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    Category: Lazy/Unhelpful

    Supporting Technical Support

    | England, UK | Coworkers, Lazy/Unhelpful, Technology

    (As part of my job I investigate and purchase new technologies. I am investigating a new data entry device. The company who sells it sends their sale manager to demo the unit.)

    Sales Manager: “So, as you can see it couldn’t be simpler. Just push the button and it will write to an active window.”

    Me: “Great, this seems exactly what we need.”

    Sales Manager: “Great! How about I leave this one with you; you can try it out and let me know how many you want.”

    (A couple of weeks pass. It seems nearly perfect, apart from one thing…)

    Me: *on phone* “Hi, it’s [My Name]. I had a question about the equipment you lent me.”

    Sales Manager: “Okay…”

    Me: “We have to have the data create a column instead of a row.”

    Sales Manager: “…Er, yeah, that should be easy enough. Let me get back to you.”

    (We exchange several emails and several calls and after a month I’m no closer to an answer.)

    Sales Manager: *on phone* “Hi, [My Name], about this data issue you’re having.”

    Me: “Oh, hi. Yes, I was going to call you about this. You see—”

    Sales Manager: “Yes. I’ve spoken to my manager and the company who makes it. I have had the experts look through all of the paperwork. What you need just can’t be done.”

    Me: “Well, actually, I just figured it out.”

    Sales Manager: “…What?”

    Me: “Yes, I got fed up of waiting, so I tried the various settings and it works.”

    Sales Manager: “I… well. I can only apologise. I will send an email to head office. That, that is very embarrassing seeing as you’ve never seen it before…”

    Me: “No problem. Just pop in when you are next in the area.”

    (He did drive over and again was very embarrassed and very apologetic. He said that this was the first time a customer was able to teach him about one of his products!)

    Forward-Time Is Backwards-Progress

    | USA | Coworkers, Lazy/Unhelpful, Technology

    (I am a hospital lab scientist. During morning runs, the engineering department is running a generator test. Nurses send us lab samples through a pneumatic tube system in the walls; however, this is not on generator power as it is not essential to hospital operations. The generator test is scheduled to start at 4:00. At 3:50, there is a PA announcement to not put anything in the tube system, because anything in there when the generator test starts will not be able to get to its destination until full power is restored at 5:30. I get a phone call from a nurse at about 5:15.)

    Nurse: “Hi. I sent down some labs at 3:45, and I haven’t seen results, so I was wondering what’s happened.”

    Me: “I’m sorry about that. Let me see if I can see what happened. What patient and what labs did you send?”

    (She lists off some labs, one of which is EXTREMELY time sensitive. Because of that, they are always run immediately after arriving in the lab. I search around the lab for a bit before realizing that the samples are not in our computer system.)

    Me: “I am sorry. It seems that we haven’t received those samples yet.”

    Nurse: “Well, I sent them a long time ago.”

    Me: “Let me go check something.”

    (I go talk to our lab assistant who logs samples into the computer as soon as they arrive. She has not seen any samples for this patient.)

    Me: “Nope. They haven’t gotten here. Most likely, they didn’t make it out of the tubes before the power went down. So, we will get them when the power comes back but as one of them has a fifteen-minute expiration, that one will need to be redrawn.”

    Nurse: “This is ridiculous. I put it in the tubes. I saw them go up into the tube system.”

    Me: “I’m not arguing that they didn’t go into the tubes. I’m just saying they didn’t come out.”

    Nurse: “I need results.”

    Me: “I understand that. But the samples are in the tubes. And the tubes are much too small for me to climb into to retrieve the samples. We’ll get them when power is returned, however we are going to need a new [time-sensitive test].”

    Nurse: *huffs* “Well, I’ll get you some new ones. But this is ridiculous.”

    (I feel for her, and for the patient that will have to be redrawn, but know that it was probably her fault for cutting it too close to the time that the tubes would turn off and she hoped that they’d make in time so she didn’t have to walk to the lab with them. Sure enough, when the tubes come back on the samples pop out. Interestingly enough, the samples are labeled as being drawn at 0350, not the 0345 that she claimed, which means that either she was forward timing the samples to get them an extra five minutes on the time sensitive ones (which is STRICTLY against protocol), or she put the samples in the tubes AFTER engineering had warned her not to. At about 5:35 she calls back.)

    Nurse: “I still don’t have results.”

    (I frantically look around for the redraw, and realize with horror that we haven’t gotten those ones either.)

    Me: “I’m sorry, I don’t have them yet.”

    Nurse: “This is ridiculous! I don’t understand how you only lose MY samples. You are all against me. That girl who sounded like she has four more years in high school told me that the first ones got lost.”

    Me: “It was me who talked to you the first time, and though I know I sound young, I’ve been out of college for two years, thank you. And, they were not lost, they were simply in the tubes because they’d been put in there too late. I understand your frustration. I really do. However, I don’t understand how I am expected to give you results on a sample that I DO NOT HAVE.”

    Nurse: “You have a vendetta against me.” *I don’t even know her*

    Me: “I understand your frustration. But I don’t understand what you want me to do about this.”

    Nurse: “All right, I’ll redraw them again, but I’m walking them down this time.”

    Me: “That sounds like a good idea.”

