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    Category: Crazy Requests

    Time Off For Being A Leader

    | England, UK | Bosses & Owners, Crazy Requests, Criminal/Illegal

    (I’m a team leader of four guys, all working different shifts. Late one afternoon I get a phone call.)

    Worker: “Hi, [My Name]. Sorry, I know I am suppose to be in tonight, but we have just been broken in to.”

    Me: “Wow, I’m sorry to hear that. Do you think you will be able to cover any of your shift?”

    Worker: “I don’t think so, but I will try.”

    (I am in a bad position; with such short notice and no-one to cover we risk tens if not hundreds of thousands of pounds worth of stock.)

    Me: *on phone* “Hi boss, just a quick update, [Worker] won’t be in as he having personal issues at home.”

    Boss: “Unacceptable! Tell him he has to work or be fired!”

    Me: “You can’t do that.. He is entitled to time off.”

    Boss: “No, he isn’t! Call around and get someone in!” *hangs up*

    (I ring around and can’t get cover. Thankfully, despite the issues at home, the worker comes in for some of his shift. The next day…)

    Boss: “I found out that you didn’t get cover last night, I am incredibly disappointed. I think you are not cut out for this job.”

    Me: “I figured you would say this, so here.”

    Boss: “What is this?”

    Me: “It is the legal pages for time off. As you can see I acted totally appropriately in this instance.”

    Boss: “I, err…”

    Me: “And by the way, you don’t pay me to be a team leader, so, yes, if you want to take it off me, please do.”

    Boss: “I, I, err. Okay, well, okay then. Get back to your desk.”

    (This wasn’t the first or last time it happened. He would constantly be ignorant of the law to try to get his way. I eventually told him one too many times to take my position off me, and he did. Then asked me to do it again two weeks later!)

    Overtime Crime, Part 4

    | New England, USA | Coworkers, Crazy Requests, Overtime

    (My good friend works for a commercial cleaning company, works long hours, and has recently moved, so I hardly get to see her anymore. I tell her they work her too hard, but she accepts it, usually. Yesterday we were finally able to get together for a nighttime movie. We have just purchased our tickets and are about to go into the theater. Her phone rings.)

    Friend: “Hello?”

    Coworker: “Hi, [Friend]? Are you still in the area?”

    Friend: “Yeah, but I’m about to see a movie… Why?”

    Coworker: “Well, so, [Client] from earlier called back. Apparently we forgot to move her furniture back inside and she’s demanding we do it tonight before it rains.”

    (There’s an expectant pause on the other end.)

    Friend: “…Yeah?”

    Coworker: “Yeah, so I need you to go back and let the techs into the office for their equipment, in about half an hour. [Other Coworker] wants to go home.”

    Friend: “…I just told you I’m about to go into a movie. I bought the ticket already.”

    Coworker: “Well, yeah, but… can you leave in the middle of the movie and go let the techs in?”

    Friend: “…No?”

    Overtime Crime, Part 3
    Overtime Crime, Part 2
    Overtime Crime

    Blowing Smoke At The Hot Air

    | VA, USA | Coworkers, Crazy Requests, Health & Body

    (I occasionally smoke, which is well-known to my coworkers.)

    Coworker: *on the phone* “I’m having some trouble with my analysis. Do you think you can take a look at it?”

    Me: “Sure, send me your analysis and I’ll check it.”

    Coworker: “But I can only trust you to check it if you haven’t smoked today. Have you smoked today?”

    Me: “Tobacco use hardly makes me less capable of checking your work, but I guess if it’s that important to you, no, I haven’t smoked today.”

    Coworker: “And you promise not to smoke before my deadline? So that I can trust your checks on my program?”

    Me: “Um, I smoke only tobacco, not drugs of any kind. I can’t promise you that I won’t smoke before your deadline in a week, but I will promise you that I won’t examine your analysis while using alcohol or illegal substances between now and your deadline. Does that work? It’s not like a cig makes me high or anything.”

    Coworker: “Nevermind, if you can’t guarantee your sobriety while you examine my analysis, your input is worthless.”

