You (Fake) Bloody Jerk!

, , , , , | Working | December 1, 2020

After Halloween, I am told to finish a stocktake on all remaining themed stock as I pack it to store away. It was started by another coworker and is a time-consuming task, but I finish and submit the stocktake results at the end of the day.

A few days later, a report is sent back with a list of discrepancies. It is a common thing, as shoplifting can impact the numbers, but those are usually a difference of one or two items. This time, there is one item that shows that fifty pieces are missing.

My manager doesn’t particularly like me and will go after me hook and nail when she thinks I have done something wrong. She rants at me as I arrive at work.

Manager: *Thrusting the list at me* “Look at this, [My Name]. I trusted you to complete this properly, and look at how many things you missed counting, especially the first item.”

The first item is fake blood in tubes.

Me: “l don’t remember seeing any fake blood.”

Manager: “Well, you missed counting fifty of them. I asked [Coworker #1] if she saw them and she said that she hadn’t counted them; they were in the area you would have counted.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I do not remember seeing them.”

Manager: “How am I going to explain the loss of all of these? I checked and we didn’t sell even one of them. I want you to go through all of the boxes you packed to find them.”

I start going through the boxes. I was told to just put things in loosely so this is time-consuming, too. I am halfway through the second box when another coworker walks in and asks what is going on.

Manager: “We are looking for stock that [My Name] missed counting.”

My coworker looks at me, sees my face is stony with anger, and gives me a sympathetic smile. 

Coworker #2: “What stock was it?”

Manager: “It was a whole carton of fake blood.”

Coworker #2: “Oh, that’s up on top of the lockers in the staff room.”

Manager: “What’s it doing there?”

Coworker #2: “You told me to put it there, as you didn’t want to have fake blood out on the shop floor.”

Manager: “Oh, I did, didn’t I?”

She then got it down and dropped it into the bin so she didn’t have to explain why the carton hadn’t even been opened. No apology to me. I didn’t last much longer in that job; I handed my notice in a couple of days later.

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Something’s Working? Time To Meddle!

, , , , | Working | December 1, 2020

My workplace has some strict confidentiality rules. What happens in the office, stays in the office. Most of us are totally fine with that rule, as we have the “work stays in the office” mentality. Unfortunately, a global health crisis wasn’t fine with that rule.

When lockdown kicked in, we suffered badly. The company refused to relent on its confidentiality policy, meaning that we couldn’t download any work to take home. As such, next to nothing got done for a few months. Occasionally, a few of us would sneak back into the office to shave off some of the backlog, but that was nowhere near enough.

When the restrictions were relaxed, we faced a massive backlog of work, but social distancing meant that only half the department could be in at any one time.

Our managers worked out a schedule for us, splitting our nine-to-five shift into an eight-to-three and three-to-ten shift. The only time both shifts would be in would be for the joint briefing at three pm. And although they didn’t consult us on who was on which shift, they actually did a surprisingly good job at picking who was on which shift.

The early shift was made up of the guys that lived nearby the office, under the justification that their travel time was lesser, so the strain of waking up earlier was less. That was totally fine for them, as they liked getting off work two hours early and could go drinking before the dinner crowd came in.

The later shift was made up of the guys who lived further, which was great. Personally, I loathe waking up early to go to work and the rest of my shift agreed. It helped that we were made up of the more competent guys, so we could do more work in less time, which meant that we usually left on average two hours early, despite the backlog.

With this system in place, we managed to get our department functional again. Unfortunately, HR cottoned on and decided that they knew better.

First, they stole the dual-shift idea and presented it to the rest of the company as though it was theirs. Second, they insisted that keeping everyone constantly on the same shift was “detrimental to morale” and ordered us to swap shifts every week.

Yeah, that didn’t work out. My shift had to wake up by six am at the latest to get to work on time. Also, as we were the more competent guys, we got everything done early but couldn’t leave until the three pm joint briefing, no matter what. For the other shift, that didn’t matter as they always barely finished in time, but we always had to spend an extra two hours in the office every time we got stuck on the early shift.

The other shift also hated the new schedule, as they could never go back early, couldn’t go drinking, and couldn’t watch late-night shows.

Our managers agreed that the situation wasn’t ideal and told HR that we wanted our shifts to be permanent. They did that… for only the managers under some tortured justification.

That didn’t work. Everyone loved their own manager but hated the other. The early manager was the micromanaging type and could get the less competent shift to work better. And the later manager was more easygoing and knew that us competent guys could do our work without his constant supervision.

However, when shifts swapped, everyone suffered as the later manager hated having to constantly deal with the less competent guys and the more competent shift loathed the earlier manager’s micromanaging.

