[Thread Game] Stories from Work

So, I thought about just posting in the other thread, but decided to instead make an entire new thread for stories from work. I have a number of weird or funny stories from my time as a call center tech.

Anyone else with stories to tell, please add them here if you like. Please be careful about posting identifiable info for any current jobs. ;)

Oh my god, I have so many stories from working in a call center. I did 8 years of tech support. I'm about to go home, so may try to type a few out later.

Just as a teaser and to jog my memory later, I will leave these here:
Broken Bubble
Shotgun English Lady
Tornado
Moo

I may have told some of those stories before, but if anyone wants to hear them again, I will more than happily tell them.
For my first story, I am going to tell the one from the above quote that I referred to as "Moo."

This was when I was on the team that supported a well-known east coast U.S. grocery chain. Their mascot is a large cat.

Around the time I was working for them, their stores were run by text-based interfaces still. As support, we were able to dial into them and it would not notify the people at the stores in any way that someone was watching them. We could also do direct input as if we were using the keyboard. Both are important, remember them for later.

Now we were contractually obligated to support these stores all the time, because there were a few that were 24-hour. So we had a couple of guys that worked 3rd shift. One of them, was a guy named Mike. Now Mike had worked for the company for quite a while and long ago lost his last fuck to give. So now, he was out mostly to do as little work as he could get away with and to enjoy himself as much as possible. He wasn't a bad worker, per se, just fairly lazy. I happened to work second shift, so interacted with Mike quite a bit.

One of the problems we regularly had at night with the stores was that one of the closing reports would freeze while processing. All the stores had to do was go to the computer that was running the report and hit CTRL+D. That would unstick it and it would continue. We got calls for that multiple times per night and it was a fairly quick fix, but we still had to log the call, etc. Kinda a pain in the ass, but it got to be so it was routine.

Mike hated those calls. They were boring. So, he decided to have a little fun. He would wait until the call volume was ticking down, but if he got a store calling in late with that stuck report, he would tell them that believe it or not, these new systems are pretty advanced. They have all sorts of cool features like advanced intelligence and voice recognition. In fact, the computer was probably tired and feeling unappreciated from long days of not being treated very nicely. All the store would have to do is apologize to the computer.

Now, most people balked at this. They didn't believe it would work. So Mike would take his time to convince them. Eventually, he'd get someone to tell the computer they were sorry. Well, darn it, wouldn't you know it, nothing would happen. Mike would then tell them that the computer seems to be feeling especially put upon, but DON'T WORRY! We planned for this and programmed a backdoor. All you would have to do is Moo like a cow and the computer will be forced to finish processing the report. Well, while all this was going on, he had dialed into their system and just sat there waiting. As soon as he got them to moo, he hit CTRL+D and the report would go through, much to the astonishment of many people.

My guess is that years later, long after Mike and I had both left that team, there were still stores that would have the report hang and the manager would ask, "Well, have you tried Mooing yet?"
 
I know I post a lot about my current workplace, but here I'm going to tell a story I think I might have told before, at least in parts, about a previous job I (briefly) had.

In the mid-naughties, when I was technically still in grad school but was happily neglecting my studies to take translation and interpretation cases, I started working for a friend and former colleague of my father's. Mr. Friend was in the financial industry, he held an executive position for the Taiwan branch of a multinational financial institution, which I will refer to as Big Finance Group, or BFG. Upon learning that I was in the translation and interpretation field, he started first giving me cases on a freelance basis, but then later on hired me as a part-time employee for BFG Taiwan Branch. I would do translation and interpretation for them, and also tutor some of their employees in English. Because of his relationship with my dad, and because I think he wanted to bring me in on a full-time basis after I finished grad school, he paid me very well for my time during this period.

Then BFG announced that they were opening a new venture in Taiwan, one that would offer a wider range of financial services. It was a big deal at the time. Furthermore, BFG announced that the chairman and CEO of BFG's New Company would be Mr. Friend. So, that was great news for him and potentially for me, because I basically already had one foot in the door, given that Mr. Friend liked me.

I was in attendance at the opening ceremony of New Company, because a lot of VIPs from BFG's various international headquarters were in attendance, so they needed me there as an interpreter. I mostly followed Mr. Friend around and interpreted for him, and he introduced me to plenty of big shots. Then we had lunch, and it turns out they'd arranged for a special performance during lunch, in which a troupe of acrobats came in and did a special show. One part of the show involved one of the acrobats climbing up a long pole, about 2 or 3 stories tall, which would symbolize the fortunes of the company rising up into the heavens.

