Category: Health & Body

Inappropriate Question: Abort! Abort!

| Austin, TX, USA | Bad Behavior, Employees, Health & Body

(In my third year of law school I spend my mornings in class and then get one of the campus shuttles downtown to the District Attorney’s office (where criminal prosecutors work), where I have an internship. At this time of day there’s often no one else on the bus. As I get on one day:)

Bus Driver: “So, where are you going today?

Me: “To the DA’s office. I’m in law school and I’m working there.

Bus Driver: “Oh, really? So what do you think about abortion?”

Me: “Umm…”

Bus Driver: “If you’re going to be a DA, then it matters. Did you know that in some places, you can still get an abortion even when the baby is old enough to live outside the uterus?”

Me: “Umm…”

Bus Driver: “I might be voting for you one day. You need to tell me what your views on abortion are.”

Me: “I’m sorry, I’m not comfortable talking about that.”

(I went and sat down in the big, empty bus and looked at my phone to avoid eye contact for the rest of the trip. Sorry, Mr. Bus Driver, but 1) while THE District Attorney for each county is elected, the dozens or hundreds of attorneys who prosecute cases are not; 2) DAs, like the police, just enforce the laws that already exist and have nothing to do with making the laws; and 3) my views on abortion are none of your d*** business!)

Your Slacking Is Lacking

, | New Haven CT, USA | Bosses & Owners, Health & Body, Ignoring & Inattentive

(I work at a sandwich shop for my very first job ever, and this boss is easily the worst boss I’ll ever have. I injure my wrist a few months into working there, and I approach her with a doctor’s note.)

Boss: “This note is really vague. Are you able to work or not?”

Me: “It just says that I can’t lift anything heavy or use certain repetitive movements with my right wrist, and that a wrap bandage helps me support the injury. It’s only a strain, so I just need time to rest it, nothing serious. But I work with [Coworker] every night, and he and I can figure out how to keep the work fair.”

Boss: “I better not see you slacking off!”

(Usually my boss would leave me and Coworker alone to manage the shop, but tonight she decides to loom over me every minute of the night and criticize.)

Boss: “Why aren’t you slicing tomatoes from the prep list?”

Me: “The tomato slicer is a right-handed machine and it’s a repetitive movement.”

Boss: “Oh but you’re not too lazy to cut onions?”

Me: “…the rotary cutter can be turned around so I can run it left-handed. I can do everything on the list that uses the rotary cutter but not the tomato machine. [Coworker] can slice the tomatoes when I’m done and I’ll take care of customers to free his hands, to make it fair.”

Boss: “You just said that you were avoiding making sandwiches before and that you’d only do the register.”

Me: “No, just that it’s awkward to make sandwiches left handed, and I’m much slower than usual but the register would be much easier for me. If I have a large order I’ll need to call [Coworker] back up but–”

Boss: “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. It’s too complicated. Just do the whole prep list like you’re supposed to.”

(I did not. Later, I’m washing dishes in a three bay sink, so I have my wrap bandage off for a short time to keep it dry.)

Boss: “Your note said you needed to wear a wrap bandage at all times!!! You’re lying to me!”

Me: “Not at all times; only when I need the additional support. I’m elbow deep in hot water. This is actually really soothing.”

Boss: “You’re lying to me about your wrist hurting!”

Me: “I’ll bet you a fistful of ibuprofen and the past week of physical therapy that I’m not!”


Boss: “The chore list says that [Coworker] cleans the bathroom and you do the trash. Why are you doing the bathroom?”

Me: “I can’t lift the trash bags to take them outside, but I can wrap a garbage bag to protect my wrap bandage and clean the bathrooms purely left-handed. All I’m doing is spraying bleach and wiping so…”

Boss: “But that’s not what the chore list says. This is [Coworker]’s nightly tasks.”

Me: “We are dividing the labor based on what I can physically accomplish tonight, as equally as possible.”

Boss: “You’re just being lazy!”

