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Bad boss and coworker stories

Backups Only Have Your Back If You USE THEM

, , , , , | Working | CREDIT: LcRohze | March 29, 2023

I receive a call from a user.

User: “My laptop isn’t working.”

Me: “Can you elaborate for me?”

User: “It just keeps going to a white screen every time I restart instead of to the login screen.”

Oh, no. I know exactly what’s happened, and it’s the first time this has happened at this job.

I go to the user’s location and take a look at their laptop. Sure enough, the laptop is sitting at the boot menu. The solid-state drive isn’t listed as a boot device, only a PXE (Preboot Execution Environment) boot. Well, no big deal; all of our users are set up to have shortcuts to shared folders over the network and are instructed that anything important should be saved there.

I inform [User] that the machine should be under warranty and that I’ll just go retrieve a new one for them. Before I go on my way to get a replacement baselined for them, they seem to start panicking.

User: “So, you’re saying all the data on the drive is gone?”

Me: “Yes, it seems like the solid state failed. This is not a common issue at all, but all of your documents saved to the shared folders are on a server, so you shouldn’t have lost anything.”

User: “…”

Me: “You were saving your work to your shared folders, weren’t you?”

User: “No, I wasn’t. It was taking forever to transfer documents onto it, so I just saved them to a folder on my desktop.”

Me: “That’s weird; it shouldn’t take that long to transfer documents onto the server. And you know that the IT disclosure form you filled out when you were hired said to save your work into the shared folders.”

User: “Well, it was taking forever because I was working from home over Wi-Fi! This is a huge problem! I just lost four months’ worth of work!”

Me: *Internally facepalming* “So, you were working from home for a while and didn’t think to save all your work upon getting back?”

User: “I got really busy and didn’t think about it! This is completely unacceptable. I have so much work to catch up on! Can’t you do anything?”

Me: “Like I said before, no. This is why those shared folders are set up. Sorry.”

At this point, I couldn’t tell if they were ready to blow a fuse or completely break down, and I didn’t care to stick around and find out.

I got back to the office and got their new machine ready to go for them pronto, and I finished setting up a service request on the old machine. I then made sure to send out a PSA to every user reminding them to back up any documents they have if they haven’t done so already. Then, I told my boss that we should start sending out similar PSAs every month to drill it into our users’ heads.

When I got back to [User], they accepted defeat and begrudgingly took the replacement laptop from me. I felt bad for them, gave them my condolences, and went on my way.

Please use your shared folders. It will save you heartbreak and it will save us headaches.

Feeling Firmly That Y’all Need A Bigger Sign

, , , | Working | March 29, 2023

I was on my way home when I remembered I needed to buy stamps. I would not make it to my local post office before it closed, so I searched for the nearest office and went there instead. It was in the middle of nowhere, and the only reason I knew it was a post office was that the GPS said it would be here and there was a window decal showing holiday stamps for sale.

I went through the exterior door and then the door on the right. A woman was sitting behind a desk, and I realized immediately that this was not a post office.

Woman: “Yes?”

Me: “Sorry, Google told me this was a post office.”

Woman: *With a forced smile* “Yeah, that’s the other door. There’s a sign outside saying this is [Law Firm].”

Me: “Oh. It’s huge, isn’t it?”

Woman: “It is.”

Me: “Yeah, I know that belittling tone.”

The woman stared at me.

I went back out and picked the door on the left. THIS was the post office. I got my stamps and walked back out.

When I was standing facing the two interior doors, I realized there was no big, obvious sign. There was a small placard by the door on the right — no bigger than a typical nameplate on a desk — stating that I had indeed walked into a law firm.

I walked outside, and as I got in my car, I saw that the outside of the building said several times that it was, in fact, a post office, and there was no mention of the law firm anywhere.

We Love A Simple Solution

, , , , , | Working | March 29, 2023

I’m at a hotel waiting to check into my room. It’s long after check-in time.

Me: “Do you have an estimate of when my room will be ready?”

Clerk: “One of your rooms is ready, but the other still hasn’t been cleaned.”

Me: “One of my rooms? It’s just me. I should only have one room.”

Clerk: “One room?” *Checks the computer* “I think I see the error. Okay, I’ll cancel one of those rooms for you. Is there anything else?”

Me: “Just the key to my room.”

Clerk: “Oh, that room still hasn’t been cleaned.”

Me: “Uh, how about you cancel that room and give me the clean one?”

Clerk: *Pauses* “Yes, that would work.”

The Worst Helicopter Parent To Have Ever Helicoptered

, , , , , , , , | Working | March 29, 2023

We are hiring for an entry-level admin assistant in the office. It’s a great opportunity for someone to get experience in an office environment, so we have a lot of candidates. To speed things along and to keep things initially casual for nervous first-time jobseekers, we run group interviews in an open green area next to our lobby.