Well, the pole collapsed, the performer fell down onto the concrete ground, the performance was halted, an ambulance was called, and Mr. Friend's expression would best be described as "vexed" for the remainder of lunch. Not just because someone got hurt on opening day, but also because of the inauspicious symbolism of the guy falling during the part of the performance that was supposed to represent the company's rising fortunes.

Well, as it turned out, apparently the heavens take symbolism seriously, because things immediately started going wrong, beginning with me. As I mentioned, I was just a grad student at the time, so I was relatively inexperienced at how professional interpreters operate. After the ceremony, I posted a detailed account on my Livejournal, including a description of what had happened at the performance, as well as some other slightly-less-than-flattering stories about the various people I'd met that day. The opening ceremony had occurred on a Friday, I'd posted my journal entry on Friday evening, and at 8am the next day (ie Saturday morning) Mr. Friend called me. He said that the folks at BFG had found my Livejournal post within 12 hours of me posting it, and were miffed about it. Not just about the various unflattering things I posted, which naturally they weren't thrilled about, but mostly because they wanted all announcements and publicity to go through their official channels, not through some random interpreter's blog. Mr. Friend regretfully said that he'd have to fire me, and that he'd like me to delete the journal entry, and that hopefully I'd learn from this experience. Which I did.

But then things started going wrong further for New Company. Apparently they were counting on having a translator on staff in their early days, so my abrupt firing led to some delays in communications and publications. I don't know too many details about this part, it was mostly relayed to me a few years later when I ran into Mr. Friend again, but basically he said that due to these delays, New Company was often one step behind its competitors in terms of offering certain services or products. And in a field as competitive as finance, once someone else gets a head start over you it can be hard to catch up. So, basically, business at New Company wasn't great.

But wait there's more. Remember how I said this story takes place in the mid-naughties? Well guess what, the financial crisis of '07 and '08 hit BFG really hard. I don't want to reveal too many details, but suffice to say BFG has never been the same afterwards. It closed down most (if not all) of its branches and subsidiaries in Taiwan, including New Company. The company had only been in existence for, I dunno, two or three years before it shut down. Nowdays BFG still exists, but its presence in Taiwan is non-existent.

Fortunately, Mr. Friend was able to land on his feet. Thanks to his extensive knowledge and experience in the financial industry, he was able to get another high-level position at another institution, so that's good. I run into him every now and then, at dinners and parties, and I always apologize to him for being a dumbass early on in my interpretation career, and he always tells me it's fine and that he's glad I learned from the experience. But nonetheless, sometimes I think back to that scene of the acrobat falling down from that pole, and connect it to the news I read about BFG suffering from the financial crisis, and I wonder to myself whether there's a connection.
 
So, I used to work at a company that had 1600 radio and television affiliates, and 27 satellite offices.
There were 4 of us on staff as tech support for this huge, sprawled out infrastructure. As you can imagine, we were always busy.

One day, one of my colleagues gets promoted. My boss had invented some middle-middle-management position between him and us, and stuck my colleague in it. So now, there were three of us, and this 'supervisor' and my boss. One day, while he's sitting at his desk chatting (while we were all taking calls and working tickets as fast as we could) I asked if he would mind helping out. "I'm a supervisor now. That's your job" was the reply. :censored:

Shortly thereafter, I found another job, put in my notice, and quit. This was way back when everyone still got paid by check, so I came in two weeks later to get my last check. The HR ladies were asking me if I had gone around and said goodbye to everyone in the department, and I said I hadn't. Then they asked "You haven't said goodbye to <supervisor> yet?"

"Hell no! That little prick is the reason I quit in the first place." I replied.

He was standing right behind me.

And I'm so glad he was.
 
Want me to tell the story of the long time alcoholic old man who I got to find sitting in the prayer position at his bed, dead, the floor around him covered in shit and blood because he had literally shit out his guts as he died? He was bloated and purple and smelled worse than anything I've ever experienced in my life.

How about the day I came upon the scene of a drunk driving accident where I had to go knee deep into a bog to find a torso.

Yeah, these memories suck.
 
Most of you know I am an overnight manager at a North Hollywood hotel.
I think just between myself and Dark Audit we could own this thread.

