Boss is mad at me for supposedly not doing something that I actually did. Help me out, guys.

Simon_the_furry

Hall of Fame
Okay, so here's the deal.
A few weeks ago I started work in a tennis pro shop. I do court and facilities maintenance. It's at a popular yacht club in the area. Yesterday it was raining, so a good bit of the work I would have had to do wasn't doable.
When I got there, the trash cans were all about 1/3 full. I decided they weren't full enough to justify taking out.
The gym floor looked pretty clean, so I didn't sweep it. I wiped down the machines and refilled the water tank.
The bathroom and pro shop floors also looked good to me, so I didn't sweep those either.
The bathrooms didn't need restocking, as all of the toilet paper rolls were at least 2/3 full, and the same thing went for the paper towels and soap.
I didn't make coffee because nobody else would be in there that day except for me and a photographer, and I rarely drink coffee. The photographer usually brings his own beverages.
I didn't blow off the patio because, again, it was raining, and there was too much water on the patio to avoid making a huge mess with the leaf blower.
I didn't put ice in the coolers because nobody would be out there. Again, it was raining.
I did restock towels, and I washed all the ones left there by the people before. I left them in the dryer when they were finished for the next shift's employee to fold, as they do at this pro shop.

So yeah, very little work needed done, right? Everything's going swimmingly, I'm just chilling in the pro shop, not really doing anything because I don't need to do anything.

Well, some unknown period of time after my shift ends, my boss comes in and I was informed that he was very angry with me because I supposedly didn't do anything.
He asked the photographer, who doesn't know jack sh*t about my job, what I was doing, and the photographer says I was just sitting around.

My boss says that the bathrooms weren't cleaned or restocked, which is incorrect, because they were fine. I cleaned every fixture and restocked everything.

He says the gym was a mess too, and there were dirty towels everywhere. Not when I went in there at the end of my shift there weren't.

What do I do?????
 

stringertom

Bionic Poster
Okay, so here's the deal.
A few weeks ago I started work in a tennis pro shop. I do court and facilities maintenance. It's at a popular yacht club in the area. Yesterday it was raining, so a good bit of the work I would have had to do wasn't doable.
When I got there, the trash cans were all about 1/3 full. I decided they weren't full enough to justify taking out.
The gym floor looked pretty clean, so I didn't sweep it. I wiped down the machines and refilled the water tank.
The bathroom and pro shop floors also looked good to me, so I didn't sweep those either.
The bathrooms didn't need restocking, as all of the toilet paper rolls were at least 2/3 full, and the same thing went for the paper towels and soap.
I didn't make coffee because nobody else would be in there that day except for me and a photographer, and I rarely drink coffee. The photographer usually brings his own beverages.
I didn't blow off the patio because, again, it was raining, and there was too much water on the patio to avoid making a huge mess with the leaf blower.
I didn't put ice in the coolers because nobody would be out there. Again, it was raining.
I did restock towels, and I washed all the ones left there by the people before. I left them in the dryer when they were finished for the next shift's employee to fold, as they do at this pro shop.

So yeah, very little work needed done, right? Everything's going swimmingly, I'm just chilling in the pro shop, not really doing anything because I don't need to do anything.

Well, some unknown period of time after my shift ends, my boss comes in and I was informed that he was very angry with me because I supposedly didn't do anything.
He asked the photographer, who doesn't know jack sh*t about my job, what I was doing, and the photographer says I was just sitting around.

My boss says that the bathrooms weren't cleaned or restocked, which is incorrect, because they were fine. I cleaned every fixture and restocked everything.

He says the gym was a mess too, and there were dirty towels everywhere. Not when I went in there at the end of my shift there weren't.

What do I do?????
This sh11ty weather has everyone in a foul mood, including your pr1ck of a bawss. You outlined your activities to us; share that with him. If he's still not happy then you're better off somewhere else.
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
problem is, if i'm paying you, i expect you to be doing something... not sitting around on the phone.
yeah, maybe there was nothing on your normal list to do, then find something else that needed improving.
if you really had nothing to do... text your bosss everything you did/checked, and ask if he wants something else done.... or that you will do x,y,z (ie. which tells your boss you're busy, but also gives him a chance to reprioritize)
i would have definitely emptied the trash.. and sounds like there was other stuff you could have done.

that said, if you were accused of something you were not guilty of (eg. not restocking), tell him... sounds like he was initially pissed you weren't doing anything (your fault), and the momentum of blame just kept rolling down on you.
presuming you still have a job, ask for a list of things to do in the event of rain (kinda lame if you have to ask, not exactly a "go gottem" attitude), but better than stealing from the company doing nothing.
 
