The all-purpose work-related venting thread. Incompetent bosses and idiotic coworkers.
Posted 24 May 2020 - 04:45 AM
Feel free to voice your frustration about things that angered you at work. Your boss gave you two incompatible tasks? That guy working in your department is always doing all sorts of stupid things except working? Here you can rant.
Try to keep your employer, and especially any individuals involved in your stories, anonymous. This is supposed to be about issues and situations, not specific people. Some of you might be surprised how similar many stories may sound.
Also welcome: Tips for how to deal with certain situations, and especially success stories about resolved problems and jerks who got their deserved comeuppance. You managed to turn the official company policy and your incompetent boss's absurd orders against him, and now his own boss is fully aware that his subordinate an idiot and even acknowledges that you did nothing wrong and the blame is solely on your boss? Feel free to share your occasional moments of glory, past and present!
Big thanks to my dad for playing along with this visual recreation.
Posted 24 May 2020 - 05:38 AM
So I've been working at a warehouse of a major online retailer for almost a decade at this point. Learned most of the regular tasks by now, which means I can be sent to work in all the major departments to help with immediate staff shortages.
Two years ago, I was on my way picking customer orders when I got a message from my own superior on my scanner: "Go to the packing department and report to Superior A" (who's working in that department). So I logged out, brought my scanner to the official drop-off point, then went to the packing department and asked for Superior A. "He's not here at the moment." "When will he be back?" "In a few minutes." "Okay, I'll wait then."
A few minutes later: "Are you Superior A?" "Yes, but I'm busy right now. Please ask Superior B instead." And so I did. Superior B told me to find an available workstation in line 27. So I went... and came back. "All the workstations in line 27 are occupied." "Then find an available workstation in line 26." So I went... and came back again. "All the workstations in line 26 are occupied as well." He rolled his eyes. "Find an available workstation... Somewhere." And so I did. Final score: 30 minutes of literally following orders without working productively.
Even better: Throughout the year, we are allowed to work voluntary (paid) overtime, usually one hour per day, or an extra shift on a free day. (Mandatory overtime is rare.) During late shift, the extra hour has to be before the beginning of the regular shift... but during Christmas season 2018, we were alternatively allowed to stay an hour after the end of our regular shift.
Now we have a board in the entrance area that informs us on which days overtime is allowed. The best part? The information on that board is binding for the employer. There is no backtracking.
So that one week, the order volume unexpectedly dropped on Wednesday. By Thursday, we barely had anything to do. (In all fairness, it's not like people weren't ordering... It's just that we were massively overstaffed.) At the end of the shift, I was working in packing. Half an hour before the end of the shift, all the lines ran out of work. Every. Single. One. Of. Them.
So I waited until the end of the shift, then went to the manager of the packing department (who was a little jerk at the time. A Transformers fan, but still a jerk), fully aware that overtime was permitted despite the lack of work. "So...", I said. "Shall I go picking or packing?" The look on his face was priceless.
He sent me picking. I spent the extra hour mostly just moving back and forth through the warehouse, only picking one or two items in an area before the scanner would send me to yet another area. I smiled the whole time, knowing that I'd have to be paid for a completely unnecessary hour of overtime.
In all fairness, that manager is no longer with the company. I met him at a convention last year and rubbed it into his face that he had totally made my day back then. He told me that all he had wanted at the time was getting me out of his department for the rest of the day.
Last year, we switched the focus of our warehouse again, bringing back larger items, which meant picking from height.
One day I was on my way picking customer orders by foot when I got a message on my scanner from one of the picking superiors to report to a different area and continue by vehicle. So I went there and approached the first superior I saw (let's call him Superior X)... Who said "Not my business, ask the manager." (I realized this was not about me, but rather that they were having some trouble with each other.)
