Bad boss and coworker stories

All Together Now: “No, Thank You. I’m Not Interested.”

, , , , | Working | July 20, 2021

The best way to handle cold-calling is to be honest, polite, and straight to the point. Don’t pretend you’re interested and don’t make up a story. Just, “No, thank you. I’m not interested,” and repeat until they get the idea. I find being totally emotionless really helps.

I get a knock on my door out of the blue and find a young guy in a badly fitted suit standing there.

Me: “Hi. Can I help you?”

Salesman: “No, but I can help you! You see, we are having a special limited-time offer.”

Me: “No, thank you. I’m not interested.”

Salesman: “Hold on now. I haven’t even told you what I’m offe—”

Me: “No, thank you. I’m not interested.”

Salesman: “Come on, you never know what you’re missing out on.”

Me: “The sign says no cold-calling. So, no, thank you. I’m not interested.”

Salesman:  “Can I at least leave you a brochure?”

Me: “…”

Salesman: *Sighs* “No, thank you, you’re not interested?”

Me: “You got it. Better luck at the next house.”

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Growing Your Garden Of Love

, , , , , , | Working | July 20, 2021

It’s a few minutes before four when my supervisor turns to me. 

Supervisor: “Can you cover [Coworker] in gardening for her break?”

Me: “Actually, I’m out now.”

Supervisor: “Oh! What was your shift today?”

Me: “Ten to four.”

Supervisor: “Can you stay?”

Me: “Well, my husband just got home today and I haven’t seen him all week—”

Supervisor: “GIRL, GO.”

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The Curse Of Cursive

, , , , | Working | July 19, 2021

I’m minding my own business one day when a coworker, out of the blue, asks me:

Coworker: “Do you know how to write cursive?”

I’m in my mid-twenties while my coworker is in her sixties. This coworker is also kind of annoying at times and has an “I am always right” personality.

Me: “I can if I have to. I’m a lot better with the lower case letters than the upper case letters and I usually just do my upper case letters in print. But I never need to write in cursive except to sign my name.”

Coworker: “So, no, you can’t.”

Me: “I can. I just never do because I don’t have to.”

Coworker: “Can you read cursive?”

Me: “Mostly. I sometimes struggle with certain letters but I can usually figure it out from context. My mom writes in cursive a lot, and at my last job, one of my coworkers wrote in a mix of cursive and chicken scratch. I was one of the few who could mostly read her handwriting.”

Coworker: “See, young people nowadays can’t read cursive at all. How are they supposed to know what the Constitution says? It’s written in cursive. If they plead the fifth amendment, they won’t be able to read it.”

Me: “All they have to do is pull out their phone and go, ‘Siri, what does the fifth amendment say?’”

Coworker: “I suppose they can, but that’s hearsay.”

I roll my eyes.

Coworker: “I suppose you never learned it in school.”

Me: “I did, in third grade, but I never had to use it. The last time I wrote in cursive was in high school when I took the SATs. They made us write two or three sentences in cursive before we could take the test, saying we weren’t going to cheat.”

Coworker: “See, when I was in school, they taught us cursive and then everything had to be in cursive.”

Me: “Well, now, everything is typed, so people don’t need to know how to read and write in cursive. Teachers are picky about fonts now. They usually require one of three ‘professional-looking’ fonts: Times New Roman, Calibri, and I forget the third one that I was allowed to pick from. I always chose Times New Roman because I think it looks the best.”

Coworker: “Times New Roman is the font they use in newspapers because everyone can read it. But still, you young people can’t read cursive, and I guess all of my written instructions are just going to be ignored because they can’t read cursive here.”

While she’s ranting, I grab a scrap piece of paper and write, “I can write in cursive when I want,” on it in cursive. It’s a bit sloppy because I haven’t written in cursive in such a long time, but it’s legible.

Coworker: “Hm. See, I would write it like this.”

She writes the same thing in neat cursive.

Me: “I haven’t used it since high school!”

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You Could Just Use The Vacuum In Your Head

, , , , | Working | July 19, 2021

Because large sums of money are routinely stored there, our finance office is kept locked when not in use, and only a limited number of specific people are allowed to have the key.

Head Of Finance: “Our janitors are so lazy. They never vacuum the finance office.”

Me: “Do they have the key?”

Head Of Finance: “No.”

Me: “Do you want them to vacuum while you’re in there working, then?”

Head Of Finance: “No. I want them to stop being so lazy.”

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All These Books And They Still Can’t Spell “Respect”

, , , | Working | July 19, 2021

At a time when libraries still used actual film projectors and reels to show films, the large central library in my city had but three projectors. One was in the children’s area and that was sacrosanct. The other two were the responsibility of the reference department.

We had, have, and will likely always have a governing board made up of the most entitled humans on the planet. As far as they are concerned, we are their personal slaves (and they have been heard to say that untrained chimps could do the job of a professional librarian) and everything in the library exists for their personal use. Their library fines are always wiped clean, books are set aside for them for months, and… they get to use the projectors, and too bad if they are needed for a program.

At the time of this story, our head librarian was an arrogant nit who believed the library existed to pay her for telling any and everyone that they could do some previously taboo action.

Take out movies without checking them out? Sure. Forcing a librarian to type up a report for a board member’s child? Great idea. Have a librarian accompany a young, strong, able-bodied board member through the stacks and act as both sherpa and llama? Excellent.

And, of course, loan out the projectors and forget to mention who has them.

We had several back-to-back programs that required a film projector. The second projector was missing. And it remained missing for months on end. NO ONE, including the director, knew where the projector was. Meanwhile, we were pushing the malfunctioning first projector back and forth between programs and sometimes during programs.

One afternoon, here comes a board member, carrying his briefcase and the second projector.

Board Member: “Hi, I told [Library Director] I was taking this out and explained why it’s a little late. So I am bringing it back today.”

Colleague: “When did you take it out?”

Board Member: “Oh, it was just a couple of days ago.”

He gives a date two months ago. My colleague stares blankly and sighs.

Colleague: “Okay.”

Board Member: *Now cranky* “Well, [Library Director] said! She said I could have it for a program on [date two months ago]. I didn’t have it that long!”

[Colleague] noted to all and sundry that the projector that was lost had returned to us… and let everyone know what constituted a “couple of days” in the Board Members’ lexicon. Sure, it was petty, but it allowed the rest of us to know that we weren’t completely crazy thinking that the Board had very little respect for us or for the patrons.

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