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    Category: Crazy Requests

    Internal Affairs

    | Paris, France | Bosses & Owners, Crazy Requests, Money

    (I don’t get along with my boss and so I leave an (unpaid) internship. About two months later, I get a call.)

    Ex-Boss: “YOU! You better give me my money back or I’ll go to the police!”

    Me: “Wait, what? What are you talking about?”

    Ex-Boss: “Don’t play innocent! You know what you did!”

    Me: “On my mother’s life, on both my parents’ life, I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about!”

    Ex-Boss: “You used my home phone to call Southeast Asia for hours! It’s going to cost me hundreds in phone bills!”

    Me: “WHAT?! WHY on Earth would I call Southeast Asia? I know no one there!”

    Ex-Boss: “Just to spite me, of course! You didn’t like it here!”

    Me: “Doesn’t mea— Wait, wasn’t your cleaning lady on vacation at that time?”

    Ex-Boss: “Yeah, so?”

    Me: “And wasn’t she replaced by a woman from Southeast Asia, with a phone that could receive calls, but not make them?”

    Ex-Boss: “Well, I know it’s you!”

    (Eventually, it all died down. However, about two years later, she emailed me about a new (unpaid) position she had, saying that she remembered ‘how cordial our relationships were and how well we work together!’)

    You’ll Pay For That Joke

    | USA | Crazy Requests, Employees, Ignoring/Inattentive, Money

    (I am paying off my student loans every month, but I have been getting harassing phone calls to up my payments.)

    Caller: “Are you sure you can’t make a higher payment? Can’t your parents help you?”

    Me: “No. I am sorry but I just can’t afford it.”

    Caller: “Can’t you live without something?”

    Me: * sarcastically* “Well, I guess I can live without groceries.”

    Caller: “Great! I will change your payment to $180 every two weeks!”

    (She hung up on me. I had to call her manager, who was an even bigger bully, but I managed to change it back to the amount I could afford.)

    Literally Asking The Impossible

    | MI, USA | At The Checkout, Bosses & Owners, Crazy Requests

    (I’m running the control center for the self-checkout lanes. Because we’ve just opened, it’s only me, the service counter person, and the manager. A cashier doesn’t arrive until we’ve been open for half an hour, and all customers know this, so the self-checkout gets a lot of traffic in the early morning.)

    Manager: “Hey, [My Name], I need you to jump on a register.”

    Me: “I’m already on a register. I’m actually on six. I’m doing self-checkout today, remember?”

    Manager: “Just get on lane three.”

    Me: “Boss, I can’t. I’m already logged in as the self-checkout person. I can’t be on two systems at once.”

    Manager: “Well, then log off and get on a register!”

    Me: “You want me to shut down the self checkout?”

    Manager: “No, you’re the only one here who knows how to run it. Just get on a register!”

    Me: “It’s not possible. The system won’t allow me to—”


    (Aisle 15 is the very last aisle in the store, the furthest point away from the registers.)

    Me: “So you want me to be on self-checkout, lane three, AND in aisle fifteen all at the same time?”

    Manager: “YES!”

    Me: “That… that’s not physically possible.”

    Service Desk: “I can get on a register if someone needs—”

    Manager: “NO!” [My Name] needs to do it.”

    Service Desk: “The system won’t let her be logged in to two places at once. Either I get on a register, or you do. She HAS to stay there.”

    Manager: *goes red with rage* “FINE. If you can’t do it, then I’ll get someone who CAN!” *stomps off*

    Me: *to Service Desk* “But we’re literally the only people here.”

    Service Desk: “I do not have enough caffeine in me to deal with this.”

    Under New Mismanagement, Part 2

    | England, UK | Bosses & Owners, Crazy Requests, Ignoring/Inattentive

    (My boss leaves, meaning I now report to my manager. We don’t get along, mostly because I’m keen to get on, quick to complete my work, and, in his words, ‘trying to climb the ladder,’ even though I really am not.)

    Me: ”Look, boss, I hate to say this but I need more to do. I need to be challenged. Is there anything I can help with?”

    Manager: ”Er, yeah, let me see. I will get back to you.”

    (He disappears for the day so I try the next morning.)

    Me: ”About yesterday. Any updates?”

    Manager: ”Sorry, no. I haven’t had time. Tomorrow.”

    (This continues for weeks. I make sure to bring it up as he asks every day, set reviews once a month, and send out emails if he ‘forgets,’ but nothing. I keep busy but I really want a challenge. Eventually my review comes around.)

    Manager: ”Well, I will have to score you poorly. I haven’t really seen you achieve anything.”

    Me: ”But I begged you for months to put me on a big project.”

    Manager: ”I think you need to try harder next year.”

    (I get a really bad review. This continues for months. I apply for a transfer but get blocked. So with no choice I suck up to my manager and when my review comes around:)

    Manager: ”Another bad year, I’m afraid.” *long pause* ”You know, you will never get anywhere unless you get a haircut.” *my hair is just below my ears*

    (I gave up. A few weeks later redundancy came around and because of my poor reviews I was out of a job. I had a small child and a large mortgage, and all was pretty miserable. I had to take a low-paying job cold calling, until my old boss offered me a job for more money than my manager earnt!)

    Under New Mismanagement

    Not As Bright As A Button

    | Germany | Bosses & Owners, Crazy Requests, Technology

    (I work as a programmer for industrial machines in a huge company in Germany. I am responsible for the program of a new kind of cleaning machine, which also has a security door that has to be opened and closed by pushing a button. Before opening a safety interlock needs to be opened. It takes about two seconds before the door ultimately starts opening.)

    Project Manager: “Hey, [My Name]. That machine needs to be quicker. Why does it always takes two seconds before the door opens?”

    Me: “Uhm… because the safety interlock has to be opened first. That takes two seconds.”

    Project Manager: “Couldn’t you remove that safety interlock? Then we would save those seconds?”

    Me: “No, sorry. For safety reasons I can’t do that.”

    Project Manager: “Okay… What about you open that safety interlock two seconds before that button is pushed. Then the door would open exactly when the button is pushed.”

    Me: “… No.”

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