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Bad boss and coworker stories

Muck Around And Find Out

, , , , , | Working | November 26, 2021

The fast food restaurant I work at closes at 11:00 pm. It’s about 9:00 pm when a customer walks in.

Coworker: “We’re closed!”

Customer: “Oh, sorry. Goodnight, then.”

The customer then turns around and leaves.

Me: “What the f***, [Coworker]? Why’d you do that?”

Coworker: *Completely shocked* “I didn’t think he’d do that! I was just trying to show [Coworker #2] that customers never f****** listen, and then one actually did! Who would have seen that coming?”

He wasn’t wrong, but our manager still decided to fire him for mucking around at work.

Phoning In This Whole Taking Ownership Thing

, , , , , , | Working | CREDIT: Billiam201 | November 26, 2021

Quite some time ago, my girlfriend and I (now my wife of more than fifteen years) moved in together and had to set up everything: cable, Internet, phone, etc. We got our home phone number, our two cell phones, and we were off to the races.

Almost immediately, we started getting calls for an establishment that does custom framing and various other art-related things. Of course, we had caller ID, and we had friends that would call us, but inevitably, if we didn’t recognize the number, it was someone wanting to find out if their order was complete, or their frame was done, or what their hours were, or any of a thousand other questions.

I’m sure anyone else who has had this happen will recognize this exchange.

Us: “Sorry, that’s no longer their number. This is a residence.”

Us: “Yes, I’m sure.”

Us: “No, I’m not giving you my address.”

Us: “No, I don’t know their new number.”

Us: “Yes, I have a phone book, but so do you.”

After a thousand of these, we changed the message on our answering machine to say, “This is not, I repeat not, [Art Shop]. If you are trying to reach [Art Shop], please hang up, look up their number, and try that, because we aren’t them.”

Eventually, I got my gazillionth call.

Me: “Where do people keep getting this number?”

Caller #1: “It’s printed on my receipt. I guess I’ll just call this other number.”

Me: “Any chance you can give me that number? Thanks!”

I called the other number.

Owner: “Hello, [Art Shop].”

Me: “You guys are still giving out my home phone number on your receipts.”

Owner: “Yeah. So?”

Me: “Well, f****** stop it. It’s been at least a year since you haven’t had that number. At least cross it out or something.”

Owner: “That’s a pain in the a**. I’m not making my employees do that.”

Me: “So, you’re the manager?”

Owner: “I’m the owner.”

Me: “So, let me see if I have this right. You, what was your name again?”

Owner: “[Owner].”

Me: “You, [Owner], have decided that it’s too inconvenient to cross my home phone number off of your receipts, so you’re just going to keep giving it out?”

Owner: “What are you gonna do? Sue me?”

Me: “Maybe.”

Owner: “Whatever. I’ve got s*** to do. Bye.”

I called a lawyer, but I didn’t really have a leg to stand on.

I went to the store and asked for the owner.

Employee: “[Owner]’s not here. He’s hardly ever here, really. You want me to call him?”

Me: “No, I’m fine. I know this is going to sound odd, but is there any chance I can see one of your receipts?”

She picked up a receipt book and showed it to me. Sure enough, it had my phone number at the top, above another one.

Me: “I thought so. I couldn’t get you at the other number, some guy yelled at me, and I didn’t have my old receipt, so I had to come down here.”

Employee: “We’ve been having that happen a lot, ever since [Owner] decided we didn’t need two phone lines. But he had just bought like twenty boxes of these receipt books and business cards, and he’s too cheap to buy more until they run out. I’d hate to be that guy.”

Me: “Yeah, that’s gotta suck.”

I went home and hatched my evil plan. The next time I got a call from a number I didn’t recognize:

Me: “Hello, [Art Shop].”

Caller #2: “Hi, this is [Caller #2]. I dropped off [item] last week to be framed. Is it ready?”

Me: “Let me check. Yup. We finished it this morning. I hope you don’t mind, but we decided to upgrade the matting because of the weight of the piece. It’s the same color, and we won’t be charging you for it, since it was my decision.”

