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Everything’s Falling Apart!

, , , , , , | Working | April 27, 2022

My old manager decided to leave, which left our store in the weeds. We’ve had a succession of five temporary managers since, none of which have lasted more than two months, one of which ended up having a heart attack… again.

As we’ve also had five people out for various reasons, we’ve been majorly understaffed. [Temporary Manager #6] realises quite quickly that he needs a team leader to cover some more evening shifts, as he is down to only one associate, and company policy states that we can’t be open unless at least two staff are on site.

Cue stupid, gullible ol’ me.

Temporary Manager #6: “Can you do some overtime for me this Thursday, [My Name]?”

Me: “Um, I’m not sure, [Temporary Manager #6]. I’ve got a lot of coursework to work on…”

Temporary Manager #6: “Come on. If you don’t, I’ll end up working six days this week. And open and closing. You have to do it.”

I have to, [Temporary Manager #6]? Really? But those extra five hours of pay would cover my trains to and from Uni for around two weeks, so I give in. After all, it’s only a Thursday in Britain! There’s no lottery, it’s not payday, and it’s not a huge night for beer runs, general theft, or teenage shenanigans. This may all be true, but I make one fatal mistake.

Me: “Is it always this quiet on a Thursday, [Coworker]?”

Yes. I DARED to utter the immortal jinx. A little before 9:00 pm, I’ve dragged the entire store, I’ve started facing up, and I’ve even got waste done nice and early. All that is left is general closing, scratchcard and lotto counts, papers, and a quick clean, with two hours to go.

Coworker: “As we’re ahead of schedule, do you mind if I run out for a quick cig?”

Me: “Sure! No problem. I’ll cover tills; you go ahead.”

Fast forward two minutes.

Coworker: “Ummm, [My Name]! What happened out here?”

Me: *Puzzled* “What’s wrong?”

I’ve already emptied the bins, put away overs, and done the washing up the earlier shift forgot to do (as freaking usual).

Coworker: “I think you need to look at this.”

I go out to the biggest OMG scenario I’ve ever encountered. Part of our CEILING has FALLEN DOWN!

Now, our building is only around twenty-five years old. However, since I started three years ago, I’ve noticed that the plaster on one of the main beams out back seemed to be cracked. It’s a bit concerning; when it rains, as it tends to do during the good ol’ English winter, we have a fairly bad leak from that crack. Apparently, it’s been like that for at least five years, but [Old Manager]’s predecessor never bothered to call it in, and no one since has either noticed or cared.

In the weeks leading up to this night, we actually flooded in our stockroom on three separate occasions. Last Sunday, we ended up calling a company with an industrial vacuum to come and get rid of the water — only AFTER a box of eight wine bottles fell and smashed on my foot while I tried to sweep the water out by my lonesome.

As you can understand, I am a little panicked. The freaking CEILING is on the FLOOR. A metal beam is exposed. A metal bracket has fallen. One of our security cameras is hanging by a single wire, next to a sheet of wet plaster that is still dripping on our floor.

Me: “Er, [Coworker], can you get back on tills? I need to call this in.”

I call eight. Different. Numbers. No one picks up. Literally, no one! [Temporary Manager #6] didn’t leave his contact details, we have no deputy manager, our alarm company won’t pick up, our insurance emergency numbers don’t call back after I leave three messages on their answerphone, our area manager’s phone goes straight to voicemail — nothing!

I end up calling [Team Leader], who is a bit rough around the edges but really has a heart of gold and is very protective of us girls.

Team Leader: “I’m sorry, I’ve been drinking. Just keep calling numbers and keep me updated. Whatever you do, don’t touch anything. Make sure you and [Coworker] are safe. And keep trying to call numbers.”

Me: “Do I have permission to lock up? I know it’s about an hour and a half until closing, but I’m worried that another part of the ceiling is going to come down on us.”

We’ve had several leaking panels on the shop floor since before I started, a few of which have crumbled and fallen.

Team Leader: “If you try to shut early, that’ll be gross misconduct and your butt will be fired.”

I go back to the list of numbers. It’s a quarter past ten by the time someone finally calls me back.

Security Camera Dude: “So, yeah… No one can come out until at least Monday. You should close the shop and make sure customers are safe.”

“Great,” I think!

Security Camera Dude: “Oh, wait! I’m just looking at the security feed. Is that your stockroom?”

Me: “Yes. I said this like an hour ago.”

Security Camera Dude: “Oh. In that case, just clean it up. Someone will be over Monday.”

Me: “Wait. Clean it up? No, no, no. I’ve been advised by [Team Leader] not to touch it. I can see a security camera still plugged in, hanging by a single cable, on wet plaster. I’m not touching it.”

