Bad boss and coworker stories

Playing The Sloth Card

, , , , , | Working | February 27, 2021

I work at a gas station next to an interstate with a terrible coworker. It is important to the story to say that this employee is black, and this is her weapon to wield with abandon.

This story is a common occurrence over a period of several months.

Me: “Hey, [Employee], I just finished [task #1] and [task #2]. I’m off to [task #3]. Will you do [task #4], please?”

Employee: “Oh, so you make the black employee do all the work! This isn’t the plantation days! You’re just being racist!”

Me: “No, I’m giving you a task because that is literally one of your jobs, and you’ve been sitting there filing your nails for twenty minutes.”

Employee: “I have a better idea. How about you do that while I man the registers?” 

Me: “Because you work under me, not the other way around, and if you’re not going to get a lick of work done, you might as well go home!”

She then usually storms into the back, and then she’ll parade out with a smug expression and huffily plant herself back in the same spot she has been in.

A few minutes later, I usually get pulled into the back by the shift leader and the store manager. I explain the situation. The cameras are checked, complete with audio. The store manager gives a halfhearted shrug and sends me back out. Then, I go back to my tasks.

The employee then smirks at me.

Employee: “So what did they say to you about your racism?”

Me: “Nothing.”

Employee: “Nothing?!”

Me: “Yep. Not a thing.”

Then, she sat and fumed silently.

The store manager never addressed either report. I have enough imagination to have at least ONE guess as to why her behavior was never addressed, but no proof.

Finally, after several similar interactions, [Employee] got angry that I was not being reprimanded, despite her many “reports.”

She stormed back into the back and I could hear her yelling at the store manager through the closed door! She actually demanded that I be fired immediately, in so many words. Customers could hear her and asked what was going on.

She finally slammed open the office door and stormed out of the store entirely; the manager got fed up and told her to clock out and leave.

She ended up quitting a day later, citing the store manager being racist to “believe the white employee over the black one!” Never mind that her behavior was recorded on audio and video.

To everyone’s utter disgust, she reapplied for the job within a year, and despite everyone’s objections, the manager hired her again. Her behavior hadn’t changed. It took everyone on staff threatening to walk out, leaving the store manager alone with her with literally no other staff on payroll, before he fired her permanently three months after her return.

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The Password Is Respect

, , , , | Working | February 26, 2021

I am a teller at a credit union. We have a place to add notes to accounts, usually things like if we recently waived fees, if they have special instructions for deposits, or anything else relevant to their transactional experience.

A member comes in through the drive-thru. I only work on the weekends here, so I don’t know as many members as everyone else. I don’t recognize this particular member, but her photo ID and signature match in the system. Some of my coworkers are talking to her like they all know her. As I am preparing her withdrawal, I notice that there is a note on her account from a few years ago. It states that any withdrawals MUST be first verified with a verbal password, with the password in the note.

I have gotten in trouble once for not asking for a password when a member gave it to me before I needed to ask, so I don’t want to get in trouble again. I walk over to the drive-thru, politely interrupt the conversation between the member and my coworkers, and ask for the password.

Me: “Hi, sorry to interrupt. I just need your verbal password for the withdrawal.”

Member: “Wait… what?”

Me: “There’s a note on your account saying that I need to ask you for your verbal password before completing any withdrawals.”

Member: “A password? I don’t…”

Coworker: “She’s [Member]. Doesn’t it show her ID?”

Me: “Yes, but there’s a note saying not to do any transactions without a password.”

Manager: “Just do it anyway. We all know her. She comes in every week.”

Me: “Okay…”

I complete the withdrawal. As the member grabs her money, she says:

Member: “You know what? I do vaguely remember putting on a password back when my identity was stolen. That’s probably what you were asking about. I’m so sorry; I didn’t remember doing that.”

Me: “No worries. I just wanted to make sure I was following instructions.”

Member: “Thank you for that. I guess nobody asks me because they all know me. But thank you for asking. It’s good to know my money is safe here. You can remove the note now, though. Thank you!”

Me: “Absolutely. Have a great weekend!”

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A Different Kind Of “Who Do You Think I Am?”

, , , , | Working | February 26, 2021

I am working the summer of 1972 at a gas station on the New York State Thruway. It’s a toll road with rest areas that have gas stations and restaurants.

At my lunch break, I wander over to a restaurant, order my food, and eat it there. I am wearing my gas station uniform. On the third or fourth day of doing this, the restaurant manager comes over to me.

Manager: “The next time you’re here, please sit at a dirty table.”

Me: “Huh?”

Manager: “The tables that have been cleaned are for our patrons. You don’t mind sitting at a dirty table.”

He said this as a declaration, not a question. I just stared at him. From then on, I brought my lunch from home and ate it in the back of the gas station service bay.

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What Every Employee Wishes They Could Say

, , , , , , | Working | February 26, 2021

I work in a coffee shop. It is late at night. I was supposed to have gone home hours ago, and my coworker and I have been rushing around by ourselves all day on a busy Friday. So, I am very tired and feeling a little loopy when Yet Another Car pulls into our drive-thru. Deciding to mess with my coworker a bit, I press the inter-employees channel button on the headset and pretend to answer the drive-thru.

Me: “We’re sorry, [Store] is closed forever. Please go away and never come back.”

My coworker’s eyes grow huge, but he sees me laughing at him and we both crack up. Just then, though, the car in the drive-thru pulls forward.

Suddenly, I’m not so sure which button I pushed. I approach the window, worrying about being screamed at and cussed out, but… nothing. The driver says nothing about my antics, just calmly places an order, and it occurs to me that I must have taken too long to respond to the drive-thru so they decided to order at the window. Even so, I have sworn to never pull a stunt like that again.

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Big Mistake! Big! Huge!

, , , , , , , | Working | February 26, 2021

My well-to-do aunt has ended up in the hospital. I’m the only family member who lives in the same city as her, so I step in to help her in every way I can. She has given me $500 to buy anything she needs, so I’m in a high-end clothing store holding a pair of men’s pyjamas pants — the only thing that will fit over the cast she has on her foot.

There is a man at the counter being served with a very complicated order. The woman helping him has to open a mountain of packages individually and scan the contents. Another man is standing in line and a woman comes off the floor to help him. He pays quickly and leaves, but so does the woman who helped him. I had taken his spot next in line, and it’s late at night so the man at the counter and I are the only two customers in the store, so it’s obvious that I’m ready to pay and go.

The floor woman floats back and forth from the floor to behind the counter, very careful to not make eye contact with me. I wait for far too long, and the sixth time she goes behind the counter and walks away again, I drop the pyjamas, making her look over at the sudden movement. When she looks over at me, I scoop up my planned purchase, lock eyes with her, and take two big steps to stand in front of the counter where she’d helped the other man.

With a rather discreet eye roll, she steps back behind the counter and takes the pants to scan them, but I walk away — past the first woman still working on the complicated order, who looks so apologetic, even though none of the events were her fault.

I go across the road to a lower-end store and buy a similar pair, pulling off the tagging and “losing” the receipt so my aunt doesn’t know it is a cheaper brand.

To be honest, I came from work, so I wasn’t dressed to the level that might be expected in that store, but I make some decent cash myself and have been known to shop there for my needs. I find it amusing to Pretty Woman them sometimes, standing in jeans and a band shirt and dropping $5,000 for some stuff I want, but I was stressed with my aunt’s injuries and wasn’t going to put up with their attitude this time.

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