This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 90

, , , | Right | November 13, 2019

(I work in the call center of a credit card company.)

Caller: “I didn’t want to be signed up for four years!”

Me: “The representative wrote 48 months on the contract whilst you were present, correct?”

Caller: “Well… yes, but I thought 48 months was two years.”

Me: “So, you read the contract, signed it, and now you want to get out of it because you made a mistake.”

Caller: “No, I just signed. I don’t want to read.”

Me: “You do realize that our contract is a legally binding contract and hence should be read thoroughly.”

Caller: “And?”

This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 89
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 88
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 87

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Only Those Without Babies Can Understand What It’s Like To Travel With Them

, , , , , | Working | November 7, 2019

I’m currently on maternity leave, two or three months before I’m due back to work, and I realise that I still have a lot of vacation days left over. I ask a colleague who I should talk to about scheduling my vacations — there have been some personnel changes while I was gone — and she tells me to talk to [Superior #1]. She also tells me that technically, all vacation times had to be planned by last November — I was already on maternity then and it’s now June — which nobody told me about. No big deal since we don’t have any trips planned; I figure I’ll just talk to [Superior #1] and get some time off scheduled when nobody else is on vacation. Whatever works. 

I email [Superior #1], asking if I can come see her about when to schedule my time off. She emails me back saying, of course, I can come to the office about that. 

I make an appointment, take my baby with me, ride through half the city, and go to the office. 

When I arrive there, [Superior #1] greets me warmly, and then proceeds to tell me that while she can show me the schedule of who is going away when, I really need to talk to [Superior #2] about when I want to take my time off. 

I just stand there, flabbergasted, with my baby in a carrier, wondering why exactly she couldn’t have told me from the start that she wasn’t the person to talk to about that issue.

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Vegan Jamaican Sounds Like A Great Song But A Terrible Meal

, , , , | Working | November 6, 2019

(A new restaurant has opened in our local mall offering Jamaican food and drinks. They have a Facebook account and announce a raffle: whoever would like to win a voucher for any vegan burger to try it with their family must post a turtle emoji and the usual stuff. I participate and get contacted later via Messenger that I was one of the winners.)

Restaurant: “Please tell us the time and how many people we should make a reservation for.“

Me: “It’s four people at 2:00 pm, if that’s okay? My husband and me with the kids.”

Restaurant: “Great! Just please note that drinks and extras are not included in the prize.”

Me: “Sure, thanks! We can’t wait!”

(This is cool for us, as we are non-vegans and have been curious about the vegan options, but never dared to give it a try for fear of not liking it and thus wasting the scarce family eat-out money for it. We arrive at the place two days later; it’s 2:00 pm and rather empty. They tell us to sit where we like as barely any tables are taken. We pick a seat outside as it’s a warm day. The waiter comes and I tell him about the food we won. He takes the drink order and then we get to the food.)

Waiter: “Okay, so that’s one vegan burger. Anything else?”

Me: “Could you get us ketchup and mayo for the fries for the kids, as well? It does not have to be vegan.”

Waiter: “Well, if you want fries you must order some extra.”

Me: “But I thought the burgers come with fries? Like they are shown in the picture on Facebook? But if not, okay, no problem; please give each of us fries with our burger.”

Waiter: “Well, you won one free burger to try. If you want to share it, it’s your deal, but if your kids are hungry you should really try our kid’s menu.”

Me: *flustered now* “Oh, okay, so only one vegan burger is free? Well, then, we have to look at the menu, please.”

(We end up ordering a kids’ meal for each kid, drinks, and a full burger meal for my husband plus extra fries to go with my vegan burger. Maybe it’s the disappointment of that, but we then wait like what feels far too long and people who ordered after us get their food before our food arrives. The regular food is fine. The burger my husband ordered has onions on it, even though he asked to leave them off, but he just takes them off. The vegan burger misses the melted vegan cheese and sweet onion chutney they said it had in the description. Instead, it has a halved charlotte and one single piece of red bell pepper on it. Combined with the bun, rucola, tomato, and very minty salsa-verde is the sweetcorn patty that is nice and crisp, but consists of 50% big onion chunks, as well. It tastes like toothpaste with onions in a bun. Everybody gives it a bite but we agree that it’s really nothing we could ever like. The portions of fries are tiny for the price, and I end up snacking on my kids’ leftovers, looking forward to eating something for real later. So does my husband, as his burger and fries did not fill him up at all. We ask for the bill and what was supposed to be costing us drinks ended up as a full-priced eat-out that we would have cherished at one of our usual places, but now we feel kind of ripped off. I ask the waiter why my burger was missing so many ingredients from the description and picture and tell them that it tasted really bad that way.)

Waiter: “Yeah, that’s true, it’s not very good that way. We raffled off forty vouchers and ran out of the stuff the burger comes with yesterday. But you can come back any time and get it with all the stuff; it’s much better!”

(No. No, we surely won’t.)

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When The Light Goes Green, Their Mood Goes Dark

, , , , | Working | November 6, 2019

(I have requested the personnel files for an operative who will be transferring to our region. Within a minute of sending the email, I get a phone call from the manager.)

Manager: “Can this wait? We are processing payroll.”

Me: “Absolutely. I’ve just sent the request in. It can be handled at your discretion.”

Manager: “I just can’t understand why you would request this during payroll. We are very busy!”

Me: “I just sent the request; there isn’t a deadline. It can wait.”

Manager: “Couldn’t you have waited? We are doing payroll!

Me: “Yes, I know you are doing payroll. Like I have said, it can wait.”

