Job Hunting Is A Joke

| Wales, UK | Bizarre/Silly, Bosses & Owners, Job Seekers

(I had an interview and the manager was unable to attend, but wants to meet with me and calls me up the next day to arrange it.)

Me: “Too Many Hamsters R Us.”

Manager: “Er, can I speak to [My Name], please?”

Me: “Speaking.”

Manager: “Hi, this is [Manager[ from [Centre]…”

Me: “Oh, God, sorry about that. I always answer the house phone in a jokey way.”

Manager: “You wouldn’t answer the work phone like that.”

Me: “No, never.”

Manager: “Chuckles.”

(I hope I get this job. It wasn’t even a good joke!)

Find Anything To Wine About

| Nottingham, England, UK | Bad Behavior, Bosses & Owners, Food & Drink

(I work in a call centre that sets up appointments and work schedules for IT engineers. My supervisor is horrible and always tries to big herself up to the manager by getting the staff in trouble. She hates me in particular as I’m a pretty cheery person and get on well with the engineers and management. In addition to this I have always bought the nicest food I can afford and frequent some of the more expensive delis in town where I sometimes get treats for the office that are a bit posh, and she gets quite jealous.)

Manager: *sternly* “Can I speak to you in my office, please?”

Me: *confused* “Okay.”

Manager: “I think you know why I have brought you in here today.”

Me: “…No?”

Manager: “[Supervisor] has advised me on many occasions she has seen you drinking wine at your desk. We take these matters very seriously and I’ve come to advise you of our intent to discipline you for gross misconduct which, if found to be true, could lead to you instant dismissal. Do you understand and have anything to say at this point?”

(At this point I am understandably upset as I have never touched alcohol while working.)

Me: “I don’t understand. I haven’t ever brought wine to work let alone drunk it at my desk in full view of the office. When did [Supervisor] say I did this?”

Manager: “She observed you many times this week openly pouring wine from a bottle of wine into a glass on your desk and drinking it. Are you saying you deny this despite [Supervisor] saying she has multiple witnesses?”

Me: *brain engaging* “Wait? Did you say a bottle at my desk… It’s not wine! It’s on my desk now if you want to go and see.”

(My manager follows me to my desk – sitting in plain sight us a glass bottle of raspberry and vanilla cordial I bought from the posh deli. Note at this point we are now yards away from my Supervisor’s desk.)

Me: “As you or anyone else can clearly see this is fruit juice, not wine. I’ve been adding it to water for the last week. If anyone had actually bothered to look rather than drag me into an office or accuse me of something so serious we wouldn’t be in this position!”

Manager: “[Supervisor], a word in my office…”

Cooking On Autopilot

| ON, Canada | Bizarre/Silly, Bosses & Owners

(I work for a call center for a hospital. I have to answer with the same greeting every time I hear a ‘beep’ in my headset letting me know a call is about to be connected. I am sitting in the break room, reading and not paying attention to my surroundings. My manager walks in and puts something in the microwave. The microwave dings.)

Me: “[Major Hospital], [My Name] speaking. How may I help you?”

Manager: *looks at me like I just sprouted a second head before bursting out laughing*

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?”

A Badly Timed Period

| New Zealand | Bad Behavior, Bosses & Owners, Health & Body

(My workplace tries to get every second out of us on the phones. They are pedantic about breaks down to the second, and you will often get grilled about those ‘two minutes’ over a day that you weren’t speaking to a customer. In light of this, they are always developing schemes to ensure they are getting precisely 7.5 hours from us per day. We are called into a meeting in shifts, and I am in the last meeting of the day.)

Centre Manager: “So, between us and our sister call centre in [City] we’ve developed a new way of using the bathroom quickly!”

Head Of Call Centre: “I have made it my personal mission to time people using the bathrooms, and I have planned out how long each person needs in the bathroom. If you’re doing number 1’s, you only need one minute. If you’re doing number 2’s, you need 2 minutes and 20 seconds. So in future, we’re going to expect you to follow these guidelines, and aim for these times when using the bathrooms.”

(I’ve worked with lawyers for years, and am known for being a bit of a smart-a**.)

Me: “Um, what about those of us who need to have ‘number 3’s?'”

Centre Manager & Head Of Call Centre: “What?”

Me: “Well, you said you’ve monitored people using the bathrooms, so you can get an average time, right?”

Head Of Call Centre: “Yes.”

Me: “Did you only monitor the men?”

Centre Manager & Head Of Call Centre: *worried glances* “Yes…”

Me: “So, it never occurred to you that women have an issue once a month that they can’t control? And that issue may take more than a minute in the bathroom?”

Centre Manager: *both go pale* “Um, surely, that’s not an issue?”

Me: “Surely, you’ve never been women, and only surveyed half of the centre’s population. And I suspect that the union would be furious if they knew you were timing our bathroom breaks!”

(Funnily enough, no one else had brought this up, and when the suggestion got around to the other female staff, they backed me up. The policy was dropped by the end of the week. It turned out they were trying to prevent people using their smart devices in the bathrooms, which was fair, but why not just say so?)