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A collection of stories curated from different subreddits, adapted for NAR.

When “Care Facilities” Don’t

, , , | Working | CREDIT: Anonymous by request | December 10, 2020

I work for an assisted living facility in my hometown, and facilities like these are notorious for overworking staff and lack of people.

I have been working in our memory care unit, and I finally get three days off after working twenty-eight days straight. Half of my shifts were sixteen hours long; the rest were ten to twelve hours. Mind you, I was only scheduled for eight hours a day, five days a week.

I am resting in bed at home on my second day off when I get a frantic call from my boss.

Boss: “Our entire evening shift staff just quit. All four of them. I need you to come in.”

That means it would be just me and a new trainee watching our nineteen residents.

Mind you, I would be passing medications, bathing, assisting with dinner, and training someone on their first day. So I’d practically be doing all of this on my own. With no breaks.

Me: “I’m sorry, but I’m really not feeling well. This is my second day off in a row after working nearly a month straight. I do not want to come in.”

She begs, and I finally acquiesce, but on the promise that she stays to work the rest of the shift, too, so I won’t be the only one doing the work of four people. She quickly agrees, and I get ready and head in. I don’t want my residents to suffer and they surely would if it was just my boss. She is insufferable and cruel.

About two hours into this shift, I overhear the new hire talking to our boss.

New Hire: “I am missing my daughter’s recital, and I’d really like to be there.

Boss: “You can go ahead and leave after [My Name] passes out dinner meds and dinner is given.”

The new hire quickly agrees.

I am pissed because we are about an hour out from dinner and none of the caregiving duties are fulfilled, as I am still working on a pass that wasn’t completed by the previous shift.

Well, time passes, and sure enough, the new hire leaves. None of the important caretaking tasks outside of medications and dinner are done. My boss is of little to no help and doesn’t have an endorsement from our nurse to pass medications.

Come 8:00 pm, I am in full swing, running between rooms to assist residents with all needs before bedtime while simultaneously giving their meds.

My boss, who has been sitting down the entire time, pipes up.

Boss: “I’m tired; am I going to be able to leave soon?”

Me: “I’d like to remind you that the only reason I came in was on the premise that I wouldn’t work alone.”

She keeps pressing me, and I finally snap at her.

Me: “I worked twenty-eight straight days, I have had one day of rest, and I have been left by myself on a shift more times than I could count on both hands. I want to go home, too. H***, I could have been home. I came in to take care of my people because nobody else will.”

But that isn’t enough.

Boss: *Quips* “I understand that, [My Name], but I’ve been here since nine this morning. That’s twelve hours.”

I am so done. I finally look at her and say:

Me: “If you can let me finish my med pass, I will let you leave.”

Boss: “How long?”

Me: “I still have six rooms to finish.”

Boss: “Okay.”

I took up the entire rest of the night before the next shift came in, going as I had been before my boss piped in. I even got my showers in.

She was sitting down still, not saying a word as I moseyed along, giving my residents their medicines, brushing their teeth, and finishing up new briefs and bedclothes. She didn’t say a word.

I texted my resignation to the head administrator and reported the facility to the authorities the next day.

All Aboard The Stupid Tax Train

, , , , | Right | CREDIT: loveyourfruits | December 10, 2020

When I am a teenager, I work at a party centre for kids’ birthday parties.

I am calculating the bill for a customer who initially chose a package that cost $500.00, plus tax. On the day of the party, he has fewer children show up than the package maximum, so I decided to switch him to a lower package that was only $200.00, plus tax. He didn’t lose any services or items or anything, and he’s paying at the end of the party, so the only thing that is happening is that he is getting a cheaper price for the same party.

When he comes to pay:

Me: “Hello, sir. Since you ended up having fewer children than expected, I’ve automatically downgraded your package to save you some money.”

I show him the difference. He begins arguing with me.

Customer: “What?! I want the package I asked for! I don’t want a downgrade!”

I think he is confused, so I explain again.

Me: “Literally nothing has changed except that you are getting a better price, sir. The party is over now, so it’s not like we can take anything away from you.”

He just kept arguing with me, though, that he wanted the higher package. The third time he complained, I was about to explain it to him again, but then I thought… why do I care? It’s not my money, and I won’t keep fighting this guy on why he should save the money. So, I charged him for the higher package and took the difference as a tip for myself.

Always, Always, ALWAYS Get It In Writing

, , , , | Working | CREDIT: gaarmstrong318 | December 9, 2020

I exclusively ride motorbikes; I have not got a car license. I work at a company that holds a yearly sales briefing that is mandatory for any team that is related to the sales process, even tangentially. I am in one of these peripheral teams.

On the morning of the meeting, which is held in the same town as the work and around forty minutes’ drive from home, I have to go pick up fuel before coming to work. When I get to the petrol station, I notice that the engine is getting far too hot. I look down and see that the bike is leaking coolant all over the road. I walk the bike to the side of the road and start letting it cool.

I call up HR and make them aware of the issue.

Me: “I have unused holiday time; please use it to cover my hours.”

