Self-Insufficient

, , , , , , , , | Working | June 22, 2018

After a buyout, I’ve been temporarily acting as manager of a large group of employees. I’ve separated them into two groups, and each is coming to spend a week training at our headquarters. In preparation, I set up Google documents page with the training schedules, training reference information, maps, lists of contacts, information about the hotel, forms for travel reimbursement, and local information such as taxi services and restaurants. I then email each employee their specific plane tickets and hotel check-in information.

As I am in a supervisory role, this is not my job, but I choose to do this to make my employees’ training easier. Their point of contact for travel is a secretary at headquarters.

Almost immediately, I get the calls from people unwilling to glance through the documents that were provided. Two employees are specifically difficult.

[Employee #1] calls for every question on his trip. He has chosen to rent a car, and expects me to stay on the line with him and give him turn-by-turn directions around the town where the headquarters are located. Each time I tell him to use his company-issued phone for GPS, but he keeps calling. He also emails every morning asking me his daily training schedule. In response, I just keep re-forwarding the initial email with a note that information was already provided.

[Employee #2] just doesn’t read anything. He is scheduled to train with the second group, but having not read the email, doesn’t know that. Instead, he assumes he will be in the first group, books his own flight, and flies out to headquarters. I don’t realize there is an issue until he fails to show up at work on Monday. Then, I get a furious phone call from him complaining that he isn’t booked for a hotel. The secretary at headquarters manages to rearrange things so he can join training that week, but he takes to calling me for any question he might have. Over six days, this amounts to 49 different phone calls. Each has a question that was already answered in the initial email, or is local information he could easily Google.

Afterwards, the company brings on the permanent replacement manager. About a month later, the company decides to make cuts, and I am asked to work with this new manager to decide who will stay. After discussing our experiences, we decide that both [Employee #1] and [Employee #2] show the same lack of attention to detail and zero self-sufficiency in their normal workday that they displayed during the trip.

When they are let go, they have to turn in their phones. I know I made the right choice when I find out I was listed as “Queen Bitch” on [Employee #1]’s contacts!

Are You Puli-ng My Leg?

, , , , , | Working | June 22, 2018

(I own a Puli, an uncommon breed of dog known for its coat texture. They aren’t born with that coat; it takes about a year for the cords to form, and for a few months while the coat is in “transition,” they look like a shaggy, curly-tailed poodle in dire need of a haircut. I am used to having people who work with animals immediately know about the breed and be so glad to get a chance to see one in real life. I have just moved to a new area and am seeing a new vet for the first time, as I think she might be getting an ear infection. The technician calls me into an exam room and starts asking the basic questions, ending with:)

Tech: “…[Dog] sure looks like she could use a haircut!”

(My dog is about eight months old, and very much in the transition stage.)

Me: “Yeah, at this age they do look terrible, but in a few months it’ll be much better.”

Tech: “Do you even brush her?”

Me: “No, that’s not how the coat works.”

(I get ready to give the usual brief overview of how the cords are formed and the work that goes into the coat at this stage, but the vet walks in right then.)

Tech: “Okay, I’m going to take [Dog] to the treatment room and get her weight and vitals.”

(The tech leaves, and the vet starts the usual conversation with professionals of, “Oh, wow, I’ve never really seen one, so that’s what they look like young, etc.” This goes on for a while; I don’t think anything is strange, because at our previous vet whenever [Dog] went into the treatment area, the whole staff had to come and see her. I can hear the sound of clippers turning on in the back, and think it must be another patient getting a haircut. Then, the doctor runs out of stuff to talk about and says:)

Vet: “Well, I’ll go back and see if I can rescue [Dog] from her new fan club so we can start the exam.”

(He opens the door to treatment and screams:)

Vet: “OH, MY GOD! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TWO DOING?!” *turns back to me* “I am so sorry; I really don’t know what to say. This is inexcusable. I cannot believe…”

(I push my way past him and see [Dog] on a table, with two very scared-looking teenage assistants standing next to her, and a straight line of shaved fur running from nape of neck to base of tail. [Dog] is happily wagging her tail, apparently glad to be introducing me to her new, bestest best friends.)

Assistant #1: “[Technician] said to start shaving her because it was going to be such a long process… but the fur isn’t coming off in sheets like with the dog you showed me on last week, so I stopped and…”

Vet: *who has been babbling this whole time* “This is unforgivable; I’m stunned. Obviously, there will be no charge at all for today. In fact, there will be no charge for any service [Dog] needs, ever, for the rest of her life. Wait. [Tech] said, what?!

Assistant #2: “Her exact words were, ‘Poor dog, just look at this coat. Another stupid owner who bought a doodle-poo and thinks it’s a real breed. You two get started shaving this mess; it’ll likely take an hour or more.’ And then she went to take a cigarette break. I thought she’d gotten the haircut approved.”

Assistant #1: “What did we do wrong?”

Vet: “You mean, besides doing a treatment without the owner’s permission? [Dog] is a Puli.”

([Assistant #1] instantly pales; [Assistant #2] looks confused.)

Assistant #2: “That isn’t a poodle mixed with a collie, is it?”

Assistant #1: “Remember last week when [Other Staff Member] and I were talking about rare breeds we would probably never see in real life? This is one of them; they are famous for their awesome fur.”

Assistant #2: “Oh, crap.”

Me: *having a hard time staying angry because of my very happy dog* “It’s okay; she isn’t a show dog, just a pet. And at least you didn’t start on the side; I mean, once it starts growing out again, it’ll almost look like it was an intentional haircut.”

Vet: “I just can’t believe that she would do something like this without permission; she should know better. I assure you this is not how we do business.”

