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This is a question Dodgy work ethics

Chthonic asks: What's the naughtiest thing a boss has ever asked you to do? And did you do it? Or perhaps you are the boss and would like to confess.

(, Thu 7 Jul 2011, 13:36)
Pages: Popular, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

Acorn Electron Madness
Back in .. oooh 1983 if I remember, I had a saturday job working in W.H. Smiths in their shiney new computer department. Easy money really, just helping bewildered adults to buy the right thing and to stop the brats from typing 10 print "bums" , 20 goto 10 on all the display machines (a fine selection of 16k spectrums, Dragon32s, Orics, Vic 20s and of course the king of them all, the BBC Micro)

Again if memory serves me correctly, back then a BBC Micro would set you back about £400, which in 1983 was a fair old wodge of cash, and as Schools were now begining to use the BBC Micro as their standard teaching micro computer, they were definately the must have item of the era. However the high cost meant only the poshest of kids ever got to have one at home.

However salvation for the masses was nigh, Acorn decided to release a cut down version of the BBC Micro, The Electron, but retaining almost all of its funtionality, i.e, you could run BBC programs on the new Electron and it cost less than half the price! (about £160 I think)

I remember the build up and the hype for the Electron, it was on every parents christmas wishlist to help little Johnny with his schoolwork, and little Johnnys around the country were looking forward to finally being able to run their dodgy copy of Elite on their own system at home instead of sneaking into the school computer lab at lunchtimes. Due to a number of manfacturing problems however, the release of the Electron was delayed and delayed until its final release a few weeks before the christmas of 1983 ... in very small numbers!

This is where the dodgy practice begins. In the run up to christmas in the holidays I was working full time to cover the rush (and earn extra beer money) and we had a delivery of Electrons every 2-3 days, usually 20 of them per delivery. Whenever there was even a rumour of a delivery, the shop would slowly fill up with queing parents hoping to bag one. Trouble is, once the Store manager and his deputys had skimmed some off to sell to their friends, and the various other managers had had their share, there would be only 4 or 5 left of the delivery making it to the shop floor to be sold, and a couple of those went to friends of the various sales staff in return for backhanders. I definately remember 2 deliverys where no Electrons at all made it to the shop floor for sale to the public.

As christmas got closer and closer, people were getting panicky and all sorts of shenanigans was going on. One despondant bloke after missing out yet again in the queue gave me his phone number and begged me to call him when the next delivery came in as he worked in an office around the corner and could be in the shop within 2 minutes of a call. I felt sorry for him and despite promising myself not to get involved in the hype and bollocks, I told him yes.

2 days later and less than a week until Christmas day, an order arrives. So I immediately excuse myself, nip out onto the high street and into a phone box (no mobiles in the 80's kids!) and phone him up. True to his promise 2 minutes later he is in the shop, at the front of the queue and 10 minutes later he is the proud owner of an Electron. So he comes over all smiling and happy, thanks me profusely and presses a roll of notes discretely into my hand, and walks off.

I'm a bit shocked, I didn't do it for money, I did it so that the little guy could score one against the corrupt system (I had ideals and morals back then!!!) I open my hand and count it up ... £100 in crisp fivers! bloody hell! thats Christmas sorted I thought for a fleeting second. Then I ran after him out of the shop and gave it back. He was equally shocked, but then smiled even more, "Glad to see there are still some good un's left, well done, happy Christmas" he said, and off he went into the distance. I can even still rememeber his name after almost 30 years.

Mind you that was before I got a mortgage and kids. I'd bite his bloody hand off now, and have the shirt off his back! ;)
(, Mon 11 Jul 2011, 11:19, 5 replies)
My ex boss bullied a very heavily pregnant woman
He told her that unless she took a very short maternity leave she wouldn't have a job when she came back, got right up in her face telling her to "play the fucking game" etc. The guy was an absolute cunt to everyone but I thought this was low. What he didn't know is that I was in the room fixing a PC. When he found out he took me to one side and gave me some bollocks story about how stressful his position was and when you are in charge of multi million pound budgets you have to be a bit of an ogre and then told me he didn't want me to mention to anyone what I saw.

She sued, I was a witness, she won, we both quit.
(, Thu 7 Jul 2011, 14:17, 7 replies)
There have been a few stories about insurers which reminded me of this one.

My dad earned bucketloads when I was growing up so there was always the drive to become a big earner. I used to work for a Multi National insurance company specialising in corporate Ex Pat health insurance. I was fresh out of uni and was ready to climb the corporate ladder and earn the big bucks.

As a fresh young "insurance executive" they put me through some training then sent me off with another fresh face to their offices in Redhill, Surrey.

I got picked up by limo (classy long wheel base Merc, not the tacky black Lincoln efforts you see full of screaming hen and stag parties) and taken to the airport.

I was ushered to the first class lounge where my colleague and I enjoyed a complimentary breakfast and drinks and was eventually seated in a comfy first class seat.

Got to Stanstead and was picked up by an identical Merc and taken to head office. I was surrounded by the richest and friendliest people I had ever mingled with. They were all tanned, happy, friendly and drove porsches with the odd Jag thrown in for variety. Wrists were adorned with Rolex, Cartier, IWC. Suits were sharp, chit chat covered holidays which would cost the national average wage.

This was all just a couple of years over the horizon for me.

A few presentations and some meet and greets and it was time to check in at the hotel and freshen up for dinner. My boss picked us up in her 7 series BMW and we raced away to a disgustingly expensive restaurant. I was fucking loving this shit. I got my usual wage plus a hefty per diem (not that I had to put my hand in my pocket once. Whenever a bill arrived there was a flurry of company credit cards to take care of it.) This went on for 3 days. I lapped it up. I had already chosen the colour of my BMW 3 Series coupe.