Coworker: *returns inside from taking out the trash* “She’s literally done two-thirds of the cleanup tonight while I sat around and waited for customers to walk in the door. How the hell is she lazy? Wouldn’t she have been better off calling out of work all week?!”

(My boss huffed off, continuing to mutter about me slacking off.)

Give Me A Break!

| MI, USA | Bosses & Owners, Health & Body, Ignoring & Inattentive

(I am a young woman in an office environment. I am also naturally very thin and small. One day the manager calls me to his office.)

Manager: *seriously* “[My Name], we need to talk. We’re cutting your bathroom breaks.”

Me: “What? Why?”

Manager: “You’ll thank us later.”

Me: “Is it my record? I’ve been very good; I help with the sales.”

Manager: “No, it’ll be fine. Just take things as normal and we’ll get back to you.”

(I leave, confused. Unfortunately, I’m on my period and it’s extremely inconvenient. I spend the whole day in pain at my desk. My supervisor comes to me at the end of the day.)

Supervisor: “What’s going on? I heard you didn’t do very well today. Is anything the matter?”

Me: “No.”

Supervisor: *looking concerned* “Okay. Well, I’m here for you, all right?”

(I go home, puzzled by what happened. Next day, I’m suffering heavy bleeds and I have to go to the bathroom numerous times. The manager calls me in the office with the supervisor.)

Manager: “[My Name], we’ve been noticing that you’ve been having a LOT of bathroom breaks and I’m afraid we’re going to have to let you go for a while.”

Me: “WHAT?!”

Manager: “Now, understand that this is only temporary. We have the numbers of some very good people who can help you and we’ll even let you have time off with pay if things come to it…”

Me: “Wait. ‘People who can help me’?”

Manager: “Here.”

(He hands over some leaflets on eating disorders.)

Me: “[Manager], I’m fine. I’m a healthy weight.”

Manager: “Well, you were sick after [Coworker]’s birthday when she brought stuff in the other week, plus you’re really skinny.”

Me: “I had the flu! I didn’t even know I had it at the time. Listen, I’m on my period. I’m not bulimic!”

(My two male superiors were very embarrassed.)

Doesn’t Understand What Resting Actually Means

| New Britain, CT, USA | Bosses & Owners, Crazy Requests, Health & Body, Ignoring & Inattentive

(While working one night about two weeks ago I was moving a stack of cast iron trays, when the stack slipped and I caught it badly, bending my fingers of my right hand backward toward my wrist. It was very painful, but seeing as we were closing up within the hour and I had the next day off to rest I figured I would be fine and finished my work left-handed as much as I could. The following shift I am working as usual and my hand is killing me any time I need to use force or pressure — I can move my hand just fine, but squeezing dressing bottles, lifting ceramic dishes, moving equipment to clean it, or cutting with a knife os agony. I tell my boss what had happened the previous shift and I spend the rest of the night with an icepack close by to relieve the pain.)

Boss: “That sounds like carpal tunnel. You should get that checked out.”

Me: “No, it happened at work.” *I re-explain the situation*

Boss: “Well, take it easy, I hope it gets better.”

(Over the next week I am continuing to ice my hand while I work, and I’m taking Advil for the pain.)

Boss: “You’re still in pain? You should go to a doctor. I think it’s carpal tunnel.”

(I re-explain the incident with the pans falling and that I’m 100% sure it’s not carpal tunnel.)

Me: “Also, I don’t have insurance. I’ve spoken to two different doctor’s offices but without insurance they want me to have cash in hand before they will see me.”

Boss: “Well, rest your hand.”

Me: “That’s not an issue when it’s a slow night, but we’ve been busy. I’m constantly dropping stuff and I can’t work very fast. Maybe I should be moved out of the kitchen if I don’t have a station partner. I can work To-Go and handle the cash register instead.”

Boss: “Yeah, probably. Just rest your hand.”