If you have set tasks then just do them-it may seem pointless, but that is obviously the procedure there. Tell him you didn't think those things needed doing for the reasons you gave here, tell him what you did do, say sorry & that it will not happen again.
 

ollinger

G.O.A.T.
My boss says that the bathrooms weren't cleaned or restocked, which is incorrect, because they were fine
the evidence here favors your boss's viewpoint. He shows up, looks at the bathrooms, and concludes you didn't do anything. Unless he'd been there all the time and kept track of your every move, the only way he'd know you didn't do the bathrooms is that they didn't look as good as you claim. Time to lean, time to clean, Ray Kroc liked to say.
 

hollywood9826

Hall of Fame
Maybe the boss was wrong asking the photographer, but to me sounds it sounds like you made every excuse not to do anything. Then when called out for not doing anything you get mad.

This might sound dumb but you should have washed and folded the towels a couple times at a minimum. Looking busy is sometimes more important than being busy.
 

Legend of Borg

G.O.A.T.
would the boss have gotten angry if all of those tasks were completed?

i mean to say, i understand that doing most of those tasks was redundant because it was a rainy day and they seemed pointless, but would it have been seen as wasteful or unnecessary by your boss?

i personally woulda just done most of those tasks regardless of the weather and just done them through force of habit

maybe not making a mess out of the patio but i woulda definitely restocked the towels, ice, swept the floor, etc.
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
I don't understand. If you were just chilling with nothing to do, why did you not just do the stuff you were supposed to ?

I guess if I was the boss and asked why you didn't sweep the floor and you told me "it looked good to me", I would be mad too.

Just do your assigned tasks regardless of what you think. If everything really is that close to clean, then it will be easy to do anyway, and everyone will be happy because the place is 10/10 clean and stocked.
 
Thanks for your viewpoints. I'm new to the workforce, so this is still a learning experience for me. I won't eyeball stuff in the future.
Well, some of these replies were sort of harsh. Here's the thing, it doesn't matter what position you are in, you're always encouraged and in many cases, expected to do more.

In this example, it's very possible that your boss had a bad day, walked into what he considered as a mess, and flipped out. Warranted? Maybe not, was it in his rights to be mad? 100% and if you were let go because of it, hardly anyone will be on your side.

However, some of the statements here are basically saying "do this, that, regardless". I can't agree with this part. From an efficiency standpoint, you were right. It was a rainy day so why do something that no one will utilize today? HOWEVER, this was an opportunity for you to check in with your boss to see if other areas required some attention.

Or at the very least, you could have checked in your boss first prior to doing nothing. A good boss would then come in, see that it's a mess, and realizes there's a difference of opinion between the two of you, and he'll use this as a learning opportunity.

"Well, he did check in with me and I did say yeah, if it's slow and rainy, and if he said it was clean and unnecessary, then he didn't have to do this and that. But now that I'm here, I think it's actually quite messy, perhaps I should let him know what our standards are."
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
This is a typical problem with small business owners. They pay you by the hour and when things are slow, they feel they are paying you for nothing.

It's quite common in retail shops as well where if no one is coming through the door, the boss will be ranting about tidying this or looking out the back.

The only practical advice is either to be busy re-doing stuff or look busy.

In any event, you need to ask a specific set of questions about what he wants in such circumstances and write them down and date them and, of course, do them.

If he has warned you then this is a legal notification, so document everything!!!
 
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Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
Okay, so here's the deal.
A few weeks ago I started work in a tennis pro shop. I do court and facilities maintenance. It's at a popular yacht club in the area. Yesterday it was raining, so a good bit of the work I would have had to do wasn't doable.
When I got there, the trash cans were all about 1/3 full. I decided they weren't full enough to justify taking out.
The gym floor looked pretty clean, so I didn't sweep it. I wiped down the machines and refilled the water tank.
The bathroom and pro shop floors also looked good to me, so I didn't sweep those either.
The bathrooms didn't need restocking, as all of the toilet paper rolls were at least 2/3 full, and the same thing went for the paper towels and soap.
I didn't make coffee because nobody else would be in there that day except for me and a photographer, and I rarely drink coffee. The photographer usually brings his own beverages.
I didn't blow off the patio because, again, it was raining, and there was too much water on the patio to avoid making a huge mess with the leaf blower.
I didn't put ice in the coolers because nobody would be out there. Again, it was raining.
I did restock towels, and I washed all the ones left there by the people before. I left them in the dryer when they were finished for the next shift's employee to fold, as they do at this pro shop.

So yeah, very little work needed done, right? Everything's going swimmingly, I'm just chilling in the pro shop, not really doing anything because I don't need to do anything.