Tonight's story:
A few years ago I come into work and I'm immediately made aware of a gentleman in a room on the 7th floor (top floor of our highest building) 720. It's passed on to me that he's been acting odd around the hotel. Nothing destructive or suspicious... just odd. But they know his room number so they gave me his details before they head out for the night and leave me in charge.
Well it doesn't take long before I'm notified by security of someone wandering the halls who seems like he doesn't know where he is.
I join them in the building and ask the gentleman some questions. At one point he introduces himself as Meryl Streep, but I eventually get enough information to confirm my suspicion that this might be our guest from 720.
Eventually he snaps out of his daze and gives me some more clear answers. I find out he's an aspiring actor who's come out here temporarily to get some auditions before he has to return to the East Coast. He also hasn't been sleeping well so his doctor has prescribed him with some medication to help him do so, but its his first night on them and it's messing with him. I ask him if he'd like to go to a hospital or see a doctor but he tells me he just wants to get back to his room and get some sleep. He's still not entirely aware of his surroundings but I manage to get him to back to his room and ask him to call me if he needs absolutely anything at all. He says thank you and closes the door.

Skip ahead a few hours and I haven't heard from him. The next shift manager comes on and I'm about to leave. I've wrapped up and am heading to my car when I hear the ambulance sirens.

So according to an eye witness our friend in 720 came out on the balcony that morning, completely naked, and seesawed over the railing and plummeted the 7 stories to the garden below.

The good news is he survived. He was in pretty bad shape but he did live. I heard later that he was not only taking sleeping meds but was also mixing it with other things including alcohol.

While we have had people climb balconies between rooms or even be dangled over a balcony in the past, this guy would be the only plummet from a balcony that I'm aware of in the hotel industry.
 
I meant this as mostly light-hearted stories of crazy/weird things that happened. Everyone can share what they want. Sorry to dredge up bad memories, @Frank

For my next story, I'm going to tell you about Dave. Not our @Dave, of course, a different one. See later on in my job at the call center, I supported a variety of customers. Most of which were retail stores. The likes of Victoria's Secret or Home Depot. This is not a story about those. This is about supporting some fast food places on US Military bases.

The thing to know about this is that usually all of the stores and stuff on military bases are run by the spouses or family of the active-duty military people that are assigned to the base. These are people that may come in or leave with little notice and generally are not ones that wanted to run those stores. The family just needs extra income or the person is bored and there may not be any other jobs available near them. So they wind up managing a fast food shop or a grocery store. They generally are well-meaning, but just not cut out for doing the jobs they wound up having.

Now on to Dave. Dave had been with the company for so long he had become invaluable. He was the only person who knew our software backward and forwards, inside and out. He also hated the company. He would quit every so often only for the company to beg for him to come back and offer him more and more money until he agreed. So if one of the stores we supported messed up their closing to the point that we couldn't fix it, we got to call Dave.

I say we "got" to because listening to Dave was hysterically funny, for us. He would be at home, slightly drunk and watching a basketball game or something when he would pick up the call from us. We'd have to explain the situation and he would then sit in his kitchen with no computer in front of him and talk the customer through straightening things out. He'd get it fixed 100% of the time. He'd also yell at the customer nearly 100% of the time. My favorite was when he was walking one of my callers through a long process to get their end-of-day back on track and he had them navigate to a folder and then he asked for the date on the only file in that folder. "6:15 pm" came the response. Dave's reply was, "THE DATE YOU FUCKING MORON!!" After a bit of stunned silence, the date was given and Dave had them delete the file. After which, the end-of-day went on its merry way and we disconnected from the store.

Dave never got in trouble for anything. He was too valuable to the company and a hero to all of us who wished we could do the same.
 
OK, so from my original list, I have only told "Moo." So, since they are both relatively short, I am going to tell about the Shotgun English lady and Tornado.

First up, is "Tornado."

This was when I first started out as well. I was working support for the grocery store chain I mentioned previously. It was dead. We had zero calls which almost never happened. So, those of us on the desk were talking with each other, watching videos, just generally passing the time. One of my colleague's phones rang and he turned to pick it up. The rest of us paid it no mind and kept talking until he started doing the downward handwave that meant for us to shut up. He had a bit of an intense look on his face.

We shut up and waited for him to finish. Once done, he swiviled around in his chair and said, "There's a tornado a block away and headed towards me, what do I do?"

One of the store managers had called us, IT support, because there was a tornado bearing down on their store. What did they think we would tell them?
- "Ok, pulled up the Tornado protocols here, and it says to try jumping up and down and waiving your arms. That should scare the tornado away. Have you done that yet?"

I get that maybe they wanted us to go in and do an orderly shutdown of their store to try and save data, etc., but a block away is a bit late for that. You are better served to get yourself and others to safety. We can deal with loss of computers and money, but not losses of life.



