Bad boss and coworker stories

Task And Ye Shall Grieve

| Working | May 10, 2012

(This takes place at a US government agency. We’ve released an RFQ for a major computer purchase: one new large mainframe system replacing two smaller and much older systems. I’m the sysadmin for all three. It’s currently October of 1994.)

Me: “I’m going to need some help with the migration when the new machine gets here. I want either Bill or Dave to assist me.”

Boss: “It won’t be here for a while, right?”

Me: “Right, not until March. I just wanted to give you a little lead time on getting an assistant, so you could arrange it with their manager.”

Boss: “Okay. Remind me again when it gets a little closer to the time.”

Me: “No prob…”

(January, 1995)

Me: “The contract for the new machine has been awarded. You asked me to remind you about getting an assistant.”

Boss: “Okay, I’ll take care of it.”

(February, 1995)

Me: “They’re starting to build the machine. It should ship early next month. I still need an assistant.”

Boss: “Okay, I’ll take care of it.”

(March, 1995)

Me: “The machine is being shipped tomorrow. I still need an assistant.”

Boss: “Okay, I’ll take care of it.”

(Late March, 1995)

Me: “The machine is on our receiving dock. I still need an assistant.”

Boss: “Okay, I’ll take care of it.”

(End of March, 1995)

Me: “The machine is in the computer room. They’re starting to hook up the power. I still need an assistant.”

Boss: “Okay, I’ll take care of it.”

(April, 1995)

Me: “The machine’s up and running. I still need an assistant.”

Boss: “Okay, I’ll take care of it.”

(May, 1995)

Me: “The machine’s been running for a month, and I’ve begun the migration, but I still need an assistant.”

Boss: “Okay, I’ll take care of it…”

(September, 1995)

Boss: “Why aren’t you finished yet?!”

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Half A Half A Brain

| Working | May 10, 2012

(My manager is adding in the nutritional information for macaroni and cheese into the scale printer.)

Manager: “Wow, I didn’t know that there was so much salt in this mac and cheese! In a medium sized container, there is 50% of your daily sodium.”

Coworker: “What? HALF that container is salt?!”

Manager: “No. I mean a medium sized container of mac and cheese has 50% of your daily salt intake.”

Coworker: “So…half of that mac and cheese is salt?”

Manager: “No, I mean that there is a lot of salt in this mac and cheese. If one was to eat a medium sized container, they would have 50% of their salt.”

Coworker: “Oh, I get it. Half of that is salt!”

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Combustion Cycle

| Working | May 9, 2012

Coworker: “I hear GST (Goods and Services Tax) is going up tomorrow.”

Boss: “Oh really? We’d better change our stickers.”

Coworker: “I hear petrol’s going up, too.”

Boss: “But you don’t have a car.”

Coworker: “But it will cost to pump up my bike tires, right?”

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Working In (And Only In) The Present

, , , | Working | May 9, 2012

(I work at a house where people with autism and other developmental disabilities live.)

Me: “Hey, [Handyman] wants to know if it’s going to rain this weekend. If it is, he needs to cover up his project to avoid rain damage.”

Staff Member: “I don’t know.”

Me: “Well, I see you’re watching the news. If you should happen to find out, would you tell him?”

Staff Member: “But I don’t know!”

Me: “I understand that. He’s just trying to find out.”

Staff Member: “But I don’t know!”

Me: “But, if you should happen to find out…”

Staff Member: “But I don’t know!”

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Dawn Ultra-Dumb

| Working | May 9, 2012

(One of our employees is complaining that her laptop is going really slow, so I’ve been told to take a look at it.)

Me: “Well, here’s the problem. Your computer has a 200GB hard drive and you’re using 193GB of space. Copy your old personal files to DVD and clean out your personal files. It should run better then.”

Employee: “Oh, okay! I’ll go home and do that tonight!”

(The next day, the employee complains that their computer won’t turn on. I go down to take a look at it.)

Me: “Hmm, it’s trying to boot but won’t. Did you delete anything from your Windows folder or mess with any of the settings before Windows starts?”

(Note: technically, she shouldn’t have been able to change Windows settings I removed her permissions access, and she shouldn’t have known how to mess with BIOS.)

Employee: “I don’t know! I did what you told me. I cleaned out my files!”

Me: “Okay, but did you remove anything that I should know about?”

Employee: “I don’t think so. The machine did most of the work!”

Me: “You mean you ran the Windows Disk Cleanup?”

Employee: “No, the machine! The dishwasher!”

Me: *confused* “Dishwasher? You mean you had a friend do it?”

(Silly me…I assumed she meant a restaurant dishwasher—somebody
who works at a restaurant somewhere cleaning dishes but is also a tech-savvy friend.)

Employee: “No! The dishwasher! You told me to clean out my files, so I did! I think the keyboard shrank a little in the hot water cycle, though. Should I have used cold water only?”

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