Workplace Horror Stories!

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Severla 2.0
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Workplace Horror Stories!

Postby Severla 2.0 » Wed May 16, 2018 12:30 am

FM wanted me to give some QA stories, but it'd be more fun for everyone to partake, right?

Other than QA, I've worked Retail, and God knows those have some kicker tales too, right?

Here are a couple, short intro tales for warm-ups:

Testers:
The modern day tester is going to have a terribly short lifespan. Ive watched some down 3-4 Monster Energy Drinks in a single shift. Those things are suggested 2 a day MAXIMUM. Add this to eating vending machine snacks and sitting all day: Good Lord. RIP.

Devs:
Devs will never take you seriously as QA. Ever. EVER.
Literal Head of Department: "So is the testing going well, guys?"
QA: "No, it's pretty bad. Y'all should REALLY let us test the Demo first, else some bad shit may happen and hurt publicity."
Devs: "Fuck that, we're fine."
The outcome: "ITS BLACK JESUS."

PEOPLE WHO SHOULDNT BE IN MANAGEMENT POSITION:
*Note this is not my story. It's from the website "The Trenches" that allowed anonymous stories to be submitted. HOWEVER, let it be known, I WAS PRESENT IN THIS 'TOWN HALL.'
I had been working for a game publisher for about a month before they announced their town hall for all the day/night shift testers. It was simply something to boost morale and talk to one of the VPs that descended to the testing area. He explained how he went from one form of the entertainment industry to the other before finding himself in the game industry. A sort of a rags to riches story, and after his speech he opened the floor to questions. One of the testers got called on and asked the following:

“A lot of us here are trying to get into a developer position, how would you recommend getting from where we are as QA to being an artist/programmer/designer?”

The VP responded with:

“Well… you, um. You should really get exposure to the game industry and what’s hot right now. I think the best thing to do is simply play games.”

The room was so silent you could hear an ant fart.

The best advice you can give a room filled with over a hundred people, who literally play games for a living, was to play games?! Thanks for the advice guy.


"You could hear an ant fart." is an understatement. I could hear the fryers at McDonalds down the road.

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Nth
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Re: Workplace Horror Stories!

Postby Nth » Wed May 16, 2018 2:23 am

Oh the stories I have of mismanagement and abuse of power...

I'll call my first post Chapter 1: Setting the scene.

I've been working since I was 13. From 13 to 27 I worked for my father's landscaping and maintenance business in which I barely made a dime since he took all the money and told me I was paying for room, board and holiday celebrations (christmas and birthday presents). He ended up getting audited during my last few years working for him and I had a phone interview with an auditor. Anyway, after that I started getting paid once in a while. It was a job I hated every second of. The only good part about it was I usually ended up working by myself and made my own hours.

I also worked off and on part time throughout those years at a lumber mill (only three months and refused to come back when the job I was doing was finished). As a gamer I was very paranoid about losing fingers or eyes and had a few close calls with industrial saw blades that could cut a person in half.
Also had to drive out of a mountain woodlot in a convoy or trucks (mine had no floor in it) where we got caught in a white out blizzard. Won't be doing that again.
Also worked at a winery (Fired because it was a job forced on me and I put no effort in), teacher's assistant at an elementary school (1 year contract and didn't renew because I don't like kids), furniture mover, fire-works technician, roofer, carpenter, typist, apartment and house painter and any other assortment of shit work no paying jobs other people wouldn't do.

Ended up getting hired on at an apple packing/fertilizer plant for 6 years exactly out of desperation to pay off my student loan from university. Probably my first real job where I actually got a T4 slip and regular pay day. More low pay shit work. I told the CEO of the company my first day there I would be gone at the first opportunity. At the time I had no idea the guy was the CEO of the company, he was just a random guy who asked me how my first day went. I spent 3 years in the apple plant as a lugger. The entire job was just lifting and nothing else. Very frightening when the one-eyed guy with the six grade education I was working with told me I was likely being trained to be his replacement for when he retired in a few years. That brought out a fear sweat for sure.

Then I got involuntarily moved to the fertilizer plant where things really started to get interesting. See the fertilizer plant is a dirty, decomposing ramshackle of a plant, where you do dirty low paying hard labor and ideally they want a six man crew running it, but usually after a few days new people always quit. My first year there we had sixteen guys hire on and all quit from within a couple weeks to a few days. One guy quit when he went for coffee on the first break and never came back and another guy quit twenty minutes in after getting a tour of the building. Said he could make more on unemployment insurance and he wasn't lying. That company offered no pension or benefits either. Had one guy retire who used to show up every day and collect cigarette butts in the parking lot and check unlocked cars for spare change. There's your reward for 30 years of service.

