Bad boss and coworker stories

Gordon Was Their Glue

, , , | Working | May 11, 2021

Gordon was a janitor, odd-job man, and general get-things-done man at a care facility for vulnerable adults and the elderly. He was happy, friendly, cheerful, and competent, kept the infrastructure running well, and kept the place spick and span. Basically, he was really good at his job and went above and beyond as the necessity presented itself.

Come the day when the place was computerised. The requirement was now that he book all his activities on a computerised timesheet, for which he had to have a computer of his own or a mobile phone. Gordon did not have a computer and didn’t have the most up-to-date phone; all he needed to do was to take phone calls, which he managed perfectly well with his old model.

This latest requirement gave him a lot of trouble. He managed to get around it by being allowed to use one of the computers in the office, which was not part of his domain, and he felt socially awkward in there. Not only was it a complicated, fiddly, and awkwardly buggy piece of software — it used to crash when you didn’t enter the operations in the correct order — but Gordon did not take easily to learning how to use a computer. Equally unfortunately, there was nobody in the facility who was skilled in training a technological newcomer, and he was getting shouted at plenty, so of course, he found himself shouting back.

It didn’t end well. He was given an ultimatum: shape up or ship out. He was close to retirement anyway, so he took that early retirement and shipped out before the facility had even begun to think about getting his replacement trained up. They were forced to rely completely on the agency staff who had been used on a temporary basis on the occasions when Gordon was on leave. While competent enough at general janitorial duties, such temporary staff were nowhere near familiar enough with the facility to know how to keep it running properly, and things started progressively breaking down and not getting properly repaired, and of course, it turned out that Gordon had contacts in the trade where he would call specific people to get various repairs done. Without Gordon’s happy smiling presence, coupled with the increasingly shabby and ill-maintained infrastructure, morale plummeted, and staff started to drift away. Hence, they started failing inspections, and in due course, the facility closed. I’m not sure what happened to the residents; I believe they were shunted off to other establishments.

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“Party” and “DMV” Are Complete Opposites

, , , , | Working | May 11, 2021

I’m almost eighteen. I need a replacement ID, so I go to the DMV. My dad comes with me since I’m still a minor.

Employee: “I see you’ll be eighteen soon. Since we’re getting you a new ID today, we can also register you to vote. Interested?”

Me: “Really? Yes, that would be great!” 

The employee smiles broadly.

Employee: “Awesome! It’s great to see a young person like you excited about voting. I just need to confirm some information first.”

He confirms my personal information and gets to the last question.

Employee: “Political party affiliation?”

My extended family is split when it comes to political views. As a result, I’ve done a lot of research on both parties and have picked the one that fits my personal beliefs the best.

Me: “[Party].”

The employee’s face falls.

Employee: “Are you sure?”

Me: “Yes.”

Employee: “You know, you can also pick Independent.”

Me: “Noted. [Party], please.”

Employee: *To my dad* “Sir, your daughter is registering as a [Party].”

Me: “Seriously?!”

My dad, who has been quietly standing off to the side, gives the employee a confused look.

Dad: “I know. She’s old enough to have her own views.”

Employee: “But—”

Me: “My views are my business. Just register me.”

Employee: “[Party] it is. You can always change it later, dear.”

Me: “Do you hassle everyone like this or just people who select [Party]?”

Employee: “Oh, look at that. You’re all set!”

I collect my new ID and all assorted documents. My dad can’t resist one final parting shot, just loud enough for the employee to hear.

Dad: “Finally, another [Party] in the family! I’m so proud.”

The employee stared at us in horror as we exited. Somehow, I was registered properly and voted in the next election with no issues.

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A Smaller Pizza The Pie

, , , , , | Working | CREDIT: Ryanthln- | May 10, 2021

I work in a mom-and-pop pizza place; I’ve been there for about three months. I generally show up about twenty minutes early every day and am asked to start working right away. I’m always willing, but I clock in first.

One day, the owners come to talk to me.

Owners: “Why do you always clock in early?”

Me: “I’m always asked to start working when I get here, and I always get here early.”

Owners: “You can’t clock in early. Just work off the clock for that time. We will change your time card to reflect what time you are supposed to start.”

Keep in mind, all of my coworkers have gotten used to me getting there early, so sometimes they leave early.

The next day, I was scheduled to work at 5:00. As usual, the day crew expected me to be there early and work, so three of the four workers clocked off at 4:30. Since I was told that I wouldn’t get paid, I decided to show up at 4:59. I clocked in right at 5:00.

