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    Category: Lazy/Unhelpful

    Incompetent By Any Estimate

    | NJ, USA | Employees, Ignoring/Inattentive, Lazy/Unhelpful, Money

    (On every monthly electric bill it’s noted whether it’s an ‘actual’ reading or an ‘estimated’ reading. Typically “estimated” means that the reader came around but wasn’t able to access the utility closet for some reason. While it shouldn’t be a big deal to just have someone come out and re-read, the estimates are anywhere from 50% higher to twice or more our typical monthly average. This happened on the latest call.)

    Me: “Yes, I’d like it if someone could come out and do a reading on my meter?”

    Operator: “It looks like a reading was done just two days ago, sir.”

    Me: “Actually, if you look in your system that’s an ‘estimate,’ not an actual reading, and it’s far higher than it should be.”

    Operator: “Well, sir, you know that our estimates are actually based off very precise—”

    Me: “Let me stop you right there because I’ve heard it before. Your ‘calculations’ are wrong. They’re based off the guy who lived here ten years ago, not us. Our average monthly consumption in the summer months is anywhere from $90 to $110, which if you looked at our CURRENT history you’d see. This ‘estimate’ is stating $197. And no, don’t tell me that it will ‘balance out next month’ like I was told last time because it didn’t. I want somebody out here to do a proper reading ASAP.”

    Operator: “It’s not as easy as that, sir. We—”

    Me: “Yes, it is. It always has been. When can he be scheduled to be here?”

    Operator: “As this isn’t an emergency, we can’t have someone come directly—”

    Me: “I know. You can’t have someone here now. Just tell me a date and a time range and I’ll make sure that the building maintenance has the utility closet unlocked during that time frame.”

    Operator: “Can you… Can you please hold a moment, sir, while I set that up?”

    Me: “Of course.”

    (I get put on hold… and five minutes later the phone disconnects. Furious I call back, give a BRIEF explanation to the new operator, and get switched to a supervisor.)

    Supervisor: “I’m looking at your account now, sir, and I apologize. It appears the person you were dealing with attempted to set you up with a repair visit, not a meter reading; they also had you flagged as a ‘problem’ customer with a ‘belligerent attitude.’ However I was actually listening in on that call and you have nothing to worry about. I’ll have your account fixed and we’ll have a meter reader out there Saturday between 10 am and 2 pm. Your account will be updated with the proper statement by Tuesday at the latest. I’m sorry that I can’t be more precise than that.”

    Me: “No, ma’am, that’s perfect. Thank you!”

    (My statement of almost $200 suddenly dropped to $92, and since then I haven’t had any more problems with ‘estimate’ readings!)

    Under New Mismanagement, Part 4

    | AB, Canada | Bosses & Owners, Ignoring/Inattentive, Lazy/Unhelpful

    (I’m the supervisor of my department. A previous coworker once complained about not having enough to do, so the boss decided to give this coworker some of my duties. The coworker soon moved on, and her replacement just assumed that my duties were part of the position. Then my boss moved on, and I got a new boss. I didn’t know this arrangement baffled the new boss, until we had this conversation at our weekly productivity meeting.)

    Boss: “Hey, how come [Coworker] always sends you to these meetings? How come he never comes?”

    Me: “He doesn’t need to come because he’s not the supervisor. I am.”

    Boss: “That can’t be. His e-mail signature says that he’s the supervisor.”

    Me: “No. That’s my e-mail signature.”

    Boss: “If he’s not the supervisor, then why does he do supervisor stuff?”

    Me: “The last person in that position complained about not having enough to do, so your predecessor said he could do some of my work.”

    Boss: “So if I go to the filing cabinet over there, and pull out your personnel files, it’s going to tell me that the supervisor is…”

    Me: “ME.”

    Boss: “Well, maybe that needs to change.”

    Me: “I’m glad you brought that up. When [Coworker] was hired, I asked if we wanted to maintain this arrangement. And since you hadn’t started yet, I was told to save the question for you. Now that you’ve brought it up, let’s settle it. How would you like it to change?”

    Boss: “Um, er, um… Whatever you two decide is fine.”

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

    Not Dressed To Impress

    | Auckland, New Zealand | Job Seekers, Lazy/Unhelpful, Theme Of The Month

    (As part of receiving my state-run unemployment insurance I have to attend seminars on finding work. On one occasion, I’m in one where the topic of interview dress is mentioned.)

    Lecturer: “So, it really doesn’t matter about your experience, or whatever, just so long as you dress up for an interview. Now, we at [Government Department] support a charity group that can supply a nice dress or business suit for you ladies applying for a job – up to $1000 dollars worth of clothes for free! So, if you need to have something for an interview, then just apply!”

    Me:” What about men?”

    Lecturer: *pauses* “What about men?”

    Me:“Is there a similar scheme for men?”

    Lecturer: *confused* “I don’t get what you mean?”

    Me: “Well, is there a group supplying suits and ties and such for men to attend interviews in?”

    Lecturer: “Umm… why?”

