I was working in an engineering department of a small family owned
machinery manufacturer. All well and good except I did electrical not
mechanical which of course made me less than human apparently. Still
all was fine as the engineering manager was a cool old dude (I was in
my 30’s at the time) Then he started having heath problems resulting
in his retirement and death soon afterward.
(this part sound familiar on this web site?) The new engineering
manager job was given to..lets call him Dan. While a very good
engineer, Dan was not a people person and tended to want to blow
people off when they came to him with issues that would take him away
from engineering and made him do managing. I just persisted and
didn’t let his blow offs work, I would just stand there till he was
forced to deal with me. His desk was in the middle of the department
which was all open, so every word said was heard by 10 other
engineers and designers.
One of my favorite encounters with him was when I went to him to say
that we needed to purchase a large stapler as we were sending out
stacks of drawings ½” thick or more on a regular basis. All we had
were regular desk staplers that were good for a dozen sheet max. I had
got the catalog out, found a good one that would do the job. $50 with
supplies. So I go up to him and tell him my thoughts and showed him
the ad. He just exploded yelling that it was a waste of money and I
was crazy to want a $50 stapler and continued to rant. So I just
walked back to my desk at the front of the room. 2 days later Dan is
working with a stack of drawings over a ½” thick. He has his
“little” desk stapler and is pounding it time after time trying
to punch enough holes in the paper for a staple to make it all the
way through. Drawing corner looked like a porcupine.
He is doing this 5 ft from me, so I pipe up and loud and clear voice,
“Dan, looks like you need a big stapler!”
His large fat head jerks up and looks at me with hate filled pig
eyes. I swear they glowed red. The guy across from me gags trying not
to laugh, while from the back of the room they mostly just howled out
loud. Dan never said a word.
Dan part two.
We were working on a large project with literally 100’s of large
drawings that had to be printed out with an old style pin plotter,
one at a time. One guy would tie up the printer for a week as each of
his drawings would take hours to print. (very complex) So my other
boss and the IT guy went out and got a laser printer that would do
the 24” x 36” drawings we used. It was sitting there in the room
when Dan showed up in the morning. “What’s that?” A large
format laser printer. “How much does it cost?” $20, 000.
(remember he freaked at $50 like it came out of his pocket) He was
about to go ballistic when the IT guy who despite being 5’6”,
150lb to Dan 6’, 350lbs (and didn’t take any shit off him) calmly
says we got it for month free. If we don’t like it we can send it
back. Well that shut him up. So we had the guy with the big project
send a drawing to the laser plotter. One that normally took 3hrs on
the old plotter rolled out in 6 seconds. Never used the pen plotter
again. And Dan treated the laser like it was his baby. 6 months later
he told me to get rid of the old printer. He wanted the room. I spent
10yrs there before bailing on all the insane bs. Best revenge was
that they advertised in the paper (this was 98, per internet days)
for my position listing all the stuff I did. They called like 6
people in for interviews. Mostly engineers with 20yrs plus
experience. In each interview, when they got to the point where what
the pay was all 6 got up and left. Then the owner of the company has
a big meeting where they called this outfit that he had been using to
help him set salaries. They described all the things I had been doing
for them, and they guy on the phone computes the numbers he figures
that my pay was like 20-30K low. I got told later that the owner said
“well no wonder he left”.
They ended up hiring 3 people take over individual parts of all the
things I did, one of which was a fresh new engineer out of school.
They all left within a couple of years also.
I used to work produce at a southern grocery chain and I loved
working there for the most part. The store loved hiring less than
able or competent workers then hiring a person to follow that person
around for what i assume as some kind of tax break. Everyone that
worked there was very nice and friendly except for the dreaded boss.
She was always buzzing around the store reorganizng the shelves and
counters because nothing was ever good enough for her. She was always
cutting hours and constantly leaving the store understaffed. She did
this because the less hours the store consumed, the bigger her bonus
became. I don’t blame her for trying to be stingey, but she took it
to an extreme.
Now in my department, i had a little slice of the 1960/70′s-a
vietname vet with flashbacks, a burnt out druggie, a white
supremacist, a hippy, a lesbian, and the boss. All of these people
weren’t the cream of the crop, but had some amazing life stories
Unfortunatly all of them were constantly getting sick or missing work
for some thing or another leaving me to pick up the extra hours. I’d
work to about midnight most schedualed days, but i was always getting
calls at 5-7am seeing if i could come in. Being a poor college boy in
need of money i was always saying “yes” but always reminding her of
how many hours i’ve already worked. this made the boss quite happy
and quickly became her go-to person.
I was normally schedualed for 15-20 hours a week, the only reason why
i never picked up a second job is because i was picking up enough
hours and end up working about 40-65 hour work weeks so i was making
bank on top of a under the table side job getting 300 bucks a week.
This went on for about two months until she got a call from the union
saying they’re gonna have to make me full time because i worked so
many 40 hour weeks. She went ape on me, because she never knew that i
was workin that much.
