I've been part of the truck unload team for a national department store going on 4 years now. There's no regular day for trucks, just that we get one per week on any given day.
A few terms and details to comprehend my tale:
Thrower: Person who is physically on the trailer putting boxes on the line; usual guy doesn't work Sundays because public transportation doesn't run, so I'm his back up.
Cutter/Sorter: Person who cuts open boxes and determines which way down the line they go (either clothes or everything else); usually done by the supervisor with me as backup when he has to attend to store functions or just isn't there.
Unload time: Expected time for the truck to be empty so we can then push merchandise to the sales floor or backstock. Figured by some corporate standard on total man hours it should take divided by actual employee count. Ignores dock size, set up, and amount of usable equipment (racks and u-boats) of every store, which is different and does matter.
It was a Sunday in which the supervisor had off, and no one else with experience doing either primary function is there, so an older guy who usually single handedly takes care of the non-clothes steps up as the cutter/sorter (C/S) while I throw. The store manager is the opening manager, but isn't at all involved in the unload process. Which brings me to the specific tale:
Two hours into the unloading, store manager (SM) comes back to check on us:
SM: "What row are you on?" [there are 26 total rows]
Kahn: "Just past halfway."
SM: "Unload time is 8:30! [half hour from this point] What's taking so long?"
C/S: "We don't have enough people."
SM: "There were no call offs (lie), we're not missing anyone."
C/S: "How many are we supposed to have?"
C/S: "How many do you see?"
Store manager shuts up after looking around and realizing there's only eight of us. Later says he'll finally do something about scheduling for future trucks.
The lie: I noticed during our break that there were two more names on the schedule to work truck, one was crossed off on the daily who's who, the other wasn't. Not sure if one called in other was fired/quit or what, but still means they intended 10 people there, not 12.