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the particular notepads, the staggered departures, and different tales of ridiculous insurance policies at work — Ask a Supervisor


Final week I requested about ridiculous insurance policies you’ve encountered at work. Listed below are 18 of essentially the most ridiculous you shared.

1. The notepads

I had a boss who insisted that solely her notes could possibly be on yellow authorized pads (8.5 by 14), and her gross sales employees all needed to take notes on white paper at letter measurement (8.5 by 11). She additionally insisted that at any time when we ordered new pads of paper, we order equal quantities for her…this naturally resulted in us having an insane quantity of unused yellow authorized pads, since six gross sales folks clearly undergo far more smaller pages of paper than one boss. The man who skilled me rolled his eyes when he defined the rule, then opened a desk drawer to point out a complete stack of the yellow authorized pads. He advised me to ensure to avoid wasting area in my desk for them, as a result of boss commonly ran out of room and stashed them within the workers’ desks, however to on no account ever use it. If I by chance did, he stated to sneak the entire authorized pad out of the workplace, as a result of boss would lose it if she noticed a lacking web page and/or a chunk of yellow paper in a trash can.

2. The locks

The employees break room had lockers. Theft from the breakroom was endemic, so many began bringing locks to make use of in the course of their shift in order that pockets, cellphone and many others. (which you couldn’t have with you on the ground) wouldn’t get swiped. Locks have been banned and could be lower off as a result of it was a “visible illustration of distrust between colleagues”. I give up shortly thereafter, I used to be going to work proper from college so needed to carry stuff with me and the minimal wage paycheque wasn’t sufficient to cowl my losses.

3. The coats

No coat racks for workers’ coats and no hanging coats on the again of your chairs.

I labored for an organization the place the CEO labored with a designer to design a brand-spanking-new open idea (blech!) suite of places of work with blinding white partitions and lightweight beige furnishings. After we moved in, the CEO needed to maintain the place wanting like an image from Architectural Digest, which led to numerous ridiculous insurance policies, however the no coat racks coverage (having a jumble of multi-colored coats could be horrible! horrible!) actually took the biscuit for me. We have been advised that we may go away our coats in our automobiles because it wasn’t actually that lengthy a stroll from the parking storage. It truly can get chilly within the the DC space within the winter, and it can also rain loads, for which you may want a raincoat, as properly.

You know the way large workplace buildings have random columns in them for beams. I had one coworker, who was not in the slightest degree in style on our staff, stroll in a single morning with the most important Command hook she may purchase, slap it on the again of a type of columns the place it wouldn’t be seen from the remainder of the ground, and dangle up her coat. We nonetheless didn’t very like her, however we revered her a complete lot extra for that.

4. The homework

I had a part-time job throughout highschool in a grocery store, the place many college students additionally labored within the evenings and weekends. College students weren’t allowed to do homework within the employees canteen (the one place employees members had accessible to take a seat in), both earlier than our shifts began or throughout breaks, because it “wasn’t restful” for the full-time employees to witness.

5. The wave

At my accomplice’s name middle job, there was a married couple who have been each on the telephones there. When the spouse bought up to make use of the toilet, she would wave at her husband as she glided by his desk. That’s it – only a wave, no chatting. It’s a small room so that you mainly should go by everybody to get to the toilet. The Powers that Be didn’t like her having such a enjoyable time on her approach to the toilet that they wrote her a prescribed path to the toilet that wouldn’t go close to her husband’s desk. You already know, so she wouldn’t be stealing from the corporate by … waving to her husband.

6. The critiques

My final job (small museum) wouldn’t allow us to work in our places of work for a interval of about 8 months. One individual (actually one individual) commented on our FB web page that the general public flooring didn’t have sufficient employees to help folks. The director flipped out and declared that nobody was allowed to work of their workplace till we had 100% optimistic suggestions. We needed to take our laptops out and discover a place to take a seat. I left properly earlier than the ban lifted, however one in every of my coworkers indicated that one other individual had left a 3-star evaluate shortly after workplace work was reinstated, and so they all had to return to engaged on the general public flooring.

7. The packing tape

I used to work at an org the place many employees attended conferences and took show supplies for cubicles, and many others. There have been a couple of assistants and we have been chargeable for packing up supplies akin to books, leaflets and so forth for transport to the convention venue. One senior employees member bought so irritated by the sound of scotch tape that we have been not allowed to pack supplies inside anybody’s listening to distance, and needed to carry all of the stuff to ship (books are heavy!), packing bins, tape, and many others and many others over to the opposite constructing, normally requiring a number of journeys and making the entire course of take 3 times as lengthy.

8. The spacing

Once I labored at a small museum a few decade in the past, administration’s MO was that any incident needed to have a brand new rule made. At one level we have been advised that whereas within the galleries we needed to stand two arm-lengths aside, and measure that each time one other worker got here within the room.

9. The sign-ins

We needed to sign up upon arrival or be counted as late. However the log ebook was within the boss’s workplace, and he or she was at all times late. We have been anticipated to hold round her door till she confirmed up (as an alternative of getting a soar on the day’s work–we have been salaried academics, so we’d at all times arrive early). If we confirmed up earlier than the boss and simply began working, we’d be counted late.