The manager (let's call him Manager D) then told me that the driver of a pulling vehicle was supposed to switch vehicles, and then I would continue with his vehicle. Except when that other driver arrived, Superior X suddenly intervened and told Manager D that the driver did not have the necessary permissions to operate the other vehicle... But I did. So Manager D instead sent me to perform the required task: Consolidation. Moving slow-selling items to a different location to make room for new items.
So I got myself a vehicle... and noticed the battery needed cooling water. So I went and refueled the water, in the meantime logging into my scanner... And got two things: A) the system message "no more work for picker", and B) a message from my own superior to come to the packing department.
So I told Manager D about this. While I kept refueling the water, he went to talk to my superior to discuss priorities, then told me to continue the task he gave me. So I logged into my scanner again... and suddenly I was assigned to a different area again, no vehicle and no consolidation involved. So I told Manager D, who then again reassigned me a consolidation task in the system. So I logged into my scanner again... and finally, one hour after being called in for this super-duper important task, I could finally begin working. Or so I thought. Because it still didn't end there...
The first item I was supposed to pick felt pretty heavy. The second item even had an "over 15 kilos" warning label! (15 kilos are the maximum weight a single worker should lift by themselves.)
So I went back to Superior X. Who again told me "not my business, consolidation is for stow department, ask there." Except there were no superiors from the stow department present at the time. So I went back to the picking department. By that point, Manager F had arrived. So I told her the entire story. She then told me to just skip the item in the system. Which I tried... Except the system didn't give me that option. So eventually she told me to call a fork lift operator, and we'd lift the heavy item together. And so I did...
The fork lift operator also agreed that this was pretty stupid. So I finally proceeded to the next item... which was again over 15 kilos. So I realized there was something really wrong. So I returned to the stow department once again. By that point, Manager M had arrived. He promptly checked my settings... and realized that Manager D had assigned me the wrong consolidation job, the one intended for team lift (two workers). He then changed my settings. What followed was another odyssey trying to drop off the items I had already picked, because once again nobody could tell me what to do. Eventually I had managed that, logged into my scanner again... and once again got a "no more work for picker" system message.
At that point, I went to one of my superiors and said: "This is getting ridiculous. Apparently, they don't need my help after all. Is it possible for me to come work in pack instead?", to which she agreed.
After my break, I went to my own manager, who at the time was a pretty decent bloke whom I got along with just fine. I told him the whole story and pointed out that because of a couple of superiors (who aren't my own) assigning me a task for a department that isn't theirs either, and nobody being able to properly explain to me the task I'm expected to perform, I ended up wasting two hours of company time just following protocol. My manager just chuckled and said something to the effect of "That's how it is in this company..."
There were never any repercussions for me. The one thing that always helps in these situations, I've learned, is immediately reporting it to my manager (or any other superior on duty). That way, none of it is my responsibility any longer.
Shifting the blame upwards is something that needs to be done more often in general. It feels very good, especially if the people deserve it.
Edited by Nevermore, 24 May 2020 - 06:35 AM.
Big thanks to my dad for playing along with this visual recreation.
Posted 24 May 2020 - 06:21 AM
I have plenty of stories but don't feel like reliving them.
Posted 24 May 2020 - 08:21 AM
I'm actually pretty happy with my current bit of employment, though I do quietly wish that it didn't feel like I was the one expected to solve every problem that crops up in my department. And given that I work at a grocery store at a time of crisis, and our workload has exploded since the pandemic started, problems crop up on a daily basis.
I'm both looking forward to and terrified about my vacation time next week.
- Daith likes this
That Echowarrior guy...
Author of "Transformers: Armada (Revisited)"- Allspark Fic of the Month for December 2005. Archive here.
"In matters of style, swim with the current. In matters of principle, stand like a rock." - Credited to Thomas Jefferson.
"You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life." - Credited to Winston Churchill.
Posted 24 May 2020 - 08:47 AM
At this point, I really only think of every manager I have as temporary.
