Several life stories from people who had a terrible situations at work:
Mine just happened this morning, and I'm still feeling a bit queasy about it. I work on a golf course that has a public road that runs through the middle of it. While I was working, I heard a loud smack and a screech of tires, and assumed that a deer was hit. I get in my cart and go check it out and sure enough a lady in a brand new SUV just took out a deer, or so I thought. Its back was broken, but it wasn't dead. It was screaming, and if you've ever heard a deer in pain, it is eerily human-sounding. I wanted to put the poor thing out of its misery, as I've done so in the past. Deer get hit all the time along the road, but normally I do this when I'm in my car which has a gun in it. No gun today, and all I had in my cart was a shovel and a box cutter. I call the game commission, but they couldn't send someone for an hour and the local cops said they had more important things to do. So I did the only thing I could, and slit its throat with the box cutter and pet its head until it was gone.
I grew up in Africa, as a teen I worked part-time in a day-care centre. I use the term "day-care" in the nicest possible way. Things weren't regulated at all back then, and it wasn't unusual for a baby in the baby-room to spend their entire day sitting in their cot. I used to get a stern talking to on a regualr basis for paying the babies too much attention "They'll get used to it and cry when you leave". We had a baby start who was deaf and blind. I spent every spare minute with her, trying to show her somehow that someone was here who cared. I'd stroke her cheeks, and talk to her even though I knew she didn't hear anything I said. Totally fell in love with her. Walked into work one morning, went to her cot and she was just lying there not breathing, moving, she was dead. Nobody had noticed. She had come in at 8am, I started work at 9am. I should have stayed on and improved conditions and all that heroic stuff, but I was just a kid and so traumatised that I walked out and never went back. The baby's name was Isabelle, never forgotten her.
While I was fifteen and working the cash register at a fabric store, a lady came up to me with her baby in a carrier. She set him on the counter and said "hey watch this a second." Then she left. She never came back. Then we had to call the police.
I was terminated for refusing to fire an employee whose son had Sickle Cell Anemia because it was increasing the insurance premiums. Have not regretted it.
I used to be a sysadmin at a nursing home. One day I'm at a branch fixing a cart PC and there is this guy screaming at the top of his lungs in the room next door. All the nurses and doctors treated my IT team like they were human scum. So when I tried to tell a nurse about he she told me to mind my own nerdy business and just get their computer fixed. About half an hour goes by and he's still screaming. I finally snap and yell at one of the nurses, she basically tells me to fuck off and file a complaint of I have an issue. So I recruit a maintenance man and we got in there and pick this guy up and put him back on his bed. He's covered in shit and piss from laying on the floor for almost an hour. He thanks us profusely and explains that the help button was out reach when he was on the floor so all he could do was scream. As I was washing the shit and piss off my clothes and arms a nurse comes in and all hell breaks loose. She starts yelling about how she's going to report us because we weren't certified aids or nurses or something and by doing that we violated some laws. Then some doctor comes in and joins in with her. He starts telling us that he's going to have our jobs and all this other crap. I didn't even try to make my case with the doctor. I just said fuck it and left. About a week later I get called into what I thought was a meeting. Little did I know it was a review board to go over my actions the week before. They explain to me how I put the company in a difficult place and they already had to let the maintenance man go because of it. I tried to make my case but they weren't hearing it. I get put on third notice which is basically like strike three even though I had never had any notices before that day. A week later I quit and mailed the maintenance guy my last pay check. Worst fucking job ever.
I used to manage a hospital department's waiting list. Due to a government ruling on maximum waiting times I had to phone cancer patients up to tell them their operation had been delayed. I didn't tell them it was because someone with something so insignificant they've lived with it for 18 months now has priority. None of them complained. A few years later I worked in the callcenter for one of the big supermarket home delivery services and people would shout and swear at me for their shopping being a couple of hours late.
In several hundred cases I have been the person to whom somebody hands the keys as they walk out of their house for the last time - I get the keys, I hand them a check for somewhere between a few hundred to several thousand dollars. In exchange they don't get evicted. I've had people point out the spot in the basement where their son committed suicide, I've seen the hand painted murals on the kids' rooms' walls, I've been asked if they could come back when the ground thawed so they could retrieve the flowers that were retrieved from the top of their mother's casket.
They tell me their stories - death, divorce, lost jobs, murders. Sleazy bankers, unreasonable mortgages, jail, accidents, strokes and heart attacks and cancers. They tell me because I'm the only one who will listen. Almost all of them tell me that I'm the only person who was ever nice to them during the process, and I'm often told that I'm the only one who told them anything at all. Sometimes I see them put their pets in the car for a trip to the shelter because they can't keep them where they're going. Sometimes they tell me that they are on the way to the shelter themselves. Or across town, state or country.
Sometimes they simply vanish and I'm the first person to see what they left behind - the wedding photos, the kid's homework, sometimes the pets (ever see parrot skeletons on the floor surrounded by a puff of feathers?) Sometimes the pets are still alive.Sometimes there are bloodstains on the floor, bullet holes in the walls. At times a plastic container filled with ashes sits on the mantle. Half eaten meals on the table, cigarette lighter by the bed, a calendar with dates circles for events that may never be kept. Receipts for one way tickets out of the country, summons notices, credit counseling literature, names of lawyers and doctors. I've seen it all.
I worked in restaurants as a cook when I was in high school. The worst thing I ever had to do envolved cleaning and prepping soft shell crabs for the dinner menu. For those of you who do not know, they come in boxes with about three rows of ten packed in so tight that the crabs are essentially standing vertical. Oh and they are all alive. We had two of these boxes, so I had sixty live soft shell crabs starring at me. Now at 17 the only thing I ever had to prepare were salads and other bull shit like that so this was a new ball game for me. The ex. chef comes over and hands me scissors explaining just how I am supposed to prepare them. The first part is to cut off their sexual organs which are a flap like piece of shell on the bottom that you just kinda pick up and cut off. Then you have to cut off both of their eyes in a perpendicular motion. I didn't always get both eyes and often had to go back and clean them up. The last thing was lifting up the soft top shell on each side and cut out their lungs. Keep in mind that they are squirming the entire time. I needed a break after that.
Just true-life stories.