Second Act Surprise!

, , , , , , | Working | December 29, 2017

(I am hired to do some catering work in a congress centre. Today, it’s training day for all the new temps. Lots of new workers are waiting, in uniform, to be taken to the hall for the training. A coworker and I notice a man in a manager’s uniform, walking around with a moody face, slouched appearance, and messy clothing.)

Coworker #1: *quietly, to me* “Either that gentleman had to start really early, or he had a bad night’s sleep.”

(Finally, we get a message that someone will take us to the hall. The name could be male or female, so I assume they mean the young lady opening the door for us. We go into the meeting hall and get seated. Then, the first person to talk to us is the sloppy, moody man. He talks in a very unenthusiastic way.)

Grouch: “Hi, my name is [Name]. I’m a floor manager, and I have been working here for 25 years already. Now, you’ve got your uniforms. [Congress Centre] put lots of money in those, so be careful with them, okay? It’s, in fact, very simple: you are getting put on your location by me and then you’ll just do as I tell you. If there’s ever a problem, don’t try and solve it; come to me, because after all these years, I know you’ll just create chaos if you don’t. Finally, don’t come up with ideas. After 25 years, I heard all of them already and I’ve got more to do than just listen to stuff I already heard before.”

(The grouch gets seated. During his speech, I notice his shirt isn’t tucked into his trousers and his hand is in his pocket, which, in the Netherlands, is considered a very rude and sloppy thing when giving a speech or presentation. After the man gets seated, a young lady takes over, and starts doing a presentation which is much better and much more inspiring. The grouch seems to be more interested in his phone, although he might be checking important messages. At one point, the lady asks him a question.)

Young Lady: “I’ll be starting the video now, okay?”

Grouch: *looking up from his phone* “Hmm? Sorry?”

Young Lady: “Is it okay to start the video?”

Grouch: “Oh, yeah, fine.”

(This continues for a while. I’ve had different jobs over the years, and although I hate people like this, their existence doesn’t even surprise me anymore. But at some point, the lady starts addressing his behaviour.)

Young Lady: “[Grouch], do you have anything to say?”

Grouch: “Hmm? No, what do you mean?”

Young Lady: “Well, I don’t really like your attitude. Maybe we should pay some attention to it.”

Grouch: “Oh? What’s wrong with my attitude then?”

(He doesn’t sound angry yet, but I know people like this. An argument will break out within minutes, not that the guy doesn’t deserve it.)

Young Lady: “Well, you’re not paying attention, and you’re looking at your phone all the time.”

Coworker #2: “To be honest, you don’t seem very enthusiastic.”

Grouch: “I don’t?”

Coworker #3: “Yes; your appearance makes me wonder whether you feel sick or something.”

Coworker #4: “Yes, I must admit, it’s even a bit unreal…”

(Then the grouch surprises me.)

Grouch: *standing up, putting his clothing right* “Okay, you’re right. Fair enough. I’ll do my introduction again. Hello everyone, my name is [Name], and I’m an actor, here to assist with the training.”

(And to be honest, I expected everything but that! The workplace turned out to be fine, by the way.)

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Unfiltered Story #102069

, | Unfiltered | December 20, 2017

(During a break, a coworker and I are talking about stuff like our wages.)

Coworker: ‘It’s really unfair! When I earn more, I have to pay more taxes! That’s MY money! I want to safe that for later!’

(Although I see her point, I’m more of the opinion that income tax is a fair thing, since poor people are unable to pay more. Also, our wages our very low, so what is she complaining about?)

Me: ‘Well, on the other hand, there have to be taxes. If not, who’s gonna make sure that a company gets paid to restore the pavement in your street? Who’s gonna pay the sewer workers? And of course there’s government employees, like the police.’

Coworker: ‘Pfff! The police is stupid. When my friend’s car was stolen, they didn’t do anything!’

Me: ‘Really?’

Coworker: ‘Yes, he never got his car back! It’s their job, so why didn’t it happen?’

Me: ‘Well, I guess, if the car is stolen, it’s not very easy to find it again. How should they do that?’

Coworker: ‘Well, there’s camera footage, isn’t there?’

Me: ‘So wait. Let’s assume that there would be camera’s on every street everywhere in the country… which isn’t the case. Then you would have an unimaginable amount of options where to look, since there are so many cameras and you don’t know where the car was at which moment. There are many, many cars in this country, right? The stolen car could be anywhere in the country, or even taken abroad already. Also, many cars get stolen, so they can’t go and put all their detectives on that. So, how do you suggest they should find it?’

Coworker: ‘Pff, it’s easy to find, it’s an oldtimer car! And they have camera footage, right?’

Has A Masters In Millennial Problems

, , , , | Working | November 7, 2017

(I graduated a few years ago, but due to the “experience problem” still haven’t managed to find a suitable job. Currently, I’m doing uneducated hospitality work, like catering, banqueting, etc. in a congress centre. One morning, I have a conversation about all and nothing with a colleague.)

Me: “Well, I like being treated like an adult, you know? I mean, my age and my master grade might be signs that I am an adult, don’t you think?”

Coworker: “You have a grade?”

