Things in the news have been pretty heavy and depressing lately. On last week’s radio show, I had to prerecord a shortened version due to circumstances beyond my control. I got a little feedback that the show was pretty intense and while the issues I was discussing were important and insightful, as they always are, people missed some of the pithiness and humor that I normally inject. With that in mind, let’s have a little bit more fun this week, shall we?
None of us likes all of the rules placed upon us at work. Some are necessary evils while others, well let’s just say someone is either over reacting to something or trying to justify their existence. Let’s laugh at some that are probably more of the latter than the former.
Our company has a dress code, like most companies. For us, it's business casual, which is great, but I work at home. Our HR reps require that we dress at home in business attire and they will Skype us at random times to ensure that we are dressed accordingly.
Our HR department is very strict when it comes to enforcing the rules, especially showing up late or leaving early. If you are one minute late or leave one minute early, you are written up for tardiness. Three tardy memos gets you shown the door and it’s happened. However, if you take a half day you aren’t charged anything; no tardy, no vacation time, no personal time. So if you’re going to be late, just take a half day.
I worked in a warehouse where most of us worked alone and our stations were fairly far apart. Each of us was allowed to have music playing as long as it wasn’t too loud. One day the CEO walked through and didn’t seem pleased. The next day we got a memo from him saying he didn’t like walking through the warehouse and hearing all different kinds of music; either we all tune to the same station or we turn all radios off.
At an old job I had, we had to stand, not sit, in a certain place while we took our lunch break so they could track where we were and how long we were there. Not only weren’t we supposed to talk to co-workers during work hours, we couldn’t even talk during our breaks. They even “strongly suggested” that we not socialize with coworkers after hours because that would lead to talking during work hours. We couldn’t talk to customers for more than 3 minutes unless the potential sale exceeded a dollar threshold and then we got 6 minutes. Efficiency!
At the lumber yard where I worked in the contractor division, we were told there was too much swearing. We said it was the way our customers talked. So we were given a list of “approved curse words” we could use with customers but we had to refrain from all cussing with each other.
In order to take a week off, we had to use two vacation days, a personal day, and then two more vacation days because our company had a policy that you couldn’t take more than two vacation days in a row.
Our boss went to a seminar in efficiency and learned that UPS drivers don’t make left turns unless there is a left arrow option. He decided we would do the same thing because it wastes time to sit and wait at a stop sign or uncontrolled intersection waiting for traffic to clear. Did I mention that we were an ambulance service and we get to blare our sirens and take the right of way?
We were banned from using the word ‘problems’ at our work place and had to say “challenges” instead. The idea being that challenges can be overcome while problems might not be so easily resolved. I was written up for asking if I could get help with my “drinking challenge.”