The lead hand at the fertilizer plant was a young Newfoundlander who was a former junkie. To his credit he was willing to work like a dog and get paid in magic beans. But for a management position he only had about two active brain cells. He was the youngest guy there but had a tendency to talk down to people who were not only much older than him, but had also been working there for twenty years. In fact he almost got his ass kicked one day when he referred to our forklift repair guy, an older, very large, affiliated biker gang member as 'my good son'. He was lucky he only got a lengthy verbal dressing down. This lead hand was also the guy who we would go on to witness have two mental breakdowns at the plant and also suffer a pretty severe life altering injury toward the end of my second year there.

The guy who should have been running the plant had been there almost twenty years and basically ran everything behind the scenes but management wouldn't give him a lead hand position because he never graduated high school and was dyslexic. So he was already extremely bitter with the company, especially since he was doing more work but not even making the same wage as the lead hand.
Our great leader was also known to screw people out of overtime pay by fudging the numbers because his beast of a wife (she really was a repellent woman) had told him to never come home with a pay check less than $1000. In six years there I never brought home a pay more than $1000.

Anyway, this is only where the workplace horror stories start to begin. This was just the set up post. I'll write the rest later.

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Dawnbr3ak3r
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Re: Workplace Horror Stories!

Postby Dawnbr3ak3r » Wed May 16, 2018 2:42 am

Severla 2.0 wrote:Devs:
Devs will never take you seriously as QA. Ever. EVER.
Literal Head of Department: "So is the testing going well, guys?"
QA: "No, it's pretty bad. Y'all should REALLY let us test the Demo first, else some bad shit may happen and hurt publicity."
Devs: "Fuck that, we're fine."
The outcome: "ITS BLACK JESUS."

As someone who's modded animations in games before, this hurts.
The_PR_Dragon wrote:Dragons, Emus, and Wolves are all hearing impaired. Sounds about right.


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senator
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Re: Workplace Horror Stories!

Postby senator » Wed May 16, 2018 5:07 am

Nth wrote:Oh the stories I have of mismanagement and abuse of power...
Anyway, this is only where the workplace horror stories start to begin. This was just the set up post. I'll write the rest later.


This post sums up the low wage, no future, dead end, soul killing, working class existence as well as anything I've read(or experienced) in my time.

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romanticmisery
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Re: Workplace Horror Stories!

Postby romanticmisery » Thu May 17, 2018 2:50 pm

I'm just a young grasshopper at 27 yrs old at now. Brazil being Brazil, means that getting a job isn't easy at all - too much regulation, you can't simply quit a job like in USA either, hard to get in, hard to get out. so i don't have that much of work experience yet, still i can tell some stuff i experienced in those years i've been working, or at least trying to :


Dear they forgot the kids:

I held this job as aassistant/secretary at my aunt's medical practice, most of the work was about organizing the appointments, and using the phone, really using the phone to the point i have an aversion towards them now. I also had to clean some stuff sometimes and i couldn't forget to offer the waiting patients coffee or water, it was pretty uneventuful and i took thhose hours to either browse the web or read something i was meant to.

One day she got hit with a high influx of patients and we had to go through the night, up to 21:40 or something around this timeframe, she had other stuff to do so once she finished her work she packed her shit and left. I couldn't. i mean, i could but i wouldn't.

Why? Because there were two kids in the waiting room whose parents brought for consultation and pretty much forgot to pick up afterwards. i couldn't simply say " there ya go you two, step out into the dark streets and wait for your dad to arrive, you might get luckly and some criminal might do something horrible while you're standing in the sidewalk crying, who knows?". No i had to stay there, because i felt that was the right thing to do and because my aunt threatened to fire me if i let them alone - like i would do such horrible thing, but didn't matter.

Situation got worse when the smallest one realized it was really late, past his bedtime and started crying. i tried almost everything to calm him down, youtube, flash games, jokes, but he wouldn't stop. and his older brother started to have something akin to a panic attack. I had flashbacks of my dad forgetting to pick me and my brother up at the daycare and it felt bad man, the minutes went down like hours, until their mother finally came around to pick them up. Said something about the traffic and that her husband was trapped on it. I just didn't care, i felt relief when those kids left and then i realized i had to go home by myself late at night. in the poorly iluminated streets of my city.


