Giving Birth To Inconsideration

, , , , , , , | Working | April 10, 2018

I was hired into my convenience store job pregnant, with management aware. Everything started out okay, but as time goes by and I near the end of my pregnancy, my feet become extremely swollen and painful to stand on continuously, usually reducing me to tears if I don’t get a chance to sit down. I also get winded easily and feel faint if I overwork myself. Simply sitting for a few minutes and drinking water fixes it. I can still perform my job duties, but my doctor wants me to have access to a chair or a stool while I ring out customers. He writes a note, I give it to my manager who has no problem offering me a chair, and everything seems okay. I should also mention I’m not a smoker, so I do not get any other breaks apart from my lunch, while smoking employees get a break about every half hour.

A few weeks later, I’m working the register and stock, and the district manager comes in. I have my chair next to me and occasionally stop between totes or customers to sit down and have a breather. A few minutes after she comes in, the assistant manager comes up to me and tells me I have to go home, because the district manager said I was a liability. Furious, I go to the back office and ask for a letter from her stating that she is sending me home and why. She says they need a doctor’s note stating I can still work, and until then, I’m not allowed. Then she tells me to call the disability office.

I leave in tears and immediately call human resources. A few days later, the regional manager tells the district manager that I am indeed allowed to work, and I return, with no more issues.

About a week before I am scheduled to go on maternity leave — I am 36 weeks — the district manager returns. At this point, I’m very pregnant, so much so that people ask if I’m having twins. I’m also having practice contractions and am generally uncomfortable, but I still work, as it’s relatively simple and I only have a few days left.

The district manager walks up to me while I’m straightening the front end and hands me a bucket of hot, soapy water and a rag. She tells me to get on my hands and knees and clean the bottoms and tops of all the displays, shelving, and vending machines. I have just dusted them the day prior, but I guess that wasn’t good enough.

I spend the next three hours scrubbing on the floor and on a broken step-ladder, while also ringing people out. It is hard work, and I am able to do it, but it was still pretty inconsiderate, especially considering there are three other employees there who aren’t about nine months pregnant and working the till.

Anger Mismanagement

, , , , , , | Learning | April 10, 2018

This story took place years ago, when I was very young. Due to some nasal spray I was using for my hay fever, I would have frequent but unpredictable nosebleeds. I also attended a taekwondo class.

I was paired for sparring with a kid who everyone knew has anger management issues, but hadn’t caused any trouble. I was a higher belt than he was, and I had padded sparring gear, but I was also a year younger and quite small for my age.

As soon as the teacher called, “Go,” the kid raised his fists and started to slam them down, clearly aiming for my head. I held my arms up over my head to defend myself, but quickly ended up just on the ground with him battering my arms like he thought he was the Hulk. I could hear the teacher yelling and he was pulled away from me. The whole thing lasted maybe 30 seconds, but it felt longer.

The teacher called both our parents, telling mine that there had been a minor incident and they were needed, but telling his that they needed to come and collect him because he was no longer welcome as a student.

My mum, a nurse, arrived first and checked me over; I was fine. I took off my sparring helmet and just sat with her on a bench, while the two oldest students tried — unsuccessfully — to distract the rest of the class. Then, coincidentally, one of the nose bleeds from my nasal spray started.

The boy’s parents arrived, absolutely furious and demanding to know why their son had been kicked out of the class. The first thing they saw as they entered the hall was a tiny blond child in sparring gear, while their mother held a bloody tissue to their nose. Their anger instantly redirected to their son, and they apologised profusely to the teacher before taking him home.

I felt kind of bad that they thought their son gave me the nosebleed, but I realised that he would have done it to someone eventually, and it was best to have him removed from the class until his anger was successfully under control. Years down the line, he was permanently excluded for starting fights at school, so I guess he never did.

Time To Invent(ory) An Excuse To Leave

, , , , , | Working | April 9, 2018

Inventory is done late at night after we close. It takes eight hours and is always a headache. We have an inventory company that scans and counts all our items. Employees are on hand to double-check their counts and help with any issues.

This inventory was a perfect storm. Everything that could go wrong did. The inventory company was late. They couldn’t connect their controls to our Internet for at least an hour.

Two of the inventory company employees came to blows over a miscount and had to work at opposite ends of the store.

Two more were caught smoking illegal drugs and were immediately kicked off the premises.

One lady would periodically pick an employee to tearfully hug and absolutely no one found this weird or told her to stop.

Another was making a mess of the clothing tables and cussed out the store manager when asked to clean up after himself. (The store manager cussed him out right back and kicked him out after the druggies.)  

I recently learned I have unused vacation time. I’m using it during next inventory season.

They Should Be Sent To Bootcamp

, , , , , , | Friendly | April 8, 2018

My entire family used to be avid campers. Two or three times a summer my parents, aunt, uncles, and grandparents would all rent a large, shared campsite at a local family campground for a weekend. This is the worst camping trip we ever had; it was bad enough that my grandmother never went camping with us again after that.

