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Understaffed But Not Understood

, , , , , , , | Right | January 3, 2014

(On the day before Father’s Day, with a huge sale going on, the coworker who is supposed to come in to work with me doesn’t show up. I am swamped and can’t answer any phone calls. I just stay at the counter ringing people up. We are so busy that I don’t have time to call any of my coworkers to see if they can come in to cover the shift. There is only about half an hour until two other coworkers are coming in, so I just do my best until then. With a line about ten customers long, a customer comes storming up to the register and interrupts the conversation I’m having with the customer currently at my register.)

Customer: “I need some help! Where is the employee who should be working the sales floor right now?”

Me: “I’m very sorry, ma’am, but no one else is here right now. If you’ll kindly wait in line, I’d be glad to help you shortly.”

Customer: “What?! This is outrageous! You should have more than one person working! Everyone knows that is just good business!”

Me: “Unfortunately, there was a scheduling mix-up. I’m the only one here right now.”

Customer: “But I need one of you to help me find something! What am I supposed to do? That’s what you all get paid to do! I am very busy and I need to get my Father’s Day gifts bought! I don’t have all day! Really, on a holiday, you should have more than one person working!”

(Since the customer isn’t listening to me, I just turn back to serving the line at the counter. I finish the next customer, and try to explain the schedule issue again, but she’s not having any of it. One of our regular customers is standing nearby at a sale table and finally speaks up.)

Regular Customer: “Ma’am, what is wrong with your hearing? She just explained to you that her coworker didn’t show up! I think she’s doing a remarkable job handling all of this by herself. You are just making things worse!”

Customer: “All I need is to see if they have these items in stock! Can’t she see I am in a hurry?”

Regular Customer: “As are most of us. It’s a busy holiday at a popular store. What do you expect? When people don’t show up to do their jobs it makes it harder on the rest of their coworkers, especially when there’s only one other person working!”

Customer: “But—”

Regular Customer: “Now, I don’t work here, but I shop here often. In favor of giving everyone in line and this poor employee a break, I’m going to help you find what you need. But only so you leave us all alone!”

(I thank the regular and the two disappear into the back of the store. The customers in line make some comments. A moment later, the original customer storms to the front and out the door. I turn to the regular customer as she returns.)

Me: “What happened?”

Regular Customer: “You didn’t have the item she wanted. Her sale flyer was for the bookstore down the street.”

That Kind Of Behavior Is Just Not Cricket, Part 2

, , , , | Right | December 20, 2013

(I am a customer. I witness an argument at one of the tills over a false label on an expensive cricket set. It appears as though the label has been attached by the customer. It is obviously written in green felt tip and not real.)

Customer: “Why won’t you give me the discount?”

Employee: “Because this is obviously a fake label.”

Customer: “HOW DARE YOU ACCUSE ME OF BEING A SCAM ARTIST! GET ME YOUR MANAGER!”

(The employee fetches a manager.)

Manager: “Sir, we are not going to sell you a set that costs £189.99 for only £15. This is obviously not a real label.”

(The customer takes a bat out of the pack and raises it in a threatening motion.)

Customer: “GIVE IT TO ME FOR FREE OR I’LL BREAK YOUR SKULLS!”

(Suddenly, out of nowhere, a random customer who is just walking past grabs the bat. He moves it round the unruly customer’s shoulder, flooring the bad customer and disarming him in one motion. The random customer goes right up to his face.)

Random Customer: “Buddy, you ain’t gonna get s*** unless you calm down and learn to be an honest man instead of a p***k. F*** off.”

(The unruly customer gets up and runs off, only to be grabbed by security and arrested a few minutes later. The good customer was given a £100 gift card and was even offered a job as a security guard! He declined, saying it was his duty to be a good citizen. I found out he was an ex-colonel in the British army and had been in tougher situations than that.)

 

Starting A New Year Revolution

, , , , , | Right | December 17, 2013

(It is New Year’s Day. The restaurant that I work in closes its dining room at 10 pm because of this. The manager has informed me that she’ll close it sooner if no one arrives. At 8:30 pm, a customer comes into the store, orders, then takes a seat. I go to clean a nearby table, since it is quiet.)

Customer: “Ma’am, what time do you close?”