So, secondly is the person we began referring to as "Shotgun English Lady." This was one of the managers of the fast food places on the military bases I have also mentioned previously. She didn't so much speak English as she knew English words and just randomly selected them to throw together into a sentence. Hence the "Shotgun" aspect. The other problem is, I don't think English was a second language for her. She just was horribly uneducated and so things that made sense to her came out in weird forms.

This made our jobs of trying to figure out just what was actually wrong and how to guide her to fixing it that much more difficult. One of my coworkers got a call from her saying there was an error message on the screen. When trying to figure out which machine it was, so he could dial in and try to find the error, she told him there was no screen. He could only reply, "Then what are you seeing the error on?"

My most memorable interaction with her was when she called in and declared that, "There ain't not no nothin' working up here in this front end!" Guys, Gals, & NB Pals, the rare QUADRUPLE NEGATIVE!! (Edit: turned out 1 register was having a problem which I got corrected in a couple of minutes. After the 15 it took to get the actual problem from her.)
 
Okay, I think the statute of limitations is done on this one.

On December 31st, 1994, I worked my first third shift on New Year's Eve as a "Youth Counselor" (the somewhat laughable term the state of Wisconsin gives to those who work in one of their juvenile correctional facilities, essentially as a "correctional officer" or "prison guard") at Ethan Allen School for Boys at Wales, Wisconsin. Normally, I was ambivalent about New Year's Eve, mostly since I found it a slightly depressing holiday anyways.

I had just started to work third shift at EAS (which has been closed now for over a decade), and had essentially gotten used to the routine of doing things on third shift. What no one told me was that this night was going to be... different.

The outgoing staff, who was the "advanced" for the Draper living unit (aka a "cottage"; essentially the lead staff for the building), told me on his way out that there might be some pounding, some screaming, and if it starts to get out of hand, tell them they're going to lose their canteen privileges for the week.

Famous last words if I ever heard them.

Let me quote for you (with full names redacted) the report I typed up that morning, just so I could wrap my head around what the hell I had just experienced:

The heavy pounding didn't start until 11:30 or so. When it was a few minutes after midnight, I heard glass shatter down North hallway. There was a whole bunch of glass and junk on the floor, and the door glass of rooms 34, 35 and 36 were smashed out. Apparently, Mr. Smith and Mr. Stallings had also managed to break their room door lock (When I did lock checks at 11:00 PM, all doors were secured and double-locked). Smith had a two-inch long deep gash on his right arm, cutting through flesh to the bone. Stallings had attempted to get out of the room but was handcuffed by patrol staff and placed in room 19. Smith was taken off grounds to MHO to have his arm examined around 1:15 PM. When patrol staff came at about 12:15, Mr. Singleton attempted to crawl out his broken-out room window. Singleton, Mr. Hogan, Mr. Clark, Mr. Roberts and Mr. Carroll all were sticking their heads out of their broken windows numerous times during the morning until about 2:30 AM.

At about 1:00 AM, one of the three started yelling that if I walked down the hallways to their room, I was going to have piss thrown on me. A few minutes later, the residents of room 35 claimed that one of their roommates had a cut "on his chest". Another one of the roommates stuck his arm out and the other staff who was with me, YC Biefeld, saw some blood on the arm. We called the supervisors about it, and they said to wait. Meanwhile, the residents of rooms 35 and 36 continued to throw things out of their door windows: soda cans, and (at about 1:45 AM) a cup of what may have been piss. When YC Vopal finally came into the cottage around 2:15 AM, Mr. Singleton and Mr. Hogan finally (apparently) went to sleep. Smith returned at 3:15 AM, and was placed in room 19 with Stallings.

Right now, as it stands (4:00 AM), Stallings and Smith are on Level for damage and disruptive (creating a disturbance?). Singleton and Hogan are also at least on Level I for damage, disruptive and (potentially) attempting to run away. I'm not certain about the residents in room 35, but I believe an investigation should be made into whom actually broke the window and which one of the five made threats to staff. All seven residents participated in some way to the disturbance.
A few notes about the above comments:

