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It Must Also Block Brain Waves

, , , , , , , | Working | May 13, 2022

I work the front desk for an office building in Hawaii. Our building uses RFID (radio frequency identification) badges for things like gates, parking, and most doors throughout our six floors. Today, one of the company higher-ups found that her keycard was not working, so I canceled it for her and transferred all of her authorized access to a new card which we handed to her. She came back only twenty seconds later.

Higher-Up: “This still doesn’t work! I need a working badge.”

Me: “Huh, odd, it’s brand new. Can I s—”

Higher-Up: “I need to get to my office so I can clock in! You are going to make me late!”

Me: “So sorry about that, but can I see—”

Higher-Up: “A company executive shouldn’t be having these kinds of issues! We paid good money for these systems and we expect everyone to know how to use them.”

Me: “Understandable, ma’am. Can I please see—”

Higher-Up: “Hurry up! I have to get upstairs.”

Me: “I understand, but I need to see—”

Higher-Up: “Can you issue me a temporary badge, then?”

Me: “No, I need—”

Higher-Up: “What do you mean, no?!”

A vendor had approached the desk and had been standing behind her for a moment at this point. The conversation had grown to where he had taken his headphones off to listen in.

Me: “I can’t issue temporary badges unt—”

Higher-Up: “This is unacc—”

Vendor: “Ho, Auntie, try shut up and listen to what she has for say to you!”

She was stunned into silence.

Me: “May I please see your badge?”

Vendor: “Unreal da attitude, so entitle you.”

While the exec started a conversation with the vendor, I turned the keycard over in my hands. She had placed it in a pink bedazzled sleeve of some sort and as I examined it I saw a marking that verified that my assumption of what the issue was was correct.

Me: “Ma’am this is an RFID-blocking sleeve.”

Higher-Up: “Excuse me?”

Me: “This thing, the case? This is an RFID-blocking sleeve. Your keycard and our readers use RFID to operate. You can’t use this case.”

The vendor rolled his eyes behind her.

Higher-Up: “Oh… I…”

Me: “Yeah, these are good for things like credit cards — they’ll prevent your information from being stolen — but not for your access key.”

I dropped the badge back onto our desk and she took it slowly, pulling it out of the sleeve before scurrying off without another word.

The vendor and I watched as she sheepishly went to the elevator, scanned successfully, swore softly, glanced back at us, and then entered the carriage.

Vendor: “Unreal, that kine.”

Some Bosses Don’t Understand Boundaries

, , , , , , | Working | May 3, 2022

The company that I was working for at the time had very low pay for the work we were doing. I got a new car in the first year of my employment and there was no paid vacation. As a result, I didn’t take a vacation for seven years so I could maintain my car payments.

However, in 2019, a friend of mine paid to fly my wife and me from Hawaii to Missouri for a wedding, so I put my foot down with management and told them that I would be gone. I submitted notice of the trip in May of 2018, which was seventeen months ahead of the September 2019 fly-out date.  

By the time September rolled around, I had been working not only for seven years without taking a vacation but also, recently, seven-day weeks due to the company’s inability to hold a staff together. 

Making just under eighty hours a week, I was exhausted but I had maintained constant notice to the company that I would be gone, which they approved and accepted because they knew how hard I had been working. 

The day we were to fly out, I got two texts and a phone call from my direct boss, the person just above me on the ladder. I answered the call.

Boss: “Hey, [My Name], I need timesheets for your crew. Could you submit them today or tomorrow?”

Me: *Politely* “I cannot; I am currently awaiting departure at the Honolulu International Airport, which you have been informed about several times over the last year.”

Boss: “Well, could you take a moment to put the sheets together on your laptop and send them?

Me: “I can’t. I don’t have my laptop with me.”

Boss: *Angrily* “Why not?! It is your responsibility to get timesheets to me when needed!”

This was despite the fact that I was already up to date and the next set of sheets wasn’t due for another three days, a task I had left to my assistant.

