Time For Them To Vacate Their Position

, , , , , | Working | January 6, 2019

(I work at a local grocery store. It is the week before my big vacation. I’ve had planned it out almost eight months in advance and submitted my request off as soon as the plans were finalized. I go to the schedule to make sure I got the time off, but I notice that I have been scheduled several times over the course of my vacation days. Thinking there must have been some mistake, I go to the manager, who is in charge of making the schedules.)

Me: “Excuse me, [Manager]. I think there must have been a mistake in the schedule.”

Manager: “What do you mean? The schedule is correct.”

Me: “I requested off for this week and the one after it for my vacation, but I’ve been scheduled for both weeks!”

Manager: “You should have put your request in sooner, then.”

Me: “I put it in back in November. It’s July now.”

Manager: “Well, I don’t know what to say. Requests are not guaranteed no matter how early they are.”

Me: “But, Miss—“

Manager: *now yelling* “Listen, [My Name]! You have a job to do, and you’re going to do it. You will be present and in uniform for each and every shift during those two weeks or you will be fired! I don’t care how early you put your request in; they are, once again, only requests, not guarantees! If you don’t get your time off, you don’t get your time off! That is final! If I hear one more word on this matter, I will be writing you up for insubordination! NOW, GET BACK TO WORK!”

(I sheepishly head out of her office and to my register. For the next couple of hours, I am on the brink of tears. The owner notices and brings me to his office out of concern.)

Owner: “What’s wrong, [My Name]? Are you all right?”

Me: *trying hard not to cry* “I didn’t get my vacation.”

Owner: “I’m really sorry to hear. You did request it off, right?”

Me: “Yes, eight months in advance.”

Owner: “Well, I’m sorry, but if you didn’t get it, there’s nothing I—“ *pause* “Wait. Did you say eight months?”

Me: “Yes.”

Owner: “Okay, if no one else requested off before you, then you should have gotten that request approved. For you to make a request eight months in advance and not get it is just ridiculous, and I have no idea why [Manager] wouldn’t approve it.” *pause* “Unless…”

(He turns to his computer and begins looking something up. I suddenly see him scowl at the screen and then shake his head in disgust.)

Owner: “Yep. Just as I thought.”

Me: *nervous* “What?”

Owner: “Don’t worry about it. You can take your vacation.”

Me: “But [Manager] said I’d be fired if I didn’t show up!”

Owner: “You will not lose your job. I promise I will not allow you to be fired over this. You have my permission to take your vacation. In fact, I’ll give you tomorrow off to prepare. Why don’t you go take your break now? Go get some coffee and settle down a bit. I’ll deal with [Manager] myself.”

(I went to the break room and made myself a cup of coffee, while the owner called the manager to his office with a rather angry voice. As it turns out, the manager rejected my eight-months-pending vacation request to put forward her own last-minute vacation request. It wasn’t the first time she had done this, either. As punishment for her actions, the manager was written up and forced to cancel her vacation and work every shift that she had scheduled me for! She was very resentful and bitter to me when I returned from my vacation. Luckily, I didn’t have to put up with her for long, as she was fired a week later for forcing one of my coworkers to push carts in a thunderstorm.)

Sociopathy 101

, , , , | Learning | January 6, 2019

(I go to a very small, Catholic high school. It is so small that we would typically have class with the same people almost all day. In my sophomore year theology class, I am seated next to a girl who comes across as an airhead. She asks the dumbest questions and irritates the teachers, constantly raising her hand and not even waiting for the teacher to acknowledge her before yelling out another doozy of a question. One day, she’s agitating the — honestly, kind of a b**** — theology teacher so much that the teacher looks like she’s going to scream.)

Teacher: *blinking furiously* “[Girl], I need to get on with teaching! I can’t keep explaining this to you!” *turns around and starts writing angrily on the board*

Me: *rolling my eyes in frustration*

Classmate: *turns to me and whispers* “Do you think I can get her to cry?”

(I was so shocked I almost burst out laughing. Apparently, this girl was being annoying for entertainment purposes. As an adult, I wouldn’t find it funny anymore, even if the teacher was a fanatic and a jerk, but I definitely looked at her differently from then on, and it turned out, she was actually quite intelligent, and I definitely understand how hard it was to take a class seriously when the teacher’s opinion mattered more than anything else.)

He’s Always Mighty Proud To Say It

, , , , , , | Right | January 5, 2019

(I’m the troublemaker in this story. I’m seeing my foot and ankle specialist. I’m a diabetic with an advanced form of neuropathy known as Charcot Foot. This doctor has already rebuilt my left foot twice, so I’m visiting him to discuss what we’re going to do with the right foot.)

Me: *as he walks in* “Howdy, [Doctor’s abbreviated first name]!”

Doctor: *offering his hand* “Sir! How are you?”

Me: “We got trouble, my friend… right here in River City.”

Doctor: “Does it start with a capital T, that rhymes with P, that stands for ‘pool’?”

Me: “As a matter of fact, my problems start with S.”

Doctor: “S?”

Me: “Yeah. I got spurs, and they don’t jingle-jangle-jingle.”

Doctor: *glancing at my new x-rays, specifically the talus* “Yeah, I see them… and I doubt they let you ride merrily along.”