Security Camera Dude: “You have to.”

Me: “No. No, I don’t. It’s not safe.”

In the end, they agree to send someone out immediately to look at the ceiling and reattach the camera. I call [Team Leader] back, who is now angry with me. She goes on a rant.

Team Leader: “Why didn’t you just tell them to wait until Monday?!”

As I’m not a keyholder, apparently I can’t stay to deal with the repair guys being sent around. So now, [Team Leader] is mad that she has to come in.

By the time I finally get to go home at half-eleven, the area manager calls us back. I hear [Team Leader] trying to defend me, as [Area Manager] wants to somehow blame ME for what’s happened.

Do you want to know the real gem, though? I come in for my long shift on Saturday, only to run into [Temporary Manager #6]. He wants to hear the whole story from me. I tell him.

Temporary Manager #6: “Oh, well, you should have just cleaned it up. It’s not like it would have hurt you if it had hit you, anyway.”

WAIT A MINUTE! Who says something like that to their employee? I was so shocked that I couldn’t really think of how to respond.

It turns out that I only missed being hit by the ceiling by less than a minute. The lady who trained me showed me the security footage. If I hadn’t gone out to let [Coworker] off for a quick cigarette break, I would have been out back tidying the stockroom when it came down.

I know it wouldn’t have done a huge amount of damage in all likelihood, but it still could have hurt me. Metal fell, along with wet plaster, all of which was touching electrics. We never were told if they were damaged or not, but we did see a few plug sockets right by the crash site being taped over the following week.

Really. In this day and age, where the lawsuit is more common than chocolate, who practically dismisses their employees’ safety like that?

Get This Weird Convo On Tape

, , , , , | Working | April 20, 2022

We work for a security team that remotely monitors the locations of a large local business. Since it is 2022, this monitoring is done through DVRs and NVRs that link to the computers in our office. Today, we got this call from someone regarding one of our store locations.

Caller: “Hello? Is this [Company] security?”

Me: “Hello? Yes, how can I help you?”

Caller: “I am calling from [Store Location]. I was wondering what the process was for changing the tapes in our security system.”

Me: “The… changing… I’m sorry, ma’am, I don’t follow. Are you talking about the site’s security cameras?”

Caller: “Yes, I can’t figure out how to change out the tapes.”

Me: “The… tapes…”

Caller: “Yes, the VHS tapes.”

Me: “Are… can you verify the address for [location] for me, please?”

She verified the address.

Me: “And you are referring to the cameras that we monitor here at [Building]? The main cameras?”

She said yes and listed off the cameras by their on-screen ID numbers which were also visible on my side.

Me: “Ma’am, the system is digital. It doesn’t use any type of media storage.”

Caller: “I know. That’s why I’m not sure where the tapes are.”

Me: “No, ma’am, there are no tapes. The footage is stored on devices called SSDs.”

Caller: “So, the tapes are in the SSDs? How do I access that?”

Me: “No, there are no tapes.”

Caller: “What do you mean, there are no tapes? It’s a security camera.”

Me: “Ma’am, what is your position in [Company]?”

Caller: “Never you mind that.”

Me: “Can I please speak to [Manager]?”

Caller: “Who is that?”

Me: “What do you… Who is this?

Caller: “Does he have the tapes?”

Me: “What?”

Caller: “Who has the tapes?”

I hung up the phone at this point and called the direct number for the manager. 

Manager: “Hi, [My Name].”

Me: “Hi, do you know anything about someone trying to change the tapes in the security camera system?”

Manager: “Tapes? The thing hasn’t used tapes since 2000.”

Me: “I am aware, but a woman called and—”

Manager: “I told her to change the tape, not the tapes, as in the tape we use for packing, for God’s sa—”

The call dropped. I could only assume he hung up on me to get his employee before she decided to start touching the DVR system. 

It was a strange thing to happen not more than a minute and a half into my shift.

H2-D’oh! Part 9

, , , , , | Right | April 20, 2022

I work in airport security (TSA to Americans).

Me: “You can’t take in that, ma’am, it’s liquid.”

Passenger: “It’s not liquid, it’s water!”

You won’t believe how many times people say that!

H2-D’oh!, Part 8

H2-D’oh!, Part 7
H2-D’oh!, Part 6
H2-D’oh!, Part 5
H2-D’oh!, Part 4


, , , , , , , | Working | April 18, 2022

I work as a security guard in an office building that is owned by a large local bank. Recently, the bank has been in the process of switching from their old computer software to a new one, which means that branch and facility employees have been converging on the site I work on for training on the new system.