In the half-hour that those three people were off, $200 worth of food was ordered.

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Holy Crap, This Unlocked Some Memories

, , , , , , , | Working | May 10, 2021

I am a manager at a video game store. In my off time at home, I often play PC games with my wife. In particular, we both like RuneScape, a medieval-themed MMORPG. One of my coworkers is also into RuneScape; he often talks and brags about his achievements to customers, much to their — and my — irritation. He has also had a habit of showing up late from time to time, and in some cases not showing up at all. This story takes place on my day off. My wife and I are playing a minigame on RuneScape when an announcement appears in chat.

Announcement: “News: [Coworker’s Username] has just achieved level 99 in all skills!”

Wife: “Wow, he finally maxed!”

Me: “Indeed. Shame he felt it necessary to skip out the morning shift to get, it though, am I right?”

Wife: “I guess.”

Me: “Ah, well. I’ll congratulate him tomorrow. Maxing is a big achievement, after all.”

When he came in to work the following day, I congratulated him on maxing his account… and then fired him for excessive lateness because he was already on his last chance. Ironically, his RuneScape account would get banned a month later for using an unauthorized third-party bot program.

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Enough To Make You Beet Your Head Against The Wall

, , , , , , | Working | May 10, 2021

I’m the manager of a popular fast food chain. We’ve run out of sliced beetroot, which is an ingredient on a current promotional burger. Usually, I would organise to get some from another location, but we’re in a shopping centre so I know it will be quicker to send someone to the supermarket to buy a can of it. I can’t go myself because I’m the only manager working at the moment and I can’t leave the employees and the store unattended.

I summon over a kitchen employee. I choose someone who I know has opened cans of our usual beetroot before and who I think would know his way around a supermarket.

Me: “Hey, [Employee]. Can you please go down to [Supermarket] and buy one tin of sliced beetroot? It will be in the tinned vegetable section, near tins of corn and pineapple. It will look like the normal tins of beetroot that we use but a lot smaller. Here is $10; please bring me the receipt back.”

Employee: “Okay, sure. Can I take my phone in case I need to call you?”

Me: “Yeah, sure, just call the store if you have any problems. Don’t forget: tinned vegetable aisle and bring the receipt!”

I give him $10 from the petty cash and think no more of it.

Twenty minutes later, he walks back in. The supermarket is only a two-minute walk from our store through the centre, so this should have been no more than a ten-minute round trip.

Employee: “Here you go!”

He hands me a whole beetroot, like what you’d pick from the garden. He’s obviously found it in the fresh produce section, not with the tinned food. This beetroot still has dirt on it.

Me: “Oh, no! Oh, [Employee], I’m so sorry, but this isn’t what we need. It needs to be in a metal tin, pre-sliced in its own juice. You need to look in one of the aisles for it. It comes in a tin that you use a can opener for.”

Employee: “Ohhh! I’m sorry, [My Name]. I’ll go back and swap it?”

Me: “Yes, please! Call the store if you can’t find it.”

He sets off again to the supermarket.

Another twenty minutes pass, and he walks back in holding a vacuum-sealed package of two small whole beetroots.

I burst out laughing.

Me: “[Employee], no! We need it in a can!”

I pull out my phone and look it up on the supermarket’s website.

Me: “Like this! Beetroot in a metal can. It will be with the other cans of vegetables. [Brand #1] or [brand #2].”

Employee: “Ohhhh! In a can! Okay, sure, I’ll take this back.”

Me: “Yes, please. Call me if you have any problems. Don’t forget the receipt!”

Another twenty minutes pass. He walks back in, triumphant. He hands me a tin of beetroot, and about $6 change.

Me: “Yes! You found it! Thank you! Can I have the receipt, please?”

His face falls.

Employee: “Oh. I didn’t know you needed the receipt so I chucked it out. Is it really important?”

The receipt is needed so I can balance the petty cash and explain where that $4 went.  

Me: “Yes! I need the receipt! This beetroot is right but I need a receipt! Can you please go and get it? You’ll need to ask them to print it for you again.”

This poor boy sets off again to the supermarket. At this point, I’m really regretting my decisions and wondering how this went so wrong.

Twenty minutes later, he walks back in with the receipt. A full eighty minutes have passed since I first sent him to the supermarket.

Me: “Thank you! This is what I needed. Perfect. How about you have your break now?”

Honestly, I do wonder how this simple task went so wrong, so many times.

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