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Learn To Let Go Of The Things You’ve Let Go

, , , , , | Working | August 10, 2022

It was an ordinary Tuesday morning when my entire department was let go due to budget cuts. We were told all of our company possessions (phone, computer, and all documentation) needed to be cleared and handed to Human Resources by the end of the day. Instead of working that day, we all wiped our electronics and left within the first hour.

A week after I was let go, an unknown number called my personal cell phone.

Me: “Hello?”

Manager: “Hi, [My Name]. How are you? I’m trying to do [spreadsheet task], but I can’t find it on our group site.”

Me: “Sorry, [Manager], I no longer work for [Company].”

Manager: “Yeah, I know, but I need this spreadsheet for a meeting this afternoon. Where is it?”

Me: “I can’t help you. I’m sorry.”

Manager: “Why not?!”

Me: “Because [Company] deemed my job an expense they were willing to cut out of the budget. So you’ll have to figure it out yourself.”

Manager: “You know what, [My Name]? When the budget opens up again, I will be sure not to include you in the rehiring process.”

Me: “Thank you. I wouldn’t want to work for a company that would treat me the way you have.”

I hung up on him and blocked all the numbers I had associated with the office.

The Only Mystery Is How She’s Kept The Job For So Long

, , , , , , | Working | August 10, 2022

Out of my ten-plus years working retail and various other jobs, I have only ever had to deal with one mystery shopper, and her actions cost her the job.

For those not in the know, a mystery shopper is a person assigned by the company to make random unannounced inspections with regard to customer service and, in general, the well-being of the company employees and the store. Also, it is customary for the mystery shopper to BLEND IN with everyday customers and NOT bring attention to themselves in a way that can be misconstrued as just another obnoxious and rude customer.

This woman didn’t get that memo.

One day around lunchtime, my boss was in the back having her lunch. I was out on the shop floor and serving customers — an unusually high amount, but nothing that I couldn’t handle on my own since my coworker wasn’t going to be in later. In walked this woman.

As I was serving the queue of customers, I halfheartedly said, “Hi, welcome to [Store],” (I was hungry) while still serving and ringing through items. The woman hmphed and said under her breath:

Woman: “It’s polite to make eye contact.”

Alarm bells.

She hummed and hawed while I was making my way cautiously and correctly through the remaining customers. All the while, she was staring daggers at me, and she eventually stormed off in a huff, looking around. Like I can come away from paying customers just to help her. As the last two customers made their way to the till, she joined the queue with a whole two items, with an audible, “Oh, for f***’s sake!” The customer I was serving looked at me with a “What the actual f***?” expression and I nodded.

Not even one minute in, the woman said:

Woman: “This is f****** ridiculous!”

As I was finalizing the payment before moving on to the next customer, the till decided to freeze, and it took a few minutes for it to reboot. I made my apologies, and the customer I was serving was fine with it, along with the customer behind. They both worked in stores in the same area.

Woman: *Louder* “Oh, for f***’s sake! The service in this establishment is absolutely F****** RIDICULOUS!”

I’d had enough. With my best — but pissed-off — customer service voice and smile, I said:

Me: “Listen, as you can clearly see, I am dealing with other customers. I am the only staff member on the floor as my boss is at lunch. The till has decided to not play nice, and to be perfectly honest with you, I am well within my rights to refuse you service and ask you to leave as your attitude absolutely stinks.”

Woman: “WHAT?! YOU CAN’T TALK TO ME THAT WAY!!! DON’T YOU KNOW WHO I AM?”

Me: “I really don’t care, to be honest. Now, I am asking you to leave.”

She stormed off in the foulest mood you ever did see.

The customer I was serving spoke up.

Customer: “Thank Christ you said something. I was ready to smack her.”

We both laughed, and I finished both services and thanked them for their patience.

My boss had finally finished her lunch at that point and had come through the front.

Boss: “Oh, I meant to say there’s going to be a mystery shopper in at some point. Don’t know who, but please be on your best behaviour.”

Oh, f***!

I quickly told her what had happened. I explained that I was busy but not so busy that I needed to involve her, and I told her the conversations as they had happened. And lo and behold, just as I was finished telling her, in walked the regional manager for the company.

Regional Manager: “[My Name], back office, NOW!”

I’m dead.

Now, knowing that the [Regional Manager] has a tendency to be a hot-head in these situations, I was s***ting bricks at this point. Thankfully, I’d had a reasonably good working relationship with him up until this point, so it really could go any way.

Regional Manager: *Unusually calm* “What happened?”

I explained EVERYTHING, from the moment the woman entered to the moment she stormed off (almost taking the door with her) and the fact that I had witnesses that worked in the immediate vicinity — the full she-bang.

Regional Manager: *Sighs, nods*” I’m finally glad that someone else has the balls to stand up to my wife.”

WHAT?! The look on my face said it all and he started to laugh.

Regional Manager: “Please, accept my apologies, and I will let [Boss] know that there are not to be any repercussions from this. And I think I’m going to let my wife know it’s time to find more suitable employment.”

Me: *Speechless, mutters* “Th.. thanks.”

He handed me a £20 gift card for the mall’s cafe and said lunch was on him. It was the best coffee and chicken/bacon club sandwich I’d ever had.

