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Bad boss and coworker stories

Pump The Brakes On This Establishment

, , , , , | Working | December 2, 2022

My sister’s car needed new brakes as they were making that “crunching in snow” sound when applied. It just so happens that the local tire store had a coupon for a brake job. [Sister] called me for advice as they said she needed her rotors turned. I agreed. [Sister] paid the bill and retrieved her car.

Within a few weeks, the brakes were making the same noise. Obviously, the rotors were never turned and tore up the new pads quickly.

I went down to the tire store.

Me: “I want you to give my sister her money back for the brake job.”

Clerk: “I can’t do that because we did the service she was billed for.”

Me: “I’m an accountant. The mechanic shop across the street is my client. That shop is the only one in town that has the equipment to turn rotors. The office manager records the make and model of every car that they turn rotors on. I checked, and she has no record of my sister’s car coming into their shop, ever. Now, send her the money she paid you for the job you never did and charged her for.”

My sister got a check a few days later. I found out at a local coffee shop that they had done that to several people. Needless to say, they were out of business not too long after.

A Whole Pallet Of Unearned Praise

, , , , | Working | December 2, 2022

While a full-time student in college, I was a full-time employee at a beef packing company. I worked the second shift, one of over 400 employees per shift.

At the time of this story, I was running a rib and plate saw that was at the beginning of the conveyor. The meat was processed and then vacuum packed, put in labeled boxes, and palletized at the back of the plant. From there, pallets were either forklifted to coolers or loaded into reefers. Palletizing was always getting backlogged, with boxed beef stacked on rollers waiting to be put on the pallets.

We were paid for eight hours, but we saw boys usually finished in six. Because we were the first to finish, we were always sent back to help catch palletizing up. Because I wasn’t getting paid extra for the time spent back there and I had to get home and to bed for my 7:30 class, it was getting really irritating. I eventually came up with what I thought was a workable plan that would keep palletizing from getting behind and keep me from being sent back there.

Me: *To my foreman* “How about sending half of palletizing to supper thirty minutes ahead of the rest of the plant? Then, when we go to supper, they will have that amount of time to catch up since the chain is shut down and nothing is coming their way.”

Foreman: “I will take that to the plant superintendent.”

A couple of days later:

Foreman: “The super said that was like putting a bandaid on cancer; it won’t solve the problem.”

Me: “Well, it would at least help until someone finds a solution, but okay.”

The next week’s half of palletizing was sent to supper thirty minutes ahead of the plant. And I found out that my foreman got a bonus for HIS bright idea.

All I could think was, foreman, you are stuck here until you retire. After I graduate from college, I’m leaving. At least I didn’t have to go back there anymore.

That Reputation Just Keeps Getting Worse

, , , , | Working | December 2, 2022

I had a low-value item being delivered for a party from a company in Europe. It was sold through [Major Online Retailer], and I didn’t notice that it wasn’t from within the UK when I ordered, but they had a quick turnaround because it was customised and sent out within a week.

As soon as [Delivery Company That Recently Changed Its Name And Has A Terrible Reputation] got their claws on it, they immediately sent it back to the seller. When I queried them and the manufacturer, [Delivery Company] never replied, of course.

The manufacturer answered:

Manufacturer: “There’s a postal strike in Britain, but as soon as we get it back, we’ll send it back out.”

I replied:

Me: “1. Please don’t send it back; it’ll be too late by the time it arrives. 2. The strike is a couple of instances, lasting around one or two days at a time, about a week apart, so they could’ve just kept it overnight. 3. The postal strike has nothing to do with [Delivery Company]; they’re a private company and the strike is for the national postal workers. 4. I doubt this will affect who you use as a delivery service, but they have a terrible reputation.”

The company refunded my money immediately, and about four days later, the parcel appeared at my door.

So… That’s How Many Hours Of Notice?

, , , , , , | Working | December 2, 2022

My husband is supposed to go to a conference in a big American city. However, a hurricane has just come through our home province in Canada. We have no power, and there’s some damage to our property. I’d have trouble dealing with all of this alone, especially as we have small kids, so my husband decides to cancel his travel plans. He calls the hotel.

Husband: “Hi, I’m supposed to arrive tomorrow, but I need to cancel my reservation because we’ve just had a hurricane come through here.”

Hotel Staff: “Sir, we require seventy-two hours of notice to cancel, or you will have to pay a reservation fee.”

Husband: “I understand. But I didn’t know in advance that I wouldn’t be able to travel.”

Hotel Staff: “But we will have to charge you a cancellation fee.”

Husband: “Okay. It is what it is, I guess.”

Hotel Staff: “If you cancel with less than seventy-two hours of notice, you have to pay the cancellation fee.”

Husband: “Yes. I understand.”

Hotel Staff: “Please hold. I have to get my manager.”

He’s put on hold for several minutes before the manager comes on. 

Manager: “Sir, if you cancel your reservation with less than seventy-two hours of notice, you will have to pay a cancellation fee.”

Husband: “Yes, I got that.”

Manager: “If you give us seventy-two hours of notice, we can waive the fee.”

Husband: “Okay. I’ll keep that in mind next hurricane, I guess.”

The Grumpy Waitress Versus The Eccentric Old Ladies

, , , , | Working | December 1, 2022

For the monthly meetings of the “eccentric old ladies” chapter I’m in, the reservations are always made well in advance so the restaurant management and staff are aware of our group size and time requirement. We always ask for two and a half hours, but we usually wrap up short of that and make it a point to not run over. If the request can’t be honored, the hostess will choose another venue that can accommodate us. We are not often so many that one server can’t usually take care of us, we are not particularly demanding, and it’s an unwritten rule that we always tip generously — several of us were servers during our working years. Although we sometimes have as many as fifteen or sixteen, there were only eight or nine members in attendance at this event.

I was attending a luncheon meeting at a casual restaurant. The group often participates in a fun activity at the beginning or end of our business meeting and meal and, on this day, the activity was first, and it required each participant to contribute three $1 bills for a game in which one person would win the pot in the end. The hostess failed to mention this when the meeting details were emailed to everyone, so I didn’t come prepared and needed change for the smallest bill I had: a twenty. None of the others could break it, so I asked the waitress if it would be possible for her to do so; I specifically asked if I could get five ones, a five, and a ten in exchange. She sighed audibly and agreed she could.

The waitress came back a few minutes later with my change, all singles.

Waitress: *Bluntly* “That’s almost all the ones I had.”

Me: “Thank you. I only asked for five ones. I can trade back the other fifteen if you want.”

Waitress: “No, no, I’ve already gone to the trouble. And I only heard that you needed ones.”

I would have written IOUs to pay the hostess later or sat out of the game if I’d known it was such a bother.

The demeanor of the server didn’t really improve. She made it obvious through mumbled and offhand comments that she didn’t really want to be waiting on our table — maybe because, as we do, we asked for separate checks? — but because we had been seated “in her area,” she wasn’t given a choice. Despite her attitude, she did a fair job, kept our drinks filled, and made sure everyone correctly received what they’d ordered and that it was satisfactory — and it was. We collectively decided she was just having a bad day, for whatever reason.

At the end of the meal, we all individually tipped our usual twenty-plus percent on our bills. When our meeting concluded, the wonderful, caring woman who had won the pot left the entire amount — all ones, remember — as an additional gratuity with a lovely note to the waitress thanking her for taking care of us and hoping that whatever was bothering her would be quickly resolved in her favor. We didn’t stick around to see her reaction when she found that, but I do hope we were able to brighten her day, even a little, in the end.