People Awaken Us With Their Refreshing Malicious Compliance Revenge Story
12. Illegally Disconnect Thousands Of Cellphone Customers' Lines? You Got It, Boss
“This tale starts all the way back in 2013 and involves my time working at a call centre at the 4th largest national cellular carrier. For a little bit of context about Canadian telecommunications, and specifically cellphone services, Canada is the second largest nation on earth, by landmass, with one of the lowest population densities and the Federal Government has some strict laws about foreign ownership and financing of telecommunications.
As a result of this, cellphone plans are very expensive and the only companies that offer service are already established large companies with the resources to purchase spectrum and set up infrastructure. My employer was a newcomer to the market and was trying to make a splash by offering lower-priced services on the recently auctioned-off AWS spectrum.
The expensive cell phone plans, that were offered in Canada, were a real hot-button issue. Such a hot button that in the 2011 Federal Election, all of the major political parties campaigned with the promise to make services better and lower prices (I think even the Bloc had a campaign promise too).
The result of this election was that in 2013, the CRTC (Canadian Radio and Television Commission) revised a bunch of the laws that regulated cellphone providers, specifically cellphone contracts. The updated laws were called the “CRTC Code of Conduct.”
The new wireless code made a bunch of changes but the most important was that cellphone contracts were required to be written in “Plain English” (instead of legalese) and any service advertised as unlimited can not have an overage charge, by law.
These new regulations were a very big deal at the time and employees at the call centre I worked at were required to sit through multiple training sessions and take quizzes/tests about this to make sure we knew and understood the new laws.
When this was happening I was working in the “Back Office” department in one of the call centres for this cellular carrier. The back office department served several functions, but I managed to find a niche in the department.
I had become responsible for monitoring people’s roaming usage, when travelling outside of Canada, and disconnecting them before they get bill shock. At the time, it was not uncommon to find news stories of people coming home from a trip and having an $85,000 Phone Bill, and I was the sole person responsible for making sure that this didn’t happen.
Also, I worked part-time, 3 days a week.
The supervisor of the Back Office department did not get along with me. He would constantly harass me. I was previously in the Technical Support department, where he was the supervisor when the harassment began.
I eventually became frustrated with the way I was being treated and transferred away from Technical Support to Back Office so that I could escape from the maltreatment I was receiving. A couple of months after I transferred, he transferred too and became my supervisor once again and the mistreatment continued.
I am not sure what I did to this person to make this person treat me the way that they did, but we had an antagonistic relationship for as long as he was my supervisor.
So in 2014, my employer became the first carrier (to my knowledge) to offer “Unlimited USA Roaming”. You could pay $15 a month, on top of your normal monthly plan, and get unlimited roaming in the United States.
They also offered a trucker plan for $35 a month, total, that would have unlimited voice, SMS, and data anywhere in North America, and it was marketed directly to long-haul truckers. This addon and plan were a pretty big deal as other carriers were charging $2 – $5 /MB for data roaming (Doing a bit of research, SOLO Mobile charges $6 /MB for USA Roaming To This Day).
To my mind, monitoring USA Roaming is no longer a high priority as I can’t disconnect people that have this addon, or appropriate plan because it’s against the law.
I continue to monitor roaming usage, and every time I see a user with a massive amount of data usage I go into their account to confirm the existence of the addon or a plan that would allow for this roaming usage, once confirmed I move on to the next account.
My focus quickly starts to be focused on people travelling in Europe, Asia and Africa. There are fewer people roaming in those locations, as Canada doesn’t share a land border with them, and the Data Roaming rate is a lot more expensive (to the tune of $20 / MB).
This is going well for a couple of weeks until my supervisor comes up and asks why I am not deactivating the accounts travelling in the United States anymore. I attempt to explain that I can’t deactivate these customers as they have an appropriate plan or addon and if I were to do this then the company would be in violation of the new laws.
We have a back and forth about this and the discussion ends when he says something to the effect of “Just Shut Up and Do What I told You” (Maybe he said “Shut Up and do your job”, I just remember hearing “Shut Up”).
Alright? Fine, if that’s the way you want to do it, can you send me an email with those instructions, please?
Normally I would work at my normal work pace but that day specifically I was flying through accounts.
I am not sure how many people I deactivated, I was cutting people off left, right and centre. I went home that night and knew that there would be fallout, and I felt incredibly guilty for negatively affecting the honest customers that were caught in the crossfire of my supervisor’s bullcrap.
Because I was part-time, and only working 3 days a week, I wouldn’t see the fallout for 4 more days. When I got back to work the situation was apparently in complete chaos. The entire department had spent the 4 days that I was off trying to reactivate people, and they wouldn’t be finished for a couple more days still.
I had heard rumours that some people, important people, had threaded lawsuits and all sorts of other crap as a result of being cut off when they had purchased plans advertised with “Unlimited Data In the USA”.
The supervisor/manager tried to blame me but I had the email and witnesses to our conversation to back me up.
IDK if the supervisor got in trouble over this incident, nothing happened to me over this incident. I do know that he was eventually promoted to being the General Manager of the call centre and subsequently fired years later when we brought in a union over the crappy working conditions.”
11. Tell Them The Truth? I'll Expose Your Dirty Little Secret
“To be clear, this isn’t my story, it’s my sister’s. She randomly told me this last Friday when I dropped by for dinner.
Her previous employment was with a branch of a Swedish retail store. They sell expensive, luxurious furniture.
When my sister was working there they had about 20 people working the floor, the highest being the regional manager, he’s also the only Swedish in the store, 5 people working in the higher office and the rest were floor attendants.
Each person in this higher office covered a different part of the store. There were an accountant, a biller, an HR, a purchaser, and a Head Office, to whom basically everyone reported. My sister was the biller (I never cared enough to ask her what exactly her job was).
The purchaser, let’s call him Jack, was a competent guy. He did his job to near perfection and would often help others with theirs, as well as went out on the floor interacting with people.
But, apart from the high office, floor attendants resented him. Not publicly, but my sister was paying enough attention to notice. Nobody would say anything though, they just said he’s “creepy”.
Until one day, when the boss (the Swedish guy) came in.
He would often work remotely and only came in during disarrayed hours. Apparently, when he’s about to enter the store, he saw, from outside the window, Jack pestering a female floor attendant. She was clearly very annoyed.
The boss observed for a while and eventually caught the guy placing his hand on her thighs.
He immediately called the office, all 5 of them, into a meeting, and asked Jack to clarify his intentions.
Jack said they’re just “playing around”.
Now, as sickening as it may sound, in my country this is somewhat normal. When girls get harassed like this, it’s their fault for not covering themselves properly. In these instances, people would justify the harassment and blame the victim instead.
My generation is trying to reject this mindset, but some people are just built differently.
But, because the boss was not from my country, he saw this as a major issue. Despite Jack trying to plead that it’s nothing, he decided to launch a store-wide investigation, into the high office as well (my sister included) because he thought they were covering for Jack.
My sister said she actually thought she’d be fired, or at least reprimanded, she had never seen him so serious before.
The result was… alarming. Each and every female floor attendant (6 or 7 of them) said they’d been pestered by Jack at least once, some even said he touched them without consent.
The boss asked why nobody stepped up, they said they were ashamed and feared retaliation. He then questioned the high office to find out that they were too busy to notice what was happening. Also, nobody ever threatened retaliation, people just assumed there would be because it’s usually what happens in my country.
After a week and a half, another meeting was scheduled, in which Jack was given the option to resign or be fired. No action was taken against everyone else in the high office, but they were told (quite firmly) that this kind of neglect could never happen again.
Even at that meeting, Jack still insisted that it was nothing. He’d spent the whole duration of the investigation complaining to everyone in the store, including the people he harassed, that the boss was overreacting.
People just gave him the stink eye, but he didn’t seem to care.
Things were quiet for a week or two, and then it got interesting. One day the Head Office lady received a phone call from Jack, during which he asked that they’d be his reference for his new interviews.
She was taken back a bit and asked him – “You want to make us your reference?”
Jack – “Yes, I believe I had done my work well enough for you guys to put out a good word” It’s true, he’s very efficient.
In fact, they’d had a hard time finding his replacement, they ended up taking a portion of his work for months while looking for someone suitable.
Head Office lady – “But… the commotion…?”
Jack – “Oh that, I’m sure it’s nothing.
Just tell the truth and I think they’ll understand.”
Head Office lady, still baffled – “But… but…”
Jack – “Look, I won’t ask for more, if someone calls just tell them the truth. I’m sure it’s nothing.”
Apparently, Jack still thought if people heard about it they would agree with him.
When she got off the phone, she was still stuttering. When everyone knew what happened, they were as well.
Nobody knew what to do with it, so they informed their boss. He said it’s fine if that’s what Jack wanted.
