gets A Promotion, Part 2

, , , , , | Working | May 25, 2021

I work in a factory. We were supposed to spend a little time in each department and then choose where to work. Instead, we are all dumped on the shop floor, mopping up spills, replacing the hundreds of time light bulbs, and rewiring plugs.

Four years of study for this? I feel conned and bored; this isn’t the job I accepted. I am going nowhere and barely sleeping, and I dread every Monday. 

I am complaining about it to another guy my age who’s in the same position.

Coworker: “I don’t know why you are complaining. It’s a job, isn’t it?”

Me: “Aren’t you bored? All we do is the same thing over and over.”

Coworker: “I don’t mind it.”

Me: “But this is a dead end. If we stay, this is all it is ever going to be.”

Coworker: “I’m going to try to get the team leader role.”

Me: “I mean, sure, but that is one vacancy and there are five people who have been here longer. Look, it just isn’t for me.”

Coworker: “Whatever. I would just keep your head down.”

I don’t. I apply for the first job I can in another department. My coworker calls me crazy. But before long, I am promoted and then promoted again. I leave the company for a more senior role and then am promoted again. Eventually, I end up working on some cutting-edge stuff for a great company.

I get a message from my former coworker.

Coworker: “Hey, how’re things? I heard you got made redundant and I thought I would let you know, your old job is open again. Shame you left; you could have been team leader now. I just took the role.”

I didn’t bother replying.

The Squeaky Wheel Gets A Promotion

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“Yeah, I Guess,” And Its Sequel, “I Dunno”

, , , , , | Right | May 25, 2021

Two boys, around fourteen years old, walk in and just stand inside the door, hands in their pockets, not looking at anything. I walk over.

Me: “Hello. Can I help you?”

Boy #1: “Yeah, we need books.

Me: “What kind of books?

Boy #1: “Dunno. Books.

Me: “For yourself? Or as a gift for somebody?

Boy #1: “Ourselves.

Boy #2: “We’ve got detention and the teacher said to bring a book to read.”

Me: “Ah, I see. What kind of books do you like?”

Boy #1: “Dunno.”

Me: “Would you like to look around and see what we’ve got?

Boy #2: “Nah, you show us.”

I start at the nearest display.

Me: “Do you guys like to take pictures?

Boy #1: “Yeah, I guess.

Me: “Here are some books about photography. This one’s about cameras and lenses and so on, and this one shows how to take a great photo with just the right colours and lighting. Would you like to look at them?

Boy #1: “Nah, sounds boring.

Me: “No photography books, then. Do you like scary stories?”

Boy #1: “Yeah, I guess.

The two of them are “Yeah-I-guess” interested in adventure, technology, sci-fi, true crime, cars, animals, foreign countries, history, philosophy, whodunnits, superheroes, Norse mythology, politics, and romance.

Every book I suggest either “Nah-sounds-boring” or “Nah-looks-too-long.” They never take their hands out of their pockets. I wonder if I should send them to the library just to get them off my hands.

While I’m taking the two of them from display to shelf and from shelf to display, showing them everything except the preschool picture books, my coworker is helping other customers. The doorbell chimes and one of our regulars comes in.

Coworker: “Hello, Mrs. [Regular]! Over here.”

He pulls a book from a shelf and holds it out to her. 

Regular: “That’s the one. Thank you!”

She follows my coworker to the till, buys the book, and leaves. My two teenagers have been watching. 

Boy #2: “Why can’t you do what he does?”

Me: “What do you mean?”

Boy #2: “He just looked at that lady and knew what book she wanted.”

Boy #1: “Yeah, why can’t you do the same thing for us?”

Boy #2: “Or maybe he should look at us and give us our books.”

I suppress a groan, turn a beginning facepalm into a hair-adjusting gesture, and switch my smile back on.

Me: “My coworker has a special gift. If you’d like, we can go over and ask him to find the books you want.”

I walk them over. My coworker must have heard what we said, because as we are approaching, he squints at [Boy #1], then closes his eyes, murmurs to himself, and says:

Coworker: “Yes, yes, I can see it. You want, you want—” *points in a random direction* “—that one!”

He’s pointing at the technology shelf. [Boy #1] walks over, pulls out a book about the history of cars, and says:

Boy #1: “Yeah, this one looks good.”

My coworker repeats the process with [Boy #2]. Both end up buying books that they didn’t want earlier when I suggested them. After they’re gone, I turn to my coworker.

Me: “Mrs. [Regular] called ahead, didn’t she?”

Coworker: *Grinning* “Yes, she did.”

Me: “Why do you always get the easy ones?”

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This Story Has A Punchy Beginning

, , , , , , | Legal | May 23, 2021

While I am trying to get out of a parking lot, a young man gets upset that I have gotten “too close” to his car. He sucker-punches me in the face through the open window of my car. I have a good description of the suspect, a good vehicle description, and the license plate number of the vehicle he was in. There are multiple witnesses and even surveillance video of the incident. The police are duly called and I am given a case number and told a detective will be contacting me.

A week goes by without any information, so I call the police department’s non-emergency number and ask about the case, using the case number provided.

Receptionist: “The case hasn’t actually been recorded yet because it’s only been a week. Call back next week.”

I call back the next week and learn that the report has been filed, and I am (eventually) put in touch with the appropriate office for investigating assaults. I speak to a detective.