(By the end of that shift I am in such agony from overuse that I am in tears and he sends me home. I borrow cash to visit a clinic near me and the doctor examines my hand. She comes to the conclusion that I’ve hyper-extended a muscle or a tendon connected to the first two fingers, and she wraps me in a splint to keep it supported, and writes me a note stating that I can only work if I can work left-handed.)

Doctor: “You don’t seem to be in a lot of pain right now, so I’m sure if you can avoid using it for a week or two you’ll be fine. This note should cover everything, and come back for a follow up.”

Boss: “So, can you work tonight?”

Me: “I think I can try it. I have a partner on my station, so she should be able to help me with certain tasks, but I shouldn’t be using my right hand at all. I should be moved to the cash register if I can’t have a partner.”

(The night goes smoothly, until my partner leaves for the night and I am alone on the station. Having no help to move heavy equipment, I actually manage to BEND the aluminum splint I am wearing. I mention it to my boss before I leave and go to the doctor the next day.)

Doctor: “Well, it seemed to have worked when you were able to work left-handed. Talk to your boss again about being transferred. This won’t heal until you’ve rested it, and if you’ve bent the splint that’s REALLY bad; you can injure yourself more.”

(She gives me two more splints, another wrap, and a prescription for an anti-inflammatory at no charge for the visit, and sends me to work. That night I tell my boss what the doctor said.)

Boss: “So are you calling out of work or are you working?”

Me: “I can work, but not alone in the kitchen. I’m really afraid of requesting time off if there’s another option, because Paid Time Off takes so long to process and I can’t miss a paycheck. Last year I requested PTO for an illness in February but I didn’t get the check until October.”

(That night my boss pulls my partner off of the cook line and has her portioning peppers while I cook alone, and I am in agony.)

Me: “Boss, my splint is bent again. I can’t avoid using my right hand on the line if I don’t have a partner.”

Boss: “Are you closing tonight or not?”

Me: “I don’t want to lose the hours but I can’t clean the equipment without help.”

Boss: “Okay, I’ll ask [Partner] to stay an extra half hour to get you caught up. It’s late enough that there won’t be many more orders and we’ll be out in two hours. I’ll call in the worker’s comp request for your doctor’s bill, too.”

(Five minutes later he sends my partner home, and I am struggling to keep up. By this point I’m in tears again and I’m severely pissed off at my boss for ignoring the agreement to keep my partner in the kitchen.)

Boss: “You know what? Go home, and don’t come back tomorrow. Rest your hand. I’ll put in PTO for you.”

Me: “And the worker’s comp?”

Boss: “Yeah, yeah.”

(I come back two days later and he’s still not put in the worker’s comp order. In addition, the schedule has been adjusted that I am working alone on my station, and closing solo, which means that for the last two hours of the night I am in charge of cleaning and cooking for three stations. In the process of working I have bent my last splint and I am once again in tears from pain.)

Me: “THIS IS BULL-S***. I can’t work like this!”

(I’m cradling my hand in an icepack and holding the twisted metal splint out for him to see.)

Boss: “You rested for two days! Why aren’t you better yet? Do you want to work or not? Are you sure you’re not just being dramatic?”

(This is still an ongoing argument at work. I’m not looking forward to tonight’s shift.)

Blind To Reason

| Australia | Bad Behavior, Employees, Health & Body, Pets & Animals

(I am with my friend, who is an Assistance Dog trainer. She trains Seeing Eye Dogs, but also Autism Assistance Dogs. On this occasion she has one of her dogs with her, fully kitted out in its harness and vest – clearly a working dog. We enter a restaurant.)

Waitress: “Oh, no. No, no. No dogs. You cannot bring a dog in here.”

Friend: “This is a service dog. It is permitted.”

Waitress: “No way. You’re clearly not blind.”

(Our mouths both dropped as it is utterly illegal to turn away someone with an Assistance Dog in our state, even if it is only in training. We stared in silence until she begrudgingly let us in. Not all Assistance Dogs are for blind people, but ALL Assistance Dogs are permitted in restaurants!)