It’s A Dirty Job, But A Man Should Not Have To Do It
“I work at a daycare/preschool. I am a male. After working there for three years with children of all ages and having changed easily too many darn diapers, management suddenly decided I shouldn’t do that anymore. Even though that is literally part of the job.
Personally, I didn’t mind (I hate changing diapers), but my co-workers threw a fit about it. Plus, it’s a little prejudiced. So, now I have to change diapers again.”
New Message From… I Don’t Know, Guess?
“At my job, out of nowhere, the department director suddenly told us we couldn’t sign our emails. We just had to put the department name at the bottom of them. Absolutely no explanation was given for this rule.
Two months later, after no one could figure out who was working on what in our emails and other people in the company had trouble figuring out who they should follow up with, we suddenly got orders that all our emails must be signed with our names.”
Pushing The Envelope
“I worked in a place at which I had to regularly send out invoices by post. I had to fold each A4 piece of paper into three, but not equal thirds because the person who set up the ‘template’ (she didn’t even have the skills to make a template file) didn’t know how to make the address line up to the window of envelopes.
Although she left the company after stealing, the boss still worshipped the ground she walked on. He actually related the story of her theft in admiring tones. When I created a proper template with nice things like consistent formatting, my boss had a rant at me because the addresses didn’t line up and clearly that meant that everything I had done was useless. I didn’t understand what he was on about and folded up something I had just printed off into equal thirds and it was perfect.
He told me to change it back because companies might think that it was not from us if we suddenly changed. He said the same when I made the radical suggestion of spelling the names of our customers correctly in invoices.”
Smells Like Danger
“I worked for a brief time in a perfume factory. The temp agency loved to send me to the strangest places. I normally would get assigned a position for that shift, usually on the production line closing packaging, putting tops on bottles, that sort of thing. One of the other things I would have to do was break boxes, or basically flatten cardboard boxes. These boxes were pretty sturdy. They had been transporting glass or other delicate materials, so they would be held together pretty well. I had found a Stanley knife that someone else had left nearby and set to work.
Three supervisors sprinted over like I had just armed a bomb. Apparently, you cannot use sharp objects at all in the factory, which made me wonder where the Stanley knife came from. No appeal to common sense or reason would move these guys. We had to break apart these heavy boxes (the ones, sealed with that really strong woven tape) for eight hours. With just our bare-handed might.
I had to quit shortly after that. I just couldn’t work in a place where ‘health and safety’ overruled any sort of basic common sense. Also, because I was the only white guy in there, no one would talk to me, so I started talking to myself…which I didn’t care for.”
This Rule Is Garbage!
“The worst job I have ever had was a summer internship for a small non-profit. My boss was insane. On my first day, she asked me to empty the waste baskets and take the trash down to the trash chute. At the end of the day, I did that. When I got back, she scowled and shook her head because I had taken the trash out wrong.
Apparently, I had broken procedure by bringing the empty garbage bag to her office and emptying the waste bin there, instead of carrying the little trash bins five feet down the hall to where the garbage bags were kept. This was just normal paper trash. It was not like she had industrial waste or even kitchen trash in that bin that could’ve spilled or smelled.
To this day, I regret not walking out after that moment. Any person who doesn’t trust you to take out the darn trash without instruction is not a person who respects you.”
Do You Want To Install Updates Now Or Later?
“At an old job of mine, I was a system administrator paid by the hour. The software we were running required frequent updates that took the system down, so they had to be done after hours. I was told that I could not have overtime, so I would come in late or leave early the next day to make up for it.
Then I got a call from HR. My boss was in the room. I was told that I was required to be there from 8 am to 5 pm and that leaving early was unacceptable. I explained the situation and they agreed that the updates needed to be done after hours, but the fact still remained that I needed to be there from 8-5 as well. I was also still not allowed to have overtime under any circumstances.
I found a new job pretty soon after that, thankfully. I am pretty sure they were just trying to get me to work off the clock.”
Get A Grip, People
“I work in the oil industry. Safety is important, obviously, but some companies take it to ridiculous levels.
At a certain oil company’s headquarters in Aberdeen, one not only had to use the handrail at all times on the stairs (fair enough), they would also have to use them while walking up a gentle slope in the corridor. I’m talking an almost flat corridor.
The people who work there are such brainwashed sheep that they will fight over the chance to report you for not doing so, even if you’re a visitor. They will actually fill out a form and hand it to you, to document the fact that they had a ‘safety conversation’ with you.”
Clear Your Mind Of Frustration in Aisle 3
“I have a few strange rules from work.
