| North Dakota, USA | Employees, Top

(I’ve recently purchased a new living room set. Since I have three young, active boys and four cats, I decide to purchase the protection plan. In addition, I also purchase the upgrade titled “Accidental Damage Coverage”. Sure enough, about 6 weeks later, one of the boys tears the back of the recliner and I call the customer service line.)

Me: “I purchased a recliner 6 weeks ago and purchased the accidental damage protection plan. There’s a rip in the back, and I’d like to make a claim.”

Employee: “Okay, I have your account pulled up. How did the damage occur?”

Me: “My boys were rough-housing in the living room and tore the fabric on the back of the chair.”

Employee: “I see. Unfortunately, since the damage was the result of an accident, and not a manufacturing defect, the plan does not cover repair or replacement.”

Me: “I’m sorry, I don’t quite understand. What was the point of selling an accidental damage plan if it won’t cover accidental damage?”

Employee: “I do apologize, but the accidental damage plan does not cover accidental damage.”

Me: “Did you really just say that with a straight face?!”

Doesn’t Quite Get I.T.

| Cincinnati, OH, USA | Bosses & Owners, Crazy Requests, Technology

(The assistant manager at work is known for micromanaging. During my annual leave we get new computers, printers, operating systems, phones, etc.; however, the phone lines are accidentally cut by the phone company. We have temporary phones that can receive calls but can’t transfer or call out; we also have no Internet. On my first day back, I think I’ve solved a problem that the staff on a different floor has with the new operating system. I tell the assistant manager, who asks me to call IT to let them know. I am a bit confused about why I would be the one to call from a different floor to let IT know about a problem that we no longer have, and then quickly realise I couldn’t call out anyway so didn’t worry about it. I couldn’t tell them anything about how long we had the problem or which staff had spoken to whom; I’d literally be calling to tell them that once upon a time there was a problem but now there isn’t. The problem was solved and I have lots of other important work to catch up on, having been away. The following week, the assistant manager calls me into his office:)

Assistant Manager: “Why didn’t you call IT last week?”

Me: “We had no phones.”

Assistant Manager: “Oh, is that why? I was very disappointed when I realized you hadn’t done it. I told [Regional Manager] and he called them himself.”

Me: “Well, did you let [Regional Manager] know that I couldn’t do it because we had no phones?”

Assistant Manager: “No, but it’s okay. Next time just communicate better.”

Me: “With what? WE HAD NO PHONES!”

What You Don’t Memo Can’t Hurt You

| London, UK | Employees, Lazy/Unhelpful

Me: “Hi, what can you tell me about your £10 per month Android phone deals?”

Employee: *condescendingly* “What deals? Where’d you hear about those…online or something?”

Me: “It’s on the three foot banner in your window saying, ‘Ask about our £10 Android deals.'”

Employee: “Well, no one told me about that. I don’t even know what phones it’s on!”

(There’s an awkward silence as he looks at me, like he’s expecting me to leave.)

Me: “Well, do you think you could go and find out for me?”

(Ten minutes later, after he’s asked every other employee in the shop—none of whom have a clue, either—he returns.)

Employee: “Oh, yeah, it’s on [brand of phone]. We got a memo over the weekend, but nobody ever really bothers to read those, you know!”

Don’t Commit The Crime If You Can’t Do The Overtime

| Greenville, SC, USA | Awesome Workers, Bosses & Owners, Overtime

(We’re in training at a call center for a large, national corporation, working directly for the company rather than through an outsourcer. Of 18 people in the training class, 7 of us came from another local call center, this one run by an outsourcer known for their less than quite legal practices, but being in a ‘Right to Work’ state, the employees don’t speak up about it out of fear of losing our jobs.)

Supervisor: *addressing the class to go over some information on our new schedules once we get out of the training class* “So, any questions?”

Coworker #1: “Will we be able to get all of our hours every week here?”

Supervisor: *clearly confused* “Well, we hope that you’ll come in and stay for your regular shifts. If not, then we’re going to have a problem.”

Coworker #2: “No, what he means is, at the place we worked before, they had this thing called voluntary time off, but it wasn’t voluntary.”

Me: *seeing that the supervisor still seems confused* “What they would do if it was slow, they’d log us out and not let us back in. They called it VTO but—”

Trainer: *misunderstanding* “Oh, no, if you accidentally log out during your shift here, they’ll come find you and—”

Coworker #1: “Oh, no, we didn’t log out accidentally; they’d log us out and send us home because they didn’t want to pay us.”

Supervisor: *now looking a bit shocked* “No, we won’t send you home early unless you volunteer.”

Coworker #1: “Do you guys cut our lunches when it gets busy? Or move our shifts around all day?”

Supervisor: “No, your lunches don’t get cut back. If you’re scheduled for a 45 minute lunch, you get the whole 45 minutes. That’s the law. We have to do that.”

Coworker #3: “What about overtime? How much can we work in a week?”

Supervisor: “Oh, you can work up to four hours a day, but your stats have to be up to par. It’s a privilege, not a right.”

(I can see him cringe, as hands go up from the group of us from the other call center.)

Coworker #4: “Only four hours a day? What if we’re used to working more?”

(At this point, all of us are staring at Coworker #5, who was known for working open to close seven days a week at our previous call center.)

Supervisor: *leaning towards our particular group, and emphasizing* “You can’t work more than four hours of overtime in a day. Only 12 hours in a shift, because THAT’S THE LAW. And you get three breaks on a ten hour shift, because THAT’S THE LAW, TOO. I don’t know what kind of sweat shop you people came from, but we like to do things right around here.”

(At this point the group of us from the other call center are staring at each other in shock.)

Coworker #1: *in amazement* “You mean… [National Company] actually takes care of their people?”

Conceal, Don’t Feel, Don’t Let It Show

| England, UK | Bosses & Owners, Crazy Requests, Theme Of The Month

(My boss is a little inconsistent. He has a few good workers and a number of slackers, and he doesn’t have the guts to do anything, so he just gives more work to those who are already busy.)

Boss: “[My Name], can you come in here a moment?”

Me: “Sure, but I’m a bit busy.”

Boss: “Yeah, about that. I have had complaints about how busy you are and how stressed you are.”

Me: “Well, yes. You have given me a load of work to do.”

Boss: “Yeah, well, you need to stop mentioning it.”

Me: “What? I have been so busy I haven’t said more than two words to anyone.”

Boss: “Well, people can see you’re stressed and, you need to not let that show.”

(I am so shocked that I left and sat down.)

Coworker: “Are you okay?”

Me: “I just got told off for being too busy. He said people were complaining that I was too stressed.”

Coworker: “What?! I told him that he was giving you too much work, and that it wasn’t fair when some people are on Facebook all day. He never listens!”

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