Detective #1: “We haven’t had a chance to look at the case yet. Please call us back later.”

I wait a week and call the detective office directly, with the case number.

Detective #2: “You’ll have to talk to our lead detective, [Lead Detective]. But he’s in court all week, so you’ll have to call back next week.”

We are now a month past the date I was assaulted, and no one from the police department has apparently even looked at the report since it was eventually filed. I call back and talk to the lead detective.

Lead Detective: “We don’t investigate misdemeanor assault.”

Me: *Shocked* “Why not?”

Lead Detective: “It’s too hard to get a conviction for stuff like that, so it’s not worth our time.”

Me: *Peeved* “I have five witnesses, security camera footage, a description of the attacker and his vehicle, and his license plate number. I absolutely want to press charges against the idiot who slugged me.”

[Lead Detective] is silent for a couple of seconds.

Lead Detective: “You… you have the license plate number?”

Me: “Absolutely! [Number]. It should be in the police report, too, because I gave it to the responding officer.”

There’s another brief pause.

Lead Detective: “What was that case number again?”

Me: “[Case number].”

Lead Detective: *Furiously typing* “Can you give me a description of the attacker?”

I give him the description from my notes.

Lead Detective: “Huh! I think I know who this person is. Can you come to the station and do a photo line-up?”

Me: “Sure.”

A week later — now FIVE weeks after the assault — I pick the suspect out of the photo array, and it turns out to be the guy [Lead Detective] was thinking of. I am escorted to the prosecutor’s office where I swear out an official complaint, and I am told a warrant will be issued for the young man’s arrest. I am asked if I am ready to testify at trial, and I emphatically agree.

EIGHT MONTHS LATER, the young man who attacked me gets arrested for something completely unrelated and is charged with assault due to the warrant. I am notified by mail of the court date for this case… scheduled for five months later.

More than a year after the actual assault, I finally stand up in court, identify the young man who attacked me to the judge, and describe what happened. [Lead Detective] actually shows up — surprising me — and tells the judge the surveillance video corroborates my story. The judge wants to see the video, but it turns out that the police video system is not compatible with the court’s video system, and the video won’t play. (Seriously?)

The suspect’s defense attorney is diligent and tries hard but keeps getting undercut by her client’s perpetually-changing story.

Suspect: “It wasn’t me.” “The car was being borrowed by my mom, and it wasn’t there. My mom took the car to work.” “Someone else was in the car.” “I was in the car, but in the front seat. I never got out of the car.” “I got out of the car, but I was not the guy who hit [My Name]; that was another guy… who was riding with us… and I don’t know who he was.”

The judge didn’t buy any of it, and the suspect was convicted. He was sentenced to ninety days in jail and given credit for time served for the OTHER criminal case he was involved with, and we went our separate ways having learned our lessons.

I’m not sure what the suspect learned, but I learned that anything short of a felony is fair game in [Town]. Even when given the suspect description, vehicle description, license plate number, surveillance video, and multiple witnesses, the police can’t be bothered to even look for people committing crimes unless those crimes are felonies.

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Not Everyone Is Lemonading

, , , | Right | May 21, 2021

I work in a very large superstore. A young man comes into my self-checkout buying two six-packs of alcoholic lemonade. Per policy, I request to see his ID.

Customer: “Oh, I left it in my car.”

Me: “I’ll hold your purchase for you while you go and get it.”

Customer: “I parked clear on the other end of the store and I don’t want to walk to go get it. Can you just override it?”

Me: “That’s gonna be a hard no; that would get me fired.”

Shockingly, he was best described as grudgingly nice about it, and even more surprisingly, he actually came back with his ID and purchased his beer!

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No Effort, No Outcome

, , , , , , | Working | May 21, 2021

My coworker is a chore to work with. Ask him to do anything he doesn’t deem “his job” and he refuses. I have actually watched him not report a smoldering fire because he was going on his break. He just said, “I am entitled to a break; someone will sort it out.”

I think he thinks he is some great hero of the people, fighting some bourgeoisie. In reality, it is a small family business, and his stupid behaviour makes people dislike him.

Christmas is coming up and I am putting in some extra hours to earn some extra cash. All hours are posted on a notice board; I’m happy to see that I’m scheduled again for both shifts. 

Coworker: “How come you got overtime again?”

Me: “I can run [machine]; that’s where the work is.”

Coworker: “How come you got training? I wasn’t offered training!”

I sigh as this is going to be another of his outbursts to deal with.

Me: “I got training as I volunteered to help set the machine up. I also took the time to read the manual, which is available to everyone and still is.”

Coworker: “Well, I could have done that!”

Me: “Yes, but you didn’t, did you? We needed as many volunteers as we could; instead, we spent a whole weekend struggling.”

Coworker: “I didn’t know I would get overtime out of it!”

Me: “None of us did. We volunteered because they asked us and it needed to be done. Maybe if you helped out more, they would—”

Coworker: *Cutting me off* “This isn’t right. I’m being discriminated against. I’m speaking to [Manager]!”

I can only assume they told him to shut up and get back to work, as he reappeared moments later. [Coworker] never got on the overtime sheet, but he complained all the way up to Christmas about it, still not actually making any effort to learn the jobs that were in high demand.

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