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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?!”

Land Of The Free, Home Of The Misbehaved

| Working | May 9, 2012

(We receive a free newspaper from a local company every few days. My significant other and I are often out of the house from dawn to close to midnight during the week, though, and we get complaints from our landlady about leaving the papers on the stoop all day. We’ve been trying to have them stop sending them to us. This is our first phone conversation.)

Me: “Hi. I’d like to cancel the paper service to our address, please.”

Employee: “What’s your address?”

Me: *gives out address*

Employee: “It looks like you’re receiving the free service.”

Me: “Yes, but we don’t read the paper. It also clutters our stoop so our landlord gets mad.”

Employee: “But it’s free…”

Me: “Right, and that’s great for a lot of people, but we’d like to stop receiving them, please.”

Employee: “Fine!” *hangs up*

(We then started receiving three papers a day.)

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?”

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!”

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?”