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We Wish We Could Have This Image Scraped From Our Brains

, , , , , , , , , , | Working | December 7, 2023

CONTENT WARNING: Gross (Description of infection and treatment)


It’s 2005, and I’m working at a popular Canadian coffee shop while in university. One day, I come in to work and see a new employee in the back filling out paperwork. I introduce myself.

Me: “Hi! I’m [My Name], nice to meet you. Is this your first day?”

Woman: “Yes, it is! And my name is [Woman].”

Me: “Well, I look forward to working with you! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to—”

Woman: “I have a doctor’s appointment on Friday, so I won’t be in.”

Me: “…okay?”

Woman: “Yeah, I have a nasty yeast infection that won’t go away.”

Me: “Um…”

Woman: “It never gets better, only worse, but thankfully, my husband doesn’t mind the smell.”

Me: “Okay, listen, I have to—”

Woman: “The doctor is going to scrape it out of me. It’s like a surgery. He’s going to scrape the yeast out of me.”

Me: “All right! Well, I have to clock in so…”

Woman: “Yeah, it’s really bad. And it smells. Oh, are you leaving? I’ll catch you at break and tell you more!”

I scurried off as fast as I could and tried to forget what I had just heard. I never did see her again. She had to leave right after filling out her paperwork, and I didn’t work the next day, but I was told things got even weirder.

Apparently, she refused to do any work at all — citing her right to refuse unsafe work — and still expected to get paid. Climb a ladder to get a box? Unsafe. Make coffee? Unsafe due to the high temperatures. Clean the tables in the lobby? Unsafe due to the cleaning chemicals.

She was sent home after telling several other colleagues — WHILE BEHIND THE COUNTER — about her “lady problems” and upcoming “scraping”.

This Is Why We Have Some Stupid-Sounding Warning Labels

, , , , | Working | December 5, 2023

When I started my first job in a restaurant kitchen, I was trained on using the slicer — like what delis use to slice meats and cheese. My trainer told me specifically:

Trainer: “Don’t put your fingers in the blade while it’s running.”

I must’ve looked at her funny because she then told me:

Trainer: “I have to tell you that because we had someone do that, cut off the tip of his finger, and then say, ‘You didn’t tell me not to.'”

How Hard Is It To Grasp The Concept Of “Lunch Break”?

, , , , , | Working | December 1, 2023

I worked with an eighteen-year-old eight years ago. About two months after he was hired, he was assigned to work with me on the overnight shift. It wasn’t a stock night, so I was the senior employee onsite. We each had an hour for lunch, and we weren’t supposed to leave the premises.

Kid: “I’m going to go grab my lunch.”

Me: “Okay, no worries.”

I didn’t think anything of it.

An hour later, I checked upstairs in the break room so I could give [Kid] the next task, and I found that wasn’t there. For some reason, I didn’t think anything of that, either, and I got back to work. I noticed the doors unlocked and assumed he had forgotten to lock them after coming back in from smoking.

An hour and a half AFTER THAT, the store phone rang.

Kid: “Hey, the doors are locked. Let me back in.”

The idiot had walked about eight kilometres (about five miles) to a twenty-four-hour fast food chain and then walked back.

Of course, I mentioned it to our manager. That — plus the recordings of him swiping people’s food from the fridge — led to immediate dismissal.

Maybe They Should’ve Let Him Drop The Box On His Head

, , , , , , , , , , , | Working | November 29, 2023

We recently had a new employee assigned to the area I manage. I walked him through the training. He was somewhat unfocused, often needing an instruction or demonstration to be repeated two or three times before he got it, but once he paid attention, he picked up the various tasks quickly enough, and he completed them well. After a few days of training, he seemed set to work on his own, so I left him to it.

Later that day, I was walking through the factory floor and turned down an aisle in time to see [New Employee] standing on his tiptoes, slowly inching a box filled with very heavy parts off of one of the shelves. This was very much not how I had shown him how to pull boxes down, and even as I started forward, I saw the box start to tip.