Normally, it would just be the aforementioned people, plus my cousins, my sister, and me. This year, we got invited to camp with the college-age son of a family friend and all of his friends. We knew this son very well, but didn’t know his friends, but since he and his father were awesome and well-known to us, we didn’t think it would be a problem. First mistake.

First day there, they stole all of the expensive beer that my uncle brought — despite being underage, and despite the fact that he didn’t bring it to share with anyone but my grandfather — then got drunk and started throwing up all over the place. I also found out, years later, that my aunt had yelled at them when she caught them smoking pot around my sister and cousins and me.

My mom always over-packed snacks because she wanted to make extra sure my sister, cousins, and I always had something to snack on if we got hungry. The friends saw me get a box of granola bars from the back of our car to share with my cousins and realized there was food in there, then helped themselves, completely clearing out all of the snacks in our car by the next morning. They never once asked for permission.

The next morning, my grandmother made eggs for my diabetic grandfather’s breakfast. The second they were cooked, the friends walked over to her stove, took the skillet, and ate the entire thing themselves without even saying a word to her. My grandfather had nothing to eat and almost had a sugar low. They didn’t even bring the skillet back when they were done, and she had to figure out where they left it; apparently someone just tossed it aside in the dirt. They then ate the cereal, cereal bars, and oatmeal my mom brought for our breakfast, so there was nothing for my sister and me to eat. We had to get breakfast from a neighboring campsite where, thankfully, we had become friends with the children of the campers in the site the day before, and they were sympathetic enough to give us some trail mix.

The friends wouldn’t stop leaving all the coolers wide open, so all the ice for our meat and drinks melted completely in the summer heat of noon. They offered to go out to a store and get more, so everyone pitched in money to pay for it. They came back with tons of raw chicken that no one asked for and not a single bag of ice, because they “forgot.” We ended up having to cook the chicken, plus all of the burgers and hot dogs everyone brought that day — otherwise it would have spoiled without ice — and it was way too much food for everyone. They then took the leftovers and threw it all into the woods, so we had tons of feral cats, raccoons, foxes, and even a freaking black bear in our camp in the middle of the night that night.

The absolute worst thing they did was forget me in a boulder field. One of the main draws of the campground is a prehistoric boulder field left behind by the Ice Age. People will go down there and climb on the rocks during the day and look at stars during the night. Our campsite wasn’t that far from the boulder field, so they decided to go climb on the rocks and brought my sister, one of my cousins, and me with them. We were only allowed to go because my parents assumed that the family friend was going with them and would watch us; they had no idea he was actually headed somewhere else on his own. When the friends left the rocks, they failed to do a headcount and left without me. I wasn’t even that far out on the rocks and was still within their line of sight, and they still didn’t notice they were leaving me. I didn’t even realize they had left and was still sitting there on a rock by myself, staring out at the rest of the field, when a father with three kids walked by and saw me alone and called to me to get my attention out of concern that I might be lost. By then, my mom and aunt were running frantically down the path, screaming my name, after they returned to the campsite without me. My parents told me we weren’t allowed to go with them anywhere, anymore, even if the one person we knew said he would be with them.

By noon the next day, they had drunk every soda, bottled water, and juice box that my mom had brought for my sister and me, ate every bit of food that they hadn’t already devoured the first and second day, drank every bottle of beer anyone brought, and not once did they ask if it was okay for them to take any of it. My sister and I were six and eight years old respectively, so we started crying because we were hungry and thirsty. My mom was furious because, even after all the food and drinks she brought, she couldn’t feed us at all due to their theft. My dad was boiling creek water so that we wouldn’t get dehydrated because of how hot it was that day.

We were supposed to be there for three more days, and already we were out of everything, so my family called it. We packed up the tents and gear. All the while, the friends couldn’t understand why we refused to stay there with them any longer, having completely ignored all of the complaints from my family members throughout the weekend. My grandmother says it was likely they assumed we’d stay and just give them more money to replace what they stole so they could steal it again, but after the chicken incident, no one trusted them to actually buy what we asked them to. If we went out and bought what we needed ourselves, they’d just take it without asking, and we’d be back to the same problem again.

We’ve been asked to go camping with them again several times since, but we have all made it clear that we’d sooner share our campsite with the black bear again than with them.

 

Spiritually Stone-Faced

, , , , , | Working | April 7, 2018

A new “New Age” shop has opened in town and I go to have a look. I’m not that spiritual, myself, but my father was. He died back in 2005, but since he was a hobby archaeologist and a New Age enthusiast, I often look for special stones to put on his grave when I visit him. I happen to mention that to the woman running the shop and suddenly, she happily says, “Yeah, dead fathers are nice, aren’t they?”

My eyes go wide with shock, and I say, “Excuse me?”

Then she explains how nice it is that fathers always look after their children, even from heaven or the afterlife. I relaxed a bit then, but for real, that’s not something you say like that!

Page 120/228First...118119120121122...Last