Right Working Romantic Related Learning Friendly Healthy Legal Inspirational Unfiltered

Getting A $100 Education

, , , , , | Right | July 5, 2021

My first job is cashiering for [Big Box Chain]. I’m fairly non-social, so I have had to pick up the little intricacies of smiling, nodding along, and small talk. In many ways, I am awfully, extremely, undoubtedly street-dumb, and this is one example of such that arguably worked in my favor. I’m eager to keep my minimum-wage paycheck and not get fired, so I do my best to learn the ropes.

A few months in, I’m starting to get the hang of some things. I’m confident with my register, have picked up a good rhythm for scanning and bagging, and have honed the fine art of keeping the average customer satisfied. But other things haven’t quite absorbed, two of which are relevant here. One, when my register is full of too much cash, the excessive amount needs to be “picked up” and whisked to the accounting office. And two, sometimes the dreaded “quick-change artist” makes their rounds to dupe us hurried, distracted cashiers out of our register money.

It’s a busy shift, I’ve accumulated Too Much Money in my register, and I’m doing my best to get customers’ purchases scanned, bagged, and paid for efficiently. A couple of hours before shift end, a man comes through my till with just a tiny two-pack of chapstick, which he goes to pay for with a $100 bill. For normal people, that’s a probable red flag, but naive me plugs it into the till and the register opens.

The man waves his arm to grab my attention and wants the $100 back, offering to pay with smaller bills. Present-day me knows he is trying to get the $100 back plus the $90-some-odd change.

Naive past me finds this a little odd, but without really thinking too hard, says the first thing that comes to my mind:

Me: “Oh, no, no, it’s okay! I know how hard it can be to break big bills like this. Don’t worry, I can do that for you.”

I don’t know if my genuine desire to be helpful stunned him or if he just figured that I was too foolish to fool, but he said nothing as I counted out and handed him his $90-something change like any other sale. He didn’t say anything and skulked out when I wished him a lovely day.

A couple of days after this, I was finally told what a quick-change artist is, and I got one step closer to being street-average.

Unable To Get To The Meat Of The Issue

, , , , , | Right | July 3, 2021

I am a deli clerk in a big chain grocery store in Canada. My job involves slicing meats behind a service counter, with our opened chubs in bags with their shelf life represented in orange stickers. Recently, all employees had to do a racial and discrimination course to ensure we were dealing with customers properly, and I am extremely wary of offending anybody. This is also during the health crisis, so a lot of customers are wearing masks. I have been wearing one myself every shift since the beginning of April. A customer comes up to my counter and pulls down his face mask.

Customer: “I have strong accent; maybe you cannot understand me.”

He sounds Russian but I have no issues with that at all and actually enjoy listening to certain accents.

Me: “Maybe, but I have no difficulties understanding you at all. What can I get for you?”

Customer: “I want 300 grams European Bologna sandwich sliced.”

Me: “Okay.”

I walk over to the case and dig for the correct product.

Customer: “That will not be enough. I don’t want tiny piece. You cut it from this one.”

He indicates the closed chub on display.

Me: “Sir, there is more than enough on this piece to fill your order without giving you the end piece. We are not allowed to open multiple chubs of one type of meat—”

Customer: “That isn’t enough. Cut it from the new one.”

Me: “Sir, if you’ll let me—”

The customer cuts me off and begins complaining to the other staff that I refuse to serve him his meat.

Customer: *To anybody near enough* “This lady refuses to give me product from my own country!”

Me: “Sir, I have no issues filling your order, but I could get in trouble for opening multiple meat chubs of the same thing.”

The customer continued to cut me off multiple times, the conversation going around and around like this. After a few moments, I realized that I was not going to get a word in edgewise. Even lifting my hand to signal him that I was trying to speak didn’t help.

In the end, he left without his meat, complaining to two colleagues of mine on the way out of my department. The next morning, I sliced that same exact piece for our case and it would have easily filled his request without the end piece being too small.