Starting the following day, he’d come to the store every day. He also instructed everyone that if it’s a call about Jack, it’s to be directed to him. I think I also need to mention that after almost 7 years of living in Vietnam, he can speak decently enough.
When the call finally came, the whole office stopped working, and instead eavesdropped, there were some people from the floor as well. My sister said that they can only hear from his side of the conversation, but it’s pretty easy to see the whole picture.
Boss – “(praising Jack with words that would make even the ugliest of witches look like a fairy godmother)”
Also boss – “Anything you’ll need to worry about? Oh, it’s just that incident that gave us no choice but to let him go.”
The other side asked something.
Boss – “I’m sure he’s told you, but he put his hands on one of our female employees without her consent.”
The other side – “(gasped)” (okay I imagined this one)
The other side asked something.
Boss – “Yes just once…” He did pause at this.
The other side – “(signed in relief)” (and this one)
Boss – “… that I caught him. Every other instance happened without my presence.”
The other side asked something else.
Boss – “Yes, I have the meeting record in which he agreed to resign in order for us not to take further actions.”
The other side said something.
Boss – “Sure, just contact me via this number. If you want to know anything else I’d be happy to help.”
Two days later Jack called the Head Office lady again to ask if anyone contacted them for his reference.
She said yes and assured him they were telling whoever called “the truth” about his “performance”.
He said it was strange because he was rejected in his latest interview.
I wonder what could have been the reason.”
10. Stay Until The Bathroom Is Spotless? It Might Take A While
“During my time of working at a grocery store, I went through multiple managers. Some were good and I got along with them and others not so much. The manager of this story wasn’t the worst I’ve had but I can definitely say she was the most annoying to deal with.
She was one of those types that went “I don’t know your duties all that well but I will micromanage you and you have to do things my way!” and got angry if we didn’t do things her way even if her way wasn’t the most efficient.
Around the time she started as a manager, a new store policy was being implemented about cleaning the small public bathroom in the back of the store every 2 hours. Honestly, I was not against that.
As the public bathroom was only a single toilet and sink, a quick mop and spray wouldn’t take too long anyway and cleanliness was made all the more important in March 2020 for obvious reasons.
Unfortunately, my manager’s micromanaging came into play even here. Basically, if the place wasn’t clean enough to eat off of, it wasn’t clean according to her. Yes, somehow she expected that level of cleanliness every 2 hours whilst all of us are busy with our own work.
It didn’t help that occasionally there were doodles and other such on the walls that were hard to get out if not impossible with just normal cleaning supplies. I even remember that one time some guy used spray paint to do some graffiti in there.
Anyway, one day it was my turn to clean the bathroom. At the time, it was considerably busy due to a lack of cashiers that day. As I was often used as a backup cashier at that point, I didn’t have the time to do such a deep clean like my manager wanted at the first 2-hour mark.
A bit later, my manager apparently must have seen the bathroom herself and she decided to pull me away to berate me. The following is an abridged version of what was said.
Manager: “Why didn’t you clean the bathroom? You were supposed to earlier!”
Me: “I did but I didn’t have the time to deep clean everything.
I had to help some customers at the register. There are some things I can’t clean in there anyway.”
Manager: “No excuses! You’re not a full-on cashier anyway. Now go back and clean it again! And do it right this time! I want it to be spotless! Don’t leave until you’re done!”
Me: “Aye aye ma’am.”
And now it’s finally time for the malicious compliance.
As mentioned earlier, sometimes there were things on the walls that just would not come out with the cleaning materials we had on hand, hence why we usually had a cleaning company do such deep cleaning at night.
This naturally resulted in not being able to leave as I had no way of cleaning these things myself. So I just did my best to clean what I could and then just sat on the toilet doing stuff on my phone.
I had nothing else to do after all and nowhere I could go. Of course, I wasn’t mean-spirited enough to make the customers’ bladders suffer for my compliance so I did exit the bathroom when somebody needed to use it but I went back in afterward.
All in all, I didn’t do much for the next 5 hours or so. I just got paid for sitting around on my phone and occasionally cleaning. (hooray for having a charger on hand). The fallout outside the bathroom however was much more eventful.
Turns out that a bit after I was sentenced to being in my bathroom jail cell, one of the cashiers ended up clocking out for the day and another cashier called out sick. That just left 1 cashier (technically 2 but 1 has to run the self-checkout) and my manager to deal with the horde of customers wanting to check out during one of the busiest days of the week.
As expected, I was called over the loudspeaker multiple times to come help, by that manager of all people. But I’m like “You ordered me to stay in here so I’m staying in here,” and didn’t respond to those calls.
It didn’t help that I knew she called because she just didn’t want to do any cashier work. Eventually, that other cashier also ended up having to clock out for the day. So when normally I and the one who called out sick would be at the registers, my manager had to do this mostly by herself.
Unfortunately, I couldn’t see this in real-time as I was in the back but I do hope she had to suffer a bit from angry, rude, and/or entitled customers.
I ended up leaving my prison a bit after 8 pm which was after she left for the night.
I hadn’t had my lunch break after all and I actually felt like helping after she was gone. During my next shift with her in charge I got pulled into the office by her and sat down with another manager I suppose as a witness or something.
Once again, below is the abridged version.
Manager: “Where were you that day!?! You didn’t respond to any calls and nobody could find you! You must have left the store!”
Me: “I was simply following orders. Your orders might I add.”
Manager: “What are you talking about!?!”
Me: “You told me that I couldn’t leave the bathroom until I made sure it was spotless.”
Manager: “Well, it shouldn’t have taken you that long!”
Me: “I did tell you there was stuff I couldn’t clean with the supplies on hand but you insisted.
Even said you’d fire me if I didn’t do it.”
Okay, the last part was a lie I made up to get the other manager in the room more on my side but it also had the unintended effect of getting the micromanaging manager to nearly lunge at me and she started full-on yelling at me.
Despite willingly taking part in trying to make her mad with the malicious compliance, I still had some anxiety issues and they kicked in during this time. That was enough for the other manager to step in and stop this.
In the end, I was just told I could go back to my normal duties and that I didn’t have to keep the bathroom that clean. Unfortunately, my micromanaging manager didn’t seem to get much more than a slap on the wrist.
To be fair, it made sense as she didn’t do much else besides yell at me and there was no physical altercation. But even then, I managed to have some fun before I left that job (for unrelated reasons) by simply watching her frustrated face knowing that she couldn’t micromanage me as much anymore.”
Another User Comments:
“Good story! If only you had known that only employees trained in bio-hazardous waste removal (feces) could be asked to clean a bathroom, you could have just said ‘no’ when asked by a micromanager. But then you wouldn’t have this story to tell.” voluntold9276
9. Think I'm A Terrible Employee? Hm, Maybe You're Right
Totally got taken for granted, that’s for sure.
“So for about 8 months, I worked at one location of an office supply chain store. My position was a tech sales supervisor, essentially when someone comes up for a computer, printer, label maker, etc.
pretty much everything electronic that the store sells I help customers and answer questions. During that time of helping, we have to ask a series of questions trying to get at upselling other things in the store and also our in-store warranties to convince them to buy more things so essentially the company can make a bigger profit off of each customer.
My direct manager was overseeing the sales of the entire store, and since my department was where the big ticket items were he worked more extensively with my coworkers and me in that department than most others.
And since I was the supervisor of that department that meant he would hound me the most often.
Now I admit that I quickly realized I didn’t have strong sales skills which is one of the things that led to the eventual decision to leave.
Though how he treated me was also a strong reason too. He and I had very different personalities that conflicted. Or rather he was too conflicted in and of himself and he didn’t realize it.
I could count on two hands how often he would confide in me that he doesn’t know why customers would turn him down when he tried to upsell to them and only buy the things that they came in for and nothing else.
Then in the next breath 10 minutes later when I would talk with a customer he’d complain that I’m not succeeding at that very same thing he was ranting about him struggling with just moments before.
He would list 5-10 things for me to get done that day. I’d start working on them but then later he would find me and complain that I’m not doing what I should be doing and part of my job is severely lacking, even though I was doing what he told me to do that morning.
They seemed to limit the number of employees down to most of the time during the week only one person in each department/station at any given time. That would lead to me missing sales opportunities because I was with one customer already and another would walk in and just grab something in my department and go buy it.
Every other time this would happen he’d complain I missed another opportunity, even when I explained to him why that didn’t seem to matter to his small brain. Not being able to clone myself and be in two places at once is a flaw that can be held against me.
One day I walked into work and I realized the day before my sales manager made a huge sale with a computer. A couple of software items needed to be installed which it was in the process of doing since it was hooked up the day before.
Normally with certain items being installed we work with a 3rd party IT company that works with the computer remotely to set things up. During this particular time and computer though there was some issue with one of the software pieces that the customer bought and the IT department was having a hard time setting it up.
It ended up taking all day and the customer eventually got tired of waiting and just returned everything. That of course made my sales manager angry when I told him. And of course, within a week I got my first official write-up.
