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Some Bosses Don’t Understand Boundaries

, , , , , , | Working | May 3, 2022

The company that I was working for at the time had very low pay for the work we were doing. I got a new car in the first year of my employment and there was no paid vacation. As a result, I didn’t take a vacation for seven years so I could maintain my car payments.

However, in 2019, a friend of mine paid to fly my wife and me from Hawaii to Missouri for a wedding, so I put my foot down with management and told them that I would be gone. I submitted notice of the trip in May of 2018, which was seventeen months ahead of the September 2019 fly-out date.  

By the time September rolled around, I had been working not only for seven years without taking a vacation but also, recently, seven-day weeks due to the company’s inability to hold a staff together. 

Making just under eighty hours a week, I was exhausted but I had maintained constant notice to the company that I would be gone, which they approved and accepted because they knew how hard I had been working. 

The day we were to fly out, I got two texts and a phone call from my direct boss, the person just above me on the ladder. I answered the call.

Boss: “Hey, [My Name], I need timesheets for your crew. Could you submit them today or tomorrow?”

Me: *Politely* “I cannot; I am currently awaiting departure at the Honolulu International Airport, which you have been informed about several times over the last year.”

Boss: “Well, could you take a moment to put the sheets together on your laptop and send them?

Me: “I can’t. I don’t have my laptop with me.”

Boss: *Angrily* “Why not?! It is your responsibility to get timesheets to me when needed!”

This was despite the fact that I was already up to date and the next set of sheets wasn’t due for another three days, a task I had left to my assistant.

Me: “I have no intention of doing any work this trip. This is my first vacation in seven years. You have had notice of my exact flight itinerary. You need to call [Coworker], who I left in charge of my people.”

This seemed to anger him even more, but I hung up the phone.

He proceeded to text me throughout the first four days of our trip, asking me for paperwork, and asking if he could borrow members of my crew to assist a short-staffed one. He asked about emails and equipment requests, and I ignored every single one of them. 

Just before the wedding started, I blacklisted my boss’s cellphone number and office extension on my phone to stop the calls and prevent any interruptions during the ceremony.

Fast forward two weeks. I had been back for a week now. My boss called me on the company phone and he was pissed. 

I had never taken the blocks off of his phone numbers.

Boss: “Why have you been ignoring my calls and text messages?!”

These are specifically in my off time because he has still been contacting me on the work phone during my work hours daily.

Me: “I blocked you.”

Of course, this didn’t sit well with him.

Boss: “Remove the restriction so that I can contact you when I need to!”

Me: “No. My phone is my personal phone, I pay the bill, and I decide what the usage for it is. There is nothing in my contract that states that I need to be contactable twenty-four-seven and nothing stating that a personal number is required. You having my number has been a privilege, not a requirement. You have abused that privilege and subsequently lost it.”

He started to yell, but I had been prepared for this since my return since I deliberately left his number blocked. I picked up a copy of my work contract from my desk where it had been sitting since my first day back. I thumbed through it.

Me: “Do you want to read it yourself? I can scan it and send it through. From now on, you can contact me while I am at work and I have the company phone on me.” 

He was livid, mostly because I had cut him off, and apparently, he went to file a complaint with Human Resources. 

I got a phone call from the HR department only forty-five minutes later, but it wasn’t what I expected. 

HR was calling to ask if I wanted to file a complaint against him! Allegedly, he had filed a complaint for insubordination and explained the situation to them. They had told him in no uncertain terms that I had every right to block him on my personal phone and then turned around and dinged him for contacting me while I was on vacation in the first place. 

At the time, my boss and I were normally on okay terms. I was happy enough that HR had backed me up and knocked him down a few pegs, so I declined to file a complaint. 

It took a while, but eventually, things fell back into place and we started working together as we always had… kind of, sort of okay-ish.

Tripping Over The Trip Costs

, , , , , | Friendly | March 3, 2022

When I was about twelve years old, I was invited for a trip with a friend and her mom, who also brought a friend. They had won the trip in a competition and didn’t have much money; neither did my family, but since it was for free, they gave me some pocket money and let me go.

It was really exciting and fun to begin with to see the sights and play in a waterpark and such. However, I soon experienced that they had very different ways of doing things than I was used to. In my family, if we invited someone else’s kid, we paid for their food and other stuff they might need while taking care of them. However, this mom did not intend to do that. Luckily, I had been given extra money in case something went wrong and I’d need it. My parents trusted my judgment.

At one point, we went to a Viking village and you could try some smithy work, which I thought seemed exciting, and it was very cheap. We asked the mom for permission and she said no, since it was too expensive. I said I’d pay for it myself, but the answer was still no, since it would be unfair to my friend, so I offered to pay for both of us. She couldn’t really argue at that point as my friend were now too excited to turn down, but she really didn’t like it.

