I just started "Bullshit jobs" by David Graeber, so I though it would be fun to read your best anecdotes :)
Well, we (my group was a subcontractor, and some of the first out pioneering through new areas) found some ancient hunting blinds on either side of a saddle through a ridge, complete with trash pits/stone knapping shards and even some paintings on the walls. We advised the General Contractor as the tribal rep wasn't onsite that day. The GC told us to forget what we saw and they'd send a bulldozer over to wipe out the site, as the blinds were right in the planned route of an access road and they didn't want the hassle of a redesign.
Hell to the no, we got hold of the tribal rep outside the chain of command and let them know what was up. They rushed to the site issued a very stern stop work order (either you stop your equipment so we can assess this find, or you will load your shit up and get off our land) and went through the proper processes. A realignment of the road did happen, and the GC got annoyed at us, but fuck them.
Later, the same tribal inspector gifted my boss with a hand-knapped obsidian spear head as thanks.
I did the best I could, as I still didn't even know where things were... but everyone got pissed as I got up to 2 hours behind...and took one insult too many, so I left.
I have a bit of regret, and I believe I could have handled it better had I managed expectations, etc... but I was a kid thrown in over his head.
I was invited back for an "extended interview" on a Saturday, "compensated, of course", where I did sysadmin stuff including setting up a work email for myself.
Taken out for lunch by the guy running my "interview" who bought me a burger, and said "He (the CEO) is a bit cavalier in making promises, so I want to make sure you get something out of today".
So basically I was paid a burger to onboard myself on a Saturday. A week later I'd received an offer from elsewhere, informed Company A, and got the saltiest email from their CEO about my unethical behaviour.
I was working one morning, and received an urgent phone call straight for me, not the support personnel or anyone else as usual. Uh oh. It was a client’s environmental compliance manager, and she was whispering on the call and frantically speaking. I asked her, “what’s going on, why are you whispering?” ... “My auditors showed up by surprise and I don’t have any of this year’s reports! Can you guys upload them to my personal Dropbox?” Oh boy. I asked her to hold, let me get the GM to her, and we would take instructions from there.
Literally, this large client had signed a contract, paid for a service that displayed sampling, results, and structural inspections within a GIS solution. All she had to do to comply with audits was once a day/week/month, take a few clicks to export all the reports to one big PDF or ZIP archive. I got curious and checked the audit trail, she’d never even logged into the web app. This was like 6-8 months into the year, and we were her only lab vendor. Had she even been monitoring her sites?
Hahaha that's hilarious
We had a slowdown in a manufacturing warehouse due to a computer issue. In order for us to get paid, they had us work to peel stickers from and wipe marker off of the previously used plastic bags so they could be reused. It would have been more efficient to just use new bags, but they could only justify paying us if we were doing something.
My immediate supervisor was loading his pickup truck in the morning and carting it down to the scrap yard down the road before anyone got in.
It took one of the truck drivers for the shop arriving early one morning to notice it before upper management even checked the security tapes which showed him loading his pickup for weeks while aiding in rumours that I was responsible. Meanwhile I was poised to be fired and charged.
I didn't own a car, but somehow was making off with piles of industrial 4/0 power lines.
Not a great experience. Would not recommend. I quit, found a better life.
At the start of this project, product management didn't have time to decide what the requirements were. So the engineers spent a couple weeks interviewing customers and finding out what they needed.
So, yeah, we're three weeks from release, and now product management shows up. They said, "We like what you're doing. But we need these additional features. Oh, and you can't change the release date. So you're all going to work 68-hour weeks until it ships." Of course, we still couldn't do it in three weeks. It took three months. It would have taken three months without the overtime (everyone got slower as they burned out).
I had a second issue on that same team where the business analyst wanted me to implement an accrual. The requirements didn't match with the stated intent- basically they were calling it an accrual but the requirements wanted snapshots of what would be paid later. I brought up the discrepancy and asked for some clarification. I was told "build it how the I tell you". So I wasted 3 weeks building it out. Then they again realized I was right and had me rebuild it as an actual accrual. No "thanks", no "sorry". Just "We need to build it this other way now".
He lived in some rich person's castle that was a long drive from my downtown dumpy apartment. Never even offered any sort of compensation. I was an hourly employee at the time.
I (and others) got the then new-fangled Caller ID on our landlines, because of him.
2. Physically removing hostile/out of control/drugged out people who were in our office.
I am a network/system engineer.
Really class the most dangerous thing I do now is worry about carpal tunnel.