b3ta.com qotw
You are not logged in. Login or Signup
Home » Question of the Week » Dodgy work ethics » Post 1273065 | Search
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

« Go Back

Crappy job meets surly teenager
My first job was in a little coffee house in the remote English village I lived at the time (think 'League of Gentlemen' but with prettier flowers). The problem with being a teenager in need of cash was there was only two options in the village. Either the co-op, who would only hire 18+ so they could sell booze (inevitably to their underage classmates) or this coffee house. As I was only 17 it was lattes and toasted tea cakes for me.

Although I feel I could answer this qotw on the uniforms alone (candy pink and white striped shirt and apron complete with frilly detail) it was more the ethics of the boss which annoyed me. He was no devil, he didn't poison anyone (to my knowledge) and there were no spectacular thefts. The problem with him was he knew us tween waitresses had nowhere else to go. We were paid off the books and recieved a whopping £2.10 an hour, cash in hand, for our troubles. The only other staff (apart from the cook who was quite pleasant) were all in their 60's topping up their pensions.

Aside from the normal chronic understaffing and rubbish pay his personal slights against me were

-After cutting my thumb pretty spectacularly open on a rusty nail in the outdoor toilets I was refused the chance to nip across the road to the doctors surgery to get it taped up (and perhaps a quick tetanus shot). After reasoning that customers may be suspicious of their pink cappuccinos I was begrudgingly offered a plaster and told to wash the dishes 'one-handed' in the back as the wound was 'unsightly'.

-It seems I'd made an enemy as pot washing became a more regular duty for me (as well as still serving front of house). After a few days I woke to find I had developed zombie hands. Whatever soviet industrial detergent they had provided me was stripping the top layers of skin off. It was like I'd covered my hands in PVA glue and it was slowly peeling off. It wasn't painful, just really icky. Works response? "You can't prove it was our stuff that caused it."

-I was serving a table with two very lovely women one day. One woman had very severe learning difficulties but they seemed pleasant enough. While reaching over to serve a pot of tea this woman took a liking to my bracelet, reached out and snatched my wrist towards her. This sent a near scalding pot of tea over my arm. I was actually surprised by my employers response of soaking my arm in cold water and giving me an hour for the pain to subside (I was thankfully not injured, just sore). I was less pleased to find I had been docked that hours pay.

Now I am not afraid of hard work. I tried damn hard at that job and as a timid teenager took a lot of crap for it. I just wanted fair pay and to feel my efforts were appreciated. I then learned that the UK were bringing in minimum wage for 16-17 year-olds *applause and woots*. When did this come in I hear you shout? October 1st, 2004.....my 18th birthday. Now I've never really been one for revenge when quitting a job. I think the majority of 'hilarious' leaving work pranks only hurt your colleagues. My revenge was to print out a list of what the tweens were entitled to, the pay levels, hourly limits, phone numbers for support and the detail that the cash in hand method was because the boss didn't want all that pesky 'tax' bother. Every waitress knew what they should be paid and how to enforce it.

The icing on the cake for me was calling in the morning of my last shift and having roughly the following conversation;

'Hi I'm afraid I can't make it in today.'

'Well why not? Your shift starts in ten minutes! Blah blah useless kids blah blah not worth trouble blah blah I hate puppies and smiles.'

'Ermm.....I'm in Brighton. Take care!'

What I got up to in Brighton was a weekend with my favorite band at the time (Susperia if you're interested and yes, I have grown out of that very angry kind of music) and getting quite friendly with the bassist (minds out the gutter please, no naughtiness happened).

No apologies for lack of funnies. I think this was my best attempt at class and dignity my New Rock-clad younger self could muster.
(, Sun 10 Jul 2011, 0:29, Reply)

« Go Back

Pages: Popular, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1