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Confused Employee, Party Of One

, , , , , , , , , | Working | December 8, 2022

Now that the health crisis is over, my place of work wants to hold little parties so that all of us remote workers can meet each other. Most of these are at bars. I don’t drink, so I usually don’t bother to show.

They schedule one such meeting at a bar that’s pretty close to my house. I tell them I’m not going to show because I don’t drink, but they badger me into promising to come to this because it’s so close to my house. Apparently, they chose it specifically so they could meet me.

The day comes and I bicycle to the bar in question. I arrive on time and wait for an hour for anyone else to arrive. I double-check my email to make sure the address and bar name are correct repeatedly. No one shows, not even the Human Resources guy who was so enthused to meet me.

Finally, I buy myself a Shirley Temple, a Virgin Mary, and a plate of wings and have a little party all by myself. I then submit it as an expense.

To my mild surprise, the company reimburses me for it.

When I ask Human Resources about it, they avoid the topic instead of explaining why they didn’t show up.

A Painful Sign That Management Doesn’t Care

, , , , , | Working | December 8, 2022

I once worked at a veterinarian’s office as a receptionist. One of the receptionist’s duties was to drag a large hanging sandwich-style sign across the building, across the parking lot, and up a hill and position it by the road. When we closed, we were to drag it back down the hill, across the parking lot, and back into the building, where we were supposed to clean it and put it away for the night.

Though made of plastic, this sign weighed quite a bit, and though it had wheels on one side, there was no way to really steady it when going uphill, especially when the wind kicked up.

I worked there for a very brief period one winter. My first write-up was for not putting the sign out by the road on my first morning opening. I hadn’t been told it existed, so I hadn’t known to do it. My write-up was excused.

I soon learned that every worker tried their best to not take the sign outside in the winter because its incredibly clumsy design would cause it to flap around wildly in the wind. When the hillside was icy, the sign would often get away from you and go tearing off toward a customer’s parked car. Several times, I slipped, fell, and skidded across the parking lot trying to wrassle the sign down the hill at night.

The entire reception staff had bruises and cuts from the sign. One person had a large slash across her neck from where she got tangled in the sign as they fell down the hill. I sliced open a finger on the sharp edge of the sign. I watched a coworker slide across the parking lot like a curling stone on one knee as the sign sailed gracefully into a parked and very much still-occupied car. Mercifully, the damages to the customer’s car were negligible.

Just to add some gravy to this insult entree, we also had to endure complaints about the sign. Sometimes the wind would blow it into the road, so we’d have to dodge heavy traffic to retrieve it. We also had city representatives come in frequently to tell us that signs like that were against city code. We’d keep it inside for a few days, and then the order would come down that we needed to drag it back out again.

Every other week, we had a team meeting, and at every meeting, the entire staff lobbied against the clinic owner and his wife to have the sign removed. They refused because it was “important to bring in new business.”

The twist, you see, is that we were already overbooked two months out, and aside from three blocks of time set aside for emergencies, we couldn’t accommodate new business. Two local practices had just closed and we had absorbed their clients, and one of our three doctors had left the practice. The remaining doctors were incredibly overwhelmed, working open to close seven days a week. They were very much proponents of removing the sign, but even they got shut down. The owners insisted that we needed more business, and they even threatened to get divorced if we didn’t increase profit margins.

None of us actually cared if they got divorced, so the sign would go out during daylight hours only if we felt like it. The owner was too busy to notice, and his wife was busy watching the contractors work on their home renovation.

But, they did occasionally notice. Eventually, it got to the point where they threatened to short the entire staff’s pay for each day the sign was not out or for each day the sign was left out overnight.

I quit for other reasons before this policy went into effect, but thanks to social media, I saw that the entire reception staff and tech team (both teams in charge of the stupid sign) quit within two months of my departure.

Was it all due to the sign? No, of course not. But if you work in a place that is that indifferent to the wellness of their human staff because the owner’s wife wants more money… perhaps moving along is in your best interests.

How To Not Win Friends And Not Influence People

, , , | Right | December 8, 2022

I work at a sandwich chain. These two girls around fifteen come in. One doesn’t order anything; the other gets a six-inch sandwich. The one who orders asks to leave a pamphlet with me, and I decide it’s easiest to just say yes. The pamphlet has a cartoon of animals and people sitting together with the text, “Soon, all suffering will end.”

“Great,” I think. “Vegan hippies.” But then I see “The Watchtower Society” on the back of the pamphlet. Oh-ho! Not vegans, Jehovah’s Witnesses! Even better!

Fast forward to them leaving. They purposefully leave a gigantic mound of napkins and such on the table… with another pamphlet on top of it.

Yes, they made a huge mess just so someone would be forced to come over to clean it, and thus find the pamphlet.

Why would I want to join a religion full of such inconsiderate jerks?

Not A Chicken About Making Ridiculous Requests

, , , , | Right | December 8, 2022

I used to work part-time at a butcher shop. A woman would come in every Saturday and demand thirty chicken drumsticks. Seems simple enough, but no.

She demanded that they weigh up exactly to the nearest kilogram. She’d be there for like half an hour waiting, watching the poor cashier find larger and smaller drumsticks to equal up exactly to the nearest kilogram.

All that for $7 in the register.

I’m so, so glad I no longer have to see her face since I quit.

Not The Write Type For This Role

, , , | Working | December 7, 2022

This happened several decades ago when I was in my early twenties and working for a small accountancy firm that prepared clients’ accounts. The two-partner firm needed a typist. It was an important job as both letters and sets of accounts needed typing; very few firms then had computers. Letters were done on good-quality paper, and no white correction fluid was used as these letters were seen as ‘silent ambassadors” showing the professionalism of the company.

I heard that we had a new girl starting as a typist and filing role in the office and that she had worked for one of our clients, a groundworks firm (a company using mechanical diggers to prepare the ground for new construction), for two years since she had left school.

The girl started the job, and on her first day, she typed her first letter. I really mean her first letter. She typed slowly, using two fingers! She had never typed before. Not once during her interview with the partners had she said she couldn’t type, and neither of the partners had thought to ask her whether she could do the job she was applying for. As she had worked previously for a client of ours, one of the partners would also have spoken to the groundworks company about her, and the question of whether she could type was never mentioned.

She didn’t last after a few weeks, and I’m sure the first question asked in the interview for her replacement was, “Have you ever used a typewriter?”