With the write up it was with my sales manager and the store manager. During the write-up conversation, my sales manager brought up all the examples mentioned earlier as to why the write-up was happening.
He brought up that my sales ability was severely lacking when it came up to the in-store warranties as well as upselling other things. He brought up me missing opportunities with customers I didn’t talk to at all, and he brought up that I didn’t complete things that needed to be done.
This whole time, I was contemplating my response when he was outlining why I was the subject of this disciplinary meeting. Thinking that this could be a result of what happened the week before. After he was finished I began asking my own questions.
The first response being that “those are good points. However, you did mention my sales ability. How is it that you’re using that as one of the reasons when you yourself have told me that even you’re struggling to get the customers you’ve talked to, to bite on and buy more than what they came in for?”
He acted taken aback for a moment before asking what I meant.
I retorted with “oh you don’t remember the times in which you told me yourself you don’t know why customers aren’t buying things from you? The person who’s twice my age and has been here for 20 years?”
He became a bit frustrated at my smart-aleck remark and said “this meeting isn’t about me at all, let’s stay focused here.” As he goes off about the other points he made as well, trying to get off that subject quickly.
During this time the store manager had yet to say anything.
After he is done speaking I brought up another point he made. “You say I missed opportunities with customers in when I didn’t speak to them.
The only reason why I would do that is because I would be talking to another customer that came in first. I’m not about to ditch one customer just to start chatting up another. I would think that doesn’t look professional on my part.
We severely need more than just one person in my department at any given moment if that’s something that corporate is upset about. And that would even help with me not getting certain things done as well.”
Getting increasingly flustered he cut me off there and stated “it’s not in the budget at this time to increase other people’s hours.
With you being the only full-time employee in your department it’s expected that you are the one that has to work and it’s on your shoulders to keep your department in good shape and apparently you’re not able to.
Maybe this isn’t the best job for you if you can’t keep up.”
The managers pressured me to sign their write-up form to acknowledge that we all went over this. After that, I was fuming mad and took my first 15-minute break for the day to calm myself down.
Knowing that nothing would be changed, fighting this would be a moot point. After about a month’s time of looking, I found another job which was going to start me the following week. That next day I walked in, went up to the sales manager and handed him my company-provided t-shirts, and quit.
He acted all shocked stating, “But we need you! Your shift starts in 10 minutes!”
I sighed and stared at him saying “you know what, I thought about what you said and you were right. I’m not up for this job.” Then I turned back and left.
This was in February 2020. I went to that store recently just out of curiosity and to buy some ink for my printer and there were not even 5 customers in the store including myself.
There wasn’t even anyone working in my old department from what I saw. Guess they didn’t replace me either. Talked to one of my ex-coworkers and she said that the company had to resort to selling video games and consoles to keep up with their losing earnings.
I couldn’t help but laugh.”
Another User Comments:
“FYI to anyone. You do not HAVE to sign a write-up. You can refuse to sign any document you want. In or out of work. You cannot be forced to sign a contract, write up, or anything.” Sir_Distic
8. Stop Doing Our Job To Save Time? Good Luck With That
“I used to work for this company a few years ago. I was part of a team of around 20 people, working on checking tickets to see if they were correctly formed and sent to the right department.
If everything was correct, we’d close the ticket with yes and make an appointment with the right department to do a physical visit in order to fix the problem.
If something was wrong, however, our role was to guide the person so that they wouldn’t make the same mistakes again.
We’d close the ticket with no, a short explanation on why it’s no, and how to fix it. After that, we’d have to send an email to the person themselves and cc every team manager of their location.
(We had four different locations, with three to seven team managers each.)
This email would have to consist of exactly where they went wrong, for every single small mistake they made. It had to have a link where it was clear that it wasn’t allowed or wrong, and what the right move, in this case, would be.
It also had to be friendly, rather than accusing. Making this email was one of the longer parts of our job, for small mistakes it would take five minutes but for longer mistakes, it would take 15 minutes.
If the person didn’t include any information about themselves, we’d have to search for it ourselves, adding another five minutes.
After doing all that, we had to report it in an excel sheet so they could keep track of how many yesses and how many nos, and for what reason.
Corporate really pushed the ‘you are a guide, a trainer, a friendly person to show them how to do it’ thing. They didn’t want us to be a cop or the bad guy so that everyone hated us for saying no.
I gave training on how to correctly fill in ticket forms and what to check before thinking about a ticket.
Corporate also wanted us to do the job faster. They made basic templates for our mails that included the most common mistakes, so the only thing we needed to do was to fill in the personal information and slightly adjust it for the mistake.
That wasn’t fast enough for corporate though, so they made us add a disclaimer to our mails to not contact us but to contact their team manager if they didn’t agree. No more DMs asking for help, because that means we weren’t doing our job.
It still wasn’t fast enough. Corporate didn’t like that our ticket queue had tickets that were older than three days. If it reached an age older than three days we had to directly send it to the next department, rather than checking it.
We’d close it with maybe, to say we didn’t check it.
It rarely happened that tickets were older than three days. Usually, we picked them up the same day or the day after. Only after the weekend it would be longer, we didn’t work on the weekend, so we had a backlog on Monday.
It made us the fastest queue to put a ticket in, the other queues taking a week or two weeks before it’s picked up.
Corporate kept removing tasks till we had nothing remaining. All in the name of speed.
We had to allow everything but weren’t allowed to tell everyone so they would put the effort into their tickets.
We told corporate it was bad for three reasons.
First of all, people weren’t stupid. People would know and test their limits to see what they could get away with.
Second, it would cause an overflow of appointments for our people going to visit houses to fix issues. Think 1,500~ appointments a day for 30 to 50 people.
Third, it wouldn’t speed anything up. Instead, we expect it to become busier than ever because people would call and say it takes too long or their issue wasn’t fixed.
The people that went to the houses would have to call to say it was for another department or say it wasn’t what was said and they needed to reschedule to prepare. This would be an issue for every department because trashy tickets would be sent everywhere in the hope someone would pick it up faster.
Corporate said they have thought about it for a long time and it would be fine.
They also did this for the department that handles requests for finances.
So we allowed everything. Requests that weren’t for someone to visit? Have a person visit you anyway.
You already have an appointment? Have another one, they can have a tea party together.
Anything goes, and the finance department allowed thousands of bucks to be given away. People would send requests for multiple smaller amounts to not stand out.
Of course, this meant that exactly what we thought would happen happened.
People tested their limits and we ended up with tickets that had zero information. “I have an issue, please send someone.” The tickets were trash, and they were trash for every department.
People started sending in more and more tickets, and the same issue to every department. So every department had a huge backlog of trashy tickets.
And the appointments? You were lucky if you’d get anyone in a month.
This was at the start of 2020, so people called in sick. This didn’t help the fact that everyone worked from home and we had more issues in general with that.
The call queues went from 20 to 50 people to 500 people waiting.
Everyone was overworked.
Besides us of course, our queue was empty. We had to fight for tickets to get our tickets per hour. We had fun chatting and listening to music. Corporate didn’t allow anyone to contact us, so we had no consequences for what we did.
Corporate came with some excuse that we had good months and lots of new people joined us, so the backlog was to set up everything for us. Not for existing issues of course, why would that be a problem?
It all went so terribly, and corporate stuck their head in the sand during it.
They didn’t listen to complaints or our advice to fix it. By the time they finally undid the change, it was too late; the damage was done. They changed it because it helped, our queue was empty so they got what they wanted.
Not because everything went terribly of course.
Now because all the tickets were trash, we rejected everything. It took a lot longer because we had to write emails explaining all issues they had, linking to everything that said how to fix it.
And we had to figure out who we were dealing with because no one left their information on it anymore, so it took around an hour total for a single ticket.
You can guess that meant we also got a backlog.
We received more tickets in general because people were like “hmm, I’ll just ask for someone to visit that saves me having to do anything.” So suddenly it took multiple days for us to fix things, and that meant we got overworked as well.
People slowly realized they had to put in effort for tickets again, but they forgot how to. We told them to go to their team managers for a refresher, of course, this would take them away from their job in order to train them again.
People started quitting because of stress. I shortly left as well. I recently heard that it didn’t get better, the backlog is still there and everything but the backlog is on pause. Projects to train people for the role or get a higher role were paused, so no one joined.
That’s what happens when you don’t listen to the people who know what they’re doing. The company lost a lot of profit and time because besides giving away bucks, they had to pay for the people to visit houses since it was an external company.”
7. Carry A Difficult-To-Hold Load Anyway? The Consequence Won't Be Pretty
“I was working in the menswear section at the time, which was opposite the home entertainment and photo lab departments (which were, in turn, at the very back of the store). The store was having some promotion on photo-related stuff (from cameras to picture frames and other accessories, as well as those novelty instant cameras that made cute Polaroid-type pictures) and the store manager wanted to set up a display of photo lab stuff at the front of the store with stock all along the front shelves.
