These Are Tense Times… Very Tense

, , , , , , , | Working | July 23, 2021

I’m a security guard in my office with the door closed. As is standard for this sort of job, there are windows all around, so anyone can see in and I can see out. I’ve just had a new employee show up and she is currently waiting in the hallway outside of my office for her supervisor to show up and show her around. We’re both wearing masks, as is required here due to the ongoing health crisis.

Well, I end up sneezing and I sneeze LOUD. I do cover it in my arm and all that, and I go to clean up with sanitizer out of habit. The next thing I know, the new employee has burst through the door into my office and started shrieking at me about how I’m going to give her “the rona”. I’m pretty dumbfounded by this and just sit there and stare at her while she’s basically throwing a tantrum, yelling things like how dare I put her at risk (by sneezing in a closed room well away from her whilst wearing a mask) and how she’s going to get me fired for endangering people. 

Karma happens then, as her supervisor finally shows up shortly after and apparently watches for a bit. Once she has seen enough, the supervisor approaches.

Supervisor: “Excuse me. Are you [Employee]?”

Employee: “Yeah!”

Supervisor: “And today’s your first day?”

Employee: “Uh-huh!”

Supervisor: “Wrong. I’m going to go file the termination paperwork in a little bit. Right now I’m seeing that you’re off the property immediately!

And just like that, she was marched off the grounds. I’m glad that we didn’t have to deal with that particular bit of crazy for long. I can’t imagine how bad things would have been if she had exploded at someone like that on the factory floor.

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So You’re Looking For Someone To Blame

, , , , , , | Working | July 21, 2021

We have a bit of a running joke in the office that whenever something completely bizarre goes wrong, it is “my” fault. It started as I seem to be the unlucky one with IT and always find issues that shouldn’t even be possible. It is all said in good humour, and no one means it, so I don’t mind at all.

A new woman starts in the office. She seems to really struggle with some of the basic tasks, which is not helped by her attitude and unwillingness to learn or be taught. She keeps missing deadlines, and I think we were all just waiting to see when the owner will get rid of her. But he is a kind guy with lots of patience.  

He calls a big meeting to “catch up and see if anyone is having any issues.” We arrive and he goes round us individually, seeing how we are and what issues we are having.

One by one, we respond that we are fine and having no problems finishing our work, until it gets to the new woman.

New Woman: “I’ve not been able to do my reports on time again.”

Owner: “And why is that?”

New Woman: “Well, frankly, since [My Name] broke the system last week, it hasn’t been the same.”

Owner: “I didn’t hear about this. [My Name], what is this about?”

I shrug my shoulders. I look around the room and no one else seems to know.

New Woman: “I know I’m new here, and I don’t mean to throw people under the bus, but I can’t do my work without the tools needed.”

Me: “Err… I don’t know what she is on about.”

New Woman: “Come on, I heard you talk about it to [Coworker]! I’m a hard working woman, and I try my best here, but if [My Name] is going to constantly screw around with the things I need—”

Coworker: “We were joking! There was never an issue.”

New Woman: *Getting more flustered* “Look, all I know is that I can’t run it properly since there was an issue. It’s not my fault.”

Owner: “Okay, right. [My Name], can you please take a look at the software? [Coworker] can you stay behind? Everyone else, back to work.”

I ran the report as I had done a thousand times before without issue. I waited until the owner and my coworker were finished before dropping it at the owner’s desk. Of course, there was no issue whatsoever with the software and it was just the new woman being a bit useless.

The owner brought her into his office and “suggested” that this wasn’t the job for her. She “quit” and we never saw her again.

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Easy Come, Please Just Go

, , , , , | Working | July 6, 2021

I work in a small company where everyone knows everyone, so I am surprised to see a new face in the break room. Oddly, the newcomer also seems to know a group of other guys that have worked here for a while as he is having a loud and “lively” chat.

I sit down at a nearby table and can’t help but listen in.

New Guy: “It’s just bulls***.”

Coworker: “So, what happened?”

New Guy: “They suspended me for my ‘attitude.’ They were going to fire me, but [Ex-Team Leader] left so they had to let me back.”

Coworker: “They just brought you back, just like that?”

New Guy: “Yeah, something about there being no evidence anymore.”

Coworker: “Sounds like he did you a favour.”

New Guy: “No, he’s a d**k — all management are. Just because I was a bit late once.”

Coworker: “To be fair, [New Guy], you were late a lot. Didn’t you threaten [Ex-Team Leader]?”

New Guy: “Yeah, but they had no proof. Besides, what’s the problem?”

Coworker: “Err… yeah.”

New Guy: “I’ve got a meeting with that human resources b****, and then I’m gonna spend the afternoon getting some shut-eye in my car where there’re no cameras.”

Coworker: “Yeah… thing is, mate, I’m the new team leader. You report to me now, and we can’t have your lateness or sleeping on company time. Come on; we need to get to this meeting.”