Time To Throw Them Some Shade

, , , , , | Working | January 3, 2019

(I have stopped at a chain pharmacy near my home. I need to pick up makeup for my mother. On my last trip, the manager told me he would order the shade I wanted. Today I overhear a new manager explaining to the cashier that the old manager was transferred to try to fix serious problems at another store. The new manager is covering until the old one comes back. The makeup is still not in stock. I select my other items and approach the cashier.)

Cashier: “Did you find everything today?”

Me: “No. [Old Manager] said he was going to try and get some [Brand] makeup in shade 1C. You still don’t have it.”

Cashier: “We have [Brand] makeup.” *wanders over to shelf*

Me: “Yes, but I need shade 1C. You don’t have it.”

Manager: “What seems to be the problem?”

Me: “[Old Manager] was going to try and get [Brand] 1C makeup for me. You still don’t have it.”

Manager: “Oh, I saw that order. I canceled it.”

Me: “Why?”

Manager: “Because we have [Brand] makeup in a lot of shades. We don’t need that one, as well.”

Me: “But he was ordering it especially for me. You even have a space on the shelf for it.”

Manager: *grabs a much darker shade* “We have 4C.”

Me: “Yes, and I’m sure that’s helpful for someone who needs 4C. I need 1C.”

Manager: “So, you don’t want this?”

Me: “No. Can you replace the order for the 1C?”

Manager: “No, I’m not going to stock that. We have plenty of other shades.”

Me: “Okay, I’ll get it at [Competitor], as well as everything else I need.” *turns to leave*

Cashier: “So, you don’t want this?” *points to items I left on the counter*

Me: “No, not anymore.”

Manager: “It’s racial, isn’t it?”

(I stared at him for a second. He’s the same race I am, but [Old Manager] is a minority in my area. I decided it wasn’t worth the effort, so I just walked out without answering. I’m really hoping [Old Manager] comes back soon.)

Writing You Up For When You Were Down

, , , , | Working | January 3, 2019

(After I wreck and roll my car down a hill, I spend a few weeks in the hospital for various injuries. In that time, my store manager is promoted and a new manager takes her place. On my first day back, the store manager calls me to the office over the store’s loudspeaker. I knock on the office door, where I can clearly see her playing Candy Crush on her phone. I wait a moment, then knock again. She glares at me through the window and whips open the door.)

Store Manager: “Yes?”

Me: “Uh, hi. I’m [My Name], the [department manager]. You wanted to see me?”

Store Manager: “Oh, you’re the one who’s been off.”

Me: “Yeah, I rolled my car and—“

Store Manager: “You’ve missed several shifts. Weeks of your responsibilities are backed up.”

Me: “I was in the hospital but I filed for a medical leave of absence with HR.”

Store Manager: “I saw.”

Me: “Okay… so… I’ll get started on my work then?”

Store Manager: “You left us in a deep hole.”

Me: “Right, sorry. Again, I rolled my car and I was in the hospital.”

Store Manager: “We had to pick up your slack while you were off.”

Me: “I’m not sure I would call being stuck in a hospital bed for several weeks being ‘off.’ and I thought you said all my work was backed up.”

Store Manager: “I did.”

Me: “Well, are we backed up or did people pick up my ‘slack’?”

Store Manager: “I don’t appreciate sarcasm. I’ll give you a pass this time, but if you plan on leaving us like that again, you’ll need to notify us.”

Me: “A pass? For being in the hospital?”

Store Manager: “I’ll be keeping an eye on you. Go get started on your work.”

(She turns away from me and I assume that is the end of the conversation. I leave the office, only to be called back over the loudspeaker about ten minutes later. I knock again and wait for her to finish what she is doing on the computer before opening the door.)

Me: “You called?”

Store Manager: “Have a seat.” *turns the computer screen toward me* “I’m writing you up. This is a formal reprimand I’ll need you to sign to acknowledge this conversation.”

Me: “Why?”

Store Manager: “You have a very unprofessional attitude.”

Me: “Uh, sorry? When?”

Store Manager: “How about the entire conversation we just had? Or not coming to work for [weeks] and expecting to just waltz back into your old job?”

Me: “I was on medical leave because I wrecked my car.”

Store Manager: “And that mindset right there — everyone should cater to you.”

Me: “We should probably call HR.”

Store Manager: “No need. You can just sign this paper acknowledging that we talked about your attitude.”

Me: “No.”

Store Manager: “Excuse me?”

Me: “No, I’m not signing anything. I wrecked my car, I was in the hospital, and I went through the proper channels. I did nothing wrong.”

Store Manager: “You know Pennsylvania is an at-will employment state, right? I can fire you at any time and right now, it looks like we’re headed that way.”

Me: “Yes, I know. I also know I can also file a lawsuit against you and [Company] for firing me after going on a medical leave that was previously approved by our HR department. And yes, I have every email and voicemail saved.”

Store Manager: *glares* “Get out of my office.”

(She never did write me up for my “attitude,” but she did keep a very close eye on me for several months. When she stopped showing up and our previous store manager returned, it came out that the other store manager was skimming from the registers and blaming cashiers for the loss, forcing them to accept reprimands or be fired.)

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