Nothing unusual there, any time we had a special sale we usually displayed the relevant products at the front so customers see them as soon as they walked in.
For some reason, instead of just letting the photo lab staff do it (which they would have got around to anyway sooner or later), Stacy, my department manager in the clothes section, decided she wanted the clothes section staff to help move the stock up to the front (keep in mind she still expected us to get our sections done properly, even though we had to waste like half an hour on this other work).
Specifically, she wanted me to move some large combination photo frames. These frames had spaces for about 10-15 photos (like those big family collage frames) and were just under a metre wide and probably about 60-70cms high.
I can’t remember how much they cost but I do remember they were pretty expensive. Since they included fairly bulky, fancy frames and glass, they were quite heavy, in addition to being awkward to carry, so I went to get a trolley so I could load them up and take them all down.
Stacy saw what I was doing and told me to “stop wasting time with a trolley and just carry them”. Okay, fine, I took only two at a time and carried them up the front, one under each arm (there were about 25-30 of these frames, or four shelves worth, that had to be moved and I knew my scrawny butt wasn’t strong enough to carry more than a couple at once, and they were so tall that if I carried them in front of me I wouldn’t be able to see where I was going).
After I came back from moving the second two frames up to the front, Stacy was waiting for me next to the original shelf with the frames. “What are you doing?” she snarled. “It’s going to take you ages if you only carry one at a time! You should be able to carry at least…” She stops to look at the frames.
“7 or 8 at a time.”
I tried to explain that I wouldn’t be able to carry that many as a) it would be too heavy, and b) even if I could lift them all, it would be so awkward and hard to hold that I could almost guarantee I’d drop them before I made it up front.
Stacy wasn’t having it, saying “Even so-and-so could do it!” (I regret to this day that I didn’t respond with, “Okay, do it then, witch!” but sadly I was still young and had not yet grown a spine), and insisted that I should be able to move all the frames up there in three or four trips.
By now a few of my colleagues who were working nearby had stopped to listen. I tried once more to explain that there was a high chance the frames would get dropped and damaged if I tried carrying them and asked if I could at least just go and get a trolley, and she said, “If you don’t carry these frames,” she pointed at a shelf full of frames, “up front RIGHT NOW, you will get counselled (basically our version of being disciplined) and it will go on your record.”
I figured at this point there were plenty of witnesses to what she’d said and threatened me with in spite of me telling her why it was a bad idea, so I complied.
I managed – just – to pick up the last 8 frames on one of the shelves and get them balanced on my arms in front of me (I was basically a human forklift at that point).
I couldn’t see a darn thing because the frames obscured my vision, but I didn’t let that stop me. I waddled down the aisle, using the pattern of the flooring to guide me, shouting “Excuse me! Excuse me!” to make sure everyone got the heck out of the way.
I made it about a third of the way to the front… And then my foot caught on a bit of plastic wrap that had come loose from one of the stock cages sitting in the aisle.
I immediately overbalanced and managed to stop myself from falling and regain my footing, but this meant I had to let go of what I was carrying. The photo frames went flying, crashing to the ground so loudly I reckon everyone in the store heard it.
The glass in all 8 frames was shattered so badly that they had to be completely written off and some of the actual frames were bent and deformed as well. Not only that, but some of the frames had hit the corner of another set of shelves on their way down and knocked the fixtures loose, so about three or four shelves worth of other stock also came tumbling down (from memory it was stuff like pencil sharpeners, erasers, packets of pens and so on, ie.
small fiddly stuff that would take AGES to put back once the shelves were repaired).
I later found out that the store manager had actually asked Stacy to help with the move (not just shifting stock but also setting up displays etc), as well as the other couple of department managers who were on that shift, and that aside from the photo lab and home entertainment staff, all other staff were only meant to do their regular jobs; Stacy just dragged the clothes section staff in because she wanted it done faster and wanted to get out of doing the work herself.
Luckily I didn’t get into any trouble (the store manager came storming up to see what the noise was but before he got to me, one of the staff who’d witnessed the exchange let him know that Stacy had threatened to counsel me if I didn’t carry the frames all at once), but sadly Stacy never got into much trouble either, at least as far as I know (she may have received a stern talking-to in the store manager’s office but she was still just as much of a bully after this incident).
Not that this was surprising; in all the time I worked for that company, I don’t think I ever saw a manager get held accountable for their crappy behaviour. The store manager told the clothes section staff to go back to our normal areas and that was pretty much the last we heard of it.”
Another User Comments:
“I would have looked at trying to fall on some of the broken glass in such a way that it cut me open, but in a way that it wasn’t serious…because the moment a workplace injury happens, higher-ups outside of the store get involved, and then Stacy may have gotten disciplinary action…might have been worth a few stitches on your arm.” ZeroPenguinParty
6. Threaten To Send Me To The Principal? I'll Make It Easy For You And Just Go
Boy, did the tables turn!
“This was over a decade ago (time is a cruel mistress), so some details are foggy.
Going into senior year of HS, at a small rural high school where the smart kids all get sent off to the distanced learning building their junior and senior years to take college courses.
Junior year, the woman in charge of us in distance learning had been teaching at our school district for 15+ years. She knew us, our families, taught us in multiple grades, and coached about 3/4 of us in track or tennis.
Keep in mind, our entire student body, K-12, wouldn’t have broken 500 kids even if they padded the numbers with voluntary pre-K and GED students. She knew us, our antics, and generally trusted us to get our work done.
She made sure we actually watched our classes and didn’t get into a bind on our assignments. Outside of that, as long as we were doing something productive and had our main stuff done, our time was ours to use as we saw fit.
In my case, it was mostly spent playing guitar and reading up on the playbook for whatever athletic competition I had that week. I was an academically good, but insufferably lazy student.
Summer passes, and the first day of senior year comes around, the teacher we all adored had moved away (her husband got a job elsewhere that paid big $$), and in her place is some tall red-haired jerk none of us had ever seen before.
Turns out he’s the new head coach for girls’ basketball and our new distanced learning Supervisor.
Our college courses didn’t start for a couple of weeks, so he spent the entire first day pontificating on how lucky we all were to have him since he had spent the last 10 years in the university world and knew how it worked and would make sure we weren’t just slacking off because we were seniors.
The fact that he went from university to HS should’ve been a red flag to the people that hired him.
Whatever. A couple of weeks go by of this coach, we’ll call him Bob, making us do pointless “practice” assignments like writing a paper on respect in APA format or researching a new car for his wife while citing our sources.
All under the guise of making sure we were “prepared”. The students all politely informed him that these courses were through a community college and were generally no more difficult than a normal AP high-school class, except for the STEM courses.
Fast forward 2 weeks and courses start. Finally. We thought.
Bob’s antics throughout the year would’ve been bearable, had he not made a habit of insulting students who did something that wasn’t to his liking, or held a political view contrary to the university culture he came from (which was all of us).
He went to demanding that we submit all assignments to him before our actual professors, which he then did not go through quickly, causing a great many of us to lose points for late assignments (we started ignoring this and sending him a copy at the same time we submitted the assignment) and telling us all that we were in no way mature enough for this kind of learning (we all had to maintain an institutional GPA of 3.0 or better to stay in the program, we averaged 3.8) and if it was up to him he’d take our entitled butts right back over to the main building for “real” classes.
The straw that broke the camel’s back came at the end of the fall semester. We’d all taken our finals, passed, and were looking forward to an easy few weeks. Bob came in that morning, in a worse mood than usual (I found out years later this was the day his divorce proceedings began), and started berating one of the girls for how she was dressed, she ignored him, as did the rest of us.
We were all just making it through to the end of the semester.
Bob then began one of his speeches about how terrible and entitled we all were. No one was paying attention. Which made him even angrier, but he knew he couldn’t really punish us for anything.
So, he zeroed in on one kid that had been placed in the classroom for remedial learning as it was a quiet, consistent environment. He was the one student in the room actually working on something.
The convo paraphrased as this was over 10 years ago went as follows:
Bob: So Kid what are you doing?
Kid: (Somewhat rudely) l’m trying to study for my tests coming up so I don’t get held back…
Bob: for what? So you can eventually go flip burgers at the dairy queen (Kid makes a 6 figure income as a welder now)? Please, you’re not going to get it done anyway, so have some respect and pay attention when an adult is speaking.
That was it for me.
You see, Kid happened to be my cousin. I was intimately familiar with his academic and personal struggles and knew how hard he was working to straighten up. Our family is a rather well-known and affluent one in our community, and Kid was cruelly regarded as a screw-up by some folks outside of our family, despite his overwhelmingly kind disposition.
Now, this move-in crap stick was insulting the most vulnerable member of the class and my family. It was time to hurt this guy in the worst way I could think of without hurting myself too badly or getting arrested.