Caller #2: “Oh, thank you. I’ll be down to pick it up later today. What time do you close?”

I look down at the business card, with my number and the hours clearly marked 11:00 to 4:00.

Me: “Take your time; we’ll be here until 7:00.”

Caller #2: “Thank you so much. Can you tell me how much that was?”

Me: “$19.99, ma’am, plus tax, so $21.39.”

Caller #2: “Wow, that’s cheap. Are you sure?”

Me: “Of course. If anyone has a problem, tell them you talked to [Owner].”

Caller #2: “Okay, see you around 6:00.”

Me: “See you then. Thank you for calling [Art Shop].”

For WEEKS I kept giving out completely random information.

“How much is a 36″x48″ matted frame?” “Let’s say $24.99.” “Wow, that’s cheap. How much to have it done custom, how I want it?” “Custom is an extra $10, so $34.99.” “Wow, that’s cheap. I’ll be right down. What was your name?” “[Owner].” “See you in ten, [Owner].”

“How much to have the entire front page of the New York Times from 9/11 mounted and framed?” “$33.99, unless you want our special, proprietary newspaper frame and mat service, only $49.99 and guaranteed for life, only at [Art Shop]. Tell them [Owner] sent you.”

I can only imagine the number of pissed-off people who showed up to pick up orders that weren’t ready, and when they finally were, they were given a price WAAAAY higher than what “[Owner]” had told them over the phone.

Eventually, someone let slip that “they called the number on the receipt, and that’s what [Owner] had told them.” [Owner] was NOT happy.

Me: “Hello, thank you for calling [Art Shop]. This is [Owner].”


Me: “Why, [Owner], whatever do you mean?”

Owner: “Someone has been giving prices to my customers and telling them their orders are in when they’re not due for weeks.”

Me: “Well, [Owner], who called them?”

Owner: “Nobody called them; they called us.”

Me: “Then what’s the problem? If someone called you and got pricing information, that would seem to be your problem.”

Owner: “They didn’t call me; they called you.”

Me: “Well, how would that happen?”

Owner: “Your number is on my receipts and business cards.”

Me: “My, my. It seems to me there’s a very simple solution here. Take my number off your receipts and business cards.”

Owner: “Do you have any idea how much promotional materials cost?”

Me: “Is it more than it costs to do these jobs for the prices you’re quoting? Is it more than it costs to lose customers, or less than that?”

Owner: “This is extortion!”

Me: “Call it what you want, [Owner]. The choices, and consequences, are entirely up to you.”

A week later:

Me: “Hello, [Art Shop]. This is [Owner].”


Me: “Sure. Bye, [Owner]!”

I didn’t let him off the hook until the calls stopped, but it was only a week or so after he called me back. He must have paid for expedited shipping.

All Systems Normal, If By “Normal” You Mean “AAAAAAA”

, , , , , | Working | November 25, 2021

My company is the epitome of chaotic and disorganized as a quirky character trait. Our sales manager is the worst out of everyone and has made it my responsibility to remind her to send out software license renewals, despite constantly crowing about her “system” and why she cannot have her files on the server because it would mess up her “functional” system.

I typically just schedule to send her reminder emails when licenses expire at sixty-day, forty-five-day, thirty-day, and fifteen-day intervals and wait for the client to email me because four acknowledged warnings is clearly not enough. It is pretty commonplace for me to have to stop what I am doing when she screeches at me to find a P.O. to prove she is behind. I have no access to her P.O.s due to her asinine “system,” so I merely shrug my shoulders at her, remind her that it isn’t my job but I am happy to take it on if she wants to split the commission, and go back to actual software development when she starts to complain about me possibly being able to do her job.

Despite keeping her own “records” on her computer exclusively and how, frankly, easy it is to renew licenses for happy customers, she typically makes me keep a log that she has me send her once a month. No amount of reminding her that it is on the server can convince her to get it herself, so I relent to emailing it and call it a day.