Well, some unknown period of time after my shift ends, my boss comes in and I was informed that he was very angry with me because I supposedly didn't do anything.
He asked the photographer, who doesn't know jack sh*t about my job, what I was doing, and the photographer says I was just sitting around.

My boss says that the bathrooms weren't cleaned or restocked, which is incorrect, because they were fine. I cleaned every fixture and restocked everything.

He says the gym was a mess too, and there were dirty towels everywhere. Not when I went in there at the end of my shift there weren't.

What do I do?????
Tell him if he keeps harassing you, you will go to Equal opportunity employment commission and you will file a complaint against him.
 

BTURNER

Legend
I do manage employees and I know one thing I never pay them for. I do not pay them to sit or use a cell phone. What would have impressed me, is if a new employee used that same phone to text me asking for some ideas on how to do more with the tasks assigned, or what else could be done AFTER he had done all he could as outlined prior and after he had shone some initiative by coming up with something outside the box. Ask where the window cleaner is. Clean the sides of those trash cans, mop that floor or scrub a wall and leave a note or let me know what you did instead of the patio. Now I know I have a winner!

He is spending money every minute you are there. You are getting that money. You have to make him see each of those minutes are valuable to both of you.
 
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Bartelby

Bionic Poster
If you do show initative, you can easily be screamed at for exceeding your authority, as all too often happens.

Communicating by text in this circumstance sounds like a recipe for disaster.

And the fact is that if the boss wants to act in a supervisory role as foreman then he needs to be present, not try to use the photographer as an 'unofficial spy'.

And not waltz in at the end and complain: He could have just as easily complained if the employee binned half-used resources in order to make the place look 'fully stocked'.

If this is what the employer wants, however, and it is clearly communicated then this is what the employee should do.
I do manage employees and I know one thing I never pay them for. I do not pay them to sit or use a cell phone. What would have impressed me, is if a new employee used that same phone to text me asking for some ideas on how to do more with the tasks assigned, or what else could be done AFTER he had done all he could as outlined prior and after he had shone some initiative by coming up with something outside the box. Ask where the window cleaner is. Clean the sides of a trash bin and leave a note or let me know what you did. Now I know I have a winner!

He is spending money every minute you are there. You are getting that money. You have to make him see each of those minutes are valuable to both of you.
 
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BTURNER

Legend
If you do show initative, you can easily be screamed at for exceeding your authority, as all too often happens.

I suspect if it is in his authority to empty a can, it probably does not exceed it scrub it. Nevertheless, that phone he was on, can be used to enquire and find out.
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
The reality is that wet weather days are not usual days, so a little more communication in advance about what to do in lieu of normal activities would have been useful.

On the other hand, it does sound like the employer wants him to do everything as if it were a normal day and clean and restock everything regardless of how little use there has been.

You can tell by the OP's narrative that he is assessing things - 'looked good' and 'looked clean' - and acting accordingly. So he is exceeding his authority by thinking.

It seems he should have just done everything as normal, and one does get the impression that it is this wet day incident that has caused a problem.
I suspect if it is in his authority to empty a can, it probably does not exceed it scrub it. Nevertheless, that phone he was on, can be used to enquire and find out.
 
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Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
He wasn't discriminated against.
how do you he wasn't ? I seen this countless times. younger simon is discriminated against because of his age. discriminated against because of his race. We have to do something about this. go to EEOC and file a claim.
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
There is no evidence in the narrative of any such discrimination.

It is purely a dispute about activiites and the performance of them.
how do you he wasn't ? I seen this countless times. younger simon is discriminated against because of his age. discriminated against because of his race. We have to do something about this. go to EEOC and file a claim.
 
D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
If you do show initative, you can easily be screamed at for exceeding your authority, as all too often happens.
then the boss sucks... get a new job and/or suck it up until you can get a recommendation.
every good boss wants someone who can show initiative (and also get the tasks i'm asking you to get done).
Communicating by text in this circumstance sounds like a recipe for disaster.
how so? i'd love an employee that communicated with me like that. even if i just ignored the text.
And the fact is that if the boss wants to act in a supervisory role as foreman then he needs to be present, not try to use the photographer as an 'unofficial spy'.
that's true
And not waltz in at the end and complain: He could have just as easily complained if the employee binned half-used resources in order to make the place look 'fully stocked'.

If this is what the employer wants, however, and it is clearly communicated then this is what the employee should do.
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
The guy is basically a glorified cleaner, so what initiatives were you hoping to see? A draft proposal for world peace.

