Bad boss and coworker stories

This Spring Chicken Is Just Too Tender

, , , , , | Working | May 12, 2021

The restaurant I work at received a new hire who isn’t the sharpest crayon in the box. He is polite and shows the drive to help, but he can’t follow basic sanitary or cooking procedures that were recently explained to him. I am left to train him by myself one night. I’m trying to be as patient as I can, since many new hires don’t catch on as fast as others. The following events all occur within a fifteen-minute span.

Me: “Hey, [Coworker], could you make me a run of tenders?”

Coworker: “No problem!”

Me: “Stop! Put your gloves on! Use the tongs!”

Our restaurant’s chicken tenders are breaded in-house. He was about to stick his bare hands into the raw chicken even though I lectured him on why that’s a terrible idea an hour ago. He comes back to the cooking table after getting the tenders in the deep fryer.

Me: “Just want to make sure: how many tenders did you drop?”

A “run” usually means ten.

Coworker: “I didn’t count. I just made everything that was in the pan. There were like twelve of them. Where can I get another pan of chicken to replace it?”

Me: “Good job! The tenders are in the cooler, in the far left corner.”

I pointed at the cooler door and motioned to him where the raw chicken was. He thanked me and then went into the freezer. I decided to let him figure it out on his own since orders were starting to come in. When the timer on the chicken went off, I moved to pull out the twelve tenders [Coworker] had made. There were six.

He came out of the freezer telling me he could only find frozen chicken. I reminded him I’d said the cooler and he entered the correct door this time, coming out with a new pan of chicken. Although I didn’t notice until later, he didn’t replace the pans properly and just set the new one — with the lid off — inside the old one.

He then asked if he could help me cook something. I asked him to take care of an order that had two of the same burger (and to get some gloves on). They were among the simplest to make and he had a cheat sheet in front of him. The first sandwich was made correctly with no input from me. When he was making the second one, I had to stop him from putting on extra ingredients that weren’t on the burger.

After getting the orders taken care of, I asked him to get me another batch of tenders to make up for the smaller than expected first batch. He gave his affirmation… and then went into the freezer to find another pan of chicken.

He was finally let go a week and a half later, after showing no improvements and openly admitting he didn’t care enough to memorize anything.

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To Say This Is Infuriating Would Not Be Overselling It

, , , , , | Working | May 12, 2021

A few years ago, I was the assistant front desk manager at a hotel. This story is one of the reasons I left that position after a year and went back to a front desk agent.

I had been watching a particular date on our forecast calendar nervously for a while; we were incredibly oversold. We had 200 rooms in the hotel, and on this day we had 250 rooms booked. Our sales team had booked in several groups on the same day, which was what caused the oversell. It was clearly a massive problem, but whenever I brought it up I was told not to worry about it and it would work out.

Well. It did not.

The day arrived, and while we had had a few cancellations, we were still oversold by somewhere around 20%. It was not going to be a fun day.

The logical thing to do would be to pick a group consisting of approximately the size we were oversold by, apologize profusely, and relocate them all to another hotel. The problem with that was that no one in sales was willing to authorize the front desk to relocate their group. They kept telling us to walk the transient guests — guests not connected to any group and arriving individually — and could not comprehend us when we told them that there were no transient guests because they had sold out the hotel so thoroughly and so far ahead of time that no transient bookings had been made.

As check-in time loomed, I finally put my foot down and told the sales lead that there were two options, and we had to pick one of them now.

Option A: We walk [Group #1]. They were regular business for us, but because they were regular business, they were also predictable. I knew they were laid back and really it didn’t matter to the actual guests that much precisely where they were staying, as they were factory workers there for training. They really just wanted a place to sleep, and since they all arrived together, it would only take one phone call and their coordinator would be able to redirect them all at once. They were also, coincidentally, nearly the exact number of reservations we were oversold by.

Option B: We walk [Group #2] and [Group #3]. While this option would get us the number of rooms we needed, it would be extremely inconvenient for the guests. Both groups were here for a conference in our hotel, so they would have to shuttle back and forth from wherever we moved them. They also were a disparate group all arriving separately, so we would have to call each and every guest, hope they picked up, and explain the issue to each one of them individually.

Obviously, I was campaigning hard for Option A. But the problem was… [Group #1] was the sales lead’s group. She told me, point-blank, that we were not going to walk her group and flounced out of my office. So, I got down to the very, very unpleasant task of relocating [Group #2] and [Group #3]. It sucked. I got screamed at, called every name in the book, told I was going to be personally sued, the whole shebang. Oh, and of course sales refused to call their group contacts, so those two phone calls were extra fun.

I got the whole mess taken care of. It took hours. I hated my entire life.

Then, well after check-in time had passed, the sales lead flounced back in and told me that, well, if we had to, she guessed we could walk [Group #1]. I am still shocked to this day that I didn’t strangle her.

