Website / Not Always Working

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Not Always Working is a sister site to Not Always Right, added to the network in 2012. In a direct contrast to Not Always Right, Not Always Working focuses on tales of incompetent, lazy, and sometimes even malicious workers. Bad employees, horrible bosses and managers, and the occasional cool person can be found here. As always, take care when looking through the stories.

Note: Due to a restructuring of the entire NAR site network, the hyperlinks below may or may not work anymore.


Not Always Working contains examples of:

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     A - C 

  • Abuse Mistake:
    • Happens to this customer, who is dining with his family and wearing a hooded sweatshirt in a warm restaurant. It's revealed that the long sleeves are to hide large arm bruises — he's recovering from chemotherapy, but the waitress thinks otherwise.
    • This entry, where a cashier responds to the discovery that a white woman is the mother of a little black boy, by handing her a pamphlet for a rape crisis and domestic abuse helpline. Mother is outraged, cashier gets fired, and his grandmother, who taught him to think like that, gets banned from the store.
    • Another one. This time, a waitress assumes that because the little girl takes after her white father (who had not yet arrived at the restaurant) instead of her middle-eastern mother, that she was being kidnapped. The waitress ended up being arrested for slapping the girl, who had responded to the waitress grabbing her by biting the waitress.
    • Yet again. An employee sees a white woman with two black men (her boyfriend and best friend) and immediately assumes she's been kidnapped and is their sex slave. They overhear and immediately pretend to be her sex slaves, just to mess with the racist employee's mind.
    • Once more. A cashier calls the cops after seeing a black man in line with a young Asian girl, refusing to believe she's the man's step-daughter. The cashier got fired for his idiocy.
  • Actually Pretty Funny: For this reason, the manager can't discipline his staff over the prank they pulled on the new guy.
  • Accidental Innuendo: invoked "What's the biggest package you can take?" They were trying to ship a motorcycle, but the worker misinterpreted and assumed it was a prank call.
  • Accidental Misnaming: This boss can't seem to remember his new worker's name.
  • Adaptation Displacement: invoked
  • Adult Fear: A new mother goes to the daycare to pick up her infant, only to find the daycare personnel locking up for the night, having completely forgotten her baby and making every possible excuse not to go look for her.
  • All Animation Is Disney: invoked One coworker had to explain to another which animated films were not made by Disney. Surprisingly, the one he guessed was not Disney, The Black Cauldron, actually was.
  • All Germans Are Nazis: When this co-worker finds out the poster's surname is German, he immediately jumps to this trope. The name might be German, but the actual ethnic background is Ashkenazi Jewish, and several of the poster's relatives were killed in the Holocaust. (At least the co-worked apologized.)
  • All-Natural Snake Oil: "It can’t be drugs; it is all herbal and all." "Sure... remind me: what are opium and marijuana made from?"
  • All Periods Are PMS: Discussed in this story. A delivery driver advises his trainee that a woman ordering tampons, tea, and chocolates to her door is probably having a bad one and will be cranky, so they need to be extra polite to her.
  • Alpha Bitch:
  • Always a Bigger Fish: A lot of stories dealing with abusive managers or bosses end with said supervisor getting caught out by someone higher on the corporate ladder than they are and receiving their comeuppance.
  • Ambulance Chaser: This guard is apparently so worried about these types that he tries to stop emergency services from saving a person's life. Unfortunately for him, obstructing emergency services in that manner is a serious crime, which means he'll probably never work in that capacity ever again.
  • And a Diet Coke: This worker makes the assumption that the customer must be doing the "health benefits" version of this trope, and that no one could possibly want Diet Coke on account of its taste. The customer is not amused.
  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: This boss apparently thought his subordinate should have been this way about her grandmother's death... because of the bad relationship he'd had with his own grandmother. After another coworker explained how different this situation was, the boss took several days off out of shame.
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • This nurse is apparently unaware that "water breaking" rarely happens when a woman goes into labor.
    • This worker thought toes can grow back just like lizard tails.
  • Artistic License – Economics:
    • There are still too many people who don't realize that the United Kingdom still uses the pound sterling, and not the euro.
    • These two indoor amusement park employees somehow think it's perfectly fine to charge customers again with the new price set up by the park even though the customers had already paid a month ago. Their manager was not pleased.
    • This cashier can't tell the diffence between a one dollar and two dollar Australian coin despite the value is printed on the coins itself.
  • Artistic License – Geography:
    • London is the capital of France, apparently.
    • So, if you speak Danish, are you from Finland then?
    • This receptionist fails to understand that the Middle East is not part of the US. Somehow. Given her answer, it seems she was thinking of the Midwest.
    • This cashier thinks New Mexico is part of Mexico.
      • This one thinks that Ohio is in Europe.
    • This cashier believes two forms of ID are fake because, apparently, no one lives in Washington, DC. ("It’s just government buildings and monuments!") This version was particularly problematic for the customer because the cashier attempted to confiscate and destroy said forms of ID note , forcing said customer to call the police to intervene.
    • “And to clarify, Canada is Australia, and Russia is above you?”
    • A manager said “That’s a trick question! Mexico’s not part of the United States, so it doesn’t have a capital!”
    • The store owner in this story doesn't seem to grasp the concept of other countries being different from the one he is currently in (in this case, Canada) — wondering why his store in Oregon isn't closing early for Canada Day (July 1st) and subsequently being confused when it does close early on the 4th (Independence Day).