So, we all sent a more strongly-worded petition to HR, all but demanding that we get back to the original arrangement. HR then spouted some bureaucratic nonsense.

HR: “The rest of the departments in the company agreed that the shift swapping is working well.”

They were totally ignoring that we weren’t them.

Despite all our complaints, our managers insisted that we still had to obey HR.

Manager: “We’re willing to take s*** from you, but we’re not willing to take s*** for you.” 

Basically, if they disobeyed the higher-ups, it was their heads on the chopping board and they didn’t want that. So, obedience it was.

The worst part was that sometime later, the higher-ups still had the gall to demand to know why our department’s efficiency varied so greatly every week and why we couldn’t consistently go at peak efficiency as we had initially done.

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And This Is Why They’re An EX-Boss

, , , , | Working | December 1, 2020

I’m the author of this story. About a month after I resign, I get a call from the store’s human resources representative.

Representative: “So, you still have a very small paycheck here…”

Me: “I had direct deposit. How did that happen?”

Representative: “Oh, did they not tell you? The last check is issued as a physical check.”

Me: “No, they did not. So, do I come see you to get that?”

Representative: “I put it at the customer service desk earlier. Just ask whoever’s there for it.”

Me: “Okay. I’ll be in tonight. Thanks for the heads-up!”

I head over after I get out of class and head for the customer service desk. Guess who’s there? My ex-boss, that’s who! She spots me and scowls.

Ex-Boss: “What is it, [My Name]?”

Me: “I’m here to pick up my last check, please.”

Ex-Boss: “Go see [Representative].”

Me: “She said my last check was at the customer service desk.”

Ex-Boss: “It’s not here.”

Me: “Can you look?”

Ex-Boss: “No.”

The following flies out before I can stop myself.

Me: “Wow. Aren’t you a ray of merry sunshine and helpfulness today?”

Ex-Boss: “Go ask [Representative]!”

I head to the office, greet our rep, and make small talk while she looks for my check.

Representative: “I don’t know why she sent you to me. Your check is not here. I know I put it at the desk. Let’s go look.”

We walk out to the front. My ex-boss shoots both of us a look.

Ex-Boss: “It’s not here.”

Representative: “I put it here this morning, right before I called her.”

Ex-Boss: “I looked.”

Me: “Oh, you did not.”

Ex-Boss: “It’s not here.”

Me: “How would you know that if you didn’t look?”

Representative: “I’ll find it.”

She starts digging through drawers.

Representative: “HA! Knew it!” 

She pulls my check from the very bottom of a drawer and waves it triumphantly. She hands it over to me.

Me: “Is that all I need to do now?”

Representative: “Yes, you’re all set. I’ve really enjoyed working with you. Best of luck!”

Me: “Thank you so much! I enjoyed working with you, too!”

I turn to my ex-boss and grin.

Me: *In my perkiest customer service voice* “Have a fantastic day, [Ex-Boss]!”

I have no idea what happened after I left, but oh, to have been a fly on that wall…

Quit By Friday

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The Sign Made A Rim Shot Noise As it Fell

, , , , | Working | December 1, 2020

I am at a big box store one day shopping. I notice an employee on a ladder trying to change a price sign sitting on top of a cooler, and it’s clearly not working well for her. Every time she tries to make it stand upright, it topples over and nearly to the floor. She’s getting flustered at it and ends up calling for a replacement sign.

Me: “Are you okay up there, miss?”

Employee: “Yeah, just great, thank you.”

Me: “Is it not wanting to stay in place?”

Employee: “No! Our prices are so low that I can’t get it to stay up here!”

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But Did You Keep The Neon?

, , , | Working | December 1, 2020

We nearly didn’t buy our current house. It had sat on the market for months as it was majorly overpriced. It needed some work, and it didn’t help that the owners had made very personal touches in decor.

We viewed it and the owner gave the tour, harping on about how “exclusive” her horrible kitchen was and how she was remiss, leaving the “dated and chipped” bathroom tiles. She rationalised every neon colour, as if it was the rate museum.

We made a reasonable offer and it was declined. We made another offer. It was declined.

Me: “I’m happy to just walk away from this one.

Wife: “I think we could make our money back in the restoration.”

We talked it over and I agreed, so we made an asking price offer (subject to survey).

This was eventually accepted and I instructed the survey. What I was not expecting was a major list of issues to come back with structural problems.

We talked to the agent and they talked to the owner, who was suspiciously not shocked by this major news. The agent apologised massively and asked if we wanted to withdraw the offer.

What both of them didn’t realize was that we planned to remove all of the problem wall and windows in the renovation, so we made a new offer, lower than the first. It was accepted, and within the first three months of living there, we extended and brought the house back up to standard.

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