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  • Cheering Up And Dumbing Down
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  • July's Theme Of The Month: I Quit!
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    Category: Crazy Requests

    Not Quite The Toast Of Good Service

    | ON, Canada | Coworkers, Crazy Requests, Food & Drink

    (This interaction is with another employee, while I’m on toast duty during breakfast.)

    Associate: “Come on! We need more toast!”

    Me: “I’m putting them in as soon as you call them out. I can’t make it go faster!”

    Associate: “Yes, you can!”

    (She then turns the toaster onto the lightest setting so the bread comes out much, much faster.)

    Me: “But it’s not toasting them now… It’s just warming up the bread.”

    Associate: “So? You’re not eating it!”

    Me: “But the people who are eating it are paying for it!”

    A Toxic Work Environment

    | Seattle, WA, USA | Bosses & Owners, Crazy Requests, Health & Body, Theme Of The Month

    (I work as a janitor at a dairy bottling plant.)

    Boss: “Hey, [My Name], we found a problem, We need you to clean it up.”

    Me: “What is it?”

    Boss: “Someone graded the loading dock pavement wrong. Come take a look.”

    (I go and look. There is a pond of black sludge 30 feet wide by 40 feet long under where they until just that day had three semi-trailers as extra loading dock storage. The boss hands me a scrub brush, a garden hose, and a pair of the sort of rubber gloves you wash dishes with.)

    Me: “You must be kidding! I’d need a pressure washer, a hazmat coverall, and a respirator to go in there, The fumes alone are toxic and that sludge is an active biohazard! Call the City!”

    (It’s true: milk fat is an ideal bacterial growth medium. Fat and sugar runoff from tankers spilling both while unloading had been running down to feed the sludge for at least TWO YEARS.)

    Boss: “Legal says we shouldn’t let the City find out or it would be very expensive for us. As for the respirator, I’m sorry but OSHA regs say we can’t loan you a respirator you’re not trained on, the pressure washer hose won’t reach, and the hazmat guy took his suit home with him.”

    Me: “Look, I’ll buy a respirator out of my own pocket, okay?”

    (Boss goes away, consults with legal, and comes back.)

    Boss: “Sorry, it would be illegal to let you buy safety gear out of your own pocket. You’ll have to make do without it.”

    (That was the day, the very minute, I quit that job.)

    Finally Independent From Them

    | UT, USA | Bad Behavior, Bosses & Owners, Crazy Requests, Theme Of The Month

    (I suffer a concussion at work. I have a splitting headache and vision problems, but didn’t really think it was bad until two days later. That’s when I answer every question by telling the person how to call Mexico City in Spanish. I ask to be able to get off early and my boss gives me permission. After the ensuing weekend, I get called into the manager’s office. The union representative who’s there to make sure I’m treated fairly is there.)

    Manager: “Have a seat. We need to talk about your attendance.”

    Me: “Sure. What’s going on?”

    Manager: “You left work early the other day. This is completely unacceptable.”

    Me: “I asked [Boss] for permission because I was sick.”

    Manager: “It’s still not acceptable. You committed to working your full shift and damaged the reputation of the company by not living up to your promises.”

    Me: “Excuse me. Because there was a fault in your chairs in the break room, I got launched head first into a brick wall. I have a concussion. I was too mentally disoriented to tell which language I was speaking at the time. Would you have preferred that I stay around to confuse everyone more?”

    Manager: “The union is here to witness that this is your final warning. If you ever call in sick again, that’s grounds for termination.”

    Me: “Even if my boss—”

    Manager: “You WILL BE FIRED if you are this lazy again. This is an at-will work state and we’re doing you a courtesy by giving you a second chance instead of terminating you immediately.”

    (Three work days later, I wake up vomiting excessively. It was a two-hour commute on bus to get to work, so I called to let them know I need to ask my boss about getting the day off or coming in later. The manager got on the phone instead.)

    Manager: “You knew what this would mean if you were ever sick again. It’s been nice working with you, but you’re done here.”

    (He hung up immediately. Two days later, the same manager calls me up at home.)

    Manager: “I know you called in sick for the last three days, but I need to make sure you’re going to be covering your shift tomorrow.”

    Me: “Excuse me?”

    Manager: “It’s the 4th of July and one of our busiest days. We can’t afford to have you out sick. Are you feeling well enough to come in?”

    Me: “You fired me when I called in sick.”

    (There was a long pause.)

    Manager: “I think that was a misunderstanding.”

    Me: “You told me that I had been terminated for calling in sick excessively. What part of that was a misunderstanding?”

    Manager: “I’m not unreasonable. Even though you quit, I’ll let you have your job back if you work on the 4th of July.”

    Me: “No.”

    Manager: “I didn’t fire you. I just—”

    Me: “For six weeks, you have scheduled me on split shifts so that I didn’t have time to get home and back between my shifts and got off of work too late to get home at all. While working for you, I’ve been sleeping in the armchairs in the break room and bringing changes of clothes for the week. I’m paying rent for an apartment that I’ve only been to once in two weeks. I brought this up several times a week since the day it started and was told that you yourself had made sure I would stop being scheduled at unreasonable hours. I’m not working another day for you and your sense of ethics.”

    (Needless to say, I didn’t ask for a reference.)

    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.)


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