Bosses say they want initiative, but trying to second guess what someone else finds a useful initiative is a fool's errand.

He is not a policy advisor. He is a cleaner.

He made the mistake of not doing his usual job because he thought the lack of use due to wet weather made some elements of his work redundant.

That's the initiative he showed and he was probably rightly criticised for it.
then the boss sucks... get a new job and/or suck it up until you can get a recommendation.
every good boss wants someone who can show initiative (and also get the tasks i'm asking you to get done).

how so? i'd love an employee that communicated with me like that. even if i just ignored the text.

that's true
 

fireandwind

Hall of Fame
I do manage employees and I know one thing I never pay them for. I do not pay them to sit or use a cell phone. What would have impressed me, is if a new employee used that same phone to text me asking for some ideas on how to do more with the tasks assigned, or what else could be done AFTER he had done all he could as outlined prior and after he had shone some initiative by coming up with something outside the box. Ask where the window cleaner is. Clean the sides of those trash cans, mop that floor or scrub a wall and leave a note or let me know what you did instead of the patio. Now I know I have a winner!

He is spending money every minute you are there. You are getting that money. You have to make him see each of those minutes are valuable to both of you.
OP should listen to Bturner's post if you want to keep this job for long time until you come up with better idea for your future.
He has absolute right view point for your case. Sitting around is never look good on owners or manager's eyes even if you are done all things you suppose to do. There are few jobs you can sit around during all your shift and it doesn't look bad.
But your job isn't one of those.
 
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Bartelby

Bionic Poster
He certainly didn't make the mistake of sitting around when the boss was in the room.

For some reason the boss decided to ask the photographer for an employee assessment.

For some reason the photographer thought it his business to give one.

And the lesson of the day is 'don't trust anyone', particularly photographers employed on contract, presumably.

Well, some unknown period of time after my shift ends, my boss comes in and I was informed that he was very angry with me because I supposedly didn't do anything.
He asked the photographer, who doesn't know jack sh*t about my job, what I was doing, and the photographer says I was just sitting around.


OP should listen to this post if you want to keep this job for long time until you come up with better idea for your future.
He has absolute right view point for your case. Sitting around is never look good on owners or manager's eyes even if you are done all things you suppose to do. There are few jobs you can sit around during all your shift and it doesn't look bad.
But your job isn't one of those.
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
It's clear that the boss based his opinion on what the photographer said mainly.

One piece of denied evidence contradicts this position:

He says the gym was a mess too, and there were dirty towels everywhere. Not when I went in there at the end of my shift there weren't.

So who exactly messed up the gym? It's either you, the photographer, the next shift employee, the employer or it never happened.

Small group dynamics at work here. You are getting shafted. Don't trust anyone at work!

Do things by the book and document your work. Time-stamped photos taken by your mobile would be useful.
the evidence here favors your boss's viewpoint. He shows up, looks at the bathrooms, and concludes you didn't do anything. Unless he'd been there all the time and kept track of your every move, the only way he'd know you didn't do the bathrooms is that they didn't look as good as you claim. Time to lean, time to clean, Ray Kroc liked to say.
 
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Harry_Wild

G.O.A.T.
Let this be a lesson to you!

Always look like you are productive! You should of at least dump the garbage out and clean stuff even if it does not need it! That way; you are productive and boss cannot complaint again! The boss thinks you are not working and getting pay for doing nothing! Just saying what the boss is seeing!

Hope you don't get fire! Work hard the next few days to make it up and get back in good standing with your boss. Good luck!
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
If you were at home and the bin was one-third full, then emptying it would not be considered productive.

It would be considered a waste of effort and a waste of the cost of a new garbage bin liner.

And ths is the important thing to which you are alluding.

Deference-behaviour at work is all important, so doing things that don't need doing is part of the unwritten contract.

Let this be a lesson to you!

Always look like you are productive! You should of at least dump the garbage out and clean stuff even if it does not need it! That way; you are productive and boss cannot complaint again! The boss thinks you are not working and getting pay for doing nothing! Just saying what the boss is seeing!

Hope you don't get fire! Work hard the next few days to make it up and get back in good standing with your boss. Good luck!
 

fireandwind

Hall of Fame
It's clear that the boss based his opinion on what the photographer said mainly.

One piece of denied evidence contradicts this position:

He says the gym was a mess too, and there were dirty towels everywhere. Not when I went in there at the end of my shift there weren't.