Some time was spent talking about the odd tough decision that needs to be taken regarding the funding of a clients health care. I figured that most clients were huge organisations and those covered by the policies were usually company big wigs who, if push came to shove, could probably afford to pay for their own health care if we pulled the rug out from under them. It left me feeling slightly uneasy but hey, that's they capitalist way. No?

Anyhoo, on the final day the boss, Therasa, gave us a lift to the airport. On the way she was talking about how, in the wake (pun not intended) of the 2004 boxing day tsunami the company had set up a special hotline for policy holders affected by said event.

Then she told us how they had only received three calls, all of them trivial.

Instantly I replied "Yeah but it was a fantastic PR move".

That was when it happened. I had related to my boss how an event which snuffed out the lives of quarter of a million people had allowed them a minor Public Relations triumph.

I knew it was all sorts of wrong before I had even finished saying it. My boss and colleague couldn't agree enough. Big fucking grins on their faces. I just felt increasingly uncomfortable. That moment in he summer of 2005 will stay with me forever.

I left a week later.

I am a special needs teacher now.

I dont own a BMW 3 series coupe, my watch is an entry level Seiko and my last holiday was a week long trip to Berwick where I stayed in a wee cottage. I am really happy and I dont have to sell my soul to the devil.

In retrospect they were probably in debt up to their expensive haircuts.

(, Tue 12 Jul 2011, 23:00, 12 replies)
Eric – man of the people.
At sixteen, I was about to burst free from my GCSEs into my first ever super massive long summer. Wanting to cultivate a burgeoning drink problem, I had to seek out monkey work wherever I could get it. Preferably something with minimal responsibility and short hours. Keen to help, my best friend suggested something that I've never forgiven him for. Eric's Fruit and Veg Van.
My friend had spent some time as an assistant on this van during its Friday evening rounds, and assured me that it was easy money. "You just bag up whatever the customer wants and take it to the door. This Eric bloke does all the driving and cash handling. It's a piece of piss. I'll let him know you're starting."

Why did he have a mischievous smirk on his face whenever we spoke about it?

I turned up for my first shift the following week. Eric and his wife were loading produce onto the van – he looked about 60, with a flat cap and whiskey nose. I introduced myself. He cackled and shook my hand. "That behind youse is Ian, he works the early round." I turned and saw a harried-looking, sweating man with Downs Syndrome holding out his hand. I went to shake it and Ian recoiled in surprise. "Nahhhh," leered Eric, "ee wants 'is wages!" Eric held out a fiver in one hand and fifty pence in the other. Ian took the fifty pence.
"Never learns, the daft cunt!"
Me and Eric climbed in the van and set off.

I won't go into all of Eric's failings as a husband, a handler of food, and a human being. There are too many and they make me too sad. Suffice to say that first evening on his van was an eye-opener for me. Two incidents, though, stand out above the others, and I was to see them repeated weekly for the next two months.

As said, my task was basically to say hello to people as they came on the van, bag up their fruit and veg, and walk them to their door. But for one lady (a regular), Eric took responsibility. She staggered on, old, confused, obese and completely shitfaced, murmuring something about having fallen in her pond earlier. Eric hooted and cackled, smacking her considerable arse every now and again, before hauling her bags after her and disappearing into her house. He didn't said why, but when he walked out after five minutes rubbing his hands and winking I felt I didn't need to ask.

Fucking a mentally-ill alcoholic customer is pretty off, but when he got back on the van Eric decided he needed a piss.

"Keep an eye out will you?"

He peeled off one of the plastic bags used for the apples, teased out his still-spermy cock right in front of me, and proceeded to fill the bag with worryingly dark urine. He twisted it round, ran it through the plastic-tying machine, and we drove off with this wobbly yellow present sat on his lap. When we got a bit further down the road, he chucked it out of the window.

I hated Eric.
(, Fri 8 Jul 2011, 10:18, 8 replies)
Robert Maxwell
This story was told to me first hand by one of his aides just after the 'great' man died.
As Maxwell is walking the corridors of the Mirror building he sees a man stood next to a photociopier smoking a cigarette.
"You can't smoke here" shouts Cap'n Bob.
"F@ck off" says the other chap.
"How much do you earn a week?" enquires Mr. Maxwell.
"250 quid" he replies. Maxwell peels off a wad of notes and says "Here's a week's wages, get out now and don't come back".

A few minutes later another worker wanders past and asks if anyone has seen the repair guy from the photocopier company.
(, Sun 10 Jul 2011, 15:58, 46 replies)
How I fucked up my career in finance.
I once worked for a large organisation which provided publicly funded cheap loans exclusively to students. I had the pleasure of working in the collections department. Whilst still a student myself. The ironing was delicious.

Anyhoo, in exchange for beer/rent tokens I set about those debt stricken (ex) students like a particularly hungry leech would feed on a defenceless baby abandoned in a swamp.

Turned out I had a flair for debt recovery. I had a particular knack for convincing piss poor debtors to sign up to payment plans that would make bill gates wince.

I became numb to it. It was second nature. The point came that I would sometimes even enjoy it.

I excelled and caught the attention of my superiors. I was given additional legal responsibilities. Alongside putting the shits up the poor I would also get IVA and bankruptcy documents through so that I could help carve up the meagre assets of those who were pushed that shade too far.

This went on for 3.5 years. One day I just fucking snapped. I took a call from a woman who lived in chelsea. As soon as I heard the C word I thought I would go in for the kill. She must be rolling in it I thought. Then I read the notes. This woman, in her mid twenties, lost her parents a few years back and found herself looking after her two younger siblings along with a butt load of financial difficulties.

She was all for hanging up on me, explaining that I was pretty low down in the pecking order of creditors.