It’s a lovely spring day, and each candidate (about eight of them in attendance) is going through their introductions when a car screeches into the parking lot. The lobby is separating us from the lot (it’s a private green surrounded by the office building — nice and private) but the car is so loud we can all hear it.

We look over to see a harried-looking woman storming out of the car, illegally parked in front of the building. One of the interviewees suddenly goes pale.

Interviewee: “Oh, no.”

The woman barges past security in the lobby screaming about something. She looks past the lobby, through the glass doors, and into our little group. Her eyes go wide and she beelines for us.

Interviewee: *To me and the other interviewers* “From the bottom of my heart, I apologize for what is about to happen.”

The woman tries to make it to the green, but security finally stops her momentum. We can now hear her.

Woman: “That’s my son! I did not give him permission to be here without me present!”

We look at the now-red interviewee.

Interviewee: “Yes, that’s my mother. I’m also eighteen, as you saw on my application, so I don’t need her permission.”

Security may have stopped her, but she isn’t going anywhere, so I feel it best to step into the lobby and speak to the woman.

Me: “Ma’am, please calm down and explain to me your issue.”

Woman: *Not calming down* “That is my son in there! I am to be present at all his job interviews! I have made this clear on all the resumés I sent out for him!”

[Interviewee] approaches behind me.

Interviewee: “Mom! I sent my own resumé for this job! No one is going to take a resumé seriously when the mother demands to be in the room for the interview!”

Woman: “Nonsense! You are my son and—”

Me: “And he is also a legal adult, ma’am, and does not need permission from his mother to be here. This interview is for candidates and interviewers only.”

Woman: *To her son* “Come on now, [Interviewee]! This is obviously not the place for you!”

Me: “Ma’am, please leave at once or we will call the police and have you arrested for trespassing.”

Woman: “I am not leaving without my son!”

Interviewee: *To me* “I’m really, really sorry. I know her, and she will get herself arrested rather than stand down. I don’t even know how she knew I was here. I’m going to leave with her. I am sorry to have wasted your time.”

He then grabs his mother by the arm, and they march out fast. He looks embarrassed and she looks triumphantly smug.

After a quick break, we continue the interview and eventually find a candidate. A few months later, another position opens up. Feeling sorry for that young man, I dig out the resumé and call him back up and ask him to come in for an interview.

Interviewee: “You… you remember me, right?”

Me: “Young man, I don’t think I could ever forget you.”

Interviewee: “You still want to consider me for a position after what happened?”

Me: “One of the requirements of the position is ‘can work under pressure’. Young man, if your mother is anything to go by, nothing in our office will compare to the pressure you must be under at home. Now, we can conduct a private interview, inside the building, away from the parking lot, at [date and time]. Would you be interested?”

Interviewee: “Oh, my goodness, yes! Thank you so much!”

He was early. He did not bring his mother. He got the job.

I Guess We’re Not In For A Whale Of A Time

, , , , , | Working | March 29, 2023

Back in the late 1990s, a brand new multiplex opened in a major city near me. At the time, this was quite exciting since we had few of these around, and it was apparently looking to be some kind of local hotspot with different bars, restaurants, and nightclubs all under one roof.

By chance, I won some free tickets to the first-ever screening at the theatre, which was for one of the “Free Willy” movies. My dad, my sister, and my friend were all able to go as we had four free tickets. I wasn’t massively excited about the film, but it was still pretty cool.

When we arrived, the place certainly looked new and impressive, and we got some free popcorn to boot. There were a number of families in attendance, and everyone looked happy.

Then, the strangest thing happened when the movie started. Literally five seconds into the movie, the curtain suddenly went down and the house lights came up! Everyone in the cinema sat there perplexed at what was happening.

A woman in a business suit suddenly appeared and made an announcement. 

Woman: “Ladies and gentlemen, that is probably the shortest movie we will ever show here at [Cinema], but unfortunately, due to problems with our license, we are unable to show this movie this afternoon.”

There was very confused silence from all in attendance! 

Woman: “We have some free tickets for everyone for a future screening, and we do apologize!”

Everyone filed out and got their tickets, looking bemused and baffled by this whole ordeal. In the end, it worked out okay because I wasn’t bothered about not seeing the movie, and we got to use the tickets for a better film later on. Afterward, my dad took us to see “Men In Black”, which we were more excited to see! 

It was an opening I won’t forget because it still confuses me. What the h*** were they doing? Why did they wait until the opening credits just to stop the movie if they could’ve just cancelled or rescheduled beforehand? The cinema is still going and is very popular, but that botched opening left them with egg on their face!