Later, I bought bread made over a fire for all of us to share, since it was too expensive. The mother’s friend then came up and paid half. I don’t know what she expected us to do there other than just look since the activities cost money.

The time I really found out they would not pay for my food was a couple of days later when the mom came with the receipt for the food she had bought and slammed it on the breakfast table.

Mom: “All right, this is how much we bought, so we should all pay our part.”

I was a bit confused since a fourth of that would be more than half my pocket money and I really hadn’t expected to pay for food; I was just a kid, after all.

Mom: “[My Name] should pay for the milk, though.”

Me: “What? Why?”

Daughter: “Because you drank it all.”

Me: “You drank milk, too.”

Mom: “You drank a lot more than half of it.”

I wasn’t sure this was correct — it didn’t feel right — but I hadn’t really measured how much I drank so I didn’t know.

Mom: “So, you pay for the milk, and then we split the rest three ways.”

Me: “Three ways? But there are four of us.”

Mom: “We gave you this trip.”

Daughter: “Yeah, [My Name], be grateful.”

I looked at the receipt.

Me: “But I don’t think I should pay for the milk, and there are a lot of other things there I don’t eat.”

Mom: “Well, that is not our fault. You drank an absurd amount of milk, though, so you’ll need to pay for it.”

I sat there staring at them, not understanding how that was fair at all, when suddenly the mother’s friend slammed some money on the table.

Friend: “I’ll pay for her.”

She was giving the mom the stinky eye, who gave me the stinky eye, together with her daughter, who was supposed to be my friend.

Later, the day we were supposed to depart, I wanted to go to a store to buy something I had seen, but the mom said no. Her friend offered to go with me but the mom still said no, even though we had hours to kill. I got annoyed and fed up with it all, so I ended up going on my own, saying I’d hurry, and then I ran away.

It was a bit difficult to find them afterward as they went around looking for me, and I got a scolding for running away, but at least I got my souvenir.

As we were waiting by the harbour, I went to buy ice cream, despite the mom’s no. I did not even offer to pay for my friend this time because I had lost all my respect for her mom as an adult, and she ended up sighing and buying an ice cream for her daughter.

After coming home and telling the story, my father told me they had been nagging him about paying hundreds of crowns in travelling expenses after we got home.

You Smelt It But I Didn’t Dealt It

, , , , | Related | November 10, 2021

My family is on a tour in Switzerland. We pass by some horse-drawn carriages.

Mum: “Yuck, [My Name], you need to use more deodorant.”

Me: “Mum, those are horses you’re smelling.”

A Textbook Example Of Bad Driving

, , , , , | Friendly | June 25, 2021

The summer I graduate high school, three of my high school friends and I go on a road trip to celebrate graduating. Things go well driving to our destination, and we are now heading back to the city we live in. We have hit rush hour and the friend driving begins to brag about how good of a driver she is and that her dad taught her how to text, drive, and eat while driving. Major red flag. She starts getting text messages from her parents asking for an update on where we are. She starts texting them back, and because she isn’t paying attention, she starts to veer into the other lane. She continues to do so for the following conversation. The entire time I am calm, but stern.

Me: “[Driver], please put your phone away.”

Driver: “It’s fine. I’ve got this.”

Me: “No, you don’t. Please put your phone away. It can wait. Or you can pass your phone to one of us and we can text them back for you.”

Driver: “It’s fine, [My Name]! Geez, I know how to text and drive.”

Me: “Hand the phone to [Friend].”

Driver: “Calm down, [My Name]!”

Me: “Hand the phone to [Friend], because if I have to reach up there and take it from you, it will be going out the window.”

Silently but unhappily, she handed her phone to [Friend]. Later, she complained that I was being uncool about the trip, but everyone took my side the second I told them what actually happened. Her parents even looked embarrassed when I explained to them why she was mad at me.

You’ve Fallen For One Of The Classic Blunders

, , , , , | Working | May 3, 2021

I work for an insurance company. I’m on vacation, enjoying myself and relaxing, when I suddenly receive a text message. It is from my direct supervisor.

Supervisor: “YOU’RE FIRED!”

This particular supervisor has hated me from the day she started working with me. I’m initially puzzled and furious that she’d fire me via text without any reasoning behind it, much less wait until I’m on vacation to do so. I’m about to reply asking why I was fired when I notice something.

She sent me that text message in a group conversation. With my boss.

A few moments later, another message appears in the conversation.

Boss: “[Supervisor], come to my office. Right now, please. [My Name], I’m sorry about that. You’re not fired.”

I ended up getting a few laughs out of a moment that nearly ruined my vacation. When I returned to work five days later, my supervisor was nowhere in sight and her formerly-cluttered desk was now completely empty.