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The Location Of That Office Is Classified

, , , | Right | September 17, 2018

(I work as a reporter for a community newspaper, which has multiple papers throughout the county. Due to an effort to “centralize” everything, my office consists only of reporters and the circulation manager. Things like ads, classifieds, etc., are based out of our county flagship office, a good 25- to 30-minute drive from my office depending on traffic. We’re understaffed at the moment, as one of the two reporters out of this office recently quit and his replacement has yet to start, so I am literally the only person in the entire office most days. But we get almost no foot traffic here, so it isn’t usually a problem… Until today, when a little old woman comes in wanting to place a classified ad.)

Me: “I’m sorry, we don’t do ads here in this office, but if you wait one moment, I can get you the name and contact information for the classified department.”

(After pausing a moment to see if she’ll protest, I go back to my desk to do just that. Less than a minute later, I return with a name and direct phone number for a classified ads person.)

Woman: “I wanted to do this in person!”

Me: “I’m sorry, but like I said, we don’t do that in this office. It’s based in our [Location] office.”

Woman: “I could have called from home! I wanted to do this in person! I even called to make sure there was an office here before I came!”

Me: *thinking maybe she should have specified what she wanted to do at the office before confirmation* “I’m sorry for the inconvenience. It’s just reporters and circulation here, though, so I can’t help you.”

Woman: “At [Competitor] I can go down and we do it in person! They talk me through the whole process!”

Me: *thinking* “Then just go place a classified ad with them and leave me alone.” *speaking* “Again, I’m sorry for the inconvenience.”

Woman: “This was such a difficult trip to come down here! I want to do this in person!”

(She then proceeded to steal two Post-It notes and a pen before hobbling away, grumbling about the awful trip to our downtown location with the best public transit in the county, assuming she uses that, and an elevator to come up to the floor our office is on, and how she wanted to do it in person and how I, personally, was making life so hard for her.)


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It’s A Whole Lot Of Charcoal Now

, , , , | Right | August 1, 2018

(I have just started my internship in a newsroom when I overhear this conversation my editor has over the phone.)

Editor: “Newsroom, editor speaking.” *pause* “Yes?” *pause* “Oh, I’m sorry to hear that; what did we get wrong?” *pause* “Really…” *pause* “Well, we apologize; mistakes do get made. We’ll fix that right away.” *hangs up*

Me: “What was that?”

Editor: “Some lady was screaming at me for a correction in an article about a house that burned down.”

Me: “What did she say we got wrong?”

Editor: “We said the house was white. It was actually white with a bit of brown.”

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Newspaper Sales Are Declining

, , , , | Working | July 19, 2018

(I’m sitting at work when my cell phone rings. It has rung at the same time every morning at work, and it is always the same people: the local newspaper, trying to sell me a subscription. I have asked the last three times to be taken off their list because I am not interested. I pick up the phone, and the following conversation ensues:)

Me: “Hello?”

Salesperson: “Hi, this is [Salesperson] from [Newspaper]. Now are you today?”

Me: “Honestly, not very good. You guys are calling me every day at work when I have repeatedly asked to be taken off your list because I’m really not interested. I am working, and I’m going to start getting in trouble for being on my phone.”

Salesperson: *rudely* “Look, this is my first time calling you; you don’t need to be getting mad at me. I’m just trying to do my job!”

Me: “I’m not mad at you, and I understand that you are doing your job. I’m just letting you know I’m really not interested. Is there any way to be removed from this call list?”

Salesperson: “Sure, okay… but would you be interested in—”

Me: *talking over him* “Well, now I’m mad!”

(I hung up and blocked their number. Should have done that in the first place!)

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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.

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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.)

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