    • This police officer. Who cares if he's in North Carolina, the vehicle he stopped had a New York license plate and therefore he's ticketing the driver for not following New York law (NY requires vehicles to have front license plates; the owner removed the front plate upon leaving NY) even though no law of North Carolina, the state he's actually in, has been broken. Not even his sergeant pointing this out to him is enough to get it through his thick skull, since this is apparently far from the first such complaint.
    • This unemployment office apparently assumes that "white" automatically means "American citizen".
    • Just because Hawaii happens to be "overseas" doesn't mean it's not a US state.
    • This bank representative doesn't understand Hong Kong's status as a special administrative region of China (somewhat understandably)... but has also somehow never heard of Tokyo, Japan, assuming the submitter was making up a country.
    • In this story, the submitter's coworker doesn't believe there's a country named Denmark and, when shown proof, somehow thinks its official name, "The Kingdom of Denmark," means it's part of England. The boss is even worse, thinking that Denmark doesn't even exist and was made up by the submitter.
    • This coworker believes that the US has 57 states (including Mexico).
  • Artistic License – History: This coworker confuses Elvis Presley with Adolf Hitler and doesn't know who Mussolini was.
  • Artistic License – Law:
    • This manager thinks he can scribble "corrections" (such as cutting the contracted payment in half and adding an extra 13 years to a warranty service) on an already-signed contract and have them be binding - which is extra hilarious when he complains that the submitter already signed the (pre-"corrected") contract, to try and get out of enforcing the terms they actually agreed to. The judge got a laugh out of the situation before ruling for the poster.
    • This police officer gives the submitter a ticket for not using their blinker at an intersection, when the submitter repeatedly stated that they were going straight. The ticket is contested and quickly thrown out, with the implication that the police officer still didn't understand why he was scolded by the judge for writing stupid tickets.
    • As above under Geography, this officer doesn't seem to understand that traffic laws in New York — such as the requirement of front license plates — do not necessarily apply in another state like North Carolina just because it has New York plates.
  • Artistic License – Religion: This hospital receptionist thinks all Muslims are inbred and share the same last name.
  • Ask a Stupid Question...: An illustration of the pitfalls of this trope — a person just might take your answer seriously.
  • Bad Boss: Lots of them. Many of the rest fall into the category of Pointy-Haired Boss.
    • This guy's name may as well be Dilbert. In fact, the story's events happened almost verbatim in a Dilbert comic.
    • This boss fires an employee for wrongdoings that never actually happened. Fortunately, the employee gets severance pay out of it when she threatens to bring it up with the Labour Relations Board after the boss fails to produce a paper trail.
    • There's apparently a store where, at least within reason, being a bad boss is mandatory — the submitter ends up promoted to the bad manager's position after he intentionally breaks labor laws by making her work far longer than allowed. However, when she tries to avoid the same situation by covering for a co-worker's break a few months later, they actually reprimand her for doing her job, to which she immediately quits and never returns.
    • This boss actually pulled a Did You Actually Believe...? on an office worker after he was ordered to work overtime to get a major order done by Monday.
      Boss: (laughing) You actually stayed here until midnight? You’re stupid!
      Worker: ...excuse me?
      Boss: There would be no way I would've done that much overtime for this. We didn't even need it until Thursday of this week anyway. It could have waited!
    • This manager and his daughter have been stealing money from their company for half a year — and when they're about to be found out, the manager tries to get the worker processing the case to take the fall for it. It doesn't work, and the manager not only loses his job, he gets thrown behind bars.
    • Apparently, this boss doesn't believe being too ill to work is an excuse for missing work. She threatens to fire that person if they don't come in — and then makes good on that threat, despite said person's dad painstakingly explaining why it's impossible for them to come in.
      • This manager is just as bad, actually threatening to fire a worker if they call in sick ever again, regardless of the circumstances — such as the massive concussion they suffered at work a few days prior — because in his eyes the submitter is just being lazy. Sure enough, the submitter wakes up one day vomiting excessively from the concussion, asks if they can at least come in later, and is fired. And then the manager has the gall to ask the worker if they'll be able to make it in for one of their busiest work days of the year, calling the entire above situation a "misunderstanding" and claiming the submitter quit of their own accord rather than being wrongfully fired. The submitter gives them a massive "The Reason You Suck" Speech (revealing that the manager was giving the submitter unreasonable working hours that didn't give them time to even get home and back between shifts for a month and a half, and completely ignoring repeated complaints about this) and hangs up.
      • In the same vein, the submitter throws up and calls the manager to clock out, as the contract states that anyone who does vomit cannot return for forty-eight hours. The manager instead threatens to fire the submitter for "walking out," even when explicitly told what is going on. The manager does follow through; however, her boss, upon finding out the exact circumstances, demotes the manager to a server and promotes the submitter to team leader.
    • This manager here. A worker got into accident during a ski trip which left her hospitalized with a broken arm and leg, and hasn't been able to come in for three weeks. But this manager thinks she's just being lazy for not asking for that time off and writes her up, much to the horror of her coworker, who already explained that the worker was badly injured and cannot come to work. When the worker does come back to work, with her broken arm and leg in plaster, the manager forces her to get a book on a high shelf and threatens to fire her if she doesn't, because according to him she's just lazy. After twenty-five painful minutes attempting to get the book, rather than thanking the worker, he just snatches the book away and calls her lazy again. Thankfully, the manager was later fired after the worker complained to the owner.
    • This boss writes up an employee after they refused to help a customer find a prostitute. Who cares if prostitution is illegal?
