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Es-pwñ-ol

| Phoenix, AZ, USA | Right | December 28, 2012

(I work at an electronics retail store where we check receipts. It’s 20 minutes past closing time and I have to stand by the electronic doors and open them manually. A middle-aged couple approaches me with a 50-inch television.)

Wife: “We’re going to need someone to load the TV into our car. My husband has a problem with his arm.”

Me: “Not a problem, ma’am. I’ll have to try and get someone’s attention, as I can’t leave my spot here. We’re closing right now so we don’t have very many employees at the moment.”

Husband: “I need someone now. My arm is messed up and I can’t lift the TV, so go get someone.”

Me: “I understand that, sir. I will find someone for you, but you have to understand that I cannot leave this area as I have to guard the door.”

(I begin scoping the area to find an employee that can load the TV for them when I hear them talking about me in Spanish. I am very pale and white, but I’m fluent in Spanish.)

Wife: *in Spanish* “She’s just being lazy. She could leave if she wanted to. Retail workers are unbelievable.”

(After two minutes, I manage to get someone’s attention from the parking lot. I turn back to the couple, who are still insulting me.)

Me: *in Spanish* “Excuse me, that gentleman in the parking lot would be glad to assist you.”

(Their faces go white and they rush out of the store. My coworker, who has just joined me, speaks up.)

Coworker: “That’s golden.”

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Customer Service People

| Working | December 28, 2012

Full Of Hot Air

| UK | Working | December 28, 2012

(For a few days, I have been receiving text messages mistakenly informing me that my phone line has not been connected because I missed a visit by an engineer.)

Employee: “I understand your problem, sir, but I will have to transfer you through to another department and inform them of your situation. Are you alright to hold?”

Me: “Yes, that’s fine.”

Employee: “Okay, I am putting you on hold now.”

Me: “No problem.”

(At this point I expect some sort of hold music. However, the same employee remains on the line.)

Employee: “…So how’s the weather?”

Me: “Pardon, sorry?”

Employee: “The weather… how’s the weather where you are?”

Me: “Um… it’s fine. A bit cloudy but nothing too bad. Erm… how’s the weather where you are?”

Employee: “I am in India, sir. We don’t have weather here.”

Absolute Power Gets Uppity Absolutely

| Edmonton, Alberta, Canada | Working | December 28, 2012

(A coworker of mine decides to volunteer by becoming the fundraising director for the local music festival. One day, I hear a commotion from down the hall. I poke my head out of the office to see this new coworker very loudly berating my boss.)

Coworker: “I can’t BELIEVE this station has never donated to the music festival! After all this festival has done for the station… all the money they’ve spent here… and we’ve never given back? I’m EMBARRASSED to be working here!”

(The boss seems beside herself, so I speak up.)

Me: “Excuse me, but I’ve been here a lot longer than you, and we’ve always been a sponsor of the festival. Did you not see the certificates in the lobby?”

(In our lobby, we have certificates of appreciation from the festival, thanking us for sponsoring them. They go back for the last 10 years.)

Coworker: “Well, I don’t see one for last year! What the f*** did we do, take last year off?”

Me: “There was a paperwork snafu last year, and we never received our certificate. But yes, we did sponsor the festival last year.”

Coworker: “Oh yeah?! PROVE IT!”

(I go to the nearest computer and bring up the station website, and show my coworker all of the pictures from the festival last year. All over the festival site are signs saying, “Proudly sponsored by [our station]”.)

Coworker: “Well… well… I wasn’t here last year! How did you expect me to know?!”

(He stormed back to his office. Why he wasn’t fired on the spot, I’ll never know.)

Minute Minds

| Vancouver, Canada | Working | December 28, 2012

(I work at a very popular American breakfast food restaurant. I take public transit to work, but one Sunday morning I find out the hard way that the Skytrain does not start running until 7:30 am. I was booked to start at six, so, needless to say, I was late.)

Manager: “I know you take public transit, but you have to time it so you can be here on time. We can’t afford to have you always showing up late because of transit.”

Me: “Okay, no problem. I’ll just consistently be here 30 minutes early.”

(A week later…)

Manager: “No staff can be here more than ten minutes before their shift. The staff room is too small, and it is distracting for the kitchen staff to have others hanging around.”

Me: “So, do you want me to take the earlier bus still?”

Manager: “Yes.”

Me: “But you don’t want me here more than ten minutes early?”

Manager: “Yes”

Me: “Even though my bus comes every half an hour, so taking the earlier bus means I will be here 30 minutes early?”

Manager: “Not my problem. You need to deal with it!”

(I ‘quit’ soon after that. And by ‘quit,’ I mean they stopped giving me hours but kept my name on the schedule. However, the turnover rate was so high that by the time I had been working there for two months, I was the senior hostess.)

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