The Perpetual Training Train

, , , , | Working | May 14, 2021

I have to perform two certain tasks in the morning. One is crucial to get the workflow of my department started; the other is a very complicated task for one single client of ours. Since performing both tasks makes it take longer for me to join my department in the workflow, my supervisor wants management to put someone else on task number two. Apparently, this is very hard for them.

In February, I have a talk about it with my supervisor.

Me: “Still no plan, I guess?”

Supervisor: *Almost laughing* “Well, there is a plan, actually, but I doubt it’s going to work. They want [Coworker] to do it.”

[Coworker] mans the warehouse, and over the last months, his enthusiasm for his job has visibly diminished. Still, I have to train him.

Coworker: “Who decided that I have to do this? [Supervisor] probably, eh?”

Me: “Not really, no…”

Coworker: “They want me to do more and more, while I barely have time left for my actual job! Oh, well, what the f*** do I care? I’ll learn it and then drop it and take a job somewhere else!”

He keeps acting like this throughout every morning I train him. He seems like he’s trying to learn the job, indeed, but he keeps claiming that he’ll learn it and then leave.

Me: “You’re really gonna do that?”

Coworker: “H*** yeah! When I say I’m gonna do something, I always mean it!”

His constant moaning and anger suck my motivation to train him out of me. I have some talks with my supervisor about his behaviour. She’s fed up with his bluff and his lack of work ethic, but since he answers to another department, she can’t discipline him for it.

Supervisor: “You know, he would actually have time to perform his main job if he wouldn’t take smoke breaks every two hours. Or if he wouldn’t get out for an hour to buy lunch.”

We have half-hour lunch breaks.

Supervisor: “But I have spoken to [Coworker’s Supervisor] and he also thinks we shouldn’t take his threats of leaving too seriously. It’s a bluff.”

It probably is, I admit. Still, weeks go by while I am training this completely unmotivated guy to perform this quite complicated task. Then, one morning, I come in and hear my supervisor on the phone.

Supervisor: “Yeah, it’s quite clear to me that someone here is being blatantly selfish. Thanks for telling me.” *To me* “That was [Coworker’s Supervisor]. [Coworker] just called in sick. I’m sceptical.”

[Coworker] stayed home for quite some time, claiming burnout. Meanwhile, I kept performing the task myself. By April, someone from a different location was transferred to our office and learned the task from me… only to get a transfer again by June. Finally, after summer, I trained a more motivated coworker for the task. By then, [Coworker] was reintegrating, while showing a complete lack of motivation.

By the end of the year, I had put in my notice, not because of this weird history, but simply because I found a better-paying job with more career opportunities. [Coworker], meanwhile, was still there, doing his job to some extent, while being disliked by virtually everybody now. So much for his claims that he would leave as soon as possible. Being dissatisfied is one thing; digging your own grave because of it is another.

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If You Can Leave A Toxic Environment, DO IT

, , , , , , | Working | May 14, 2021

This was a job I shouldn’t have taken, but I was desperate. It started showing red flags when I was told to come in and interview when the girl I was replacing was off so she wouldn’t know. Normally, I would just say no and move on, but the job I was currently at was absolutely toxic, so I was desperate.

This new job was with a small company that had about eight employees. After I had been there for about two months, I noticed that my paycheck was wrong. It turns out that the owner’s wife did the paychecks and she miscalculated. Thankfully, they got it fixed, but then I started seeing other problems.

They offered paid holidays, which sounds great, except for the fact that they were also closed around those holidays but wouldn’t pay you for them, so you had to use four of your five Paid Time Off days so you weren’t out so much money. And speaking of payday, they only paid us once a month, and the boss would conveniently “forget” to pay us — no direct deposit — until after five, so our check wouldn’t go in until the next day, or sometimes until Monday.

The boss’s wife would come in several times per week and tell me that I should be exceedingly grateful that they even thought of hiring me.

After I was there a year, the supervisor decided she was going to move back to Texas, and I thought that they were going to offer me her position. No. Instead, they expected me to do her job without any extra pay. I started looking for another job, right before 2020 became what 2020 did.

Then, in March of 2020, I was working seventy-plus hours a week, at least till the boss’s wife decided we shouldn’t be paid overtime. That is when I conveniently decided that I wasn’t going to work over my forty hours if they were going to pull that.

The boss’s son — who was a piece of work and treated me like I was stupid — was getting ready to take over the business but his dad wasn’t ready to let go. So, I would get told different things each time I spoke to one of them and then get yelled at for not doing what the other wanted first.

During this time, we hired a friend of the son’s to help out, and while I was trying to help train him, the boss’s son screamed at me for trying to take his position of training. The boss stood idly by and let him scream at me.

After they left for the day, I went into the bathroom and cried for forty-five minutes and decided I was getting out of this job. I also found out that day that the guy who had just been hired was making $2 more than I was an hour.

