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Bad boss and coworker stories

Gotta Have Something To Do When You’re Snowed In

, , , , , , , | Working | June 22, 2022

Back in the 1970s, I was in the local shopping plaza to pick up food as a snowstorm had started.

I heard this conversation take place.

Beauty Salon Owner: “I’m going to close up now. How about you?”

Liquor Store Owner: “Lady, I can’t close. I’m a public service!”

Not Delivering On Delivery. Not Even A Little.

, , , , | Working | June 21, 2022

I’ve had a long day at work and don’t feel like cooking, so I order some takeaway using a well-known app. After a certain time, I get a call from the delivery driver.

Driver: “Hi, I’m at [Location]. I need you to come out to me.”

Me: “But that’s over a mile away. My address is [address].”

Driver: “I know, but I don’t want to walk through the park. There are some teenagers playing football there.”

Me: “You don’t need to walk through the park. There’s a road round the outside. You can drive.”

Driver: “Well, I’m parked now, so just get down here!”

Me: “No. You’re being paid to deliver to the door. Now phone me back when you’re here!”

I ring off so he can’t respond. Shortly afterward, the app informs me that he’s marked my food as delivered. I inform the company that it has not been. They apologise and refund me. Not long afterward, I get an angry call from the driver.

Driver: “Oh, thanks a bunch. Now they’ve fired me!”

Me: “You should have done your job, then!”

It’s Always More Complicated Than It Sounds

, , , | Right Working | June 21, 2022

Another person and I were running a blog site similar to Not Always Right. It was a labor of love for us to share stories from employees in various jobs.

However, one member got a magnificently “brilliant” idea in their head and wrote to me, suggesting a new section of the website.

Member: “It should be called ‘Ask HR,’ and you give advice to people who send in job-related questions. Basically, if someone is having trouble at work, you research what the employee can do about it.”

Me: “I’m afraid that’s not possible for us to do right now. Even ignoring the possible legal troubles we could get into, that would be an insane amount of work. Keep in mind that we would need to be knowledgeable about laws in all fifty states, to say nothing about other countries. There’re only two of us doing this, you know.”

Member: “Not so much work. Just answer a single question once a week or something. That gives you all the rest of the week to do the rest of the site.”

Me: “Again, no, there are too many complications and obstructions to add something like that to the website.”

Member: “That’s why you only do it once a week. That gives you the other six days to research and handle the complications. Or you can just get someone else on board to handle it full time.”

I decided to switch gears.

Me: “You know what? That sounds like a great idea! Since it’s your idea, I’m sure you’ve done your research on the matter. Thank you for volunteering to handle this project! I look forward to receiving emails from you on a weekly basis with example questions and example answers to get the project off the ground. It is, of course, entirely voluntary and you won’t be paid for any of your work.”

The member abruptly had a change of heart, messaged a half-hearted excuse about not being able to commit to the task, and stopped pestering me about incorporating their idea into the site.

Apparently, it wasn’t such a good idea once it became clear that THEY had to actually do all the work. I just had to shake my head.

Close Your Mouth, Open Your Ears

, , , , , , | Working | June 21, 2022

My late brother related this story to me many years ago. It was the mid-1980s, and all his children were still in school. He’d always wanted to get a set of that well-known encyclopedia and figured this would be a good time, since his kids would also make great use of them.

He contacted the company and they sent over a salesman. My brother was interested in buying the whole set all at once, as opposed to one or two volumes a month. He also was not interested in any kind of financing. He had some friends that had told him more or less what to expect and that he would save a decent amount of money by purchasing the entire set all at once. They warned him that the salesman would probably try to hide the true price behind all kinds of financing tricks and whatnot. He had at least a ballpark cost in mind, and he was prepared for any tactic the salesman would try to pull on him.

The salesman showed up and had brought a complete, brand-new set with him. He spent about twenty minutes showing all the features to my brother, his wife, and the kids. He also mentioned that this edition was the newest version that had just come out in the past couple of months, so my brother would be getting the newest version available, and that the next version would not be released for several years.

After the salesman completed his spiel, my brother asked him this simple question:

Brother: “Okay, I really like this encyclopedia and would like to get the whole set from you tonight. What is the price to buy the entire set from you right now?”

Salesman: “Well, we have payment plans starting at only $20.00 a month and—”

My brother interrupted him.

Brother: “I asked you for the price for the whole set, no financing or payment plans.”

Salesman: “Well, we have plans where you can buy just one volume per month—”

My brother interrupted again.

Brother: “That’s not what I asked you. How much is it to buy the whole set?”

Salesman: “We can do another type of plan, where you can purchase either two, three, or four volumes per month, and you’d pay around $20.00 a month, per volume, so you’d get the complete set much faster, with the payments then spread out over—”

My brother interrupted yet again, now really aggravated.

Brother: “What part of ‘What is the price of the entire set?’ do you not understand?”

Salesman: “Well, we have several payment plans that fit any budget.”

Brother: “Hold it right there. You are not listening to me. The next words out of your mouth will be the full price for the whole set, or you’ll be leaving my house.”

Salesman: “Well, it depends on several factors—”

My brother stood up with daggers shooting out of his eyes.

Brother: “Enough! Get out of my house right now!”

Salesman: “But Mr. [Brother], I haven’t finished explaining all your options and benefits.”

My brother led him to his front door.

Brother: “Oh, yes, you are done here. I told you the next words out of your mouth were to be the final, full price for the entire set, or you were leaving my house. You ignored my request, ignored every question I asked you about the final price, and were very evasive every time I asked about it. You are leaving my house, right now.”

At this point, my brother all but shoved the salesman out the front door and slammed the door behind him. He was so aggravated that he never bought the set nor even bothered to look into it ever again. 

The salesman lost an all but guaranteed sale, all because he wouldn’t listen. He was probably afraid that mentioning the full price would scare people away, but he lost a sale by not listening to a customer that was obviously prepared and willing to make a purchase on the spot.

Achieving Your Goals… Eventually… Sort Of…

, , , , , , | Working | June 21, 2022

When I first graduated from college, I had no luck finding an entry-level job in my field. I decided to lower my expectations and applied to a telemarketing company. But they wouldn’t hire me, either, because the only experience I had was a work-study job during college. They recommended getting a job with a temp agency to get more work experience, so I signed up with a temp agency.

I started out by telling the temp agency that I was really good with computers and had a degree in engineering. And then they sent me to be a temporary receptionist with instructions to answer the phones and not touch the computer. I had a few more short-term receptionist assignments, including filling in for someone who left in the middle of the day without clearing their desk of the food they were eating when they got sick. Another memorable assignment was handing out food samples at a large grocery store.

After working for the temp agency for a while, I applied to the telemarketing company again. This time, they wouldn’t hire me because I was “over-qualified” and they were afraid I wouldn’t stay, so I went back to the temp agency for more assignments.

Finally, the temp agency sent me to work at the telemarketing company. Then, I got hired directly when the temporary position became permanent, and I stayed at the telemarketing company for five years.