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Thermodynamics, You Take It From Here, Part 3

, , , , , | Right | September 6, 2021

I work as a manager at a fusion bar/restaurant in a very affluent area and, understandably, this means we get some incredibly entitled people with very strange complaints or requests — especially from the “old money” types who swing by.

I’m managing a dinner shift one night. Our first question when diners are seated is whether they’d like chilled tap water or a bottle of sparkling water from the bar chiller. It’s a warm summer night and we’ve just sat an older couple on the porch area of our venue and poured out two glasses of the sparkling water they requested.

Server: “Umm, the lady from the couple we seated just dropped her glass of sparkling water and wants us to replace it and speak with you.”

I fill a water glass of soda water and head over. I spot the lady with an obviously confused frown on her face. The offending spilled water has already been wiped from herself and the table, and the broken glass has been cleared away.

Me: “Hi there. I’ve just got a replacement for the sparkling water you dropped. Is everything all right?”

Customer: “Absolutely not! Your glasses are just far too slippery! I just went to take a sip and it just slipped from my hand. Completely unacceptable.”

Me: “Oh? Slippery? As in greasy? I’m so sorry, that is completely unaccepta—”

Customer: “No, no, no! It wasn’t greasy! It was just covered in water! Look at the one you’ve just put down! It’s already covered in water!”

She points to the chilled soda water I’ve placed on her table that has slowly begun to form condensation.

Me: “You mean the condensation on the outside of the glass?”

Customer: “Yes, of course!”

Me: “Ma’am, it’s a warm evening and our glasses are room temperature. Our tap and sparkling water are kept chilled and of course, condensation will occur on the outside of the glass. Would you prefer a room temperature bottle of water, instead?”

Customer: *Makes a disgusted face* “Warm water?! No, of course not! It’s been such a hot day! I just don’t understand why the glasses are wet!”

This was the exact moment that I died inside.

I then spent five minutes briefly explaining the laws of thermodynamics to a lady in her late sixties while her poor husband watched in silence. In the end, she still didn’t seem to understand and didn’t touch her water for the remainder of her dining experience but seemed happy to take multiple, uneventful sips of her chilled glass of Pinot Gris which was, of course, covered in condensation.

Thermodynamics, You Take It From Here, Part 2
Thermodynamics, You Take It From Here

How Do They Have Any Employees Left?!

, , , , , | Working | July 28, 2021

The bank I work for is always attempting to cut costs and implementing strange new policies to catch people out. Every year around bonus and pay evaluation time, a slew of people are always “let go” due to infractions. We are always led to believe that the infractions are so serious that legal and the police are involved.

Rumblings are starting around our department of staff having to have meetings about their behaviour and stats while on calls. I’ve seen the best of our call center in tears as he was absolutely cut down by a team from human resources for referring to someone as “Ms.” instead of “Mrs.”

As we are a bank, security questions are essential, BUT all answers are input by human beings, and sometimes things are just wrong.

One fateful day, I am called into a meeting with three managers and two human resources people to answer for my indiscretion.

Human Resources: “On Monday [date] you had [Customer] call in, and you had to ask him the identity questions. He answered three questions correctly and the last one incorrectly, and yet you granted him access to his account details. Can you tell us why?”

Me: “Can I review the call transcript?”

This is provided to me, and I can see that the last question I asked him was to verify his email address. When entering it in person, someone had transposed two letters in the domain of the email address.

Me: “It’s an obvious spelling mistake.”

Manager: “Yes, but you can’t prove that”

Me: “Well, I can, and I did by using the notes. The previous calls all note that there was a spelling error in the email address. The branch had been notified of the issue, too, and I left my own notes and details to the branch to fix it.”

Manager: “Well, it’s not good enough. This is reason enough for us to terminate you, on top of your excessive sick leave.”

Me: “Wait, what? What excessive sick leave? And why is this being brought up in front of managers who are not my direct reports?”

The human resources people blanch and provide me with the documents… where I have one day more than my entitlement, after the head manager’s kids came in with pinkeye and gave it to 75% of the staff, including me.

