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You Just Permanently Ruined My Appetite

, , , , , , , , | Working | October 26, 2022

This takes place early on in the global health crisis, around mid- to late 2020, during a bathroom break on one of my shifts. My boss is using the urinal while my coworker is in the stall. My coworker finishes up and walks out of the stall, but my boss stops him.

Boss: “Flush that toilet, [Coworker], or you’re fired. And remember to wash your hands. We’re in a [health crisis], you know.”

My coworker grumbled, flushed the toilet, and then stormed over to the sink to wash his hands. I then went into the now-vacated stall and closed the door. My boss finished using the urinal at that moment and left the men’s room… without flushing or washing his hands.

I should probably mention at this point that we work in a food distribution warehouse, handling all manner of food products that later get distributed to grocery stores to be sold to consumers.

This Is Why “No One Wants To Work Anymore”

, , , , , , , | Working | October 21, 2022

About a year before the global health crisis hit, I lost my previous long-time job. The drama surrounding that could be several individual stories — maybe someday.

This story is about the first interview for a new job I got afterward. Having been working in a warehouse for years and repeatedly passed over for promotion or transfer, I was excited to answer an ad for a Warehouse Supervisor position. The pay wasn’t superb, but it was better than what I’d been making. It was explicitly listed as an “introductory” salary, and there were various decent benefits listed.

I’d already spoken to the operations manager on the phone, and he liked what he heard and saw on the resume, so a lot of the interview was getting-to-know-you-type stuff about me and about the company, general warehouse-related questions, etc. The manager was very gregarious and very personable but also very, very much a salesman. It put me a little on edge how much he was trying to sell “opportunity” and “futures” and sounding more like a multi-level marketing scheme than a restaurant-supply warehouse.

After the less-than-impressive tour and meeting the warehouse manager — red flag #2 was that this group of less than ten people was to have both a manager and a supervisor — we finally sat down to discuss specifics on the job. Considering how happily he had responded to some extremely basic and common-sense questions, he was really overplaying a position of superiority when I could tell he was desperate. Then, this occurred.

Manager: “So, the pay rate is going to be $13 an hour, and—”

Me: “Whoa, hold on! The ad stated that the starting salary was going to be $16 an hour, and that was an introductory rate!”

Manager: “Well, let me finish. We run a minimum of fifty-hour work weeks, so that’s the equivalent of $16 for a forty-hour week, plus extras.”

Me: “Hm, that’s the first time I’ve heard about that because, again, in the advertisement for this position, it stated forty-hour weeks. So, you’re saying I would be getting a minimum of ten hours of overtime a week?”

Manager: “Actually, we don’t pay overtime; part of the contract is that you waive the right to it.”

Me: “I see, I see… Should I also assume that the benefits listed don’t match what you actually offer?”

Manager: “Oh, no, no! Our insurance is actually very high-tier for the amount it costs, and you qualify after twelve months.”

Me: “So, you want a warehouse supervisor who waives their legally obligated rights in exchange for below-standard pay rates and no benefits for a year?”

Manager: “Well, technically, you wouldn’t be a supervisor. We’d have you as a standard warehouse employee for a four-to-six-month evaluation before we decide where you’re going.”

Me: “Mhm. I’ll definitely have to think about that, but thank you for your time.”

I spent most of the hour-long drive home ranting and raving with my husband over the phone. The astonishing part was that the manager actually called me back twice, trying to offer me the “great opportunity” to work there and saying that I was passing up a “sure thing.”

Oh, yeah. So sure.

For the record, the job I DID get was a desk job with better pay and benefits, and I’ve already gotten a promotion and a raise despite the tumult the world’s gone through.

It seems like that company eternally has a “warehouse supervisor” hiring ad open. It’s a real mystery how it never gets filled!

Keep On Trucking

, , , , , | Working | October 21, 2022

Warehouse work usually isn’t difficult — shipping/receiving, cleaning, pulling orders, using forklifts, and so on. The work itself isn’t hard, but sometimes those truck drivers you have to deal with can be a real pain in the back.

A truck driver sees that our dock is busy. He stops on the street, gets out of his cab, and walks inside. He asks how long the current truck will be in our dock, and we let him know it will maybe be another ten or fifteen minutes. He walks back out to his truck and waits for the current truck to finish and pull out.

About fifteen minutes go by, and the current driver takes her signed paperwork for her delivered shipment, gets back in her truck, pulls out, and drives away.

For the next forty-five minutes, I find other things to keep me occupied as the guy is struggling to back his trailer into the dock. Eventually, he gives up and comes back inside.

Truck Driver: “Your driveway is too short. I can’t get my sleeper cab and this fifty-three-footer backed into your dock. I’ll have to go back to our distribution center and someone else will have to try delivering this stuff another day.”

Me: “The last driver that was here also had a sleeper cab and fifty-three-footer on it. She backed it in without a problem. One shot.”

Truck Driver: “…”

Me: “Do you want me to call the company she worked for and see if she can come back to give you lessons on backing up your trailer?”

Truck Driver: *Pauses* “I’ll keep trying.”

He went back out, and after another fifteen minutes or so, he finally got his truck backed into the dock so we could unload him.

You Will Be Nice To Yourself And You Will LIKE IT!