From that point on, she was always riding me to work harder than ever
before, nothing was ever good enough, the peaches dimples weren’t
facing the right direction etc. She also always had me shuffling
around the stands and pulling thousand-pound crates of watermelons to
the front of the store.
The last straw came when corporate authorized my department for 100
extra hours a week for work since we were earning so much. This
worked out to be about 20 hours extra a week for everyone, but since
i was the only part-timer it was probably meant to hire another
person or two. What she did instead was slash hours to the bare
minimum for evreyons and if someone called in sick she wouldn’t call
in a replacement, so i was constantly working solo during the busiest
days of the week. As a cost “saving” measure, she also schedualed one
woman during her class time in an effort to get her fired for so many
Soon after, most of us gave our two weeks and moved to another store.
We later learned that she was replaced from another out of state
I had been out of college for about 2 years and was working at a
small IT firm as their only website developer. It was a nice firm,
but it was a small company, only 5 people (techies + secretary) so
there wasnt any growth opportunities. One day we got a client in,
who, after seeing my skills asked me if I would like to come and work
for them, which would double my salary.
I was very keen, since it seemed like a cool company, with 2 branches
and proper directors and everything. The guys I worked with were
great, and even my manager was a cool guy. Then the company decided
to close down the branch I was living in, and those that wanted to
could relocate 400 miles away to the main branch. I decided to do it,
since it would be a move from a small coastal city, to a huge city,
with more opportunites.
Long story short, my new boss, the MD of the company was a spineless
jackass. I would work from 7:30am to 8pm most days, and if I came
into work a little after 8:30am (which was my normal starting time)
he would sarcastically say, “Taking half-day are we”. He wasnt all
bad, but he never said no to a client, and as a result myself and the
other 2 developers were always swamped. When we had company lunches,
he liked to tell other people that he was a relaxed manager, and that
if we finished our work on time, we were free to come and go as we
pleased. He had no real managerial skills, and was a bit of a
pushover. I got my salary doubled again just because he was so scared
of me leaving.
The shit hit the fan back at the end of 2008 when the he told us that
everyone would be getting bonuses for the first time ever in the
company’s 7 year history. It would be at least a 13th paycheck. Most
people were so happy they spent their December salaries and Xmas
gifts and nice holidays. Come January 2009, no bonuses. The guy was
so spineless he didnt even tell us the company was in financial
issues and would not be paying our salaries, we had to find out from
the poor HR lady.
Then, he started paying salaries late. He would pay the people he
needed the most first, and the others would get paid as the money
came in. You can imagine how quickly the company went from 10
employees down to 4. He would accept resignations but ask that they
please work out their contract term. Of course, he wouldn’t pay them
their final paycheck.
When he started paying my salary late, it was crap because he didnt
even phone or email to say that my salary would be paid in late. I
would have to call him. At this point I had already been going for
job interviews and had secured a position with a new company to start
in August, so I just needed to work out my July term.
Then he didnt pay me my June salary by the end of the month as he was
obligated to, so I went on strike and didnt come in. He paid my salary
when he found out I wouldnt finalise any of the urgent work
outstanding. The next day I came in and told him I wouldnt be working
out my term, and I left.
I hear the company is liquidating now. I don’t care, I love my new
job. One good thing did come out of it though. I met the girl of my
dreams who worked in the same building, and we are now planning on
getting married. Booyah!
A couple of years ago, I worked 2nd shift in a truck stop. I enjoyed
working there, as we had a decent management team and fairly decent
coworkers. Which is why what follows surprised me so much.
Second shift ran until 12:30a. Around 11:30a, my manager came running
down the stairs and informed that the corporate visit had been moved
up to the next day and she needed me to take the product off the
shelves and clean the shelves in between customers and restocking. I
was fine with this.
We were unusually busy that night, so by the time my relief had come
in, I had only done about 20 percent of the shelves. My manager came
down, surveyed my work, and told me I needed to finish before I went.
Again, I was fine with this, as I am with any overtime!
I counted down my register and left the customers to the 3rd shift
worker. About 10 minutes later, my boss comes back down and beckons
me over. She tells me that she forgot to tell me, but I need to clock
out and finish because the store didn’t have any hours leftover. I
told her I refused to work off the clock. She then told me I was
clocking out no matter what, and the only choice was whether or not I
still had a job when I was clocked out.
At this point, I was extremely irritated. I told her I would love to
clock out and I would spend my spare time the next day calling the
labor commission. As soon as I said that, she magically decided that
the store did have enough hours for me to stay clocked in!
I think it’s over at this point, so I finish the shelves and go home
by 2a. When I come in the next day, I am greeted by the GM as soon as
I walk in the door. He tells me not to clock in and to follow him to
He informs me that I am fired. When I ask him why, he tells me for
unauthorized overtime! When I try explaining to him that is was
authorized by the shift manager, he informs me that threatening her
to get the overtime did not count as authorized.
So at this point, I’m completely done with the whole company and walk
I called the labor commission as soon as I got home to lodge a
complaint against. Unfortunately, I don’t know what came of it.