Me: “I have no intention of doing any work this trip. This is my first vacation in seven years. You have had notice of my exact flight itinerary. You need to call [Coworker], who I left in charge of my people.”

This seemed to anger him even more, but I hung up the phone.

He proceeded to text me throughout the first four days of our trip, asking me for paperwork, and asking if he could borrow members of my crew to assist a short-staffed one. He asked about emails and equipment requests, and I ignored every single one of them. 

Just before the wedding started, I blacklisted my boss’s cellphone number and office extension on my phone to stop the calls and prevent any interruptions during the ceremony.

Fast forward two weeks. I had been back for a week now. My boss called me on the company phone and he was pissed. 

I had never taken the blocks off of his phone numbers.

Boss: “Why have you been ignoring my calls and text messages?!”

These are specifically in my off time because he has still been contacting me on the work phone during my work hours daily.

Me: “I blocked you.”

Of course, this didn’t sit well with him.

Boss: “Remove the restriction so that I can contact you when I need to!”

Me: “No. My phone is my personal phone, I pay the bill, and I decide what the usage for it is. There is nothing in my contract that states that I need to be contactable twenty-four-seven and nothing stating that a personal number is required. You having my number has been a privilege, not a requirement. You have abused that privilege and subsequently lost it.”

He started to yell, but I had been prepared for this since my return since I deliberately left his number blocked. I picked up a copy of my work contract from my desk where it had been sitting since my first day back. I thumbed through it.

Me: “Do you want to read it yourself? I can scan it and send it through. From now on, you can contact me while I am at work and I have the company phone on me.” 

He was livid, mostly because I had cut him off, and apparently, he went to file a complaint with Human Resources. 

I got a phone call from the HR department only forty-five minutes later, but it wasn’t what I expected. 

HR was calling to ask if I wanted to file a complaint against him! Allegedly, he had filed a complaint for insubordination and explained the situation to them. They had told him in no uncertain terms that I had every right to block him on my personal phone and then turned around and dinged him for contacting me while I was on vacation in the first place. 

At the time, my boss and I were normally on okay terms. I was happy enough that HR had backed me up and knocked him down a few pegs, so I declined to file a complaint. 

It took a while, but eventually, things fell back into place and we started working together as we always had… kind of, sort of okay-ish.

Get This Weird Convo On Tape

, , , , , | Working | April 20, 2022

We work for a security team that remotely monitors the locations of a large local business. Since it is 2022, this monitoring is done through DVRs and NVRs that link to the computers in our office. Today, we got this call from someone regarding one of our store locations.

Caller: “Hello? Is this [Company] security?”

Me: “Hello? Yes, how can I help you?”

Caller: “I am calling from [Store Location]. I was wondering what the process was for changing the tapes in our security system.”

Me: “The… changing… I’m sorry, ma’am, I don’t follow. Are you talking about the site’s security cameras?”

Caller: “Yes, I can’t figure out how to change out the tapes.”

Me: “The… tapes…”

Caller: “Yes, the VHS tapes.”

Me: “Are… can you verify the address for [location] for me, please?”

She verified the address.

Me: “And you are referring to the cameras that we monitor here at [Building]? The main cameras?”

She said yes and listed off the cameras by their on-screen ID numbers which were also visible on my side.

Me: “Ma’am, the system is digital. It doesn’t use any type of media storage.”

Caller: “I know. That’s why I’m not sure where the tapes are.”

Me: “No, ma’am, there are no tapes. The footage is stored on devices called SSDs.”

Caller: “So, the tapes are in the SSDs? How do I access that?”

Me: “No, there are no tapes.”

Caller: “What do you mean, there are no tapes? It’s a security camera.”

Me: “Ma’am, what is your position in [Company]?”

Caller: “Never you mind that.”

Me: “Can I please speak to [Manager]?”

Caller: “Who is that?”

Me: “What do you… Who is this?

Caller: “Does he have the tapes?”

Me: “What?”

Caller: “Who has the tapes?”

I hung up the phone at this point and called the direct number for the manager. 

Manager: “Hi, [My Name].”