10. The holiday time

I used to work for an organization the place workers accrued trip days primarily based on months labored … for the next 12 months. What this meant was that your first 12 months, you had zero trip, completely no approach to take day without work – which sucked for workers. It additionally meant that anytime an worker left or retired, the corporate needed to pay them out for his or her unused trip, which was a minimum of a 12 months’s value plus no matter they hadn’t used within the present calendar 12 months. So it was an enormous monetary legal responsibility for the corporate and a headache for the accounting staff.

Nobody preferred it – not workers, not managers, not accounting. However the CEO insisted it was the one cheap trip coverage, and wouldn’t hear something on the contrary.

11. The books

I labored for a publishing firm that printed a wide range of print media. One of many senior managers within the books staff applied a rule that advertising materials couldn’t use the phrase “ebook” or “books”. So we needed to promote the books with out saying they have been books. Fwiw, this man was a traditional instance of the Peter Precept and didn’t have a clue what he was doing.

12. The t-shirts (and in addition the potatoes)

At my public library we aren’t allowed to purchase t-shirts (for packages, giveaways, and many others). The rationale? The county finance division defines t-shirts as underwear, and we will’t purchase underwear with public funds.

It’s as silly because it sounds. (And in an fascinating twist, the county neither has official management over us nor any of our funding—we get tax {dollars} straight, and we now have our personal finance division. However our finance division isn’t innocent both—they refused my request to purchase a $4 sack of potatoes for a potato stamp class, on the premise that I would defraud the library and take house leftover potatoes.)

13. The goodbyes

One summer time I labored at two retail chains that apparently have been actually strict about what phrases you used to greet prospects and say goodbye. Sadly, each these jobs weren’t strict in the identical means– the allowed phrases have been totally different and had no actual overlap. One job was a faux-beach cool ambiance so we had loads of unbearable phrases we have been supposed to make use of like, “Welcome to the pier!” despite the fact that we have been in a landlocked midwestern metropolis within the useless of winter. However there have been some choices that have been regular, albeit a bit informal. A kind of phrases was, “Have a superb one!”

Properly, at some point I had the audacity to say “Have a superb one!” to a consumer who was leaving at my different retail retailer. I don’t know if the shopper truly complained or if a supervisor simply overheard me, however a couple of shifts lager I used to be given A PRINTED LETTER telling me how inappropriate it was of me to have stated, “Have a superb one!” to a buyer and that doing so once more would result in my termination. I clarified that it was simply this phrase I used, there was nothing else I had stated that contributed to this. They stated that “Have a superb one” is each a command to the shopper and slang and subsequently inappropriate to make use of within the office with a buyer.

I get that all of us have our pet peeves with language, however come on! I’m attempting to inform any person that I hope they’ve a pleasant day! And I don’t suppose that this had been new or groundbreaking slang for a minimum of twenty years once I stated it.

14. The scandal

I used to be one in every of a number of temps at a hospital. The break room we have been advised to make use of had home windows on all 4 partitions. So you possibly can see in, nothing was hidden. I used to be banned from having the identical lunch and break instances as one other temp. Solely the one different temp, who was an 18-year-old male. I used to be a chubby mid thirties feminine. Apparently it was unseemly for us to be within the room collectively on the similar time.

15. The departures

This was in a fundraising workplace of a school. Folks tended to go away for lunch, and would typically go away the workplace early relying on the schedule for the week (needed to work an occasion that night, had had an extended journey day earlier within the week, and many others). We bought suggestions that folks weren’t allowed to go away the constructing and be seen strolling to the car parking zone on the similar time, as a result of it made it appear to be (to whom??) we have been leaving work to go socialize with one another, which made us look unique and lazy.

So, one individual would depart … we’d watch them from the window … as soon as they reached the car parking zone, one other individual would depart … repeat.

16. The comp time

I as soon as had a salaried job the place you’d get comp time for approaching time and staying late, however not coming in early and staying till your ordinary finish time. It didn’t matter what your shift was.

This labored out nice for the individuals who labored from 8 am – 4 pm and have been quarterly requested to remain till 6 pm. Not so nice for me and a few others, who commonly labored 10 am – 6 pm, and have been quarterly requested to come back in at 8 am and keep till our ordinary 6:00pm.
On the finish of the day, we’d all work the identical 10 hours. However nope, the coverage solely gave comp time to those that stayed late.

17. The rip-off

I labored for a monetary companies agency that made it a normal apply to deceive monetary advisor candidates and inform them that they have been interviewing for a regional director job, “nevertheless it’s a technicality that you must spend slightly time being a monetary advisor at one in every of our places of work first.” There was by no means a regional director job opening — it was all an act to flatter their egos and get them within the door. My audits with these of us have been at all times very awkward after they would clarify condescendingly that I shouldn’t waste an excessive amount of time on them as a result of they have been solely right here till their REAL job began…

18. The banked go away

I as soon as labored at an workplace the place you accrued go away in {dollars}. For those who have been paid $10/hour and had 10 hours of go away, you had $100 banked for go away. For those who bought a elevate, your cash banked for go away did NOT improve. In case you are now making $11/hour however nonetheless have $100 banked for go away, now you can solely buy 9 hours of go away. The homeowners gave somebody a giant elevate and that individual had loads of hours banked for go away. The employee left proper after the elevate and the homeowners by no means bought over the “injustice.”

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