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Bad boss and coworker stories

Let Us Dumb This Down: NOT YOURS, DON’T TOUCH!

, , , , , | Working | October 14, 2021

I’m sitting in the lunchroom waiting to get to the fridge as, apparently, some people don’t know how to queue and push their way past. [Coworker] is taking a long time rummaging through the fridge like she is searching for something. Finally, with a loud, “Aha!” she pulls out a lunch box — my lunch box.

Me: “[Coworker], that’s mine.”

Coworker: “Yeah.”

Me: “I normally like to eat my lunch out of my lunchbox at lunchtime.”

Coworker: “Well, you gave it away yesterday, so you probably don’t want it.”

I’m pretty easygoing, but [Coworker] just gets on my nerves; she’s greedy, lazy, and inconsiderate of others. Lunchtime is a particular annoyance as she loudly stuffs her face throughout, often watching some obnoxious videos loudly on her phone. Most people eat in their cars to get even a little bit of quiet.

Me: “No, you don’t just assume and take other people’s food! What is wrong with you?! Give me my lunch!”

She pulls it out of my reach.

Coworker: “No, what will I eat?”

Me: “You are a grown woman. Act like it!”

At that moment, one of the senior human resources advisors walks in.

HR Advisor: “Is this something I need to be involved in?”

Me: *Sighing* “No, it’s nothing. It’s just—”

Coworker: “Yes! He won’t let me eat my lunch and he called me fat.”

HR Advisor: “Really?”

Me: “No, of course not. It’s my lunch. It has my name on it, for Pete’s sake, and I didn’t call her anything.”

HR Advisor: “Can I suggest you return the food and sort this out? Otherwise, come to my office.”

[Coworker] did give me my lunch, and one of my other coworkers made a complaint on my behalf without me knowing. Apparently, [Coworker] stole my food because her doctor had put her on a diet and I always bring in healthy food. She did agree to stop taking food out of the fridge, but only if I bought in enough for the two of us. I declined that offer, which made me “selfish” according to [Coworker].

I really miss working from home.

Sharing, Evidently, Isn’t Actually Caring

, , , , , | Working | October 14, 2021

It’s not uncommon for there to be cakes in the office due to birthdays, weddings, or just a good sale on at the nearby bakery. All cakes get put in the little kitchen area and are free for anyone to take. It’s a good system and most people treat it fairly.

On my way to work, I pick up a few large boxes of cookies and a couple of tray bakes. I also buy a large box of savory items. I place all the cakes on the kitchen side and write a note, “[My Name]’s birthday,” and leave it there. The savoury stuff goes under my desk as I have plans for it later.

At the morning tea break, I go to grab a cookie to find nothing left. It’s surprising; there should have been enough for everyone. A bit disappointed, I go to the shop and buy something else.

On my way back to my desk, I notice my other box has disappeared, as well. I check everywhere in the kitchen and surrounding desks, and even the trash. It’s gone. 

Coworker #1: “What are you looking for?”

Me: “A box of food. I put it under my desk?”

Coworker #1: “Is it not with not with others?”

Me: “No, that box is being donated. Did you see anyone near here?”

Coworker #1: “No. Oh, wait! Yes. [Coworker #2] was sitting there a while ago, when you weren’t here. Try asking her; she might have seen something.”

I go to her desk.

Me: “Hey, did you see a box underneath my desk? [Coworker #1] said you were over there.”

Coworker #2: “No, sorry. What was it?”

Me: “It was food. I put it aside for later.”

Coworker #2:  “Sorry, I didn’t see your pastries.”

Me: “Wait. I didn’t tell you what was in the box. Did you take it?”

Coworker #2: “What? No, I just assumed.”

Me: “That box is going to a small charity where I live. I want the box back.”

Coworker #2: “I didn’t take it.” *Storms off*

I was annoyed. I talked to my boss, who talked to security. They showed me the CCTV and, [Coworker #2] clearly took the box from my desk. Another camera showed her at her car, putting the box in her boot and stuffing food in her face.

They went to look for [Coworker #2] and took her to recover the box, only to find it not in her boot. Once again, they checked the cameras. It seemed that she went to her car to get the box after I called her out, instead of admitting it. She threw it in the bin!

I did manage to buy a second box in time. It was for a local childcare charity. They have little to no funding and they rely on charity and donations to be able to offer reduced childcare for struggling families

When [Coworker #2] was confronted about what she did, she still refused to apologise or pay me back. When the company had layoffs later that year, she didn’t survive.

Just Sweep This One Under The Rug

, , , | Working | October 14, 2021

I spot a woolen rug on a website that I want for my first own apartment. Its starting price is quite good, but it is even on sale for 99€ , and I check that they have the same rug in their store near me for the same price. I quickly go with my mom to get it, since it’s quite big. We search all the carpets and finally find one. The tag reads twice the price stated online, and in the store, there is no sign of sale anywhere — according to the web store, most rugs, including this one, are 50% off — so I flag down an employee to be sure of the price.

