“Don’t you have anything better to be doing than spending your time bundled up in your ‘protection blanket’ at home and acting like you can’t interact with others? Oh wait, you do: it’s called coming into work. You have three hours to make it back here or you’re getting a warning notice.”
Shaun abruptly hung up the phone after making that threat to one of the co-workers that called out today. That was the seventh call he made today about a co-worker not coming in and the first person who didn’t have a reaction to being threatened with a notice.
Shaun Owens is one of the few people assigned to the Human Resources Department for a major banking company. Tasked with the overseeing of bankers, brokers, and other departments in the industry, Shaun is one of the people who helps the company stay afloat when it comes to finding people for the job. However, keeping those people around isn’t one of his strong points.
On a daily basis, he is required to contact employees who have not clocked in for the day and didn’t give prior notice to having to take the day off. Most of the time, it’s a very minute list consisting of no more than two people. The simple task never took more than five minutes to complete before going about his other tasks for the day.
As time went on, there were some days where the list would reach five people, six, and sometimes, ten. This caused the time required to increase and slowly ate away at Shaun’s upbeat personality. Originally, he would be considerate in the messages he left behind in the event the person didn’t answer the phone, often saying that emergencies are uncontrollable and are bound to happen. But after seeing the same names repeatedly showing up on the list, his attitude shifted to a more demanding tome, almost dictatorial. He started belittling employees in messages, criticizing and critiquing their work ethics for not showing up any all, and comparing them to other employees.
His words were cold, harsh, and right to the point. Even through the phone, it seemed like Shaun was talking to the person face-to-face. Eventually, his attitude over the phone spilled out and became his normal behavior. Judging people for being a few seconds late for the elevator ride through the building, being a minute or two late for the 8AM punch-in, and even criticizing people just because they came back from lunch five minutes late.
“I hope that extra large sandwich combo was worth then five extra minutes to miss to get back to your desk. From the looks of it, I bet you’ll be doing the same thing tomorrow and the day after that just to satisfy for gluttonous behavior. If you care as much about work as you do for lunch breaks, you could be a bit better at the desk.”
Soon, everybody rushed anywhere they were going. Not because they feared losing their job for lateness, but to simply avoid having to hear Shaun’s verbal ranting. However, every victim of Shaun’s words soon had their day of retribution. Caught in a traffic jam, Shaun was late to work by just a single minute. For that entire day, he received notes attached to his desk with remarks that he once told other co-workers, “A minute late is a minute of unproductive work,” “Looks like you’d rather spend that extra minute asleep than earning a hard-earned paycheck,” “You’re terrible for missing even one minute of work.”
Shaun’s own bitterness came back to strike with vengeance for those who suffered by his hand.