I also fire emails off to my boss and HR and send my boss a text. I get on the phone and get talking to my normal garage who says they can pick me home up around 11:00; it’s now 7:30. I say that’s fine; I’ll get the bus to them, drop the keys off, and head home. As I’m about to leave my boss rings me.

Boss: “You must attend the meeting today, or else you will face the consequences.”

Me: “I can’t make it in because of the issues with my bike that I’ve already explained to HR. The only option I have is to ride the bike to the garage, which is very dangerous for the bike and for me.”

Boss: “Just be here.”

And he hangs up. I ring HR and they say they will talk to him. But around fifteen minutes later, they ring back.

HR Director: “I’m sorry, but no. You have to turn up for this meeting, no matter the cost or risk.”

Me: “I’ll need you to put that in writing. If I damage my bike in the process, will you be willing to cover my costs?”

They reluctantly agree. After the email agreeing to my terms comes through, I say:

Me: “Great! Yes, [HR Director], I will do my best to get there.”

It’s a six-mile ride to the bike shop, so I fire the bike up and head over there. The engine overheats to the point that it seizes completely. I drop it off. I ask the shop worker to fix any issue with the bike that could possibly come from my trip here, with a wink.

Worker: “Sure! I’ll be extra vigilant for any damage.”

And he sends me on my way. By this point, it’s 9:45. I’m boiling hot and sweaty as h***.

I realise that I can’t go home to change. I get the train from my city to the town I work in. While I’m on the train, someone carelessly knocks my bike helmet off the luggage and cracks it. I arrive at the briefing venue just in time for the 12:00 start of the sales briefing.

I get to the venue in full bike gear, boots, trousers, and jacket, carrying my gloves, broken helmet, backpack. I stink of sweat, and I am peeved off and annoyed.

The HR director walks up.

HR Director: “What the h*** are you playing at? Why are you not in a business suit?

This is in the lobby of a hotel with all the other staff milling around, so I say with a loud, angry voice:

Me: “Gee, I don’t know! Maybe my bike broke down and needs serious repairs! Maybe I’ve had some b*****d smash my helmet! Maybe I had a knobhead of a manager tell me I had to turn up to a meeting to watch of the sales team walk all over each other and the other teams and congratulate themselves! Maybe it’s because I’m going to sit there and do nothing, and I could have been fixing my bloody bike!”

I storm off to the meeting room, strip out of my bike gear, and sit down in civvies throughout the entire meeting, daydreaming of going home. As soon as it finishes, I get up and leave, literally walking past everyone and ignoring the lot of them.

I end up calling in sick the rest of the week as I’ve caught a fever and can’t be a***d to come in. My doctor says my stress isn’t helping.

During that week, the bike shop calls me.

Worker: “The bike will cost around £3,000 to fix, including new engine, gearbox, chain, and sprockets, both tyres, and a new rear wheel.”

Me: “Can you send me an itemised bill? My workplace is going to compensate me.”

The shop dutifully does so, and I forward the bill to HR, along with my receipt for new bike gear as pretty much all of mine was ruined — helmet £200, jacket £100, trousers £100, boots £200, and gloves £100.

I receive a curt email back.

HR Representative: “Why are you telling us? These are your bills.”

I attach the email from the HR director saying they would cover all costs incurred if my bike or I were damaged or hurt post breakdown getting it to the shop.

Me: “Since none of the damage would have occurred if I could have let them pick up the bike, and if you had let me have the day off, it’s all on you. If you refuse to pay, as was agreed to, I will go to a solicitor and get them to look into it.”

During a two-hour marathon meeting, my manager argues that I knew the meeting was on and should have had alternate arrangements in place.

Me: “So you told me to walk or ride a bike you knew to be dangerous down a busy main road? Are you serious? Are you even aware of how dangerous that is?”

HR told me to go home as things were stressed. I did. The next day, we all had a meeting where they basically caved. The HR representative revealed that they had asked the company solicitor after I left. The solicitor basically told HR that they’d agreed to pay the costs and damage, so if they backed out, they would have a hard time defending it if I went to my own solicitor; they knew about the damage to the bike before they told me to ride it and they knew what could have happened.

Moral of the story: be careful what you order your staff to do.

Impracticality Straight Out Of The 1950s

, , , , | Working | CREDIT: all_powerful_acorn | December 9, 2020

I am rather new to the IT industry. I have been out of college for about a year and am looking for a more full-time or professional position. I apply for a position at an auction and publishing company. Before I even get the interview lined up, I have to take an hour-long knowledge test and an hour-long programming skills test. After that, I get an in-person interview. I am instructed to arrive an hour early and I had about a two-hour drive to get to the location.

I’m a woman, so I wear nice black pants, a button-up shirt, and a blazer over it, kind of like a relaxed women’s suit. When I finally get into the interview, I am getting strange vibes from the interviewer. We get through some questions, and then she loudly sighs.

Interviewer: “Is this how you usually dress?”

I am visibly shocked because I am dressed professionally.

Me: “What do you mean?

Interviewer: “All women are required to wear dresses, knee-length or a bit longer.”

I laugh, thinking she is joking. She doesn’t react.

Me: “Is that the policy for the sales floor?”

They do a lot of in-person sales, so I could kind of understand this policy for them.

