In A Nation Founded By Convicts…

, , , , , , | Right | April 5, 2020

I’m working stock at a popular discount variety store chain, when a father, a mother and their two sons walk in and start looking at toys. I overhear part of their conversation:

Father: “Only pick one each, we actually have to pay for these. It’s not like back home in South Africa where you could just walk out of the shop.”

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Learn From This, Readers

, , , , , , | Working | April 3, 2020

A few years ago, I was working two part-time jobs in different companies: one as a receptionist in an office and one in a CD/DVD store. One day, our area manager came into the store with forms for us all to sign. She explained that it was not a big deal, just some “dumb government thing,” and we needed to sign it, and once we did, we’d get a $50 bonus in our next pay “for our trouble.” This sounded pretty good to us; all of us were struggling with low wages and an extra $50 would make life a little easier.

It was extremely long, with pages and pages of complicated jargon I couldn’t make heads or tails of. Then, in bold at the bottom, written in plain English, was a line about the extra $50 in our next pay if we signed. My area manager hovered over me the whole time I was reading, literally standing in my personal space, arms folded, huffing and sighing and checking her watch.

Something didn’t feel right, so I told her I was going to take it home and read it properly. She didn’t like that one bit. She complained that I was making her life difficult, that everyone else had already done it, why did I have to cause such a fuss, the company was being so generous, and it would be rude for me not to get it back ASAP, etc. I dug my heels in and took it home. 

I showed it to my parents and friends, and none of them could make any sense of it, either. I took it to my office job and asked if the HR manager could look over it for me.

She did, and she was furious. She boiled it down for me: the company had been caught underpaying its employees and was now supposed to pay back the wages we were owed. The form we were asked to sign was basically us forfeiting our rights to claim that money, in exchange for a $50 “bonus”.

I called my area manager and told her that I wasn’t signing and I wanted my backpay.

Even though I had only worked for the company for a few months, I was entitled to over $800 in wages. My coworkers were devastated when I told them; they had signed without reading, took the managers at their word, and had probably missed out on a few thousand dollars.

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What DO They Know, Then?

, , , , , | Working | April 1, 2020

(After bringing my phone in to have the SIM card from an old phone installed, it won’t connect to the network, so as advised, I have come back the next day to see if it can be fixed.)

Assistant: “Sorry, this phone is too old; it won’t work with our SIM card.”

Me: “But I had one of your SIM cards in a phone older than this just yesterday.”

Assistant: “Yes, but we transferred your number to a newer SIM card which isn’t compatible with your phone.”

Me: “Okay. So, change it back.”

Assistant: “Sorry, there’s nothing we can do.”

Me: “What about the old phone?”

Assistant: “That won’t work anymore, either, because we gave you a new SIM card.”

Me: “So, what do I do?”

Assistant: “You have to buy a new phone.”

Me: “Hang on: I came in here with a working phone and another that could work. Then, after I gave them to you, I have two completely unusable phones?”

Assistant: “Yes, you need to buy a new phone.”

Me: “No, I need to speak to your manager.”

(The assistant gets a manager.)

Manager: “So, my employee explained the situation, and yes, you’ll have to buy a new phone.”

Me: “No, that’s unacceptable. You changed my SIM card without telling me or explaining that it might not work in an older model phone. I had a working phone until I gave it to you, and now I have none. You need to fix this.”

Manager: “There’s nothing we can do.”

Me: “I don’t believe you.”

Manager: “I can escalate this to the store manager, if you like.”

Me: “Please.”

(The store manager comes out and I explain the problem to him.)

Store Manager: “Ah, I’ve seen this before; we just need to do a full factory reset.”

(He resets the phone and it works perfectly.)

Store Manager: “Yeah, sorry, a lot of the employees out in the front don’t really know how this stuff works.”

Me: *after a pause* “Thanks.”

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The Ending Of This Story Is The Cherry On Top

, , , , , , , | Right | March 31, 2020

(I run a fresh produce stall every Sunday at a local market. Everything is homegrown by either my dad or my grandpa. I’ve had people try to haggle on prices but as it’s extremely popular and we usually run out by the end of the day, I refuse.

I’m serving a customer when I see a guy in his fifties pick up a bunch of grapes and walk off, eating them. There’s not much I can do. Fifteen minutes later, I’m just finishing serving a customer when the guy comes back and starts picking through the cherries, eating the ones he likes, and spitting the seeds back into the box.)

Me: “Excuse me. Please don’t do that.”

Guy: “What? Don’t tell me what to do.”

(As I can no longer sell the cherries, I grab the box, roughly five kilos.)

Me: “Look, you already took a bunch of grapes and now I can’t sell these. You need to either pay for the grapes and the cherries or leave and not come back.”

(The guy turns red with anger.)

Guy: “Listen here, b****. I can do what I want. Since you’re not going to sell them, just give them to me.”

(The guy goes to grab the box.)

Me: “Leave now. And don’t come back; you’re no longer welcome here.”

(He goes to grab me when my previous customer grabs him by the arm.)

Customer: “Mate, I’d leave her alone if I were you, unless you want me to kick you from one end of the carpark to the other.”

(The guy goes to take a swing at him but realises that he’s at least 6’6” and almost all muscle.)

Guy: “It’s all s***, anyway. All you do is buy stuff at the supermarket and mark up the price.”

Me: “You seem to like it, considering you’ve eaten at least $10 worth. Now leave.”

(The muscular customer is still holding the guy by one arm.)

Customer: “Pay the nice lady for what you’ve eaten and made unsellable, and if I ever see you harassing her or anyone else here again, I’ll be using you for footy practice.”

(The guy reached into his pocket, pulled out $20, and threw it at me. The customer let him go and he ran off. I thanked the customer and offered him a refund and extra fruit but he declined. It turned out that his girlfriend was another stall holder, and from then on we always got stalls next to each other. I’m going to be a bridesmaid at their wedding in a few months!)

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That Certainly Is Special

, , , , , | Working | March 31, 2020

(My husband and I are at a restaurant, checking out the menu. They have the specials on chalkboards on the walls, usually nicely written and decorated. We start discussing one of the specials we are going to actually get.)

Me: “Oooooh, they have loaded schnitzels with cheese, bacon, and mushrooms. Choice of beef or chicken. I think I might get the chicken.”

(My husband turns to look at the sign.)

Husband: “Oh, that sounds good. How much… Hang on. I’m not sure if I want that or not!” *laughing*

Me: “Why? It sounds amazing.”

Husband: “Because it says, ‘Shitzles.’ I’m not sure that would taste great.”

Me: “What? Oh, my goodness, it does, too! Hang on; I will go tell someone.”

(I get up and go to tell our waitress.)

Me: “Hi, I was wondering if you guys realized that the schnitzel sign actually says, ‘Shitzels.’”

Waitress: What?! Oh, my goodness, I’m so sorry!”

Me: “All good! Just figured you would want to change it.”

(I went to sit back down, and then another waitress came running over like a bat out of Hell with cloths and chalk. We all had a pretty good laugh.)

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