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Bad boss and coworker stories

I Believe We Call This “Taking Advantage”

, , , | Working | October 1, 2022

At an old job of mine, a coworker was out for six months on FMLA. (FMLA is the Family and Medical Leave Act, a labor law that requires companies to provide employees with job-protected, unpaid leave for accepted medical and family issues.) When [Coworker] got back and went through retraining, it was understandable that their call times and after-call time would be high.

A year and a few shift changes later, they still had horrendous call times and after-call times. I was sitting next to them because management thought my low call and after-call work times would rub off. (I was a top performer.) I happened to notice that they often put the customer on hold a lot to play games on their phone for ten-plus minutes, and then they’d surf the Internet after the call for fifteen-plus minutes.

I asked them about it between my calls and they blew me off.

Coworker: “Management doesn’t care; I’m still recovering.”

Apparently, [Coworker]’s supervisor had temporarily relocated their desk just around the corner from us and heard this interaction. The supervisor came around, made the coworker sign out and pack up their desk, and walked them out, saying that expected recovery times for the FMLA reason didn’t take nearly as long as the coworker was claiming if people didn’t waste company time playing on their phones when they were supposed to be working.

Next Time, Suck It Up And Ask The Family

, , , , , | Working | September 30, 2022

I’d just accepted a new job and was moving a few hours north to where the job was. I usually would move with a little help from my family or friends, but I had donated my kidney a few months prior — using the recovery time after to interview for the new job, actually — and as such, I was still on a strict restriction from heavy lifting. I wasn’t going to ask my family to do all the moving for me without my help, so I caved in to pay for movers. Due to some craziness with a problem pet, the move got delayed, and I had to find any movers available on short notice instead of getting to pick ones with good reviews.

They had finished most of the move, and they were turning the moving van around to get ready to leave when the driver backed the van right into a parked car — I’m not talking about a light tap. The moving van was built like a tank and unfazed, but the car had a huge gash along its front. It might still be able to drive, but it was clearly going to need major repairs.

I’d expected them to hunt down the owner, exchange insurance information, etc. Instead, they glanced around to make sure no one was watching and then told me to meet them down the road and high-tailed the van out to a different area of the parking lot. They were clearly planning to run and hope no one noticed.

I still had to handle paying them and all the final steps. I didn’t want to antagonize them while finishing those steps, so I said nothing and went along with them for the time being. All the while, the driver who had run into the car was suddenly very eager to offer to show me around town, introduce me to the best bars (despite my not drinking), and do anything else to be my friend so I would keep my mouth shut. I was very noncommittal until the paperwork was done and I could get rid of them.

I then went into my new apartment to get some paper and write up a detailed note for the car owner as to what happened, who was responsible, and how to get hold of them. As I was leaving it on the car, a woman shouted out from a window in the apartment complex.

Woman: “Are you trying to contact the owner of that car? I saw the whole thing. They live in apartment [number].”

I tried going there to find the owner, but they didn’t open their door. Instead, I left a second note on the door explaining everything I knew and how to get into contact with me if they needed to.

I never heard back from the car’s owner directly, but a few weeks later, the man who had been driving the van called me up shocked that I had told the car owner who had demolished their vehicle.

I pointed out that it was completely unreasonable for him to expect me to screw over the innocent owner of the vehicle by not telling them what had happened and that there was another witness so it wouldn’t have mattered if I hadn’t told. I also mentioned that it was not only kind of pointless to call me now over it but very ethically questionable since he likely wasn’t supposed to have access to my phone number like that.

He was still acting as if I had somehow slighted him as I told him not to call back.

Shockingly, he didn’t end up showing me around town as he had promised, not that I wanted to take him up on that offer, anyway.

People Who Are Patient Generally Have To Use That Skill Less

, , , , | Working | CREDIT: asassyjanitor | September 30, 2022

I work in Account Provisioning for a medical setting. I understand that some users are not very tech-savvy, so I spend lots of time using TextExpander (an app/extension that automatically expands things you type) to give information in as detailed a way as possible and to ensure I leave nothing to guesswork.

We have a rule that if we make three contacts with no response, then we close the ticket. I have contacted this user three times with a question about her request, and I’ve gotten no answer, so her ticket got closed out.

I then get a very snotty email stating, among other things:

User: “I didn’t tell you that you could close my ticket, and you never contacted me like the resolution states.”

The user then proceeds to answer a question I emailed to her, proving that she did, indeed, get the emails.

Me: “Did you follow the instructions I gave you in my first set of emails on how to map the drive you requested access to?”

In the emails, I gave her a snippet from TextExpander explaining everything as if the reader were in second grade. (“Example: Click on File Explorer [the icon looks like a manilla folder].”)

User: “I don’t know about all this tech garbage, so why don’t you do your job and help me?!”