Interviewer: “No. That’s for everyone. If you work here, you must wear a dress every day.”

This is an IT job that includes quite a bit of dirty work, like running wire under raised floors — quite a bit of crawling around.

The interviewer seems offended that I would question this policy.

Interviewer: “To look professional, all women must wear dresses. Pants make women look tall and less feminine.”


I just kind of go along with the rest of the interview and ask the receptionist about it as I am leaving. It isn’t just this interviewer.

Receptionist: “Yes, that is the company policy. We even get lectured if our dresses are too long or too short; they must be around knee-length. And the dresses must be paired with heels. The only exception is if you’re pregnant.”

This was in a midwestern US state, so yes, they had to wear dresses and heels when it was cold and snowy. No exceptions, except for pregnancy.

I was so glad I didn’t get a call back from that place.

In hindsight, I should have raised more of a fuss with the interviewer, but I was young and still had the idea that if I said something wrong, it could ruin my career.

Since then, I’ve gotten a Master’s in cybersecurity and I now have a job that I love. It was so refreshing to go into a field where employers are excited to hire me and treat it as an opportunity for both of us instead of just a “privilege for me to work for them.”

This story is part of our International Women’s Day roundup!

Read the next International Women’s Day roundup story!

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Someone’s Going To Pay For This

, , , , , | Working | CREDIT: typhaona | December 9, 2020

I have a nine-to-five salaried job with overtime pay. I’m living in Europe, and in my country, this is the standard. The job is okay and the colleagues and the working environment are nice. Even my boss is competent and nice. My office has a fluid attendance, where we only HAVE to be there during the core times — 10:00 am to 2:00 pm — but can work whenever we want to, as long as we do our 38.5 hours a week.

I’m not a morning person, so I regularly come in shortly before 10:00 am; therefore, I have to stay later. No problem, because during the core time, I still can talk about important things with the others, and in the evening, I just write emails. I always do my work and get no complaints.

My boss, on the other hand, is a lark and is there at 7:45 sharp every day. One of my jobs is being an assistant to her for many little things, but it has clear limitations, so it is more like general assistance to my small department. And even though she KNOWS I will come in to be ready to work at 10:00 am, she calls me several times a week at 9:00 am on my way to work to talk about the plans for the day. Those calls last between fifteen and twenty-five minutes and are like a stand-up meeting, only she is drinking her coffee and I am not really awake yet. (No worries; I use public transport.)
She starts with this only after I am several months in and it gets worse over time, until she calls me every single day on my way to work, while I actually want to read my books and slowly ease myself into a working mode. It gets so bad that I always wear my headset so my arm won’t get tired while phoning.

Over the months, I try several times to raise her awareness that I do not actually like this and that it maybe could wait until I get there, but she never understands and calls them “just a jour fixe.” This is French for “fixed day” and is a short regular meeting about the status quo. Team members report how far they are and what their next job is.

Maybe I am too friendly about it, but I’ve learned from experience with previous bosses that they are not happy about criticism. When I try to leave a little earlier because of the extra time in the morning, she gets wind of that.

Boss: “You need to work your full hours, because those jour fixes are just phone calls.”

Then, I try to roll my cadaver out of bed earlier, so the call at 9:00 am will count as work time, but I am groggy all day and it hurts my productivity. And I swear to God, after a week, my boss starts calling me even earlier, again on my way to work! When I try to send her to the mailbox, she calls me several times, as if it was an emergency just to talk about the plans of the day, her agenda, and some to-dos for me — which I already know about. I just give up and it still wrecks my nerves. Until…

One day, I have an actual important question that cannot wait, but my boss is already gone for the day. I write an email. She does not answer for an hour. Then, once, I call her during her time off, because this thing really needs to be done today. It is quite short, but she ends the call with:

Boss: “Just for the future: I don’t like to be called during my time off, so please ask me while I am still at work.”

And then she just hangs up.

That is it. From that day on, I write up those calls as working time. We log our time in Excel sheets that I have to convert to the appropriate salary forms at the end of the month, so my boss does not see them. I have an hour a week of extra overtime, so at least I get paid for that.

Then, at the end of the next month, I have several days on which I work longer than the legally allowed maximum work hours per day. I fill out the forms at the end of the month, having several days in red, and send them to HR. They know this is a problem because the fines are quite hefty if the bureau of finances sees that. First, they ask me what those irregular times each morning are and tell me to answer my emails in the office, so this will not happen again. When I tell them what those weird times were and what I tried, they become very polite and end the call pretty quickly.

During the call from the boss the next morning:

Boss: “I have a meeting with HR today. I assume it’s just about some new laws.”

She comes back from the meeting red in the face. HR seems to have ripped her a new one.

Boss: *Sheepishly* “Are those morning calls really such a hassle for you?”

And FINALLY, she listens when I tell her that I am quite groggy in the morning and that an email would suffice because I generally know my to-dos. If she wants jour fixes, I will happily have them while AT work and with my own coffee.

To end this on a happy note: we got along nicely after that, and I could talk a little bit more openly with her. She still liked her jour fixes, but we did them at 10:00 am, when I had arrived at work and was actually awake.