You see, my mother had been teaching for 25 years in the district at that point, and my stepfather is a retired guidance counselor, so I knew the rules.
I’d previously refrained from honestly discussing his conduct with my parents because Bob’s daughter had actually become part of our friend circle, and I knew how hard life would be on her if her dad lost his job, as his reputation made her life hard enough.
The college courses kids also all did theater and athletics together, so she was part of our life (again, tiny school, half the varsity offensive line was part of a district-winning production of Flowers for Algernon and our star running back as also a regional qualifier in robotics).
But, she was graduating with the rest of us and going to school out of state, so collateral damage would be minimal.
Knowing what would happen next, I casually remarked “Coach Bob, it seems to me that if you knew half as much about basketball as you think you know about Kid, you’d probably still have your job at University, or would’ve gotten your contract renewed for another year at the last school board meeting.
Where will you go after the school year ends?”
The room went dead quiet. That info wasn’t in the newspaper yet.
Bob’s face turned an absolutely vibrant shade of red. His voice shaking he tells me, “Outside, now.”
I calmly set down my book and stepped out into the foyer of the building.
Bob followed me out, closed the door, and proceeded to scream every insult and cuss word he could think of in my face for at least 4 straight minutes. I was the most smug, lazy, entitled little crap he had ever seen apparently.
I may have been able to pull the wool over the eyes of my pastor, every other teacher, his daughter, and all my coaches (who were constantly irritated with me for being lazy), but god darn it I couldn’t fool him.
I was never going anywhere in life and I was just going ride my family name like a parasite.
To be honest, his lung capacity was kind of impressive, I don’t think he took a single breath for the entirety of his rant.
Once he stopped to catch his breath, I asked, “Coach Bob, may I go back to reading now?”
Bob screamed, “NO, YOUR BUTT IS GOING STRAIGHT TO PRINCIPAL AND I WILL WRITE DOWN EXACTLY WHAT YOU SAID AND YOU WILL SIGN THE DARN THING DO YOU UNDERSTAND?!?!?!”
“Yes sir, I’d be happy to sign it.”
“……” Bob gave me a questioning gaze.
“Actually, I’d be happy to go down to Principal, I need to ask him for a letter of recommendation for a scholarship, and of course, he will ask me what led to me saying something so disrespectful.
Of course, I can’t lie to him. And then I’ll mention our little chat out here.”
By this point, the teacher in the other classroom, who I also happened to be related to, came out to see what the commotion was and heard at least the tail end of his glorious speech.
She was about to say something, but I turned and gave her a smile and wink. I had it in the bag. 18-year-old me was riding high.
Bob sent me back into the distanced learning room and followed me in.
I stood by the door, awaiting my office referral. A minute went by and it never came.
“Sit down, ‘Jones.'”
“Coach Bob, I believe classroom insubordination requires an office referral.”
“If that’s the way you want to go…” Bob’s voice started to raise, but at this point, he understood his situation.
He wrote up the office referral and I walked happily down to the admin office.
The principal was surprised to see me and even more surprised that I was sent there on disciplinary action.
I told him what had happened and I got detention for one day as punishment for the open disrespect of a teacher, which I kind of deserved, and a thank you for my honesty.
The next 2 weeks were heavenly. Bob barely spoke a word and spent most of his time glaring at me or looking at job listings.
At the start of the spring semester, he wasn’t in distanced learning, in fact, he was nowhere to be seen.
Turned out, he’d accepted a last-minute opportunity somewhere else before the Christmas break and had to move there in time for spring practices to start. What a coincidence.
I found out years later that Bob was soon let go from his next coaching job, and he had gotten divorced.
Other faculty had apparently repeatedly complained about his conduct and he was on incredibly thin ice long before my little stunt.
Honestly, I kind of feel sorry for the guy after writing this memory down.”
5. Hate My Handwriting? I Guess You'll Have To Do My Work For Me
“I work for one of the most boring museums within the most touristically overrated piece of S…panish land.
My job is “security and service assistant”, which is the fancy resume-hype fodder way to say I’m one of the people that intermittently stands still in a corner and wanders around to make sure no one touches anything and to sporadically answer where’s the bathroom, among other minutiae.
Such minutiae include writing down in a file by hand any incidences of any kind and the time they took place, like when we started or ended our shift, “14:51 we called out a visitor because they touched X”, anything you can imagine.
We work in a team of many similar assistants, and a coordinator, which strictly speaking is the very same but works more hours and has few extra duties, which as per policy and our actual boss’ word, she’s NOT our boss.
Only does the same as us plus gives aid in coordination-reliant stuff such as managing schedules to avoid incompatibilities. However, she and her husband who happens to be 2 steps below the CEO of this security company, like to act like and believe otherwise, granting her the antagonism of this story.
Despite her gender, I will refer to her as “Bob” as her head carries the exact same hairstyle as Sideshow Bob from The Simpsons, down to the color (even if less vibrant).
I’d been working here months before Bob, and when she started, already hated my guts and behaved like she knew how to do the job better than me despite the time difference and many negligences from her side in a job so easy and simple that for one to mess up you pretty much have to do it on purpose.
This resulted in tons of childish beef and harassment from her side that is ongoing still to this day, years later. Down to having committed stuff that should have gotten her fired (yet our higher ups for some mysterious reason happen to be much more tolerant towards her antics than any other’s negligences).
Such got even worse when Bob learned I am a man who loves men and moreso the most beautiful non-binary person who has ever graced the Earth. Not a coincidence as Bob confirmed it herself.
She felt the need to remark that I made God angry right before berating me as she hypocritically sinned about not loving thy neighbor.
During these years she kept looking for ways to undermine my morale and any atom of error from my side to get me fired.
Turns out I’m so good at my job that she “had” to try lying once (an incident not worth narrating for the purposes of this post), the museum considers me vital as I’m the only one that knows English to a conversational level within the assistants, and she’s not my true boss anyways.
Bob can’t fire me herself.
She kept micromanaging, disrespecting, and committing other annoyances and negligences here and there as years passed. Sometimes bordering the illegal.
During this last month and a half, my hand has been more faulty than usual, and I accidentally provoked scribbles within our file, crossing out words I wrote wrong like “we cllaed otu” instead of ‘called out’ or whatever.
All of us gotta do that because our file has some sort of cool paper below each regular paper that copies what’s been written in the top one. Security companies use these to avoid any mischievous shenanigan, and consequently, the usage of Tipp Ex-like white tape is forbidden as would make the copy confusing.
Bob took notice of this, and proceeded to insult me and my doctor’s prescription-tier penmanship, calling me useless, saying I was doing it on purpose, and that one should be a professional and keep these things as clean as possible, even though both my chronic tremors in my hand, and my dysgraphia worsened by the former plus stress; that is simply not possible for me.
So, she ripped out the file and started a new one as she copied what the previous one had written, by herself. Threw the older one into the garbage and later asked the rest of the team to put their signatures in again (the only thing each person has to do individually no matter what for obvious reasons) “because OP writes like a freaking toddler.” The team didn’t react too well but closer to an “alright then”, as they were very well aware of my infamous calligraphy.
The same happened more than a handful of times during this period, which prompted me to suggest that I could simply write what’s strictly obligatory from my side (signature and name) and tell her to write for me any incident I would have originally written by myself.
Bob didn’t react with excessive serenity, and apparently, that summoned her imaginary cartoon lightbulb on top of her super hairy head, as she phoned our actual boss to talk about this ongoing matter. Instead of just giving a simple response “she’d come by to judge better” (our boss likes to come by herself on whatever as many times as possible as this leaves fewer incidents in writing giving her more leeway for manipulation.
Bob isn’t the only unfavorable person within the company).
Finally, the true boss comes after finding room in her not-really-tight schedule, and we both describe to her the situation at hand and even are able to show some examples.
Without bothering to think much, made my day with her words: “I agree with you Bob, but also with OP. We should keep these as clean as possible, and he’s unfortunately clinically unable to reliably keep it that way.
As coordinator of this team, you, and only you, should be trusted for this.”
And so our new way to do the manual paperwork was put in place! I would have to get the walkie-talkie and “Bob! Whenever you could be able to, please write down ’11:10 Visitor accidentally stained the floor’.
Thanks.”, “Bob! I’m taking my rest, remember to note it and its duration down. Thank you.”
She attempted to ask other coworkers to write the stuff but they rightfully complained quoting the words of our actual boss.
“You, and only you, should be trusted for this”. And even attempted to apologize and say my writing wasn’t ‘that’ bad, but our boss also agreed on it being bad and provoking unwanted messes, so…
It isn’t much, but for once during this almost half a decade working, here, finally, I (or better said, her sole self) was the one that managed to put a minor, yet constant annoyance to her job, instead of the opposite.
Not much of any sort of big-scale fallout, aside from her hating me gradually more. But she already was doing that by herself anyways so I just relish the victory finely and nicely. I guess I should include that she requested a medical file to prove and verify that I suffer from dysgraphia and wasn’t faking this to annoy her.