That's when it hit me. I had to leave. So, before I took steps to end my debt recovery career I explained to this woman that if I could finalize a payment plan for the next 20 years at 10 pence a month I could take the entire amount of £24 by card over the phone then and there. Knowing that the system would kick it straight back out I sent confirmation of the payment plan to her by email and post, then told her to take a note of my full name, department, managers name, date and time of the call and the reference number for the extensive note I put on her account. Then I took the payment, thanked her for her time, ended the call, put my stupid headset on my desk and walked out. It was a gorgeous day and, as I walked down the street, I looked back and saw the building I used to work in bathed in sunshine. I dug my camera out and took a picture. Then I turned on my heels and left the bastards to it, hoping that I had managed to polish a microscopic patch of my dark heart and blackened soul.

I ignored all their calls. They kept paying me for another 6 weeks. Karma?
(, Thu 7 Jul 2011, 22:38, 10 replies)
The Pleasure Chest.
In sunny 1995 I worked in a place called The Pleasure Chest in Kings Cross, Sydney. It was billed as an adult entertainment centre, and consisted of a sex shop, porn cinema- that was a gay cruising area, complete with glory holes-, booths that you could put a dollar into to be shown five minutes of porn, other booths that had a small bed with a plastic mattress where you could watch an entire film chosen from the shop for ten dollars and some rooms upstairs that you could rent for thirty minutes for five dollars. These rooms were meant to be for the girls on the street to take their tricks to, but were also the local shooting gallery.

My job consisted of going out for the coffees and beers, delivering boxes of poppers, porn and dildos to other outlets in the city, mopping up the odd bit of piss and knocking on the doors of the rooms upstairs when the half hour was up, then going in with a pair of barbecue tongs to dump the needles and condoms in the bin and occasionally change the sheets.

It was a strange unbelievably seedy place, and a real eye opener for a nineteen year old green behind the ears boy from the west country.

Anyway, on to the story. I was sitting upstairs one day enjoying a sneaky bifter when a girl came out of one of the rooms and asked for an ambulance. I followed her into the room, and saw a bloke laying on the bed, he was white as sheet with blue lips, taking fast short shallow breaths. I ran downstairs and told my boss to call an ambulance as there's a bloke upstairs ODing badly. My reply, 'We don't want the hassle, drag him down the back stairs and dump him in the street.' So, I of course went outside and called an ambulance. As I was walking back to the shop I saw two policemen stood nearby so I also told them what was going on, and suggested they might want to make sure the ambulance could pull up on the busy street. They instead asked me to take them to the sick bloke. I obliged; took them upstairs showed them the bloke, and got the fuck out of dodge never to return.

Quite why my boss thought I would drag near dead men downstairs to dump them in a back alley for six dollars an hour cash in hand I will never know.

To the weirdos and freaks of Kings Cross, I salute you. You live in a world of scum and villainy I find difficult to understand.
(, Wed 13 Jul 2011, 4:53, 4 replies)
Edenmonster reminded me of a pearost
I worked as a medic at some of the more "interesting" clubs in the Vauxhall area. One of these (not being named) was a hotbed of GHB (and GBL) use.

Now GHB is a nasty little motherfucker. Anything that is generally used as an anaesthetic agent and an ingredient in industrial cleaner falls under the category of "a bad thing" to me. Combine that with the fact that the promoter (an American cunt) would never let me call an ambulance due to the fact that it was bad publicity, left me in what can only be called "a slight predicament" on a number of occasions.

The medic room was a curtained of area of the main dancefloor. Noisy as sin, and hotter than Satan's banjo string. This is where the bouncers (good chaps, if not a little too keen on Bolivian marching powder and Special K) would drag their twitching victims.

One particular evening, somebody must have been selling some bloody potent GHB because I had 3 patients lying on the floor of my medic room all completely fucked off their nipples. 2 were completely unconscious, and 1 was twiching every now and then and vomiting.

The problem with GHB is that when mixed with alcohol, it can put you on the floor quicker than Josef Fritzl when the bailiffs come to visit. It also has a nasty habit of knocking off your respirations, especially when combined with diazepam.

Another chap was brought to me by security. This one was conscious, but had pupils like Sophie Ellis-Bextor's face and looked seriously under the influence of Teh Fear (TM).

When he was bundled into my first aid room, he looked around, shouted "lemons and cardboard" and collapsed in respiratory arrest.

One of the problems with this club was the lack of mobile reception. So any ambulance request had to go through the promotor (did I mention he was an American Cunt?) As always, he refused "oh don't worry. They aint that bad."

"No, I need an ambulance." This bloke might die."

"Leave it 10 minutes and see how he's doing."

American Cunt then wanders off to hoover up another party bag of ketamine.

I exchange a look with the security guard. One that plainly says "FUCKCUNTCOCKWANK" We need this bloke out of here. Pronto.

So we grab his arms and legs, and drag him across the dancefloor to the fire exit, where we call an ambulance to the back alley.

Of course, we tell the ambulance crew that he was "just found collapsed here. Honest." He gets rapidly removed to Tommy's, and I go back in to zombie-sit the rest of my little clan.

The end of the night comes and I go home. Just before I leave, the head of security comes over.

"Carrot, word to the wise, don't leave any personal stuff around tonight."

Err...OK, I think. I toddle off with all my stuff under my arms.

The next morning, an "anonymous" tip-off to the police leads to a raid, finding the promoter in his office with (and I quote) "a bag of crack the size of a grapefruit."

He now no longer promotes music.
(, Wed 13 Jul 2011, 11:19, 8 replies)
My boss used to pay me to fuck her daughter.
Only she called it "babysitting." But we all know what she meant
(, Sat 9 Jul 2011, 3:03, 13 replies)
Cat Murder
My first proper job was working as a labourer for my uncle, who is a builder. A few months after I’d started, he went off on holiday for two weeks but he found me some work with one of his mates, Spud. Working with Spud was interesting to say the least, with our working day interspersed with about 8 tea-breaks (whereas with my uncle we’d have one at 10am and then a break for lunch), new methods of doing things (instead of using a chainsaw to fell a small tree, he asked me to climb it and repeatedly jump on one side of it until it bent over enough for him to hand saw through the trunk), and all in all a much more laid back working environment. A little spot of rain? That meant it was time to retreat to the van for a tea-break, regardless of whether or not work was actually being affected. Run out of sand or cement? It didn’t matter, we’d drive for more supplies, but go to a builders merchants 10 miles away rather than the one down the road. It surprised me at how much work Spud actually managed to get, but he blagged it somehow, and if I’m honest I did actually like working for him.

