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Bad boss and coworker stories

If Anyone Should Know Who They Scheduled…

, , , , , , | Working | March 15, 2023

I am working a few hours a week in the stock room for a bra company that sells some clothing and accessories. The supervisors and general manager are the embodiment of every stereotypical mean girl in high school movies, other than the fact that they are middle-aged women. I work in the back of the house unloading stock and have not had any issues up until this point, but their last victim walked out mid-shift a few days ago.

I’m in the stock room unloading boxes and putting security tags on items when my supervisor comes up to me.

Supervisor: “Why did you put the pajamas out on the floor like that?”

Me: “I’m not sure which pajamas you’re talking about. I didn’t have any come in today, just bras.”

Supervisor: “No, not today. On your last shift.”

Me: “The wrapped flannel sets?”

Supervisor: “No, the black silk ones.”

Me: “Are you sure that was me? I don’t remember putting out silk pajamas. The flannel ones came in on my last shift, and [Coworker] and I put them out on my last shift a few weeks ago, but I don’t remember any silk ones.”

Supervisor: “It was you. You’re the only one that makes these kinds of mistakes. Why won’t you just admit that you put them out wrong on Friday, so we can once again go over the floor plans?”

Me: “This past Friday? Like four days ago Friday?”

Supervisor: “Yes! Is this ringing a bell now?”

Me: “Well, if that’s the case, it was definitely not me. You called me off last week because we didn’t get much stock in, and before that, I was on vacation. Today is my first shift in over two weeks. I thought we were talking about my last shift before that.”

Supervisor: “Fine. If it wasn’t you like you claim, then who was it?”

Me: “I’m not sure. Like I said, I wasn’t here. You would need to find out who was here and ask them.”

Supervisor: “Why won’t you tell me who did it if it wasn’t you?”

Me: “Because I don’t know. Like I said, I have not been here in eighteen days. I don’t keep track of who is working and doing what when I’m not here.”

Supervisor: “Fine, be that way, but I am very disappointed in your lack of integrity by being unwilling to admit to your mistake or tell me who it was.” 

She walked out while I was left dumbfounded by the stupidity of the conversation.

I worked for another month to save for Christmas. During that time, three other employees quit because of the attitudes of the two supervisors.

About three months after I left, I ran into a former coworker who was still employed there. Apparently, the turnover rate for that store was so high that corporate started calling employees that had quit to find out why. They now have all new managers in that store.

Couldn’t Even (Middle) Manage To Pay Attention

, , , , , | Working | March 15, 2023

I work for a small shop that is usually micromanaged by middle- and upper-management at a distance. It’s difficult for any minor mistake to occur without getting the third degree from someone, and verbal abuse is common. Nonetheless, it’s one of the better-paying retail jobs in the area, so we mostly just grit our teeth and deal. 

Sometimes, though, I can’t resist making my accusers look like a**es. 

An annoying middle manager sends me an email.

Middle Manager: “Hi. What happened to this purchase order from [date]? Why didn’t you receive it into inventory?”

I look it up, and sure enough, the purchase order has been completed; the inventory just hasn’t been received into the system. Stuff happens, but I wasn’t at the store that day, so I couldn’t tell you why.

Me: “You might want to ask [Coworker]. I’m assuming she just made a mistake. Easy enough to fix.”

[Middle Manager] is not content with the problem being solved. Oh, no. She needs someone to blame!

Middle Manager: “I’m asking you.”

Me: *Growing increasingly annoyed* “Well, I wouldn’t know.”

Middle Manager: “That doesn’t make any sense. You’re the full-timer. Can you help me understand why you wouldn’t know?”

Me: “Because I was attending a funeral that day. The funeral that you approved the schedule change for.”

She did not email me back.

Wait, So Do You Still Work There, Or…?

, , , , , | Working | March 15, 2023

I used to work for a [Burger Chain]. The place was a complete hot mess, with only one good manager, and the rest were absolutely bonkers. If a manager wasn’t on a power trip, it was because they decided to hide in the office and surf the Internet instead of managing the restaurant.

Eventually, I decided it was time to move on. I submitted my two-week notice, worked my last days, got hugs from coworkers, and went off into the sunset… or so I thought.

Two days after my last shift, I got a message from the one good manager. He asked why I wasn’t at work; I was the only cashier scheduled that night.

I felt bad that they did this to him. I had to message him back, detailing the situation. Of course, that messed him up for a bit as he had to scramble to get people to fill in my vacated spot.

But it doesn’t end there. Oh, no. The next day, I was leaving on a vacation out of town. I’m sure you can guess the upcoming nonsense.

Once I got out of town, my phone started to blow up. It was from my former [Burger Chain]. 

Bad Manager: “[My Name], you are rostered to work all this week. Why aren’t you here?”

Me: “Because I don’t work for you anymore. I worked the last of my two-week notice on [date]. I’m not coming back. I quit.”