Well shit.

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Nth
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Re: Workplace Horror Stories!

Postby Nth » Thu May 17, 2018 11:56 pm

Chapter 2: More from the apple plant.

I really didn't have too many issues with the apple plant portion of my work experience. Aside from the low paying shit work the guy they hired to manage the apple plant was a young guy, a few years older than me, although he brought a lot of soap opera drama with him when he arrived. Was basically an alcoholic (several of them worked in the plant), somewhat of a drug user, and had brought his girlfriend along to work at the plant as well.

She already had two kids by two other different guys and had one kid with him. They constantly fought with each other while at work, especially when she found out he was dicking a few other girls in the plant. He was quite the dreamboat for about the first two weeks he was there, then most of the women in the plant hated him when the newness wore off. He would get especially aggressive if his girlfriend would talk to me, and she was admittedly very attractive but I already consider any woman with any kids off limits, not that I would have hitched myself to that mess even if I had the opportunity. Also he had his drivers license revoked for 5 years for drunk driving so his mom used to drive him to work. Once again, this was the guy hired to be our supervisor. You can kind've get a sense of how rinky-dink and ass backward this company is.

I really only had once incident in the apple plant that I can remember. I was working by myself at a station three people are normally supposed to work at when things are real busy. The apples get bagged, boxed and sent down a conveyor to a taping machine that one guy runs and then two other guys stack the boxes on pallets to be shipped out. Now there are about 30 women boxing and sending these down to me and the supervisor puts the conveyor at full speed. Ever see that I Love Lucy episode with the conveyor belt? That is literally what happened. I had to tape and stack everything by myself and the taping machine would constantly jam and back up the belt. I had a little space for about fifteen or so boxes to go through before the complete line would jam.

So I'm doing this for at least an hour by myself, just drenched in sweat and I look up and there are six guys all standing around in the 'Treehouse' office drinking coffee and watching me. Just a little office set up above the shop for the supervisor and the controls to the machinery in the plant. So I kind've give them a look, hey how about at least one of you come down and help. Of course none do. Finally my taping machine starts jamming on every box that runs through it and I'm so backed up I'm manually taping them by hand. Still no one coming to help and the belt is now completely full and boxes are starting to crush into each other. Finally the line is completely jammed, conveyor belt is grinding away and nothing is moving. So I hit the emergency stop button and thirty women start shouting across the plant for me to hurry up and turn the belt back on.

I walk down to the first box at the end of the line and kick it right off the conveyor, then the next box, then the next box, then the next box and I'm probably close to having kicked ten boxes of packed apples off the line when supervisor comes running down screaming 'what the hell are you doing?' I just said 'Belts jammed, I'm gonna go take a piss.' and walked away. When I came back they finally had three other guys at the station to help me. I did get a talking too after that, but by this point in time I really was ready to leave. Think I had my student loan and my first car paid off by this point and really wasn't worried about repercussions. Hryhor coined two mantra's when he started working at the plant that were quickly adopted, the first "That's not in my job description." and "What are you going to do, fire me and force me to get a real job?"

(Side note) I actually did see this same former supervisor again a few years into my new job. He was working contract construction work doing some maintenance in our plant, which is basically bottom of the barrel cheap labor. He told me he had quit the old company and was hoping to get hired on where I was working now. I e-mailed my old pal Hryhor from the fertilizer plant about it and he's like 'he didn't quit, he got fired, his girlfriend got fired and one of the girls he was screwing got fired.' The company had finally had enough and cut him loose.

Anyway, in the next chapter of adventures from the Fertilizer plant, a spy, a terrorist and a coke head supervisor.

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romanticmisery
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Re: Workplace Horror Stories!

Postby romanticmisery » Fri May 18, 2018 5:55 am

My Phobia and a Stack of Papers:

My mom's a local politician in a small town here in the state, and when she got some power she offered me a job in one of those places that archive old documents, petitions and all this bureaucratic papertrail, i happily accepted as i wabted to work again and i saw as an opportunity to step up, not mention it would be money coming in..