    • This boss does not give a damn whether his waiters are being rude to customers over completely inconsequential things like what sort of drink a woman orders, or that said customers are taking their business elsewhere because of this — but once he realizes one of them is an esteemed local food critic, his tune changes. Of course, this is only to ward off a bad review, rather than to actually make it up to paying customers that were mistreated (as evidenced by him repeatedly referring to things like the waiter deliberately spilling the woman's drink as a "misunderstanding"), which does not earn him their favor — the story ends by revealing that the restaurant went under shortly after this incident, despite (or perhaps because of) the critic not even mentioning them, while giving a positive review to the restaurant across the street that he and his wife actually ate at.
    • This assistant manager, as accidentally revealed after a prank gone wrong, has been stealing from his own store, both for himself and his friend.
    • Likewise, this assistant manager, in addition to pretending to be the owner, had been opening the restaurant he works at on Mondays (when they're normally closed), only to give said friends free food, which had been cutting into their profits. The actual owner had him fired over this, as evidenced by referring to him as "my now ex-assistant manager".
    • This boss actually fires an employee for clocking their hours correctly, because showing up two hours before you're actually scheduled and not clocking in right then, thus getting paid for not doing work, is "antisocial behavior". Unsurprisingly, the company ends up having to close multiple locations because of financial issues, and the "social" one is the very first to go.
    • This boss expects a worker to clean up an active biohazard without any sort of protective gear, because calling the city about it would cost too much, yet loaning the worker equipment they're not trained in, or letting them buy the equipment themselves, would be illegal. The worker quits on the spot.
    • This team leader kept writing up a part-time worker for things they had absolutely no way of knowing about beforehand. The part-time worker eventually quit over it.
    • This owner offers the submitter a full-time position (they were working part-time both there and at another job)... then waits until the submitter hands in their two weeks' notice at the other place before telling them she can't actually hire them on full-time. Worse, this immediately precedes the submitter learning they will be working 36 hours a week, which basically is full-time (it legally counts as such in other parts of the world) but is just shy enough from it to still avoid the U.S.'s full-time laws so the new employer doesn't have to provide benefits.
    • This assistant manager who traps his employee with PTSDnote  to prevent him from taking a break, assuming he was faking just as an excuse to be lazy. Not only is the assistant manager chewed out by the boss when the employee has a panic attack, he's promptly fired for blocking an exit, creating a fire hazard.
    • This boss blames the submitter for tearing a document that never once left the boss's hands. And this is apparently a regular occurrence, too; luckily for the submitter, he was able to get away by joining the National Guard.
    • This church secretary is forced to become a security guard for the in-house daycare by the church's council. They point out that they don't know the kids' parents, their existing work takes them all over the building so they can't keep watch over the kids, and they were hired as a secretary, not as a security guard — and yet they're forced to do the extra work anyway, and are even written up for objecting to it even though the council member admitted that the objections were correct. They quit two months later, and later learn that whole situation was designed specifically to force them to quit.
    • This bakery owner screams at people for the most minor mistakes, to such an extreme extent that her employees are terrified of her. The submitter, then a trainee, refused to work there any longer if that was how her boss would react to slight mistakes from the new girl, and found a place of employment with "a less psycho owner".
    • This employee was dismissed without unemployment benefits for racism, because they mentioned "Muslims and prayer time" in a speech. Apparently, Muslims are a race now, and taking into account anything they do differently from other religions is discrimination, somehow. Fortunately, the employee took the case to the unemployment agency, who then made the former employer pay for unemployment until they could find a new job.
    • This ableist manager orders a mute employee to answer the phone - something he obviously cannot do. She starts screaming at him when he repeatedly presses a button instead of talking, then fires him and cusses him out when he hangs up. Turns out the mute employee's brother, the CEO, was on the other end and understood the Morse Code his brother was sending. Upon learning the circumstances under which his brother was fired, the enraged CEO furiously berates the asshole manager and fires her instead for discrimination.
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: invoked This submitter, when held up by TSA employees because of a Star Trek salt-and-pepper shaker, has to quote the trope name because said TSA employees have apparently never heard of Star Trek, and as such can't recognize lines that actually were spoken on the show.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: "If you can prove yourself, you WILL have my job, and then you can do all this work all the time."
  • Belief Makes You Stupid:
    • “But who doesn’t celebrate Easter?!” Uh, the Jewish, for starters.
    • This Jewish Duty Manager threw out £15,000 worth of food because it wasn't kosher despite the restaurant wasn't a kosher only restaurant. Worse, she is rather hypocritical where she calls another Jewish worker not a real Jew because he called out on her actions, wants people to respect her beliefs but won't respect other faiths and when the submitter meets her again after she was fired, she was seen eating a bacon sandwich, a very non kosher food.
  • Benevolent Boss: In some of these stories, where a lower-level employee is the culprit, the employee's manager will step in to intervene. And in a few of these occurrences, the boss will subvert this by being, in his/her own way, nearly as bad as the employee.
    • Here's one such boss that manages to get a Bad Boss (and his girlfriend) fired.
    • This gym owner finds that a homeless man has been living in the gym's locker rooms and begging food from other gym members. The owner hires the man as a live-in maintenance worker so that he can repay those other members and get back on his feet.
    • The owner in this story had been actively bending every rule he could to treat his employees generously. When one worker gets greedy over bonus checks, the owner simply gives them exactly what they'd asked for— merit-based bonus checks (the greedy worker hadn't contributed much to the project), and a departure without being fired (making them ineligible for severance pay).
