Cooking Up A Resignation Letter

, , , | Working | November 4, 2016

I work in a new hotel setting up and running the breakfast bar. My boss, the owner/manager, has interesting ideas on how things should be done and will make “suggestions” that she expected me to implement. Some of the time they work fine, but others, not so much.

For example, the time she told me to use a plastic bin in the convection oven because you aren’t supposed to use metal. Yeah, no. I opened the oven to see a river of molten plastic running down the racks, with half-cooked scrambled eggs mixed in.

Another time it was cook the scrambled eggs that came in an oblong plastic bag in the microwave. Should work, right? Well, since the bag was too long to turn on the turntable, it cooked partially and exploded all over the microwave.

Of course, since I did it, it was my fault when things went wrong. And I got to clean up the mess every time!

Love it when the boss hasn’t a clue how to cook!

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Sadly She’s Not As Bright As The Puke

, , | Right | November 4, 2016

I’m pushing my broom around and find a giant splat of brilliant orange vomit in children’s apparel. I don’t begrudge the customer for leaving without asking for a clean-up. If I had a sick child, my first priority would be his or her care, too. I’m simply impressed at how bright the vomit’s orange is. Picture a diet of nothing but cheesy-poofs and orange pop spilled onto a floor as white as a blank webpage.

Well, admiration never fixed anything. I stick a ‘wet floor’ sign on either side on the cosmic impact, blocking as short a section of aisle as I can, and off I go to get the mop.

It turns out it’s way over in Photography. (This is in the dark ages before everyone had a digital camera or camera-phone. Yes, even before fail compilations, back when the chief after-school amusement was throwing rocks at sabretooth cats. We lost a lot of good friends that way… turns out the cats don’t like having rocks thrown at them.) So, a bit delayed, I hurry back with a mop and bucket.

A woman has moved my wet floor signs and pushed her cart straight through the large splatter of cartoonishly bright vomit.

She’s moseyed right through the lumpy middle of it, taking little slow steps to maximize the number of disgusting footprints she is now leaving behind. All four of her cart’s wheels are leaving matching snail trails, too.

Big problems first: I tackle the chief splatter, with step one being to put the ‘wet floor’ signs back where I left them. Barf Lady gives me a stink-eye every now and again while I work. (Perhaps I’m supposed to apologize for failing to nail the signs in place?)

Eventually, I reach the last step: mopping up Barf Lady’s trail. She’s moving slowly enough that I catch up and start swiping up the prints as soon as she and her shopping cart wheels leave them. We make eye contact once, so I smile sheepishly and apologize, as if her inability to avoid tracking puke around is somehow my fault.

She says nothing, does nothing, except to sneer a little harder and turn wordlessly back to the tiny, adorable outfits hanging up — none of which she takes and most of which were still accessible before she moved the signs. Indeed, I plunk the signs as close to the vomit as I can precisely to avoid tempting customers into the splash zone.

Things are pretty awkward, but if I go do the stuff I’m supposed to be doing, Barf Lady’s pumpkin-coloured tracks will get stepped in and tracked all over. Instead, I keep mopping up her mess as she makes it, getting stink-eyes until her shoes and cart wheels mercifully run out. Then I rush off to resume the set list.

Boss was not pleased that I dropped my list to clean up the nuclear mess, but at least she didn’t mention a complaint from a customer. Perhaps Barf Lady was too stupid to lodge one, as well as too stupid to avoid stepping in a giant blast of technicolour puke?

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Hellish Resources

, , | Working | November 2, 2016

During my career with a major oil company I learned early on that Human Resources does not exist to make my life easier. Here’s one of the most frustrating instances.

In the mid 1980s there was an oil discovery in New Mexico near the Texas border. As it looked to be significant, we and several other companies ramped up personnel in the region. There was only one small town in the area suitable for offices and living so everyone was sent there. Unfortunately, the town had a population under 30,000, so moving several hundred professionals and support staff in all at once caused a significant spike in real estate prices. Even more unfortunately, we were the last company to decide to move in so we were hit with the highest prices and the worst homes.

As it turned out, the discovery was a bust and a few years later everyone pulled out. Again, we were the last company to make the decision, so we were putting our houses, which had been far overpriced to begin with, onto a glutted market. Individuals were looking at losing 50 to 75% of their purchase prices, a significant hit.

As you can imagine there was a tremendous amount of complaining among the affected employees. It reached a point where corporate HR sent representatives out to address the issue. We gathered into an auditorium to hear what we hoped would be a rescue plan.

We were disappointed. Basically, the HR reps were telling us that we were on our own and the company wouldn’t help us. People began to get angry with the message and the questions got testier. Finally, one man asked what he was supposed to do given that the company’s decisions put us at a disadvantage coming and going.

There was a young woman from HR on the panel who responded. I’m not sure how long she had been with the company but she obviously had little real world experience. Her answer, and I quote, was: “You should have bought more responsibly.”

There was no lynching, not even a small riot, but the noise level got to the point the meeting broke up. Luckily for us, the head of the exploration company for which we worked over ruled the HR scrooges and incentives were provided to minimize our losses.

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A Wait-y Reward

, , , | Working | November 2, 2016

I order in the drive-thru of a burger place. I find out it’s only two coupons per car, so I tell the lady working that I’ll be driving through again. When I get to the window and pay, she asks me to park in the parking lot to wait for my food. I agree and park.

I’m looking at stuff on my phone for a bit when she comes out to give someone else their order. When she sees me she asks “You haven’t gotten your food yet?” I say no and she leaves to check on my food. When she comes back she says it’ll only be a little bit and asks for the other coupon. I show it to her and she tells me that it’ll be free for the long wait.

When I arrive home with the food, I realize she upgraded the small fries of the last coupon to a large and added a Snickers pie.

I don’t know how long I waited for, but I’m sure it wasn’t for as long as she seemed to think it was.

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The Nightmare Before Halloween

, | Right | November 1, 2016

My manager asks me to go “deal with the pumpkins.” When I ask what is up with them, she tells me that a customer (a grown woman) had climbed into the bin and stood on the pumpkins while looking for the perfect one.

After tossing the survivors into the neighbouring bin and cutting larger holes into it so people could reach in more easily, I take the bin of smashed pumpkins to the warehouse.

Eleven pumpkins died today so that someone could find one perfect jack-o-lantern prospect.

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