Thing is, being a brazillian public servant is a total piece of shit, you might get the so called "stability", meaning you wont ever get fired over trivial stuff and will get benefits and a average to fat pension when you retire - but they've got no standards whatsoever, most are completely lazy and care about doing the least amount of working as possible, theyre usually dead end jobs with no pay-grade readjustment (which keeps the sods totally demotivated through their carreers) and if you really wanna put in some work, you will be pretty much punished by the system :markout: . I knew all of this but still accepted because i needed money for future investments and having a disposable income is always nice.

What i didn't knew is that the warehouse itself was a shithole of the highest order. it was dirty, with mold and infiltrations, a very bad smell a completely fucked up bathroom that to this day still gives me nightmares and trash all over the place - the janitors didn't care, far as i knew they were just there to log time and pretend they were working, which suited the other workers just fine and made my initial work hours miserable. :facepalm:

I live on northeastern brazil, which like california only has two seasons : Hot and Very Hot, with the winter being rainy and not much else. we don't have autumn here - ive never seen the trademark autumn trees close up, much less a temperature lower than 22 degrees celsius on the region, and unless a new global cooling era comes about, i will never see the temperatures drop lower. We were on winter so it was hot and wet, raining all over inside the fucking building and making me feel something akin to despair. :facepalm:

The job conssisted in doing something i dreaded but was expecting - sitting on my ass all day in a ventilated, almost cozy room working in a subpar computer without proper internet connection, doing next to nothing, watching the time fly by. It was horrible and i could tell the rest of the guys there thought the same.

In my second day my nightmares about messed up places became real when my "boss" told me to head in the attic to pick some boxes full of old files because he needed them for something, It was raining hard that day but whatever, i went down the stairs and saw myself in a dark, damp, creepy room where i could just feel something wasn't right, i turned on the lights and what i saw made my wanna quit in the spot.

Motherfucker, my dick shrunk, my ass became smaller, my pupils dilated, my heart started racing - i saw a GODDAMNED HUGE TOAD BESIDES A COUNTER RIGHT NEAR THE BOXES I WAS SUPPOSED TO INSPECT, WITH HIS BACK TURNED TO ME. HUGE AS A FUCKING CEMENT BRICK, DOING TOAD NOISES, I HAVE A SEVERE PHOBIA OF FROGS AND TOADS AND I CAN BARELY SEE THEM IN STILL PICTURES MUCH LESS IN REAL LIFE :o

So i just doubled back and run away, ran away as fast as i could away from that shithole entirely, running under the heavy rain, i arrived where my mm was working just to tell her i was quitting right there and i wouldn't be back for more. She asked how did i got there so fast due to the distance between the places i didn't remember, such was my fear, i ran away as fast as i could and i didn't care.

I'm never working on shit like that again, screw BR lazy public servant's who let that place fall to ruin and death to that beast who was living there.


Days later i found out they had a rat, toad and snake infestation down that area, my mom told me in the most casual manner possible, i sighed in relief because i wasn't there anymore. i couldn't handle one toad, much less a goddamn gang of them, they actually found more of them hiding in a elementary public school in the storage room WHERE THEY KEPT THE FOOD! THERE WERE POISONOUS AMPHIBIANS HOPPING AROUND RIGHT NEXT TO THE STORED FOOD KIDS WERE SUPPOSED TO EAT!

I dunno man, sometimes i feel they do this shit on purpose.

:|

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romanticmisery
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Re: Workplace Horror Stories!

Postby romanticmisery » Fri May 18, 2018 6:27 am

Pantless: This one was rather recent, happened around 2014/2015, i cant actually recall the exact year, but its the reason i had to take note of my medical condition.


My dad is a bussiness owner and has his own shop which sells car parts and does auto-repairs services, he's pretty much a self-made man, has been working hard since a kid on the bussiness, learned the ropes doing shitty work for a big company who provided similar services and soon rose to the top of the food chain in the highest possible position a guy could get there without having the place to his name, eventually due to the infighting between the brothers who had the keys to the kindgom and their idiotic progeny, the place fell apart and its currently facing bankruptcy - with one of my aunts who's been also working there as long as my dad but never had the same savvyness to her character, currently working the double by getting paid half of what she used to and being relegated to a dead end position just cause new management hates her guts, and half of the workforce resigning to work somewhere else.


Before my dad could experience the end of the end, he told them to screw it and opened his own bussiness. Wanting to learn more from him and being interested in helping my family i volunteered to join as a employee, my middle brother came to pick me up. and the only thing i asked was : "is It very far away? i have motion sickness"

He said it wasn't, so i got in the car.

