Category: Coworkers

This Not Working Is Just Not Working

, | Shawnee Mission, KS, USA | Coworkers, Lazy/Unhelpful, Overtime

(A coworker and I are the same age, and when she started working we generally get along. Sometimes I would even give her part of my tips if she didn’t make a lot. Since then she has become a royal pain and altogether terrible worker. I’ve seen her steal tips out of the jar, both on her working days and her days off. I’ve seen her call in and then show up at the shop to make herself and her friends free food and drinks. I’ve opened the shop the day after she has closed and come in to a mess that takes nearly three hours to clean up. She would be scheduled for two days a week and call in one. She has failed to show up several times, and her excuse for her absence was basically “Well, if I had known I needed to show up I would have.” We are short staffed, meaning shifts usually consist of one employee at a time. It also means my coworker probably won’t be fired, seeing as we need people. My coworker in question is on work suspension for excessively calling in, after months of incidents, and as a result is only allowed to work eight hours a week. It is the day before I am scheduled to open the shop at 5:30 am. I live half an hour away, so to get there on time I need to wake up around 4:30. My coworker texts me at 10:45 pm. this night, waking me up.)

Coworker: “Hey, I have a church thing tomorrow. Could you work for me from 2:00-6:00?”

Me: “If I really have to, I guess, but I’m opening tomorrow also.”

Coworker: “[Manager] says it’s fine. Thanks so much!”

(I decide not to argue because I’m not very busy the next day anyway. I go in for my morning shift and get off at 11:00 am. My manager has the shift from 9:00-2:00. Instead of wasting gas to go home for an hour and a half, I decide to sleep in my car until 2:00. I go back in until my other, much more likeable coworker comes in at 6:000. She sees me and immediately gets angry, as this is not the first time it has happened.)

Good Coworker: “Go home. I’ll deal with her. Do not take another shift of hers, got it?”

Me: “I wasn’t planning to.”

(The next day, my good coworker forwards me what is apparently the reply of our manager to what I assume was a long, merciless rant about the bad coworker.)

Manager: “I understand your concerns, but [Coworker] has a tough home life. I wouldn’t be surprised if she messes up here and there. I’ll talk to her about it, but there’s not much I can do, since we need workers. Most of the customers like her anyways. Cut her some slack.”

(I, in turn, sent a lengthy email of the above along with this manager’s reply to my supervisor, who seems to be unaware of the situation. Her solution was to increase her suspension to four hours a week. Losing it, I told her that four hours is all the coworker works anyway. I was fired for talking back.)

Didn’t Hear It, I Swear

| UK | Coworkers, Language & Words

(The phone rings, and one of our field workers’ names flashes on my screen. I take the call.)

Me: “Hello.”

Colleague: *talking to someone else* “…doing f*** all. [My Name]! Sorry! Can I speak to [Office Worker]?”

Me: *laughing* “Sure, one second.”

(I transfer the call and hang up. He calls back ten minutes later to speak to someone else.)

Me: “Hello.”

Colleague: “Hi, [My Name]. I won’t swear at you this time. Did you hear that?”

Me: “Yes, just the curse. Nothing else.” *laughs again* “Hasn’t been the first time: won’t be the last!”

Colleague: “I do apologise!”

(I transferred him again, but he sounded so embarrassed that it brightened up my Friday afternoon!)

Breast You Just Walk Away

| Naperville, IL, USA | Coworkers, Language & Words

(A new, high school aged, male employee, eager to help out a customer, sees me gathering stray carts from around the store. Behind him stands a blonde young lady, but I don’t really look at her. They are both standing next to the area where the nursing supplies are.)

Coworker: “Do you know where the breastfeed boxes are?”

Me: “Breastfeed boxes?”

Coworker: “Yes, she needs to find the breastfeed boxes.”

(I’m very confused. I’m also a guy, just out of high school at the time. I don’t know too much about nursing supplies, but I am certain that I’ve never heard of such a thing. I also can’t help but wonder why she’s asked a young man about this, since the average teenage boy wouldn’t be knowledgeable on the subject either. So many different things are flashing through my mind trying to figure out how boxes would relate to breastfeeding.)

Me: “I’m not sure what that is. I mean, I know we have breast pumps; they come in boxes… Privacy blankets… We have bottles, but those aren’t box like at all…” *I make eye contact with the customer* “What exactly is it that you’re looking for?

Customer: “Recipe boxes.”

Me: *realizes my coworker has quite spectacularly misheard what she’d said* “RECIPE boxes! Are you looking for a product that has pre-made recipes on cards?”

Customer: *looking confused, and slightly disturbed* “A box with a lid where I can place recipe cards in. You know, cards I’ve written up or gotten from—”

(Her face lights up as she finally has realized what the other employee had heard. She turns her cart around and starts making her way towards housewares.)

Customer: “It’s oookay! I’ll find it myself!”

Me: *holding back laughter* “Are you sure you don’t want help? They might be in—”

Customer: “Oh, nope! I’m fine!” *shaking her head, holds her hand up in the air in an over exaggerated dismissive gesture* “I’ve got it from here!”

(I glanced at my coworker, who was so embarrassed that he was blushing a deep, deep red. I couldn’t think of anything to say, so I continue gathering stray carts, but choose to avoid the housewares section.)

Driving Towards The Inevitable

| USA | Coworkers, Transportation

(My coworker always comes in to work looking extremely fatigued. I admit, I’m not very peppy either, but my coworker is our shuttle driver, and drives customers in a three ton van all day long. I’m concerned about it, but when I bring it up, I’m laughed at. One day, I see my tired coworker drive off with a bunch of passengers including children, and a few moments later, I get a phone call.)

Me: “Hello, this is [Office]. [My Name] speaking. How may I—”

Coworker: *sounding more alert* “[My Name], give me the manager quick! I’ve totaled the shuttle van!”

Me: “What?! Okay.”

(I get the manager.)

Manager: “Who is it?”

Me: “[Coworker].”

(The manager took the phone, looking very bemused, then shocked, then outraged. Turned out some of the customers were seriously injured, and the van had to be fixed in a garage for a week. Customers weren’t too pleased, and some sued, but my manager didn’t fire him, saying it would be too much bother to look for a new driver.)

You Need To Be Crazy To Live There

| Woburn, MA, USA | Coworkers

(My coworker is looking for a new apartment. It’s a slow day, so I’m helping her search. I’m a bit of a history and horror fan.)

Me: “Oh, here’s a nice apartment complex. Great location, beautiful apartments, a pool, gym, and pet-friendly.” *sends link* “Take a look.”

Coworker: “Wow, these are super nice! Really expensive, though. And the building looks kinda gothic.”

Me: “Yeah, it used to be a mental hospital.”

Coworker: “…what?”

Me: “Yeah, look it up. It was an asylum from 1878 to 1989. It’s where the lobotomy was perfected, and it’s the place that influenced H.P. Lovecraft and the Arkham Asylum from Batman. After it shut down, someone bought it and decided to turn it into apartments. They tore down most of it, but kept the façade of the original building.”

Coworker: “So there’s, like, an 80% chance it’s haunted.”

Me: “Probably.” *I do some more reading* “Oh! The graveyard is still there, right on the property!”

Coworker: “There’s a graveyard?”

Me: “Yeah, it’s where they buried the patients. Most of the graves only have the patient’s room number. Not even a name.”

Coworker: “So, it used to be an insane asylum, plus there’s a graveyard on the property full of the unmarked graves of dead mental patients?”

(We both go quiet.)

Me: “Yeah, it’s guaranteed to be haunted. I’ll look somewhere else.”

Coworker: “I’m not sure I want you looking at all!”

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