Project Much?

, , , , , | Working | May 3, 2021

I have worked for several years as a graphic designer at a sign shop. As we start to become more successful and well-known around town, we end up needing a second graphic designer to help us keep up with demand.

After a few interviews, the boss hires someone he feels will be a good fit. I won’t lie; they’re a better designer than I am and can put together ideas and concepts I can’t even fathom. However, the trade-off is that they’re slow. They’ll end up spending an entire day on one (great-looking) project, while we have thirty or more orders coming in each day.

Still, I can do things more basically but much faster, so I figure it’s an even trade. However, for whatever reason, the other designer has taken an almost instant dislike to me and takes every opportunity to complain to the boss about anything and everything I do.

This makes for an uncomfortable work environment, and eventually, I end up leaving the job to pursue other career opportunities out-of-province. At this point, the boss wants to hire someone to replace me, but the other designer tells him that I always slacked off and that they can easily handle the workload themselves, as they’ve essentially been doing so already.

When I am back in town six months later, I run into the boss and he begs me to come back. It turns out that the other designer was unable to keep up with the workload, started hiding files and leaving customers hanging, and eventually went on stress leave because it was all too much for them to take. They never returned to the job after their stress leave ended. I agreed to return for a hefty pay increase, and the next time I saw the former designer out in public, they went out of their way to avoid eye contact with me.

It’s been six years now, I’m still working there, and I haven’t once had any issues with the workload.

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Bugging You About That Refund

, , , , | Right | May 1, 2021

I am having the morning shift alone. A woman comes in with a bag of rice of a brand we sell that has been opened and is missing about a quarter of its contents.

Customer: “Hi! I bought this rice from you and there are tiny little bugs in it! I’d like to exchange it for a new bag, but I do not have a receipt.”

I am a little floored because the brand she has is very high quality and I never would have thought to hear about bugs inside rice. She is also extremely calm and friendly about it, which strikes me as odd since I am grossed out just thinking about it, especially since there’s so much of the rice missing already and it makes it seem like she ate it.

She has no receipt, which is an issue, and in the six months I’ve worked there I’ve never had to do a return or exchange so I don’t know how to do one.

I check the rice first and, truthfully, there are a few black, small bugs in it. Still alive!

Customer: “I come here very often, you know! I know your boss, too!”

Since we are a small store, we have a lot of regulars so this might actually be true. I’ve never seen her before, but I just nod along.

Customer: “I hoped the younger one would be here; she knows me!”

I am not sure what to do at this point, so I text my boss’s daughter; she’ll be taking over my shift in fifteen minutes anyway.

Me: “Should I just give the customer a new bag of rice? The customer insists you know each other.”

I send her a picture of the bugs. All through that, the woman keeps on talking, overly friendly. I am slightly suspicious but usually, scammers don’t agree with me when I offer to contact one of the bosses because they know it will not help them.

Customer: “Oh, if you want to, you can even take a picture of me and send it to her; she knows me! I shop here so often!”

My texts are answered, with lots of exclamation marks, telling me to NOT give that woman a new bag, that she does NOT know her, and that we cannot do anything without a receipt. The way she’s typing is very unusual, so I figure the woman is a scammer.

Me: *Smiling* “I will need a receipt, but if you wait for fifteen minutes, my colleague will be here and will be able to help you. I am just a part-timer and don’t have that much authority.”

She seemed disappointed but claimed she was in a rush and bought a new bag anyway, opening it and checking if there were bugs inside this one; there weren’t. She left the old bag with me and I made sure to give her the receipt, just in case. I taped the bug bag closed with way too much tape just as the boss’s daughter came in. I then left, thinking not much of it. 

The boss’s daughter told me on my next shift that the woman had come into the store the day before, claiming that her mother had bought that rice and they had found bugs in it. Since nothing could be done without a receipt, she left again. The boss even made sure to open every single bag of rice from that batch we got delivered; all were bug-free. The boss had not been working in the store for two months due to health reasons, and I asked the other part-timer about it, but she also did not sell that to the woman.

Either the boss sold the rice months ago and the bugs appeared because the woman didn’t store it right, or she bought it somewhere else in the first place. Since she changed tactics and adapted her story to be more believable on her second try with me, I wonder if she may have planted the bugs in there on purpose. 

Either way, I am baffled by her attempt to scam us, not because she was the first to try, but because she seemed so confident and insistent enough to try it twice — only to end up buying a new bag without fuss anyway.

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Here’s An Itemized List Of Thirty Years Of Disagreements

, , , , | Learning | April 28, 2021

I work at a university. I worked as an administrative assistant in the physical science department for just over a year before transferring to an advising position for incoming freshmen.