  • "High-number Hallway" was the "longer" hallway in the cottage, and actually was the northeast hallway. Three of the cottages (Draper, Bruce and Ferber) were laid out the reverse of the other five cottages "on the hill". Rooms were numbered 30 to 37 on the back side, closest to the booth, and 38 to 43 on the front side, facing the road inside the institution.
  • The junk included, among other things, papers, torn pages from books, bed sheets, clothes, underwear, etc.
  • A couple of these "youth" are now incarcerated at the various adult facilities around the state of Wisconsin.
  • The doors were all made of wood, and the window frames were also made of wood. I won't comment on the veracity of my statement about "checking the doors" at the time. I suspect that the second shift staff didn't do a thorough check of the doors.
  • The patrolman was Mark "Pee-Wee" Peterson, who was at last look a CO at MSDF (and also got into trouble recently over a recording made about supposed threats to an offender). The patrol and security staff were just a tiny bit busy at the time, as two other cottages had started to riot at midnight.
  • MHO = Memorial Hospital of Oconomowoc, which was – at the time – the closest ER to the institution.
  • In case you couldn't figure it out, Draper Cottage was the place where Serious Juvenile Offenders were placed.
  • Mr. Singleton nearly succeeded in escaping, except for the nails and broken pieces of glass still embedded in the doorway.
  • These weren't the only broken windows in the institution; the youth in Andrews Cottage had broken out every single pane of glass in their cottage windows that night. (Keep in mind that this is January, in Wisconsin. No, these children were not the brightest.)
  • The whole thing about a "scratch on his chest"? No, I didn't believe it, either. No, I was NOT going to go down there and find out.
  • Mark Biefeld later became a YC-Advanced (the name for the "lead" in a cottage) in Johnson a few years later, and – after that cottage was closed – became the Youth Work Crew Coordinator. He moved on to the DOC office in Milwaukee before retiring.
  • By the time first shift staff arrived, they were still busy trying to clean up things in Andrews and Juneau Cottages at the time.
  • Trivia: this incident was the first time that OC spray was used on youth at EAS.
  • Thomas Vopal was this big bulky guy who ended up returning to EAS after a short stint away around the turn of the century. He was actually just below me in seniority by the year 2002. He was the scheduled patrolman for mail and bathroom calls that night. I believe he passed away a few years ago.
  • I believe I wrote this on a computer that was in the classroom area; the original printout survived to today, despite getting stained by water from being stored in a cardboard box.
  • Level 1 status was essentially a "security-in-cottage" status. It was used when either there was not enough room in security, the charges against the youth were not significant enough to remove him completely from the cottage, or for an early release from security to free up space in security.
  • When first shift staff arrived at 6:30 AM, I had to get two youth (who had not participated in the disturbance) up from that hallway to make breakfast. They had to walk around some of the debris in the middle of the hall.
  • Right as I was leaving at 6:45, the regularly-assigned staff, Gus Chavez, came in, saw the destruction in the hallway, and just stood there dumbfounded.
So, yeah.

---

EDIT: I'd like to point out that the above happened early in my career. Things didn't get worse from that point onward, but let's just say I've seen some shit.

Literally.
 
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For a while the hotel had a contract with a famous reality TV courtroom show. The show staff would basically scour the dredges of human society and find civil cases that were so ridiculous that real courts didn't want to deal with them. When they flew them to LA for the show they would put them in various hotels in the area. We got the defendants. So that means that all the people that were being sued by other people for really dumb and messed up things were the ones that stayed with us for multiple days. I can assure you they did not disappoint.
We had several issues with these guests. Usually due to their behavior on hotel grounds that was often not appropriate. Smoking in the rooms. Theft of room amenities such as hairdryers and irons. A few of them stood out though.
  • One guy brought his entire family to check in with him. While getting his room key he asked what the price of a ticket to Universal Studios was. I told him the expensive price and he turned to his kids, and with the most southern drawl he said "Guess what kids? We AINT goin' to Universal!"
  • One night we responded to the flooding of a hallway. Isolating the room it was coming from we knocked. After no responses we entered. We found a female guest awake, fully clothed, and sitting in an overfilling bathtub clearly coked out on something.
  • A greasy type guest came to me in the middle of the night and asked me what our policy was on laptops stolen from the rooms. I told him there would be an investigation into the matter. He thanked me and left. 10 minutes later he returned to the desk and, in a fake panic, yelled out "someone stole my laptop!"
 
I have a story about my current company (the translation company), though it's about a coworker who no longer works here. Specifically, it's the details of this post I made in 2016 in the Rant thread:

I posted a long, anonymous rant about something that's happening at work, but it looked like it's still possible to figure out which company and/or organization I'm talking about, so I deleted it and I'm posting the TL;DR instead:

There are ignorant people launching a witch hunt against some folks in my company, and as a result we may lose some of our best workers.
This guy, "Bob", used to work for us as a translator. He was one of the company's first employees back when we were first established in the 90s. His long history with the company coupled with the fact that he's an amazing translator (seriously, I've seen his work, and I will happily admit he's much better than me) meant that the company sometimes bent over backwards to accommodate him. You see, Bob required very precise conditions to work. His workspace had to be almost entirely silent, and he was not to be interrupted in any way when he's working. Furthermore, he didn't like to talk to people verbally, which meant he didn't want to talk to people face to face or over the phone. If you needed him for something, you had to email him or send him a message over our messaging program, and he'd get back to you when he felt like it.

