Monday, March 25, 2013

Stupid Moments in My Employment History, part 4

Although there have been several accountings of stupidity I've encountered at my current job (see anything tagged Dear Officer, for example) here's a story from my first year. Our supervisor at the time was a very nice, but only marginally competent woman (JT) who had been promoted well past the point of her ability simply because there was nobody else who wanted her job. As a result, she would harp on minutiae that she felt was within the range of her competence/control and drive the rest of us crazy. She was notorious for sending out incomprehensible emails and for being cheap & stingy with office supplies. I asked for a pack of post-it notes (she kept all supplies under lock & key in her office) and was asked what I had done with the pad I had been given 6 weeks before. "Um, I used it up and need a new one?" She only had large ones in the stash, so I was told to cut them in half to make them last longer. Seriously.

Another issue with her was the ordering of items we needed to do our jobs. I learned quickly that you had to tell JT we needed to order labels/envelopes/whatever WELL before we ran out or we'd never get them. Of course she'd still drag her feet about ordering whatever you asked for because "There's a whole case of them in the back." One of the worst things was the sharps containers...the plastic safety tubes that we give officers to put needles in so that nobody gets stuck with a possibly (probably) contaminated needle. She would wait until we were completely out and then berate us for not telling her we needed them. *headdesk*

We were in the process of packing & organizing things to be moved into our lovely new space. (sarcasm) One of the jobs I got stuck with was cleaning out a storage closet that only our office had a key to. It was where we kept cases of citations and random other items that we doled out to officers. Usually when she wasn't there to say no- she thought we should keep everything in case someone needed it. The whole point of them asking for stuff was that they DID need it, but that subtlety eluded her. We'd been out of the sharps containers for almost a month and JT kept dragging her feet on ordering more because "we're moving and they might not get here before we go." It's not like having them delivered after we were gone would have been a problem- we'd been in the basement of HQ and someone could easily be sent back there to get them as our new building was only 10 minutes away.

Anyway, as I dragged out boxes of old manuals from the 70's that were covered in dust 6 inches thick, and other crap of that ilk, I made a major discovery. SIX unopened cases of sharps containers! *happydance* I carried them into the office and gleefully cried "Hey, look what I found!!!" My coworkers were thrilled. Our Sgt & new Lt were laughing at our joy. Then JT came in.

"Oh no," she said, horrified. "We can't use those. They might belong to somebody. Go put them back."

She was serious. WHO THE HELL WOULD THEY BELONG TO IF NOT US?!? We were the only ones with a key to that closet. The boxes were covered with dust, had obviously been there a long time, and we needed the damned things. She was adamant that we shouldn't use them because they might belong to another department. Our Lt finally had to type a letter saying he would take responsibility for us using the containers if someone came looking for them and had a fit before she (reluctantly) agreed to let us keep them.

I can't make this stuff up, folks...

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