I wish I had a satisfying close to this story, but not only did sales not face any repercussions for this, but when they heard from their groups that the front desk had told them that it was their department’s fault we were oversold, the sales lead called my manager to scream at him for having her contacts angry at her.

And the hotel was oversold in the exact same way a month later.

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Nobody Likes A Saucy Cashier

, , , | Working | May 12, 2021

I live in a small town. Everyone recognizes everyone even if they don’t know their names, eventually. This employee has worked cashiering and food prep at a restaurant for more than a year at the same place. She sucks at taking direction but not usually enough to complain about. I go there about twice a month, and it’s always her.

I prefer a burger with a certain specialty bread but found last time that the bread turns into goo and snot with the normal mayonnaise, which is the only sauce for that burger.

Me: “I’ll have a [burger], no mayo.”

Employee: *Dramatic sigh* “Just say ‘no sauce’!”

Me: *Surprised* “Uh, okay. No sauce.”

The burger is slathered with ketchup and it is an AWFUL taste, because I don’t know anyone who wants their bacon dipped in ketchup, and because the bread was liquified during transit. I throw it away. A couple of weeks later, I decide to be more specific.

Me: “I’ll have [burger], no mayo, no ketchup, no mustard—”

As I’m listing, the same employee interrupts me with a major attitude problem. 

Employee: *Angry, almost yelling* “You don’t have to list everything! Obviously! Just say, ‘No sauce!’ And [burger] only comes with mayonnaise!”

Me: *Matching her tone, but louder to speak over her in return*Apparently, I do, since last time I got a ball of ketchup and snot with bacon instead of a [burger]! Now as. I. Was. Saying. No mayo, no ketchup, no mustard, no teriyaki, no ranch, nothing liquid in the burger. Only the [solid/non-sauce ingredients]. Or as someone here who prefers to language-police everything told me, ‘No sauce.’”

Employee: *Embarrassed, quieter* “Oh, uh, so… Whatever!”

Whereas before, that employee would hand off the food, on my approach, she stomps off. Her manager passes me the container.

Manager: “Sorry about that. Uh, we are still training her…”

Me: *Still kind of pissed* “In what world does ‘no sauce’ mean ‘slather this in ketchup even though that’s not normally on it’? And why is it okay to shout over people like that? She has worked here for more than a year, so it sounds to me like she is either beyond teaching or intentionally defiant.”

The burger was correct. The next time I came by, a different person was handling orders, and I haven’t had any problems since then. I asked after her and was told she was moved to janitorial duties since she couldn’t be trusted cashiering or in food prep.

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Welcome To Bizarro World Coffee Shop

, , , , , | Working | May 11, 2021

I’m about two hours away from home when I decide to stop at a popular coffee chain that I love to frequent. The building is empty, but as soon as I step inside, things get weird.

Employee: *Immediately upon seeing me enter* “We don’t take no card inside right now. Cash only.”

Me: “Oh. Um. Okay. You said inside? Do you… take cards in the drive-thru only?”

Employee: “Yeah, I guess that’s fine.”

Me: “Okay, so… I’ll just go… get back in my car, then. See you soon!”

I’m a little perplexed by this, considering I’ve worked in fast food before and our POS systems were connected, but I figure it must work differently here. I leave the store, get in my car, and pull around to the drive-thru.

Me: “Hi there, can I get [common tea drink], and—”

Employee: “No. We don’t make those.”

Me: *Pauses* “Since when?”

Employee: “They were limited time only.”

Me: “I’ve been getting them for over a year and you… have a big sign for them on your menu board—”

Employee:Nope! Can’t sell it.”

Me: “Okay… I’ll just get a latte, then, please. And a plain coffee with cream and no sugar.”

Employee: “Yeah, I actually still have all the stuff to make you a [common tea drink]. But I won’t. Can’t. Not allowed.”

Me: “Uh, okay, that’s fine. Just the latte and plain coffee with cream, no sugar, please, then.”

She told me to pull around and finally gave me my drinks. My boyfriend told me his plain coffee was black and overloaded on sugar when I brought it to him. When I went back home, I ended up stopping at my regular coffee chain who served me my tea with no issue, and they looked really confused when I asked if it was limited time only. I looked up the first shop later and it turned out that they’re the worst-rated chain store I’ve ever seen still in business! No wonder they were empty.

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The Art Of Charming Your Coworkers

, , , , , , | Working | May 11, 2021

On my way into work, I stop at reception to show a friend a drawing I did over the weekend that is saved on my phone.

Receptionist: “Wow, that’s really good. You missed your calling. You should be an artist.”

Me: “I— I am. That’s literally my job here.”

She blushed so quickly I was worried she was going to pass out, but then we both laughed.

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