    Me: “Well, guys might not have suits to go to interviews in either.”

    Lecturer: “Oh, no, mate, that’s your mistake there! A man doesn’t need a suit for an interview! Look, just turn up in your overalls and boots and stuff to an interview. That shows you’re all ready to start the job! Trust me, mate, you’ll ace the next interview if you do that!”

    (Given that I work in the scientific field, namely laboratory bench-work in the food industry, I doubted this but kept my mouth shut.)

    An Urgent Lack Of Urgency

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

    (I work on the help desk at a hospital. A friend of mine in another department is on her last day with the organisation, and as she can’t be replaced, the clinical service she runs is being shut down. She calls me about 30 minutes before she’s due to leave forever because she can’t access her voicemail. She needs to record a new message to tell any patients who call that her service has been discontinued. There is no one else who can leave the message after she’s gone, so I call  the telecoms guy on his mobile and after telling her to ring me back if there’s any other issues I put her straight through. I tell my colleague my friend’s name, how urgent it’d be if she rang back, and why. About 20 minutes later, I hear this…)

    Colleague: “Okay, so your name is [Friend]? Okay… and you were just talking to [My Name]?”

    (I assume something’s gone wrong, so I get up, walk across the office and stand right next to my colleague so I can take the call from her.)

    Colleague: *completely ignoring me* “Okay, so the telecoms guy said he’d sorted it but it’s still not sorted. I’ve logged that job for you. … [My Name]? No, he’s not in the office right now. Okay, have a good day, bye!”

    (She turns to me then, big proud smile on her face.)

    Colleague: “And that’s how you fob someone off!”

    (I just stand there speechless for a moment.)

    Me: “But I told you she was my friend, and there’s literally only 10 minutes left to solve her problem, why did you do that?!”

    Colleague: “Oh, I forgot.”

    (She goes back to looking at her screen, not a care in the world.)

    An Interview You’d Rather Forget About

    | Portland, OR, USA | Bosses & Owners, Ignoring/Inattentive, Job Seekers, Lazy/Unhelpful, Theme Of The Month

    (I am looking for a job after being unemployed for two years while schooling. I get a call back from a maid service and the woman schedules an interview at a coffee house. I’m 100% sure I’m at the right one as it is the only one in the area. I show up to the interview 15 minutes early and find an empty coffee house. I wait for a half hour and no one dressed professionally comes in and no one tries to approach me. It would be obvious to the interviewer when she came in that I am her prospect as I’m the only one at the tables and the only one dressed professionally. It’s extremely obvious that I’m waiting for someone. I decide to call the company.)

    Employee: “[Company]. This is [Employee], How can I help you?”

    Me: “Yes, I was scheduled for an interview with [Owner]. It was supposed to be fifteen minutes ago, but so far no one has showed up.”

    Employee: “Oh, wow. Let me try to call her personal cell phone to see what’s going on and I’ll make sure someone calls you back.”

    Me: *I make sure she has my number* “Thank you so much.”

    (I continue to wait for another half hour to no avail so I decide to leave. I never receive a call back about the missing interviewer so I email the service explaining I had an interview and no one showed and to enquire why no one ever contacted me as they said they would. I quickly receive a reply.)

    Co-Owner: “You did not get a call back because you were a ‘no-call, no-show’ at your interview.”

    Me: “No, I showed up 15 minutes early and waited an hour. In fact 15 minutes after the interview was supposed to start I called [Company] and talked to [Employee] and she assured me that she would figure out why [Owner] had not arrived and call me back, which she never did.”

    Co-Owner: “You were put down as a ‘no-call, no-show.’ That’s why we didn’t return your call.”

    Me: “So, let me get this straight. I call and try to inform you that I am indeed there for my interview while my interviewer is not, but you won’t call me back because I wasn’t there?”

    (It takes a while for the reply this time.)

    Co-Owner: “[Owner] says you never showed up. Are you sure you were at the right place?”

    Me: “100 percent positive. It’s the only [Coffee House] in the area and I was the only one sitting at the tables as well as the only one in professional dress. I do not appreciate the accusations when I myself called your company to inquire the whereabouts of [Owner]. I also have a receipt proving I was there 15 minutes early. [Owner] has wasted my time and money, both of which I have very little and could barely afford to drive to this interview.”

    Co-Owner: “I suppose I can set up another interview as long as you don’t ‘no-call, no-show’ again.”

    Me: “Don’t bother. Obviously you aren’t listening to me. I was not a ‘no-call, no-show.’ I have proof that I was there as well as a phone record of my attempted contact. I have no desire to work for a company that throws people under the bus before even receiving an interview. Obviously [Owner] forgot about my interview and lied about it.”

    (A couple weeks go by and I receive another email.)

    Co-Owner: “It turns out that [Owner] did forget your interview. Would you like me to set up another with her?”

    Me: “I have already expressed how I feel about working for your company. Please do not contact me again.”

    (I got two more interviews within a week of the first missed one and by the time I got that last email I had already been hired for a much better job.)


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