The store owners, who are a bit of a pain in the bum, told us we could not photocopy anything for a customer that has a copyright on it, for fear of a £10,000 fine, which the employee would have to pay. However, they did not have a problem breaking health and safety laws by blocking fire exits, leaving cables all over the place, and stacking heavy boxes precariously out the back. Also, the toilets didn’t lock.
I was told that when answering the phone, if someone asked for the owners, to only transfer the call if they asked for them by name. But even then, only to transfer people with whom they dealt with and had a working relationship with. They told me this when I first started.
How am I supposed to know that?!
We were told we could only book our holiday time from work in 2-week slots at a time, and nothing in the month of May at all.
We had to give the store discount card to all customers, even if there was no discount for the items they were buying. If they were buying something eligible for discount, we could just give them a card and apply it. Why not just put those items on sale? The discounts were also very erratic and often changed on a weekly basis.
I was told to make sure I loudly say ‘Goodbye!’ to every customer.
When working a Saturday shift, which each employee only did once a month, you worked fewer hours because the owners decided to close an hour or hour and a half early on Saturdays. It varied as they closed when they felt like it. You were required to make up the time you hadn’t worked on the following week, by cutting your lunch breaks short.
We sold envelopes and had a post office in our store. When people asked for a little tape to seal a letter, we had to say no. We also had to refuse a gentlemen a piece of scrap paper because one of the owners said no.
I was told I couldn’t accept £50 notes, or any non-Bank of England notes, including Scottish or Irish money that is still perfectly legal tender. Their reason was that there were too many forgeries, yet they would not invest in a cheap UV light or one of those note-checking pens. Ironically, I think we sold those note-checking pens in our store.
I was not allowed to look up a telephone number, using our computer for an old lady, because it wasn’t ‘worth our time.’ I had a few other similar run-ins in which I was trying to go the extra mile for a customer, but was shot down by the owners because they weren’t making any money out of it.
I was once told to try to wait until my lunch break to go to the toilet. They also tried to tell us we were using too much toilet paper. Though this may have been true, I don’t know what other people’s toilet habits are like.
We were not allowed to connect to the stores wireless internet on our phones, which I suppose is fair enough. I did it anyway and changed my phone’s name to a garbled sequence of numbers and letters so that if they looked at the connected devices, it would blend in.
I was told not to recommend customers to other local small businesses that didn’t do business with our store.
Although we drank tea and coffee at work, when a colleague brought in her own cup of Starbucks, the owners told her they would rather she drink that out in back, out of the view of customers.
They just generally had a weird way of being very specific and particular about things, but never fully explaining what it is they wanted. They kind of let you do something wrong (because why the heck would we not be able to accept legal tender from Scotland?) and had a go at you afterwards.
I was let go yesterday because I had been ‘looking through the web browser history on the computer.'”
A Path Too Far
“We have a very large parking lot for thousands of employees. We have designated painted walking paths one must follow. For safety. Because we are all treated the same as the lowest common denominator.
The paths do not go all the way to the individual parking spaces, and a few coworkers got coached this year for walking beside the path on the roadway. The road had been salted and was clear. The path had an inch of glare ice.
The path is also an inconvenient circuitous route for a third of the staff. Way to ignore human nature.”
Poker Chips Are More Important Than People
“I worked for a casino at which they considered every employee a thief. We had to pay back losses in our banks, clear our hands, sew our pockets shut (before we got uniforms), and basically be accountable for every chip or dollar. However, they would not listen to my constant pleas for better camera surveillance and better security to protect my people.
A darn chip was more important than one of my bankers. I used to tell them that if they were ever robbed or threatened to pass over everything they had as discreetly as possible, then get to cover right away, and hit the alarm. Chips can be replaced thanks to insurance. People can’t.”
They’re Not Racist, They Just Want You To Leave
“At Michael’s, we are not allowed to tell customers that the store is closed after closing time or else we will get fired. We are only allowed to go up to them and offer customer service.
At 9:30 on a Friday night, half an hour past closing, this customer gave me a dirty look and thought I was some kind of racist for harassing them with, ‘Can I help you find anything?’ over and over, yet I still could not tell them we were closed.
No lady, it’s not that I think you’re a shoplifter, I just want to go the heck home.“
Wiping Out The Logic
“I’m a hostess. On nights when we have multiple people working as hostesses, it is not a big deal because someone would be assigned to be a greeter and that is it. The greeter just stands there and talks to people and lets everyone else handle the seating and whatnot. Well, wiping down tables is also part of my job.
A few months ago, my manager tried to tell us that we were not allowed to walk away from the host stand, even when we were there by ourselves, which meant that tables did not get cleaned and we could not seat people. I explained in great detail why that was a stupid freaking rule. It’s not a rule anymore.