Bad Manager: “Well, I extended your schedule for a further week because you wouldn’t mind.”

Me: “Yeah, that was really stupid of you, wasn’t it? I do mind, because I quit.”

Bad Manager: “I suggest you tone down your attitude, [My Name]. Anyway, [Coworker] saw on Facebook that you’re out of town. I suggest you come in for your shift tomorrow.”

I decided to be a smarta**.

Me: “Nah.”

Bad Manager: “Nah?! What do you mean, ‘Nah’?!”

Me: “I mean nope. Uh-uh. Not gonna. Bye, Felicia. No. As in, I will not come in. I quit. I put in my notice. I don’t appreciate being rostered on after I’ve quit. I will not be returning to work for you, because I’ve quit. Oh, and by the way, I quit! Never call me again, or I will file a harassment claim. Do you understand me?”

It got very quiet on the other end, so I hung up on the (likely stunned) silence.

I never got another call from that place.

Clive Strikes Again!

, , , , , | Working | March 15, 2023

Reading this story reminded me of my own store where we also have our own “Clive”. Clive works in our bookstore, but I don’t think he knows how to read, let alone reads any books. He is nice enough and is willing to do the work, but he just has massive gaps in his knowledge that you would assume most humans would know.

Manager: “Clive, we just received this batch of books that have been signed by [Local Author]. I’ve put them on the display table. Can you put these ‘signed by author’ stickers on the covers?”

Clive: “Sure!”

A little later, I am working the register and a customer comes up to me with a book.

Customer: “Is this accurate?”

Me: “Is what accurate, ma’am?”

Customer: “That this book was signed by the author? If so, this is a very good deal!”

Me: “Well, we don’t charge extra if the author has signed them. Can I see the book?”

The customer shows me the book. I immediately mentally face-palm and explain to the customer what happened.

Then, I call over my manager.

Manager: “What’s up?”

Me: “Did you get Clive to put some ‘signed by author’ stickers on some books?”

Manager: “Yes, for [Local Author]’s books on the display table.” *Realization hits* “Oh, no. What happened?”

Me: “I think he put them on every book on the table.”

Manager: “How do you know?”

Me: “They’ve been stuck onto Pride & Prejudice and The Diary of Anne Frank.”

Some Problems Tend To Stick Around

You Run Cold, You Don’t Get The Hot Stuff

, , , , , , | Working | March 15, 2023

This happened in 2017 when I was an apprentice electrician in New York City. As anyone in construction can tell you, the apprentice is the one sent out to get the coffee for everyone on the job, and as I was one of only two on the job site and was fresh in the business, I was the one who was picked to get it most of the time. Every day, when the work day started, I would go to each of the other workers, get their order (if any), and then later pick it up for break, bringing it down to where we were all working to eat together. Or, in the case of the foreman and sub-foreman, I’d leave it in the shanty upstairs if he was going to be up there.

The foreman overall wasn’t a bad guy, but he tended to run a bit hot and cold. Most days he was nice, friendly, understanding, chatty, and overall a good guy. Some days, however, the stress would get to him and he’d get a bit angry and snappy. And of course, I wouldn’t know this until my first interaction of the day when I asked for his coffee order. On those days, he’d generally respond with something along the lines of…

Foreman: “What is it with you and coffee? Why are you asking me about coffee? I don’t want to hear about coffee! Go away! Go away!”

It didn’t happen too often, but it got annoying being yelled at for doing my job. Usually, I’d get his coffee order later, but one day it took me asking him three times before this exchange happened.

Foreman: “Why are you asking me about coffee?! Stop asking me about it! [Coworker], what is the one thing I say I never want to hear about?”

Coworker: “…dust masks?”

Foreman: “Dust masks and coffee! I never want to hear anything about them again! Go away!”

So, I shrugged, said okay, and walked off. I didn’t talk to him again about it that day.

Fast forward a few days to Monday. I was sitting downstairs with the other workers at break as we ate our sandwiches and drank coffee. The foreman and sub-foreman showed up.

Foreman: “Hey, [My Name].”

Me: “Hey, [Foreman].”

Foreman: “So, ah, I take it my coffee is upstairs in the shanty?”

I pointed at the sub-foreman.

Me:His is.”

Foreman: “Well, where’s mine?”

Me: *Smugly* “What is the one thing you told me you never wanted to hear about ever again?”

There was a long pause.

Foreman: “Are you sure you want to do this?”

Me: “I just did.”

Another pause.

Foreman: “Go get the [several pieces of very heavy pipe that take two people to lift] and move it from [Sub-floor 8] to [Sub-floor 2].”

And then he walked away. He probably thought he was punishing me since it was nothing but stairs to get up those floors, but I just laughed as the other apprentice had already asked me to help him do that anyway. 

I left that job site a month or two later, but the foreman never snapped at me about coffee again, and he always calmly gave me his order.