Me: “This looks like a blatant attempt to get rid of me. Can I have a break for five minutes?”

Human Resources: “It won’t help you, but go ahead.”

Unfortunately for them, the union rep is on my team and is able to come back into the meeting with me in under two minutes flat. I bring the union rep up to date in front of the managers and human resources. He is getting angrier and angrier as the details are provided to him and the managers and human resources are becoming more and more concerned.

Human Resources: “Look, why don’t you two discuss this while we have a meeting for five minutes and discuss our options?”

All the managers and human resources skedaddle, and the union rep is livid. It’s the tenth meeting in a fortnight he’s been brought into. After ten minutes, only the human resources reps come back, the managers having something else to do very suddenly.

Human Resources: “Well, we’ve decided that we’ll let you stay only if you forfeit your yearly bonus for the next two to five years and attend vigorous retraining at a 25% pay decrease.”

I looked at the rep and walked out. I quit immediately. The rep was so incensed that he and the union brought action against the bank, but by that stage, I was so over it I didn’t care!

Challenge Accepted

, , , , , | Right | March 28, 2021

I work at a chain bookstore in New Zealand and have an insanely good ability to find things with very little information. A guy comes in with his friend and I ask them if they need some help.

Customer: “I’m looking for a cookbook by an Australian author that’s around $150.”

Customer’s Friend: “Dude, you have not given her enough information. She will never find it.”

Me: “I accept that challenge.”

Less than thirty seconds later:

Me: “Is it The Cook’s Companion by Stephanie Alexander?”

Customer: “Yes.”

Me: “We don’t have it, sorry. It’s not so easy to get, but it is available on our website; it comes from overseas.”

Customer’s Friend: “S***, you’re good.”

Customer: “Never doubt these people, man.”

Homo Defectus

, , , , | Right | February 15, 2021

I’m a customer in this story. I don’t live in the best part of town but I have a good relationship with many local store owners. I get to the counter just behind another customer. He has a four-pack of mixed drinks, which he holds in his hands instead of putting on the counter. The cashier reaches out to get them to scan, and the guy loses it.

Customer: “What the f***?! You touched my hand! Don’t touch me, you homo! I don’t want those; I’m not buying anything from this homo shop!”

The cashier thinks the guy is making some off-colour joke and gives a half-hearted laugh.

Customer: “Why are you laughing?! What is wrong with you, you homo?! Everyone in this shop is a f****** homo! I’m not buying s*** from this homo shop!”

The awesome owner comes out of the backroom:

Owner: “Good, get out! We don’t want your money! Piss off!” 

The customer stormed out, got in his car, and gunned it, screeching out of the carpark and screaming out his window about how no one should go to this shop because it’s a “homo shop.”

I turned to the cashier and both of us just had “What the f***?” expressions on our faces.

Please Drive On The Right Side Of The Century

, , , , | Right | January 21, 2021

I’m a tour guide but also drive the bus. I’m used to this surprising some of our guests, who are used to the driver and guide being two different roles. One day, I am at the ticket office doing a few jobs before my tour group arrives. A ticket office worker approaches me while talking to a couple from the US.

Ticket Office Worker: “Here she is now. This is the guide for your tour.”

Me: “Hi! I’m [My Name]. I’m your driver and guide.”

Male Customer: “Oh, no! We have a woman driver?”

Me: “Sure!”

I laugh it off thinking the gentleman is being funny, but I find he’s not really joking.

Male Customer: *Perfectly serious* “I’m a bit sexist about these things.”

I am astounded but polite, as I’m used to allowing for different cultural beliefs.

Me: “Oh, well, I’m perfectly safe, I promise.”

Then, I see one of my more, shall we say, “forthright” colleagues approaching the counter, and I can’t resist a bit of mischief.

Me: “Actually, many of our drivers here are ladies. Like [Colleague], here.”

I made myself conveniently absent.

Funnily enough, the very next day I had four men from Saudi Arabia on my tour who didn’t seem to have any problem at all with a female driver.