He asked me to do all manner of things during the two weeks (and subsequent times) I worked for him, including driving a JCB and a dump truck even though I had no previous experience of doing so, he allowed me to lay the inner block course of a porch with no level, insisting that ‘the plasterers would level it up’ and of course constantly asking me to go and check out the home owners top drawer. The one time that really sticks in my mind though is when he asked me to cover up the murder of a cat. We were working on an extension on a house, and the owners had two cats on which they doted. We were under strict instructions to not let the cats out of the kitchen at any time, which was a bit of a pain in the arse as they would make a break for freedom as soon as I opened the patio doors which separated the kitchen from the extension we were working on. They escaped 2 or 3 times, but they would come casually strolling back a while later, and thankfully when the owners were still at work. One time however, I noticed that one of the cats was missing.

Spud and I were putting new flooring down , running from the kitchen through to the extension, and of course we had to have the doors open so it ran all the way through. The cats were wandering to and from the garden and not really going off too far, so we thought it safe to carry on as we were. In the afternoon, after our 6th tea-break of the day, we came back from the van to continue work. The first thing Spud had to do was nail down a few floorboards which he’d lifted so that he could get to some radiator pipes. Once done, we carried on laying the flooring. It wasn’t until an hour or so later that I saw one of the cats, come in from the garden, and I remarked that I hadn’t seen the other cat for a long while. Spud went quite pale. I heard him whisper ‘fuck fuck fuck' to himself, and then, still knelt on the floor, he turned his face to look at me.

“You know yesterday when I was emptying the bags of rubbish into the skip? Well when I tipped one of them out, one of the cats fell out. The little bugger had been snooping inside it. I didn’t even realise it was in there.”

“But I’ve seen both the cats today, Spud”, said I, starting to panic just because of the look on Spud’s face.

“Yes, but I emptied a few more earlier, and one definitely felt heavier than the others. Fuck!”

It was at this point I remembered that the skip had been collected during our tea-break. Shit!

“Right, this is what I’m going to do. I’m going to rip up the flooring we’ve done so far, and we’ll shut the doors again and work in the new extension. We’ll say we haven’t been inside the kitchen at all today. Can you do that for me?”.

Before I had time to respond, Spud was already busy with a jemmy, lifting up a good few hours of work. He was actually asking me to cover up the disappearance of the cat, and I knew the owners would find it hard to believe that we hadn’t been in the kitchen at all.

“Oh, FUCK”, I heard Spud shout again. This time he was looking at the radiator which he’d disconnected earlier. “FUUCCCK!”

We sat there wondering what to do. I suggested coming clean but Spud was adamant we couldn’t and told me under no circumstance should I say what had happened. We had about an hour to decide what to do. We downed tools and sat racking our brains, the other cat seemed to be mocking us; rubbing it’s face against my knee as I sat in silence on the floor, thinking about what the owners would say when they got back from work to find their ‘baby’ missing. Spud meanwhile, was visibly sweating. Ten minutes passed and still we couldn’t come to an agreement on what to say. The cat that was mocking us did a feint ‘meow’, and then another. Only it wasn’t coming from his mouth.

“Spud, listen!” I shouted. We both waited again, and there it was, another feint meow.

“It’s a cat ghost!”, Spud exclaimed, now perking up. “Where is the little fucker?”.

It took us about 15 minutes of listening intently to work out where the noise was coming from. Spud grabbed the jemmy and lifted the floorboards under the radiator which he'd disconnected earlier that day. To our enormous relief, the most dusty looking cat I’d ever seen jumped out, looking like a massive mothball. Spud called it a furry twat, and then proceeded to lay flooring like a man possessed. It had been a lucky escape.

Despite this potential dishonesty, I did witness one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen when working with Spud. We were working on a loft conversion and Spud and I went into the loft to feed down a cable that Gary (a young electrician) had installed.
We couldn't find the hole that Gary had made in the ceiling so Spud asked him to stick his finger up through it so we could find it easier. Spud shouted, "hold on Gary, we still can't see it"
Then he asked Gary to put his finger back up through the hole. Gary did, and then recoiled slightly because he didn't like the feel of what was on the other side. That's because Spud had dropped his trousers and pants and had squatted over the hole, with his sphincter hovering ever so close to it. Gary touched his ring that day. It's the hardest I've ever had to try to stop myself howling with laughter, so that Gary never found out.
(, Tue 12 Jul 2011, 14:15, 1 reply)

I used to work as a secretary for the Criminal Department in a firm of Solicitors. The boss would generally dictate random gibberish which I would then type into something suitable. My favourite example is the day he asked me to "write to the CPS and ask the rotten bastards to send us our disclosure".

I duly typed something appropriate:

Dear Sirs

Where's our disclosure, you rotten bastards.

Yours faithfully

Upon reading his mail at the end of the day, he chuckled, signed it and we sent it on.

