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Bad boss and coworker stories

Where There’s Smoke, There’s Getting Fired

| Working | January 2, 2013

(I’m walking near a kiosk selling electronic cigarettes. I work in the mall and am familiar with the fact that they’re just not doing very well. It might have something to do with the employees.)

Employee: “You there, sir! Do you smoke?”

Mall Patron: “No.”

Employee: “Would you like to start?”

I Have A Good Feeling About Her

| Working | January 1, 2013

(My family and I are shopping in a theme park souvenir store devoted to a certain legendary space movie series.)

Sister: *to us* “Last time I was here, I saw light-up R2D2s that I’d really like to get. Help me find them!”

(We search the store, and are stopped by an employee standing at a counter full of bins.)

Employee: “Can I help you find something?”

Me: “What are those bins?”

Employee: “It’s our build-your-own-robot figurine section! We’ve got all these parts, and you can build your own, any way you like!”

Me: “Wow, that’s actually pretty cute. I’ll have to think about that.”

Employee: *to my sister* “How about you? Are you sure you don’t need one? They’re cuuuuuuuute!”

Sister: “No, thanks. These aren’t the droids I’m looking for.”

Employee: “You win the park.”

Mismanaged Expectations, Part 6

| Working | January 1, 2013

(It’s mid-day Monday; I’m on my way home from a charity shop I volunteer at every Monday morning when I get a phone call from my paid work.)

Manager: “Why aren’t you at work? You were supposed to be here hours ago!”

Me: “Huh? I never do Monday mornings; that’s my shift at [charity shop]. I’m not due in ’til two this afternoon.”

Manager: “Well, I have the timetable printout here in front of me, and it says you were due in at 10!”

Me: “That’s really weird; I’m not supposed to be scheduled on Monday mornings, and I copied all my shift times for this week down when I left on Saturday afternoon.”

Manager: “Oh, I didn’t like this week’s timetable, so I took it home Saturday night and brought the revised one in yesterday. It says your shift started at 10.”

Me: “Sorry… so you took the timetable home on saturday after I left and brought it back on my day off, having changed the time of my first shift afterwards? How was I supposed to know?”

Manager: “You could have come in and checked, you know? You can’t expect me to do everything for you. Just get here as soon as you can!” *hangs up*

(Turns out he’d done the same thing to about half the staff; that week was chaos!)


Like A Broken R-Eco-rd

| Working | January 1, 2013

(At the bank where I work, every Christmas our department collects toys for a charity drive. I’m the one who calls building maintenance to get recycle barrels to decorate for donations.)

Me: “Hi, we need three recycle barrels to collect toys for our drive.”

Building Maintenance: “I don’t think we can recycle toys.”

Me: “No, it’s for the charity drive. We just need the barrels to store the toys in until we can take them to [charity].”

Building Maintenance: “I understand, but we still can’t recycle toys.”

Me: “No, it’s a charity drive, to collect for the kids who don’t have much for Christmas.”

Building Maintenance: “I don’t think we can recycle toys.”

(I try several time to explain what we need these for and how they’ll be used, but all I get is, “We can’t recycle toys.”)

Me: “Okay, then… thanks.”

(I hang up, wait a minute, and dial him back.)

Me: “Hi! We need three recycle barrels for our floor.”

Building Maintenance: “All right! What department and what floor?”

This story is part of the Christmas In The Workplace roundup!

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Read the Christmas In The Workplace roundup!

The Biohazards Of Anal-ysis

| Working | December 31, 2012

(I am the hospital’s pharmacist. Occasionally, a patient is admitted to the hospital who brings in medications from home, often in a plastic baggie or other unlabeled container. One day, a nurse calls me ahead of sending down the pills.)

Nurse: “I’m sending down some pills to be identified, but they smell funny… like bad breath or poop or something.”

Me: “Uh, okay.”

(About 10 pills arrive in the pneumatic tube system. They look funny, are irregularly shaped and have no imprint codes stamped on them. The brown outer coating is sloughing off. I think they are perhaps an herbal product. When I open the baggie, the stench nearly knocks me off my feet. I put on a pair of gloves and spend a few minutes gagging, but nonetheless trying to figure out what they are. Defeated, I call the nurse back.)

Me: “Where did you say they patient got these pills from?”

Nurse: “Oh, the gastroenterologist is here, and he dug 40 of them out of the patient’s rectum.”

Me: “…Say WHAT?! Listen, for future reference, that would have been nice to know before I opened the package and nearly threw up!”

Nurse: “Consider yourself lucky: the unit secretary touched them with her bare hands!”

(The “pills” were indeed several weeks’ worth of tablets that had been the cause of the patient’s severe constipation!)