You Want Me In Two Places At Once, I’ll Be In None

, , , , , , , , | Working | January 24, 2018

(This story takes place when I’m 16 and working the closing shift in a chain pet store, which involves checking all the cages and tanks in the back and recording and initialing everything. I am also the only employee on the entire floor and expected to be available to customers. The manager is a useless turd who sits in his office all day. Whenever we approach him with something, he tells us it’s not his problem and to stop bothering him. He even did that when the store flooded. He also insists on being called “sir” and likes to throw his weight around. It’s also relevant to note that, unbeknownst to my manager, I am as belligerent as punk rock comes.)

Manager: “[My Name], how come the forms aren’t done yet?”

Me: “I have to do them after we close. I’ve been busy helping customers back-to-back.”

Manager: “That’s not an excuse.”

Me: “So, you want me to stop what I’m doing and go back to do the forms?”

Manager: “No, someone needs to be on the floor helping customers as long as we’re open.”

Me: “Then the forms are just going to have to wait until after we’re closed.”

Manager: *smirking* “They should already be finished. I expect you to get it done.”

Me: “Uh-huh, and are you going to help the customers while I’m doing that?”

Manager: “No, I have important things to do in my office.”

Me: “Yeah, well, unless the pet department is suddenly self-serve, you only get to pick one.”

Manager: “Why?”

Me: *using my Captain Obvious voice* “Because it is literally impossible to be out here scooping fish and on the other side of the building doing paperwork. I can’t break the laws of physics.”

Manager: “That’s not an excuse. Get it done by the time we close, unless you want to get written up.”

Me: *deciding I’m done* “All right. Is this some pathetic little power game of yours, or are you really so high on your own farts that you can’t grasp this very basic concept? Because either way, this is pretty sad coming from a grown man.”

Manager: “Excuse me?!”

Me: “The schedule is your responsibility, sir. If your forms aren’t getting done because there aren’t enough employees to cover duties, it’s because you suck at doing your job.”

Manager: *turning red* “You’d better watch your attitude with me, missy–”

Me: “Or what?”

Manager: “Or you’ll find yourself out of a job!”

Me: “So?”

(The manager deflates, and opens and closes his mouth a few times, so I continue.)

Me: *laughing* “Hello, I’m sixteen. You think I’m worried about making my mortgage payments? I could walk out right now, and you’d be on the hook if you didn’t stay as long as it takes to close this place by the book. So, maybe you want to rethink whether you’re in control here.”

Manager: “You can’t talk to me like that!”

Me: “Or what? I’m fired?”

Manager: “Yes!”

Me: *shrugging* “Works for me. Bye.”

Manager: *realizing what he’s done* “Where do you think you’re going? You’re not leaving until you finish your work!”

Me: “What work? I’m not an employee here.”

Manager: “Your termination is effective after you’ve completed your tasks.”

Me: “Hmm… Nah.”

Manager: “Stop! You can’t! Come back here this instant!”

Me: *calling over my shoulder in a sing-song voice* “You can’t make me!”

Manager: “I… I’ll call your parents!”

(This is an empty threat, since they only have my cellphone on file. I just laugh and keep walking away. He starts to follow me outside, but as soon as the door shuts behind me I press a full moon against the glass. I hear him scream, “Oh! Oh, my God! Just you wait!” He comes running back out, making a call on his cell phone, as I hop on my bike. He tries to accost me, but I just do a few loops around him, cackling my head off, and speed away. He tries to make the cashier stay, but his mom comes to pick him up and won’t let the manager keep him on a school night. So, the manager is stuck there half the night mucking out cages. The store also keeps buzzing my phone when I don’t show up for my following shifts. When I go to pick up my last check, the manager is standing on the floor glaring at me, so I walk up.)

Me: “Sir? Excuse me, sir? Do you work here? Can you help me with this fish? Oh, are you busy? Do you have important manager stuff to do?”

(I called after him as he walked straight into the office and slammed the door.)

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