Usually, these training classes only take place on weekdays, and the building is empty on weekends aside from the other guard, me, and some network people.

This week they decided to do training on Saturday. I knew this because I checked everyone in. But due to being tired, I totally forgot about it by the time 2:00 pm rolled around — hour eight of my twelve-hour shift.

Me: “Dude, I am crashing for some reason. I’m going to go get me a cup of coffee from the cafeteria.”

Partner: “All right.”

I moved to the cafeteria. More to keep myself awake than anything, I start talking to myself, starting a monologue with myself about beans, bean water, coffee bean water, haha bean water.

This conversation continued until I proudly kicked the swinging doors to the cafeteria open and yelled, “BEAN WATER!” and successfully violently startled the twelve employees that weren’t supposed to be there.

Me: “Oh, hi…”

Employees: “…”

Me: “Uhh, coffee is bean water. I came for coffee.”

Employees: “…”

Me: “I’m going to go do that.”

I slid my way over to the coffee brewer, poured my cup, and then slid back out again.

This is why training is supposed to be Monday through Friday.

When Coworking Is Not Working, Part 2

, , , , , , | Working | April 4, 2022

The most entitled jerk I ever endured was a coworker of mine. He was an older gentleman that worked the night shift with me prior to my assignment as the supervisor of the lower valley, he had days where he was the best guy to be with and then days where he was just mean for no reason.

 I distinctly remember one time I was on patrol, and I noticed that the mountain ridge had reignited (there had been a fire earlier in the day). I radioed him and told him to call 911 and get the local fire department down to the site since I was in the valley and didn’t have reliable phone service.

Coworker: “Oh, no, I don’t want to call 911, you call 911, I’ll just open the gate.”

And then he hangs up on me then won’t pick the phone up again.

It took an additional fifteen minutes to get a fire response to the property because I had to go looking for phone service, but that’s just a teaser, a little taste. Here’s the main story:

One day I end up on the shift preceding my coworker. At 10 pm he rolls in to relieve me, I issue the posting equipment to his partner for the night and then wait for him to come up to my car and get the patrol equipment from me. I am parked in the designated on-camera area where we pass this equipment down in. He is outside of it.

Me: “[Coworker], I have the keys and the phone here for you.”

Coworker: “Well, I’m over here.”

There is a pause.

Me: “Yes… come and get the equipment.”

Coworker: “No, I’m over here.”

Me: “What?”

Other Guard: “…?”

Coworker: “I said I’m over here.”

Me: “Yes… but you have to come and get the… equipment, [Coworker].”

Coworker: “No, I’m over here.”

The other guard and I exchange looks.

Me: “[Coworker], come get your equipment. We have to complete the pass down.”

Coworker: “Well then I guess we can’t complete the pass down.”

Me: “[Coworker] you can either get the equipment or you can leave the property and I’ll work your shift.”

Coworker: “Well, I’m over here.”

Other Guard: “We need to pass down on camera, [Coworker], you know this.”

My coworker didn’t reply. I place the equipment down on my car and unfortunately, it slides off and hits the floor. My coworker goes ballistic, leaping from his vehicle and accusing me of throwing it at him and threatening him.

He then walks off the property and grabs a Honolulu Police Department officer that was chilling in our closed driveway exit lane doing his paperwork (common because we allow them to do this at night) and tells the police officer that I was threatening him and threw the equipment at him.

The officer was literally going to try to arrest me but my car was running and my dashboard camera was recording. Since my windows were down it caught everything.

I told the officer I could show him the footage but once I mentioned it he shook his head and told us that it sounded like an internal problem and left.

My coworker chased after him demanding his name, badge number, supervisor, everything since he didn’t do anything about the situation.

The officer told him that he didn’t care, he was a common visitor to our property and since I was usually on the day shift he knew me well enough to know that I wouldn’t do what he was claiming and the fact that I offered camera footage sealed the deal in his mind.

My coworker came back in and I told him to gather his equipment or to leave. He took the equipment and flew into the property almost slamming into the shack and the main gates.

I filed an official complaint with every… single… person above me and included the full dash camera footage.

My coworker only got a write-up.

I found out later that this was to be his revenge for me taking the first set of patrols the night before. I worked with the man for the next two years until he finally got himself eliminated for refusing to stop feeding the stray cats on the property which was causing issues for our tenants as he was leading them into their areas. When property management ordered him to stop, he yelled at them and that was it.

Man tries to get me falsely arrested ON CAMERA and gets a write-up.

He yells at the poor property manager about cat food and gets terminated.

When Coworking Is Not Working