Some were cool to the point where I knew how I could joke with them without getting in trouble. Others, I just used to dump all the problems I had at work. I keep telling my coworkers: Whenever you have a problem at work that is not your fault, make it your manager's problem instead. Follow the proper protocol, smile and be cordial. That way, they'll never be able to blame you for violating company policy.
And the less I like a manager as a person, the more fun I have communicating problems to them.
I've survived eight and a half years that way, with a spotless record.
And yet, whenever I find myself thinking "it's not too bad, I can take this", the company comes up with another great idea to screw us over.
Edited by Nevermore, 24 May 2020 - 09:03 AM.
Big thanks to my dad for playing along with this visual recreation.
Posted 25 May 2020 - 10:47 AM
Venting right now will be good for me, but for those who are likely tired of seeing my posts, might want to ignore me now.
So we had a thread where people were talking about what you were doing on this 'vacation' a lot of people find themselves having recently thanks to the state of the world, and I had a mini rant about how I wasn't on any such thing, and was pretty frustrated at the situation that my job closed my department, but still had me coming to work to do random things. I was especially not that happy about having to wipe down carts as while I'm not against it being done as a precaution. The simple fact is it's just not that interesting a task. You basically stand there, greet people, and hand them a cart that you sanitized.
Later they got the great idea to have you count how many people come in and out, while trying to clean carts, which some managers only want you to have about two MAAAAAAAAYBE three at a time. Try to imagine attempting to clean cart after cart, AND keep track of just how many people left and came in during a mini rush. I already suck at math so I couldn't do it. Everyone knew the count wasn't going to be close to accurate, and we all know we'll never get the 500+ people needed to officially be 'over capacity' yet we still have to do it. I guess to look good for legal reasons or something.
I'm sorry, I know I probably shouldn't, but it annoys me when we have to do something everyone knows really doesn't matter.
Yet, I'd do it now. I haven't had decent hours in almost a month now. I can just pay groceries and rent, and are likely going to owe my roommate for bills. I just don't have the cash. (I grew up poor. Bad credit, no credit cards, no savings.)
Guess it's karma for venting back then. Regardless my deli might not open again till mid June, and even then it'll be limited.
In the meantime, I lost the manager for that department. (She simply moved on, I wish her well) The tasks were basically handed off to another manager who already was overseeing two departments, in true corporate fashion I guess, and well I don't have any issues with this person. I'm just not sure how I feel about them being my boss, or how they will handle this influx of duties.
Top it off with there being an impending 'remodel' that's suppose to happen to my store, that the other stores this has happened to, have all LOST their deli's. Meaning the area I work might not even BE there in two years.
Top that even MORE off. (So overflow it I guess?) with the fact that when I DO get hours. There are these weird games that keep getting played.
Like the week I was only on the schedule for Monday Tuesday and Wednesday. Except apparently on Thursday they decided to add a Saturday Morning shift to my schedule. Except... no one ever TOLD me. I never received any calls or notifications that I was suddenly suppose to work that day.
This is a thing that happens from time to time, that I hope understandably annoys me. I was also hired with the agreement that my Saturday's had me as unavailable, and all I asked was that if they wanted me to work a Saturday, just let me know ahead of time. I'm almost always put on for a Saturday with no warning.
Then when I try to officially swap shifts with a co-worker, going through the proper procedures to do so. I end up losing the shift.
So I've heard this isn't universal, so here's how it works at my place: We have a sheet that you write your name down, say the shift you want filled, and then the co-worker who wants to fill the shift, signs their name on it, and then you have to have a manager approve and sign it.
We did this, and we were lead to believe it was a go. Get up on the day of to go work it and get a text from co-worker saying he was told it wasn't approved, they just pulled someone from the floor to work it. He didn't want me wasting an hour biking down for nothing.
I thanked him and lamented losing the day. Only to find out the next day. (As in the VERY next day when I went in for one of my actual shifts) It WAS approved. I was even on the print out sheet that listed everyone's hours. In fact no one got pulled to do the shift either. Despite that's what we were told happened. I was just out those hours I COULD of had.