Apparently he had some rather vexed junior from the CPS on the phone the following morning.
(, Mon 11 Jul 2011, 2:40, Reply)
Drill rig fraud
Worked as a blast hole driller in the mines in Australia for about a decade before regaining my senses and going back to uni. The boss and I go down to the nearest port city to pick up a brand new half-million dollar drill rig (I'm along for the ride simply to drive the thing out of the shipping container and onto the flatbed truck, 'cause the boss barely knows where the start button is). Problem is, the boss and I stop for a few drinks before the 15 hour drive back up to the mine. And a few drinks becomes a hideous shitload of drinks, because neither of us are really looking forward to the drive or being back at the mine. Nonetheless, we eventually stagger out the door and the boss is certain he's still in fit condition to be behind the wheel of a 36 wheel flatbed truck with a 16 tonne drill rig on it, and I'm far too plastered to object. We drive off. The boss knows a 'shortcut' which might avoid the police breathalyzer roadside stops. A shortcut involving a railway underpass. Slightly lower than a 16 tonne drill rig on the back of a flatbed. Drill gets swiped off flatbed with a huge fucking bang, and we grind to a huge jacklegged halt. Fortunately we're so limp from all the alcohol neither of us is so much as bruised. Boss calmly flags down a passing taxi, and the two of us return to the pub, where the boss promptly calls the cops and reports his truck & drill rig have been stolen. Cops turn up to interview us. We're clearly way too shitfaced to have driven the thing away, so thieves it is. Middle of the conversation other cops call in to report the drill and truck have been found lying in the road under a slightly bent railway overpass. The truck is undamaged enough to drive away, so a crane is brought in to tip the drill back up. I'm driven down to the scene by one of the cops and given special dispensation to get in the rig and drive it back onto the truck, despite my legless state, so the road can be cleared. The truck is moved to a side street around the corner and parked. More drinking commences, followed by vague memories of finding a nearby hotel and drinking from the mini-bar. I'm awakened sometime before dawn by the boss retching into the carpet, then demanding I get up. I get up, have a bit of a retch myself, then we take another cab to where the truck is. Boss insists I get in and drive the truck up to the mine "and park the fucker out of sight and don't tell anyone". I somehow manage to do so, despite still being fairly plastered and having to pull over to throw up several more times over the next 15 hours. A couple of days later, the boss shows up. The truck and rig have been reported as stolen again, the insurance company has been convinced the rig was a write off anyway, and have agreed to pay out for a new rig. The boss has me and my workmates replace a few smashed parts on the 'stolen' rig and it's rolled into service. No idea what happened to the truck - he probably sold it or something. Half a fucking million dollars fraud, repeat DUI.. All this was 18 years ago now, and he never got found out.
(, Fri 8 Jul 2011, 23:08, 4 replies)
Food distribution
When I was much younger I had a rather brief stint in a warehouse. The job involved zipping around on 'ride on' elctric pick trucks (think baby fork lift truck but with no roof) and moving crates of canned, glass jar or boxed foods. Oddly enough, this same warehouse also handed tinned pet food, but I digress.

The place had this big computerised warehouse called the 'high bay'. Palelts of goods could be seen stacked what seems like miles up and miles away. Tinned goods goods could be stored for years. Normally you wouldnt go in there as it was all computerized machinery that handled everything. The problem was, the high bay got very hot in the summer, what with the metal skin of the building and no ventilation. The volume of air in there was so great that on hot days it would still be warm the next morning, meaning it got even hotter as the day went on. The more hot days we had, the bigger this cycle got.

As some cans (especially the pet food) arrived from the manufacturer so quickly, they were still hot to touch (literally cooking in their cans). Together, the heat of the high bay and the heat of the cans produced an interesting result - the odd quirk of infrequenly making cans explode, usually causing other cans around them around them to pop too.

As no one usually goes into the computerized warehouse (unless something mechanical/electrical breaks), these pallets can sit around festering for weeks or months. There was even the legend of the pallet that had been in for a year after spunking a load of its cargo down into the depth of the warehouse. They just sit in that high bay, warming up. That is until a computer somewhere decides: 'Hello, Pallet location B-129-a. You are due to come out and be shipped to a customer." Electronics whirr into life, robotic sounds come from the high bay. Within a few minutes the festering pallet of *brandname* stewed steak rolls along the converyor, out of the high bay into the main warehouse.

As the stench makes its presence known, supervisors make a dash for the toilets. Seasoned workers jump in their forklifts and disappear into the racks of the main warehouse. All the permanant workers leg it to the canteen. This leaves us, the agency staff, eyes watering and faces gagging from the offensive odour of this stuff, to realise that the problem is now ours. Just then, no doubt alerted by the cacophony of the permanent staff arriving in the canteen, the manager bounds out of his office and over to our little group.

"Right, get your pick truck," he says to me "load up the pallet and take it out the shed. Stay there, Ill be over in a minute."

Why me? !? :(

The shed, I should conject, was not your common garden vareity, it was what appeared to me as a modern industrial unit that could house a truck and it was cleverly situated as far away from the warehouses as you could get. So off I drove through the yard at the 3mph the pick truck would go, with this festering pallet dripping what can only be described as 'gunge' (I shan't elaborate on that one, trust me) in a path behind me. I opened up the 'shed' and stuck the pallet inside, which is when manager put in an appearence.

I wont bore you with his droning words, but the basic gist of it was simple: I was to don the thin latex gloves he was giving me and strip the pallet down of all the cans. Anything which was broken I was to throw into the skip out back. Anything which was not broken I was to wipe of the gunge, maggots and unidentifiables with the provided rag and stack them on the nice shiny new pallet. The cusomter needed their order, and it could be 30 cans short if need be.

Well now I know why i was off in "the shed" where no one ever went. If any food standards or any other H&S such oversight people turned up, what I was doing was well out of sight. It was one of the lowest points of my life. No doubt a breach of a multitude of food hygene and H&S laws. Just me, my jeans, my tshirt and two latex gloves and the rancid, petrid task before me.

I did it. I puked a few times. I came close to cutting myself on a rancid can once, but thankfully it was just a close shave.

Once I was finsihed, I scrubbed *a lot* with the anti bac soap in the loos and theh let the manager know i was finished.

"Great, good work," he says unconvincingly, "The pallet from below that last one is already out, go take care of it."

So this is how I ended up, back in 'the shed' with a pallet full of boxes of pasta, stripping it down and wiping off the gunge that had dripped from the pallet of tins (that had been stored above it).

