Category: Bosses & Owners

What A Waste

| Alphen a/d Rijn, The Netherlands | Bad Behavior, Bosses & Owners

(My first day in the history park is not like I imagined. The weather is very bad and it’s the first day of the opening season, so there are virtually no visitors. Also, no historical clothing has been arranged for me and two other new colleagues yet. Since there isn’t much to do and we look “normal,” the three of us get some odd jobs to do. As the day progresses, I start to notice that the park’s director/owner is not a normal boss. He gives orders all around. Some of them are even countered by our team leader, who tells us to wait, while he is going to have “that discussion.” In the afternoon we’re doing some raking in the playground with a veteran colleague. He starts telling stories.)

Colleague: “One time he even fired almost everyone. We had thrown a party in one of the buildings, but apparently that wasn’t allowed. Then he realised that he needed people for the park, so he came running after us, like: ‘Stop! Stop! You can keep working here!'”

(Then the boss comes up and starts talking to me.)

Boss: “I have something for you to do. Come.”

(Without waiting for me, he starts walking towards the office building. I’m following quickly. He opens a door. Behind it is a pile of old wooden poles and dirty rope.)

Boss: “This can be taken out.”

(He already starts walking away before he’s finished his sentence. No explanation what do with the stuff. I assume that it’s garbage, so I and another new guy get a wheelbarrow. With that, we move all the stuff to the back. We don’t know where to put it, so we ask some coworker walking by.)

Me: “Do you know where to put this?”

Coworker #1: “Erm… Dunno… I’d put it in the waste container.”

(So we do. Later in the afternoon, still doing odd jobs, the boss even compliments us.)

Boss: “Really good that you guys are so devout and fanatic! Take one advice from me; always stay on your own level.”

(To me it’s unclear what he means with that. The compliment is nice, but very exaggerated. Finally, I and the other new guy prepare to leave. In the hallway, we meet two coworkers.)

Coworker #2: *almost whispering* “Get out! Out! Quickly!”

New Guy: “What’s wrong?”

Coworker #2: “You put the old wood in the waste container? It wasn’t supposed to go there. He’s enraged. If he finds you he will start scolding and stuff.”

(Hearing this, we try to leave quietly. But then the boss comes running after us. Since he is over two metres tall, this is quite an intimidating sight.)

Boss: “Come back! You two! Come back! Sort it out! Now, please! Only household garbage is supposed to go in the container! Come on, take it out!”

(With leaden feet we walk back to the waste container. Our team members of the day are standing around it, while the team leader is getting the wood out of it. The scene is like that of an entire class being berated by an enraged teacher. The boss seems to be totally mad. He singles out another new coworker.)

Boss: “I have a question! I’ll ask you! Can I just throw away stuff in your home?!”

New Girl: “No.”

Boss: “See, that’s what I mean? You throw away the obvious garbage from the waste baskets. Apart from that you discuss EVERTHING before throwing it away! The rope is good, so don’t do that! The wood goes over there on the pile! Come on, make it happen! And fast!”

(We make it happen. The boss runs off to be somewhere else, much to our relief.)

Me: “He didn’t tell me what to do with the stuff or where to put it. He also wasn’t clear on the point that I only had to throw away the wood. He didn’t say anything about the rope.”

New Guy: “Oh, weren’t we supposed to throw away the rope? I just put it back in the waste container.”

Me: *pause* “Good. It’s his own fault for not being nice.”

American Express Yourself

England, UK | Bosses & Owners, Money

(I’ve ordered my food and pull around to pay.)

Worker: “Sorry we don’t accept American Express.”

Me: “Really? I thought I saw the sign saying that you do.”

Worker: “No,, we don’t.”

Me: *while looking for some change* “That’s really inconvenient; is there a problem?”

Worker: “No, we just don’t take them.”

Me: “Okay. Well, I will have to pull over at that cash point. You should really update the sign.”

Worker: “I’ll ask my manager.” *off she goes*

Me: “I just made that comment that you state that your sign says that you take American express and I’m told you don’t.”

Manager: “Where does it say that?”

Me: “The sign with all the cards on it.”

(The manager jogs around looks at the sign then jogs back in.)

Manager: “I guess we can see if it works.”

(The payment clears fine.)

Manager: “Well, I never. Apparently we do take it.”

Me: “Okay, thanks.”

(All would be fine until a week or two later I had the exact same conversation with another manager!)

Beware The Cookware

| USA | Bosses & Owners

(We have a coworker that, although he’s not timid, is not friendly. One day, we all have an office party where we can bring another, and he brings his wife. His wife is actually very friendly and nice, and she invites us all to a party at their house. Thinking they want to be friends, we say sure. But on the day of her party, I get lost and I didn’t get their number so I just go home. The next day, my coworker comes up to me.)

Coworker: “You didn’t come to my wife’s party. Why?”

Me: “Oh, I got lost and I didn’t have your number so…”

Coworker: “Come to the next one. My wife cooked a lot, and only two people showed! Food went to waste!!”

Me: “O… kay….”

Coworker: “Or next time, don’t say you’ll be there!” *leaves*

(Later, I spoke with another coworker, who was at the party.)

Me: “Did she really cook?”

Other Coworker: “Yeah. It was nice.”

Me: “Oh.”

Other Coworker: “And then she tried to make us buy cookware! Apparently, she sells it. No one bought her pitch, though.”

Me: “Oh!”

(I no longer felt guilty. And next time I was invited to their house, I had someplace else to be.)

Answer Your Calling

| Salt Lake City, UT, USA | Bosses & Owners, Non-Dialogue

I work at a large multi-national company. The culture there is that if you needed to communicate with someone, no matter if they were in your time-zone or not, you picked up the phone and called.

One evening, after I have gone home for the day, the phone rings. It is my manager, who lives and works in Australia. He is calling me, after hours, at home, to tell me that someone is going to call me, the next week, to talk with me about something. After I hang up, I tell my roommate about the call and say: “I think that an email would have been more practical and a lot less expensive.”

To this day, I have no idea what they (whoever was supposed to call) were going to talk to me about because they never did call.

Putting That Problem To Embed

| FL, USA | Bosses & Owners, Extra Stupid, Non-Dialogue, Technology

Recently, we have been working on expanding our audience through social media and digital publications. The director of our nonprofit signed off on this project, which entailed two new positions and a suite of stock photo and web services products. We start integrating social media embedded posts and share links into many of our online publications. One day, the director starts urgently calling and emailing, and ends up yelling at us in person about something “seriously wrong” with a recent story. He keeps saying that the link in the story is broken and no matter where he clicks, it takes him off the page and he can’t figure out how to go back. He also keeps asking why we added “such crap” to the story after he signed off on the content. This all rings alarm bells, and we’re desperately checking the page to see what happened to the code or if someone hacked the site.

Not seeing anything wrong, we ask him to demonstrate. He furiously goes to his computer, opens the story, and clicks on an embedded tweet, which launches Twitter in a separate window. “Why are we including THAT?” he shouts, pointing at some rude comment replying to the original tweet. “And why can’t I read the rest of the story?”

We try our best to explain that he is now on Twitter, he can close the new window, and he’s seeing replies to the Tweet we linked to, not anything that we chose to put online. He doesn’t understand and insists that we remove the offensive comment. Eventually, we just had to stop using embedded tweets because he freaked out each time and could not understand that we can’t control comments on a site that’s not ours.

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