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Why Bother Asking For Advice?

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

I was an individual contributor at a telephone directory publishing company. I was asked by our supervisor, along with a coworker, to sit in on job interviews to fill a position that would be our equal in the department.

There were three people interviewed. Two already worked for the company in a different department and would be great to work with. There was one girl — yes, “girl”; she was very young — who interviewed well.

However, my coworker and I saw right through her “act”. We both commented to our supervisor that she didn’t have enough experience to be considered. She also wouldn’t fit in well with the rest of the department.

Of course, the idiot supervisor hired her, and I was the one to train her. She never took notes, even though I suggested she should. I would give her tasks to complete to see if she was retaining what we went over. The task would not be done when I checked her progress.

I would complete it since it needed to be done in a timely manner. Then, I’d inform her I’d had to complete it since she hadn’t. Her excuse was always, “I was about to do the task, but you already did it.”

There were more issues that needed correction after she did do tasks. It was so aggravating to have to deal with her.

Then, she started coming in dressed in pajamas and slippers. She was told she needed to dress more appropriately.

Thankfully, she and the supervisor were both laid off during a reduction in force.

Nice Job Breaking Everything, Newbie

, , , , , , , | Working | November 9, 2022

I had been at my new job at a call center for around a month and working the phones for a few days after starting with emails. One of the things I learned early on was that if you’re experiencing problems with the customer database, you clear the cache on your browser. So, one day, when the database felt especially sluggish, I did just that.

The next call came in. Instead of being slow, the subscriptions didn’t load at all. There was an empty box where the subscriptions were supposed to show up. This was very, very bad because 90% of the calls concern subscriptions.

When you’re in a call center, you can easily tell if anything goes down because, after a while, everyone will be peeking at their neighbours, trying to figure out if they’re experiencing the same problem. So, I looked around. Everyone was happily going about their business.

I cleared the cache again. Nothing. I shut down the browser. Nothing. I turned the computer off and on again. Nothing. I asked the coworker next to me if they had ever had this problem. They had not.

I asked a guy who was helpful during my very recent training if there was an IT department. He pointed me to another guy who was apparently the computer wizard.

The computer wizard asked me if I’d tried clearing the cache. He tried every common solution we had for database problems. He tried to log in on my computer with his ID to see if the error repeated. It did. After a while, he had to get back to work.

You might be wondering why I didn’t contact my manager instead of trying to problem-solve myself, being a bright green newbie at the job.

Well. We had three named people we were supposed to talk to in just this sort of situation. Let’s call them team leads. The bad news? The team leads and my manager were all in a meeting with our client — the one we do customer service for. I had no idea where, and even if I figured it out, walking into the meeting room with my problem seemed daunting. I had no options, though, so first I tried my manager’s office. It was empty. I stood behind the doors of both of the meeting rooms for a few minutes each, gathering my courage to knock. In one of them, there were team leads for another client. No one opened the door for the other one.

I kept wandering around, probably looking increasingly frantic. Finally, a team lead for yet another client was walking around, probably going for a smoke, and noticed that I was quietly freaking out. He listened to my problem, asked if I had cleared the cache, and promised to contact my team leads.

After another ten minutes, one of my team leads showed up, probably with a briefing like, “Your baby employee has a computer problem and she is on her way to melting into a pile of sad, anxious goo under the table.” She cleared the cache and did the tricks the computer wizard did, and some new ones. Nothing. The subscriptions were still empty. She had me log into her computer with my ID. Nothing. She told me to get familiar with our products while I waited. I sat around trying to focus on a magazine for a long while.

Now, since I’ve told the story the way I have, you probably knew immediately that clearing the cache was the problem. But I can tell you that no one had any idea what was happening as it was happening, and I got almost admiring glances from coworkers for finding such a special way to break everything.

It took something like two hours from the initial problem to the solution, which came from the IT department of our client. They had been testing some updates live on the system while I first cleared my cache. When I next loaded the customer database after that first clearing, it picked up the broken update. After that, any time I logged into anyone else’s computer, it considered me a first-time user and loaded the broken update, since that was what was online. They “rolled back” the update or something, and I could finally get back to work.

I just love how many times clearing the cache was suggested and attempt as a solution when it was the source of all the problems.

What A Juliett Echo Romeo Kilo

, , , , , , , | Working | November 9, 2022

I have a relatively new starter working the drive-thru. 

Worker: “[My Name], there’s a weirdo trying to order. Can you take him?”

Me: “What’s he doing?”

Worker: “I don’t know. I asked him what he wanted, and he just started calling me a Karen and saying something about a Sienna. I don’t even know if a Sienna works here.”

Confused, I take the headset.

Me: “Sorry about that. Can I take your order?”

Customer: “I have a code.”

Me: “Oh, perfect. What’s the code?”

Customer: “Kilo-Sierra seventy-seven.”

I realised what my worker was confused about and processed the order. I regaled her with it after the customer got his food, but she started moaning about how it didn’t make sense because our codes were like “pins with letters” and “kilo sierra is too long”. I explained that he was using the phonetic alphabet, and she stared at me completely blankly before saying he was probably an [ableist slur] and went off to do something else.

She’s got her probationary review next month, and I’m of the mind to make the manager aware of her language.

Making Far More Than Peanuts By Avoiding Peanuts

, , , , , , | Working | November 8, 2022

I worked on a TV show that had its offices and some of the sets in an old peanut butter factory. The factory had been a TV studio for less than a year so when we hired anyone, we made sure they didn’t have a peanut allergy. We would often bring in “Hall Calls” where the union supplied us with the needed additional workers and we, again, always stipulated that we couldn’t have anyone with a peanut allergy.

One time, a man showed up and stated that he couldn’t enter the building because of his peanut allergy. When asked why, oh, why, he had accepted the call, he said that we couldn’t discriminate against someone with an allergy.

He got paid the minimum for the day (hundreds of dollars) and got sent home for the day.

Can’t Hear You Over The Sound Of Your Ovaries, Part 24

, , , , , | Working | November 4, 2022

I was cooking in a restaurant years ago, and my executive chef was an amazing woman. A new guy started working while she was off dealing with a family emergency for a week. He seemed to be okay during that week; he was a hard-working, fast, talented cook.

Then, [Executive Chef] came back and resumed her position as head of the kitchen. This did not sit well with [New Guy]. The reason?

New Guy: “Women simply have no business being in an industrial kitchen. They need to stay home in the kitchen!”

What the actual f***?

He would argue with her on every little thing. The last straw for her was when he told her she was making a dish wrong — when she was the one who had created the recipe and plating.

He was all Surprised Pikachu Face when she fired him. It was glorious!

Can’t Hear You Over The Sound Of Your Ovaries, Part 23
Can’t Hear You Over The Sound Of Your Ovaries, Part 22
Can’t Hear You Over The Sound Of Your Ovaries, Part 21
Can’t Hear You Over The Sound Of Your Ovaries, Part 20
Can’t Hear You Over The Sound Of Your Ovaries, Part 19