Normally, if a user is struggling, I will reach out and assist, even though our standard operating procedure is to transfer tickets back to the service desk so they can help the user instead of our tiny team of five getting tied up.

Well, this lady didn’t get my help. Do my job? All right, I’ll do it to the letter of the law, then. Now she gets to wait two days for the service desk to get around to her ticket.

Meanwhile, she has been emailing me complaining. Well, lady, don’t bite the hand that manages your access to technology. Now, wait and suffer at the hands of SOP.

My Coworker, The Kindergartener

, , , , , | Working | September 30, 2022

I’m at my department’s weekly meeting.

Boss: “Just a reminder that next week is the quarterly status update meeting for all employees.”  

We all groan.

Annoying Coworker: “I don’t wanna.”

[Annoying Coworker] is in her late fifties, but she acts like a kid sometimes. She apparently thinks this behaviour is cute. It’s not.

Boss: “Yes, yes, I know, those meetings are boring and mostly pointless. But we all have to attend unless you have a really good reason for missing it.”

Annoying Coworker: *Pouts* “I don’t wanna!”

Me: “[Boss], I won’t be able to attend.”

Boss: “Ah, yes, that’s right. No problem, [My Name].”

Annoying Coworker:Hey! How come [My Name] doesn’t have to go?”

Boss: “Because—”

Annoying Coworker: “No fair! If she doesn’t have to go, I’m not going, either!”

Boss: “[My Name] is going to be out of town starting Monday. Are you going to be out of town?”

Annoying Coworker: “…”

She glared daggers at me for the rest of the meeting. I resisted the temptation to stick out my tongue; one overgrown kid in the department is already one too many.

Uh… At Least He Had Access To A Toilet?

, , , , | Working | CREDIT: lerenardnoir | September 30, 2022

I work at a smaller boutique hotel in a city that mostly sees business guests from Tuesday to Friday, but on this particular weekend, we have a big event. Hotels well into the suburbs are all sold out and we are doing a complete flip of the hotel.

Because I am the front office lead with the most experience, I am asked to come in for a death flip (because hotels love to punish you for being good at your job). I get to see the night staff as they come in for their shift and again when they clock out.

Being a smaller property, our night bellman doubles as security, and they let me know that the business guests checking out this morning will likely be in a mood because they received multiple noise complaints from multiple rooms throughout the night. They said they went up to check every time they got a call but never heard any noise coming from any room in particular, so they weren’t able to do whatever they had to do in that situation.

I prepare myself to be a punching bag as much as I possibly can, drink my coffee, and let my trainee know that she’s in for a treat this morning. Nothing is more fun than handling angry guests while a trainee slowly learns her way through a lineup of cranky business people and annoying hotel casuals trying to check into their rooms at 10:00 am.

The lineup is long, the people are angry, the trainee is trying, and I am just smiling and comping my way through verbal assaults when, suddenly, a man emerges from the elevator. He is in his underwear and covered in white dust.

He jumps the line — no one protests — and he just growls at the trainee:

Guest: Checking out.”

I excuse myself from the only other terminal where I have been getting a verbal lashing from a gentleman who has just turned downright pleasant upon realizing that someone else needs to yell at me more than he does.

I join my trainee just as she robotically asks the guest if he has enjoyed his stay. Here’s what we discover happened.

In the middle of the night, this guy got up to take a leak, and when he tried to exit the bathroom, the door wouldn’t open. (Maintenance went up afterward, and for inexplicable reasons, the door was impossibly stuck in the frame.) He said he tried body slamming the door and tried smashing the doorknob with the top of the toilet tank (which shattered), and in between his attempts to solve a real-world escape room, he would scream for help. But since he was in town for an important meeting, he also wanted to ensure that he was able to catch a few winks, so he’d sleep in the bathtub in between escape attempts. Once he realized that he likely wouldn’t be discovered until after checkout and he had places to be, he ended up using pieces of shattered porcelain and the plastic housing that covers the Kleenex box to DIG A MAN-SHAPED HOLE THROUGH THE DRYWALL and into the hotel room!

He was so understandably incensed that when he crawled through the drywall hole, he just bee-lined it downstairs without another thought.

Trainee: “Should I still charge his card for the stay?”

I swear I can feel this man’s eyes burning a hole through my soul before I can say:

Me: “Absolutely not.”

After that, the guests in line who had witnessed this were notably nicer realizing that: a) comparably, their night wasn’t so bad, and b) maybe someone could have specified to security that it was someone screaming for help that had roused them from their slumber.

In the end, we didn’t get sued (that I am aware of). And not only was maintenance able to replace the door (which had to have the hinges removed and then be knocked out), but they also patched the drywall, and we were able to sell the room later that night at some exorbitant rate given the city and surrounding area’s occupancy.