So next time you pick up a can (or any box of foodstuffs for that matter) and you see the label has got wet and dried, or has this dark stain on it that you cannot identify - its not from some random in a warehouse somewhere spilling his drink. Its not dried coca-cola. Its the gunge from rotten food (or rotten pet food), maggots and flies fucking that some agency worker has had to wipe off in a nondescript warehouse somewhere.

Enjoy your dinner
(, Fri 8 Jul 2011, 21:58, 3 replies)

A company I worked at had big night out. A Treasure Hunt through the streets of Croydon followed by a quiz at the final pub in the hunt.

The treasure hunt was a series of clues, each clue leading to another pub where you had to find the next clue. On the way there was a series of challenges that you had to complete, a copy of a certain newspaper dated the day BEFORE the hunt, the most intricate or amusing model built out of McDonalds drinking straws etc, etc.

To say my Boss was competitive would be putting it mildly. He wanted to win this and win this big. So he turned to me.

"You know that week you're having off next month. The week you won't be paid for because you're a contractor?" he asked "Well how would you like to get paid for that week?"

"Err - whatever you want, I'm game" I replied.

"Lee from marketing is setting the quiz and the hunt. Find me those fucking questions, and the route, and we're golden..."

So I waited until everyone went home - not unusual as I rarely left work until 7 or 8pm - and wandered up to where Lee worked and Ghosted his hard drive. (That means I took an exact copy of his system). Toddled off by to IT and booted his drive on a machine that wasn't connected to the network, logged in as local admin and then....

Ferreted through his documents until I had the route, the quiz, the challenges - the lot.

(Aside - I could have just logged into his computer, remotely or locally, as admin and found the info - but that leaves *traces*. Mama Legless didn't raise no fools. Apart form my younger brother but we won't go there just now...)

So, night of Treasure Hunt arrives and our team were roaring around the circuit. We already had a copy of the previous days Gaurdian, we'd pre-built, from McDonalds straws, a magnificent peep-hole bra that Sally, the token girl from IT, wore and we knew the answer to every single question in the upcoming quiz. Things were looking good.

Then, in the penultimate pub before the quiz, we ran into the marketing team. They were looking good, looking confident, but their McDonalds straw creation was waaay better than ours. It was a, perfect, desk-sized model of giraffe. Tightly woven, perfectly scaled, it made our effort look like something produced by pre-pubescent kids.

So I did what any contractor who wanted a paid week off would do. I took one for the team. Boss engaged them in conversation. I leaned back against the bar and flicked my lighter and.....

It went up surprisingly well. And went down in a melting pile of plastic even better. Job done, we legged it the final pub followed by marketing screaming


We won.

Paid week off vs morals?

Week off wins

(, Thu 7 Jul 2011, 13:39, 37 replies)
Shitting in odd places
If you're caught short on a remote hilltop site invariably you've got to make do with what's on hand - it's not unusual to find at least one roll of toilet paper in workie van.

If you're installing radio kit, there's usually loads of boxes - so the fashion at the time would be to shit in a box which was empty and shut it back up (and obviously dispose of it later).

A mate did a job for one of the mobile operators in Ghana, and told me that the ops manager had to send out an email telling all the field staff not to shit in any of the boxes, as when they came back to the warehouse to be stamped flat, the local workers were stamping shit everywhere. Not so much dodgy as just weird.
(, Fri 8 Jul 2011, 12:51, 1 reply)
I worked at McDonald's
For about 2 weeks of my gap year between 6th Form and going to Uni. The boss asked me to wank into the shakes to make them 'thick-shakes', so I put my headphones on and set about myself, and then when I opened my eyes I found out that my Mum had walked in and left a big mac on the side.
(, Tue 12 Jul 2011, 10:46, 1 reply)
I can't say no.
Only yesterday the bastard made me sit in front of my mac at work and wank while he showed me porn and snorted coke.
Self-employment sucks.
(, Fri 8 Jul 2011, 0:29, Reply)
I used to work in a printing company that only did cookbooks.
You'd be surprised how many printers wank into the ink used for the soup recipes.
(, Fri 8 Jul 2011, 11:38, 2 replies)
Inspired decision
Me mates and I enjoy a bit of steampunk engineering, and most of the time we use one of our garages. This is fine since we usually tinker about making wee clockwork rodents. Occasionally we'll go for something a bit more adventurous such as doing contract work doing up cars and motorbikes with superfluous pipes, lenses, and a bit of a spraypaint job. It's bloody good fun, and we're getting pretty adept at "salvaging" scrap piping from construction sites at night.

Now for a quick aside; I used to work in the Lifescan packaging plant up in Inverness, and there was this one bloke who told me a story about a time of his at a music festival years earlier. He was on MASSIVE DRUGS when he starts hearing screams coming from one end of the campsite. The screams keep getting closer so he pops his head out to see what's happening, and to his horror there's a man on a fucking five foot tall, hydraulic spider-leg mech. My workmate looks up at the goggle-wearing pilot of this magnificent beast and promptly shits himself. At this, the pilot bends over and leers right in me mate's face, then buggers off again.

So, back to the garage; remembering this story, I wanted to try and make something similar myself. A quick look at our supplies told us that it'd be nigh impossible to pull off an eight, or even a six legged machine, so we drafted a plan for what basically looked like a metal plated Indian elephant. The way we managed to do it was by having the pilot in the front with the huge engine behind him. This way we only had to power the back legs. The pilot would not only have to manipulate the engine-powered legs but would also need to manually operate the unpowered front legs in time so as to not fall over.

Over about two years we managed to get it to a state where we reckoned we could fire it up for a quick test-run. The best place for this in Inverness was Bught Park, but we hadn't counted on the circus being around.

