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Bad boss and coworker stories

Their Brains Must Have Been On The Same Circuit

, , , , , | Working | December 5, 2022

I’ve been in the IT field for years. I’m at a new job; I’ve only been there about a week and I’m getting introduced to the “problem” people. You know the kind — they see fresh blood and they have to call with every d*** request or complaint they’ve EVER had in their entire existence? THEM.

I get a call from an overly irate woman complaining that her printer isn’t working.

Woman: “I’ve done everything to fix it and it still won’t work. I’m going to miss my deadline and it’s IT’s fault! I’m going to tell my boss that the reason I can’t get my work done is that IT isn’t helping me when I need help!”

Blah, blah, blah.

It should be noted that we have an entire network of printers she can print to — like thirty printers. If her printer doesn’t work, she could just flip over to another printer ten feet away and print. But NO. Instead, she’ll throw a massive hissy fit over the printer directly next to her.

I walk around and find these two women (sharing a pod) steaming angry — arms folded and all. The one is already gesticulating, pointing, jabbing fingers, slamming printer doors, and overall b****ing up a storm about the d*** printer not working.

And as I stand there, I notice that the entire cubicle area is WITHOUT POWER. They are in the F****** Dark.

Lamps. Off. PCs. Off. Phones. Off. Printer. OFF.

Now I’m wondering if I’m being hazed. I mean, I am the new girl. I’m looking around to see if people are watching me and soon they’re going to laugh and good times will ensue. No. These two whackjobs are dead serious, but it is only the one who is freaking out and complaining.

Me: *Calmly* “Did you notice how dark it is in here?”

Woman: “What does that have to do with me not being able to print?!”

Me: “You are sitting in the f****** dark because there is no power!

They were both running heaters under their desks and flipped the circuit for their quadrant of the floor. And somehow, when this happened, they managed to NOT notice the lights going out, the phones going dead, or the PCs shutting down. No. Instead, they noticed that the printer stopped printing and called to scream about that.

I left and told them to call facilities. I’m pretty sure they heard my laughter from down the hall.

But… What Happened To The Waiter?!

, , , , | Working | December 5, 2022

My friends and I are on a trip together to Italy. We decide to eat at a Chinese restaurant with good reviews.

We enjoy our lunch, but when it comes time to pay, the waiter is nowhere to be seen. We wait fifteen minutes, we look through the entire store, and we ask the other diners if they have seen him. We discuss possibly simply leaving as it has been about an hour at this point.

Finally, we find the kitchen and ask the chef for help.

Chef: “My nephew has disappeared?”

He looks around the restaurant.

Chef: “Perhaps I should put a missing person report in the newspaper?” 

He opens the front door and looks around. His eyes light up.

Chef: “Hey, you, [Person]!”

I cannot hear the response.

Chef: “Yes, you. I know you work in the place across the street. Wanna make 100 euros?”

The response is still inaudible to me.

Chef: “I just need you to take over waiting at my place for a few hours, just for the dinner rush, okay? Go home and get cleaned up first if you have to, okay? Okay, thank you!”

The chef then checked our party out himself and gave us a 50% discount for the trouble.

A Little Misplaced Sweetness

, , , , , | Working | December 5, 2022

My wife doesn’t like starches. She doesn’t like bread, nor rice. She doesn’t like potatoes, nor turnips, nor beans. She doesn’t even like plantains.

This isn’t a fad diet. She’s just autistic and doesn’t like them.

But that doesn’t mean it’s not a big deal to her. Autistic food sensitivities are not a joke; they’re almost the mental health equivalent of an allergy.

We order food at a Swiss place. I get the usual fare — meat, barley, milk or cheese, potatoes, cabbage. She reads the menu and asks the waitress:

Wife: “What doesn’t have starch?”

This sets the fairly sweet waitress off on a long rant about the importance of accepting yourself and how you don’t need a fad diet to look good. (My wife is short and stout, not exactly the figure of traditional American beauty, but I don’t care; she’s beautiful to me. The waitress is also short and stout.)

I feel really guilty about it, but during a break in the waitress’s story about how she learned to accept herself and how my wife should do the same and tell herself that she’s beautiful in the mirror, I say:

Me: “Um… It’s not about diet. My wife’s autistic.”

Waitress: “Oh!”

And then, she launched into another rant, this time about accepting the quirks and coping mechanisms of autistic people.

Well, at least her heart is in the right place!

But Who Won? We Gots To Know!

, , , , , , | Working | December 5, 2022

My mom and I are on a flight from Austria to Finland. The flight has been delayed a couple of times due to unnamed technical problems.

At this point, I haven’t started learning German. Mom leaves the seat.

A few minutes later:

Pilot: “Passengers, please return to your seats for an announcement.” 

As Mom comes back, the pilot starts speaking quickly and we can’t catch most of what he says. Then, he switches to German, which neither of us understands.

It’s nighttime, and we have a transfer in Helsinki, and we remember the technical problems at the start, so we grow worried. What if something’s happened to the plane and we’ll now have to land — if not ditch, since we are somewhere above the Baltic right now?

Finally, Mom asks the passenger next to us what the announcement was about.

Passenger: “Oh. Today’s football match results.”

Sounds Like A Lot Of People Are About To Go Into Overtime

, , , , , , | Working | CREDIT: Young-Grandpa | December 5, 2022

This took place in the 1990s when a T1 (1.5 Mbps data connection) would run you over $500 a month, and only the phone company and a few very large, data-centric companies would even dream of having a T3 (43 Mbps).

I was working for one of those telephone companies in the central office where we provisioned and trouble-shot those very lucrative services. There were four people in my department, making it one of the larger such offices in the state.

One day, [Tech #1] was on vacation, [Tech #2] was out of the office for some other reason, and [Tech #3] called in sick. I was alone for eight hours with the workload of four technicians. Well, as a good employee, I prioritized and got all the trouble tickets done and all of the most urgent new services installed. Everything due that day was done. But in the process, I missed my two fifteen-minute breaks and worked through lunch.

My supervisor came down at the end of the day to congratulate me on my good work, and he watched me fill out my timesheet for nine hours. He started to get a little panicky.

Supervisor: “I can’t approve overtime. I’ll get in trouble.”

Me: “I just spent nine hours doing the work of four people. That’s thirty-two hours’ worth of work.”

Supervisor: “But it wasn’t approved.”

Me: “What can we do, then? I worked it; I need to get paid.”

Supervisor: “You could leave an hour early on Friday.”

Me: “Okay.”

Come Friday, I decided to take full advantage and only take a half-hour lunch so I could leave at 3:30 instead of 4:00. Well, guess what? [Tech #1] and [Tech #3] had not returned, so it was just two of us. [Tech #2] disappeared at 1:30 or so. I found out later she was interviewing for a management position.

At 3:00, I got paged for a ticket on one of those very expensive T3s that was “down hard.” I was to join a conference bridge to assist in troubleshooting. I joined the call. Then, at 3:25:

Me: “Sorry, I have to drop off. I’m not approved for any overtime. The night shift person will be here in a half hour to help.”

I dropped off, knowing the night person on duty had never worked on a T3 before.

I hadn’t even reached my car when the pager started blowing up.

Pager: “Overtime is approved; please stay on.”

But I had already clocked out, so I just smiled and got into my car. I drove home and took my wife out for a long overdue date night.