Worries The Documents Are Doctored

| Salt Lake City, UT, USA | Bad Behavior, Bosses & Owners, Health & Body

(My birthday is on a state holiday and rapidly approaching. I recently found out I am expecting and am very excited as this was a long time coming. I research my HR options for both during and after the pregnancy and have a firm grasp on the rules. In our office we essentially log our hours and submit them to HR for payroll processing, and notify our team and our managers of absences and doctor’s appointments, etc. Very early on, we have some concerns and my doctor indicates that working from home is my best bet to a healthy pregnancy. A couple of weeks go by and I resume working at the office. At our next appointment, the doctor indicates a strong possibility that our baby won’t make it and may have already passed. We’re devastated and I take the rest of the day off.)

Me: “Team, we just found out our baby may have died. I need the rest of today to try to cope. I may work from home tomorrow.”

Team: *all sends supportive messages and emails and encourage me to take all the time I need*

Me: *essentially the same email to another supervisor* “I know I had an assignment due, but due to the possible death of our baby I won’t make the deadline. I will submit it by tomorrow at four pm at the latest.”

(A supervisor not on my team, but someone I need to work with, chimes in.)

Supervisor: “You’ve been here long enough this should have only taken 20-30 minutes. This is unacceptable.”

(The next day I read all of these messages and work from home. I complete the assignment and submit it.)

Me: “Again, I apologize for the delay. I know this isn’t my best work, but given the circumstances I hope you understand. If you have any questions please let me know.”

Supervisor: “This is simply unacceptable. I expected a lot more from you given your length of employment here. Your personal life is no excuse for poor work performance.”

(A week passes and we have had two follow-up appointments. Both confirm our worst fears: that things aren’t going well and that our baby has indeed passed. As this is our third loss in two years we’re ripped to pieces and have no answers as to why. I again email my team that I’m not working the rest of the day, but will work from home the next day, unless I’m having surgery.)

Team: “We’re so sorry for your loss. We hope you take the time you need to heal and to get the answers we know you need.”

(After confirming surgery date and time I send a follow-up email and indicate I’ll use our allotted five days of bereavement leave to both grieve and recover.)

Team: “We hope it helps you get answers. Please let us know if you need anything.”

Boss: “I’m sorry for your loss. Please submit a doctor’s note so we can add it to your record and reconcile it with our payroll system.”

(I’ve used bereavement leave, PTO, and car accident leave many times in the past and I’ve never been asked for doctor’s notes or funeral programs at this company. When I’ve gotten them in the past they usually tell me to keep them or they toss them.)

Me: “I’ll submit whatever you need. Please just indicate the specifics so I can have my doctor prepare what you need.”

Boss: “Just any note that will indicate why you’ve been working from home for a week or so, and why you want to take a week off, immediately following your birthday.”

(I send a request to my doctor’s office.)

Doctor: “So basically they want a note explaining that I’m doing my job, you’re doing yours,  that you didn’t make up your baby, the ultrasound images you’ve shown people at work, or your baby’s death, and they want you to prove to them that you need time to recover from surgery and heal emotionally from the death of your baby?!”

Me: “That pretty well sums up my understanding. Thank you, doctor!”

Doctor: “I’ll give them a list of medical jargon so complicated they won’t understand more than five words. If they have a problem with that, tell them to contact an attorney, I have more important things to do than explain why my 20 years of medical experience trumps their over-reaching tactics to have some documented reason to try to get rid of a great employee after such an awful life experience!”


Had You Booked From The Beginning

| AZ, USA | At The Checkout, Employees

(I love books and I recently turned of age to start being able to have my own memberships to things. This exchange happens in a popular book store.)

Cashier: *very nice and perky cashier* “Would you like to sign up for our membership program? It’s only [relatively expensive for a young adult but not too crazy].

Me: “I would. How—“

Cashier: “Well, here is the paperwork. When you sign up you get [small amount] off the current book you are buying and will start receiving coupons every couple of weeks, so eventually the membership pays for itself.”

Me: “Yes—“

Cashier: *still perky* “—and then we send you emails which have sales and coupons every month and you get 10% off anything in the store and free shipping on anything online or in store no matter the amount.”

Me: “That sounds great—“

Cashier: “And if you sign up for the kids’ club, anyone under twelve associated with you gets a free cupcake once a year.” *pauses to take a breath and sees me smiling* “I oversold that didn’t I?”


Some Conversations Are Worth Patrolling

| Denver, CO, USA | Bizarre/Silly, Coworkers

(My dad is a ski patroller and hears this little gem over the radio:)

Patroller #1: “[Patroller #1] to [Patroller #2].”

Patroller #2: “[Patroller #2] to [Patroller #1]. Go ahead.”

Patroller #1: “10-20.”

(For the readers: “10-20” is a term in Ten-Code basically asking for location.)

Patroller #2: “I… um… f***, where the h*** am I?!”

(Another time, during a morning meeting.)

Patroller #1: “Geez!” *holds up yogurt container* “I didn’t know yogurt could freeze!”

Patroller #2: “It’s called ‘frozen yogurt,’ dude…”

(And finally:)

Patroller #1: “What’s the weather report say?”

Patroller #2: “We may get something warm and wet… in the form of snow, of course…!”

(And for the records: Yes, all these incidents are from the exact same two patrollers.)