Turns out it was VERY FAR away and i couldn't take it. having motion sickness is a horrible thing, i'm a relatively healthy person and with my martial arts training i can definitely endure some tough conditions, ive had heavier people climb atop me in jiujitsu putting all their weight on my body and their knees on my ribs, i've gotten hit many times in karate sparrings, i can handle adversity..

But i cant handle a motion sickness crisis. i get sweaty, numb, weak and dizzy, everything gets garbled and i feel like i'm going to die, its unbearable and turns my day into crap, so as the car went on the road i started feeling progressively shittier until i couldn't take it anymore.

Not mincing words here: i barfed. i barfed all over myself, i had the actual presence of mind to actually aim for myself in the seat instead of barfing all over the rest of my brother's car, when we finally arrived i had barfed all and then some, i couldn't even feel my legs and had to be carried over to the building. they gave me something akin to a cold bath and provided me with a new shirt, cause that one was dirty.

but they didn't have a pair of pants my size , i'm a small person, and the shirt looked like a clerical cassock due to how big it was on me.
I still wanted to work, i had my pride, i wasn't just going to watch the afternoon set, so i got behind the counter and started working anyway - PANTLESS. never getting away from the counter while the clients were there and tending to them like i thought i should. I just wouldn't let them get too close or they'd find out i was working in my underwear.

When i got back home, i got a phone call from my dad - i got fired on my first day for being a motion sick mess - and i was never allowed to help there again.

Heck. its 2018 and i STILL can't work there. Funny isn't?

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Nth
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Re: Workplace Horror Stories!

Postby Nth » Sat May 19, 2018 4:17 am

Chapter 3: The Fertilizer Plant

How I ended up at the fertilizer plant was really as a result of simply being asked to do a 'favor'. As I mentioned before no one really wanted to work down there. It was dangerous but even moreso it was fantastically filthy. The plant was mostly a series of huge bays that would hold different things like ammonia nitrate, potash, kmag, etc that is what would all get mixed together in different percentages to either get bagged for stores, put into 1 tonne canvas totes for farmers that they could store in their own property or dumped directly into fertilizer trucks that would go out and spread loads on fields.

If you know anything about fertilizer, it constantly radiates heat and sucks moisture to it. The entire floor of the plant was perpetually covered in an ever growing blob of sludge and multiple times a day we would scrape the sludge on the floors into piles and shovel it into bins. Within in a few hours the sludge would bleed back out of the floor and keep growing until scrapped up again. If it rained it was twice as bad. The forklifts would always slide around in the plant and the walls were full of dents and holes where the forks had hit them. Also everytime the auger in the plant made a mix it would shake the entire building and create a cloud of fertilizer dust that we were not only breathing in all day, but it would waft off the building and create a slimey acidic film over our cars in the parking lot. To this day I still have that film on the inside of my car that wafted off my work clothes over the years.

I was only supposed to be down there for the three month summer busy season and then come back to the apple plant and resume my old job in September. To skip ahead a bit, I was screwed out of my job in the apple plant when I went down to the fertilizer plant and didn't quit or complain about being down there. I was quietly just forgotten about and when I went back up to the apple plant one day I saw a new guy working in my old position. The other kick in the balls was that when I was asked to go down to the fertilizer plant as a favor, they neglected to tell me I was expected to work every Saturday over the entire summer busy season. The worst part is they didn't have anything for me to do. I couldn't run any of the machinery or make any of the mixes. I was told I was expected to scrape and sweep the floors all day if I wasn't busy bagging fertilizer. In fact all the crew was expected to do mindless busy work if there were no fertilizer orders going on. Problem was the lead hand and his butt buddy would just go sit in the office and drink coffee and play cards under the guise of doing 'paper work'. Myself and the other guy down there would scrape a little then go back to the last bay at the end of the plant and basically just hang out. They were forcing me to be there on Saturday to bag fertilizer not fucking sweep floors and if they didn't want to pay me overtime they should have let me stay home. After my first year down there I said next summer I wouldn't be coming in on Saturday's unless they actually had work for me to do, otherwise I was quitting.

