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Something’s Not Connecting, And It’s Not From A Lack Of Cables

, , , , , , , | Working | November 26, 2022

A few years ago, I started a job for a third-party IT company. My role was onsite support for one of our clients. There were three or four of us who supported the various locations for said client. This job should have been a red flag from the beginning — I literally face-planted on the sidewalk on my way into the interview — but I’d had to take the first thing I could because of bills.

I’ve been in this job for about a month when I am told that there’s some regional meeting coming up, and I’m supposed to go up to one of the locations to support the meeting. (They host several of them just because they have offices all over western Washington and just use Teams so everyone can be involved.)

I have never been to this location, but I manage to find it and stumble my way into the meeting room where literally nothing is working. In a panic, I pull up our internal chat system and message my senior tech.

Me: “I’m at [Location], and I’m pretty sure I’m in the conference room, but I can’t get the screen to come down, the projector won’t turn on, and the laptop that seems to be designated for this has no cables.”

Senior Tech: “Extra cables are in the cabinet in the corner.”

I glance around and find what I think is the cabinet she’s referring to. It’s holding craft supplies. There are no other cabinets in this room.

Me: “There’s nothing electronic in there. It’s all craft supplies and stuff for the store.”

Senior Tech: “It’s really easy. Just find the cables and plug everything in.”

Me: “There are literally no cables here.”

Senior Tech: “I don’t have time for this. I’m getting [Her Location] set up for the meeting. Just plug in the cables and it’ll be fine.”

She ends the chat. I start to panic because we’re supposed to have people coming in like five minutes. One woman finally comes in, and I apologize profusely and tell her I’m trying to get stuff going. When the time for the meeting comes up, no one else has come into the room.

Woman: “Oh, well, I guess the others decided to join from their desks. I can just use my laptop. Can you make sure I’m good to go?”

I checked that she was fully connected and got the meeting pulled up. Then, I sat just across the table from her and worked on tickets through this meeting, feeling very embarrassed about this not working. Then, things got worse at the end of the meeting when she introduced herself and I realized she was the CEO!

Like I said at the beginning, this job was a nightmare disguised as an opportunity. When I called my senior tech on the fact that they’d sent me there unprepared — DESPITE my asking for either a walk-through at some point or someone who knew what they were doing to be there with me — I was just told that it was fine since it only ended up being the CEO in the room.

I started looking for a new job right after that. It took me nine months, but I did find one that’s much better.

Sounds Like I’m All Out Of Time

, , , , , , , | Working | November 21, 2022

When I apply to work at a large retailer, I write that my availability is 6:00 am to 10:00 pm Monday through Saturday. I put a big X over Sunday so that I have one guaranteed day to spend relaxing with my family. The woman who will become my manager does my interview.

Manager: “I see you aren’t available on Sunday.”

Me: “Correct.”

Manager: “Any reason for that?”

Me: “Yes.”

Manager: “Which is?”

Me: “I have family commitments.”

Manager: “Every single Sunday?”

Me: “Yes.”

Manager: *Scoffs* “Okay. Not a great start to your career, but that’s your choice.”

Me: *Smiling* “Thank you for understanding.”

She stares at me for a moment, clearly wondering if she should say what she is thinking, but she doesn’t. I’m hired on and begin my illustrious career as a minimum-wage cashier.

The holidays are coming up, and [Manager] approaches me as I’m about to clock out for lunch.

Manager: “[My Name], we need to discuss your availability.”

Me: “What about it?”

Manager: “We don’t have enough people for Sunday evening for the next few weeks. If you’ll open your availability—”

Me: “No, thank you. I am not available.”

I swipe my ID to clock out.

Manager: “You can’t only work when you want!”

Me: “I’m on my lunch, actually. Thank you for respecting my unpaid time.”

I walk away.

The next shift, she approaches again with an availability form. It has my name at the top and “OPEN” written on every day. Given that this is a twenty-four-hour store, this means I could work any time day or night.

Manager: “Here. I filled it out for you. Just sign.”

Me: “No.”

Manager: “You are the only one in this whole store who will not work Sundays!”

Me: “How can you not have enough people when it’s everyone except me?”

Manager: “I don’t have time for this. You need to step up or go home.”

Me: “Okay.”

I dropped my work vest and badge on the floor and walked out. [Manager] called me several times over the next few weeks to try to get me to come back, though she offered no incentive or apology. I found another job before the calls stopped.

‘Cause You’re An Intern, WA DA DA WAP WA DAAAAAA! Part 2

, , , , | Working | November 17, 2022

Our Human Resources manager is very fond of hiring interns that are local college-level students. As an IT technician, I’ve encountered interns who were good, bad, and varying states in between. I’m also accustomed to, shall we say, interesting requests. Usually, though, the requests are within or on the fringe of the realm of reason.

This intern showed up one day in a suit and overcoat, carrying a briefcase. He was hired to do data entry into Excel spreadsheets but apparently didn’t get the memo. We got this ticket. 

Ticket: “Hello, I would love to acquire the following if possible:

“Four full-size (preferably 27″ or larger) monitors with appropriate cables, and a solution to have multiple display outputs for a computer with limited video output (like a docking station or something else that works).