Music Is Music, My Friend

, , , , , , | Working | June 21, 2021

Sometimes, when it’s not too busy in the office, I’ll play music quietly from my Bluetooth speaker.

Coworker: “Hey, that’s [Christian Singer].”

I check my phone’s screen.

Me: “Yup.”

The wheels started turning in her brain.

Coworker: “But… you’re an atheist.”

Me: “Umm, yeah?”

Coworker: “But… that’s Christian music.”

Me: “Listen, you know I love music and go to a million concerts. If I let religion dictate what I listen to, I’d miss so much good stuff. Sinead O’Connor is now Muslim, and I love to drive to Hindi music. I listen to country when I draw and play pop when I’m entertaining. Christian music is uplifting and I just wanted a pick-me-up right now.”

Coworker: “But I like [Christian Singer].”

Me: “Great. What’s your favourite song?”

I reach for my phone to pull it up so we can share it.

Coworker: “I don’t know.”

She walked away, seeming kind of upset that a heathen like me could listen to music she likes. My lack of belief has always kept her at arm’s length from me, but now I think I may have ruined her enjoyment of music. Oops.

Very Literal Banking

, , , , , | Right | June 18, 2021

My credit card company recently changed my card number due to an unexpected upgrade, so I’m calling places with pre-authorized payments to update them. Because of the time difference, they open right as I start to head to work, so I am one of the first callers. Everything has been routine with the normal confirmation of address, name, and policy number up until now.

Agent: “So, what is the new card?”

I rattle off the number.

Agent: “So it’s a [Brand] card.”

Me: “Oh, yes. Yes, it is.”

Agent: “And are you the cardholder?”

Me: *Not missing a beat* “Well, I’m literally holding the card, so, yup.”

The agent cracks up, making me crack up.

Agent: “I mean, I guess I did ask that, didn’t I?”

The update processed through and we ended the call, still sort of cracking up. Hopefully, that call keeps a smile on both our faces the rest of the day.

There’s No Substitute For Good Teachers

, , , , | Learning | June 16, 2021

My father was a life-long high school teacher. When he retired from full-time teaching, he became a substitute teacher. Being in rural Alberta, that meant driving long distances to many different schools in all directions. He was in such demand that he ended up working almost full-time and driving much more than he did before. He enjoyed being in demand, though, often having to tell schools that he couldn’t sub for them because another school had already booked him.

Being able to say no was a privilege that he enjoyed being able to have, but in practice, he almost never did if his time wasn’t already spoken for.

He told me about one school he ruled out permanently, though. He said it was due to a single incident, but from talking to him, I knew that there was also an underlying issue that bothered him.

The incident? He had an off period one day and was walking down the school hallway during class. A male teenage student came out of a classroom in front of him and then yelled back into the classroom, “I’m going to take a s***, okay?!”

Dad: “I’m not going to sub there again. Anyway, it is a very long drive there.”

Me: “Did you talk to anyone at the school there about it?”

Dad: “No. I didn’t see a point. He wasn’t my student, it wasn’t my class, and I’m just a sub. The boy’s teacher should deal with it, not me. I don’t have to sub for them.”

Me: “In all the decades that you’ve taught, you must have witnessed bad behavior similar to this before. You also drive just as far to other schools to sub. What makes this different?”

Dad: “Well, I don’t have to put up with stuff like that anymore. I’m semi-retired. Plus, they’re a Roman Catholic school and they made me sign a document stating that I was a Christian. I understand why they do that, but what I believe has nothing to do with being a good teacher.”

I agreed with him whole-hardheartedly. Unfortunately, he felt that he couldn’t just tell that school outright that he wouldn’t sub for them anymore. He was concerned that the word would spread that he was “picky” about schools. So, from then on, he broke his own rule of honesty and always told that school he was already booked or busy when they called.

He continued subbing for several more years at several schools after that before retiring fully. Even after he stopped registering as a substitute teacher with the school boards and schools, he would still get calls occasionally from schools asking him to PLEASE come in for a day. He told me that he liked being needed but that his ailing wife needed him more.