Shouldn’t pose many problems but hey, free paid day to go to the doctor!”
Another User Comments:
“I used to work in a deli/bakery. I warned my bosses and customers that I should not write on cakes.
I was ignored till my dysgraphia happened.
Happy birthday ended up being happy bithrday. Which the customer took as happy witchday. Thankfully my manager and store manager were in the deli and heard me warn the customer that she should wait for anyone instead of me.
After that, I was told to never write on cakes.” Cybermagetx
4. Don't Leave The Clearance Section Until Everything Is Spruced Up? Gotcha
“A tale from my retail job (which I recently quit! Yaayyy!) while I procrastinate from my other work, this one from about 15 years ago at my original store. I worked in the ladieswear section doing recovery (basically tidying up and sometimes printing price tickets for the shelves if any were missing or torn) and though it was generally possible to get it finished within the time allotted for my shift, busy days or events (such as Mothers Day or pre-Christmas/Boxing Day sales) turned it into a nightmare.
As if the usual holiday shopping mess wasn’t bad enough, the department manager (Stacy) had – in all her infinite wisdom – decided to put ALL of the ladieswear clearance into the section at once.
They actually did it for all the clothes departments, but most of them only had a small amount so you could easily fit it all on the normal clearance racks. However, ladieswear had ended up with 10 times as much clearance as usual for this time of year because whoever decides what clothes we’ll sell made crap choices and we ended up with mountains of horrid outfits marked down to a dollar even though most people wouldn’t wear it if you paid them $50.
Usually, they would keep most of the excess stock out the back and just have a few racks of it in the section, and as the stuff in the section sold and the racks got empty, they’d be replenished from more stock from out the back.
For some reason, Stacy decided she wanted all the ladieswear clearance to be available to customers at once, even though it didn’t physically fit on the racks. Not to be deterred by stupid little things like logic and reason, she moved the regular stock from the main middle aisle of the section into other aisles (causing those to be overfull) and ordered the fill staff to put the clearance all along the middle aisle.
When I say the clothes were literally bulging off the shelf arms, I’m not exaggerating. You could barely even walk down the aisle without the first 4-5 things on each arm falling off, and of course, if a customer wanted to look at anything further back on the shelf, they’d knock most of the other stuff off in the process, so there was constantly a several-inch thick layer of clothes lying on the floor.
This made it literally impossible to actually recover the clearance section properly, but generally, recovery staff were told to prioritize doing a pick-up every hour or so and make sure there was no stock on the floor, and spend the rest of the time going through and recovering the section, making sure everything was in the right place and in the correct size order.
So, I had a shift on Boxing Day, and I’d heard from the pre-shift huddle that one of the big regional managers was coming in to visit/inspect the store at closing time and that we needed to make sure the store was “perfect” (not sure how that was meant to happen on Boxing Day and with half the number of staff we needed, but whatever).
When I started my shift, 90% of the clearance clothing was on the floor. For most of the aisle, you couldn’t even SEE the floor. I knew that there was no way I’d be able to keep the floor clean in the clearance section because my shift ended at the same time the store closed, ie.
anything I tidied up would immediately be destroyed by customers, so I decided I would focus on getting the rest of the section presentable, and then quickly try to pick up the clearance section in the last 10-15 minutes of the shift before the store shut.
At the start of my shift, I did a lazy pickup in clearance and tried to shove most of the mess to the side a bit so that it at least wasn’t right in the middle of the aisle, and then went to start the rest of the section, only to be confronted by Stacy.
Stacy: What are you doing? Have you seen clearance? Why aren’t you fixing it? It’s all over the floor!
Me: Yeah, because you put too much stock in there. I picked it up but it falls off again because the shelves are too full and customers just knock it down as soon as I fix it anyway.
Stacy: Well, are you planning to do anything about it?
Me: Right now, I can’t do anything about it. There are so many customers in the aisle I can hardly get in there anyway and since I can’t keep clearance tidy with customers in the store, I figured I’d get the rest of ladieswear tidied and then pick up clearance at the end.
Stacy: Not good enough. You need to make sure clearance is off the floor and sorted properly. You know Bob (regional manager) is due for a visit this evening.
Me: I understand that, but like I said, it’s literally impossible to recover clearance because of how much stock is in there and how many customers there are.
If I can at least do the rest of the area first, then it will be only clearance that looks a bit rough, and I can at least make sure everything is off the floor at the end of the shift.
Stacy: You don’t get to decide what you prioritize. You need to make sure clearance is perfect! I know no one likes clearance but you need to stop making excuses to get out of doing it, so don’t leave the clearance section until you’ve finished tidying it!
5 minutes before my shift ends and the store closes, the regional manager, Bob, shows up and is escorted around the store by the store manager (Mark) and Stacy. They stop in front of ladieswear and Stacy just breathes, “What the crap?”
You see, I had finished tidying clearance! Though the shelves were still overfull, none of the stock was on the floor in that aisle, and everything was in the right size order and hanging neatly.
The clearance section was my magnum opus of recovery if I do say so myself.
However, the rest of the ladieswear department had not been touched. Since I couldn’t finish tidying clearance until the store was pretty much closed, and I wasn’t allowed to leave clearance until I DID finish it, it meant that the rest of ladieswear looked like a bomb had hit it, with stock all over the floor, clothes draped over the shelves instead of hung up properly, broken coathangers everywhere and abandoned shopping baskets and piles of stock from other departments left lying around in the aisles.
Bob and Stacy looked like they were ready to murder me but Mark (who knew I was generally a good worker) asked why ladieswear was in such a poor condition given that I was meant to have been recovering it for 3 hours.
I explained, “Stacy told me I wasn’t allowed to leave the clearance section until I’d finished tidying it but there’s so much overstock and so many customers pulling things apart that most of the stock won’t stay on the shelves.” In one of those moments of perfect cosmic timing, right as I said that, one of the shelf arms behind me gave way with a loud crash, sending an entire rack of clothes to the floor.
Mark just stared at me silently for a few seconds and then said to me, “Well, you have done well under the circumstances. You can go home.” I’m not sure if Stacy got into any trouble but nothing else was said about it to me by the store manager and I never got any warnings or disciplinary action or anything.
The following shift, more rails had been brought out from the back and placed in the central aisle of the store and some of the clearance had been moved to those rails to free up space in ladieswear. Stacy refused to talk to me for about a fortnight though haha.”
3. Don't Really Want Me To Work For You? Simple, Then I Won't Accept The Job Offer
“I worked for two years at a tile store. I handled customers as well as worked in the warehouse. Not to brag, but for those two years I worked the earliest shift that no one wanted – because you had to receive the daily truck and put the tile orders away by hand at 6:00 in the morning – but I also said I would work every Saturday as well.
Now I didn’t do this because I hated myself and wanted to suffer. It was because I wanted the outside sales job. The outside salesman that got the job entered right after I started and we hit it off quickly.
We will call him Joe… Joe confided in me that he had no plans to continue this job after about a year or so…. so from the get-go I said I wanted that job and worked my butt off to get it.
Pulling shifts no one wanted… doing jobs no one would do… and doing things that were definitely not part of my job description. This included doing a lot of the outside sales job. I would take over when Joe would call out or just needed help.
He came to rely on me and gave me part of his job. I saw this as a type of internship and thought it would pay off.
Fast forward two years… Joe tells me that he is about to put his two weeks in and to get my resume together.
He puts in his two weeks’ notice. I immediately put my application in. I got the backing from both Joe and the branch manager to get the job and did a pretty good job on the interview.
I knew that I was pretty much a shoo-in for the job. I had seniority and had never caused a problem in my time there. I had a very good relationship with the contractors I sold to and knew all of them by name.
The main part of the outside sales job was working with the contractors. So I felt confident, to say the least, that I had what the company was looking for.
Two other employees applied as well.
An ex-convict who had anger problems (that will come up later) – we will call him Bob – and a recently hired woman who had no experience in tile – we will call her Anne.
The only other job she had ever done was as a secretary, and she was currently just helping customers with selections. Both of them were older than me – I was in my early 20s and both of them were in their 30s.
A couple of days after that I got a call from HR telling me I didn’t get the job… instead, they wanted to give it to Anne. I won’t lie… I thought I misheard or it was a prank at first.
The only reason HR would give me as to why they passed me up for the position was “You’re just too good of a worker and valuable at your position for us to lose you.
You do such a good job and are so responsible; we would hate to lose that.”
“So… because I’m good at my job, you won’t hire me for another one with more responsibilities?”
“Yep. But to show how much we appreciate you, we are giving you a $1.00 raise.”
“Do I still get my yearly $1.00 raise on top of this in a couple of months?”
Think of this as we are giving it to you 2 months early.”