  • Bilingual Backfire:
  • Blatant Lies:
    • This lady lies about her qualifications to get a job, lies that her boyfriend is a lawyer, and then after getting fired, lies to her new employer that she was assistant manager at the store that fired her after seeing through her lies.
    • This CSR is pretty desperate not to have to do a return.
    • This manager tries to claim credit for the submitter's work for helping a customer's order. Too bad the store manager knew he was lying due to the fact that the customer knew the submitter's name.
    • This person gets rid of a telemarketer by saying that their mother was "mauled to death by a horde of angry platypi" led by Perry the Platypus. The telemarketer believes it, offers condolences, and hangs up.
    • "There was a bear."
    • This agent is politely told to call between specific hours if they want a manager who can answer their question. She immediately calls back and, oblivious to the fact that the employee who answered was the exact same one as the last time, claims that "the last bitch I spoke to" was being rude.
    • This waitress lies to a customer about bringing his food out when they actually never received it. When the couple objects, the manager (her father) claims they're trying to scam the restaurant. When the owner then comes out to investigate, he discovers that the waitress had been eating the submitter's food herself. The waitress and her father are both fired and the couple's meal is comped.
    • "I'm dead now."
  • Bluff the Impostor: How one supposed satellite TV company caller gets caught.
  • Bothering by the Book: When the subject of a story isn't an employee being unnecessarily rude or incredibly lazy, it's probably because someone is following procedure to the letter, to the detriment of everything else. Examples:
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: ...from the wrong side.
  • Buffy Speak: Big spoony thing.
    • This one: A customer asking for an item says, "It goes on the counter; you put the things in it? You know for, like, the mix-y and the… the scoopy and the… STUFF!" After the worker manages to figure it out, he says, "I have a second job as a bartender. I don’t speak ‘Idiot’ but I DO speak ‘Drunk,’ and it’s nearly the same thing."
  • Bystander Syndrome: I was supposed to use a fire extinguisher?
    • This trope shows up depressingly often, and nearly every story in the Lazy/Unhelpful section is guaranteed to have an employee just throw up their arms and go "it's not my problem", even though almost every time this happens it is their problem.
  • Caffeine Bullet Time: "All I saw was a green blur!"
  • Calvinball: Trope namedropped and in full effect here.
  • Cassandra Truth:
    • A textbook example.
    • Despite the fact that the doctor knows the patient is a virgin and her pregnancy test is negative, the student nurse helping out still believes the patient is pregnant.
  • Casual Kink: "You'll make a man very happy someday."
  • Child Hater: This fast-food cashier.
  • Cloudcuckoolander:
  • Clueless Boss: They show up often. Let's leave it at that, because listing them all could fill another page.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    • This person gives their street address to a pizza deliverer, mentioning Lincoln, "like the president". The delivery person mentions that Obama's the president.
    • "So you think people act a certain way based on their race? That's racist." "No it's not! That's prejudice!" The absolutely hilarious part is that he's right.
    • This manager asks a worker to water the plants during a slow point of the day. The worker points out it's raining; the manager replies, "take an umbrella."
    • This truck stop has several advertising billboards out along the freeway leading to it...but then refuses to serve anyone who is not a local.
    • This interviewer continues interviewing people for two days after the job they're applying for has already been filled, thinking just getting an interview (rather than actually working) is good job experience.
    • This hotel hires a security guard to deal with unruly guests coming from a nearby stadium. Unfortunately, the guard they hire thinks it's his job to make other people do his job for him. He's unsurprisingly gone within a week.
    • This customer asks a food counter employee if they serve alligator meat at an alligator reservation.
    • An employee is being fired for multiple causes, including threatening to kill everyone. "So, when can I apply again?"
  • Confronting Your Imposter: Less frequent than in Right, but still around.
    • "Time to Try Another Tactic" has a caller claim to be the daughter of the owner, while the female worker that answered is the owner's only child.
    • New hires telling off the owner's actual children because they think they're catching someone attempting this is rather common, however — see here and here for examples of this form of Conviction by Counterfactual Clue.
  • Consummate Liar:
    • There is something legitimately wrong with this girl. One can only hope she eventually gets professional help. One also wonders how many people are jobless and/or on social assistance simply because they can't stop lying their pants off.
    • One worker lies so much to ditch work that she was fired on the phone.
  • Contrived Coincidence: After aimlessly wandering around a store, the submitter (a Scary Black Man) just happens to pass by a customer enough times that she becomes convinced he is stalking her, and reports him to a manager.
  • Conversational Troping: Three employees and their manager are tailing a suspected shoplifter. One mentions how sneaky this is, just like in Mission: Impossible, another starts humming the iconic theme to that movie, the third wants someone to do an Unnecessary Combat Roll, just like in movies of that genre, and the manager bets someone $20 to do it, right now, just for the heck of it.
  • Conviction by Counterfactual Clue: This shopper gets stopped at the door by a pair of greeters who ask for her receipt. She doesn't have it, but asks to go fetch her husband, who works at the auto department, but who isn't off the clock yet. Ha, say the greeters, the auto department closed an hour ago! You're lying, and we'll have to confiscate the item (an air conditioner). While it's true that the auto department has closed, the husband is still on the clock (he assists in other departments until his shift ends). But at this point, the greeters won't listen — they won't let the shopper or her kid leave with the AC (understandably), and for a long while they won't let the shopper or her kid go back into the store to fetch the husband (somewhat less understandably). The misunderstanding continues — and even escalates — until the point the (angry) husband finally walks up with the receipt.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: The "penny tip" for bad restaurant service. Since leaving no tip could be seen as poor manners or forgetfulness on the customer's part, leaving a single penny (or nickel, or dime) instead communicates that the customer WOULD have tipped, but the waiter didn't deserve it.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive:
    • This cell-phone company. "You want to cancel your cell phone? Okay, that'll be $350. You say you're not paying because your father died, and it was his cell phone? Yeah, right, not falling for it. $350, please. You say you have the official death certificate in your hand and can fax it right over here? You can buy a fake one for real cheap. Nice try, scammer, you'll still have to pay. You're going to go directly to the higher-ups in Corporate and beg for them to waive the fee? That's fine, because they'll just ignore you until you've paid just as much as part of your monthly bill anyway!"
