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Micromanage My Hours And You’ll Regret It For Months

, , , , , , , | Working | September 12, 2022

This happened just before I quit my last job, some four years ago. I was working with the largest IT company in my country. It is known for being employee-friendly, with very relaxed working hours and good perks and emoluments (pay). However, the delivery head of our project (our boss) had a totally different outlook.

Officially, we were supposed to work from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, but nobody stressed about it because clocking in a total of forty-five hours a week was the only compliance required. (Yes, in India, that is a rather lenient number.) Personally, I liked to work until late, since there was less traffic while returning home, so I’d go to work by 10:00 or 10:30. The client never used to bother us before 11:00. That’s not very disciplinary on my part, I know, but that was the general trend in that company.

This boss guy suddenly decided to become draconian about punctuality with office hours. He declared that everyone was expected to be at their workstations by 9:00.” Nonetheless, all of us complied saying, “If forty-five hours is the only rule, so be it.”

In my team, I was the last person to leave every day, so I had voluntarily taken up a few extra technical responsibilities that needed to be addressed only after everyone signed off and after the client was done for the day (which was never before 8:00). As you can guess, it immediately became chaotic when I began arriving at 9:00 and leaving at 6:00 every day.

Needless to say, the boss was helplessly out of his wits and had to stay back himself most of the nights for a week to wrap up the closing tasks. (He always used to leave by 6:00 before this.) He was neither much acquainted with the standard operating procedures nor could he gather aid from any of his staff, so he really found himself in a mess.

They could’ve simply reinstated our work hours. Instead, this is what they did one fine evening.

Boss: “Why are you leaving now?”

Me: “I’m done for the day. It’s 6:30 already.”

Boss: “Who will do the [technical responsibilities]?”

Me: “But then I’d have to stay for another two hours.”

Boss: “Okay, let’s see. During the last one month, you have come to work after 10:00 every day. That’s twenty to twenty-two hours of deficiency.”

I couldn’t decide if I should laugh or be infuriated at his nonsensical statement.

Me: “But I’ve worked until 8:30 pm every day, so not only is that incorrect, but I’ve actually worked twenty to twenty-two hours more, for which I should claim overtime payment.”

Boss: “Then why didn’t you? Anyway, that’s a separate topic altogether. Starting tomorrow, you’re either coming an hour early or staying an hour late, for a whole month, to compensate for your deficiency.”

This called for some malicious compliance!

At that time, I was preparing for another high-paying job in the government sector that required an immensely tough competitive exam to be cleared, for which I needed to put a lot of effort and time into studying and researching. The exams were due in a month and I was struggling as I used to get home late. So, I saw this as the optimal opportunity — a “kill two birds with a stone” situation. I decided to comply.

I began to clock in at 8:00 every day and study and research vigorously for an hour without any disturbance as nobody came in at 8:00, using the company’s Internet, printer, stationeries, and whatever other utilities were required. I managed to begin my workday by 9:00. For a whole month, I fueled my exam preparation from the company’s resources. And yes, I claimed full overtime payment, too!

To be honest, a lot of times, I used to feel guilty about this, but the pleasure I got from submitting my resignation letter after I got the job I was preparing for was a wholesome, out-of-this-world feeling!

A couple of months after I left, I was catching up with some old coworkers. The state of my team, I came to learn, was sad.

I had been working as the UI Team Lead and also a secondary Database Admin. Following my resignation, the DBA had to immediately hire a replacement. Another coworker had followed suit within three weeks of my quitting because of the boss’s strict time adherence policy. As for my UI team, the last I heard, they had split up the team in two, promoted two employees from each team to take charge of the respective teams, and hired two interns as permanent employees. That did cost the company, but in hindsight, my quitting generated employment, however minuscule it was!

They Start Out So Normal…

, , , , , , | Right | CREDIT: rottingplace | September 11, 2022

I work in a department store. A customer came in, and we talked for a little while when she first got there. I was working on organizing some clothes in the same area she was looking in. She seemed really sweet and didn’t have me thinking much about her at first.

I left to go to the bathroom and get another clothes rack, which took me about thirty minutes. (I got distracted.) When I came back to my little area, she was still looking in the same rack of T-shirts. I thought it was really weird, but I left her alone.

About an hour later, my coworker came up to me.

Coworker: “Who’s that woman you were talking to? Why has she been in here for so long?”

Me: “I don’t know; she just started talking to me.”

But since we were both feeling suspicious, I went ahead and told my manager so he could watch the customer.

She literally shopped for over four hours, looking at every single rack and randomly picking stuff out to put in her buggy. She accumulated a massive pile (just for us to put back up later). Every time customer service called the warning, “We close in [time] minutes! Get out!” she kept shopping. We were all getting aggravated at that point.

Then, she came flying past me down the aisle, two minutes before we closed saying she had to use the restroom. To be honest, I didn’t know what to say, so I just let her go, hoping she would be quick and leave. I was wrong.

This woman came out five minutes later, squatted on the ground to pick up a penny, got up, and started walking toward the front. Then, she turned RIGHT BACK AROUND and headed toward our drink and snack machines.

We were pissed, so we followed her back there to tell her to get out… and she LITERALLY DISAPPEARED RIGHT BEFORE OUR EYES. We started freaking out.

Coworker: “What the f*** just happened?! Where did she go?!”

We didn’t hear any doors open (to the bathrooms, storage, or the breakroom/office), and there was nowhere for her to go. We looked for this woman for like forty-five minutes with a police officer, and we were finally starting to give up.

The store manager actually pulled up the camera footage for the police officer to look at, so I walked him back there to the office. We passed by the drink machines, and the officer stopped and looked at them really weirdly.

Me: “What do you see, sir?”

Then, I saw it, too. The woman had pulled the entire machine and garbage can away from the wall and hidden behind them. We would have never found her if I hadn’t walked the officer through there!

Officer: *To the woman* “What are you doing?!”

She ended up being arrested for possession of a particularly hard drug.

Were You Communicating Via Carrier Pigeon?!

, , , , , , | Right | September 11, 2022

On May 5th, I sent the following message to a client.

Me: “I can begin on the project immediately. Based on the scope of the work to be done, I need until the 30th to complete everything.”

Client: “Let me check with my boss to make sure that timeline works for us.”

I didn’t hear from the client again until May 22nd, when I received the following message.

Client: “Great news! You can have until the 30th!”

A Lot Can Change In A Couple Of Years

, , , , | Right | September 9, 2022

I had a prospective client approach me in 2010 for some freelance writing projects. We exchanged a few emails and I never heard from her again.

In May of 2012, I got an email from her.

Client: “Sorry for the delay on this. I’m ready for you now.”

Surely Your New Spouse Won’t Mind

, , , | Right | September 5, 2022

I’m a web developer. A client’s website was done, but she hadn’t told me when she wanted the site to go live.

Me: “I haven’t heard from you in a while. Do you know when you want the site to go up?”

Client: “Hi! We still don’t know exactly, but it should be around the end of the month. I’ll get back to you with the exact date!”

Me: “Just to let you know, I’m getting married on the first, so I won’t be available on the last day of the month. Any time before that will work great for me.”

Client: “Congratulations! So, we talked it over and we’d like it to go up on the evening of the first. Will that work?”

Me: “You mean my wedding night?”

Client: “Is that possible?”