I was fuming for a couple of days… their excuse didn’t make sense and I had a feeling that I was being discriminated against due to my age.
However, I was set on making a point that they chose the wrong person and came up with a plan. Because I was so good at my job I didn’t get the outside sales job…
so if I was bad at my job, maybe they would promote me then!
Let me rephrase – I wasn’t bad at my job… but I told my manager that I no longer would work the morning shift, would no longer be there on Saturdays, would no longer do the worst jobs, and would no longer be doing any jobs that fell outside my description…
including the outside sales job I had been helping with.
Anne goes out for a couple of weeks for training and personal time… during which, things are already starting to fall apart. My manager asks me to fill in for Anne just while she is away.
He understands why I’m doing what I am, but asks as a personal favor. I agree and things begin to get back to where they were before.
Anne comes back and I resume my firm stand.
Anytime something was supposed to be done by the outside sales position that I normally did I would send it her way. Customers, problems, heavy-to-lift things, and other favors I used to do for Joe I refused to do for her.
It gave me a little relief to see her running everywhere trying to get everything done… she only asked me once to help her – to which I just told her that it wasn’t my job.
Those first couple of weeks things were a little rough as most of the jobs were left over from when Joe and I were running things. So most of the problems came from the daily grind… but the weeks that followed were chaotic, to say the least.
Items came in late, jobs were missing or unordered, and contractors didn’t understand where their materials were, mind you, these guys get paid per job… so every day their material isn’t there, is another day they don’t work or get paid… so when their materials don’t come in, their workers who are paid hourly are getting paid for no reason at all.
My favorite one is when she accidentally sent an order across the country costing the company thousands as we lost profit on that job.
As things were starting to turn into the dumpster fire I knew they would, HR called me in to talk about my attitude.
“We have heard of your attitude as of late… it doesn’t sound like you are being a team player.”
“Well, I am sorry to hear that. Have I said something hurtful to someone?”
“Did I hurt someone’s feelings unintentionally?”
“I don’t understand what attitude you are talking about then.”
“We have received word that you aren’t being as helpful as you were to Joe as you are now to Anne.”
“Well you see, I am far too valuable at my current job.
I can’t possibly detract away from that.”
They immediately saw that they made a mistake in giving me that reason as to why they didn’t hire me. They then told me that I needed to be more of a team player and would pay me an additional $1.00 an hour when the yearly raise came around in two months.
I told them that it wasn’t my job to do what they were asking and that if they wanted me to do that they would have to negotiate my contract. They told me that they would need to discuss it and to reconsider being a team player.
I didn’t relent, and they weren’t interested in renegotiating my contract… well, 2 months after Anne got the job and things went to heck – she stepped down. Again, I put my resume in as did Bob.
Now, remember how I said that he had a slight anger issue? Well, that came to a head just before Anne put her two-week notice in. Bob threatened a contractor. The contractor was a real piece of work, but that doesn’t excuse the fact that Bob threatened the guy.
Regardless, with this now happening and Anne putting in her 2 weeks – I couldn’t see how they couldn’t hire me. It was me or someone who threatened customers…
I once again go through the process… but this time I play my cards close to my chest.
They didn’t know that after Anne was first chosen over me I started to look for a new job. Just as this interview process was going on, a company called me back and offered me an outside sales job at their company… it was lower pay than my current company’s, but they didn’t need to know that.
They also did not need to know that I accepted the position and told them I needed to finish my 2 weeks. I wasn’t going to give them my two weeks though. I was going to make it look like it was a competition and try to string it for those 2 weeks.
The company offered me the outside sales job and nearly begged me to take it. They apologized for making the bad decision of picking Anne over me and told me that they would love to have me in the position.
Now, let the fun begin. I promptly told them that I would need to think about this as their competitor had also just offered me that same job for higher pay. The look on their faces was to die for.
I pretended that it was a back-and-forth for 2 weeks… which conveniently went over Anne’s quitting date and my new job’s starting date. They got anxious because they now didn’t have anyone for the job and finally gave me a final offer.
I promptly shot them down and told them I didn’t want to work for a company that treats hard-working employees like garbage. They can sleep in the bed they made. Then I told them I was starting the next day at the other company. I have never been so happy.”
2. Follow The Training Material Exactly? Sure Will!
“So this goes back a fair few years. Whilst working for a call center, we heard a buzz about a big new client coming on board which was going to be outsourcing their in-house support.
Naturally, it was a great opportunity for me since I was a pretty tech-capable guy. Troubleshooting and support were natural to me since growing up, I was always around tech products, etc., and got the job moving to a more senior role providing second-level support alongside assisting the training dept.
Whilst I did want to be moved to training since it would be a better use of my time, I didn’t mind second-level support. I was good at my job and cleared my workload quite easily so I could be left alone.
During my downtime, I would make installation diagrams for first-level staff for reference which was saved on a personal USB since it wasn’t authorized by our client and never would be. It didn’t matter to me since it made my job easier.
Over the coming months, more people started relying on my diagrams, including the training dept so I decided to create a subdomain on my site and host an interactive version which was basic but worked.
You got to select your equipment and what services you needed and it would give you a full breakdown which cut down my workload significantly. Since it wasn’t sanctioned by the client, I didn’t want to make it known that it was being used in work linked through to an external site so I created a new HTML file with an iframe embedded which was stored on a shared drive which every member of the first, second and training lines could access.
This meant the actual URL now was external but wasn’t visible. It was crude but it didn’t matter since no one in those days knew much about finding URLs.
It became so successful, it got rolled out as part of the systems training.
The training dept assumed it all came from the client and because of turnover, they never really questioned it. Now since it became part of the training structure, it really made it more valuable. Since the client doesn’t get involved in training, the content is of no relevance to them, only results.
During my downtime, I’d redo some with clearer guides and update photos with the latest products so our staff could see exactly where connections and buttons were. For a few years, everything was great, the pay was mediocre but the environment was good and I got comfy till we got called to a meeting, everyone.
Our client has decided that as a company, our rates were not in line with their requirements and looking to outsource to another country and we will be made redundant. Personally, for me, it was great since the payout was based on years of service, however, the training team is no longer needed alongside the second level so my time was up sooner rather than later.
I got called into a second meeting and told that I will be handling the training at a higher rate of pay but must follow the training guide to the letter. Whilst I was introduced in training to new starters and helped them during that time, I had to sit and go through all the material which was 80% all based on the system and guides I had built.
I tried to explain to my line manager and client that the main bulk of the training wasn’t actually supplied and was not sanctioned, but no one seemed interested. I was met with a cold “The training packs have been a vital part of your company’s ethos so you should have no problem in making it work” so I did.
Since everything in the shared folders on our end was going to be passed over to the new support center, so was my localized HTML file…the new office was trained, and the first, second, and training departments were all primed and signed off ready to take over so we moved to provide 80% of the workload to them whilst we were in this transition.
Shortly after, things were going great, I was put in charge of a small team who elected to stay on while we completed the handover till I got called into a meeting. My services will no longer be needed and I will be offered an earlier redundancy however before doing so, I need to ensure that I sign a data protection form to ensure the company’s secrets are protected and any content would need to be deleted or destroyed.
I explained that part of the core training pack was not provided by the client and was generated in-house by myself. This wasn’t good enough or deemed to be acceptable so since I was being paid an early redundancy, I decided it wasn’t worth the fight since they were no longer a client of ours.
Naturally, I left and shortly after moved to a new branch locally and kept in touch with some of the staff who had been placed elsewhere. The client had moved on and things seemed to be ok.
No big deal. During that time, I got an email from my domain and hosting provider that they are increasing their prices so I decided I wasn’t going to bother to renew and let my domain expire.
After all, it was more just because it interested me in building and hosting a website.
A few days later, I caught up with one of the staff who got kept on and couldn’t stop laughing.
That 80% part of the training pack resource was no longer online. The content couldn’t be loaded or found anywhere. The ex-client wasn’t happy that they have a whole call center that cannot provide the same if any support because the systems cannot load.
I was lazy and backing up things was always low on my to-do list so everything I had built was gone.
Needless to say, the ex-client was in a right mess and now would have to essentially rehire everyone they could, however, the company I work for had already let many members go or replaced the offices with new clients.
I was contacted pretty swiftly to be rehired back which I would have accepted for a higher rate of pay mainly because it was my work initially which is the main reason why the entire campaign worked so well.
It was instantly refused…so it was pretty much cut and dry for me.
It took the company about 6 months of heck to get back to a somewhat acceptable standard and after that, dissolved the outsourced call center again and possibly went to stalk some more prey. Shame really.”
1. Put Us On A Schedule? We Wouldn't Want To Go Against That
“I’m a corporate security officer. At my client site, there are three posts that are manned 24/7 and all non-supervisor officers work both weekend days. Each shift has its own supervisor. The three posts include two desks, one at the main building in the compound and one at the secondary building (building 1 and building 2 for short), and a roving officer that’s based at building 1 and completes the patrols and mans the desk when another officer takes their break.
