The Empowered Versus The Entitled

, , , , | Right | July 22, 2021

I’m a department manager at a grocery store. I’m stocking a load when I respond to a call for a manager up at the registers. The cashier directs me to a woman standing off to the side.

Cashier: “She asked to speak to a manager. I don’t know what it’s about, but she was really rude. Sorry.”

Me: *Bracing myself* “Yes, how can I help you?”

Customer: *Condescendingly* “I doubt you even can, dear. I wanted to speak to the manager, not some stock girl.”

Me: “We all pitch in on basic store operations, but I am one of the managers on duty and I assure you that I am empowered with override codes and the authority to handle what you need.”

Customer: “What about the other managers? I need to speak to a real one, not a little girl.”

Me: “We’re all stocking shelves. I’m here. What do you need?”

She is craning her head around at all the other floor managers, who all also happen to be women.

Customer: “No, that won’t do. What about your boss, the one who works up in the office? Is he here?”

Me: “He is, but I’m sure I can handle your issue if you’ll just tell me what it is.”

Customer: “No. I need to speak to the man in charge, so you can get back to your little cart. Understand?”

I sigh and trudge upstairs to the buyer’s office to relate the situation to the general manager.

Manager: “Oh, I see. If she won’t accept the help of any of the several managers on the floor, it can’t be that urgent. I’ll be down riiiiiiight after I’m done with this.”

I go back downstairs, let the customer know that the manager has been notified and will be on his way, and return to my cart of product. Time passes, and there’s another cashier call for a manager. I go back again and the customer is still standing off to the side, looking exasperated. 

Customer: “I’ve been waiting here this whole time! I don’t have all day. I have things to do!”

Me: “Well, if you’re in a hurry, maybe you’d be inclined to let me help you since I’m available?”

She refuses, and I shrug and walk away. The customer waits and waits, and there are several more manager calls as she harasses the poor cashier. Other managers respond, but she refuses them. Eventually, our boss comes down to put a stop to it. Afterward, he comes and finds me.

Manager: *Laughing* “Guess what? After all that fuss, all she needed was a simple return.”

Me: *Exasperated* “I could have done that for her if she’d have only let me.”

Manager: “She didn’t even need a manager override. After all that time she made herself wait, all she had to do the whole time was get in line.”

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Once An Employee, Always An Employee

, , , , , | Right | July 21, 2021

I wear a mask any time I leave my home. Nobody in the area has the same mask, so as we’re in a small town, people often recognize me. This morning as I’m grabbing my morning supplies at the gas station down the street, a customer recognizes me.

Customer: “You, help me find these things.”

Me: “I don’t work here.”

Customer: “I know. I need help.”

This exchange goes on for a few moments, her getting more and more insistent about me being the person to help her. The woman even tries to block me from leaving the store! I am generally a helpful and pleasant person… at least until I am treated with disrespect.

The moment she blocks me in, I flip.

Me: “I will remove you by force if necessary.”

Luckily, she ended up moving and I left the store in a rush to her threats of calling my manager.

Whoever you are, lady, I hope you get the help you need, but I don’t work everywhere and I’m not licensed to get you the mental help.

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They’ve Got The “Kind Strangers” Thing On Lock

, , , , , | Friendly | June 28, 2021

I was quite the road-tripper post-college and very notorious for locking my keys in my car — my very old, no-frills, manual 1991 Corolla with crank windows. So notorious was I that, after going home for Christmas, my parents made me half a dozen extra keys to hide or give to more responsible people. Problem solved, or so you would think.

I was driving back to Utah from Arizona and stopped at a small gas station just south of the Utah/Arizona border. It was 3:00 am and I just needed one more tank of gas to get home, so I got out of the car and habitually locked and slammed my door. Just as it clicked shut, I realized that I had just locked my keys in the car.

I had no cell service, I was six hours from family and friends going either direction, and there were no other buildings for at least twenty miles. This Hitchcock-esque gas station was the only place with lights and people. So, I did the only sensible thing any twenty-year-old solo female traveler would do: I walked into the convenience store and said, “Help!”

Immediately, the only people there — the owner and his cousin — sprang into action. Apparently, the cousin had just relocated there from California looking to get a fresh start. Lucky for me, because he said he had lots of friends who locked their keys in their cars so he had a lot of experience breaking into cars. This sweet, wonderful, large, heavily tattooed man spent over an hour working to get into my car. And when he finally managed, neither he nor his cousin would take any money from me, not even for the hot chocolate they gave me while saving me from my own mistake.

I never saw either of them again on subsequent road trips, but I hope they both got every break the universe could offer them.

I wish that was the last time I’d gotten myself locked out of my car. It wasn’t. It wasn’t even the most dramatic. But it was the sweetest.

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Triple-A Ungrateful

, , , , | Right | May 28, 2021

I work as a supervisor for roadside assistance. I get an escalation sent to me because a lady wants us to use her membership to give her husband service, which is not covered. I see that she has been a member with us since 1989, so I grant a one-time exception to allow her husband to receive service.

Me: “May I have his first and last name, as well as a number to keep in contact with him in case the driver needs to talk to him? All your husband needs to do is be present when the driver arrives and have his photo ID ready.”

At first, the caller is very happy and grateful for me helping her.

Me: “If your husband needs service through us again, he will have to become a member to use the road service.”

Caller: *Suddenly offended* “How dare you?! How dare you assume that my husband needed the service?! It’s my card and my car; what makes you think he needed the service?!”

Me: “Ma’am, it’s part of the policy that you agreed to when you became a member that you must be present at the time of service. All I was saying was that if you need service, you must be present. If your husband does, he would have to be a member.”

Caller: *Yelling* “How dare you repeat yourself?! I was the one needing service, not my husband. You people do nothing to help me, ever! Why do I even deal with this?!”

Me: “I did just grant you an exception for a service that isn’t covered.”

She goes quiet for about five seconds.

Caller: “Oh, f*** you.” *Click*

A few hours later, I receive another escalation from the same lady asking why her call was canceled. It turns out that the driver arrived and her husband was nowhere to be found. They tried to call him, and he answered and told the driver:

Caller’s Husband: “Oh, I didn’t know I needed to be there.”

When I tell her what happened, she just mumbles:

Caller: “I married a f****** idiot.”

Then she hung up on me again!

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No Use Crying Over Expired Milk

, , , , | Working | May 27, 2021

My boss discovers the milk’s expiration date is today, but rather than being a freaking adult and maybe tossing it in the trash can less than two feet away, she decides to try and bully me into it.

Boss: “[My Name], when was the last time the fridge was cleaned out?”

Me: “Every Wednesday.”

Boss: “It needs to be cleaned out.”

Me: “The only thing in there is milk. Everything else is people’s lunches for today.”

Boss: “We don’t want another ‘incident’ with our fridge smelling.”

Me: “Okay?”

Boss: “Just clean it out.”

Me: “I am working on something right now. I will get to it at the end of today.”

Time passes and she decides to loudly declare, so the whole office can hear it:

Boss: “Ew! The fridge is so disgusting. You really need to clean it out! It is so gross in there! You don’t want another ‘incident.’”

I didn’t comment because it was so childish and immature, and again, there was just milk in there. She was acting like the fridge was packed full of rotting food.

She didn’t get the response she wanted and left. I decided to make myself a cup of tea and check the expiration date on the milk. Sure enough, it expired that day. It was still good but since it was Friday, I used the milk and turned and threw it in the trash less than two feet away. Shocking how difficult that was! I was positively exhausted from the effort!

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