The Bad News Wasn’t All That Bad To Him
You either got called to a 9 am meeting on site or off site. Everyone knew this meant layoffs.
I got the on-site meeting, which I thought meant I was not going to be laid off. I got my computer cleaned up and my files stored offsite with five minutes to spare.
The 100 of us in that meeting were told we could not return to our desks. We were handed severance checks and escorted out of the building. Mine was for $7,000.
The hardest part of it was looking sad, in a room full of sad people, hugging and crying and exchanging contact info. I waited until I was in the car and the office building was in my rearview mirror to let out a shriek of pure joy.”
He Had Enough Homophobic Remarks From That Juiced Up Biker
“One time, we went for breakfast at this little restaurant and seated in front of us was a biker guy who kept harassing the clearly gay waiter.
The waiter was going out of his way to be polite to this dirtbag who had already returned his food three times, once just because his toast hadn’t been buttered. It was obviously done just to irk the waiter. Finally, everything went to crap.
The biker guy made a comment, ‘Why are you swinging your butt like a girl? You’re NOT a girl! Let me take you out back in the alley and I’ll show you how to act like a real man!’
I gasped and couldn’t believe what I was hearing.
Suddenly the waiter, who was carrying a tray of water glasses and pitcher to another table, took the pitcher of water and dumped it on the biker guy’s head.
The biker jumped up and threw his breakfast plate full of food at the waiter, hitting him with eggs in the face.
The waiter then took the whole tray of water glasses and threw it at the biker and the biker gave chase; the waiter ran into the kitchen, using his arm to knock into the biker’s path anything handy (ketchup bottles, silverware tray, napkin holders) with the biker slipping and sliding but still on the waiter’s heels.
Suddenly, the front door opened and in walked five cops who grabbed the biker dude and handcuffed him, during which the waiter came out flailing his hands in the air with great theatrics, screaming, ‘THIS IS BULL CRAP! I QUIT! YOU CAN’T FIRE ME! HE STARTED IT! I’M FROM NEW YORK. YOU’LL BE HEARING FROM MY ATTORNEYS! YOU ALL SAW HIM DIDN’T YOU (pointing to all of us)! HE STARTED IT BUT THEY FIRE ME! I DON’T THINK SO! (as he bobs his head and snaps his fingers in the air ala Rue Paul) NO, NO, NO! I THINK NOT!’ Then with great drama, he yanked off his apron, flung it at the kitchen door, and sashayed out the door.
I’d give anything to have had a camera, but this was before cell phones.
Everyone in the diner that morning got their meals free as an apology for the chaotic scene.”
“Regrets Aside,” It Was Worth It
“I worked at a car wash when I was a kid. A friend and I happened to be the only people that showed up for work on the first sunny Monday of the summer. The line was around the block for the car wash before we even opened for business.
We called our manager and said, ‘Hey, it’s just us and there are like 100 cars to wash.’
The manager said, ‘There’s two of you. Wash them,’ before hanging up.
Now, this was a full-service automatic car wash in a nice area. Each car got a full scrubbing in the front of the machine, a full wipe-down when it came out the other end, and about half of them paid for a few minutes at a hand wax station.
After an hour or so of running back and forth, servicing cars at each station, taking money, running cards, and explaining why the wax station is only getting about 40 seconds of love per car, the line was so long we couldn’t even see the end of it. This was normal for a day like this, and tough, hot work for the normal crew of six.
We called for help again. The manager turned her phone off. She knew what was up. She was probably at the same party as the rest of the crew.
We both said forget it, took off our car wash-employee-monkey-suits right there in front of everybody, put the big machine on ‘GO,’ and walked away – smoking and joking.
We wandered by a few hours later, the line was still there. We laughed.
In hindsight, that job paid well for what it was and where I was in my life at the time, and sometimes I kind of wish I had stuck it out that day. Life got a lot harder for me after that.
Regrets aside, that was one of the most satisfying workdays of my life.”
We’re Going To Shut Down Until You Two Play Nice
“I used to work in a factory as a lab tech. The process involved these large furnaces. Once every two weeks, they needed to be shut down and relined. It shut down the whole facility. There was a guy that pretty much only worked every other week to reline the furnace.
One evening, someone managed to damage the lining to the point it needed to be replaced. It was a full week ahead of time, though. The bossman called up the guy who installed the lining and told him to get there right away. They argued for a bit and finally, the guy agreed to show up.
He was absolutely plastered but the bossman didn’t care. The guy just looked at him and told him that he was not working: ‘I’m wasted and wasn’t scheduled for tonight.’ The boss fired him for coming in under the influence.
They proceeded to have a screaming match about the boss man telling him to come in or be fired and then firing him for coming in.
It all ended up going to HR and the plant sat shut down for a whole two days until they sorted it all out.”
They Should Have Known Something Was Up When They Heard The Laughter
“One night, when I was caught in a weird spell of not being able to sleep, but being too tired to do anything worthwhile, I decided to go to Walmart to shuffle around for a bit.
I heard this girl when I came in – she was laughing hysterically in the produce section while she and another associate tossed spoiled fruit into a trash bin. It’s the only time I’ve seen someone on their night-shift be happy. I went about my business – circling through pharmacy, makeup, toys, hardware, electronics, housewares, infants, then made my way to the chips and drinks aisle. As I was debating between the different potato chip options, I suddenly heard the tumbling cascade of everything falling off a high stacked pallet. The shelf next to me quivered like it got hit by a case of suddenly needing to pee, and I heard glass hitting the ground on the other side.