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I Got 99 Problems And A Hundred Is One

, , , , , | Working | October 5, 2018

(I work at a gas station. After several customers complain that we don’t break large bills, my manager — against corporate advice — decides to do so, anyway. What follows is a summary of the week after.)

First Customer Of The Day: “Can you break a hundred?”

Me: “No.”

Manager: “Yes, we can. I’ll go get the money.”

(The manager walks into her office in back. To her surprise, the customer has followed her. After breaking the hundred, the “customer” walks out without buying anything. The manager returns to the front.)

Second Customer: “Can you break a hundred for me?”

Me: “No.”

Manager: “You have to buy something first.”

(The second customer looks around and decides on a ten-cent gumball, handing me a hundred. I look at the manager, who nods. Shaking my head, I empty my register to give the second customer the money, including several rolls of coins.)

Second Customer: “Man, why are you giving me this? I wanted bills!” *storms out*

Manager: “Let me get you some more money.”

(She goes back to her office and returns with money, only to see three more customers with hundreds out. This repeats every day for three days before my manager changes tactics.)

Manager: “Listen, I’ll just go in back. When you need to break a big bill, use the intercom.”

Me: “This is ridiculous. We’re making maybe ten bucks more a day for this, and you’re easily taking in several thousand in hundreds for it. Word’s already gotten out, and we’re going to be robbed if we keep this up.”

Manager: “You’re right. We should have a codename for when you need to do it.”

Me: “Why?”

Manager: “So I don’t get robbed when I come up with the money.”

(I glare, but she doesn’t notice. For two more days, I have to say a ridiculous codename over the intercom every five to ten minutes. Everyone knows why she’s coming up, defeating the purpose of the codename, but she gets upset when I simply tell her I need to break a large bill. Day five begins:)

Manager: “I’m wasting too much time coming up front. I’ll add a spot for the bank [a deposit/change dispenser behind the counter] that dispenses five twenties.”

Me: “That’s ridiculous. That means night shift will have this problem, too!”

Manager: “Great, we’ll make even more money!”

Me: “We’ve made almost nothing. We don’t even have a spot for a new roll of bills to drop.”

Manager: “Oh, I’ll replace pennies. Nobody’ll even notice!”

(At the end of day five, we’ve made no appreciable extra money, and my till is now off because I ran out of pennies and had to give out nickels for anything four cents or less. My manager writes me up for being short due to this. I refuse to sign the write-up. Per policy, this means a regional manager needs to be called to settle the dispute. I’m out the door for two days, anyway, and need the time to calm down after all this. I return two days later to find the regional manager waiting for me at the door. She pulls me aside, and ominously holds a clipboard.)

Regional Manager: “[Manager] called to let me know you’d been insubordinate every day for the last week, culminating in a suspicious register deficit on your final shift of the week. Is that right?”

Me: “Yes, she screwed with the bank so we had $20s instead of pennies, and insisted on breaking all bills, no matter how large.”

Regional Manager: “That’s what [Night Shift Worker] said last night in his police report. We had an armed robbery. Fortunately, [Night Shift Worker] is unharmed.” *hands me the clipboard* “I need you to sign that you confirm [Night Shift Worker]’s story about the lead-up to the robbery.”

(The regional manager had already contacted corporate after the robbery, but my manager’s write-up and the night worker’s story had convinced her the manager’s unsafe business practices were partly to blame. The regional manager closed the store for the day — to the bemoaning of customers — and a new manager awaited us the following morning.)

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