Any deviations from his preferred state of things would lead to Bob getting upset. In the worst case scenarios, he'd end up yelling, like really screaming, at whatever or whoever drew his ire. But the company put up with him because he could really churn out translations at an amazing speed and quality.

Bob got his own office, which was a big deal because everyone else in the company worked out of cubicles, apart from our CEO. Unfortunately, Bob's office shared a wall with our conference room, which meant that if meetings got a bit too animated, he'd barge into the conference room and start yelling. It got to the point where we'd start scheduling meetings for times we knew Bob wouldn't be in. Still, this wasn't always possible, so after one too many meetings got interrupted by an angry Bob, the company paid to soundproof his office. This meant Bob didn't barge into meetings to yell any more, though he would still yell at people elsewhere.

Now, pretty much everyone at the company was warned about Bob soon after joining, and they were told that he's very important to the company because he's a godlike translator, so please just stay out of his way and don't bother him. Pretty much everyone was okay with that, they understood how the company would treasure such a productive employee, and they were happy to keep away from him. Unfortunately, we aren't the only company on this floor of our office building. There are three other organizations on this floor, and we all share amenities such as elevators and bathrooms. One day, Bob headed to the bathroom, and on his way back he found his route blocked by two women from the company next door, who were talking to each other and apparently hadn't noticed him. Well, Bob blew up at them. Someone from our company would know that this is Bob being Bob, and would probably just apologize and scurry away, but these two women had no way of knowing that, and they were also (justifiably, of course) rather upset at suddenly being yelled at by this strange man. So their argument escalated until I'm pretty sure everyone in the building could hear the yelling, and I think I heard some things being thrown, until the two sides were finally separated.

In this modern social media era, pretty much everything that happens will make its way online somehow. Well, the two women went onto Facebook to post about this aggressive man from our company who'd yelled at them for no reason, and included our company's name and a description of Bob. This set off a gleeful witchhunt against our company's employees, with a bunch of people speculating about Bob's name and title, and frequently conflating him with other employees who had nothing to do with him or the argument. In some cases they even dug up outdated info and speculated that Bob was someone who didn't even work here any more. This whole ordeal led to some of our employees getting unduly harrassed, to the point where some of them were considering leaving the company.

In the end, the company gave Bob an ultimatum. He could head over to the company next door and apologize, or we'd have to let him go. He chose the first option, and went over and apparently gave a very sincere apology, in which he acknowledged that he was wrong and that he can be difficult to work with, and said he's sorry for his actions. The two women went on Facebook and posted about Bob apologizing, which apparently mollified the angry mob, and things settled down.

Still, this incident apparently marked the beginning of the end of the company being willing to make such extensive accommodations for Bob. His more outlandish demands, such as no one talking to him, were deemed unrealistic. He left the company around a year later, I believe on fairly good terms, and now Bob the yelling translator exists only in legends, which we sometimes use to scare new employees into behaving themselves.
 
I have a story about my current company (the translation company), though it's about a coworker who no longer works here. Specifically, it's the details of this post I made in 2016 in the Rant thread:



This guy, "Bob", used to work for us as a translator. He was one of the company's first employees back when we were first established in the 90s. His long history with the company coupled with the fact that he's an amazing translator (seriously, I've seen his work, and I will happily admit he's much better than me) meant that the company sometimes bent over backwards to accommodate him. You see, Bob required very precise conditions to work. His workspace had to be almost entirely silent, and he was not to be interrupted in any way when he's working. Furthermore, he didn't like to talk to people verbally, which meant he didn't want to talk to people face to face or over the phone. If you needed him for something, you had to email him or send him a message over our messaging program, and he'd get back to you when he felt like it.

Any deviations from his preferred state of things would lead to Bob getting upset. In the worst case scenarios, he'd end up yelling, like really screaming, at whatever or whoever drew his ire. But the company put up with him because he could really churn out translations at an amazing speed and quality.

