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Really Maid Him Live Up To His Word

, , , , , , | Working | December 7, 2022

A few years ago, we had a new developer who had been with us for a few months and frequently joked about how he was “too cheap” to do things. During one of our standups (brief daily status meetings), the subject of Halloween came up.

New Guy: “So, are we all going to dress up for Halloween?”

Manager: “No.”

New Guy: “Aww, you’re no fun.”

Manager: “Let me rephrase. I have no intent to dress up. If you want to look ridiculous, you’re welcome to come in whatever costume you want.”

New Guy: “I’d totally do that if I wasn’t too cheap to buy a costume.”

Manager: “Really? You make it sound like we don’t pay you anything.”

New Guy: “Hey, if costumes are so cheap, you’re welcome to buy me one.”

Coworker: “You know what? If you promise to actually wear whatever I get you, I’d be more than happy to find a costume for you.”

New Guy: “You know what? Sure. I have no pride, so bring it on. Let’s see what terrible costume you can find for me to wear.”

We took him up on it, and he actually got not one but two different costumes brought in by different coworkers. One was a dress worn by one of the characters from Frozen. The other was a sexy maid outfit, with an emphasis on sexy — even by our work’s non-existent dress code, it was rather questionable whether he could have gotten away with showing up at work dressed in that thing.

He wasn’t daunted, and on Halloween, he showed up wearing both costumes, with the majority of the maid outfit put on over top of the dress.

Me: “You look ridiculous. I can’t believe you actually wore them.”

New Guy: “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’ll have you know I feel pretty and witty and gay!”

We spent the next year joking about what terrible outfit we could force him to wear the subsequent Halloween, but sadly, that’s when the global health crisis hit, and none of us was working in person for Halloween. [New Guy] did post a photo of himself in the princess dress on our work chatroom to cheer us up a little that Halloween, though he claimed to have “mysteriously” lost the sexy maid outfit.

There’s A Hole In The Hardware

, , , , , , , | Right | December 3, 2022

It’s my first day on the floor in a tech support call center, and my trainer is showing me the ropes. He’s also a supervisor, so our training keeps getting interrupted by escalated calls.

Trainer: “So, those are the basics. I think you should be good to go as most of the calls we get can be answered using the scripts.”

Another worker calls over to us.

Worker: “Hey, [Trainer]! I need you on this one! The caller is threatening to sue us because he shot his laptop when it was freezing as he thought he could — and I quote — ‘shock it back into working again.’”

My trainer and I just stare at each other.

Trainer: “I said most of the calls we get can be answered using the scripts. I never said all.”

Not The Brightest (Broken) Bulb

, , , , , , , | Working | November 30, 2022

As a summer job, I used to work the midnight-to-8:00-am shift at a popular twenty-four-hour fast food place. On quiet weekdays, I usually worked alone, which suited me perfectly.

One night when I clocked in, my manager was waiting to introduce me to my new trainee. I later heard from the day shift that [Trainee] was a friend of the manager and needed a job because he was on probation, but [Trainee] and I never really talked other than for me to tell him how to clean and for him to tell me that he knew a better way.

The way I showed him to clean the sidewalk along the front of the store was to hose it off, scrub it as necessary with a stiff push broom, and then hose it off again.

But [Trainee] knew a better way.

A few nights later, I was cleaning the grill and heard a crash and a muffled obscenity. I looked out the window to see that [Trainee] had been mopping the sidewalk and as he had lifted the mop to put it into the wringer, he had smashed the broom handle through some fairly expensive overhead neon lights.

He swept up the broken glass and disappeared into the manager’s office for the last couple of hours of our shift.

Fine with me.

As usual, the manager came in while I was busy serving breakfasts and disappeared into his office with [Trainee].

When I clocked out, [Manager] called me into his office to discuss the consequences of my having broken the neon lights.

I probably shouldn’t have smiled, because that triggered a lecture about trivializing the damage.

I pointed out that only an idiot would use the mop on the sidewalk. I looked at [Trainee], who looked at the floor.

I pointed out that [Trainee] is dangerously stupid and dishonest, so I would never have left him alone inside the store while I went outside long enough to clean the sidewalk.

I pointed out that only one of us still had glass fragments in his hair, and that it wasn’t me.

Regardless, [Manager] told me that he had no choice but to fire me for negligent damage to the store.

I told him that, since I was going back to school in two weeks and was tired of working with liars and idiots, I was absolutely fine with leaving him with [Trainee] as his graveyard shift.

I guess tradition requires me to say that the franchise went bankrupt the next month, but in all honesty, I never looked back.

This Really Explains A Lot

, , , , , | Working | November 29, 2022

I work for a government agency. I’ve been assigned to mentor [New Employee], which means she shadows me on all of the files I work on, and I provide as much support as possible on the files she’s working on.

One day, after she’s been working with me for two months, [New Employee] cancels a meeting to discuss one of her files with her supervisor and asks if she can talk to me about it, instead.

Me: “So, what’s going on? [File] is due pretty soon.”

New Employee: “Yeah, about that. It turns out I’m not allowed to work on that file.”

Me: “Really?”

New Employee: “Or any file.”

Me: “Wait, what?”

New Employee: “I just got a notification from the Ethics Office. They said that because my husband works for [Company we regulate] and has stock options, I can’t work on any files.”

To be clear, “can’t work on any files” means “can’t do ANYTHING.” This is really bizarre; as a government agency, we can’t have any possibility of impropriety, but that’s usually dealt with by having us recuse ourselves from working on files related to specific companies. My boss just had to recuse himself from working on a file the other day because his wife works for that company. Another coworker recused herself from a file because she’s a customer of that company’s products. That sort of thing. No one I’ve talked to has ever heard of a potential conflict of interest preventing you from working on ANYTHING.

Me: “So… what are you allowed to do?”

New Employee: “I’m allowed to keep attending training. But that’s it. Why would they have hired me if I’m not allowed to do anything?”

Me: “I have no idea.”

This was a week ago, and while [New Employee] and the head of our department are trying to get to the bottom of what’s going on, it hasn’t happened yet. Fingers crossed that they resolve this; otherwise, yeah, wouldn’t the time to notice that she can’t review files be BEFORE hiring her and spending two months training her?

Oh, and if they do resolve it, she will have lost the time she should have spent working on her files. They’ll be due very soon, and she won’t have enough time to complete them. Sometimes working for the government is exactly what I expected.

Nickel-And-Diming Your Timing

, , , , , , | Working | November 28, 2022

I used to work in retail. At the time, I didn’t drive and had to depend on the bus system and cabs. They knew this when they hired me and said it was no problem.

Every time I was a couple of minutes late, I would make up the time at the end of the day. This became a problem for just one manager. When he wrote me up for being late after a glowing performance review, I quit.

It was worth it to see the shocked look on his smug face as he tried to backtrack out of the write-up.