So who exactly messed up the gym?
It is really hard to assess his situation since we were not there. I have no clue why photographer is used to assess his work. It is hard to tell all things but one thing we want is it doesn't happen again.
It seems like his boss is relying on photographer's judgement and opinion more than OP. If the manager go away and ask the photographer to check on this employee again, this guy should be ready to clean up the floor even if it looks clean.
And dump the trash can even if it is not full. That is the point. This employee did what he think it was right. Who is right or wrong, should not be the main point at this time because next time there will be serious consequences. We can assume that the photographer gave bad report to the boss for some reason and the employee was right. Next time let this doesn't happen again.
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
I'm just pointing out that the chummy talks he had with the photographer on a slow, wet day were rewarded by the photographer ratting him out as an idler.

He has not otherwise indicated that on busy, dry days that there was any problem with his work nor any complaint made to him as to the quality of that work.

It is really hard to assess his situation since we were not there. I have no clue why photographer is used to assess his work. It is hard to tell all things but one thing we want is it doesn't happen again.
It seems like his boss is relying on photographer's judgement and opinion more than OP. If the manager go away and ask the photographer to check on this employee again, this guy should be ready to clean up the floor even if it looks clean.
And dump the trash can even if it is not full. That is the point. This employee did what he think it was right. Who is right or wrong, should not be the main point at this time because next time there will be serious consequences. We can assume that the photographer gave bad report to the boss for some reason and the employee was right. Next time let this doesn't happen again.
 

fireandwind

Hall of Fame
Let this be a lesson to you!

Always look like you are productive! You should of at least dump the garbage out and clean stuff even if it does not need it! That way; you are productive and boss cannot complaint again! The boss thinks you are not working and getting pay for doing nothing! Just saying what the boss is seeing!

Hope you don't get fire! Work hard the next few days to make it up and get back in good standing with your boss. Good luck!
I agree with you. Some people just don't get it. People, Who is giving his paycheck ?. Even if the manager is wrong and someone else is giving false report about the employee, the employee must learn lesson from this. This is not a big American corporation where the employee can go to next chain of command and complain about the incidence.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Okay, so here's the deal.
A few weeks ago I started work in a tennis pro shop. I do court and facilities maintenance. It's at a popular yacht club in the area. Yesterday it was raining, so a good bit of the work I would have had to do wasn't doable.
When I got there, the trash cans were all about 1/3 full. I decided they weren't full enough to justify taking out.
The gym floor looked pretty clean, so I didn't sweep it. I wiped down the machines and refilled the water tank.
The bathroom and pro shop floors also looked good to me, so I didn't sweep those either.
The bathrooms didn't need restocking, as all of the toilet paper rolls were at least 2/3 full, and the same thing went for the paper towels and soap.
I didn't make coffee because nobody else would be in there that day except for me and a photographer, and I rarely drink coffee. The photographer usually brings his own beverages.
I didn't blow off the patio because, again, it was raining, and there was too much water on the patio to avoid making a huge mess with the leaf blower.
I didn't put ice in the coolers because nobody would be out there. Again, it was raining.
I did restock towels, and I washed all the ones left there by the people before. I left them in the dryer when they were finished for the next shift's employee to fold, as they do at this pro shop.

So yeah, very little work needed done, right? Everything's going swimmingly, I'm just chilling in the pro shop, not really doing anything because I don't need to do anything.

Well, some unknown period of time after my shift ends, my boss comes in and I was informed that he was very angry with me because I supposedly didn't do anything.
He asked the photographer, who doesn't know jack sh*t about my job, what I was doing, and the photographer says I was just sitting around.

My boss says that the bathrooms weren't cleaned or restocked, which is incorrect, because they were fine. I cleaned every fixture and restocked everything.

He says the gym was a mess too, and there were dirty towels everywhere. Not when I went in there at the end of my shift there weren't.

What do I do?????
I try to avoid hiring employees who show lack of initiative. If you want to move up in the world, make yourself indispensible.
 
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Bartelby

Bionic Poster
The guy says he has learnt his lesson and will do everything by the book in future regardles of the day and the amount of use.

I would just encourage him to not fratenise with work colleagues and document his actual work both in writing and through photos.

He has been officially warned so the employer has in effect taken a step in a legal process by giving an oral warning.
 

Bartelby

Bionic Poster
How much initiative are you prepared to give to a cleaner? We are not talking about intellectual labour here.

And do you require pre-approval of initatives? I'd suggest this would be standard practice.
I try to avoid hiring employees show lack of initiative. If you want to move up in the world, make yourself indispensible.
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
How much initiative are you prepared to give to a cleaner? We are not talking about intellectual labour here.

And do you require pre-approval of initatives? I'd suggest this would be standard practice.
You are assuming the OP is just a cleaner. I am assuming that this is his first job, and that he has a high ceiling and is destined for big things.
 
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