Tag Archive: WA

I remember that as a teenager it was my job to help our mother wrap presents. Our mother did all the measuring and cutting of the paper and it was basically my job to prepare and cut the strips of sellotape. While she masterfully wrapped all shapes and sizes I basically fixed everything in place.
When the schools started each year it was basically the same routine except that we would wrap the school books. First they were covered in plain brown paper and then with a thick smooth plastic cover. I was chatting to some moms recently when they commented on how their children are looked down upon if their childrens’ books are not covered with fancy paper. When we were at school, no pictures or fancy stickers were allowed on the books.
Things have changed so much over the years. It is almost impossible anymore for me to find a suitable Christmas gift for our mom mainly because she thinks that she is not worthy of gifts and the first thing she usually says is “you shouldn’t have spent so much money on me dear”.
Our mom has an important birthday coming up in the beginning of January and I am truly stumped, I have no idea how I can make it special for someone who does not want to receive flowers or chocolates.
Getting back to the topic of wrapping Christmas gifts, I always find it exciting wrapping Christmas gifts but wrapping gifts for the company suppliers and customers has always been something I really detested doing. When I was working for the skunk (ex boss) a few years ago, he decided to elect me to wrap several hundred really cheap bottles of whiskey.
Wrapping a bottle of any kind is a hard task but imagine doing it for 4 days in a row. To make matters worse, every time one of the reps came in they made a comment about how I was wasting my time wrapping such cheap liquor because they were not going to degrade themselves by handing out such bad quality rubbish. Anyway I wrapped several hundred bottles and the boss personally handed them out to a select few.
The following year I escaped that task and he ordered WA (who had fallen out of favour) to wrap the company gifts. Her daughter came in and helped her wrap several large gift sets he had bought. That Christmas he had decided not to buy any liquor. They used silver paper from a large roll which had been at the company for several years and the gifts looked smartly wrapped.
The year after that which was Dec 2011 there was none of the silver paper left so he took a roll of brown masking paper which although it is several meters wide is extremely thin. WA was again elected to wrap the gifts but this time her daughter could not come in to assist. There wasn’t a table large enough to work on and she rolled the huge roll of masking paper out on the floor and started measuring and cutting but soon she showed me that the paper was much too thin and transparent to use as gift wrapping paper. I knew that the skunk would be too stingy to buy proper paper so I told her to use the paper double. The brown paper was so ugly!
After wrapping a couple of gifts she went outside for a smoke break and the boss came and inspected her progress. He instructed me to tell her to use less paper, when I explained the problem to him he went silent turned on his heels and disappeared into his office.
How did your gift wrapping go this year or did you get someone else to do it for you?

I want some privacy.

September 1, new staff members joined the company. One woman in particular irks me. She is loud and at our very first meeting she sprang up out of the chair introduced herself and grabbed my hand and shook it. I just get feelings about people and I just wanted to get away from her instantly.
Most of you might think well there is nothing wrong with her way of introducing herself … I have this thing about people touching me. She immediately told me that we would get on very well which annoyed me even further because not only is she assuming but she is trying to manipulate me into thinking I must make this friendship work.
The first day she would not leave my side and kept on asking me personal questions and although I was abrupt and kept on saying “I do not answer personal questions” it did not deter her. Eventually when she could not get anything out of me she said “it is ok, I get on well with people who are much older than me”.
She was assigned to work for my manager in another department and luckily after that first week had past I have very little contact with her. The second month she said she wanted to put everyone’s birth date on a calendar. I gave the date of my birthday but not the year, she wanted my cell phone number then I told her “those who need it have it” then WA my office mate told me that this woman approached her and asked her if she would give my cell phone number to her, WA and I have worked together for 7 years and she knows my quirks and refused to give my cell number to her.
I emailed the boss and the manager (knowing how sloppy they are with personal information of employees) and requested that my personal details not be made available to this woman. The boss called me one side and promised me that all staff information was stored off site and I need not worry about their procedures.
A month later this woman had compiled her birthday calendar and when I saw it a staff member’s details was on it who had left the company in August a month prior to her starting at the company – so where did she get his details from? Surely the manager who is also HR made some company records available to her.
Last Friday I get to work and the boss is immediately in my face, “GB, I need a favour … please go to you inbox … and delete the email I sent you …” He stands watching over my shoulder and I tell him it is done.
When he leaves the office I check and see that it is the bank statement he sends us every morning so that we can check which customers have made electronic transfer payments but this time he included the payments he made to salaries. This batch contained the payment made to my bank and to the HR manager. This email was sent to this woman who I especially don’t want to have my details, a branch manager at a second branch and a new counter sales person working at a third branch.
So this woman knows how much I earn and probably more which really annoys me.

