Friday, January 29, 2010

Flashback Friday: You're fired! (almost)

In honor of my being late yesterday to my first day of training, today's Flashback Friday features other stupid, stupid things I've done on the job.

In the summer of 2000, I worked a bunch of temp jobs after I got back from Japan. My very first one was filling in for a receptionist at some kind of blue-collar company. They taught me how to use the phones and answering them was my main task. The very first call that came in was from one of the bosses, who was off-site at the time. He called, I asked him to hold, and then I HUNG UP ON HIM. I was so flustered I didn't know what I was doing. Luckily, everyone in the office kind of laughed about it (well, at me) and the boss just called right back.

Also in the summer of 2000, at a totally different temp job, I made friends with my office mate on my first day there. She was a regular high-up worker but her office was big so they stuck me in a corner of it. We chatted a lot and really connected over the fact that I was Mormon. She was very curious about my religion and asked me lots of questions about it. I was excited because it seemed like she hadn't had a lot of respect for Mormons before, but after getting to know me, maybe she had a little more. Then one day, her keyboard tray broke. I was just outside of her office at the time but I could hear what was going on. I was horrified to overhear her claim to a co-worker that I must have broken it somehow. It was mortifying. She was never nice to me again and I didn't know how to bring up the situation without making everything worse. Looking back, I wish I'd stood up for myself but at the time it didn't seem possible. She probably still hates Mormons, too.

In Moscow in 2002, I took over as the editor of the embassy newsletter from a lady who was leaving post. I arranged to meet with her near her apartment in the south of the city to talk about the details of the job. As I was getting ready to leave the house, I realized I had nothing to wear. Seriously, nothing. And we had one of those Euro washers that takes 3 hours to run a cycle so there was nothing I could do about it right then. So I grabbed this ugly t-shirt dress that I don't even know why I had and put it on. Never mind that nobody wears t-shirt dresses in Moscow and it was summer so I couldn't exactly cover it up with a long coat. Oh, and I hadn't shaved my legs in a while. Yeah. Then I took the metro to our meeting spot but when I got off at the right stop, for the life of me I couldn't find the pedestrian underpass that would get me to the right side of the street where the meeting was. The underpass system in Moscow is confusing sometimes and I crossed and re-crossed different combinations of streets until I finally got to the meeting, late, sweating, awkward, flustered, with hairy legs, and wearing a t-shirt dress. Ugh. Luckily, it all went better from there.

Shall I inflict more stories on you or are you cringing enough? I know I am. What are your best stories?


Brittany Cornett said...

I have never been fired, even though I made my share of mistakes at the office. One lady at Big Brothers Big Sisters strikes a chord. When I returned from maternity leave I didnt know what was going on with her match so I sent her a nice email. The lady apparently was quite involved with BBBS while I was away and had a bad disagreement with a coworker forwarded my email to all the national CEO's and CFO's and told them I was clueless and other insults. I thankfully didnt get fired for it but I was quite embarrased.
Congrats at the stay at home job I just read your other blogs! My husbands family is more of the kind of people who expect moms to work and I had to ask myself the same thing when I quit my job. Am I worth my husband supporting me without me contributing? I plan to work again because I really enjoy the social aspect but I am glad I made this step to stay at home with my kids and focus on myself, the kids and the home in that order.

Liz Johnson said...

Hahahahahaha!!!! That is so awesome.

I have done all sorts of stupid things at work. When I was working at the orphanage in Romania, I almost got fired for tattling on a nurse there who hit the kids. I almost got deported, actually. So that was fun. I learned really quick to keep my mouth shut.

Suzanne Bubnash said...

I once learned the hard way that the customer is always right. Even when they steal stuff right under your nose.

I was supervisor at the balloon/gift stand at Magic Mountain and on weekends we could be swamped with thousands of people all wanting a last minute souvenir before exiting the park.

A group was crowded around the stand looking at stuffed animals and in the next moment they were gone and so were the animals. Neither me or other employees actually saw them take the stuff but I sent someone to stop them at the gate.

They protested & I caught heck & was sure I was going to be fired. It didn't happen but management said offending a customer like that was verboten, even when guilty!

Amanda said...

My first day of work at a fancy bank I accidentally turned off the main light switch with my elbow. This wouldn't have been a problem except that the light system took a while to heat back up, so everyone had to work in the dark for like 5 minutes. Oh, and I insulted one of my bosses (I was trying to make a joke) and got a serious talking to and almost got fired. But didn't.

Tyler's mom worked full time his whole life and I think he thinks my (most times) lack of interest in getting an outside job completely perplexing.

Crys said...

What, no t-shirt dress picture?


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