Seasonal Work, Year-Round Jerk

, , , , , , | Working | June 17, 2021

For my sins, sometimes I have done seasonal work for Royal Mail. The first time was the most eventful. Several of us were assigned to push heavy trolleys called Yorks. These can weigh up to a quarter of a ton. For someone who had applied for seasonal work, one such coworker didn’t seem very hardworking or focused.

One evening, I was pushing a York cheerfully along. (I was cheerful. The York wasn’t, due to being an inanimate object.) Suddenly, I felt a pain in my foot. Recoiling in shock, I turned to see [Coworker] reversing his own York from where he had just hit me, before pushing past me at high speed.

Coworker: “Sorry!”

Apparently annoyed that I did not tell him, “That’s all right,” within about three seconds, he shouted again.

Coworker: “I said I was sorry!”

And then, he disappeared elsewhere in the building.

People pushing things weighing half a ton are trained to keep two metres’ distance from the person in front for reasons which are blindingly obvious. They are also not supposed to move such things fast enough to risk wheelies, as the damage caused by one landing on you is even greater than the damage caused by one being driven into you.

Once I had time to assess what had happened, I concluded that I could walk normally with a bit of care. I delivered my cargo and then went to speak to a manager. The coworker arrived before I had finished reporting the issue and immediately started yelling.

Coworker: “I told you I was sorry! Are you trying to start something?”

Apparently, he didn’t realize that it is possible to see the need to report a careless accident without thinking that the culprit was malicious. When he started advancing toward me with his arms flung wide, I was rapidly bundled away before things escalated. A few minutes later, I was seen by a first aider, who expressed amazement that my foot hadn’t been broken.

In due course, I was informed that the culprit had been escorted off the site by four burly postmen and informed that if he showed his face there again the police would be called. There were concerns that he might try to track me down, but thankfully, nothing happened.

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Some Managers Aren’t Too Sharp

, , , , , | Working | March 8, 2021

Part of my job is to audit the work area for compliance. We have a big external audit coming up, so if I can catch any little issue now, it won’t get brought up later and in front of everyone.

I notice an unusual blade sitting in one of the boxes. Anything unusual could be relating to an issue, so I question it.

Warehouse Manager: “Oh, that’s [Worker]’s. He struggles to use the other ones.”

Me: “The other safety ones?”

Warehouse Manager: “Yeah.”

Me: “The other safety ones that were put in place because we had a serious accident that sent someone to the hospital all because people left blades like this in boxes like that?”

Warehouse Manager: “Yeah.”

Me: “Okay, I’m taking this away with me. [Worker] can get used to the safety ones from now on.”

Warehouse Manager: “What? Don’t be a jobsworth.”

Me: “Seventeen stitches and the person still doesn’t have full sensation in their hand. Blood all over the place. You can have proper ones or you can take it up with [Senior Manager].”

Warehouse Manager: “Yeah, I’ll do that.”

He did, but of course, he didn’t tell the manager the full story. I reminded the senior manager that this would probably result in a lawsuit if someone injured themselves this time, as the company now had full knowledge and had failed to act.

He unsurprisingly changed his tone, thanked me, and gave the warehouse manager an earful.

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You’ll Back Off One Way Or Another

, , , , , , | Working | February 7, 2021

It’s early on into the global health crisis when people are still getting used to wearing masks and having to stand six feet apart. It’s the end of our shift, and we’re standing in line at the time clock. An older coworker is standing close to me, maybe a foot away.

Me: “Dude, could you step back a couple of feet? That’s not six feet.”

Coworker: “Oh, it’s fine! It’s all media-pulled BS to control us! There’s no danger!”

Me: “Seriously, dude. Step. Back.”

Coworker: “H*** no!”

Me: “I’m not scanning my badge until you step back, and I’ve got all night.”

He huffs and leans back by maybe thirty degrees. I shrug, shift my weight, and make a pretty convincing farting noise with my mouth. I then sigh, as though I’ve been holding it in for a while. I laugh as he jumps back a good five feet, his face almost comical in its shock, as our coworkers standing in line laugh at him.

Me: “What? I told you to step back.”

He still refuses to admit there’s a global crisis, almost a year into it, but he’s better at keeping his distance now!

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I’m Not Gaslighting You

, , , , , | Working | November 19, 2020

I’m filling forklift tanks at a warehouse. This shipping company is one of our biggest customers, and they get very frequent deliveries. A male worker happens to come out to swap an empty tank while I’m there.

Warehouse Worker: “Wow, a woman? A woman delivering propane? That’s unusual!”

Me: “No, it isn’t. I do this every day.”

Warehouse Worker: “No, it is unusual! In all my years, there has never been a woman delivering propane here.”

Me: “Never?”

Warehouse Worker: “No, never.”

Me: “I have filled these tanks at least once a week for the past two years.”

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Thank God Period Pain Isn’t Contagious

, , , , , , | Working | July 24, 2020

Due to a certain illness outbreak, my work has created a secondary call-in phone line specifically for the illness, in addition to the regular associate call-in line. Thanks to worse-than-normal menstrual cramps, I call in one day through the regular line. I also specify that it’s nothing contagious, so I don’t have to worry about being cleared by HR to be allowed back into the building.

The next day I return with no problems from HR. Later that day, I’m confronted by a male coworker who likes to act like management, even though we’re at the same pay level, and he only has a month seniority on me.

Coworker: “Did you get cleared by HR to come back? I’m not getting sick just because you think you can cut corners.”

Me: “I wasn’t contagious, so I don’t need to be cleared for anything.”

Coworker: “Um, yes, you do! If I had to be cleared after my trip to Minnesota, so do you!”

Me: “You flew there, and when everything started up, we were told that everybody flying would have to be cleared by HR first. I didn’t have anything contagious, so I don’t have to be cleared.”

Coworker:No! If you’re sick, you have to be cleared! You think, just because you’re a girl, that you can do whatever you want?!”

Me: “Nope. I think that, because I was bleeding due to my uterine lining flaking off and being evicted, more painfully than normal, I didn’t feel like standing for a nine-hour shift on a forklift. Any other complaints?”

His mouth flapped like a fish’s a couple of times and then he stalked off. He later whined to our immediate union steward, who has no issue with telling dummies off. Our steward told him that, even with our natural issues, each of the four female floor workers do twice as much work as he does.

He later told me that if the coworker really wanted to whine about the girls getting “special privileges,” he should get hooked up to one of those wired machines that lets you feel what a period feels like.

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