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Scrooge Lives! Employees Get Wiped Out

The law firm I used to work for was very small, only about 12 people (4-5 attorneys, 4-5 case managers, a receptionist and the owner). The owner, “Mr. Smith”, viewed all employees as people taking money out of his pocket instead of valuable employees.  The list of things he did to show this viewpoint is too long to ever go into, however, the best example is when he decided that someone in the office was stealing the (very cheap) toilet paper out of the one bathroom we all shared. So he began to ration our supply. On Mondays he would bring in 5 rolls, and that was it. Once that ran out, he wouldn’t bring in any more until the next Monday. Luckily, only about 5 of us were there everyday, as the attorneys mainly worked from home, so the TP usually lasted until Wednesday or Thursday. When it was out, our options were to either bring our own or go to the gas station next door and use their bathrooms! No matter how much we complained, he refused to “allow” us more TP. He only dropped this policy when the attorneys started complaining about it for the times they were there. I don’t think he ever would have changed it just for us!    0721-11

{ 59 comments… add one }
  • Roslyn July 26, 2011, 6:49 pm

    This reminds me of my old Boss, many may know her as the Wicked Witch of the West!? She runs a restaurant and full bakery and would get very angry about people “stealing” band-aids out of the first aid kit. Yup, a kitchen with no band-aids. I’m sure that’s a health department violation, but I burned myself and didn’t have anything to put on it. No cream, no anti-biotic cream, no band-aid. Nothing. Needless to say the next day I had my own stash safely hidden where I worked, just in case.

    She never rationed the toilet paper, but there were two huge signs, one next to the toilet about only using the bare necessity and another next to the paper towels next to the sink about only using one sheet of a paper towel so thin that when you touched it with wet hands the whole piece just disintegrated into nothing.

    They are out there, everywhere.

  • bmyster July 27, 2011, 8:36 am

    While I understand companies are in it to make money, and I understand the need to minimize waste, don’t these scrooge bosses have more important, money-making tasks they could be doing, rather than micro-managing to such a degree? Like calling customers, promoting their business and so on?

    I also think that happier employees who have basic needs like TP, office supplies met, are much more productive.

    Now, granted, there are people who manage the logistics of the business and it’s their job to minimize waste, but even there, there reaches a point of diminishing returns after awhile. While, say, preventing employees from flying first class if coach is available saves a bundle, saying “We only purchase 3 rolls of TP for the bathrooms every week” gets silly.

    I guess there is a reason for the cliche “penny wise and pound foolish.” I’m sure it’s English in origin, but the traits continue to this day.

    Flexibility is the watchword for any successful business, particularly now.

  • Enna July 27, 2011, 12:13 pm

    @ Cat – that is shocking that the teacher was too poor! Sounds like a scooge headtecher/employer there.

    As for can 5 rolls last 5 people 5 days? That depends – if it is the cheap thin stuff maybe not if it is middle quality maybe it does but the fact that they had the atterneys coming in clearly more paper was needed to accomdate them. It’s health and safety as well as hygine. Everyone has different needs. If two roles or more were being used a day then maybe scrooge boss needs to ask if anyone suffers from hayfever? Or provide tissues so people can blow their noses instead of using the TP.

    Where I worked once they did try to calucalate the TP they needed – one person did get a bit funny about how much should be used (might be something to do with budgets) however there was never a day when I was working there 5 months that there was NO toliet paper. As for the poster who said 1 pen should last 2 weeks – maybe depends how the person works. If the receptionist has had a lot of problems of people taking more then they need then I can see why she is so strict. I temped for one week in one place (budget cut so I lost that temp job) and one of the first things I did was empty the draw/cupboard as it was jammed packed with stationary. I put what I didn’t need back in the stationary cupbard.

  • Angie July 27, 2011, 3:42 pm

    @ Roslyn – sounds like my son’s boss. He works for a restaurant in a well-known pizza chain and his managers are, quite frankly, idiots. At one point they had run out of oven mitts, so they were told to take things out of the oven with sponges on their hands. I anonymously reported them to our provincial occupational health department and they got a surprise visit a few days later. They did go and buy more oven mitts afterwards – at the nearby dollar store. Those mitts lasted about a week. Yes, he is looking for a new job.

  • Annaham July 28, 2011, 6:32 am

    Rationing toilet paper, of all things? Geez.

  • Hannafate August 26, 2011, 12:35 pm

    A friend of mine does a lot of corporate work, and he always takes a female secretary with him on visits to companies he is considering doing business with.

    Both of them make sure to use the restrooms while they are there.

    If there is a shortage of toilet paper, or an empty tampon dispenser, he takes that a sign that the business is either about to crash, or run by morons.

  • Toya August 31, 2011, 6:44 pm

    I had a boss like that. He didn’t understand how girls could go throw toilet paper so quickly. We must be wasting it or stealing it. He also rationed the paper towels in the bathroom. Some of us resorted to bring our own toilet paper and paper towel or Purel. Others took it as a a sign to be nasty.

    His cost cutting method worked until a health official made an unscheduled check and caught wind of what he was doing.

  • Katya September 5, 2011, 10:49 am

    I’ll be honest; I’m a woman and it took me a while to figure out how women go through toilet paper so fast. I remember working fast food, cleaning the lobby, and some days it would be put in a huge roll of toilet paper at the start of an eight hour shift, then put in another at the end of it. Assume maybe 100 people using that one stall over the course of the shift, and this being one of those huge industrial size rolls where the cardboard tube is 3in. in diametre and the actual toilet paper part makes it a total of a foot in diametre, and you can understand why this would make me scratch my head.

    Then I go to boot camp, and thanks to the wonder that is bathroom stalls sans doors that are right across from each other, I am enlightened. For some reason, a lot of women seem to think they need to make a protective sheath around their hand about three inches thick to wipe themselves. No wonder a company of 72 women could start the week with a full case of toilet paper and run out by Wednesday! It wasn’t even the ultra cheap stuff.

    I even see this at home. Last time we bought toilet paper, I kidnapped a roll from the eight pack for my bathroom. My mother just bought another pack of toilet paper, and I am not even halfway done the roll I took. Now, she does go to the bathroom more often than I do, but I cannot fathom how she has managed to go through SEVEN ROLLS in the time it took me to use a HALF a roll. This is not even cheap toilet paper! It’s 2 ply and quilted and kind of soft! And she wonders why the toilet gets clogged. : \

    Seriously, women: wash your hands properly, and there is no need to try to build a hazmat suit out of toilet paper.

    Thus, knowing this, if even ONE of those five people is female, I can easily see how five rolls of any type of toilet paper could be wiped out by midweek. Women in general simply seem to use far more toilet paper than is actually necessary, in my experience.

  • Em October 19, 2011, 9:46 am

    There is also a custom among many women (don’t know about guys) to cover every touchable surface with paper before using the toilet. Seriously. These are often the same women who wear glutealfloss panties and miniskirts to sit in public places.

    In cultures where the paper is never flushed (trash can strategically located nearby), they tend tobe more generous, I think because the paper is of such incredibly low quality. I can’t use my normal amount from my own house in the states–it takes some of that hazmat volume to do any actual wiping.

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