    (A couple of months later, after I have successfully quit smoking.)

    Coworker: *over email* “I need someone to check my analysis. Can you do it? But I only trust you if you haven’t smoked.”

    Me: “I actually quit a few months ago, so you can trust me to look at it.”

    Coworker: “That’s good to hear, so go ahead and check it. However, I will not meet with you in person unless you can guarantee that all of your clothes are new since you quit smoking. Third-hand smoke can still kill!”

    (I’d like to ask him what he does when he walks by someone smoking in public, but I’m afraid of the answer…)

    Double-Shift Double-Trouble

    | England, UK | Bosses & Owners, Crazy Requests, Overtime

    (I’m half way through a day shift; the only guy doing the night shift has just rang in sick.)

    Boss: “Hey, [My Name] can you come back in tonight and cover for [Coworker]?”

    Me: “Do my shift and his?”

    Boss: “Sorry, but we have no one else.”

    Me: “I guess, but this is going to be pretty tough. Do I have to do the full 12 hours?”

    Boss: “Yes. Go home now and come back, please.”

    (Reluctantly I agree, I manage a few hours sleep before coming back to work. I consider that it is helping the company so I get on and struggle through.)

    Manager: “What are you doing here?”

    Me: “Oh, I, err, I’m covering the shift.”

    Manager: “That’s not good enough!”

    Me: *confused* “Sorry, what?”

    Manager: “You’ve broken company rules; you’re not supposed to be here!”

    Me: “What? I was asked to! What I am supposed to do?”

    Manager: “Just go home and come back in tomorrow for your normal shift.”

    (I ended up being totally exhausted and losing pay. When I got back in the following morning, I get told off again, first for not completing my shift. When I explained why, I got told off for not knowing the company policy!)

    Not Going To Option This Art

    | ON, Canada | Crazy Requests, Employees, Ignoring/Inattentive

    (I’m 25 and a summer student at an art gallery and for all intents and purposes, my 21-year-old coworker and I run it with little supervision. I’m helping set up an exhibit with a particularly difficult group of artists who have completely disregarded our authority under the assumption that we’re high school volunteers. In Ontario you need to complete 40 hours community service to graduate high school.)

    Artist #1: “What kind of art gallery doesn’t have a hammer and nails?”

    Me: “The kind of art gallery that doesn’t want holes in the walls. That’s why we have the professional hanging system.”

    (Artist #1 calls their husband to bring a hammer and nails and proceeds to put holes in the walls. A couple of days later…)

    Artist #2: “Can we use your cash box or should we use our own? I know it costs about $1.75 to write a cheque.”

    Me: “It’s your choice. You’re welcome to use ours, but if you use your own, you wouldn’t have to wait for the money to be deposited and then wait for a cheque; you’d only have to wait for the cheque for credit card payments.”

    Artist #2: *to the group while I’m in the office* “[My Name] says we have to use our own cash box.”

    (Cue complaints. Just before the weekend, we’re chatting pleasantly with a couple of the artists who have started treating us a little better.)

    Artist #2: “So are you here every day?”

    Coworker: “Yep, open to close every day we’re open.”

    Artist #2: “[My Name] said she needed the hours. Are you doing this for community service hours for high school?”

    Me: “Um, no, we’re actually paid. The [Gallery] gets a government grant and we have to work 33 hours for six week contracts.”

    (A couple of days later, another member of the group, the most problematic who still isn’t aware we’re in charge, is asking me about moving their displays during a special event.)

    Artist #1: “Do you think if we just move the centre display and the chairs, that will be enough space?”

    Me: “Probably, but if the hosts of the event think any pieces are at risk they might move them back here just to be safe. They’ll be responsible for putting anything they move back in its original place. It’s you’re choice.”

    Artist #1: *to the group in the main gallery* “[My Name] says we have to move the centre display and the chairs and that someone else will be moving our stuff.”

    Me: *in the office to my coworker, sort of singing under my breath* “That’s not what I said; I said you had the option just like I said you had the option of using our cash box.”

    (I’m not sure what happened to make me go from lowly high school student to dictator but at least I’m done working with this group now.)

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