Driving Down One Cost Drives Up Another

, , , | | Working | May 29, 2019

(My workplace offers, through a third party, transportation to and from work to any of the employees who can’t or don’t want to drive, provided that enough of them live fairly close to one another to justify the expense. Those who come by car get comped for travel expenses, as the law here requires, while those who opt to use the rides provided, naturally, do not. I do own a car, but it’s more convenient for me to use the ride. About once or twice a month, when I need to get somewhere other than home quickly after work, I drive to work, instead. One day, the HR manager catches me for a talk.)

HR: “I’ve noticed that on occasion you come to work in your car.”

Me: “That’s right, about twice a month.”

HR: “We need you to notify us in advance when you’re planning to do so.”

Me: “I always call the driver or one of the coworkers on the same ride to let them know not to wait for me.”

HR: “I mean notify us, so we can take you off the roster for the ride in advance.”

(It then occurs to me that what he’s trying to do is to save the little extra money that the company that provides the rides charges for each additional stop — a trivial amount, as all of us who share the ride live close to one another, so it’s not a detour of any sort.)

Me: “But you make these rosters each Wednesday for the following week; most of the times I drive here, it’s because of some urgent errands I couldn’t know about a week in advance!”

HR: *obviously pleased with himself that he found a way to save the company a few bucks* “Sorry, I cannot allow this to continue. It’s a waste of money.”

Me: “I see. So, I’ll at least be comped for my travel expenses, instead?”

HR: “What? Why? We’re providing you with transportation!”

Me: “Currently, you do. That’s why I never asked to be comped for the days I came by car until now — but isn’t the whole point of this conversation is that you wish to stop providing transportation on those days?”

HR: *blank stare*

Me: “So, on days you are not sending a ride to pick me up, you will be legally required to pay for my expenses.”

(It then dawns on him that it would cost the company much more than what they’ll save.)

HR: “Um… well… I don’t know if we can do that. I’ll get back to you after I check what we can do.”

(He never did, and the issue was dropped indefinitely.)

Unfiltered Story #152419

, , | | Unfiltered | May 28, 2019

We’re a very small business in Maine, with one phone number and one fax number. The phone rings with an out-of-state area code, but some of our clients have second homes and condos elsewhere in the country so I don’t think anything of it.)
Me: “Good morning, [Company].”
Caller: “…Excuse me?!”
Me: “Good morning, [Company].”
Caller: *in a sarcastic Southern drawl* “Yeah, uh-huh, sure.”
Me: “Um… How may I help you?”
Caller: “Extension 422921. Now!”
(Now I know it’s a wrong number, because we have 10 employees and no extension with that many digits.)
Me: “I’m sorry, we don’t have that extension. We–”
Caller: “Of course you do, you stupid b****! Now put me through!”
Me: “Ma’am, we truly don’t have an extension that high.”
Caller: “Well! This is [some 1-800 number] isn’t it?”
Me: “Uh… No. No it’s not.”
Caller: “Then what are you?!”
Me: “A 10-employee firm in central Maine.”
Caller: “…”
Me: “Ma’am?”
Caller: *click*

In Death, Bring Life

, , , , , | | Hopeless | May 27, 2019

(My roommate comes up to me one night and says she has to tell me this wholesome story about her day. She explains one of the employees at her work’s new building is usually cleaning up the break room about the time my roommate gets there, so they’ve become friendly. Between her limited English and [Roommate]’s non-existent Spanish, they’ve managed to create a cordial dynamic. One day, after greeting each other happily all week, [Roommate] gets to work to find that her friend seems a bit off.)

Roommate: “Hi! Is everything okay?”

Friend: “No… eh… my mother…” *points upward*

Roommate: “Your mom… passed away?”

Friend: “Yes. Five day ago.”

(My roommate offered her condolences then headed to her office. She thought about how that woman’s mother had died five days before, but she still had to come into work and clean up after snobby, entitled jerks. So, she headed down to the closest market and bought her friend a bouquet of flowers. She brought it back to the building to give them to her, which turned into a whole ordeal as her friend was off working in another area. Security finally located her and her boss even came down to see what was going on. But when she saw my roommate with the flowers, she started BAWLING and immediately fell into her arms. My roommate just held her and let her cry. The littlest thing to you can mean the biggest difference to someone else. Be kind.)

TV And Dinners And Bisque, Oh My!

, , , , , | | Working | May 26, 2019

(I’m working in a call center that pays above minimum wage, but not by much. I’m an extremely frugal person, which serves me well in this job. My coworkers sometimes have a harder time with it. The following describes several conversations with one such coworker.)

Coworker #1: “Ooh, that smells good! What are you eating?”

Me: “Tomato-basil bisque with cornbread muffins.”

Coworker #1: “Wait, from [Expensive Restaurant]? How the h*** can you afford that?!”

Me: “No, I made it, from some tomatoes I canned up last summer. Only about fifty cents worth of ingredients, and it made about three quarts worth!”

Coworker #1: “D***, girl, nobody has time for crap like that!” *eats her $10 takeout meal*

(Later:)

Coworker #1: “Hey, did you see [TV Show] last night?”

Me: “No, I don’t watch much TV, sorry.”

Coworker #1: “WHAT?! What the h*** do you do with your time?! I’d be bored out of my mind.”

(Another day, she overhears me talking with another coworker about a good-quality grain-grinder I bought.)

Coworker #1: “How the h*** can you even afford that?!”

Me: “I’ve been saving up for it for two years now. I have a ton of wild grains growing in my backyard. If I can—“

Coworker #1: “Just buy your food like everyone else does!”

(Another day, I catch part of a conversation happening near my desk:)

Coworker #1: *in tears* “How can they evict me? It’s not my fault I didn’t have money for the rent! Our fridge broke down. Do you know how much it costs to eat restaurant food three times a day? What am I supposed to tell my little boy?”

Coworker #2: “Wait, didn’t your fridge break down months ago?”

Coworker #1: “Yeah, I couldn’t afford a new one! If I had a fridge, I’d have a place to keep TV dinners, and then we wouldn’t have to eat out every meal.”

At Least She Was Being Honest

, , , , | | Working | May 25, 2019

(I’m interviewing new candidates for a role in the IT team that I manage. I’m on an interview panel with our senior HR officer and our director of finance, who is also my boss. We’re currently interviewing a young woman fresh out of university.)

Me: “Okay, [Candidate], what would you say is your biggest weakness?”

Candidate: “Hmm…” *thinks for a minute* “…I’m going to have to say honesty!”

Me: “Honesty?”

Candidate: “Yep, honesty. I’m too honest for my own good!”

(The HR officer, the financial director, and I all look at each other, confused.)

Financial Director: “I don’t think honesty really counts as a weakness.”

Candidate: “Yeah? Well, I don’t give a f*** what you think!”

(We didn’t hire her!)

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