What A Waste

| Alphen a/d Rijn, The Netherlands | Working | April 21, 2017

(My first day in the history park is not like I imagined. The weather is very bad and it’s the first day of the opening season, so there are virtually no visitors. Also, no historical clothing has been arranged for me and two other new colleagues yet. Since there isn’t much to do and we look “normal,” the three of us get some odd jobs to do. As the day progresses, I start to notice that the park’s director/owner is not a normal boss. He gives orders all around. Some of them are even countered by our team leader, who tells us to wait, while he is going to have “that discussion.” In the afternoon we’re doing some raking in the playground with a veteran colleague. He starts telling stories.)

Colleague: “One time he even fired almost everyone. We had thrown a party in one of the buildings, but apparently that wasn’t allowed. Then he realised that he needed people for the park, so he came running after us, like: ‘Stop! Stop! You can keep working here!'”

(Then the boss comes up and starts talking to me.)

Boss: “I have something for you to do. Come.”

(Without waiting for me, he starts walking towards the office building. I’m following quickly. He opens a door. Behind it is a pile of old wooden poles and dirty rope.)

Boss: “This can be taken out.”

(He already starts walking away before he’s finished his sentence. No explanation what do with the stuff. I assume that it’s garbage, so I and another new guy get a wheelbarrow. With that, we move all the stuff to the back. We don’t know where to put it, so we ask some coworker walking by.)

Me: “Do you know where to put this?”

Coworker #1: “Erm… Dunno… I’d put it in the waste container.”

(So we do. Later in the afternoon, still doing odd jobs, the boss even compliments us.)

Boss: “Really good that you guys are so devout and fanatic! Take one advice from me; always stay on your own level.”

(To me it’s unclear what he means with that. The compliment is nice, but very exaggerated. Finally, I and the other new guy prepare to leave. In the hallway, we meet two coworkers.)

Coworker #2: *almost whispering* “Get out! Out! Quickly!”

New Guy: “What’s wrong?”

Coworker #2: “You put the old wood in the waste container? It wasn’t supposed to go there. He’s enraged. If he finds you he will start scolding and stuff.”

(Hearing this, we try to leave quietly. But then the boss comes running after us. Since he is over two metres tall, this is quite an intimidating sight.)

Boss: “Come back! You two! Come back! Sort it out! Now, please! Only household garbage is supposed to go in the container! Come on, take it out!”

(With leaden feet we walk back to the waste container. Our team members of the day are standing around it, while the team leader is getting the wood out of it. The scene is like that of an entire class being berated by an enraged teacher. The boss seems to be totally mad. He singles out another new coworker.)

Boss: “I have a question! I’ll ask you! Can I just throw away stuff in your home?!”

New Girl: “No.”

Boss: “See, that’s what I mean? You throw away the obvious garbage from the waste baskets. Apart from that you discuss EVERTHING before throwing it away! The rope is good, so don’t do that! The wood goes over there on the pile! Come on, make it happen! And fast!”

(We make it happen. The boss runs off to be somewhere else, much to our relief.)

Me: “He didn’t tell me what to do with the stuff or where to put it. He also wasn’t clear on the point that I only had to throw away the wood. He didn’t say anything about the rope.”

New Guy: “Oh, weren’t we supposed to throw away the rope? I just put it back in the waste container.”

Me: *pause* “Good. It’s his own fault for not being nice.”

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