    • Oh dearie me, this is a veritable cascade of the events. The combination electric and water supplier has a monopoly on the whole town, with the mayor and other town council members sitting on the board of directors, with the narrator explicitly stating that "they get to do pretty much anything they want without repercussions." This includes the (13-year-old, at time of the event) narrator's mother being harassed about paying a bill that she already paid, with the company calling about an address on the other side of town; the same mother having issues with a meter reader calling the cost at a far higher amount than used, despite her having been out for over two weeks with not a utility running; a triple-cost bill being sent to the narrator's house, when it was intended for the bartender down the street; and the kid!narrator being left out in the rain due to the company sending in a pair of electricians to fiddle with the (malfunctioning) electric box, hence leaving the kid unable to use the garage keypad to get in! And running over some Texas Sage while they were at it. To top it all off, that was ALSO supposed to be the bartender's call! Oh yeah, it's been six years and it's still just as bad.
    • In this story, a worker is forced to leave early while they still have a ton of paperwork to do. The worker is promptly fired the next day for not doing that paperwork — and is then forced to sign a paper stating that they are leaving of their own accord, which means the worker is not entitled for unemployment benefits. Fortunately, unlike the previous examples, karma bit them fast and hard, as it was not very long before the worker found a new job and the corrupt company went out of business.
  • Crying Wolf: The reason these employees are (at first) flippant about a serious "ceiling fan is hanging by the wires" problem — because usually it's just a housing that's come off, with the support for the fan itself still in place. This time, though, it really is hanging by the wires... and the person who comes to fix it is practically floored when he sees it, even asking to take a picture to prove it to the people at the office.

     D - K 

  • "I’m such a b***! Ha!" At least this jerk is honest about it.
  • This employee makes the assumption that a person is thin because they're anorexic (they're actually recovering from the flu). Even if they were right about it, calling them an "anorexic freak" to their face and trying to ring them up for a large regular soda and a cheeseburger against their request is not the way to handle such a situation.
  • This boss proudly displays her racism against a black delivery man like a billboard on a highway, calling the delivery company seemingly every day to complain about even the tiniest of mistakes made by the delivery man. The author eventually has enough of her bullshit and quits a week later, only to run into the same delivery man at her new job. The author then reveals the truth about her ex-boss, which ultimately ends up saving the delivery man's job as his manager was with him at the time. The delivery company then cuts the ex-boss's contract as a result of her hostility towards the delivery man.

     L - R 

     S - Z 

  • Sarcasm-Blind:
    • "Sure, I'll... schedule my parents' anniversary for a different day next time." "That's more like it!"
    • This collector somehow failed to realize that the debtor's comment about having to start a meth lab to make the suggested payment (NZ$1000 per week, or about US$800 - this after the debtor explaining he only made NZ$320 in that time) was not an option the debtor was seriously considering. To top it off, the collector somehow failed to realize the suggestion was illegal.
    • This one almost led to an increase in one individual's student loan payments.
  • Scary Black Man: This customer, which leads to a case of Mistaken For Stalker.
  • Schmuck Bait: "Hey, this file I just got in my email says it has an important message about my bank account! It's not from my bank, though, but it must be important, since it says "IMPORTANT!"
  • Schoolyard Bully All Grown Up: "When I was young, we just found a scrawny kid and beat him up when we were bored.”
  • Sci Fi Ghetto:invoked This bookstore seems to have fallen victim to it, much to the disappointment of both the customer and the employee.
  • Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: This bus driver seems to use the trope regularly, given that he seems to have a reputation with the bus company that hired him.
  • Screw the Rules, I Have Connections!:
    • This character seems to be under the impression this is the case for her, since her uncle's the assistant manager. Comes apart when her uncle is the one to fire her.
    • This coworker is "in tight" with the assistant manager, and uses this as an excuse to boss an employee around. Unfortunately for him, he's trying to boss around the son of the business's owner. Oops.
    • This coworker is deathly afraid that this is the case with the sales manager (who happens to be the boss's wife), to the point that said coworker tries to stop the submitter from writing a complaint to them, even erasing a draft of the email in the effort. ("This is for your own good!") It turns out the boss appreciates the complainer's honesty and guts, and the sales manager's work improves significantly as a result of the complaint.
    • This waitress is rude to customers, brings out the wrong food, and then flat-out ignores their complaints, claiming that nobody will stop her because her dad's the owner. And, of course, she then goes absolutely ballistic when the customers refuse to give her a tip for the piss-poor service.
    • Another waitress, being the daughter of the restaurant's manager, tries to invoke this when she is fired by the head chef for stealing a customer's food and lying about it... only for the chef to reveal that he owns the restaurant. Bonus points for the chef firing the manager as well afterwards.