Since we were quite a shy bunch - not too surprising for a bunch of fringe geeks - we decided to do our test at night. Since the park is fairly big we were pretty confident that we wouldn't wake anyone, but like I said, we hadn't counted on the circus. So when we started the thing up it made a hell-shattering racket that woke up the circus workers, who being as they are, got pissed off immediately. They started throwing things at us, but I, the pilot, realised that I couldn't shut down my damn machine. The circusians eventually got so bonkers - they couldn't hear our protestations over the noise - that they used their fucking cannons to fire things at us. One by one, my friends ran away or were knocked out, but I was stuck. Eventually the nuts had run out of inanimate objects to fire and started shooting their goddamn midgets. One hit the midsection of the mech, and another hit just behind the front legs. My beautiful, awful elephant was fucked and fell over.

It was at this point that I realised the boiler in the engine might over-heat due to the vent being bent and blocking off escaping steam. It might over-heat to the extent that it would explode. It was also at this point that I noticed that the midgets (or dwarfs) we holding fucking spears even as they flew at me. One of the little shits was even dressed as a cunting bear, and I now knew I either had to dodge ewok or fix.

Please kill me
(, Thu 14 Jul 2011, 6:39, 2 replies)
We weren't getting the advertising revenue we needed to keep things ticking over
So to top up the accounts, my boss, Rob, got us to trick people into admitting criminal activities that either they or their employers were involved in at work.

We plan on blackmailing the worst offenders.

(, Wed 13 Jul 2011, 21:16, 1 reply)
OTMSS and why I cant ever eat a Terrys chocolate orange
Not quite my boss, but as they are clients and pay bills, could be reasonably construed as being such; albeit indirectly.

Some years ago when I was engaged in cattle work I was called upon to regularly certify cattle as being eligible for the (lucrative for the farmer) Over Thirty Months Slaughter Scheme. This involved making sure the identification of the animal matched all the available data, so the animal could be slaughtered and compensation paid.

In most cases this was very straightforward and there were no significant problems. However; there is always one. The "one" was a farmer in the southern shires of the UK who owned a large number of cattle. By large I mean in excess of 10,000. This particular meat-baron is (or was) responsible for a lot of the meat on the shelves of one particular supermarket.

His farming practices were usually OK... ish. His stock raising strategy consisted of buying cheap stock of poor quality and feeding them food waste. This food waste varied markedly and one week could be biscuits and another week could be baked bean waste. It was not uncommon for orange peel to be fed and the smell of this peel coupled with the cow-shit gave the location an odour which was slightly nauseous and is the reason I cant ever go near Terry's chocolate oranges.

I digress. Whilst the feeding and stock raising practices were questionable, the business practices were a little more so. On arriving on site one afternoon. I was asked to certify 2 cattle for the OTMSS (thus securing some cash the easy way - from the government). The 2 cattle in front of me were a) too young, b) the wrong breed and c) had the wrong ear tags for the paperwork. I duly informed the stockman of this and he said "they dont care about the age or the breed and by the time they get to the slaughterhouse the ear tags will match, dont you worry". He had only acquired them from 2 dead cattle (no payment for those and there were lots on his farm) and was trying to pass the 2 beasts in front of me as "ringers". I told him I was not signing such a dodgy document, got in my car and drove off. They got over it quickly and I went back plenty of times.

That was about the dodgiest they got but it wasnt good. Now you might think I was being a bit jobsworth but I was actually protecting the taxpayer from being fleeced by a greedy businessman.
(, Mon 11 Jul 2011, 22:53, Reply)
H&S? I shit em
My mate was on a job in (african_republic - Ghana or Ivory Coast, can't remeber which), driving out to one of the bigger masts, when he sees something falling off the mast from a distance - no way he can make out what it is, and annoying in that it's going to be a serious headache if it damages anything on it's way down.

So he gets to the enclosure and asks the local crew what fell off the mast - no-one is admitting to anything - so he has a look around the surrounding area to see what the deal is. What he finds is one of the local riggers, having fallen fifty odd meters into the dirt, dragged off and fucked into the bushes and covered up with leaves / soil. No harnesses for those lads, just some rope and a pair of flip flops.

On the same project; copper theft was a serious problem, so some locations would have security guards left overnight if job materials were to be left on site. The contractors come back the following day, no security guard - they eventually find him in his tent, macheted into pieces, and "stacked with his fucking head on the top of it". No copper left on site.

Dodginess : the vendor or operator doesn't want to know any of this as long as the job gets done.
(, Fri 8 Jul 2011, 19:35, 2 replies)
For a few years, I was the graphic design department for a small printing company.
One of the more challenging jobs had a print run of exactly one.
I was required to make a copy of someone's 'phone bill with every instance of a particular number expunged.
I felt the moral implications of such a commission were the boss's problem since he accepted the job; he professed to be a religious man, I never have.
I enjoyed the challenge, the client's wife was none the wiser, the client's liaison remained undiscovered and the company got paid.
Everybody's happy.
(, Fri 8 Jul 2011, 1:03, Reply)
Web filters
I set up a filtering web proxy at work to stop the oiks from watching porn and gambling and what not. I asked my assistant to test it and see if he could through. 3 hours of hacking away and he reported it was working extremely well, no dodgy sites were seen.

When he went for lunch I printed the list of dog porn sites he'd been trying to get at and left it on my bosses desk as a 'report' of what he'd been looking at on the internet. Happy days.
(, Thu 7 Jul 2011, 19:57, 2 replies)
Deputy head chef at a gastropub I worked at in my uni days.
We will call him Bob. Bob was my boss. (I was a potwasher. I had to call the cockroaches 'sir'.)
Bob was a complete and total mentalist.
The head waitress had been ticking him off. So he got a fish head and put it in his mouth.

And then he walked up to her, mouth still shut, and went 'BLEARGH', alien xenomorph style, fish head just poking out of his mouth.

I realise how unbelievable this story sounds. I really, really wish I'd made it up.
(, Thu 14 Jul 2011, 15:33, 1 reply)
Accidental Credit Card Theft
During my one year working holiday in Australia I had many odd jobs. This particular one came over the tannoy of the hostel I was staying at:
20 people needed for data entry. 12 hr shifts, $12 p/hr.

