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Blood, Sweat, And Careers

| Working | May 16, 2013

(I’m working at the grocery store. One day, a crate full of Italian products, including glass bottles containing sauce, falls off the truck.)

Assistant Manager: “[My name], could you clean up the mess downstairs for a second?”

Me: “Sure, should I get somebody else to finish what I was doing [putting perishables in the fridge] or do you want me to do it after cleaning?”

Assistant Manager: “I’ll find somebody. Now, go!”

(I go downstairs and try my best at cleaning the red mess filled with glass shards with nothing more than paper towels, a brush and a dustpan. After about half an hour, I’m done cleaning the floor and putting any still intact items back on the pallet. My left arm is completely red. I go back upstairs and request a replacement shirt so I can look decent.)

Assistant Manager: “We don’t have any available and you took too long, so we almost had to throw away the products you were dealing with before you went to the loading area.”

Me: “But I thought you were going to get somebody else to do that while I cleaned.”

Assistant Manager: “You should have taken initiative and arranged that yourself.”

(By now a customer who’s wanted to ask something for a while speaks up.)

Customer: “I think you should at least get this boy a new shirt, if not a doctor. He’s bleeding.”

Assistant Manager: “No he’s not. That’s tomato sauce which he cleaned up and got all over himself.”

Me: “It’s alright sir. I’ll be fine.”

Assistant Manager: “Now get back to work. I’ll deal with the customer…”

(I go back to the items I was dealing with and try and get them in as fast as possible. However, about five minutes later, the customer shows up with not only the assistant manager but also the store manager.)

Customer: “See, his left arm is covered in blood from the cuts in his hand and tomato sauce, not just the latter.”

(I look at my hand and see the customer is right. I hadn’t noticed the glass had actually pierced my skin when I was cleaning.)

Store Manager: “[My name], please come with me. I’ll get you some bandaids and you can go home. [Assistant manager], you can take over his work for the rest of his shift.”

Assistant Manager: “But that isn’t my job, and he is perfectly capable of doing it.”

Store Manager: “You’re right, but cleaning the mess you made earlier wasn’t his job. He’s now got these cuts because you didn’t give him proper equipment because you were too busy smoking!”

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