People about whom you wonder, "How do they stay employed?"

This is a blatant hijacking off of Shirley Ujest’s thread, Businesses you wonder how they stay in business

I know I’ll think of a million of these because I wonder this alll the time, but here’s example number one: There’s this greasy guy who rotates working at a small chain of coffee houses in downtown Minneapolis. His clothes are always stained, his hair is greasy, he flirts with female customers and he combs his hair behind the counter!

How has this man managed to stay employed at this chain during the five years I’ve worked in downtown Minneapolis? How?!? All I can think is that he must be the owner. Needless to say, I do NOT patronize this establishment at ANY of its locations.


Gah! There’s a guy like this at the gas station down the street from my old house. He always wants to talk about what band t-shirt I have on, he doesn’t know how to ring up pre-pay gas, and he doesn’t know how to use the cash register! He has basically no working-knowlege of the store, yet he’s been there for a year and a half. WTF?

Honey, I wonder every day how I stay employed.

No, seriously. All of my friends from university have had bad luck in the workplace. They get jobs, they lose them, they take on contract work (not that there’s anything wrong with that - I used to do freelance translation while I was in school). The companies they work for go under.

These are people who had high GPAs. My GPA, well, let’s just say it was abominable, and my university career was dismal, although I made it through.

Since I finished school, I’ve managed to find two well-paying jobs, first as a graphic designer, and now as a technical writer/illustrator. I just find it strange that my friends have had so many problems finding and keeping jobs while I haven’t, especially given the fact that I’m a screw-up. The only possible explanation I can think of is that maybe ability, skills, and intelligence are, in fact, more important than a piece of paper and a university transcript.

(I should mention that I don’t work in my field of study.)

  • s.e.

TV meteorologists


I used to work as a shipper and learned to dread orders from one particular company, because they employed the smelliest fellow I’ve ever been in an enclosed space with - he seemingly never changed his clothes, and stank to high heaven of urine and stale sweat. There was a lot of speculation about what compelled anyone to employ him. Apparently, he had saved the business owner’s life, and was guaranteed employment. Never sure if that was true or just part of the Mythos.

The entire cashier staff at the pharmacy in the Duane Reade I go to for my prescriptions.

Charmer #1 mutters to herself the entire time she’s working, with breaks to have what are apparently highly amusing conversations with the other cashiers (most of whom are clustered as far from the registers as they can get). Now, the muttering wouldn’t be so bad, except her monologue goes something like this: “I dunno why everybody’s coming here… ain’t the only pharmacy around here… they can just wait then… shit, they can go across the street.” And so forth.

Charmer #2 clearly despises everyone she waits on-- I was a cashier for a year just out of college, I know you aren’t going to be cheery all the time, but yikes! If she rolled her eyes any more they’d go backwards, and she slams down the signature book thing like she’s trying to kill a bug. She gave so much attititude to an elderly guy (who was clearly a little hard of hearing and having trouble understanding her barely audible speech anyway) once that the entire line of people (which was extensive) got on her case about it. From behind the blue line, of course, though I believe somebody went and got a manager.

There are others, but the two above are the ones I usually have the pleasure of dealing with. At this point I’m taking a sort of perverse interest in seeing how long they can possibly stay employed.

I love it when people…

  1. Feel my pain. Thank you, all.
  2. Call me “honey” - thanks s.e.

This guy that works at my University’s pizza place. Not once has he gotten my order right. I ask for salt on my potato cakes - he gives me tomato sauce (!!!) I ask for garlic sauce on my souvlaki - he gives me BBQ.

Almost everyone at the Uni that I’ve talked to about this guy has had similar problems. I absolutely refuse to be served by him, especially since my cousin saw him coming out of a toilet cubicle without washing his hands. I mean, that guy handles food fercryingoutloud!

This subject in general gets me going, but psychics have been, thankfully, exempted from my list. Psychics prey on certain weaknesses in human thinking. It’s nowhere near as mysterious as it seems. Be vague enough, and tell people what they want to hear. The details are spelled out in “The Semiotics of Fortune Telling” by Edna Aphek and Yishai Tobin.

Most people’s employment isn’t as mysterious as it seems. People as a whole need to be comfortable and earn a living. So our society supports this. Nearly anybody who wants to work, can work. At least at something.

Now. If I was working at McDonalds (which is, I hope, quite unlikely, given education and training) and serving you, you would get exceptional service. I would be polite, considerate, and helpful. I’d make sure you didn’t get food that was over or undercooked. I’d tell you how long it would take to deliver your order, and thank you sincerely for coming to the restaurant.

Unfortunately, if McDonald’s hired only people like me, your hamburger would be so expensive as to be unpalatable.

When we consume, a requirement is that there’s a reasonable charge. And the most cost-effective employee is one who is just barely able to do their job, and is paid accordingly.

Half the people at my job. Seriously, I work in an office of a major international company, one of the biggest. Yet we have people who show up without showering, if they show up at all. Those who actaully do groom themselves, can’t do the job they are paid for. Is it any wonder I’m looking for a new job.