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Bad boss and coworker stories

So Much For Out-Of-The-Books Thinking

| Working | December 14, 2012

(It’s the holidays, and I have a seasonal job as a cashier at a large, national bookstore. To reiterate, I am a cashier, which means I am stationed at the cash register. There are floor associates, who walk the floor and help customers find items. The following happens while I’m off the clock on my lunch break.)

Customer: “Excuse me, do you work here?”

Me: “Yes, I do.”

Customer: “Great, I was just hoping you could point me in the right direction. I’m looking for Monty Python’s Best of John Cleese.”

(Note: This would have cost her about $15. I’m also a HUGE fan of Python and British comedy in general.)

Me: “Ah, I’m sorry! We actually just sold that earlier today. If you’d like, [coworker] can order that for you and we can have it in about two weeks.”

Customer: “Oh. I really wanted to give it to my boyfriend for his birthday tonight. Do you have any suggestions?”

Me: “Yes, actually! BBC has just released a box set that contains all of the Python episodes plus tons of bonus materials. We also have this 365 Days of Python tear-away calendar.”

(The customer buys the box set ($200), the calendar ($20), and a compilation of best British stand up ($20). So, she ends up spending about $240 when she’d planned to spend only $15. However, my manager grabs me on my way back to the break room.)

Manager: “What are you doing?! You are a cashier. There are people here whose job is to talk to the customers. Go do your job!”

Me: “Um, I just talked a customer into spending FIFTEEN TIMES the amount of money she’d intended to. And you’re upset about this sale?”

Manager: “It’s not your job!”

Me: “Serving customers is not my job in this customer service position? Really?”

Manager: “YOU’RE A CASHIER! GO BACK TO YOUR REGISTER!”

Me: “I’M OFF THE CLOCK! And you’re welcome for the TWO HUNDRED FORTY DOLLAR SALE that [coworker] wouldn’t have been able to make because he doesn’t know the genre.”

(Needless to say, my seasonal job did not turn into a long-term position. This large, national bookstore chain collapsed under bankruptcy and closed last year. I was neither sad nor surprised. At my current job, if an employee makes a $200+ sale, we get a certificate of recognition and a 40% discount on an entire purchase!)


This story is included in our Lunch Break story roundup!

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Oh, Good Heavens

| Working | December 14, 2012

(My boyfriend is having a conversation with a coworker regarding the then-new scandal about Rupert Murdoch.)

Coworker: “Have you heard about this new scandal about the News of the World?”

My Boyfriend: “Oh, you mean about that guy who owns The Sun?”

Coworker: “What?”

My Boyfriend: “You know, he owns The Sun newspaper.”

Coworker: “Oh! I thought you meant…” *flicks her eyes up to the sky*

The Mark-Up Of The Beast

| Working | December 14, 2012

(I’m making a small purchase at a local convenience store. With my purchases, I am using a $1 off coupon. Before the coupon is applied, my total comes to $6.66.)

Cashier: “That will be $5.66, please.”

Me: “Okay.” *makes payment*

(The cashier prints my receipt and notices the pre-coupon total for the first time.)

Cashier: “Oh, it’s a good thing you used that coupon. It had been $6.66. You would’ve had to have bought something more!”

Me: “No, it’s fine. I’m not superstitious.”

Cashier: “Well, I am. I wouldn’t have allowed that on my machine. I would’ve made you buy something else!”

Me: *speechless*

Payin’ For The Pain

| Working | December 14, 2012

Manager: “[Another manager] says you refused to help with the truck tonight.”

Me: “I didn’t refuse. I hurt my back while working in grocery.”

Manager: “How did you do that?”

Me: “I was lifting boxes of juice.”

Manager: “Well, maybe we should review your contract. You’re required to lift up to 25 pounds.”

Me: “But the boxes were more—”

Manager: “If you can’t lift that much, then you’ll have to be fired.”

(The manager continues for ten more minutes, reducing me to tears, before ordering me to help sort un-packed single items off the truck. He completely ignores that I am in immense pain. A week later, he comes up to me while I am speaking with my friends in electronics.)

Me: “By the way, I screwed up my back working in a department I wasn’t hired for and have to go to physical therapy twice a week for the next year.”

Manager: “Oh… um… sorry.” *leaves*

(After that, he was overbearingly nice to me. Apparently, he would get angry and yell at a lot of female employees, and then turn around and be overly nice to avoid being written up!)

Take It Personally To The Bank

| Working | December 13, 2012

(I arrive one day at work, and my boss, the owner of the bakery, sits down with me.)

Owner: “I’m afraid I’m going to have to let you go.”

Me: “What? Why?”

Owner: “You’ve been late a few times.”

Me: “Once, and I called and told you it was because I had a flat tire on my bike.”

Owner: “Well, you also packed an order in a dirty box.”

Me: “What? When?”

Owner: “Last Tuesday. I have the complaint from the customer right here.”

Me: “I wasn’t here last Tuesday. And why are you only telling me this now?”

Owner: “Okay, but there’s also your hair, which you’ve been wearing unhygienically.”

Me: “When you told me I couldn’t have it just in a pony tail, I started putting it up in a bun like two months ago.”

Owner: “I’m sorry, but I have to look out for my business. It’s nothing personal.”

(I leave in tears. The next day, I come back in carrying a stack of papers.)

Owner: “What is that?”

Me: “This is all stuff from the Labour Relations Board. You owe me severance pay for terminating my employment without notice.”

Owner: “I don’t have to give you notice! You’re in a probationary period.”

Me: “I started exactly 95 days ago. Any way you slice it, that’s three months.”

Owner: “I had cause!”

Me: “Do you have a paper trail indicating that problems were occurring and I failed to rectify them in a reasonable period of time? Because I don’t remember seeing any write-ups.”

Owner: “I decide who works for me!”

Me: “Yes, and you owe either notice or severance when you decide to terminate without cause. Incidentally, you also owe me two hours’ pay for coming in yesterday.”

Owner: “This is ridiculous!”

Me: “If you’re not going to pay it, I’d be happy to let the LRB mediate the matter. I’ve got plenty of time on my hands.”

Owner: “Fine! I’ll mail you the cheque. Never come in here again!”

Me: “Sorry, but I have to look out for my job and my income. It’s nothing personal.”