I managed to reach him in time to shove him out of the way so that the box slammed into my shoulder rather than smashing straight into his head. I got knocked to my knee, shouting as the box almost dislocated my shoulder, and the box ended up wedged between me and the shelf. I managed to twist enough to get it off my shoulder and down onto the floor. By the time I turned back, [New Employee] was literally running off, apparently crying as he went.

A couple of others ran over, and I assigned them to check out the box for broken parts while I struggled to my feet to head to the on-site safety station. I got my shoulder checked out, and they ended up putting a brace on it.

That is when someone from Human Resources showed up. Apparently, [New Employee] had run straight there to scream about me “attacking” him.

I was pissed, and I ended up tearing into both [New Employee] and the HR representative, who had tried to say that they were going to suspend me for “unacceptable behavior”. I laid out what I’d seen and how we had possibly been seconds away from HR having to fill out details on how an employee had died on-site from dropping a box of heavy metal on his own head.

The fallout from all of this was… [New Employee] walked away with no issue, and I was reassigned to undergo sensitivity training because [New Employee] claimed a learning disability and said I hadn’t trained him properly.

So, I did the course, and I walked [New Employee] through all of the training again, this time dragging along someone from HR to verify and sign off on everything because my word was no longer good enough. Everything was signed off after a week of training, but this time, rather than having [New Employee] work on his own, I assigned him a partner to work with.

Over the course of the next two weeks, [New Employee] ended up with almost a dozen safety complaints against him. On two separate occasions, he tried to pull the same “go on tiptoe and slide a box off the shelf” stunt. He extended a box cutter fully and then waved it around like a sword, almost cutting his partner. He tried to climb into one of the forklifts and drive it, despite having zero training on operating it.

And with every complaint, HR told me that I couldn’t do anything — I couldn’t discipline him in any way — and they threatened me with another sensitivity course for “singling [New Employee] out”.

So, I went over their heads to the local safety inspectors. Within a day of doing that, I had a meeting with HR, a safety rep, and some of the C-suite (executives) for our company. I laid out all of the issues, provided the signed-by-HR training documents, and then laid out my ultimatum: either [New Employee] would be fired, or he would be assigned to the HR office (or somewhere else in the company). I flat-out refused to have him out on the factory floor.

HR made an anemic attempt to bring up “non-discrimination”, and I told them that the only way I’d be discriminating against anyone is if I kept him on; if literally anyone else had the safety record [New Employee] had, they would have been fired straight away.

From what I heard, he was moved to HR for all of three days, and then he was let go for some “undisclosed incidents”.

An Alarmingly White Red Flag

, , , , , , | Working | November 28, 2023

Many, many years ago, I worked half a shift at a bar in northern Wisconsin before I found out it was a local meeting spot for the scariest group of extreme racists that may or may not have been part of a three-letter hate group.

They’d take over half the seats in the house, get loudly drunk, and then wander off in all directions. The place looked respectable on the outside, so I never expected it to be such a nightmare.

On my first day, I arrived shortly after most of them were already a few drinks in.

One of them staggered over to the bar.

Me: “Hello! What can I pour for you?”

Racist: “We’ll see, but firsht, ya gotta answer me a queshion.”

From the way he was slurring, I was already wondering if my first task on my first shift would be to cut off a belligerent drunk and convince them to drink some water or eat some food.

Me: “Well, I’m new, but I can probably tell you what’s in just about any drink we serve.”

Racist: “Naw, naw, thassss…”

The word ended in a hiss, and he slowly tilted to the left before righting himself.

Racist: “…not what I wanna ashk. I just wanna know…” 

At this point, he went from slurring in a conversational tone to bellowing at the top of his lungs.


And in that instant, half the bar swiveled their heads, and they all stared straight at me, waiting for my answer.

Until that moment, I’d only ever heard of people saying their insides went cold, but I would’ve sworn I’d just swallowed an entire bucket of ice. With red flags waving and klaxons screaming inside my head, I put on my most agreeable expression and nodded to him. Then, I politely excused myself, told my boss that I was out, and left. My boss just shrugged and said maybe I wasn’t a good fit.

In the decades since, I have never encountered a workplace like that, and I hope I never will again.