This time, she messages me telling me that there is a license missing, but she refuses to tell me for whom or when the license was generated. She wants me to search my email to find it. Again, I don’t have access to any of this, but I search anyway and ask the person whose job it is to actually create the licenses. He cannot find it in his email, either, but finds when the license code was sent out. We continue to dig.

Apparently, this dingbat sent him a screenshot of an email authorizing his purchase in a text message two years ago and expected me to keep track of this for her. It would’ve taken her two seconds to forward her email. Thank goodness her system is infallible!

The Great Bagel Caper

, , , , , , | Working | November 25, 2021

I am a customer at a local bagel shop. I always get the same thing, but there’s a kid, probably sixteen or seventeen, behind the counter, who I haven’t seen before.

I tell him my order and watch him write it down, but he mishears me and writes “papers.” His coworker, who I have seen several times, has to correct him.

He had never heard of capers, but sure, it made sense to put papers on a bagel.

If It’s Closed, Leave It Closed. Simple.

, , , , , , , | Working | November 25, 2021

Several years ago, we had a tree fall on our house during a pretty bad windstorm. This happened in roughly February, and being that this was Washington state, it was pretty rainy and miserable, so while crews came out to get the tree off the roof and everything, we ended up with patches — mainly tarps — over the holes because it was too wet and rainy still to fix the roof immediately.

When the incident first occurred, we didn’t have a dog, but between the time of the tarps being added to the roof and the weather clearing up enough to allow them to start repairs, we happened to get a rescue lab-retriever mix. Now here’s the thing with that lovable goofball: when we first got him, he was still young enough that he could have hopped the fence. What we didn’t know was that he wouldn’t — that dork had some interesting quirks, but that’s a story for another time. So, when nobody was home, we’d leave him in the yard, but he’d be on a lead — it was like a ninety-foot thing so he had a decent run of the yard, but again, we were trying to prevent him from potentially escaping.

It was getting to the point where the repairs are starting, and our landlord had reached out to his insurance company about getting repairs covered, so they had to send out an investigator. He managed to show up while no one was home, so he just wandered around the back of the house examining everything. We had gates on both sides of the house, and we didn’t know it at the time, but he left one of them open — the one on the far side of the house that we never used.

I got home from school and was the only one home. The rule was: get home, let the dog off his lead, play with him for a bit, and then go do homework. When I went to go back inside, he didn’t want to come in, so I left him in the yard because he didn’t mind it, and I went off to do my homework.

Sometime later, my mom got home and the landlord showed up and wanted to take a look at some reports he’d gotten from the investigator. He and my mom went into the backyard and my mom asked me where the dog was. Any guesses? He’d managed to find the open gate and slipped out. Unfortunately, I had no idea how long he’d been gone. We started looking for him but couldn’t find him anywhere. My brothers and I were kind of devastated.

My dad called the investigator.

Dad: “Why did you leave the gate open and not say anything about it?”

Investigator: “Well, the dog was tied up, so I didn’t think it mattered.”

Dad: *Pissed off beyond belief* “Okay, first of all, do you think we just keep him tied up all the time? Second, forget the dog for a moment. You had no way of knowing if there were small children here. What if one of them had gotten out of that open gate and then gotten hit by a car?”

We lived off a street that intersected with a main drag, so we’d get people speeding down the street all the time.

Investigator: “Oh, well, I guess I never thought of it like that.”

Dad: “Of course, you didn’t. You’d better hope we find the dog; otherwise, you will be buying a new dog for my kids.”

The investigator started sputtering about that not being fair.

Dad: “Maybe keep that in mind next time you’re wandering around properties.”

It took a couple of days, but we finally found the dog. We got really lucky and one of the families near the school had managed to grab him. We had started putting up Missing posters, and then a friend called having seen a Found poster. We’d put the Missing on one side of the pole and the Found posted was on the other side; you wouldn’t see it unless you turned around.

We got our dog back, and I don’t know what happened with that investigator, but knowing my dad, there was definitely something to the guy’s manager.