“A much more powerful mobile workstation with the best processor/processing ability I can get, which could optimally support four graphics-intensive screens (for advanced and frequent simulation purposes). Preferably the largest screen possible on this mobile workstation, as well. In addition, a desktop computer with the best processing ability I can get alongside the capability to support four graphics-intensive screens. If the mobile workstation can interface with all the accessories I have described and is more powerful than a possible desktop, the desktop is not necessary. If we can get a more powerful desktop than the mobile workstation, I would appreciate both.

“An external, USB 3.2 capable USB hub to connect multiple devices through one USB port.

“An external mechanical keyboard.

“Access to a minitab/statistical cell-based data analysis software, Microsoft Access, and Tableau or a similar graphical/interactive data representation software that can pull from Excel documents/data.

“Thank you for your time and energy!”

After my boss and I picked ourselves up off the floor from all the laughing, the intern got a standard laptop, two mismatched monitors, and the standard Office suite.

My boss still won’t allow the ticket to be closed, and it’s been a long time since the intern, amazingly, finished his internship.

Related:
‘Cause You’re An Intern, WA DA DA WAP WA DAAAAAA!

This Customer Is ALWAYS Right

, , , , , , , | Right | November 17, 2022

I am sixteen, and it is my first day working at a tiny rural convenience store. My coworker is showing me the ropes.

Coworker: “Oh, since you’re here until the afternoon, you’ll get to meet Giles.”

Me: “Who is Giles?”

Coworker: “He’s the best customer ever! Can’t wait for you to meet him.”

Me: “Cool.”

My coworker is on lunch break, and I am manning the checkout. The manager of the store swings by; he’s not always there.

Manager: “Has Giles come by yet?”

Me: “I’m not actually sure.”

Manager: “Oh, you’d know if he did. He’s our favorite customer!”

Me: “So I’ve been told, but I don’t know what he looks like.”

Manager: “Trust me, you’d know. Well, I am glad I haven’t missed him. I’ll be in the office. Let me know when he comes by.”

I nod, but honestly, short of asking every customer if they happen to be Giles, I have no idea how to fulfill that request. Luckily, my coworker comes back from lunch and I get to go on mine. I come back and work until around mid-afternoon.

Suddenly, there’s a single bark from the front of the store. I see my coworker giddily rush around the checkout, rapping on the office door as he does so. Both my coworker and my manager head outside and are excitedly met by the happiest golden retriever I’ve ever seen. They give the little guy hugs and some small treats that seem to magically appear from their pockets.

My coworker then unzips a fanny pack wrapped around the dog and takes out some cash and a piece of paper. He then runs around the store, collects three or four small items, and places them into the fanny pack, zipping it back up.

After one more round of hugs and treats, the golden retriever knows it’s time to leave and happily trots off down the street.

Me: “Giles?”

Coworker & Manager: *Both beaming huge smiles* “Giles.”

It turned out that Giles’s owner was disabled and lived literally thirty seconds away, but even this was a challenge for her at times. She would send her support dog on small grocery runs on weekday afternoons while her carer made a daily visit, and then she’d come in for the bigger grocery run on the weekends.

Giles was quickly my favorite customer, too!


This story is part of our end-of-year Feel Good roundup for 2022!

Read the next Feel Good 2022 story!

Read the Feel Good 2022 roundup!

She Sure Picked SOMETHING Up Quickly

, , , , , , | Working | November 10, 2022

In my last year of high school, I worked at a popular drive-in restaurant. I had my fair share of crazy coworkers, including a manager who cheated on his girlfriend with another coworker (who was seventeen) and a guy who insisted on making as many offensive “jokes” as possible and calling people snowflakes if they called him out on it.

But the craziest one I ever had was hired about a month and a half before I left for college. She didn’t seem all that bad at first. She didn’t pick things up quickly, and she spent ages in the bathroom, but not everyone in a fast food restaurant is there to work with efficiency, right?

It got worse.

During one shift I worked with her, she ordered something on the app for her break, which was something lots of us did. Immediately after her break, she grabbed her bag and left. That wasn’t uncommon; sometimes it would be slow and the manager on duty would send us home, so I assumed that was what was going on… until the manager asked me if I knew where [Coworker] was. It turned out that she had ordered something with onions in it and had an allergic reaction, and rather than telling anyone, she just left. She got written up and her shifts were reduced.

She never got better at her job. It wasn’t difficult; we just made drinks and ice cream and took food to the customers. It got to the point where she was getting called off her shifts even if we needed her because she just made it harder to keep up.

On my second to last shift, [Coworker] showed up in uniform right as my manager was having me count down. She was not on the schedule, so everyone was confused. She kept insisting she should get to work since she had been sent home the day before.

Eventually, she ended up ordering like three full meals for her family. There was a write-up in the back with her name on it, so my manager made her come back to sign it while she was waiting, and she threw a fit.

Coworker: *Yelling* “This isn’t fair! I never get to work any shifts! I might as well quit!”

I finished counting my money and handed it off to my manager. She counted and put the cash in the safe and the coins in the cup on the counter and closed my till so I could leave. I thought that was the end.

My manager texted me on Snapchat two days later and told me everything.

[Coworker] was caught stealing all of the change from the cup on the counter while the manager was closing my till. Apparently, some deposits had been coming up $7 to $16 short for the last several weeks, and no one could figure out why.

[Coworker] was fired, and none of us understood why she would steal from the company right in front of a manager.