A Transparent Solution

, , , , , | Working | August 10, 2022

I am a senior tech with a popular personal computer company. As a senior tech, I deal with a lot of escalation calls. One day, my team lead comes over and puts my phone on “aux,” meaning that when this call finishes, I won’t be getting another one. After I complete my call, he comes over to my desk.

Team Lead: “I’m sending you a call from an irate customer.”

No shock there.

Team Lead: “They have replaced his mouse twice and his PC once. He has just finished his third reload and it’s still messed up.”

Me: “What’s the actual issue?”

Team Lead: “His cursor is jumping all over the screen when he uses his mouse.”

I take the call. First off, I give the standard apologies. Then, we go into Device Manager and look for splats (marks indicating errors or conflicts). He’s having a hard time negotiating cause the cursor keeps jumping around. No splats. We check current driver versions. We reboot into safe mode. But he’s having the same issues.

We reboot with the mouse out and plug in after. No change. We delete mouse drivers, disconnect the mouse, and reboot. We plug in the mouse and load drivers. The cursor is still jumping all over the screen.

At this point, I’m at a loss. As I’m trying to think about what to do next, I hear a, “click, click, click” from the customer’s end.

Me: “What’s that sound?”

Customer: “Sorry, just tapping my pen on my desk.”

I can barely suppress the grin on my face. I feel like laughing out loud.

Me: “Do you have a glass desk?”

I ask, although I already know the answer.

Customer: *Frustrated* “Yes.”

Me: “Take a piece of printer paper and set your mouse on top of it.”

Customer: “Okay, now what?”

I can tell he’s losing his patience.

Me: “Try using your mouse.”

A moment later…

Customer: “OH, MY GOD! YOU FIXED MY COMPUTER! You’re a miracle worker!”

I explained that he had an optical mouse and the beam was being scattered by the glass desktop. That’s why his cursor was jumping around. All he had to do was put it on something NOT GLASS for it to work properly.

There’s Hope For The Future AND The Past!

, , , , , , , , | Friendly | August 10, 2022

This happened shortly after I moved into a new apartment building three years ago. The landlady and owner of the building lived right next to my apartment on the first floor. She was a very nice old lady, and we would often sit out on our shared little patio and talk from time to time. She even told me I reminded her of her granddaughter one day.

After I’d lived there for about six months, she approached me one night while I was sitting outside.

Landlady: “So, who is that man that I’ve been seeing come over?” 

Me: “Oh, that’s my friend, [Friend]. We have been friends for a while now.”

Landlady: “Ohhh… When are you going to go steady?”

Being a young person, I assumed she meant dating.

Me: “Oh, we aren’t dating. He’s just my friend.”

After making some food for the two of us and coming back out, she said to me:

Landlady: “You know, you are a very social person. You always have so many girlfriends over. I see all these different girls come over. You must be very popular.”

I was hesitant about telling her this information because I wasn’t sure how she would react. I tried to word everything in the best way possible, but I was freaking out inside. Not only was she my landlord, in charge of whether or not I lived there, but I had grown quite close to her in those past six months and I didn’t want to feel judged. Old ladies tended to have old-fashioned viewpoints. But I took a breath and said:

Me: “Um… Actually, I am interested in women and those women were my partners.”

Despite my held breath, she only looked shocked for a brief second before replying. 

Landlady: “Oh, well, that’s okay, honey. I used to sleep around a lot, too, when I was your age. You will find a nice lady to settle down with someday.”

I was completely worried about the wrong thing. She moved right past the fact that I’m a lesbian to the fact that I had been sleeping around. She proved to me that older people aren’t always stuck in their ways, and I see the older generation differently now.

Providing Change For The Next Generation

, , , , , , | Right | August 10, 2022

The UK has a law about charging for plastic bags which any retailer over a certain size has to follow. This has been the case for years, and yet, some people are still surprised.

This customer has only bought a couple of small things, so I don’t think to ask if she needs a bag before she pays.

Customer: *Rudely* “What, no bag?”

Me: “Oh, sorry, we have to charge for bags. It’s 10p.”

Customer: “You’re seriously going to force me to pay 10p on my card?” *Stares*

Me: “It’s the law; we have to charge.”

Customer: “Well, I won’t do it!”

She fishes in her purse and pulls out a £20 note.

Customer: “Guess you’ll have to make change!”

I just start grabbing her change, as it’s really not that big a deal. The customer’s adult daughter, who has already bought her own things and paid, speaks up.

Customer’s Daughter: “For God’s sake, Mum, it’s been the law for years that you have to pay for bags.”

Customer: “Well, she didn’t ask if I wanted one!”

Customer’s Daughter: “And you didn’t ask for one, either. At my shop, we don’t ever ask, because we can only order in so many bags at a time and we want people to use less plastic. You have to ask if you want one.”

Customer: “It’s not my fault I forgot!”

Customer’s Daughter: “It’s not her fault, either. I don’t know why you’re getting so mad.”

By this point, I’ve gotten the change and the bag and packed the customer’s items away. I hand the customer her change and look at her daughter.

Me: “Thank you very much, ma’am. You have a nice day.”