Me: “Yes, university.”

Coworker: “Then, what are you doing here?”

Me: “Earning actual money.”

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Needs A Break From Your Illegal Activities

, , , , , , , | Working | November 3, 2017

When working for an employment agency, I was asked to work in a certain bar one evening. When arriving there, all seemed right and, to be honest, the work was okay. However, after a few hours work, I asked how everything worked with breaks. The other workers reacted a bit surprised. Break? Oh, well, in fact they didn’t do those, because there was no time… despite the law making it very clear that the employer is obliged to allow it and the employee is obliged to take it. “We don’t do that. The employment agency should have told you. I’ll talk to them about this, because this is really important.”

A bit later they had the chef de cuisine make me a croquette sandwich. Since I was quite hungry, I was very happy about this and thanked the cook, despite the fact that he shouted at me and bullied a coworker earlier in the night. I ate it quickly and went back to work immediately.

After an evening of hard work in a very busy bar, I had to leave at midnight. One of the floor managers took me to the office to find the form for temporary workers. The office turned out to be a mess and she was unable to find the form, although she was clearly as annoyed by the mess as I was. In the end, the lady improvised and made me write down my name, employment agency, and hours on a blank note. I worked for seven hours, so that’s what I wrote down.

The next day, I commented to my contact at the employment agency about the break problem, stating clearly that I wanted to be fully informed, and that I thought it was weird that the place didn’t do breaks, despite this being illegal. My contact reacted somewhat defensively, although they called the incomplete briefing “a learning point for us.”

Despite this, I was assured that it was very common in hospitality work that you’re supposed to have eaten before 5:00 pm, and I was asked to have “some flexibility.” I didn’t answer, since I was clearly not winning this, although some Internet research and a phone call to the union made it clear to me that I was totally right.

Later, when I downloaded my payslip, it turned out that the place only paid me for six-and-a-half hours, anyway, while eating the sandwich took me about five minutes. I emailed my contact, asking exactly what the bar’s general manager submitted, pointing out that I didn’t take half-an-hour break and, therefore, worked for much longer.

No response ever came. Much later, I asked the financial person of the employment agency what was submitted. According to her, [Bar] indeed claimed I worked six-and-a-half hours with a half-an-hour break. Once again, the employment agency didn’t take any action, but since then, the bar was on my personal blacklist, which I made very clear to my contact.

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Wireless, Clueless, Hopeless, Part 31

, , , , , , | Right | October 30, 2017

(I work for a major company for Internet, TV, and phone services, and this call comes in.)

Me: “This is [My Name] with [Company]. How can I help you today?”

Customer: “Yeah, my f****** Internet isn’t working every time I use the d*** vacuum cleaner!”

Me: “Okay, that’s weird. Can you tell me in depth how you know that the vacuum cleaner is the issue?”

Customer: “Well, whenever I clean the house, I don’t have Internet, TV, or a phone line. It is starting to freak me out!”

Me: “But I can see that the services are working just fine.”

Customer: “Yeah, that’s the weird part; like ten to fifteen minutes after my husband comes home from work, everything works perfectly.”

Me: “Is your husband there, because maybe he fixes it somehow?”

Customer: “Yeah, hold on. I’ll get him for you.” *screams husband’s name*

Husband: “Hello, this is [Husband]. What’s up?”

Me: “Your wife told me the services like Internet and TV aren’t working all day long after she used the vacuum cleaner, and just like magic, when you come home from work everything works again.”

Husband: “Yeah, that’s true. Whenever she uses the vacuum, she pulls the plug of the router and modem to put the plug of the vacuum cleaner in. Then, she removes the vacuum cleaner, but doesn’t put the plug of the modem and router back in.”

Me: *confused* “So… why didn’t you tell her this?”

Husband: “Because she thinks the router and modem don’t have anything to do with Internet and TV because she uses ‘wireless services.’ She always says she wants to throw the router and modem away because she never uses them.”

Me: *almost crying* “Okay, well, I suggest you tell her that they are needed.”

Husband: “Nope, that’s your job. Good luck.” *passes the phone back to his wife*

Customer: “Hey, so is it fixed?”

Me: “Well, it seems that you pull the plug of the modem and router whenever you use the vacuum cleaner, but forget to put the plug back in. Your husband puts the plugs back when he’s home, so that’s why all services work whenever he comes home.”

Customer: “But I use wireless; I don’t need that stupid box of s***.”

Me: “Well, actually, you need it, ma’am, because that box sends the wireless signal.”

Customer: “Oh.” *screams the name of the husband* “YOU MOTHERF*****! WHY DIDN’T YOU TELL ME THIS, YOU PIECE OF S***? NOW I’M F****** EMBARRASSED, YOU D***-HEAD!”

Me: “Is there anything I can assist you with, ma’am?”

Customer: “No, thanks. Lots of love, and thanks for the support!”

Me: “You’re welcome. Have a nice day.”

(Just when I said my last line, I heard pots and pans getting thrown around. I just hung up and burst into laughter. My supervisor asked me why I was laughing, so I told him the story and let him listen to the call. It was a fun day.)

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