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Bad boss and coworker stories

Bug-Eyed, Brain-Fried

| Working | July 6, 2012

(It is about 2 am, and I have been driving for about nine hours. I am about two hours from my destination and am now traveling on backroads. I have rolled all of my windows down, as the night air is very cool. This happens after I had pump some gasoline.)

Me: “Do you have any 5-hour Energy shots?”

Female Employee: *stares at me wide-eyed*

Me: “Do you know know what 5-hour Energy is?”

Female Employee: *eyes widen* “Bug!”

Me: “Bug?”

Female Employee: “BUG!” *points at the collar of my shirt*

(I look down and see the biggest moth I have ever witnessed in my life. I shriek like a little girl, knock it off my shirt onto the floor, and step on it.)

Me: “That thing was huge!”

Female Employee: “And it was one of God’s creatures… and you killed it!”

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Disrespect My Authoritah

| Working | July 6, 2012

(I am working in a roading company. One of our tests is to rate stone chips for cleanliness in order to see if they can be used for certain applications. This test has a 20 minute waiting period for settling in a column of water. Note that all tests in a laboratory like this need to be done to a proscribed international standard, or the laboratory can be closed down.)

Supervisor: “Are you doing the Cleanness tests?”

Me: “Yes, there’s five of them.”

Supervisor: “How come you take so long to do them? I hear you sit the tubes on the bench for 20 minutes!”

Me: “That’s part of the test procedure.”

Supervisor: *laughs* “You come up with some good excuses to slack off, I’ll give you that! Look, you know you can work around the manual, don’t you? There’s bound to be some short cut in it!”

Me: “I don’t think there is, but if you can find one, I’ll do it gladly.”

Supervisor: “I’m going to check out the manual right now. You try and challenge me, and you’ll see what happens!”

(I get two tests done completely and am working on a third when he returns.)

Supervisor: *grinning* “So, you think you’re pretty clever about the Cleanness test method?”

Me: “Well, I have been doing it for—”

Supervisor: “Oh, you were right…but I’ve just been into your personnel file and written a note saying you have a problem with authority. How do you like THOSE onions, clever boy?!”

(From then on, every time we had a new manager—which we did frequently—the person with a “problem with authority” was always singled out and made special notice of by the new manager.)

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Slicing Through The Sexism

| Working | July 5, 2012

(I’m at a swap meet looking for a number of items, including a knife for camping and self-defense purposes. I am picking up knifes, unsheathing them and examining the blades very carefully. A vendor selling knives is surprised at my interest.)

Vendor: *to another customer* “Well, would ya look at that! There’s a girl looking at knives! I haven’t seen a woman looking at knives that seriously. I was gonna say all day, but really, ever!” *to me* “Can I ask who you’re looking for?”

Me: “Oh, for me. I do a lot of camping. Plus, you never know when you’re going to need one.”

Vendor: “Well, I never! Do you know how to use one of those, hun?”

Me: “It’s a knife. It’s not rocket science.”

Vendor: *smug smile* “Would you like me to show you?”

Me: “How to use a knife? I think I’ve got it down, thanks.”

Vendor: “Whatever you say…”

(I walk away at this point to look elsewhere, but his booth has the most satisfactory knives I’ve seen there. I end up going back and purchasing one, and immediately use it to cut open the packaging on some of my other purchases so he knows I know how to use it.)

Me: “Like I said, not rocket science!”

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Not Very Street Smart

| Working | July 5, 2012

Bill Collector: “…and so you owe [amount]. I need your bank information.”

Me: “Sorry, but I told you I don’t have the money to pay that right now.”

Bill Collector: “You know, I’m a little tired of you people saying you never have money! I can go out onto the street right now and make enough to pay this off In a day!”

Me: “Sir, are you suggesting I turn into a prostitute!?”

Bill Collector: “If it gets me my money!” *hangs up*

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Back Off If You Want Your Backups

| Working | July 5, 2012

(It’s the late 1990s, and I’m the lone IT guy for a small company. I support two branch offices with about six employees each. In addition to the standard IT duties, I also do nightly, weekly, and quarterly backups on tape. Because we are so small and can’t afford to pay for off-site data storage/disaster recovery, I also keep duplicates of the backup tapes off-site in a fire safe at my home. This happens one day after I’d been working there about two years.)

Boss: “We’re letting you go. We’ve decided that you know too much about how our computer systems work. If you ever got mad at us, you could crash our whole network. Also, I need you to go home and bring back the tape backups that you keep off-site.”

Me: *stunned* “Um. Okay.”

(I drive home, get the backup tapes, bring them back, and hand them to my boss.)

Me: “You know, anyone who knows enough to keep the computers running is also going to know enough to bring them down. And, if I were really the vindictive type who would crash the network if I got mad at you, I never would have returned these backup tapes.”

Boss: “Hmmm…you’re right. Go sit in your office. Let me think for a bit.”

(I go sit in my office. About 30 minutes later, he comes back.)

Boss: “Okay, never mind. You’re not fired. But you are on probation for six months!”

(I got a new job as quickly as possible!)

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