Working for a skunk.

I work in a horrible place for a horrible man. My options of finding work elsewhere are very limited.
As I mentioned two posts ago WA resigned (she is 39) and the following day the boss brought cake to work to celebrate. The reason for the celebration, he worked very hard at harassing and insulting her for over a year to force her to leave.
This morning when I came into work the new rep tearfully told me that the boss had told her last night that he could not afford her and it would be best if she left. She is 53 years old. Her 6 month trial period had passed, she had originally had a job offer from another company and my boss approached her and convinced her to come and work for him and decline the opportunity at the other company, so she really did not expect that he would not offer her a full time contract.
Both these women thought the boss was a wonderful considerate man and that the manager was a religious charming and polite person. I know these two men and how they operate and play with people’s lives and dreams. The rep told me exactly what I have seen for myself over the years that I have been there. They are false, backstabbing and mean.

Constructive Dismissal.

Since I started blogging in Dec 2010 I have written a few posts about WA, and certain conflicts I had with her, well she resigned Friday. She has very good grounds for constructive dismissal but she does not know about her rights and even when I discuss these things with her she does not grasp what they mean.

In this post I want to discuss Constructive Dismissal because up until about 5 years ago I had no idea that it existed and what it meant.

The basics are that constructive dismissal may be defined as “a situation in the workplace, which has been created by the employer, and which renders the continuation of the employment relationship intolerable for the employee – to such an extent that the employee has no other option available but to resign.”

It is not for the employer (respondent) to show that he did not introduce any intolerable condition – it is for the employee to show that he did. There have been many referrals of constructive dismissal to the CCMA which have not succeeded – because the applicant has failed to prove the introduction of any intolerable working condition, amounting to repudiation by the employer of the employment contract.  http://www.labourguide.co.za/workplace-discipline/constructive-dismissal-218

Let’s say you are Jane, here are a few examples of how the boss can make things unpleasant for you at work:

  • The boss makes derogatory remarks about you, in your presence, while talking to other staff or customers. If a staff member says “but I checked with Jane” and he responds “what does Jane know, I don’t want anyone asking Jane anything anymore!”
  • When the boss gives you a direct order and then comes back to you and says he meant something totally different and that from now on everything must be confirmed via emails.
  • When the lift your boss arranged for you does not show up and you arrive late for work and the boss accuses you of being unreliable. To top it all you find out that the boss and other staff members were joking about how “Jane was waiting for a lift that would never come” haha….
  • You get to work and you computer mysteriously does not work preventing you from doing your work.  You complain to IT who says he will have a look but 3 days down the line you have no proof that you asked IT to correct the problem and the boss attacks you for failing to meet deadlines.
  • More and more deductions are taken from your pay so that you feel that nothing that you do is right and that you are taking all this punishment for nothing because you are not earning enough money putting even more pressure on you and creating doubt in your abilities. You start thinking about resigning at this stage.


WA arrived at work one morning in February and the whole display on her computer was upside down. She did not want to argue with anyone again because every move she made was criticized and she tried working like that but of course it is impossible. I restarted the computer which took quite a lot of hand eye coordination to do and the problem was solved until the next morning when we came to work it happened again. I know that the IT manager and the boss do these things because I have caught them doing them to me in the past too.

