Still Asking Why They’re Jobless

| NC, USA | Friendly | May 23, 2017

(My boss has asked me to reach out to a couple of people who were guests at his networking organization to coordinate meet-ups with them. The following is my verbatim email and reply.)

Me: “Hi, [Name]!

I am emailing on behalf of [Boss]. You were a guest at his [Networking Group] a couple of weeks ago and he is interested in setting up a [Meet-Up] with you in the next couple of weeks. His schedule is a little crazy, but he does have availability on [Dates] to meet in our office or in the [Nearby Area] for breakfast or lunch, if that is preferable for you. Let me know what works and I’d be happy to get something on his calendar! Thanks!”

Response: “Why?”

Aberdone With You

| Scotland, UK | Working | May 23, 2017

(My colleague has been on a call for a few minutes.)

Colleague: “I’ll just ask.” *to me* “How long does it take to get to Aberdeen?”

Me: “From where?”

Colleague: *blank stare before asking the caller* “Glasgow.”

Me: “By train or car?”

(Another blank stare before asking the caller.)

Colleague: “Car.”

Me: “About three hours, I think. I’ll check Google.”

Colleague: *shakes her head and addresses the caller* “About an hour.”

(I try to correct her, but she continues the call practically shouting over me.)

Me: *after hanging up* “Why did you say an hour?”

Colleague: “Because it takes about an hour to get to Edinburgh, and Aberdeen isn’t too far away.”

Me: “…”

(I had to pull out a map to show her how wrong her assumption was.)

Colleague: *realising* “Oh, I thought Aberdeen was there.”

Me: “That’s St. Andrews!”

Colleague: “Oh, well. Aberdeen, St. Andrews, it’s all the same!”

Me: “I think you should phone them back.”

Colleague: *scoffs* “No, it’ll be fine. She was just a nobody.”

(The “nobody” turned out being our new managing director, who was a little more than annoyed at finding out her journey was going to take three hours instead of one. My colleague tried to claim it was me who took the call, but I’m Irish while she is Scottish. I’m also male…)

Not Even Remotely Listening

| AB, Canada | Working | May 23, 2017

(My company is switching to a new computer system. As such, many files need to be re-named to something that meshes with the new system. My boss works out of our main office in another town. I, via remote access, look after the computers at Office #2, which is in another town from the main office and my office.)

Boss: “Okay, I need you to get everything in [Office #2] on to the new system.”

Me: “I can’t do that.”

Boss: “Why not?”

Me: “You and IT keep saying you won’t grant me remote access to those files, because we’re too close to switching to the new system. You or [My Counterpart in the main office] will have to do that in the main office.”

Boss: “Gotcha.”

(Three months later. A call from the boss:)

Boss: “Hey, IT is telling me that [Office #2]’s files aren’t on the new system yet. What gives?”

Me: “I told you last time. I can’t do that from here. You need to do that in [Main Office].”

Boss: “Right… Right… Gotcha.”

(Three months later. Another call from the boss.)

Boss: “[MY NAME]! IT IS AGAIN TELLING ME THAT [Office #2] ISN’T READY FOR THE NEW SYSTEM YET! Why haven’t you re-named everything yet?”

Me: “I… KEEP… TELLING… YOU. I can’t do that from here! You need to do that in [Main Office].”

Boss: *finally getting it after all these months* “Oh. You’re saying that I need to do that from here.”

Me: “Yes.”

Boss: “So, like, how then? Do we have to re-make everything from scratch and re-send it all to [Office #2]?”

Me: “What? No! You have remote access to [Office #2]. Just dial in and re-name everything.”

Boss: “Ah. I see.”

(That afternoon. I get a call from IT.)

IT: “Yeah, [Boss] just gave us this work order, telling us we have to re-make everything for [Office #2] and re-send it to them. When we asked why we had to do that, instead of him just re-naming everything, he said you could explain it.”