Bob got his own office, which was a big deal because everyone else in the company worked out of cubicles, apart from our CEO. Unfortunately, Bob's office shared a wall with our conference room, which meant that if meetings got a bit too animated, he'd barge into the conference room and start yelling. It got to the point where we'd start scheduling meetings for times we knew Bob wouldn't be in. Still, this wasn't always possible, so after one too many meetings got interrupted by an angry Bob, the company paid to soundproof his office. This meant Bob didn't barge into meetings to yell any more, though he would still yell at people elsewhere.

Now, pretty much everyone at the company was warned about Bob soon after joining, and they were told that he's very important to the company because he's a godlike translator, so please just stay out of his way and don't bother him. Pretty much everyone was okay with that, they understood how the company would treasure such a productive employee, and they were happy to keep away from him. Unfortunately, we aren't the only company on this floor of our office building. There are three other organizations on this floor, and we all share amenities such as elevators and bathrooms. One day, Bob headed to the bathroom, and on his way back he found his route blocked by two women from the company next door, who were talking to each other and apparently hadn't noticed him. Well, Bob blew up at them. Someone from our company would know that this is Bob being Bob, and would probably just apologize and scurry away, but these two women had no way of knowing that, and they were also (justifiably, of course) rather upset at suddenly being yelled at by this strange man. So their argument escalated until I'm pretty sure everyone in the building could hear the yelling, and I think I heard some things being thrown, until the two sides were finally separated.

In this modern social media era, pretty much everything that happens will make its way online somehow. Well, the two women went onto Facebook to post about this aggressive man from our company who'd yelled at them for no reason, and included our company's name and a description of Bob. This set off a gleeful witchhunt against our company's employees, with a bunch of people speculating about Bob's name and title, and frequently conflating him with other employees who had nothing to do with him or the argument. In some cases they even dug up outdated info and speculated that Bob was someone who didn't even work here any more. This whole ordeal led to some of our employees getting unduly harrassed, to the point where some of them were considering leaving the company.

In the end, the company gave Bob an ultimatum. He could head over to the company next door and apologize, or we'd have to let him go. He chose the first option, and went over and apparently gave a very sincere apology, in which he acknowledged that he was wrong and that he can be difficult to work with, and said he's sorry for his actions. The two women went on Facebook and posted about Bob apologizing, which apparently mollified the angry mob, and things settled down.

Still, this incident apparently marked the beginning of the end of the company being willing to make such extensive accommodations for Bob. His more outlandish demands, such as no one talking to him, were deemed unrealistic. He left the company around a year later, I believe on fairly good terms, and now Bob the yelling translator exists only in legends, which we sometimes use to scare new employees into behaving themselves.
Knowing a company will accommodate that kind of hostile work environment is rather alarming.
 
Knowing a company will accommodate that kind of hostile work environment is rather alarming.
I definitely get what you mean, but well... I guess he didn't yell that much. Like once every few months or so? Basically when we heard Bob's voice we'd all just go, "Yep, there goes Bob again." I don't think anyone in the company ever contemplated leaving due to Bob.
 
Knowing a company will accommodate that kind of hostile work environment is rather alarming.
You mean because they stopped trying to give this high functioning autistic person the support and work environment he needed to be a valuable member of society and really make a difference?

Sure, one might think Bob's just a dickhead, but reading it like that, I'm...pretty sure the issues stemmed from him being non-normie. I have a colleague who....well, I've never known him to yell, but that's because he actually *does* still have the only Windows XP PC in the building, and he's the only one who got to take his old desk chair with him when we moved buildings, and his is the only cupboard that isn't located in the central walkway but just behind his office like it was in the previous buildings, and he doesn't have to sit in on meetings he doesn't want to, etc. He can read code like I can read a novel, though.
 
You mean because they stopped trying to give this high functioning autistic person the support and work environment he needed to be a valuable member of society and really make a difference?

Sure, one might think Bob's just a dickhead, but reading it like that, I'm...pretty sure the issues stemmed from him being non-normie. I have a colleague who....well, I've never known him to yell, but that's because he actually *does* still have the only Windows XP PC in the building, and he's the only one who got to take his old desk chair with him when we moved buildings, and his is the only cupboard that isn't located in the central walkway but just behind his office like it was in the previous buildings, and he doesn't have to sit in on meetings he doesn't want to, etc. He can read code like I can read a novel, though.
I did hear from my old supervisor that Bob was on the spectrum, but I never really tried to confirm it.
 
Long ago and a small distance away, I was a hotel engineer.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Rite of Passover, basically doors of houses were marked to spare the residents from the wrath of god.

