Bad boss and coworker stories

Put Your Mouth Where The Money Is

, , , , , | Working | June 24, 2021

I run a small woodworking shop and I make affordable furniture. I’m not in it for the money; I do it to semi-retire and help people out. Most days, it’s just me, but when we get busy, I take on seasonal workers.

This year, I plan on getting ahead of the rush and bringing in some staff to make up some stock of the more popular items. I hold the interviews and find two decent guys and a third that just seems… off. I decide that maybe he doesn’t interview well and give him a try. He says he is keen to work hard and prove himself.

A couple of weeks in, I notice that whenever I look up or find a mistake, it’s the third guy. He always makes some stupid excuse right before I get around to firing him.

The three seasonal workers approach me, [New Hire #3] in the lead.

New Hire #3: “We’ve been talking and we don’t think you pay us enough.”

Me: “Oh? And why do you think that?”

New Hire #3: “Look at the prices you charge! You are making a fortune off of us.”

Me: “The prices cover power, materials, and rent, not to mention four people’s wages. There is no fortune to be made. I make nearly the same as you.”

New Hire #3: “Liar! All the equipment, tools… The money comes from somewhere.”

The tools are rented or old ones that I have accumulated over forty years of woodworking. Many are screwed together and have been repaired a dozen times.

Me: “You know what, [New Hire #3]? I was going to do this anyway. You’re fired; you make more mistakes than anyone I’ve ever employed and you’re always talking.”

New Hire #3: “But I—”

Me: “Go on, leave. And for you two gentlemen, the pay is fair and non-negotiable; you can take it or leave it.”

The three looked at each other and had a short conversation in a language I didn’t understand. [New Hire #3] seemed to be trying to lead the revolt and the other two were having none of it. 

[New Hire #3] left and the other two got on fine. We hit our quota with room to spare.

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Someone’s Feeling Octopushy

, , , , | Working | June 24, 2021

I am a university freshman and I’ve just moved out of my home to study in a prestigious university. I get most of my after-lesson meals at a small Apulian sandwich shop. I usually order either a calzone and a beer or a sandwich with bologna, chard, and chickpea mousse, plus some tonic water if I felt in a healthier mood. One day, after several months, I notice that they also have an octopus, dried tomato, and olive puree sandwich. Curious, I set out to order it.

Me: “Hello. I would like a Monopoli-style sandwich and a tonic water.” 

Cashier: *Snapping around to face me* “No, we don’t have that. We haven’t had any octopus for months. Do [University] students talk to each other, or is being annoying know-it-alls toward us common mortals all they do?”

I’m taken aback and, obviously, offended. After some confused sputtering, I collect myself enough to speak up again.

Me: “Get me your manager, please.”

The cashier turns around and claps a couple of times, and the manager, a woman looking very much like the cashier, arrives.

Manager: *Blithely* “Yo, what’s going on?”

Cashier: “This guy over here wants to talk to you.”

Me: *Annoyed* “Yeah, I’d like to complain about your cashier; she’s being rude to me over a question.”

Cashier: “He asked me if we had anything with octopus! Again! It’s not my fault students from [University] keep thinking it’s like back at Daddy’s home and want everything right now.”

Me: *Bellowing somewhat* “I just asked for a sandwich, politely at that, and you blew to me—”

Manager: “Yeah, yeah. What counts as polite in your mansion isn’t polite in the real world. Now get out.”

Me: “Gladly.”

I stormed out and went out to try out the university canteen, which did prove to be pretty decent, actually. As it turned out, the university I went to had a reputation as a “gentrification machine” of unheard-before proportions, and the owners of the shop were two activist sisters doing activism against it, but, even so, was it really necessary to insult somebody for a simple question?

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No Longer At Your Service

, , , , , , | Working | June 24, 2021

I have a service dog that I bring everywhere with me. My parents own a Mexican restaurant, but I’m almost never in it because my mother is crazy. One day, I have to go in to talk to my father, and a new employee stops me at the door.

Employee: “No dogs allowed!”

Me: “He’s a service dog, you have to—”

Employee: “Leave!”

Me: “Dad!”

My dad comes out.

Me: “Can you please explain to her the laws about service dogs?”

Dad: “[Employee]?”

Employee: “I have already told several people that there are no dogs allowed!”

Dad: “[Employee], I’m surprised at you. Wait. How many people did you send away?”

It turns out that there is some kind of conference about medical laws going on in Albuquerque, and she has sent away at least a dozen service dog owners. 

Dad: “I can’t believe this! You’ll ruin our reputation, and you tried to send away my son! You’re fired!”

The waitress burst into tears and tried to backtrack, but Dad was having none of it. He told two other employees to make sure she packed up and left, which she did, all the while begging for her job back.

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I Can’t Hear You Over The Sound Of Your Misogyny

, , , , , | Working | June 24, 2021

[Coworker #1] works in the next office over but takes his lunch at the same time as ours. Some days he will blank us; other days he won’t leave us alone. He is okay apart from his some strange opinions and his outlook on life, in particular on women and their “role” in life and the workplace. Personally (and as a guy), I still find him odd and backward and would rather have nothing to do with him. 

We are chatting about family life when [Coworker]’s tray lands on our table with a thud. 

He interrupts us.

Coworker #1: “Well, I would never have children.”

Me: “Okay…”

Coworker #2: “I love my children. They are a handful but they give so much love.”

Coworker #1: “Nah, all part of your female biological programming. It’s just nature.”

Me: “Okay, I… err… don’t know what to say to that.”

Coworker #2: “You know what? I think I’m going to get a head start on that presentation. [My Name], are you coming?”

Me: “Oh, the presentation. Sure, let me just finish my lunch really quick.”

Coworker #1: *Seemingly not noticing* “You see, women are programmed by their bodies to want and love children, allowing men to go out and hunt.”

Me: “And that’s what you are? A hunter?”

Coworker #1: “Well, yes. Yes, I am. I will never be burdened by family or children. I am the hunter and need independence.”

I finished my lunch and looked at [Coworker #1], his cardigan stained from lunches previous, looking like he couldn’t hunt down a cheese sandwich.

As far as I know, [Coworker #1] did get called in for sensitivity training, among many other things. But he never crossed the line enough to get disciplined properly. The greatest punishment was probably his own company.

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Hehe… Phteven…

, , , , , | Working | June 23, 2021

Caller: “I asked you guys to email me a copy of my receipt last Thursday and I never got it.”

I find the transaction, and I can see that we tried sending it several times but it kept bouncing back as rejected by the customer’s domain.

Me: “Sorry about that; it looks like the email failed to send several times. Let me read back the email address we sent it to: S-T-E-V-E.[last name]@[domain]. Is that correct?”

Caller: “Yep, that should be right.”

Me: “Okay, well, let me get in there and email it again. One sec.”

Caller: “You spelled it with a V, right? Sometimes people put a PH, instead.”

Me: *Light bulb* “Sorry, was that supposed to go to steven.[lastname]@[domain]?”

Caller: “Yes, Steven with a V.”

Me: “Sorry about that. We sent it to just steve.[last name].”

Caller: “It’s weird that I didn’t get it if you sent it to steven.[last name].”

Me: “I just resent it. You should see it any moment.”

I swear, tunnel hearing is just as real as tunnel vision!

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