Me: *facepalm*

Replacing Shackles Of Oppression With Uncomfortableness

| UK | Friendly | May 20, 2017

(I am straight, but am also an LGBT+ ally. I went to a pride event a few months ago and had to wear a wristband to get into some of the venues. The design makes it difficult to take off, so through sheer laziness and the fact I actually like wearing it, I haven’t removed it yet. It is the first warm day this year and I decide to wear a short-sleeved shirt to work. A manager who is also a friend notices it.)

Friend: “Really? You’re still wearing that?!”

Me: “Oh, yeah. I can’t be bothered with the hassle of taking it off.”

Friend: “You should. It gives off the wrong impression.”

Me: “I don’t care about that.”

Friend: “No, but everyone else does! It makes them uncomfortable.”

Me: “Really? This is the first I’ve heard of it.”

Friend: “Like I said, it’s making them uncomfortable, but enough is enough.”

(Thinking that he was just being honest I decided to take it seriously and managed to remove the wristband that night with only a small amount of damage. When I went in the next day I was surprised by how many people noticed it missing, and some were even disheartened by it. I told them what my friend told me and none reflected his opinion. One coworker even said she was inspired by how proudly I wore it, and it made her more comfortable being open at work. My friend didn’t even notice. That night I attached some velcro to it haven’t taken it off since. My friend always remarks on it when he does notice, still going on about the impression it gives off, although after confronting him about his claims he admitted it makes him uncomfortable as opposed to everyone. I don’t bother to be around him now unless it’s work related.)

Was Not ‘Projecting’ That Outcome

, | UK | Working | May 19, 2017

(I am currently seconded to another company to assist with project management. The director of the company has asked if I wouldn’t mind helping out on one of their tenderings. I agree, but stress I am only doing it because he has asked, to which he agrees and tells me I’m free to decline at any point if the work becomes a hindrance on my responsibilities to the project. It starts off fine with the other department, and I have only been working with one person at present. I am invited to a call-in meeting for a final review.)

Project Manager: “Okay, everything is good as a start, but I’m expecting you down here next week for the final push.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but that hasn’t been discussed and that’s too short notice—”

Project Manager: “Well, we pay you, so you are coming down here next week. We need this finished ahead of submission. I’ve also made some changes which need to be done in the next hour.”

(He lists about ten different things which literally changes the entire logic for the project and will require over a day to complete, if I abandoned all of my other duties.)

Me: “Sorry, that isn’t possible for an hour or even a day. I have my responsibilities here—”

Project Manager: “I don’t care. You’re finishing this. In fact, get your a**e down here today. You can take this week and next to finish.”

Me: “No.”

Project Manager: “Excuse me? Do you realise how important this is?”

Me: “Okay, first of all: I do not work for you, nor do you pay my wages.”

Project Manager: “We’ll see—”

Me: “Second: I am doing this as a favour to [Director]. I am not being paid for this and any travel would be paid out of my own pocket. And lastly: you do not speak to someone like that who is helping you for absolutely nothing in return. Is that understood?”

Project Manager: “Hold on a second.”

(I’m put on hold and after a few minutes I’m put back on. His voice is strained so I assume he’s angry.)

Project Manager: “Okay. I have been made aware of our situation, and I would like to apologise. We can share a meal once you’re down here and make things up.”

Me: “I haven’t agreed to that. It isn’t possible to neglect my responsibilities here, and as per instruction—”

Project Manager: “GET YOUR F*****G A**E DOWN HERE, NOW!”

Me: *hangs up*

(He tries calling me back into the call but I block the number. The next morning the director comes to me with his phone in hand, saying the project manager claims I was being abusive and refusing to help with anything. I explain my side of the situation and show all my correspondence and work I have done. The director nods and takes his phone off hold.)

Director: “[My Name] believes he is no longer able to provide the adequate time to assist you. He will be more than… Yes, he made it quite clear… He has done plenty, and will gladly send you… No, but I pay your wages… I’m glad you understand.”

(He is about to hang up when he hears “f*****g c**t”. He smiles and hangs up.)

Director: “I smell dismissal.”

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