Apparently, the reason for this rule was that, while working by himself, one of the hosts was hanging out in the back and had about five parties walk out after not being greeted for a long period of time. Someone complained and everyone had to suffer.
It was not a completely senseless rule, but definitely not a logical one.”
The Case Of The Disappearing Cash
“I had to follow a rule at a job I used to have serving tables in a very nice part in town that had bad clientele. The rule was that the servers could not pick up the closed out check from the table until it has been bussed it entirely.
One evening, I had a huge section as it would be transition time soon and more servers were scheduled in the next hour. We were slammed. I could not bus. I left the cash there. The cash was fanned out so I could see the customers left more than enough. I walked away, came back to new people at the dirty table, and the money is gone.
I got an email from HR the next day. They were trying to hold me accountable for the cash. I brought up their faulty rule back at them for safety. It worked, but the rule was not going anywhere.
Whoever thought of that rule did not think it over.”
With Liberty And Downloadable Content For All
“When I worked at a video store, we had to throw away downloadable content cards and promotional material for new games and movies after a week. I could not bring myself to do it. So, I hoarded all of it and gave it away to random customers. If you were cool, you might end up with a Cloverfield shirt or a Transformers bobblehead in your bag. Posted all the content codes on random forums and they went quick, especially those gold weapons in Gears of War.
Eventually my district manager caught wind of what I was doing. I was written up and had to throw away everything in front of her. Since I had closed the boxes prior to tossing them, I had my buddy pick up the boxes from behind the store after she left. We put the remaining shirts (about thirty Rock Band shirts) into a clothing donation dumpster and the rest in the box at the commons of my college. Everything was gone within minutes.
I do not like things being wasted and I hate dumb rules.”
Those Who Do Not Obey The Law, Shall Be Fired By The Law
“I used to work for this company and the director was kind of odd. He had these 12 commandment for the office. Yes, he called them commandments. They were kind of tedious, but I guess they made sense on some level. The commandments were not the stupid part.
The dude had a printed and laminated copy of the these commandments for each employee and told us to display them in a prominent place in our offices. We also had to read them every Monday and send him an email saying we had read them.
Fortune 500 Companies Have “Fun Rules”
“I was working at a Fortune 500 company with fun rules. We worked in a building that had badge access. Either you swiped it or you tailgated in behind someone else. High security. We all had offices with doors (no open cubicles), but only managers had locks on their door. Again, high security.
After I had worked there for two years, they finally got us some new office furniture with working locks (desks, drawers, and filing cabinets) for security. I had five locks in my office. Then, they suddenly decided to implement a clean-desk rule, for security.
As near as any of us could figure out, if you left your office for any reason, you had to have your desktop cleared of papers and everything locked up. If you needed a cup of coffee or a bathroom break, all that paperwork we would be working on would have to be shuffled together and put securely away. There were designated ‘volunteers’ who had to check for security violations after hours at least once a week. I had one gung ho manager who was written up because he had a list on his desk of telephone numbers for his employees – names and numbers. Never mind that our names were on plaques outside our doors and our telephone numbers were on every telephone in offices that did not lock.
At least their dress code was nonexistent.
My last day there was nearly ten years ago and I still remember how frustrated I was along with my coworkers trying to figure out the nuances of the rules.
Did they really mean every scrap of paper? How about this note for my meeting? Can I have photos of my spouse, pet, or kids? You mean I have to lock up my pencil drawer?“
A Marathon In Heels
“I was volunteering for VITA, where we would prepare people’s (low income, students, or elderly) taxes for free.
I would interview the client, just as a precaution, and do some simple ID verification. Then I would take their documents up to the 3rd floor computer lab and prepare their taxes. I would then print off what I had done, run back down to the first floor, review their taxes, and have them sign an 8879, which authorized us to file their taxes for them – a pretty standard fare. After it was authorized, I would E-file the taxes.
Somehow the IRS noticed that our group were printing all documents at once and chewed us out.
We had to print off their tax return, run down three flights of steps, review the return with the client, go back up three flights of steps, print off the 8879, go back down three flights of steps, have the client sign it, go back up three flights of steps, e-file the return at the computer, go back down three flights of steps, and return the client’s documents.
The logic was, ‘How could the person consent to a return before they have reviewed it?’
My retort, which I did not use because I knew I was not going to get the better end of this argument) was, ‘They sign the 8879 after they review their tax returns. Just like any other contract, printing it does not make it valid, signing it does.’ Batch printing all documents at once was all around better.”