Me: “Hi, do you know anything about someone trying to change the tapes in the security camera system?”

Manager: “Tapes? The thing hasn’t used tapes since 2000.”

Me: “I am aware, but a woman called and—”

Manager: “I told her to change the tape, not the tapes, as in the tape we use for packing, for God’s sa—”

The call dropped. I could only assume he hung up on me to get his employee before she decided to start touching the DVR system. 

It was a strange thing to happen not more than a minute and a half into my shift.


, , , , , , , | Working | April 18, 2022

I work as a security guard in an office building that is owned by a large local bank. Recently, the bank has been in the process of switching from their old computer software to a new one, which means that branch and facility employees have been converging on the site I work on for training on the new system.

Usually, these training classes only take place on weekdays, and the building is empty on weekends aside from the other guard, me, and some network people.

This week they decided to do training on Saturday. I knew this because I checked everyone in. But due to being tired, I totally forgot about it by the time 2:00 pm rolled around — hour eight of my twelve-hour shift.

Me: “Dude, I am crashing for some reason. I’m going to go get me a cup of coffee from the cafeteria.”

Partner: “All right.”

I moved to the cafeteria. More to keep myself awake than anything, I start talking to myself, starting a monologue with myself about beans, bean water, coffee bean water, haha bean water.

This conversation continued until I proudly kicked the swinging doors to the cafeteria open and yelled, “BEAN WATER!” and successfully violently startled the twelve employees that weren’t supposed to be there.

Me: “Oh, hi…”

Employees: “…”

Me: “Uhh, coffee is bean water. I came for coffee.”

Employees: “…”

Me: “I’m going to go do that.”

I slid my way over to the coffee brewer, poured my cup, and then slid back out again.

This is why training is supposed to be Monday through Friday.

When The Keys Hit The Fan

, , , , , , , | Working | April 5, 2022

One day, our manager was in and out of a horrible mood for almost our entire shift. Things really hit the fan at around 12:00 pm when she burst from her private office into our general work area like a tornado.

Manager: “I don’t know what you people are trying to pull, but today is not the day to mess with me!”

My coworkers and I looked at each other curiously. It had been a rather lazy day apart from a minor incident with our Xerox machine, which was currently being serviced.

Coworker #1: “What are you talking about?”

Manager: “I have been looking for my g**d*** keys for forty-five minutes! I know one of you has them!”

Coworker #2: “None of us went into your office.”

Manager: “Yeah, right, like I believe that. I know I didn’t misplace them, and I am not in the mood for your office games today!”

Me: “Why would we take your keys as a prank?”

Manager: “I don’t know! Why do you guys do anything as a prank?!”

Me: “Fair.”

Manager: “So, give them up! We are not doing this today!”

None of us moved; obviously, none of us had them.

Manager: “Well?!”

Coworker #3: “No, really, none of us have your keys.”

Coworker #2: “As I said, none of us went into your office.”

Coworker #1: “They probably fell down.”

This conversation bounced back and forth with both our manager and my coworkers getting exceedingly more irritated at each other. By the end of the day, her keys had still not been found, and despite us staying for an additional two hours past our shifts to help her look — after we had convinced her we had nothing to do with it and she apologized for her behavior — we were not successful in locating them.

The result of this was that we had to call the owner of the company, who was then forced to pay to rekey every internal and external door for our structure. Our manager was saved by her tenure but still received a massive write-up on her employee file for “negligent handling of company property resulting in a steep monetary loss.” This made her the first person in company history to receive that write-up without crashing a company car.

The days went on, the weeks passed, and the seasons changed, and then one day, a visitor arrived. He was there to repair our manager’s typewriter which was still used on a very occasional basis to create mailing envelopes.

Allegedly, what had happened was that our manager had placed her keys inside of the typewriter while replacing the white-out ribbon and, distracted by a phone call, closed the machine back up without grabbing them. Of course, she didn’t notice this until she needed to use the typewriter again, and it was jammed due to the keyring inside of it, prompting her to call for repair.

Maybe we should stick to handwriting our envelopes.