Employee: “Can I help you?”

Me: “Yes, I’d like to buy this carpet. What is the price?”

Employee: *Looks at the price tag* “It’s 199€.”

Me: “Funny, I looked online before coming here, and it should be much less.”

Employee: “The price is what reads on the tag.”

Me: “Could you check the price? I’m sure it isn’t right, as there is a sale on the rugs.”

Employee: “No, we don’t have any sale on the rugs. The price is 199€.”

Me: “I’m sure your store website read 99€.”

Employee: “This is quite a big woolen rug; I’m sure it wouldn’t go that cheap.”

Me: “Could. You. Go. Check. It. For. Me.”

The employee huffs and leaves.

My mom is quite shocked because normally, I’m so shy that I would never do that. On several occasions, when she demanded customer service like me here, I slunk away under displays or left the store altogether because I hated drawing attention. I kind of surprised even myself.

The employee comes back.

Employee: “Yes, it is 99€.”

I did a little victory dance in my head and I think my mom did the same. While ringing us up, the employee looked like he’d eaten a sour lemon. All the other carpets were on sale, too, and I was left to wonder if they marked them down.

Some Bosses Expect The Impossible

, , , , , | Working | October 13, 2021

A few times a year, I get laryngitis and cannot even utter a squeak. I don’t get a whole lot of warning when it’s about to hit me, but when it does, I’m pretty much a street mime until it decides to pass. I don’t tend to call off work unless I’m so ill that I feel like I can’t legitimately do my job. When you answer calls all day long, not having a voice falls into this category.

One day, a few hours into my shift, my voice goes out completely. I frantically write a note to my supervisor explaining what has happened and that I will need to go home.

Supervisor: “No, you cannot leave! We’ve had way too many people call out today! Get back on the phone right now!”

Rather than argue, I decide to just do what I’m told. I get back on the phone and allow the calls to roll in. I attempt to greet each customer, but of course, nothing comes out of my mouth. The customers repeat, “Hello?” several times before finally hanging up. This goes on for about an hour.

Finally, my supervisor comes over to me.

Supervisor: “Umm… so, Quality was trying to monitor your calls just now. You can go home. Take as long as you need to get your voice back.”

I could have been snarky. Instead, I just wrote a polite, “Thank you,” and clocked out for the day. I’m still not sure how they expected me to do over-the-phone tech support without being able to talk.

Closing The Store And Closing The Door On Employee-Manager Relations

, , , , | Working | October 13, 2021

I was working at a restaurant for six months on probation. Lawfully speaking, if a restaurant wants a person to continue working, they are obliged to provide a full contract to the employee; otherwise, they are breaking labor law. However, most companies get around this by “goading” an employee into quitting if they don’t want them by slashing hours or scrutinizing their work meticulously. It’s a scumbag tactic and this restaurant is no exception.

It’s a late Saturday afternoon and I am due to finish at 6:00 pm. Our supervisor, who is the biggest brown nose you will ever meet, has talked non-stop about his friends who are out on the town this night, directly implying that he wants to go out with them even though he is closing. He knows that I am busy on Saturday evenings with my own podcast, so he hasn’t asked me if I would be interested in closing. At 5:50 pm, the following message appears on our Facebook group.

Restaurant Manager: “[Supervisor], you can leave at 6:00. [My Name] will close tonight.”

For the record, I would have happily considered closing, if I were asked. But now I feel that I am being forced to so the supervisor can have a good night, so I decide to stand up for myself.

Me: “No, I cannot close tonight. I’m busy.”

Restaurant Manager: “[Supervisor] is not feeling so good, [My Name], and nobody else knows how to close. You haven’t had many hours recently, either, so you can close tonight and make up for them.”

Me: “And that’s my problem, because? You decided to cut my hours this month, and even if I closed tonight — which I am not doing — I would be looking at only two hours, tops, if we’re lucky. It would not make any difference to the hours I normally did before. Sorry, [Restaurant Manager], but I am not closing.”

Restaurant Manager: “What are you doing tonight, then, [My Name]? Going out?”

Me: “Not that it is relevant, but I actually have a podcast lined up.”

Restaurant Manager: “Nobody cares about your stupid videos, [My Name].”

Now I’m DEFINITELY not doing it.

Me: “Do you honestly believe that saying stuff like that is supposed to encourage my decision? It has, just not in the way you want. I am leaving in five minutes, as my shift ends at 6:00 pm.”

Restaurant Manager: “[My Name], if you leave at 6:00 pm despite being told to stay, you will not get your tips for this week.”

Me: “Hmm, yeah, I really think that’s not happening. I’ll tell you what. Let me offer you a different choice. How about I still leave at 6:00 pm, I still get my tips, and you get the benefit of my silence when I do not report this conversation to my union. How does that sound?”

I had applied and joined a union when I started because of a previous issue that happened exactly like this. The restaurant manager had no choice but to keep the supervisor on that night, which he hated me for, but honestly, I couldn’t have cared less. I left that job the next week and entered a new job that I love.