    • This story concerns an asshole who constantly sexually harasses female employees of a theatre production, and his equally-asshole father who refuses to acknowledge that any wrongdoing is taking place no matter how much the other employees complain. It backfires on them when a security employee who has had enough duct-tapes him to a table after he gets particularly aggressive with her, and when the boss threatens to have her fired over it, the owner steps in and fires him and his son instead, in the meantime setting them up for the security employee to sue them both for the sexual harassment (the son for doing it, the father for pretending it wasn't happening).
    • The owner of this restaurant defies any attempts by other people to claim this, as a matter of restaurant policy.
    • These cops refuse to do anything about a groom not only refusing to quiet down his party but also having far more people in his hotel room than the fire code allows, simply because he happens to be in the military. Fortunately, his commanding officer isn't having it, and the groom ends up demoted and discharged for it.
  • Screw the Rules, I Make Them!:
    • This Arena Employee tries to stop a teenage girl and her younger sister from leaving their seats and going to the bathroom, claiming those under 18 cannot leave their seats without an adult, a rule she made up. When the teenager points out no such rule exists and she's 18 and tries to leave, the employee calls security to stop them and lies that the girls tried to cause a scene and made threats. Too bad there were onlookers who called out on her lies and how she didn't bother younger children than the girls who were also leaving their seats without their parents. Even the security criticizes the employee for making up the rules and her unlawful interference with patrons. The employee was given disciplinary action and wasn't allowed back to work until she memorized their policy.
    • This company's policy is that every manager has to work at least one holiday so the rest of the store's employees can have a chance to take them off. Naturally, there's one manager who's decided he will not work any holidays - if the entire rest of the store has to work every Thanksgiving and Christmas rather than spend them with their families to facilitate this, so be it. He's soon demoted and moved to a different store when someone picks up on this and reports it to corporate—but not before that manager is also forced to work both Thanksgiving and Christmas.
    • Again for this manager - days off at the gymnasium they work for are on a first-come, first-serve basis, but even though the submitter was the first one, the manager scheduled them for a day they wanted off anyway because nobody else wanted to work that day either. To top it off, the submitter puts in their two weeks' notice (which would likely have happened anyway)...and the manager tries to schedule the submitter after their last day.
    • This manager tries to invoke it by saying "YOU CAN'T TELL ME WHAT TO DO! I'M THE MANAGER!" For context, the manager is trying to give a customer a pizza that got dropped on the floor in violation of health and safety codes. In front of the customer. Eventually the employee wins the argument.
    • This tax agent, against company rules, send a customer's tax return to the IRS without checking her latest check stub, delaying the customer from getting her tax refund. And when the tax company, as an apology for the delay, gives her the money now until she can pay back the company with her tax refund once it arrives, the same tax agent who was responsible for this mess in the first place, rather than wait for the customer to come to the company after her work at school was done, came to the customer's school unannounced to not only give her the money but make her sign an unfair contract that would charge the customer if she didn't pay back the company in 45 days, something the company didn't approve. Due to the agent's greedy nature and working behind the company's backs, causing the customer much trouble and stress, the CEO of the company gave the customer a cash settlement for her troubles and fired the agent.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Beautiful!:
    • This person certainly thinks so, but... "Let's see if you being 'pretty' will matter to your manager, shall we?"
    • "I'M PRETTIER! MEN SHOULD BE INTERESTED IN ME!"
    • A male example here.
    • This girl shows up to work in a factory and completely disregards the dress code there, wearing fancy clothes and refusing to wear steel-toed boots. Furthermore, she refuses to work on a machine because she'll get dirty and won't help with crates because she'll break a nail. As the entry states, she only lasted two days.
    • One woman in an office uses her feminine charms to get what she wants. Unfortunately for her, her charms don't work on her boss, so she ends up having to swap her office (rearranged so that the computer screen is not visible from the outside; services obtained by said methods so nobody will know she's not actually working) with another employee who purportedly has an actual business need for said rearrangements (they work on financial data that they don't necessarily want the casual observer to see).
  • The Scrooge: This bank manager is one on the level of Scrooge McDuck himself; what kind of person calls the police over someone accidentally being given one dollar too much?
  • Secret Test: A hotel manager here sabotages a guest's request in order to make one, with unpleasant results.
  • Secret Test of Character: Here, where a situation involving an Angry Black Man attempting to purchase a gun under suspicious circumstances turns out to be a test of the employee.
  • Separated by a Common Language:
  • A Sinister Clue: Referenced here.
  • Skewed Priorities:
    • This teacher refuses to let her students leave the class during a fire alarm because they're taking an exam. She would rather the students burn to death rather than leave an exam unfinished. Luckily the director came, got all the students out, and the teacher was fired and sued by the school.
    • This coworker prefers working electricity to a house.
    • This pizza delivery worker was involved in an auto accident that damaged property (including another person's car). The first thing he did? Borrow a neighbor's cell phone to call his job to make sure he wouldn't lose it, rather than check on the occupants of the car. This, among other acts (such as lying to police) eventually caused him to lose said job.
    • This guard is more worried about the fallout from a potential Ambulance Chaser (without any proof that the seizure victim in question would even consider it, for the record) than actually saving the person's life, to the point he actively tries to stop emergency services from doing so. Because interfering with emergency services is a serious crime, the obstructive behavior gets him a criminal record, which means he can no longer work as a security guard (or in many other jobs, for that matter).
    • This doctor puts patient turnover ahead of patients' well-being. "Dr. Jerk" would be insufficient to describe him.