I ended up finding a much better job and I gave a short notice because they were notorious for not letting people work out their notices. They had me train the new guy for my last three days, but he kept telling me, “I already know this,” and didn’t look at so many of the training examples that I printed out and made special for him.

So, on my last day, after I tried to train him and he went back to his desk, I shredded all of that and all of the pertinent information that I had obtained during that time.

I’ve been at my current job for nine months, making almost triple what I was making there, and I just got a promotion. My former employers called me last week to see if I would be interested in coming back because the guy they hired just wasn’t working out. I took great pleasure in hanging up on them after telling them I was very happy in my current position.

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You Don’t Know What You’ve Got ‘Til It’s Gone

, , , , , , | Working | May 13, 2021

Part of my job is to get the company through its annual audit, which means working with all the different departments to ensure that they are working to the standard, to suggest fixes, and to help them achieve compliance. It is a thankless task. Everyone assumes it has nothing to do with them, and no one wants to make any effort to change something they see as “not broken.”

Every year is the same. I spend months chasing owners, while they won’t do nearly enough or they just ignore me. The audit is painful and embarrassing, and I receive many, many non-compliances. I always get a major lecture from my boss, no matter what I do. It is never enough for him.

It’s exhausting and humiliating and I feel like I am wasting my life, getting nowhere, for a boss that doesn’t see any value in me or what I do, despite the company not being able to legally function without a passed audit.

Enough is enough, and six months before the next audit, I hand in my six months’ notice. My boss does not seem to care.

I finish my last day like this.

Me: “All previous audit failures are here, and I have a report of the work we said we did to fix it, signed by you and the owners.”

Boss: *Not looking up* “Yeah.”

Me: “I have made the auditors aware of the changes but not who will be the new contact person.”

My boss is still not even looking at me.

Me: “The changes to the standard are here, so these need to be looked at.”

Boss: “Yeah, yeah, sure. I’m sure we will be fine.”

Me: “Great. I have nothing more to do today, so I will be at my desk until the end of the day.”

Boss: “You may as well leave now.”

Me: “Great. Good luck on the audit.”

I packed up my things, said my goodbyes, and left. I kept in touch with several of my old coworkers there. I found out that a month before the audit, they still hadn’t hired a replacement and began to look at the audit. They were not at all prepared, hadn’t done any of the monthly work needed since I left, hadn’t addressed any of the changes I showed them, and hadn’t checked the last year’s audit to ensure that they are still compliant.

They had their worst audit in history with major failures all over and they nearly had to withdraw the certificate, stopping the site completely.

Because of the seriousness, an additional audit had to be planned at a cost of around £25,000. The company hired an expensive specialist to basically do everything I used to do and tell them everything I said.

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What You Manifest Will Come To Be

, , , , , , , | Working | May 13, 2021

My dad had a very superstitious employee. Every Friday the thirteenth, this employee would call in sick. Finally, my dad had enough of this and told the employee that if he called in sick like this again he would be fired.

The next Friday the thirteenth was a very foggy morning. The employee usually would come in before dawn. The office was at the end of a service road with only a ditch past it. When the employee came to work that Friday, he drove past the office and ended up in that ditch. After that, my dad told him he could take personal days from then on.

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Breakfast Time Is Hammer Time

, , , | Right | May 11, 2021

I work at the office of a small company that produces handmade muesli. They are baked and make a popular breakfast food in a bowl with milk or, since the clusters are a little bigger than average, are commonly snacked on during the day. Those bigger clusters are really popular; people love them and compliment us on them.

I’m typing in orders when I stumble upon one with a customer note. Nothing unusual. It says, “Please include a hammer for the crunchies.” Obviously, someone with good humour, I think. I even show the note to my boss and we have a good laugh. We send the order on its way — minus the hammer, of course.

A few days later, the phone rings.

Me: “Hello, [Company], this is [My Name].”

Customer: “This is [Customer]. I have a complaint.”

I’m panicking inside because he sounds grumpy and irritated, and I’m bracing myself for a good shouting over a damaged package or something. 

Me: “I’m sorry to hear that, sir. Can you tell me what happened?”

Customer: “I have placed an order and wrote specifically that I want a hammer.”

I’m relieved because, clearly, this is that customer with the good humor.

Me: “Oh, yes. We saw it. I even showed it to our boss. Thank you for brightening up our day.”

Customer: “…”

Me: “Sir? Are you still there?”

Customer: *Suddenly explodes* “If I request a hammer, I expect a hammer! You always make those darn clusters so big! How am I expected to eat that stuff? If you sell crap like this, the least you could do is send me a f****** tool to make them smaller! What kind of f****** customer service is this? F*** you!”

He hung up on me. 

I still cannot wrap my head around the fact that he expected us — a company that sells breakfast muesli — to send him an actual hammer so he could break the five-centimetre clusters that fall apart in milk into smaller pieces?

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