A Deliciously Sweet Slice Of Karma

, , , , , , | Working | September 4, 2018

In Austria, some professions can only be done by someone who finished a “Lehre,” an apprenticeship that lasts two or three years and includes school. Most people start their Lehre when they’re about 15 or 16, but it’s not unheard of to have people in their 20s do an apprenticeship; surprise, surprise, not everybody knows what they want to be when they’re 15.

When I was 22, I decided I wanted to become a “Konditor” — a pastry chef — a job you can only do with an apprenticeship.

I started late into the application game, so most bakeries had already hired their apprentices for the year. I looked towards supermarket bakeries then — not ideal, but a start.

Things already started out bad, when I had my phone interview and the store manager outright laughed at me for being “old.” But I was desperate to not waste another year, so I took the job.

At first the other workers seemed friendly enough, but on the second day — on which the store manager left on a month-long vacation — everything went to s***.

Let me just list a few of the things that happened:

– My coworkers smoked in the kitchen, including my “teacher” and the bakery manager

– My “teacher” constantly complained that she shouldn’t have to teach me and would switch to talking in Turkish when she’d decided I had asked too many questions.

– I was the only Austrian person there, so my coworkers constantly had conversations in languages I didn’t understand. Judging from the looks they gave me and the way they laughed, I’m guessing some of those conversations were about me.

– They were also the biggest bunch of racists, constantly making fun of Asian shoppers and going as far to say that all Asians should be killed.

– When fruit on cakes started growing mold, my “teacher” would just pick them off, put on fresh fruit, print out a new expiration date, and put it back on the shelves. And if cakes expired, she would make Punschkrapfen out of them — basically you just crumble the cakes, add alcohol, and then glaze.

– I was only allowed to go home after my “teacher,” and after I had cleaned up the entire bakery section by myself. The only problem was that I sometimes only knew that I was allowed to start cleaning, when I saw my “teacher” shopping in the store, out of her uniform. Since she liked randomly disappearing during the day, I never knew if she was taking another break or if she had gone home.

– The dishwasher was broken, even after someone came to fix it. I told the bakery manager how everything in the dishwasher was still dirty, and she told me in the most condescending tone, “Of course everything is still dirty. You need hands to scrub those pans clean; do you think a dishwasher has hands?”

– My “teacher” always complained how I was too lazy for cleaning and that the store had never been this filthy before… which is pretty interesting, because the first time I cleaned, I found a box of opened donuts that had expired a month before I had even started the job, below one of the tables. And a half-empty nail polish bottle, among other things.

– The bakery department was constantly in the red, so my “teacher” decided the best way to fix this was to just not write down all the ingredients she took from other departments, and if it got out, to just blame it on me.

When the store manager came back, he talked to my “teacher” and the bakery manager about my performance, and when he came to talk to me, I was immediately let go. He said I clearly wasn’t cut out for the job, being all antisocial and never joining any conversations — which is quite hard, if you don’t know the language, but okay — always complaining about cleaning — I didn’t — and not wanting to bake. In my month there, I was allowed to actually bake maybe two or three times in total; I would have loved to get to bake.

I was, of course, rather upset about the whole thing, but things were looking up, because another branch of the same store said they’d consider taking me. So, with my hopes up, I went to the other store for an interview… only to be told that while they’d love to take me, they couldn’t, because the person who was in charge of apprenticeship applications for all the stores had refused. In the same conversation, I also found out said person was the boyfriend of my former bakery manager.

But the story has a happy ending… kind of.

I sadly gave up on being a pastry chef, but one day when I was complaining to friends about the whole thing, another friend of theirs was present, who happened to be a health and safety inspector. Now, I do not know if it was his doing, but a short time later, I heard that everybody in the bakery section of that branch had been fired. Serves them right.

Stand Up For Their Need To Sit Down

, , , , | Friendly | July 20, 2018

(I buy a new screen for my PC and then find a free seat on the subway to sit down, holding the package vertically on my lap. The subway fills up quickly, until an older lady stands beside me with no place to sit down. Despite the weight of the screen, I offer her the seat and try to stand up… when suddenly she slaps the top of the package and forces me back into the seat. Startled, I look at her for a second, until she says:)

Woman: “I’m not that old to be offered a seat; don’t you dare to stand up. Wait at least ten years to try that again.”

(Well… Okay, then.)

Has An Imaginary Chip On His Shoulder

, , , | Right | June 27, 2018

(I work at an electronics store, selling household appliances. A customer walks in with his wife and son, interested in buying a washing machine. This happens after discussing the technical details.)

Customer: “Does this washing machine have one of those built-in chips that makes it break after the warranty has expired?”

Me: “I wouldn’t know about that, sir, but I highly doubt it.”

Customer: “Oh, really?”

(He gives me this smile, as if he just caught me in a lie.)

Me: “Well, if you are worried about that, you could buy the extended warranty.”

Customer: “Oh, no, that’s fine. I know how to remove that chip. Can you tell me what kind of metal the outside of the washing machine is made of?”

Me: “I don’t know, sir. If you would like, I can give you the phone number of the company that manufactured it.”

Customer: “No, thank you. I’ll just check myself.”

(At this point, the customer leans on top of the washing machine, arms hanging down on the sides. He starts tapping the side of washing machine and hums softly.)

Customer: “I can tell the material by how it resonates with my voice.”

(His wife and I stood there in awkward silence for a little while, as she gave me this “I’m so sorry” look.)

Cultural Stereotypes Are On The Menu

, , , , , | Working | March 8, 2018

My family and I are visiting Europe and Armenia over summer, and while in Vienna, we stop for dinner at a tavern. The waiter brings us the German menu, which is about the size of a ruler, but folds out. The German shouldn’t be a problem since my sister and I both speak German, but since we both learned high German, the menu in Austrian German makes less sense.

We ask the waiter for an English menu, and he goes off to get one. He comes back a few seconds later with a huge menu, complete with pictures and descriptions. We all burst out laughing as the waiter walks off.

I guess they do think Americans are stupid.

Unfiltered Story #97934

| Unfiltered | October 22, 2017

I used to work in a bakery shop with many non-native coworkers. One day, this interaction happened between a customer and one of my Eastern European colleagues.

Customer: I’ll have a slice of strawberry cake please.

Coworker: We sell three different kinds of strawberry cake, can you please show me which one you want?

Customer: I want a strawberry cake!

Coworker: Sir, which one of them do you mean?

Customer: Strawberry!

Coworker gives up and randomly chooses one of the cakes and starts wrapping it up.

Customer: That’s not what I wanted! How stupid are you? Go back to the farm where you came from!

Coworker, almost in tears, runs out the back muttering “a****” as she was leaving. And yes, our supervisor made HER apologise…

Page 3/41234