    • This receptionist thinks finalizing her nose job on the phone was more important than getting a patient who's in pain to meet the Doctor. What's worse was the patient was the only one in the lobby, meaning the receptionist could have done this at literally any other point in time without issue. The receptionist was later fired.
    • This division officer. Someone else daring to get married in a manner other than the way he did so? That's threatening the sanctity of his marriage! Having an affair with the daughter of a rear admiral, though? No, that's perfectly fine (until someone takes that information to his wife).
    • This photo lab manager catches another employee she doesn't get along with selling cigarettes to a regular customer without checking his ID because they both know he is in his 40's, and immediately claims because she's friends with that man's mother, she knows he's actually a 14-year-old boy with a "growth disease" that just makes him look like he's 40, and she's going to report that employee and get them fired for selling cigarettes to a minor. The manager she goes to reprimands her for standing by and letting this happen while hoping that a coworker will get fired over it, rather than actually stepping in and stopping the transaction if she's so sure that the customer is a minor.
    • This caller, after wiping her baby's bottom with some wipes (noted specifically not to be for personal use) and having the baby's butt start to bubble, is more worried about how the company's going to compensate her rather than the health of her baby.
    • This doctor gets an infant with a fever of 106 degrees Farenheit, and rather than try to find what's causing this life-threatening condition, and treat it, fixates on a birthmark, accusing the parents of being abusive because they're more worried about the unexplained fever than getting a birthmark they were told would go away on its own surgically removed. Thankfully, the child survived, and the birthmark disappeared on its own, exactly as promised, by the age of 6, but the story does have an at-best Bittersweet Ending: the submitter was the only one of six children who suffered from this unexplained malady and lived through that night.
  • Small Name, Big Ego:
  • Smug Snake: The workers in these stories, until they lose that smile:
    • This cashier takes away a customer's ID and passport as fakes because she believes nobody actually lives in Washington, DC. The customer calls the police on her because the cashier is planning to destroy her ID and passport (while smiling smugly thinking it's the customer who's going to be arrested). Unfortunately, the cashier loses it when the cop calls her an idiot for thinking nobody lives in DC and not realizing her IDs are legitimate.
    • Another cashier stops a young girl from leaving because she sees the girl writing something in her notebook and immediately jumps to the conclusion that she was going to steal a car, loudly proclaiming that she caught a thief. However, when the police and the girl explain to the cashier what's written in the notebook are not car license plate numbers but the dates of when she found license plates from different US states, she tries desperately to justify her accusations that the girl is a thief. The cashier got in trouble with the police instead.
    • A "nurse" calls a patient an idiot for coming to a medical lab and tells her to leave because the patient came for a catheter, which the "nurse" claims they don't do - and then it's revealed she's not actually a nurse and has no idea what she's talking about. After the patient gets her blood taken from her doctor, the "nurse" continues to insult the patient, telling her that she's going to die because her doctor is stupid right before she's paged in by the Big Boss; the submitter learns later that she was fired on the spot for turning away eleven other patients over jumping to conclusions, couldn't for the life of her figure out why she was being fired, and had to be dragged away by security while screaming about stupid people and stupid doctors.
    • This night security supervisor at a resort orders the couple who runs the bike rental shop to close down despite there being customers still being helped. When the couple ignores the security supervisor's warnings, he gets mad and calls the couple's boss, the General Manager, thinking the boss will side with him. Instead, the General Manager praises the couple for their work in helping the customers and tells the security supervisor to help the customers or stop bothering them and leave. Losing it, the security supervisor threatens to have the couple fired, but the customers come to the couple's defense and complained about the security supervisor's behavior to corporate. The supervisor was fired and denied unemployment benefits.
    • This clerk rejects an ID and calls the police because he claims that the woman on the ID can't be the submitter, even though the submitter states that she looks exactly the same as the ID photo down to the hairstyle and shirt color, and then makes her "give back" a packet of chocolates that the store doesn't sell, charging her for them even when she starts feeling dizzy due to her diabetes. When the police do come, the police officer confirms that the ID does belong to the submitter and that the store does not sell the chocolates that the submitter is accused of stealing. When the clerk admits that the submitter did tell the clerk both that the store does not sell that brand and that she has diabetes, the officer berates and threatens to arrest the clerk for refusing to give her the chocolates, noting that because she was clearly ill, the police officer would have allowed her to have the chocolates even if she was stealing them.
    • This girl demands a job at a custom knife store, admitting that she is only getting a job because her dad wants her to get one and she doesn't plan on doing any actual work. This fact, combined with the fact that the company isn't hiring anyway, means that the submitter's friend refuses to give her a job. The girl threatens to complain to the owner, claiming to know "him," and leaves, later coming back with her father. Said father threatens to get the submitter fired by the owner, when the submitter makes a deal: if he can call the owner and relay the owner's approval, she'll hire the girl. When the father starts talking on the phone, the submitter calls him out, noting that she's the owner, based on the fact that the picture on the wall next to the owner's number is of the submitter, that her name tag has "Owner" printed on it, and the name on said name tag is the same as the sign outside.
    • After a customer complained to a deli cashier that the chicken she's selling is the wrong order as the price is lower than the customer usually ordered, the cashier tries to act smug, saying the customer lost a chance to get chicken at a cheaper price, only to lose that smile when the customer points out the cashier would have gotten in trouble for selling the wrong item at the wrong price and get written or fired.
  • Snipe Hunt:
  • The Social Darwinist: This manager never donates to cancer research because he believes that diseases like cancer help prevent overpopulation.
