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Mismanaged Expectations, Part 5

| Working | December 25, 2012

(My former boss is really intelligent and very hard working, but is incredibly socially inept, to the point where it’s caused serious problems. I’m sitting at my desk when she barges into my cubicle and begins berating me.)

Former Boss: “[My name], why weren’t you at the 10:00 meeting that just got finished? It was VERY important that you be there!”

Me: “Meeting? What meeting? I don’t have anything on my calendar.”

(I pull up my electronic calendar and, sure enough, there’s no 10:00 meeting on it.)

Former Boss: “You can’t just delete a meeting and later claim you weren’t invited!”

(I then pull up my former boss’ calendar, which shows the details of the 10:00 meeting.)

Me:“Look, [former boss]: the meeting is right there. You set up this meeting on [date and time] and invited four people. My name’s not on the list. I had no way of knowing about the meeting unless you invited me, and you didn’t invite me. If you had asked me to be there I’d have been there. But you can’t expect me to attend meetings unless I’m informed of their existence.”

Former Boss: “That’s no excuse. You need to start looking at MY calendar and watch for meetings you SHOULD attend and come to them, even if I don’t specifically tell you about them!”

(After numerous similar incidents, my former boss was reassigned to ‘Special Projects,’ where she won’t have to ‘manage’ the performance of other staff.)


Getting Them To Understand Is Like Pulling Teeth

| Working | December 22, 2012

(I’ve just found out from my dentist that I need all four of my wisdom teeth pulled. I schedule an appointment for the next week and then rush over to the store where I work. The assistant manager happens to make her weekly schedule this week and gets very angry if people try to take time off after she posts it.)

Me: “Have you posted the schedule yet for next week?”

Assistant Manager: “No, why?”

Me: “I just found out I need all of my wisdom teeth removed. My surgery is scheduled for next week. They said recovery time is at most a full week so just to be on the safe side I’d rather not come in all of next week.”

Assistant Manager: “Well, it’s too late! I’ve already figured out the schedule in my head!”

Me: “But it isn’t posted yet. I apologize for the short notice, but I just found out an hour ago that this was happening.”

Assistant Manager: “It isn’t even that big of a deal! Seriously, you’ll be able to work an hour after surgery! You will be able to come in next week; your doctor lied.”

Me: “Um… please don’t schedule me to work. My face is going to be all swollen and I’ll be on strong pain medication. I will not be able to come in next week! And are you really going to have me come in a few hours after surgery?!”

Assistant Manager: “Yes! There is no ‘recovery time.’ You’ll be able to work right away. And it’s too bad… I’ve already made the schedule!”

(My assistant manager storms off, leaving me stunned. Another coworker overhears the entire conversation and immediately offers to cover any shifts that I get scheduled for. The best part: the assistant manager got all four wisdom teeth pulled a month earlier, and she took over two weeks off to recover!)

Suddenly, It’s Smelling Pretty Ripe

| Working | December 11, 2012

(A coworker has returned from her lunch break.)

Coworker: “I wish I hadn’t tried to peel that banana. It wasn’t ripe enough. I couldn’t get it open all the way.”

Me: “I love bananas when they’re still green. I would have taken it!”

Coworker: “Really? I’ll go get it out of the trash. You want it?”

Me: “Um… no. That’s okay.”

Time To Try Another Tactic

| Working | December 7, 2012

(Note: I work for a family-run business. My father is the owner, and I am his only child, a girl. My father and I are the only ones in the office when a call comes in.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [business], this is Sarah. How can I help you?”

Caller: “Yes, I would like to speak to [my father] right away.”

Me: “May I tell him who’s calling? ”

Caller: *snottily* “No, you may not! Just put me through.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but [father] is on the phone at the moment. May I tell him who’s calling?”

Caller: “I don’t care! Tell him that his daughter is on the line and it’s very important!”

Me: “I’m sorry, who did you say? ”

Caller: “UGH! I said I’m his daughter. Can’t you hear? Now, put me through!”

(I pull the phone half an inch away from my face as if I’m talking to someone off the phone.)

Me: “Hey, Dad! It’s me from the future on line one. Do you want the spoilers or not?”

Caller: *click*

Every Cloud Has A Powdered Lining

, , , , | Working | November 30, 2012

(One day, two of my coworkers arrive late.)

Boss: “I am getting really sick of you two being late. This isn’t even the first time that this has happened!”

Coworkers: “We’re sorry.”

Boss: “Not good enough. I really need to punish you two this time.” *ponders* “Okay. Bring a dozen and a half donuts for tomorrow morning’s staff meeting!”

(The next day, [Coworker #1] arrives early with a dozen and a half donuts.)

Boss: “Good job [Coworker #1], nice to see you’ve smartened up. But where the h*** is [Coworker #2]!?”

([Coworker #2] eventually arrives, but 20 minutes late.)

Boss: “And just what do you think you’re doing, young man!?”

Coworker #2: “Sorry, sir. I was on my way to work, but then I forgot about the donuts.”

([Coworker #2] is holding a box of donuts. They’re not from the same shop as Coworker #1’s donuts.)

Boss: “Oh, for the love of– I told you guys to bring a dozen and a half donuts! I never told you to bring a dozen and a half each! We have three dozen donuts now! If you listened to me, we wouldn’t have so many donuts, and you wouldn’t be late!”

Coworker #2: “Um, can I redeem these donuts for some job security?”

Boss: *sighs* “All right, fine.”

(Unfortunately, [Coworker #2] didn’t learn his lesson. Surprisingly, he hasn’t been fired yet. Almost every week is a donut party now!)