Making You Work ½ As Hard

, , , , | Right | April 3, 2019

I work at a fish processing plant. People come to us with fish, both privately caught and commercial, and we cut them up and put the parts in vacuum bags. We work on a three-part assembly line: two people cut the fish, four people pack them into bags, and one packs them with two industrial packers. We usually deal with halibut, salmon, and rockfish.

The typical order is around fifty pounds of fish, and we pack them into bags of varying sizes: #½, #1, #1½, and #2, with filets going in larger custom-size bags. The vast majority of orders are #1, and although we can do multi-size orders, it is uncommon. #½ is almost never heard of, and we only ever stock fifty or so bags. Sometimes the customer orders us to clean off the fish with rags, but that slows down the line to a crawl.

One customer comes in with a hundred pounds of salmon, fifty pounds of rockfish, and a full hundred-and-forty-pound halibut.

They want half of the salmon in filets — cleaned with a rag —  twenty-five #1 bags and twenty-five #2 bags, they wanted the rockfish in #2 bags — inconvenient for such a small fish — and they wanted us to filet a hundred-and-forty-pound, six-foot freaking halibut, and put it in two-hundred-eighty #½ bags.

It took us three hours to process one order. The average is thirty minutes.

Getting Owned By The Rent-To-Own

, , , , , | Right | April 3, 2019

(I work at a rent-to-own store where customers can rent furniture, electronics, and appliances for a weekly rate, eventually owning them. A large part of our job is chasing down people who haven’t paid the rent on their merchandise. One customer, in particular, a woman in her mid-20s, is a huge problem, going weeks without paying, not answering her phone, and not working with us at all. Then, she will come in and pay a portion of what she owes and vanish again for a few weeks. This cycle goes on for about three months and we’re fed up, calling all her contacts and visiting her house every evening. One day, an older couple comes in and the man speaks to my manager.)

Man: “Why are you guys harassing my daughter so much?”

Manager: “Who’s your daughter, sir?”

Man: “[Trouble Customer].”

Manager: “Oh. Well, sir, we’re simply trying to get her to pay her rental bill.”

Man: “She signed your papers, didn’t she?”

Manager: “Yes, she did sign the rental agreement.”

Man: “Well, then, she’s going to pay you. You can just leave her alone.”

Manager: “Sir, I’m sorry, but it doesn’t work that way. She signed the agreement that she was going to pay the amount due, in full, by Saturday of each week. She’s never once paid on time and she’s currently two weeks behind.”

Man: “But she’s given you money, so what’s the problem?”

Manager: “I’m sorry, but I’m not completely sure where the disconnect is here. She has an agreement with us that says she will pay every Saturday…”

Man: “She agreed that she’ll pay you, and she will. There’s no problem, so leave her alone.”

(This went on for twenty minutes, getting nowhere. The concept of “must pay by an agreed-upon time an agreed-upon amount” was lost on this guy, and apparently, his daughter. They all figured that they could just get around to paying when they felt like it and that was their prerogative. The story with this customer continued for another few months, with her eventually getting behind by nearly six weeks in payments. We couldn’t do a legal replevin, however, unless she threatened to deface or destroy the goods. So, we made up a story to the cops about her threatening to smash her stuff if we didn’t leave her alone and we were able to get into her house and take it back. She wasn’t happy and cried a lot, but that’s the game you play with a rent-to-own store.)

Making The Coffee Bean Racist

, , , | Right | April 3, 2019

(I work at an espresso stand. I am a Latino that looks extremely Caucasian as I got most of my looks from my mother’s side of the family rather than my father’s Mexican side. A customer drives up to our stand and orders a coffee. After I hand him his drink, he hands me a business card.)

Customer: “This is the stand that I own in [Nearby City].”

Me: “Oh, how’s it do? You’ve got a lot of competition here.”

Customer: *laughs* “We make money hand over fist.”

Me: “Awesome. I’ve thought of trying my hand opening my own stand in another state where they don’t have as many. Colorado seems like it might be the place to try it out.”

Customer: “Colorado is full of Mexicans. Mexicans don’t drink coffee!” *laughs* “They can pick it fine, but they don’t drink it.”

Me: *long pause* “Have a nice day, sir.”

Almost Foaming At The Mouth

, , , , , | Right | April 3, 2019

(I am making drinks and handing them out at a popular coffee shop. I am working on a cappuccino with extra foam when my coworker comes up beside me. Steaming milk to create extra foam is a little tricky at first, but she tells me that I made it perfectly.)

Me: “I have a small cappuccino with extra foam!”

Customer: “NO! This is all wrong! I wanted a dry cappuccino! Not extra foam!”

Me: “Oh… Well, as it turns out, ‘dry’ actually means, ‘extra foam,’ so…”

Customer: “Ugh! Everyone who works here is so stupid! I’m in a hurry, so I guess I’ll take this.”

(The customer picks up the cup.)

Customer: “This cup doesn’t feel right. There’s not enough foam!”

Me: “I’m sorry, you wanted extra foam right? I literally filled the cup with foam… Would you like me to remake it for you?”

Customer: “No! But I’m never coming here again!”

(She’s a regular and comes in every day.)

“Check” The Date

, , , , | Right | April 3, 2019

(We have recently been reminded of the importance of following check-cashing rules, as one branch in the next county took a huge loss for cashing a large stolen check. A customer walks in.)

Customer: “Hi. I’d like to cash this.”

(I notice that the check is post-dated for the next week. We are not allowed to cash these until the date written on the check.)

Me: “I’m very sorry, sir, but this check is dated for next week.”

Customer: “So?”

Me: “[Bank] regulations state that I can’t cash a check that is dated in the future. I would suggest going back to the person who wrote you the check and seeing if they can get you a new one. Or, you can hold onto it until next week.”

Customer: “Why can’t I just change the date? I’ll do that right now!”

Me: “Um, sir, you actually can’t do that. It’s against federal—“

(Before I can stop him, he starts scribbling out the date and writing in a new one. The check is now considered an “altered check,” and cashing it would go against federal bank regulations. I could get fired for cashing it.)

Customer: *proudly* “THERE! Fixed!”

Me: “I still can’t cash it.”

Customer: “Why the h*** not?!”

Me: “As I was trying to explain, you can’t change any information on a check you haven’t written. It’s now an altered check, and per federal regulations, we can’t accept it. Whoever cashes it could get fired. I have to tell you to go get a new check now.”

Customer: “What if I go to another branch and find someone else to do it? HUH? What then?”

Me: “Then you could get another teller in trouble, sir. Please don’t—“

(The customer runs out the door, shouting that he’s going to go to another branch, and I’ll never guess which one. I sigh, pick up the phone, and call the manager at the only other branch in the area.)

Me: “Hey, [Customer] is coming your way with an altered check. I saw him do it. I told him he had to get a new check, but he ran out of here shouting that he was going to go to another branch…”

Manager: “Oh, we know him. I’ll have a chat with him when he gets here. Thanks!”

(They made him go get a new check. He was shocked that they knew what was happening when he showed up.)