The issues are enough that I've been quietly shopping around for a new place to work. One a bit closer to home.
Well I got an interview. Took it. Felt it went alright, but was told that due to my experience they had to check to see if I was eligible for a 'start pay increase' (Or whatever it's called. Basically to see if I'll be started on at a higher pay then usual) and that it could take a few days. No problem. In fact got a call from them yesterday during one of the few work shifts I have this week. (Where I was doing what I could to 'stay on' the clock and milk it for all I could) so I couldn't call them back. By the time I got home and was able to listen to the voice mail, it was two hours past when they said they'd be in store.
So I got a call last night shortly after that voice mail from my work, which I ended up missing, but heard the new voice mail. I could have had hours today. 8-3 wiping down carts. (My least favorite activity, but work is work) I decided against calling back to take said hours though, because it'd likely make me miss the chance to call that other place back.
I didn't want to wait too long doing that, so I decided I would prioritize that.
Annnnnnnd it was the wrong choice. I called them back today just to be told they weren't going forward with hiring me.
So what a wonderful wasted day due to me being hopeful and dumb. *sighs*
It's a secret to everybody
Posted 25 May 2020 - 05:53 PM
I work for a library and tomorrow will be our first official day back at the branches since we closed. Among things we have to do is wipe down items that have not been touched in months. Any books that get returned have to be left in crates for a few days so they can be "decontaminated". These things have been in people's houses for months. The only ones that would need to be decontaminated are the ones that have been in the houses of smokers. I have a coworker who is possibly suffering from dementia and another that is rather nosy after not seeing them for months I really don't want to see them again.
Posted 25 May 2020 - 06:38 PM
I have a Coworker I kind of wanted to stangle about a week ago, its getting towards the end of the day, she finished for the day and I got a hour left, the shop shut and its just finishing up, our bailer gone full, I had a job to get go full as the door when almost full has a habbit of popping open as it crushes the cardboard, the cable catcher had snapped resently and we got to wait for a replacement to come in, thus using a make shift one to catch the cables, its a right pain at the time to get the cables to come as the normal holders for the rolls of cable been lost over time, I suspect they are behind the bailer but its in a rather tight place with a fridge for storing excess chilled food stock next to it, on one side while the other is a corner wall, plus moving the bailer is not an option.
Anyway, I managed to get the bailer full after a bunch of attempts to get the door to stay shut and cardboard compressed, then I'm fishing for the cables at the back and pulling them to the front for cutting and tying around the bail, my Coworker, shows up and begins yacking away about nonsance as she does, when she is meant to be going out the back door and leaving us in peace and it becomes a serious distraction for me, once I pulled the cables forwards, I tie up one end but as she so distacting, I make a mistake and eject the bail before I secured the other side and thus end up with a large mess of cardboard all over floor. Then I am forced to waste more time, shoving all of the cardboard back in after I tied fresh loops at the bottom, so by the time I'm done, its pretty much time for me to finish and what I had hoped to do, the plan has gone out the window thanks to the bailer and my idiotic Coworker who simply loves to talk nonsnace, she will even start talking to herself at times or start blahing on about whatever times I am doing in the next day or two, when I already know these facts and its not a topic I am wanting to discuss! She kind of makes me feel like I want to go up the wall with frustation as she anyoning to say the least.
If the sitution in the UK was normal, I would not be putting up with her much as I would be on shopfloor more and her on tills but due to the vrius and staff on hold, I am on tills more offen but that day, I was a little stressed as it was the end of my working week and she was getting on my nerves and I wasn't getting much done that day as it was busy and our self service tills were closed thus repeatively jumping on and off tills to clear the ques of people buying stuff. What would of made that afternoon easier would be to have the self service tills open and that girl I mentioned as the one watching them, she is prefectly capable of doing the job but she prefers to be at the counter.
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