  • Spanner in the Works: These prankster employees unwittingly foil a shoplifting scheme that includes their assistant manager as a collaborator.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: No, seriously, that's a really smart raccoon.
  • Spoonerism: The shitted feets.
  • Stay in the Kitchen:
    • This video game store cashier is disgusted when a girl walks in to retrieve a game. The game was for the girl's brother, but the cashier's disgust and remarks are, well, disgusting.
    • Thankfully, not all misogynists are beyond redemption.
    • This cashier seems to think that women are completely incapable of doing any woodwork.
    • When a cashier gives a female customer a hard time (including dropping the trope name), the customer's five-year-old brother proceeds to lay a verbal smackdown.
    • A bizarre case here where a female employee clearly believes that auto maintenance and repair is beyond a woman, but the male employee she summons clearly sees that in this case, the woman who had to pop the hood had things in hand.
    • Inverted here, when a man isn't employed because the worker thinks they're not as hard-working as women. As the story says, sexual discrimination laws go both ways - and, of course, the employer is still dumb enough to tell this to that man's face.
    • Another inversion here, with a female employee who will bend over backwards for female customers, but is dismissive and rude towards male ones, including making up stories about them being rude to her (e.g. claiming the submitter was trying to get a refund for expired food he bought months ago, rather than warning them of long-expired food still on their shelves).
    • This woman has had to deal with many home improvement stores that fall deep into this trope, so imagine how she feels once she finds a store that averts it. To top it off, said store is run by a woman, perhaps inverting the trope as well.
    • This registrar is a jerkass sexist won't register girls for the mall's sports activities (Soccer, Football and Hockey) but instead puts them into ballet and gymnastics because he thinks all girls like those and hate sports. What's worse, the organizer of these activities allows it because he only cares whether all of the activities have at least 9 kids attending each otherwise they be canceled, claiming it's fair and equal despite the fact the girls basically have no choice in what they get to do. It eventually backfires once a couple of Mama Bears, unhappy about the situation, organize a boycott, leading to most—if not all—of the activities being cancelled.
      • This registrar is better in this regard; his excuse is that every other girl signing up legitimately did want ballet, so he assumed this one wanted that too, and is quick to fix the mistake when she points out she wants to play football. Unfortunately, the organizer is just as sexist as the last example; he even talks as if the girl will end up dropping off the team immediately, even after being shown video evidence of her liking the game and being very, very good at it. At least the organizer (albeit grudgingly) allows her the chance to try. Also, this incident takes place in Darwin, so they may have been talking about Australian Rules Football, which is a very rough sport.
      • Rounding out the possibilities, this registrar is a jerkass sexist who, without the knowledge of the parents, sign up girls for ballet and gymnastics despite their requests, and even threatened physical violence on a woman who complained about it. Unlike the previous two stories, the organizer is not happy when he finds out, and ends up firing the clerk on the spot and correcting the misplacements that he can. (Bonus points: Apparently, the clerk was later arrested on sexual assault charges for a different incident.)
    • This nurse repeatedly reminds a patient that an operation will make her sterile, ignoring the patient repeatedly saying that she was already sterile due to the condition she's getting the operation for. Eventually the nurse snaps and says that the patient's godly duty as a woman is to have children. At least the nurse was kept away from the patient when the incident was reported to the surgeon.
    • This waitress actually cuts a female sailor's military ID in half because she thinks women can't serve in any capacity in the Navy and it's therefore a fake ID. The customer ended up getting the meal free instead, along with a coupon for another free meal at a later time, while the waitress was chewed out by the manager over the incident.
    • The new manager in an aerospace company dismisses what he thinks is an overpaid secretary. Nope, she was the only one with the applied mathematics skills necessary for the group to do the work... and the CEO, once it became known why certain projects had been stalled for months, tore into the supervisor before firing him.
    • This car dealer who assumes that the wife of a pair is only interested in the aesthetic features of the car, and is subsequently surprised when not only is she the one doing the test driving, she proceeds to rattle off everything that's wrong with the car afterwards.
    • In an inversion, this male employee refuses to help a male customer with back problems carry bags of gardening rocks to his car on the grounds that "he is man and is strong enough to do it himself" and complains that a female employee, who did help the customer, shouldn't do that as it's "that man's job" even thought both the customer and female employee repeatlly point out the customer's back problems. And it turns out, this wasn't the first time the male employee did something like this.
  • Stealing the Credit: A hallmark of bad managers, like this one.
  • Stealing from the Till: An extreme example can be found here, involving a manager and his daughter embezzling from the financial services company they both work at for over six months, trying to get another employee to take the fall for them, and finally finding themselves in jail for stealing from multiple businesses they had worked for.
  • Stock Scream: A Wilhelm Scream turns up in this one for reasons unexplained.
  • Stock "Yuck!": This pizza place worker makes the assumption that teenagers ordering a pizza with anchovies is a prank call - and, in typical Not Always Working fashion, is unnecessarily rude about it, which gets him fired within five minutes.
  • Stupid Evil: This boss proudly bullies the disabled employee, right in front of the employee's ACAS representative.
  • Stupid Sexy Flanders: Discussed here, including the sexual-orientation flip.
  • Surrounded by Idiots: This poor cashier.
  • Suspect Is Hatless:
    • This worker at a nursing home, who describes a resident as the one who "has gray hair and glasses, and is sitting in a wheelchair." A coworker points out that that description doesn't narrow it down very much.
    • The only clue the submitter is given on the identity of a secret shopper is "she's a lady".


http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Website/NotAlwaysWorking