Me: “I can tell. I would just like to look her in the face when you tell her she doesn’t have a job anymore.”

Vet: “I’m sure that can be arranged.”

(Watching that horribly ignorant woman get fired was one of the more satisfying moments of my life.)

Your Bad Joke Doesn’t Scan

, , , , | Right | June 22, 2018

(I’m a twenty-something woman who unfortunately looks much younger, and I’m infamous for my innocence regarding life in general. I have just been hired at a very well-known grocery store that sells everything under the sun. It’s really late and quiet, and I’m cashiering the only lane that sells cigarettes. The nearest cashier to me is a good seven lanes away. Suddenly I see two boys in their late teens literally push a younger teenage boy — who is holding something behind his back — into my line and run off. Immediately suspicious, I prepare myself for a problem.)

Me: “How can I help you?”

Kid: “Uh, well… I just wanted to buy something.”

Me: “Well, you’ve come to the right place. Anything I can help you with?”

(The kid gets really, really nervous and suddenly plops a small box onto the conveyor belt. It’s some sort of medicine or something, unfamiliar to me, but it doesn’t prompt for a “see ID,” so I ring it up without fanfare. The kid just stares at me. It’s getting awkward, so I hurry the transaction along.)

Me: “That’ll be [price].”

Kid: “Aren’t you embarrassed?”

Me: “Uh… Should I be?”

Kid: “Like… that I’m buying this. And only this. And we’re young, and alone, and you’re a girl.”

Me: “I… What?”

(Kind of confused and creeped out at the same time, I kind of smile and nod, then repeat the price. I can hear his friends on the other side of the register lane trying not to laugh.)

Kid: *suddenly throws up his hands and marches toward the exit doors, leaving the box with me* “DANG IT, GUYS! I TOLD YOU IT WOULDN’T BE FUNNY! I’M NEVER LISTENING TO YOU AGAIN!”

(Cue boisterous laughter from the other two guys as they ran after him. I just stood there, realizing that I was a part of a joke, but desperately confused. Joke’s on them I guess, as I had no idea what the product they were buying was! My manager popped up right then to tell me to take a break, and I was never more happy to do so.)

Motorpsycho

, , , , | Friendly | June 22, 2018

(My family lives in a typically quiet residential neighborhood. However, one of our neighbors owns a motorcycle, and feels that it is entirely appropriate to race the motorcycle up and down the various streets, gunning the engine as loudly as he can, at any time of day. He’s not going anywhere in particular, just driving around in loops and up and down the streets. One day, our family is having an outdoor barbecue in our front yard when we hear the motorcyclist coming from around the corner. Right as he does, a plastic bag that has blown away from the party suddenly gets caught by the breeze and spins up into the air in front of the motorcycle. He swerves, and ends up skidding into the drainage ditch on the far side of the street. Several of the adults run to help, including my mother.)

Mother: “Oh, my gosh! Are you all right?”

Motorcyclist: “F*** OFF, C***!”

(He tries to stand up and take a swing at her, forcing her to step back, before he suddenly falls down and grabs his leg.)

Motorcyclist: “F****** b****! Look what you did! F***!”

(He continued swearing, even after 911 was called, right up until an ambulance showed up. When it did, he tried to get up again and hobbled away, swearing some more the entire time. Since then, we haven’t heard him revving around on his motorcycle, at all. Honestly, I rather hope he had to sell it to cover his hospital bills. Serves him right.)

Rude Doesn’t Recognize Itself

, , , | Right | June 22, 2018

(I’m working in the concessions part of the theater, and there are only two cashiers, including me. Anyone that orders food from the kitchen is asked to wait all the way at the end of the registers for their food number to be called and delivered. There is a sign there that clearly says, “Hot Food Pickup.” There’s about seven people in my coworker’s line. My register is past my coworker, coming from the kitchen, so as I walk by, I gesture to the person immediately behind the people my coworker is already helping.)

Me: “Sir, I can help you right over here. Sir, welcome to [Movie Theater]; how may I help you?”

Customer #1: “Yes, can I have—” *gets about halfway through his order*

Customer #2: *to my coworker* “THIS IS RIDICULOUS! I’ve been waiting in this line for five minutes and no one has come to help me, but that girl—” *points at me* “—just called the next person over from this line to walk over there!”

Coworker: “Um, I’m sorry, ma’am, but that’s not a line; that’s where people go to pick up their food.”

(My coworker looks over at me, baffled, seeing that there hasn’t even been a cashier near a cash register over on that side delivering orders in a couple minutes, only our manager passing out food.)

Customer #2: “Well, I want you to help me right now! My movie has already started! I’m about to never come back to this theater; the service here is horrible!”

Me: *listening as I’m filling up my next customer’s popcorn bag, I turn around* “Ma’am, I’m sorry for the inconvenience, but there are twenty minutes of commercials; there’s a good chance your movie hasn’t even started.”

(The rude customer ignores me and starts shouting orders at my coworker; she now has to apologize to the next people in line as she takes this lady. At this point she’s made so much of a scene other people in line start talking about her and pointing; everyone knows she’s the one who made the mistake, not us. [Customer #2] quickly snaps around to a younger couple who’s explaining what happened to an older couple that just came back from the bathroom.)

Customer #2: “Are you talking about me? How dare you?! It’s incredibly rude to point. What is wrong with people nowadays?! I don’t think I’ll ever come back here.”

(After [Customer #2] finally leaves, I go back to the kitchen to tell my manager what happened. Amazingly, he didn’t hear a thing, despite [Customer #2]’s loud voice.)

Manager: “Well, you know sometimes we get people here like that. They just don’t know any better.”

Me: “[Manager], if she had come up to me with that tone, my response would have gotten me fired on the spot.”

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