Manager: “This is just ridiculous. Your request will not be completed until we have finished with payroll. Be more conscientious in the future.” *hangs up*

(I’m a bit befuddled by the call but just assume I sent the request at the wrong time, and that they were quite busy. I receive an electronic copy of the operative’s files within fifteen minutes, however, from someone I’ve never had correspondence with before — their title is Commercial Manager for another region. I forward the email on to the site manager.)

Site Manager: “Why is [Commercial Manager] sending this?”

Me: “I assume [Manager] was too busy, so he asked her to help.”

Site Manager: “[Manager]? Oh, no, no. [Commercial Manager] shares an office with him at [Head Office]. She says he sits there all day on Grindr and Facebook.”

Me: “He seemed pretty stressed about payroll…”

Site Manager: “You know how you can’t start payroll until the little circle turns green on the system?”

Me: “Yeah?”

Site Manager: “That’s his job — his entire job. For some reason he is the only person in the UK with the power to change it green. He does absolutely nothing else.”

Me: “Wow… at least payroll personnel are part-time, I guess.”

Site Manager: *with a pained look* “No, he’s full-time.”

(Thankfully, I haven’t interacted with [Manager] too often during payroll since, but when I do, the conversation is near identical.)

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Inaction Plan

, , , , , , | Working | November 5, 2019

I have an employee who has been told he is the smartest person in the room since birth. As a result, he doesn’t follow directions well because his way is always the right way and critiques or suggestions are met as personal attacks. He also feels the need to hide what he has been working on, making it difficult to gauge if he is actually as smart as he thinks he is. But boy, does he think he is smart! He is the kind of guy who thinks his work is flawless and can do no wrong but won’t look it over and promptly forgets what he did once it is not in front of his nose. 

I have begun to suspect him of plagiarizing his work to appear smart than he is. Compounded with him claiming credit for other people’s work and repeatedly throwing his coworkers under the bus for his mistakes, he is on thin ice. Long story short, I work with a liar, a cheater, and narcissist. 

I am reviewing his work one day and notice he has only completed half the requirements, despite claiming he finished it over a month ago and making comments in meetings that he has addressed any necessary changes. I shoot him an email, assuming he does have the work and it never got properly uploaded. Chaos ensues where he accuses me of bullying him and not being a team player. He makes up some excuse about how procedure should be open to interruption, before he leaves early on the grounds that I have created a toxic work environment. 

It’s safe to say the big bosses are not pleased with him, and they start the procedure to get him on an action plan, if not outright firing him. However, because my boss is going out of town, they decide to hold off on it until he gets back. I am given permission to retrain him and he is informed of it.

Fast forward to Monday morning; [Employee] apologizes to me in a vague manner. He acts like he is concerned for my mental health and tries to imply that I am overworked and being asked to do things outside of my job description. This is all false. I do not give him an inch and offer up some critique. He is visibly frustrated that I have not given into him but am staying polite. When I inform him he is still getting retrained, with [Big Boss #1] in the room, he almost throws a fit again. 

Friday, [Big Boss #1] comes back. Trying to get out of getting the training, [Employee] acts overtly friendly to me, even having his wife bring in a new kitten. We are busy with getting everything in order for a client so I hardly notice when [Employee] pulls [Big Boss #1] into my office. About thirty minutes later, [Employee] reemerges and starts derailing the entire office by apologizing and having many talks with anyone about what their issues with him are, how he can do better, etc. It turns out [Employee] was trying to get me in trouble again and claimed I was out to get him. [Big Boss #1] ended up yelling at him about causing drama. So, naturally, [Employee] causes drama.

Eventually, [Big Boss #1] gets fed up with him and insists that [Employee] speak to [Big Boss #2]. She decides she doesn’t want to talk to him that day as she needs time to process. At any rate, Monday rolls around and we are still trying to get things prepared for a big client so she doesn’t speak to him. Tuesday, she leaves to go on a trip so he is put on ice for the rest of the week.

Well, [Employee] being [Employee], he thinks that he can outsmart her, and sends her an email asking to talk. She replies with a polite email saying that she is on vacation, but with clear direction to do his work and nothing else. She also reassures him that she is looking over all the information provided. This doesn’t sit right with [Employee], so on the following Monday, he sends out a letter to [Big Boss #1] that he feels [Big Boss #2] is creating drama and he can’t do better if he doesn’t know where the discontent is. Of course, [Big Boss #1] is with a large client at that time and reminds [Employee] of this, who continues to try and bully his way into a conference to bully his way out of training. [Big Boss #1] finally gets fed up and replies, “STOP BEING ANNOYING. DO YOUR WORK!”

Of course, that isn’t enough for [Employee], who then continues his tirade via text about how he is feeling singled out and he only wants to talk to [Big Boss #2]. She intervenes and ends up calling him as we are both CC’d to the tantrum. She tells [Employee] to just focus on his work and stop harassing [Big Boss #1]. There is nothing else to talk about until the Action Plan is in place. But it doesn’t end there; [Employee] sends another email minutes later about how [Big Boss #2] refuses to talk to him. Again, [Big Boss #1] reminds him to stop creating drama and calls him annoying. 

At this time, [Employee] leaves for lunch. When he comes back he acts as if nothing happened and all is good. Off to start the next bit of drama, I suppose.

As to why he hasn’t been fired yet? Because we have to document the billion ways we have tried to train him, and he still needs to be retrained next week. It is only after the Action Plan is in place and he is retrained without signs of improvement that we can take the next steps. This goes to show you can’t always fire bad workers as easily as they claim.

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