Guy Goes On A Crusade Against Pants Because He Actually Read The Employee Handbook. – ‘I’m changing back into my shorts.’
by Trisha Leigh
If you’ve ever worked in a place where you have very little control over what you do, say, or even wear during a shift, then you will really appreciate this story.
OP worked for a large chain store in his early 20s, and they were not allowed to switch their uniforms from pants to shorts until well after the store began to get hot.
So I was a sarcastic and easily annoyed guy in my 20s, and this often didn’t help me get along with older or corporate types.
I was working at a certain pumpkin-colored big box home improvement store one spring, in the flooring department.
It was just starting to get warm out and the store didn’t have much AC, so I was looking forward to a magical date where certain employees were allowed to switch their pants for shorts.
Problem is that we had a new department manager, I’ll call him Richard, who was aggressively chasing a promotion to Assistant Manager, then store manager.
He thought he could accomplish that by being a super by-the-book hardass and being relentlessly metrics focused. This translated into a manager who was a know-it-all, micro-managing jerk.
OP knew the date and time when the switch was allowed, though, and showed up that day bright and early – and in shorts. It all came crashing down when he was confronted by a micro-manager who said it wasn’t allowed.
Anyway, I’m scheduled to open at 5am one day on the fabled day of cooler bottom-wear and I walk in all light and airy and bare-legged. Richard, who was overnight manager the previous night, saw me and threw a fit.
“Why are you out of uniform?” He asked.
“I’m not. I can wear shorts starting today!” I proclaimed.
“Not your position in your department. Who told you that you could?” He retorted.
“The employee handbook and SOP? I can show you if you don’t believe me.” I offered.
“I know the SOP and your department doesn’t get to wear shorts. That’s only Garden. Go home and change right now.” He demanded, face getting redder from my defiance.
“Ok Richard, if that’s how you want to play it. I’ll be back in an hour.” I sighed.
“Maybe the loss of an hour of pay will teach you something.”
He didn’t argue, just went home to change and come back armed with proof.
So I know better. The reason I know better is because I’m one of the weirdos who actually read the entire Standard Operating Procedure document, the employee handbook (which is actually just a subsection of the SOP), and I really hate being wrong, so I checked the SOP before doing anything different day-to-day.
In my store, the SOP was like invoking god. If the SOP said so, that won every single argument.
So I go home, change into pants, but bring my shorts back to work with me. By now, Richard’s shift is over and I ask the new morning Manager On Duty, Daren, to meet with me.
“Why, what’s up?” “Oh, just an SOP issue.” “Oh… ok. Give me like, 10 minutes?”
He asked his other manager for a meeting and handed it all over, then also handed over his demands.
So I swung by my desk and printed out several things.
My latest pay stub that included my official job title and department number.
The company directory that listed the department names and their associated numbers.
The SOP that dealt with when and which departments/employees can wear shorts.
The annual email from the Regional VP confirming which departments could wear shorts starting when, which also included the line “and this letter is to be posted at the time clock between the dates of xxx-xxx”
The SOP detailing the company transportation and mileage reimbursement policy.
A Google maps route that mirrored the route I take to and from work, with the total mileage highlighted.
So, I meet with Daren and explained what happened and handed him each page in turn as they became relevant. At the end, we agreed that I was right on every single account and asked me what I wanted.
I want the time. I was turned away before I could clock in so I want to be paid starting at 5am. Feel free to check the CCTV if you want to confirm when I arrived.
I want the mileage, because Richard sent me on essentially a company errand with my own vehicle through no fault of my own.
I want this letter posted at the clock, like it says it’s supposed to be.
I want you to talk to Richard about this, because I told him this was the SOP before he sent me home.
I’m changing back into my shorts.
OP got his shorts and his revenge, which I have to imagine tasted pretty sweet.
“All of that sounds more than fair. Get the paperwork for the clock adjustment and mileage to me today and I’ll sign it.”
The letter mysteriously went missing from the time clock the next day, but I replaced it everyday until I happened to see Richard angrily snatch it off the board and throw it away.
I reported that as well and the letter stopped going missing.
He didn’t talk to me much and I was transferred to another department a month later, so all in all win-win I think.
Reddit should love this, because who likes a micromanager?
The top comment says these managers never look into a mirror.
Smart people know this is not the way to handle a screw-up as a manager.
Some people just do not want to follow the rules.
This person confirms how stressful it is to work for people like this.
And this commenter wishes the manager could have faced more consequences.
This is a thing of beauty, imho.
Not everything has to be a big showy display to be effective.