, , , , , , , | Working | October 18, 2022

Let me tell you about what turned out to be one of the best jobs I’ve ever had. The job description was simple enough: working in a warehouse, packing up small orders for children’s toys to be shipped away. When I appeared for the interview, I knew this was going to be different; I noticed stickers on the walls of her office saying things like, “Positivity,” “Courage,” and, “Inner Strength,” as well as numerous motivational posters.

The owner hired me, and after she introduced me to her warehouse staff — all of them! — I quickly learned that she saw her staff more as family than as employees. For example, she didn’t like running operations in split shifts: we all started in the morning or we all started in the afternoon, and we all went on break at the same time. To be sure we all could make it to work, she actually bought a retired school bus that she would drive every weekday to pick us all up for work — which saved us a HECK of a lot of money on gas!

Each morning, we’d have a pep talk and review our progress as a whole; there were no separate departments. Occasionally, in the middle of the day, we would have to travel to another warehouse to pick up new shipments — and we all went as a group together.

Something I noticed throughout the warehouse was printed signs with “Self Bullying” in a red circle with a line going through it. I quickly found out what that was about when, one day, I was zoned out and realized I had screwed up an entire set of orders.

Me: “Oh, God, I’m an idiot! It’s right there, plain as day, and I screw it up like a moron!

Immediately, my coworkers gasped and began vigorously shaking their heads “no,” like I had just used a string of profanities in front of a kid.

Owner: “Excuse me. Who said that?”

Me: *Defensively* “No, I was referring to myself. I was saying I was the idiot because…”

I started to explain my blatant error.

Owner: “I don’t care if you boxed up your muddy work boots and it got mailed to a customer. Would you have liked for me to come and scream what you said right to your face for making an honest mistake?”

Me: “No, but it was a dumb mistake—”

Owner: “I didn’t ask about the mistake. I asked you plain and simple: would you have liked it if I came and yelled what you said to your face?”

Me: “No. I wouldn’t.”

Owner: “Then why give yourself the same disrespect? Over here. This way! “

She escorted me to her office and pointed to a mirror on the wall that had a printed sign on it saying, “You are incredible!”

Owner: “Apologize to yourself. I mean it. And don’t smirk.”

I felt myself turn red as I apologized to myself in the mirror.

Owner: “Now stand there and think of ten positive things about yourself. Don’t come back until you do.”

She started to walk away.

Me: Ten?!

Owner: “That’s what I said.”

Having survived an abusive childhood, along with high school bullying and dealing with a serious self-image issue, I could barely come up with three! [Owner] let me back to work after about thirty minutes, despite my coming up with only six positive things. She made it clear that she wanted me to present a written list of ten positive things about myself by the end of the week — and she was serious!

It was after a few weeks of working there that I realized how much I had been subconsciously bullying myself on a consistent basis, and I realized I had to implement the same “zero-tolerance” policy at home as was enforced at work every time I had the urge to mutter to myself, “You’re such an idiot!” for leaving my fridge open or dropping juice on the floor.

Working like that as a family rather than as a group of coworkers helped me get over my social anxiety and eventually helped repair my badly damaged self-esteem.

I later learned from a close friend of [Owner]’s why she had such a low tolerance for self-bullying and was constantly promoting uplifting words. As it turns out, she had been married for nineteen years to a raging narcissist who had completely destroyed her psyche to the point where she ultimately tried to commit suicide because he had her feeling completely worthless.

Whatever therapy she went to after she’d left him DEFINITELY worked — so much so that she successfully passes it along to everyone else!

That job ranks as the best job I’ve ever had — and probably ever will have.


This story is part of our end-of-year Feel Good roundup for 2022!

Read the next Feel Good 2022 story!

Read the Feel Good 2022 roundup!

Welcome To Big Bob’s Bonfire!

, , , , , , , | Working | September 28, 2022

Big Bob was one of the sweetest, nicest guys you would ever encounter. That being said, he was also the most boneheaded. He was one of the floaters who would fill in here and there where help was needed in installing, the warehouse, and the workshop.

One day, our owner had piles of files that needed to be destroyed due to customer-sensitive material. Instead of calling a shredding company, they decided it would be best to take a metal barrel outside and burn the paperwork. That was a separate issue all in itself. Big Bob was put in charge of said task.

At one point in the day, I went outside to track down one of the warehouse guys and was treated to the vision of Big Bob’s car blasting country music, smoke billowing out of the metal barrel, and Big Bob himself walking through all the ash and smoke shirtless like someone out of a music video. I was hard-pressed not to laugh as I scolded him.

Me: “You should keep your shirt on since you’re playing with fire!”

Big Bob: “But it’s hot!”

When I came to work the next day, I noticed that our plastic dumpster lid was bent seven ways to Sunday and looked melted. When I asked what happened, I was told that once the burning of files was done and all the paper was a smoldering pile of ash, Big Bob had decided to dump the still-hot remains IN THE DUMPSTER. Surprise, the metal barrel was still hot from its long day of burning, and Big Bob had grabbed it with no gloves. He had grabbed it quickly, so he didn’t feel the error of his decision until said barrel was over the dumpster, and he dropped it, barrel and all, into the dumpster. In no time flat, the dumpster and all its contents caught on fire, melting the lid.

Again, Big Bob was the sweetest guy, which was probably why he kept his job, but from then on, he was not allowed near fire, and we disposed of our important documents properly.