The duties are usually broken up between the officers, so the roving officer is not the same person for the entire night. On the third shift (my shift), breaks are taken in a full-hour block.
3rd shift runs from midnight to 0800 and most night officers prefer having their break after 0400. Once upon a time, it was possible for all three officers to do this, but not anymore, because of Rupert.
I’ll sum up Rupert to you all the same way I summed him up to my supervisor. He’s a blue falcon. He can’t stop telling people about how he was a Marine (join the club, this account is only hiring veterans and former cops), how things were done when he was an MP (he is noteworthy for being the first MP I’ve ever met that I didn’t like or respect), and he will talk for 20 minutes straight without you saying a word and then cut you off if you open your mouth.
He wants desperately to be in charge and will jump the chain of command if he doesn’t get his way. He once reported me to the account manager (above the supervisors) because I took an hour-and-a-half break on a 12-hour shift, which is something that our supervisor specifically authorized us to do.
When my supervisor talked to me about it, he didn’t write me up, didn’t even give me a verbal warning, he just told me to take my breaks off camera. Not only will Rupert spy on and report his coworkers for the pettiest crap, but he also smokes during his shift, which is explicitly against company policy, and will complain and moan if he doesn’t get a smoke break whenever he wants one.
He took extra work at our city courthouse, and he would talk macho about breaking protestor’s arms. We have an active BOLO (Be On the Look Out) on an individual, a former security officer that is making threats via phone and email against the site, and this walking detriment all but stated his intention to another officer to shoot the individual on sight if he found him on property.
Remember when I said supervisors didn’t work weekends? Well, on Saturday and Sunday, officers had the freedom to run the shifts how they saw fit as long as everything got done and was agreed on among the officers and patrols were spread out enough to not be ineffective, i.e.
not one officer doing a patrol and then immediately retracing their steps. This was the “once upon a time” time I mentioned when it was possible for all three officers to have their breaks after 0400.
Enter Rupert. Rupert wants things to be done his way. He’ll constantly ask “what the plan is for tonight” as if it ever really changes. I’ve replied “try to take over the world” more than once, but never got the full reference out before he cut me off.
When you try to tell him what the plan is, he’ll go on about how he’s fine with whatever as long as he knows what’s going on, will tell you what he wants to do, and if you let him, steer you into that direction to the best of his ability.
This would waste up to 30 minutes at the beginning of the shift, so it got to the point where I would leave on a patrol immediately if I was at building 1 with him.
Rupert was particularly upset one day that after I relieved the second-shift officer at building 2, that officer stuck around and talked for a while. The roving officer came over and talked as well. He later complained to everyone that would listen that having three officers at one desk wasn’t proper security (although it was a heck of a lot better than the normal one, especially since that desk was the primary entry point for the building).
I’m entirely sure he was just mad because we didn’t invite them, even though the second shift officer called over to the other building and asked him where he was stationed in the Marines since we were looking at our duty stations on google maps.
Eventually, when another officer did some back-to-back patrols that were less than necessary, he sent an email, once again jumping the chain of command, and our supervisor was compelled to put us on a set weekend schedule to extinguish any contention over the order our tasks would be done in.
We were also instructed that there weren’t to be two officers at either desk for longer than 30 minutes at a time and that officers weren’t to come in earlier or stay later than 30 minutes after being relieved.
If we had extra time, we were to use it to conduct exterior patrols. I was very happy to hear this because it meant that: 1. I had everything I needed in writing to avoid Rupert for the majority of a shift, 2.
There was no longer any question about what the “right” way to run a shift was, and 3. I knew Rupert would not adhere to these rules at all because they weren’t his rules.
Our schedule ran like this:
- Exterior Patrol
- Building 1 Patrol
- Building 2 Patrol
- Building 2 Patrol
- Building 2 Officer Break
- Exterior Patrol/Unlocking two gates restricting access to the property (this had to be done no later than 0500)
- Building 1 Patrol/Building 1 Officer Break/Roving Officer Break (we could do these in any order)
Our supervisor specifically authorized us to do the building 2 patrols back to back in order to push back building 2 officer’s break.
Now, something needs to be noted here: Rupert abhors back-to-back patrols for any reason, even if it’s two different officers (who do patrols their own individual ways). When it comes to doing back-to-back patrols, there’s some merit to the idea that they’re not good for security or safety purposes.
However, it’s entirely possible for an electrical panel to start sparking 30 seconds after the officer leaves the room, or for someone to attempt a break-in as soon as they see the officer leave the area.
Therefore, in my opinion, back-to-back patrols don’t pose more of a risk than distributed patrols as long as both patrols are done thoroughly and having two different officers do the patrols changes the perspective enough that they will find things the other may have overlooked.
All this to say, Rupert’s unusual hatred of back-to-back patrols was unfounded and back-to-back patrols are acceptable if there’s a decent reason to do them that way. My supervisor evidently agreed with this sentiment, hence authorizing us to do back-to-back patrols at building 2 in order to allow the officer there a later break.
One Sunday (my Friday) morning it all came to a head. I was at the desk at building 2. Typically, the roving officer would come over and do the patrol first, then the desk officer would do the other patrol and take their break in order to limit the number of times the officers need to log in and out of the computer.
This evening, Rupert arrived at building 2 at least 30 minutes (generously) later than the roving officer usually does. He’d spent the first ~25 minutes talking at the other desk officer, surprising me not at all.
He tells me he’s going to take a walk around the building and check the doors then start the patrol of the interior (all except one door in the building are checked during the regular patrol, so this wasn’t necessary as the route goes by that one door, so it’s checked as we pass it, it’s also noteworthy that since he was just walking around one of the buildings, this didn’t constitute an exterior patrol either).
He returned and told me he could take his break then so that I didn’t have to take my break so early. I declined because this would have been going off schedule and I did an extra exterior patrol instead (even with Rupert’s delay, we were still on schedule to finish with spare time).
When I returned from the patrol, Rupert questioned why I had done the patrol. He said it was a waste of time since he had just done one (he hadn’t, there are three parking lots and another building I had to walk around because he brought over his own car instead of the security vehicle so he could smoke on his way over).
I tried to tell him that the roving officer can’t take their break that early because of the schedule and, of course, he cut me off. It was about this time that I realized the patrol keys weren’t hanging on their hook, so I asked him if he had them.
He responded by dropping them on the desk; I was standing two feet from him and he was facing me before digging the keys out of his pocket. I picked them up with a typical “thank you” and went to do the second patrol.
I ended the patrol back at the desk, hung up the keys, and said “see you in an hour” as I usually do. No reply. I know the silent treatment when I see it, I’m not used to getting it from a grown man twice my age, though.
This was the unmistakable demeanor of a Rupert that was about to write an email and CC God himself. I resolved on my break to write an email of my own.
I returned from my break to utter silence.
I said nothing, I was awash in the bliss of the fact that this man had finally shut the heck up. He logged off and left without so much as a backward glance. This was at about 0440, not more than 10 minutes later than the roving officer usually leaves building 2.
My email was simple, I stated that I had witnessed a pattern of behavior in another officer and was writing the email to document the events of the night from my perspective in the event that my suspicions of an imminent complaint were correct.
I outlined the events of the shift, including an objective description of Rupert’s attitude. Also included were the times the tasks were started and completed, clearly and subtly stating that the building 2 tasks were completed around the same time they usually were (despite starting a half hour later than usual) and if there was any kind of issue with running out of time for the other tasks, it was not a result of anything that happened at building 2.
I included my reasoning for doing the exterior patrol instead of having Rupert take his break and cited recent directives by both my supervisor and the account manager. I didn’t identify Rupert in any way.
Anyone reading the email would have no trouble figuring out who it was anyway. The best part is, I never even sent the email. I wrote it as a contingency and left it in my drafts over my weekend.
Rupert worked the next day, so he would have been in a position to complain immediately to our supervisor, whereas I’d be back Wednesday morning. The last thing I wanted to do was to start problems where there weren’t any, so on the off chance that I misread the situation and he wasn’t actually going to complain, I sat on the email until I came back.
As such, Rupert being transferred to second shift happened without me having to lift a finger. I came in Wednesday and checked the schedule to find an opening on third and a Rupert on second.
My supervisor (now the only other officer on third shift) didn’t say a word to me about it. There were repercussions; when the second shift supervisor came in at noon to relieve me from a 12-hour shift, looked me in the eyes, and said frankly, “What did you do?” I answered that I just worked the shift the same darn way I always do (100% true), and Rupert did the rest.
She wasn’t happy that she was now saddled with him, so I just told her that I got him off third shift, and now it was up to her to get him the rest of the way out the door.
A couple of days later, he called off for his first three shifts on second shift. I don’t know if that’s a sign or not. He’s due back later today, so I’ll have to wait and see.”