So going back to the beginning, when I first went down there the original lead hand was on his way out. He had given his notice that he was quitting in a few months as he had another job lined up. He was also a huge coke head, which was actually a plus for us because most of the time he was never around. He'd disappear in his office for most of the day and on Friday's he'd go home for lunch as he lived down the road from the plant and call in an hour later saying he wasn't feeling well and we could go home early if all our orders were filled. He didn't care if he got shit for sending the crew home early because he was on his way out. Although he also ran the crew's lottery pool. They apparently won something like $500 on a group play one day and when they asked him for the money he said he would have to give it to them on pay day because he had spent it. Classy.

So the company had put out a job vacancy for a new supervisor. Probably the most bizarre application we got was from somewhere in the middle east. The resume was from a guy who worked in high finance and was probably making a substantial income already. So why would a guy from the middle east, working in high finance want to move across the globe to manage a filthy little craphole and make $15 an hour? Seemed kinda suspicious, especially since this plant also contained about 100 tonnes of ammonia nitrate. The stuff that makes crops grow really fast, but also makes explosives super explodey. There was enough in our plant that if it ever were to blow it would take out the entire town and part of the next town over. I used to get nervous because they guys were constantly smoking around it, but I found out in the state it was in it was pretty harmless and you would have to mix it up with some other components to make it dangerous. Anyway, they actually turned the resume over to the RCMP who said they were going to send it to CSIS (Canada's CIA/FBI) for investigation.

They just ended up promoting the stupid Newfoundlander to the supervisor position when they couldn't get any other applicants.

So when I got there the fertilizer crew was down to four guys including me. The Newfy and Dave HATED ME. They did not want me down there at all and pretty much treated me like garbage for a good six months. I actually became good friends with Dave later and found out they hated me because they thought the company had sent me down to spy on them because they were getting blamed for no one wanting to work at the plant. They said they had got a talking to from the CEO that they were scaring off all the new employees, which didn't make sense because it meant a shit load more work for us. So when I got down there they used to go out and sit in Dave's truck and bitch about me. I basically overheard them one day and walked up to the truck and told them if they didn't fucking want me down here to go let management know, because I didn't want to fucking be down here either. But they weren't going to do that because they thought I was a spy going to report back to head office. So I hung out with the other guy down there, Brad.

Brad was the local pot head who had the world record for being hired and fired by the company many, many times over. He would get fired for absenteeism and always end up getting hired back during the busy season because no one else wanted to work there. His last firing was as a result of being out for two weeks with pneumonia. But this time he had a doctor's note and went to the union. The company was informed he had better be back at work Monday or there was going to be a shitstorm about wrongful dismissal. The company had previously lost a lawsuit already on a wrongful dismissal case. So I only hung out with Brad for my first six months or so down there and he was just as bitter about Dave and the Newfy as well and was the one who called them 'the butt buddies' because they were always together. At the end of my first week there he comes into the break room one day and says 'So how do you like working for a dummy?' and I had a huge sigh of relief because I thought I was the only one who noticed our supervisor was a paste eating moron. Brad's other claim to fame was that his uncle was Jason Priestley's body double on the Call Me Fitz TV series.

Coming in Chapter 4 - Hryhor arrives, Explosion, Ghost of the Electrocuted guy and hallucinating in the warehouse.

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Nth
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Re: Workplace Horror Stories!

Postby Nth » Sun May 20, 2018 7:53 pm

Chapter 4: That's not my Job.

Down at the fertilizer plant, as I mentioned before they always had job vacancies and we were always getting a new hire who would quit soon after. We actually started taking bets on how long we thought a new guy would last. They would also ask us questions about the job and the company and we were brutally honest about the long term prospects. It really was just a job and not a career. A career has the possibility of advancing, increasing your pay, benefits and even somewhat of a pension. Management was always surprised when people did not want to stay. I was completely open with management that I would be gone at the first chance and over the years I would occasionally get asked by someone higher up if I still had plans on leaving at some point. Of course after a few years everyone would tell me: you're not going anywhere, you're a lifer here.

So one day a new guy shows up. This guy is like 5'4" and must've been pushing 300lbs. Bald, goatee and basically looked like he was going to have a heart attack any second. Actually he looked like a cross between Danny DeVito and Carl from Aqua Teen Hunger Force. This was Hryhor (a Ukrainian name apparently for anyone wondering). He was from Toronto but had moved here over a decade ago when he shacked up with one of the women working at the apple plant. He raised her kids for eleven years and when they were grown and out the door so was she. He had actually been living off his credit card for a year and was so in debt he couldn't even pay the $1500 flat rate fee to file for bankruptcy. So like me he was someone else who had ended up in the company over crippling debt.