New Guy: “Oh, I see. You’re one of them. You think you know someone. Yet another c**t in the machine.”

Coworker: “Come on, mate. No need to be like that. Let’s get to the meeting.” 

They both walked out. They made it just outside the door before the new guy started shouting and swearing. I just made out him storming off to his car and not returning. I guess he quit because I never saw him again. I don’t think he was a great loss.

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Put Your Mouth Where The Money Is

, , , , , | Working | June 24, 2021

I run a small woodworking shop and I make affordable furniture. I’m not in it for the money; I do it to semi-retire and help people out. Most days, it’s just me, but when we get busy, I take on seasonal workers.

This year, I plan on getting ahead of the rush and bringing in some staff to make up some stock of the more popular items. I hold the interviews and find two decent guys and a third that just seems… off. I decide that maybe he doesn’t interview well and give him a try. He says he is keen to work hard and prove himself.

A couple of weeks in, I notice that whenever I look up or find a mistake, it’s the third guy. He always makes some stupid excuse right before I get around to firing him.

The three seasonal workers approach me, [New Hire #3] in the lead.

New Hire #3: “We’ve been talking and we don’t think you pay us enough.”

Me: “Oh? And why do you think that?”

New Hire #3: “Look at the prices you charge! You are making a fortune off of us.”

Me: “The prices cover power, materials, and rent, not to mention four people’s wages. There is no fortune to be made. I make nearly the same as you.”

New Hire #3: “Liar! All the equipment, tools… The money comes from somewhere.”

The tools are rented or old ones that I have accumulated over forty years of woodworking. Many are screwed together and have been repaired a dozen times.

Me: “You know what, [New Hire #3]? I was going to do this anyway. You’re fired; you make more mistakes than anyone I’ve ever employed and you’re always talking.”

New Hire #3: “But I—”

Me: “Go on, leave. And for you two gentlemen, the pay is fair and non-negotiable; you can take it or leave it.”

The three looked at each other and had a short conversation in a language I didn’t understand. [New Hire #3] seemed to be trying to lead the revolt and the other two were having none of it. 

[New Hire #3] left and the other two got on fine. We hit our quota with room to spare.

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Manager In (Need Of More) Training

, , , , , | Working | June 21, 2021

We have a manager-in-training (MIT) program where I work. Usually, people get promoted within the company from store level to a Third Key Manager and work their way up from there to assistant manager, store manager, etc. With our MIT program, we hire people from outside the company with previous management experience and fast-track them to be assistant managers. Since Texas has such strict liquor laws, it’s a serious position, even if it doesn’t seem like it from an outside perspective.

I’m a newly-promoted Third Key Manager when we get our new MIT. She’s in her mid- to late forties and has been a store manager of a home goods store for years before coming to us. She started in November, and now it’s mid-February.

Despite her experience, she’s been difficult to work with and doesn’t seem to be really retaining any information. I personally have had to walk her through the simplest procedures multiple times, not to mention the times our assistant manager and store manager have shown her the same things.

One morning, while I’m counting the highly stolen liquors in the store to confirm that nothing has been stolen in a week, she comes up to me.

MIT: “I’ve got a customer that needs a keg for Friday, but they want to pay for it now. Can we do that?”

Some of our smaller stores have people prepay for kegs because they have small beer coolers and can’t keep a lot of kegs on hand. Making people prepay makes sure the keg isn’t just left there. We’re a big store, though, and have a separate cooler just for kegs, so this is a weird request.

Me: “Wait, is the customer on the phone, or are they here in person?”

Only our main location can take payments over the phone.

MIT: “No, they’re here right now. We have three half kegs of [Beer], so they just want to pay now, since they’re here.”

Me: “I mean, since they’re here, they can pay now if they really want.”

MIT: “Okay! I’ll ring them up, then!”

A few hours pass and I finish up doing my counts when my MIT comes up to me again.

MIT: “So, you know how I sold that keg because I thought we had three of them in the cooler?”

Me: *Already with a sinking feeling* “Yeah, what about it? You checked to make sure that all three kegs weren’t already claimed, right?”

MIT: “Well, we don’t actually have any of the kegs that they want.”

Me: “What do you mean, we don’t have the kegs? Didn’t you double-check? You know that the inventory for kegs is always off and needs to be physically checked!”

I have personally informed her of this at least three different times, and I couldn’t tell you how many times other people have told her this, as well.

MIT: “It’s no big deal, right? We get keg deliveries on Thursday!”

We do NOT get [Beer] kegs in on Thursdays; we get them in on Fridays. So, when the customer showed up at 10:00 am for the keg — FOR HIS GRANDDAUGHTER’S WEDDING — guess who got screamed at for nearly twenty minutes before they fixed it by sending them to another store to pick up their keg and working magic to make sure neither store’s inventory was messed up in the process? Yeah, NOT the MIT!

The keg delivery came in less than an hour after the customers left.

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