This Write Up Isn’t Going To Stick(er)

, , , , | Working | December 21, 2018

(I am working in a grocery store’s front end department. One of our duties is to perform an hourly floor inspection, which involves using a scanner to scan several barcodes placed at various points around the store. Our scanner is infamous for sometimes turning off in the middle of a walk. When it does this, it’ll sometimes skip ahead a sticker for no reason, though I’ve yet to experience this myself. I’m doing the hourly walk one day, when my department manager approaches me.)

Front End Manager: “[My Name], make sure you scan all the stickers. We’ve had a lot of skipped stickers lately, and have fallen behind on floor inspections. We cannot allow this to continue.”

Me: “Don’t worry; I’ll get them all.”

(The walk goes smoothly, until the scanner unexpectedly quits on me midway through. When I get it back on, sure enough, it skips ahead a sticker. I complete the walk, anyway, and talk to the front end manager when I get back to the service desk.)

Me: “Umm, [Front End Manager], the gun skipped ahead a sticker.”

(She looks at the gun, then scowls at me and goes to her station and comes back with a clipboard.)

Front End Manager: “Sign this.”

Me: *realizing she’s writing me up* “But what did I do? The gun quit on me midwalk!”

Front End Manager: “We literally just talked about this before the walk. You can’t skip any of the stickers. We cannot afford any more skips. Read it over and sign it. Now.”

(I read over the write-up, and notice that she has written that if it happens again, I will be fired on the spot. Fearful for my job at this point, I reluctantly sign it while the front end manager grins at me menacingly. For a while I get very antsy whenever I do the inspection, but thankfully the scanner doesn’t die on me during that time… until about ten days later when my luck runs out and it dies again, resulting in another skipped sticker.)

Me: “Oh, God, I’m going to be fired. I’m going to be fired. No. No, this cannot be happening.”

(I nearly have a panic attack when the assistant manager notices and brings me to her office.)

Assistant Manager: *worried* “[My name], are you all right? What’s wrong?”

Me: *panicking* “I’m going to be fired.”

Assistant Manager: “You are not going to be fired. Please, take a deep breath and tell me what happened.”

Me: “I was doing the walk and the scanner died, and it skipped a sticker.”

Assistant Manager: “Don’t worry about it! We have new scanners coming in later this week. And don’t worry about it skipping a sticker; there’s nothing you can do about it.”

Me: “But I was written up for skipping a sticker!”

Assistant Manager: *pause* “Were you really written up for that?”

Me: “Yes, look in my file! [Front End Manager] wrote me up, and said I would be fired if it happened again!”

(He looks and finds my write-up.)

Assistant Manager: “Hmm. You weren’t written up for this before, were you?”

Me: “No, this is the first time I’ve ever been written up for anything.”

Assistant Manager: “I see.” *sigh* “I’ll bring her in here. I promise, you will not be fired.”

(He calls the front end manager to the office. As soon as she comes in, the front end manager promptly turns to me.)

Front End Manager: “Let me guess. You skipped another one.”

Me: “Yes.”

Front End Manager: “Figured as much! You’re fired!”

Assistant Manager: “No. I will be stopping you right there, [Front End Manager]. You cannot fire [My Name].”

Front End Manager: “Yes, I can, and I am! I specifically stated on his write-up—”

Assistant Manager: “You mean this write-up?” *holds my write-up to the front end’s face* “This write-up that not only was for something that doesn’t even warrant a warning, but also violated the company discipline policy?”

Front End Manager: “Yes! Now let me fire him!”

Assistant Manager: “No. You will not get that opportunity.” *puts my write-up through the shredder, then faces me* “You can go back to work now. I’d like some time in private with [Front End Manager].”

(The front end manager was written up and suspended three days without pay — apparently it was not her first time issuing bogus write-ups. When she returned, she was forbidden from issuing any sort of discipline without first going to the assistant manager or store manager. Unfortunately, it didn’t stop her from coming up with excuses to nitpick about my work. Finally fed up with her a month later, I requested a transfer to another store. On my last day before the transfer, I noticed that her photo had been taken down from the management team wall. I was worried at this point that she was going to transfer to my new store. Thankfully, she didn’t, and I worked another three and a half years at the new store before leaving for a higher-paying construction job. To this day, I still don’t know if my old front end manager was fired or if she transferred to a different store, but I never saw her at any of the company’s stores in the area after my transfer, so I’m leaning towards the former.)

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