We actually didn't think he would last the week. The job has a lot of physical labor involved. Bagging and stacking fertilizer onto pallets was something we would do daily and I am talking about tonnes of it being manually loaded by hand.
Much to our surprise he showed up every day and did the work. Even after a couple months he had already sweated off a consider amount of weight. Turns out he had had been a former mechanic in Toronto and the company had a real hard on for this because the fertilizer plant machinery was in a constant state of disrepair. Like when I first started, he was eager to volunteer for jobs that weren't in the application description and we kind've gave him the heads-up that once you start doing favors for the company, they will continue to expect to receive favors at no extra cost to them.

Now our Newfy supervisor loved him because he had yet to be tainted by the depressing nature of working for the plant and they actually became drinking buddies outside of work, and butt buddy Dave sort of got pushed to the side and would often end up hanging out with me and Brad now that the Newfy had a new friend.

After our busy season the company would do a seasonal layoff of all the female employees but would not offer the layoff to any men. From past experience they knew by the time the busy season started up again the men wouldn't come back or would have found other jobs and they were right. If I had been offered the layoff I wouldn't have come back. So the company would find random jobs to keep us busy. Everything from pretty extensive carpentry projects to walking around the property and picking up garbage. We were starting to become a little resentful at some of the stuff we were being asked to do as we were still making our pathetic wage. Hryhor was doing some additional mechanical work but not receiving anything close to the wage he was making as a mechanic, we were replacing entire walls and floors in the plant and our off site carpentry contractors had quite the laugh when they told us what they make an hour for doing the same work.

Over the next year Hryhor started to get pretty bitter about it and went and had a t-shirt made that said "That's not in my job description" as a protest.

We found out about this because one of the walls of the fertilizer actually burst and exploded outward at our ammonia nitrate bay. This actually happened only a few hours after we had been filling the bay and I was actually standing on top of it standing against the very wall that blew a couple hours later. From the CCTV footage of the explosion, pieces of the wall flew over thirty feet away. Also tonnes of ammonia nitrate came spilling out of the plant that had to be cleaned up and they were calling the guys to come in and clean up. I saw on my phone work had called but I didn't pick up and didn't find out what had happened until the next morning.

The carpenters came to repair the plant, but the insurance would only pay for it as long as they were using the original 1960's blueprints. The Carpenters said the only thing holding that wall together was a wooden beam and six spikes and that's what they had to put back in. They warned us it was only a matter of time before the same thing happened again.

They ended up sending us to the warehouse to fix floors and walls. The warehouse is kind've a cool place because it looks like something right out of Stephen King, like Graveyard Shift. It's a giant moldering crypt of a building built in the 60's. The basement is actually the cleanest and most well lit area of it, then a small store at ground level and three more floors up used for fertilizer storage. The top floor was actually barely used as it was in the most disrepair with close to non-existent lighting. It had been fertilizer storage for decades and over the years bags would break open and absorb into the floors and walls. If you spent long enough in their breathing fertilizer air you would start to see things. Once I actually became so disoriented in the warehouse I couldn't find my way out for a while and kept going up and down the upper floors because they both looked the same and had really bad lighting. Also the forklifts had a tendency to drop a wheel or two through the floors. When I first started driving a forklift there I was told if I ever went through the floor just to ride the thing down and not try and jump off.

The store employees at the ground level maintain the building is haunted. A few years before I started an employee was electrocuted there when a ladder standing up on the truck he was driving touched a power line. He tried to get out of the truck to see what happened and as soon he he grounded himself he started frying. The guy who found him said his hands and feet had already burned to ash and that you could see his veins glowing. They kept dousing him and the truck with fire extinguishers until the fire department could get the power cut. This was once called the luckiest guy in the world when he walked away from a sky diving accident when his chute only partially opened. If you ever go to the store there is a little memorial stone under the front bushes near the entrance.

Since then there's been a few paranormal events the employees have experienced including the glowing orb phenomena which the warehouse foreman has pictures of on his phone. I never saw any of the orbs outside the camera phone pictures but I did have three hallucinating events which I just put down to spending hours in the warehouse breathing the chemicals for so long.

In the next chapter, our fearless leader starts having mental breakdowns, a bad injury, two vehicles overturn, new supervisors who don't know anything.


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