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How To Lose Friends And Alienate Managers

| NH, USA | At The Checkout, Bizarre/Silly, Bosses & Owners

(I have just gotten a job at the local mall. As it’s a small town, many of my friends also work in the mall at other stores, and sometimes they come by to visit me while I’m working.)

Friend #1: “I’d like to make this purchase.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir. You’re not allowed to shop here.”

Friend #1:Well, I never!

Friend #2: “Am I allowed to shop here?”

Me: “No, [Friend #2], you are not. All of you get out right now before I call security.”

(I look up and notice my manager staring at me in horror and quickly explain the situation. Fortunately, she takes it in good humor, although my friends are more careful about their joking in the future!)

Colorful Language

| USA | Bigotry, Coworkers, Ignoring/Inattentive

(I’m a shift leader at a chain fabric store. Many of my coworkers are from Mexico and Central America. While I am white, I have been exposed to Spanish since childhood and can speak it fluently. Two of my team members are at the cutting tables serving customers. One is Guatemalan.)

Coworker #1: “Hey, [My Name]. I have something to tell you when I finish these cuts.”

Me: “Sure thing, [Coworker #1].”

(A few minutes pass and Coworker #1 is finished cutting.)

Me: “So what did you want to talk me about?”

Coworker #1: “Shh! Not yet! Later! Later.”

Me: “Uh. Okay.”

(A little while later, she approaches me while I’m tidying up.)

Coworker #1: “Okay, now I can tell you.”

Me: “Okay. So, what’s up?”

Coworker #1: “You know that couple I was cutting for?”

Me: “Yeah, the blond lady and her husband?”

Coworker #1: “Yeah, yeah! Well, he was all over her. Had his hands in her jeans pockets and kept smacking her on the rump. In public! White men. Tch.”

Me: “Haha. I noticed that! Why couldn’t you tell me about this before?”

Coworker #1: “Oh, because [Coworker #2] was standing there. She’s white, so she might have gotten offended.”

Me: Uh. [Coworker #1]. You realize I’m just as white as [Coworker #2], right?”

Coworker #1: *giggling* “Oh, [My Name]. You are not white. You speak Spanish!”

Conceal, Don’t Feel, Don’t Let It Show

| England, UK | Bosses & Owners, Crazy Requests, Theme Of The Month

(My boss is a little inconsistent. He has a few good workers and a number of slackers, and he doesn’t have the guts to do anything, so he just gives more work to those who are already busy.)

Boss: “[My Name], can you come in here a moment?”

Me: “Sure, but I’m a bit busy.”

Boss: “Yeah, about that. I have had complaints about how busy you are and how stressed you are.”

Me: “Well, yes. You have given me a load of work to do.”

Boss: “Yeah, well, you need to stop mentioning it.”

Me: “What? I have been so busy I haven’t said more than two words to anyone.”

Boss: “Well, people can see you’re stressed and, you need to not let that show.”

(I am so shocked that I left and sat down.)

Coworker: “Are you okay?”

Me: “I just got told off for being too busy. He said people were complaining that I was too stressed.”

Coworker: “What?! I told him that he was giving you too much work, and that it wasn’t fair when some people are on Facebook all day. He never listens!”

Brit Brat

, | Germany | Bigotry, Coworkers

(We have a bus full of Brits come in.)

Coworker: “Nope. Not gonna serve them if they don’t speak German.”

Me: “What! Why?”

Coworker: “I don’t speak English. They’re in Germany. They can f****** speak German.”

Me: *out loud to all customers* “Would everyone who doesn’t speak German please come into my line? Thank you!”

Coworker: *looks at me as if I have killed someone* “That’s so rude of you!”

Me: “Not worse than denying them service. Go and take care of the other customers, please. The ones who speak German.”

(I spend the next half hour serving only Brits while she was done after only five minutes.)

Me: “Can you at least help me prepare all the food?”

Coworker: “No. I’m gonna go for a smoke.”

(Apparently, some of the guests do understand German because as soon as my coworker is gone they start moaning about her. I am left speechless while this group of people start telling me how nice I am, how great my English is, and that I should keep my chin up and not despair.)

Me: “Thank you, but it’s okay. Really.”

(After all the customers are done and served, the oldest of them comes up to me and hands me €10!)

Oldest Customer: “Here you go. I know you don’t usually get tips, so this is from us to you because you’re awesome. Treat yourself.”

(I tried to decline but then just thanked him. That’s when my coworker came back; she took a 20-minute smoking break while I worked. I was thinking about complaining to our supervisor for a while but then just thought it was not worth the hassle. The kitchen crew had noticed the whole thing. An hour later our supervisor came and asked me what had happened (my coworker was smoking again) and I told him the truth. She got a very strict warning from him – apparently not her first!)

Quality Over Unknown Quantity

| OH, USA | Bosses & Owners, Crazy Requests

(I’m responsible for scheduling staff members for an event. I send my boss a list of possible invitees. After making a few changes, she approves the list. Two weeks later…)

Boss: “Why did you invite [Person]?”

Me: “She was on the list of people you asked me to invite.”

Boss: “Yes, but we don’t have an open position for [Person]. Why did you take it upon yourself to invite her?”

Me: “I didn’t. I emailed the people on the list you specifically sent me.”

Boss: “But if you had referred to the document I sent you, you’d know I didn’t have a position for her.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but I never received that document. I only received the list of people you specifically asked me to invite.”

Boss: “It’s on the shared drive. You should have consulted it first.”

Me: “So a document I didn’t even know about takes precedence over your very specific instructions?”

Boss: “Yes. Why are you so stupid?”


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