The Managers Are Independent Of The System

, , , , , , | | Working | July 4, 2018

I work at a newspaper. Independence Day, July 4th, is on a Tuesday this year. Some people want to take Monday, July 3rd, off so they don’t have to work one day, be off one day, and come back the next day. Six weeks before the week of July 4th, all the employees in our region get an email from the region’s general manager, telling us that if we want to take July 3rd off, we need to ask our department head first thing. So, that day, I ask my boss for July 3rd off. I get a reply through our email chat function about two days later, saying he’ll look into it and get back to me ASAP.

Two-and-a-half weeks later, I get an email saying, “I think not,” for my July 3rd leave, because he doesn’t want our department to be understaffed on that day. (Note: We are literally always understaffed by at least two people, and even more so at the moment because there’s been an open position since May that has yet to be filled. However, on a holiday week when basically everything shuts down for July 3rd, anyway, the need for reporters is even less.)

Come July 3rd, in chatting with coworkers, I find out that of the five people in the editorial department, four people, including my boss, have asked for that day off. Maybe all five of us, but I didn’t talk to the fifth person. Only my boss, who approves the vacation time, gets the day off.

In the sales department, a friend tells me she also asked for the day off. Because of the week’s schedule, 99% of her clients and potential clients are not working, so there is very little work she can do that day. She, too, is told no, because her boss, the general manager who told us to request it off early, is also not working July 3rd, and thus, my friend needs to be there.

The only people whose vacations are approved in my region for Monday, July 3rd: The department heads who choose whose vacation is approved.

Unique For How Bad It Is

, , , | Working | April 16, 2018

(I am a reporter at a local newspaper. Twice a month, I write a business feature, which showcases a local business. I go in to interview the owner of a sandwich and smoothie shop.)

Me: “There are a lot of cafes like this out there these days. What makes yours unique?”

Business Owner: “Hm. I don’t know. I should probably think of that, hey?”

(I was less than impressed with the whole interview. I didn’t even write the story. He never called to ask why.)

Will Be An Interesting News Development

, , , , | Right | April 2, 2018

(I work for a community-oriented weekly newspaper company that owns multiple publications, but all of them come from the same office. One of our publications has a similar name to a rival newspaper that gets delivered daily, which sometimes causes confusion. It’s a free publication that we deliver to some neighborhoods and businesses each week, but specific homes can call to request not to receive the paper.)

Me: “Hi. This is [Company]. How can I help you?”

Caller: “I have called you five times in the last month, and you still keep delivering your paper to me.”

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that. There must be some confusion with our distribution department or our drivers. Could I get your address, so I can make sure our distribution manager has it? He’ll make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Caller: “If you don’t stop delivering the paper to my house, I’m going to sue you all. I’ve already called the city, and they’re looking into taking action against your company.”

Me: “Sir, if you give me your address, I can make sure it doesn’t happen.”

Caller: “It gets delivered to me every day.”

Me: “Sir, are you sure you’re not receiving [Rival Newspaper]? I know it has a similar name to ours.”

Caller: “No, it’s you guys!”

Me: “Sir, we only deliver our paper once a week.”

Caller: “You tell your distribution manager that if this doesn’t stop, I’m going to find out where he lives and dump all the newspapers I’ve acquired on his lawn.”

Me: “Okay! Go for it, sir!”

Hard-Pressed To Complain About The Press

, , , , | Right | February 2, 2018

(The front page of one of today’s national newspapers shows a young Princess Elizabeth, who of course is now our Queen, apparently being shown a Nazi salute in 1933 by her uncle, the future Edward VIII. A customer is at my till buying the paper.)

Me: “Ooh, that’s going to be a bit of a scandal.”

Customer: *laughs* “I just bumped into a friend of mine outside who works for the local paper. She said a woman rang them up to complain about the press coverage of this story.”

Me: “But this is a national paper.”

Customer: “My friend asked if she had a local angle to the story, but apparently this woman thought that you could just call your newspaper if you wanted to complain about ‘the press,’ and wanted them to pass on her complaints to the [National Paper].”

Me: “Let me guess. She huffed and puffed when she found out the local paper had no say on it?”

Customer: “Yep! She shouted she was never going to buy [Local Paper] ever again unless they printed an apology to the Queen on the front page, and then she hung up!”

Me: *laughing* “There’s always one, isn’t there? Here’s your change.”

Intern Burn

, , , , , , | Working | January 26, 2018

During school, I interviewed for an internship at a newsroom and got it. During the interview, my editor told me that for the first week I’d be sharing a desk, as their current intern would be wrapping up. I agreed, not thinking anything of it.

My first week started, there was no intern to be found, and I had the desk all to myself. I got suspicious, as I certainly remembered my editor mentioning the desk-sharing, but I didn’t say anything.

A few weeks later, someone mentioned the previous intern, and I decided to ask why he wasn’t there when I arrived. They fired him.

Apparently, he would listen to music during his shifts, making it impossible to get him to do anything. He would be told to go out to events and talk to people and shoot photos… and he wouldn’t. He’d come back empty-handed, and when my editor asked him what he was doing out there, he didn’t even try to explain. Deciding she had enough, my editor told him not to come in for his last few weeks.

But it doesn’t end there. He got a new internship working in communications for the local police. He was let go after three days when he was told to go to an event to shoot photos and he didn’t.

The man was fired three days into his internship. When I was told that, I couldn’t stop laughing. How incompetent can you be?

Now, he works at a pizza place in town doing deliveries. We don’t order from that place, anymore.

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