Modern day now, it's Passover, guest decides to mark the rite by marking every other door on two floors (30 rooms) with human feces. Then top it off with a massive dump right in front of the elevators.

1 engineer, 1 housekeeping, 1 front desk and 1 security were the only staff available to scrub the hotel clean.
 
Knowing a company will accommodate that kind of hostile work environment is rather alarming.
Most companies will bend over backwards to protect valuable employees, even if they have bad behavior. Hell, this is why sexual predators seek positions that make them invaluable; they know companies will protect them over a less valuable employee and many victims won't report the abuse at all, lest their careers suffer. It's exceptionally rare to see stuff happen to these guys unless their victims organize and go public, though it's happening more often seen #MeToo.
 
When I was a teen, I worked at Taco Bell. I was damn good at it, and eventually made crew chief. Then they gave me all the assistant manager duties (but without the title and pay), and was grooming me to actually take the title at 18. Me and the boss ran that store so tight, it was an area training store for 18 other Taco Bells.

Then we got a new district manager. The new district manager wanted his wife to be assistant manager, so he was always dicking with me.

One day, after closing, he showed up. Here's how closing goes: Each of the crew was assigned a cleaning task. I went into the office to do paperwork, which usually took longer than the cleaning. When each person got done, they'd come get me, I'd check their work, and let them go.

After I let everyone go, the DM says "There's a health inspection tomorrow. I need you to detail clean all of these areas."

I knew he'd done it just to fuck with me, because he could have easily told me before I let everyone go, so we could all get in on it. I tell him I have school in the morning, but he says he doesn't care what I have in the morning--I have work tonight.

He goes into the office, and starts doing god-knows-what. I keep filling up buckets of water and dumping them on the floor, until it's a good half-inch deep. The store didn't have a floor drain, so any water on the floor had to be mopped up. Once I determine I'd put enough water on the floor, I went into the office, gave him my keys and quit.

The school bus passed by that taco bell every morning. At 9am, I saw him through the windows still trying to get all that water up with a mop.
 
Most companies will bend over backwards to protect valuable employees, even if they have bad behavior. Hell, this is why sexual predators seek positions that make them invaluable; they know companies will protect them over a less valuable employee and many victims won't report the abuse at all, lest their careers suffer. It's exceptionally rare to see stuff happen to these guys unless their victims organize and go public, though it's happening more often seen #MeToo.
Yanooo, I's a gotsa funny story about that one.

I had a cow-orker, I'll just call him "Austin". His last name belied his heritage as one born in the land of internet scam princes. He worked third shift at the same locale I mentioned earlier (EAS). He had a penchant for doing the one thing you're not really supposed to do on third shift - sleep.

One night I was on patrol (as I was still on utility position at that point) and I got a call over the radio from our front gate that the cottage that he was working in had a call light. As our cottages did not have toilets in the offender rooms, if a youth had to use the bathroom, they turned on a light that illuminated above their room door, indicating they needed something - in this case, to use the bathroom.

Call lights can be a crapshoot - pardon the pun, but it's apt - as it's all dependent on two main things: where the patrol person is in the institution, and what they're doing at the time. If they're answering call lights elsewhere, it might be a while.

As it just so happened on this fine night, I was parked in my patrol van (Chrysler mini-vans, by the way) right out in front of his cottage. I just pulled up a few feet, turned off the car, got out and keyed into the cottage.

I got inside, looked over to the booth - to see Austin dead asleep in the booth chair. I still wonder how the hell he actually managed to call for the call light in his sleep.

After a brief phone call to the supervisor (using the social worker's office down the hallway), I nudged him awake and answered the call light.

He eventually got fired because he did something you don't EVER do in corrections: leave an exterior access gate unattended - and open.

That situation happened because they were doing repairs on the sallyport at the main entrance to the institution, as we were about to have a BRAND NEW gatehouse and visiting area open up (spoiler alert: the institution closed less than three years later). They assigned a patrol person to the fire gate, located behind the kitchen on the other side of the parking lot, to open and close the gate to allow vehicles in and out of the institution.

When he got the duty, he chose to wander off to a building completely out of view of the gate so he could get a soda.

I don't know what happened to him, but I wish him well, as he is the source of constant amusement among those who worked at Wales.
 
Knowing a company will accommodate that kind of hostile work environment is rather alarming.
It sounds to me like "Bob" is somewhere on the spectrum. The accommodations he requires don't sound all that difficult and though he had an awkward social interaction, he took responsibility and apologized. I don't think Bob is a bad guy here.
 
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