Unhappiness which is caused by a situation like this, which results in you resigning, gives you the option of going to the CCMA and arguing constructive dismissal but is it worth the trouble because if the company wants to get rid of you there is nothing that will change their attitude or your working conditions.

You might wonder – well why did I write this post then. I wrote it because when I explain to people that there are bosses who want to make life unbearable for staff – they often deny that such a thing exists!

When the boss is always right.

About a year ago WA my work colleague came to me and said that she was being moved from her office and would be sharing the office with me. She also said that the boss had discussed it with her a month earlier and that everyone knew about the move. Five days later two strong me came in and moved her desk and computer into the office with me. The boss not once came and spoke to me about it which made it clear to me that he was not prepared to give me a say in the matter.
The boss wants us to have a family atmosphere type of business so I also think that because of this he should have spoken to me even if it was just to explain that new staff members were joining us or whatever his reason was for making this decision.
I immediately made an effort to get along with WA although I have a long standing grudge against her. When I had a nervous breakdown I mentioned a harrowing meeting with the boss one day and she said “listen GB, I am not interested”. I never burden people with my problems and like I said I just mentioned the meeting I did not go into a word for word account of what had happened.
Yesterday I get to work and immediately with my lunch and keys still in my hands the boss, WA and another colleague all three wanted help and my attention immediately.
The boss gets priority and he gives me a task to do and I help the other colleague. I put my cell phone, keys and lunch away and WA immediately starts telling me about her son’s medical problem. She just assumes that it is a convenient time for me and she just assumes that I am interested in hearing about her son.
This also happened about six months ago and when I gave her a short remark to show her – now is not convenient – she went crying to the boss who called me into his office and said if I did not watch how I talked to fellow staff members that I would get a written warning.
So while WA is talking to me I am ignoring her and I am checking which orders need to go out on the first trip of deliveries and the boss comes charging into the office and says “GB, you can have your private chat on your own time, I told you the task I gave you is top priority and I want it done immediately”.
WA has always been someone who loves chatting more than working and it was his choice to put her in an office with me. WA does not give me a chance to get a word in and I have asked her before not to engage me in a conversation when I arrive at work we can have a chat later on in the day when she is on lunch. I work right through never taking lunch.
Yesterday WA chatted and interrupted every person at work with her personal discussions about her problems not only on the health of her son but also her financial problems and then the day ended. She had been away from work for two days and she made no attempt yesterday to catch up on any of her work.
She left the office every ten minutes to either go buy snacks or to take a break. I gobbled my sandwich in between phone calls etc and when I came home last night I was exhausted because I am not sleeping right through during the night.
This post can also be viewed on Blogger

Back at work 2012

As mentioned in yesterday’s post I returned back to work today and again I was reminded how quickly things can change. One of the delivery drivers in our company passed away yesterday. A strong, tall young man who told me when I went on leave that he had excruciating pain in his kidney area. He kept on requesting pain killers and the boss wanted to give him a combinations of other drugs. I gave him pain killers but refused to give the drugs the boss wanted him to take and told him to go and see the doctor. The boss thinks that all medicines work as placebos and that the worker will think he is healed and will continue working without taking off work. I see it as a serious situation where the condition could be worsened by taking the wrong type of medication. When I last spoke to him he said the doctor found nothing wrong with his kidneys although the pain persisted. He apparently died from water on the lungs – very tragic he has four children.
I had a very surprisingly warm welcome when I arrived at work. Everyone seemed please to see me back, not sure if I can trust it though.
Another one of those ladies who told the boss she would revolutionise his business got fed up and resigned at the end of last year so the staff situation has once again become a problem – he really knows how to choose them.

The boss and WA had one tremendous shouting match again today it is really annoying because it is very public and it interferes with my concentration.
Seeing that I had been away from work longer than the previous years I expected quite a heap of work would be waiting for me when I arrived this morning but luckily some of it had been done by the manager (which was surprising), when I left work this afternoon everything was in order and I was very pleased with the day.

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