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Bad boss and coworker stories

A Higher Calling Against Bad Hires

| Working | October 15, 2012

(I am a fairly big guy at 6’4″ and 200 lbs. This particular weekend, I have been working on a horse ranch, helping a friend prepare a new corral, birthing foals, and mucking stalls while it rained the whole time. Consequently,  when I enter an office supply store, I am hard to miss: I’m wearing cowboy boots, a black oilskin duster, an oilskin hat, and am pretty well mud splattered; with the boots and hat, I stand almost 7 feet high. I get my supplies, and get in line at the first register, where a very short young male employee is ringing up one customer in front of me. He finishes up her order, closes his register, and walks off with me still standing in line. I am speechless. I look over at the next register, where a teen girl waves me over to her line.)

Me: “What the h*** was that?”

Teenage Girl Cashier: “He does that all the time.”

Me: “Walks off?”

Teenage Girl Cashier: “Yep. He hates working with customers. He pretends he can’t see or hear them, and goes and hides in the front office.”

Me: “That’s very rude. How come he still works here then?”

Teenage Girl Cashier: “He’s the Assistant Manager.”

Me: “You’re kidding me.”

Teenage Girl Cashier: “Nope. We all hate him because he’s rude to everyone.”

(Up until this point, I was planning on letting it go. Now I’m angry. I finish my transaction, and walk over to the doors and wait. Sure enough, the Assistant Manager comes out of the Manager’s office and starts to walk past me.)

Me: “Excuse me.”

Assistant Manager: “Yes?”

Me: “Why did you just close your register and walk away while I was standing in line?”

Assistant Manager: “What?”

Me: “Not five minutes ago, you checked out a lady at that register, correct?”

Assistant Manager: “Correct.”

Me: “I was standing right behind her waiting, and you closed up your register and walked away without a word.”

Assistant Manager: “I did not.”

Me: “Yes you did. Do we need to pull up the camera feeds and look at them?”

Assistant Manager: “You were not in my line!”

Me: “Yes I was, and everyone here saw me.”

Assistant Manager: “Well, I didn’t see you.”

(I step up close to him, literally casting a shadow over his face.)

Me: “I’m seven feet tall, dressed all in black, and smell like a barnyard. You’re really going to go with the ‘I didn’t notice you standing two feet from me’ excuse?”

Assistant Manager: *turns red* “…I apologize.”

Me: “For what?”

Assistant Manager: “For deliberately ignoring you so I could go have a soda.”

Me: “Where’s the manager?”

(The manager and I had a long talk about customer service, and I encouraged him to talk to the other employees. He told me this was the Assistant’s third strike. I came back the next week, and the same girl cashier cheerfully told me he had been fired.)

Misogyny Does Not Compute

| Working | October 15, 2012

(I’m a female that doesn’t look very geeky, but I do like some geeky stuff. I walk up to the register of the store with RoboRally, a game where you have to program a robot.)

Employee: “Ah, RoboRally. That is a great game. You are probably buying this as a gift for a male friend?”

Me: “Well, in this case it is a gift for a male friend. But I do like to play this game too; it’s a lot of fun.”

Employee: “Yes, it’s a great game, but girls don’t like to play this game. You have to program robots and think ahead for five steps. Girls are not very good at that, and they don’t like that kind of stuff either.”

Me: “Excuse me?! I’m a girl and I think this game is a lot of fun!”

(Luckily at that moment another employee, overhearing the conversation, steps in before the first employee can offend me more and starts to talk about the game with me. I later found out that the first employee is a real sexist, not just to me. He just doesn’t believe there are geeky women. I’m glad I’m never shopping there again!)

G-Farce

| Working | October 15, 2012

(I’ve ordered a gerbil from a pet store, and it comes to pick it up.)

Employee: “I’ll just put that in a cardboard box for you.”

Me: “Not necessary, I’ve brought a transport box. Gerbils are extreme gnawers, and she’ll be out of that cardboard box within seconds.”

Employee: “It’s never been a problem before. I’ll just put it in a box.”

Me: “Okay, then, but I’ll but then cardboard box into my transport box, just to be safe.”

(By the time we get to the counter 20 seconds later, sure enough, the gerbil is out of the cardboard.)

Me: *points to the free gerbil* “See?”

Employee: “That’s gotta be a super gerbil. I’ve never seen that before.”

Me: “Well, now you know that this can happen, so maybe you should use cardboard boxes for your rodents.”

Employee: “Nah, it’ll be fine.”

(A few days later, I enter the same store, only to find the same employee and another searching through the store.)

Me: *approaching the same employee* “What’s going on?”

Employee: “We’re searching for a mouse. Someone called to put it on hold, and I put it under the counter… in a cardboard box.”

Testy Is Not The Best Policy

| Working | October 14, 2012

(I work as a claims agent for a well-known insurance company. When people switch insurance companies and happen to have an accident within the first month of their new policy, it’s standard practice to contact their old company to verify coverages as a way to prevent fraud. Note: insurance companies protect your policy privacy like banks protect your account privacy, so no information can be released to anyone unless permission is given by the main account holder. After being transferred several times, I finally get to speak with the right person.)

Me: “Hello, this is [my name] calling from—”

Insurance Agent: “I know, they told me why you’re calling. I can’t talk to you.”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Insurance Agent: “I. Can’t. Talk. To. You.”

Me: “I’m sorry, I—”

Insurance Agent: “Look, I don’t know how you guys do it at [my company], but here, we can’t talk to you guys about customers’ policies. I don’t know why you thought you could call in to get that information, or why you’re confused as to why I can’t release it.”

Me: *stays silent*

Insurance Agent: “Hello?”

Me: “Sorry, I just wanted to make sure you got your rudeness out of the way before I conference in the customer on my back line. He used to have a policy with you guys, and he recently switched to our company. He’s been patiently waiting to speak with you so we can verify the information we need in order to take care of him.”

Insurance Agent: *speechless*

Me: “Also, I’ll be needing your direct extension at the end of our call. I’ll be contacting you on my break so you can personally cancel the homeowner’s policy I have through your company. Your attitude has inspired me to take my own business elsewhere. Please wait while I conference in [customer]…”

Thoughtlessly Thoughtful

| Working | October 14, 2012

(I’m getting ready to close out while my relief has just arrived for her shift. She’s just staring blankly out the glass double doors at the street outside the building while I’m trying to work around her.)

Me: “Hey, you all right? You look lost in thought.”

Coworker: “Nah, I’m just thinkin’…”