My (now former) boss had a nasty habit of: 

  1. spreading gossip (which I hate) about anyone and everyone to anyone and everyone, 
  2. refusing to respect my boundaries and being both verbally abusive and emotionally manipulative,  
  3. taking personal offense at any action they deemed “against” them, and 
  4. taking those offenses and turning them into personal vendettas they tried to spread around campus by making up exorbitant lies.

I joined their vendetta list when I changed jobs without their “permission” (their words). The lies that have thus far gotten back to me include, but are not limited to:

  1. I was a spy and was reporting all of their doings back to the dean so that they would get in trouble all the time.
  2. Because of my excellent spy work, they are being demoted from department head to regular faculty — despite the fact they wrote an official memo requesting that they be allowed to step down.
  3. I spread rumors all over campus that they hated the dean (their boss, whom they do hate) and undermined both their relationship and the dean’s position (which my former boss does all the time to anyone they talk to).

The best rumor, though, came through recently. My former boss claims that I am under investigation by both human resources and the campus police because I have been demanding/extorting money — a felony — from instructors and other staff to do work for them, despite the fact that I look like I’m eighteen and am about as intimidating as a dandelion. And apparently, I am about to be fired for it (I’m not).

All in all, it’s just free — if sometimes inconvenient — entertainment for me, though I did report that last one just in case it made its way to people who don’t know me and became a real issue. Transferring jobs was one of the best things I’ve ever done; I’m not struggling with depression as much and am doing much better emotionally overall. 

And to be honest, it makes me smile every time I remember that I’m living rent-free in their head with the rest of their vendetta collection.

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Get Back To Work, Potty Mouth!

, , , , , , | Working | April 27, 2021

I work at a small fast food restaurant. One of my coworkers is notorious for spending large amounts of time in the bathroom — I mean thirty to forty-five minutes, on the clock, in the bathroom. This happens several times in a five-hour shift and it leaves the rest of us struggling to cover her job and ours. I confirm with my boss that the worker has no medical issue that requires this, and my other female coworkers confirm that [Coworker #1] spends the time on her phone. After about three months of this happening…

Coworker #1: “I’m going to the bathroom.”

Me: “This is your second time, and you’ve only been here for like ninety minutes. [Manager] isn’t going to be okay with that.”

Coworker #1: “You know what? I need to s***, so I’m going to s***. It’s illegal to try to stop me.”

Coworker #2: “Actually, it’s illegal to do nothing at work when you’re being paid to do something. Making you do your job is far from illegal.”

Coworker #1: “Tell on me, then. I know the owner of [Fast Food Chain]. He’ll just fire you.”

Me: “You know what? The second you go into the bathroom, I will call [Manager] on her personal phone and tell her what you’re doing. This has gone on long enough. You’re being paid to work, not to play on your phone, so dang it, you are going to do your job. Get back to work, now.”

Coworker #1: “Fine, but I’m going to get you fired for this. I know the f****** owner of [Fast Food Chain].”

Coworker #2: “No, you don’t. He’s actually my uncle, and I would know if you knew him. I don’t like pulling the nepotism card, but my uncle can and will fire you for not working. Now do your job, and quit the freaking swearing; there are kids around.”

[Coworker #1] was fired about a week after.

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H2-Woah, Part 7

, , , , | Right | April 27, 2021

I volunteer part-time at the Washington Monument. A nice tourist family comes up to me.

Nice Family: “Where can I get some water?”

Me: “I’m sorry, we don’t sell bottled water here. The closest place is [direction and distance], and last I saw it was like $3 each.”

The mother of another family overhears this and storms straight over.

Mom:What?! There are some kids right over there selling it for $1 each. You should go buy from the kids.”

Me: “I’m sorry, we really don’t recommend buying from non-licensed vendors. I need to report this to the capitol police so that they don’t sell there anymore.”

Mom: “That’s ridiculous! You’re ripping people off! I bet you’re in league with them and getting your pockets lined!”

Me: “Ma’am, let me ask you a question… When you got your bottle of water, did the kids crack open the bottle before they handed it to you?”

Mom: “Yes.”

Me: “That’s because, in a lot of cases, the water bottle was already opened. They just pretend to open it so that you don’t know it was already opened. We see a lot of kids that fish empty water bottles out of the recycling bins and refill them and sell them to tourists. That’s why we recommend you only buy from licensed vendors.”

Mom: “YOU MEAN THAT SOMEONE ELSE DRANK THIS BEFORE ME?! AND I PUT MY MOUTH ON IT?!”

She throws the bottle and barely misses my face.

Mom: “I’M GOING TO SUE ALL OF YOU PEOPLE FOR ALLOWING THIS TO HAPPEN!”

Related:
H2-Woah, Part 6
H2-Woah, Part 5
H2-Woah, Part 4
H2-Woah, Part 3
H2-Woah, Part 2

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