So about six of us arrived at 10pm in some office space hired in a shopping centre. We were told that there had been a computer error for a major credit card company and, for some convoluted reason that made sense at the time, a "test" charge of $299.99 needed to be taken from each account enabling the credit card company to identify which accounts had been affected.

The guy sat us all down in front of our own credit terminals and hundreds of credit card details and showed us the "test" procedure. After an hour he fucked off and left us there. We worked diligently all through the night and were pleased when he returned at 9am and said that we could leave early as we had worked so hard and to be back for the same time in the evening.
It was only when we got a phone call from some of our friends, who were due to start at 10am for the day shift, asking why they had been told not to come in that we became suspicious.
A couple of friends went back to the offices(less than hour after we had left) and found no trace of the guy or the equipment. They reported it and were later informed that the guy was suspected of being in hiding in South Africa, with MILLIONS of $$! that we had conscientiously and under no supervision stolen for him.
(, Tue 12 Jul 2011, 17:05, 2 replies)
invoices on photoshop to match the ammount we'd charged the client when they asked for a proof of our equipment hire costs.
(, Sun 10 Jul 2011, 13:52, Reply)
When I was interviewed I said I was passionate about the work and looked forward to meeting the challenges.
When actually I just took it to be able to pay my bills and get pissed at weekends.
(, Thu 14 Jul 2011, 12:08, 6 replies)
I can't believe I didn't think of this earlier
I have worked in insurance for almost three years. Started part time to pay my way through my degree and went full time to save for my Masters, and a couple of weeks ago walked out on the job.

The company I worked for is one of the biggest insurers in the UK. As far as call centre work it's one of the better ones but the phrase 'Call centres are where the soul goes to die' still applies.

Now the company I worked for decided it wanted lots more car insurance customers so put out a huge marketing campaign with big discounts. Previously our clients had mainly been middle-aged, full no claims careful sorts. Now we had masses of freshly passed teenagers and serial car crashers.
'Oh Noes!' The big wigs go. Everyone is claiming on their cheap policies and we are losing money. Their solution? Something called a 'targeted renewal'. It basically means that the IT team go into certain policies and change the discount code. This four digit number changes the rating on the policy and dials it way up so as soon as the renewal gets generated the price is massive. Customer says 'Eff off I'm not paying that.' and the company gets rid of a customer it doesn't want.

This I hated with a passion because whenever you make a change on a policy it generates the standard 'Thank you for your recent request to change your policy...' letter. The IT team inevitably forgot to stop all the letters so I would have lovely people calling up asking why their policy has changed when they hadn't done anything. A very difficult thing to explain when you refuse to lie.

Another side effect was if you change a policy very close to the end of the year it stops the automatic renewal. So say you have 4 policies with us. They all renew automatically and have done for the ten or so years you have been with us. You are happy with this arrangement and the service you receive. We'll call this person Mr A who I had the pleasure of speaking to. One of his cars had the dreaded 'targeted renewal'. He was lucky in that it only went up to £400 (and I have seen much higher). His automatic renewal gets stopped and a letter is sent saying he must contact us. His problem? He is in India for 3 months while this is happening. Mr A returns from India to find his car insurance has lapsed. It's too long to accept the £400 quote so new quote it is. I feel for the guy and hunt for every discount I can give him. The price the computer gives me? Over £2000 now (once again, not that unusual).
Have you ever tried to argue with someone when you completely agree with them? It's not easy. I went to every manager I could and called anyone I could think of to try get this £400 price. Got told no as he had fair warning with the letter (which he had no chance of receiving in time). My argument of 'He's auto renewed for years and it's our fault it didn't go through.' was largely ignored.

I just wanted to scream at the guy to take his cars and leave this company. I have seen the opposite of this where people blatantly ignore their renewals or forget to tell us about their 3 speeding tickets. I have no problems being firm with someone when they are in the wrong. I struggle when an innocent person gets taken advantage of over a bullshit system error which is the companies fault.

I'm not cut out for insurance but trust me when I say there are call centre workers who are desperate to help you. I used to be one of them but am thankful every day I made it out of there, finished my degree and am now starting my Masters.

(, Tue 12 Jul 2011, 18:09, 8 replies)
A big supermarket chain..
with the first letter of the name between S and U in the alphabet.. and a much younger Scythesmith working there as an underpaid and overworked supervisor. Not much changes in retail apart from me not working there any more! :)

Anyhoo, two little stories I remember.. ~~wavy lines of nostalgia~~

The first when I was a Saturday kid, on the checkouts. Having been brought up to be honest, and thinking it to be the best policy, when I found twenty quid on the floor one day I innocently handed it in.. Bearing in mind that was nearly two weeks wages for me at the time in the late Eighties. A week later I enquired if anyone had collected it, and if I would be getting it back for being honest, to be told it had 'gone into the staff fund' and that was that. I never did find any more cash after that but if I had you can bet I wouldn't have handed it in. I worked there for years after that incident and not once did we ever get anything from the 'staff fund'. Bollocks.

The second story is from a retail training day for said store, where supervisors polished up their management skills.
We were asked what we would do if, for example, there was a problem in the production of doughnuts in the bakery, and some metal shavings got into the mix and we knew about it before they went on sale.
Like most of my colleagues, I said that I would remove them from sale, check the bakery equipment over and make more doughnuts when it was safe to do so and contact another store for stock in the meantime.

Wrong answer.

Company policy at the time was to leave things as they were, put the knowingly contaminated food on sale and wait for complaints!

...Needless to say I'm always a bit curious to know how many food scares that involve recalls by the manufacturer were already expected by the company and they were also waiting for a complaint!

Cynical me?
(, Mon 11 Jul 2011, 12:24, 6 replies)

This question is now closed.

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