Category: Non-Dialogue

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The Boss Didn’t Record Your Request

| London, England, UK | Bosses & Owners, Holidays, Ignoring & Inattentive, Non-Dialogue

It is Christmas 1988.

I have a recording studio based out of a big studio rehearsal complex in South London and have been working for three days on recording and producing some backing tapes for a client, who also happens to be an old friend. The last day we spend on the mixdowns and at about 9:30, we decide to take a timeout and go to the local pub for some refreshment, to rest our ears, and to generally chew over what we’ve done. While we are blowing the froth off a couple, another old friend along with his significant other turns up. Since we all know each other, we decide to carry on until closing time.

As it is getting late, I suggest we all go back to the studio, listen to the mixes we’ve done, and call it a day. As we are walking down the main corridor, we come across the studio manager who is busy restocking the beer machine in the green room. I tell him that we are just going downstairs to listen to what we’ve been doing and wrap things up. I also tell him not to lock up before checking with me.

We settle down and listen to the first track. At the end, one of our party has to go to the loo and so he goes off in search of relief while we carry on. The second track has barely started playing when he comes back saying that all the security gates in the corridor are locked and the lights are off!

Thinking this is a monumental wind-up I go to investigate… and sure enough, the lights are off and the gates closed up tighter than a nervous sphincter attempting to rein in the purgative effects of a themonuclear-grade vindaloo. As I go back downstairs to the studio, I also notice that the rear fire exit doors have been chained up. I try to call the studio owner but get no joy, so we sit there for a while trying to work out what to do. My friend in particular is rather concerned as he is off to the Middle East first thing in the morning to start shooting a commercial.

Eventually I decide the only hope was to call the Fire Brigade and get them to break down the fire exit doors. Twenty minutes go past…no Fire Brigade. Thirty minutes…you guessed it. By this time, I have lost my patience, so grabbing my toolbox I go upstairs to the fire exit and proceed to dismantle the entire thing from the inside. I eventually manage to get it open only to be confronted by a big burly fireman about to lay into the door with a fire axe. I manage to avoid being sliced in two by the simple expedient of stepping rapidly to one side. The rest of the firemen enter and check out the entire building while I regale the lead officer with our tale of woe, much to his evident amusement.

As you might imagine, I am not best pleased with the incident so the next day about lunchtime, I storm into the office — small portable thundercloud in tow — and in front of the studio owner and his wife proceed to lay down some serious and heavy invective upon the head of the hapless studio manager, calling into question his dubious parentage, and threatening to attach his gonads to the output terminals of the largest Class A power amplifier I can find if there is ever a repeat of the entire sorry débâcle.

The studio owner is none too pleased either, having been read the riot act by the Fire Brigade that morning. He is also furious that, in order to deal with the considerable fallout from the incident, he’s had to cancel the flight he’d booked to the States for that evening, which means that he and his wife aren’t going to be able to visit their family until the New Year.

The flight he was booked on — but had to cancel — was Pan Am 103.

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The Runner Is Running Into Your Job

| Cincinnati, OH, USA | New Hires, Non-Dialogue

I have worked for 15 years at a law-firm. I am the person in charge of the computer network, and because I am also an assistant to the managing partner, I coordinate the monthly staff lunch and the monthly staff breakfast.

A very insecure coworker gets promoted to office manager, and she hires a girl to work as a runner/clerk. All this person’s duties involve is making copies, making coffee for the conference rooms, and running documents to the courthouse.

One month, I make the mistake of asking her to pick up the donuts for the monthly breakfast. She immediately goes into hyperdrive and takes over the breakfast with the permission of the new manager. Suddenly, she is ordering a ton of unnecessary stuff that no one even asked for, and arranging the donuts in weird ways.  We’ve always just sat out the boxes of donuts and bagels and cream cheese, with napkins, paper plates and plastic ware. Not on HER watch. Now she has them each on separate plates on big trays that she went out and bought and charged the company. There isn’t room on the counters in the lunchroom for the big trays so she places the trays of donuts and bagels on top of the garbage cans. Really appetizing.

She becomes particularly hyper about usurping anything I do and doing it badly. She starts trying to interfere and tell people what to do about software problems and countermanding my instructions on things — which she is in no way trained for.

Finally, she went too far on that and tried to fix one person’s computer while they were away from their desk, by deleting all the “clutter” on their C:\ drive to make it neater while completely failing to go to the courthouse with documents that were time-sensitive because she was too “busy” trying to do my job. She was not very competent anyway, and instead of making sure she had a job she could do, this office manager, apparently in order to mess with me, got her in so far over her head that she ended up out of a job entirely.

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At War With Your Employees

| IA, USA | Awesome Workers, Coworkers, Non-Dialogue, Pranks

Today I love/hate my employees.

During a training session earlier this week I had told them all to let me know of any changes needed to their schedule due to long calls, complicated issues, whatever. “Don’t write me a novel. I don’t need War & Peace, just give me the times and a quick note of what happened.”

Wise-a** rep responds this morning by sending me an email that succinctly states the times I need, then goes into 6 pages of an excerpt from War & Peace. Specifically, Part Three, XV.

To his credit, he didn’t write it, he just copy-pasted from a website.

“At eight o’clock Kutzov rode to Pratz….”

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Not A Fan Of Management

| CT, USA | Bosses & Owners, Health & Body, Non-Dialogue

It is during my tenure as a cashier at a mid-to-low tier department store. Everything is run by our corporate headquarters – including, unfortunately, the thermostat. The A/C isn’t set to kick on until a set date, which means that if it gets warm early in the season, the associates just get to sweat. We aren’t allowed to have drinks at our station, and can only leave for our breaks.

It is about 100 degrees in the store. I have several very nice customers come up and ask if I would like a water bottle, and how I could stand to work in the heat. I do my best to put on my customer service smile in spite of really not tolerating heat well at all and tell them I am fine.

About midway through my shift my manager comes up to my register. To offer me some water or a break? No. To yell at me for fanning myself, because ‘you don’t need to advertise it to the customers; they already know it’s hot.’

Yeah, because I was fanning myself for the sake of the customers.

Thankfully, I was only at that store to bridge the gap before going back to school, and once I left I never went back.

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Cleaning At An Alarming Rate

| AL, USA | Non-Dialogue, Technology

I’m the idiot in this story.

I recently started working at this restaurant, and as such, I haven’t figured everything out yet. On this particularly slow Saturday night, I’ve been restocking the various items under the front counter, like the sauces, cups, and lids, as well as cleaning around all these things, too. I see a button that looks like it would release something (I can’t remember what now) so I could clean under it. I press it, and nothing happens. I ignore the button and continue cleaning.

Less than five minutes later, my manager’s on the phone with the franchise owner, and we’ve got two police officers standing in the lobby. Apparently, I’d pressed the silent alarm button. I get a short talking-to, but everyone laughs it off and the officers are just glad there was no danger. The manager gives them a couple of sandwiches for their trouble, and everything goes back to normal.

I felt incredibly bad and apologized profusely, only to be told, “It’s happened before, and it’ll happen again. People just like pushing buttons, even if they don’t know what they’re for.”

Guilty as charged.

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