    (Two minutes after this conversation, we receive the second set of samples, which are labeled 0500, but we still need a new one of the time sensitive ones. After this is all resolved, our lab assistant points out an important point.)

    Lab Assistant: “Wait. If she didn’t know that the samples were put in the tubes too late, then why did she redraw at 0500 when she hadn’t talked to you the first time until 0515? She back-timed them to make it seem like she had been waiting longer than she had!”

    (The next day, after the nurse complained to the lab manager, the lab manager asked me to relate the incident. The lab assistant is again there. When I said that finally the nurse decided to just walk the samples there, the lab assistant chimed in that she hadn’t. She had tubed them the third time as well.)

    Under New Mismanagement, Part 5

    | Albuquerque, NM, USA | Bad Behavior, Bosses & Owners, Ignoring/Inattentive, Lazy/Unhelpful

    (I’ve worked in our local pizza place longer than any manager I have. I’m very good at what I do and whether the asst. managers or the general manager like me or not, they recognize me as the best. In the past few years the managers have gotten worse and worse. The following is an interaction I have with my general manager. I ask to have this meeting with him to bring to him the issues of: managers and employees stealing, employees showing up to work late or not at all, not coming in proper dress code, and putting out some pretty sub-par food.)

    General Manager: “I never see anyone stealing and I trust my managers.”

    Me: “Who in their right mind would steal right in front of you? I’m talking about employees and managers taking food for free. And of course you trust the managers. To your face they’re nice, but behind your back they laugh at how gullible you are. I’m not trying to put you down; I’m trying to help you.”

    General Manager: “I don’t believe that, and as far as the other rules being broken, I was told when I took this position that I would have to learn to let things go. So no, I’m not going to punish people for being late, out of dress code, and not showing up.”

    (At this point I have a bewildered look on my face.)

    General Manager: “YOU choose to follow all the rules. YOU choose to make every pizza the best quality. I can’t expect anyone else to do that. As long as the customer doesn’t complain, I don’t care.”

    Me: “How can that be your answer? This is your whole job! Is this really how things are going to be?”

    General Manager: “Yes. Is there anything else I can help you with?”

    Me: “No, your complete lack of interest said it all. Thanks.”

    Related:
    Under New Mismanagement, Part 4
    Under New Mismanagement, Part 3
    Under New Mismanagement, Part 2

    A Pre-Ordered Chip On His Shoulder

    | USA | Bad Behavior, Lazy/Unhelpful, New Hires

    (I’m preordering a video game for myself. The staff at a popular video game store know me well, but when I go in, a new hire is at the cash register. I walk up.)

    Me: “Hi, I’d like to preorder [Game].”

    New Hire: “Okay, that’ll be $40.”

    Me: “…I was only going to put $5 down for now.”

    New Hire: “You got to pay it in full now.”

    Me: “They didn’t tell me that, and the other guys haven’t said anything about changing policy.”

    New Hire: “Well, you either pay it all up-front or wait until it comes out.”

    Me: “Can you check? I think [Employee] is working today.”

    New Hire: “Whatever. Let me go get her.”

    (I wait for a while before the new hire comes back.)

    New Hire: “She said the same thing. Now give me $40 or leave.”

    (I decide not to get the preorder. I wander around, looking at various games and consoles. I finally pick out two cheap games, and bring them up to the counter.)

    New Hire: “That’ll be $20.”

    Me: “The games are only $4 each. There’s no way that it’s anywhere near $20.”

    New Hire: “That’s not what they ring up as. $20, now.”

    Me: “I’m not paying that. Get [Employee], and make sure she comes up here.”

    New Hire: “Ugh, fine.”

    (He goes to the back room. After a couple minutes, the front door opens. The employee the new hire is supposedly looking for walks in and sees me. She comes over.)

    Employee: “Hey, [My Name]. What’s up?”

    Me: “Being lied to by your new hire. Want to get him from the back room?”

    (The employee goes into the back room and comes out with the new hire.)

    Employee: “Okay, what all happened?”

    New Hire: “This girl—”

    Employee: “You keep quiet. I’m asking [My Name].”

    Me: “He argued that I have to pay [Game] in full for the preorder, then tried overcharging me for the two games I was going to buy.”

    Employee: “[New Hire], this is the third time this week. Go sit in the back room. We’re going to have a talk.”

    (I got my preorder and the games, with the employee discount. The new hire was fired.)

    Our Resident Idiot

    | Jensen Beach, FL, USA | Coworkers, Extra Stupid, Food & Drink, Lazy/Unhelpful

    (We are dining room servers preparing for the dinner rush. Because the residents can be demanding and we are pressed for time I try to have their specific requests on the table by the time they sit down to eat. This has led to the residents feeling accustomed to this type of service, and my newer coworkers somehow being under the impression that I am the only one qualified to serve things such as salad and wine. It is ten minutes into the dinner when my coworker approaches me for this conversation.)

    Coworker: “Hey, [Resident] says you forgot his wine. How do I give it to him?”

    Me: “Oops. There are glasses in the back of the kitchen, and wine is in that cooler.” *points*

    Coworker: *blank stare* “Okay?”

    (He doesn’t move, and appears to be waiting for further instructions.)

    Me: “Go get a glass and pour in the wine. Serve the resident.”


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