Me: “We’re closing at 10 tonight. Maybe a bit sooner if it’s quiet enough.”

(The customer gets a shocked look on her face. She starts packing up.)

Me: “Ma’am, what’s wrong?”

Customer: “I don’t want to hold you up! You have to go celebrate the New Year with your family!”

(I convinced her to relax and stay, since it was over an hour until we would close. However, since then, the customer comes at nights through the drive-thru, not wanting to hold up the dining room!)


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Please Let The Coffee ‘Be Good’

, , , | Working | December 12, 2013

(It is the middle of mid-terms week and I am exhausted. I go to an extremely well-known coffee shop for a caffeine boost.)

Me: “Hi. May I please have…”

(I lose my train of thought mid-sentence. I put my index finger up as though to say ‘wait a minute.’)

Employee: “Are you trying to phone home?”

Me: *dazed* “What?”

Employee: “Well, I thought you were like ET… You know, communicating through your finger.”

(The employee mimics me by putting his index finger up, too.)

Me: “Oh… no. I’m just really tired and can’t focus long enough to order. Anyways I’ll have a [Popular Coffee Drink].”

(The employee makes the drink and hands it to me, then waves at me with his index finger.)

Employee: “BYE, ET!”

(After I left, I realized that he had put an extra shot of espresso in, free of charge. The employee put a smile on my face, a pep in my step, and earned that store a regular customer!)

Why Nurses Should Rule The World, Part 6

, , , | Working | December 9, 2013

(I’ve been sick this past week and I go to the clinic at nine am. They tell me they will call in the prescription at ten am. At two pm, I go to check the prescription.)

Pharmacist: “I have no prescription here under your name.”

Me: “The clinic said it would be ready by ten am. Let me call them.”

(I call the clinic.)

Me: “Hello. I have a prescription that hasn’t been put through yet. I need to make sure I am at the right pharmacy.”

(I am promptly transferred without a word to the women’s clinic line, which is the incorrect department. I am instructed to leave a message, as the nurses are out to lunch.)

Me: “Um, hi. I am [My Name]. I was just wondering where my prescription was sent. It’s not at the pharmacy and—” *I cough and my head immediately begins to ache terribly. I sniffle and tear up* “—if you could please help me that’d be nice.”

(I hang up and go home. At three pm I go to the clinic to verify the location of the pharmacy. They tell me the order has been sent, and to wait a couple hours. I go home yet again. At five pm I get a call from the women’s clinic number at which I left the message.)

Nurse: “Hello, is this [My Name]? You left a message a couple hours ago.”

Me: “Yes. I’m sorry, I was trying to find out where my prescription was. I already checked back with the clinic and they told me where the prescription would be.”

Nurse: “Everything’s all right, though? This is the wrong department for your call, but since you’ve had the prescription filled…”

Me: “Well… no… I called the pharmacy and the prescription still hasn’t been ordered yet.”

Nurse: “Oh. Let me get on that. I’ll make sure they get it filled out.”

Me: “Okay.”

Nurse: “I will call you back in a minute, sweetie.”

(The nurse hangs up and calls back a few minutes later.)

Nurse: “Okay, I’ve gotten them to fill out your prescription and the pharmacy should have it soon. You are taking [Medicine], which is two pills twice a day. No matter how bad it is, take all of them. You can take decongestants and ibuprofen to deal with the congestion and pain. And, honey, popsicles are your best friends. Drink lots of fluids and warm tea, and get plenty of rest.”

(At this point, the nurse’s concern has caused me to tear up.)

Me: “Thank you so much! I’ve been dealing with this for a week.”

Nurse: “You just sound so sick, sweetie. I called the pharmacy and told them to work extra quick on your order. The pharmacist’s name is [Name]. She’ll have your prescription ready as soon as she can.”

Me: “Thank you.”

Nurse: “You feel better, honey.”

(To that nurse: You had me sobbing. You cared so much and it wasn’t even your department. You helped me and told me more about my medicine than the doctor in the CORRECT department did. I’m so grateful there are people as nice as you working in the women’s clinic!)

Related:
Why Nurses Should Rule The World, Part 3
Why Nurses Should Rule The World, Part 4
Why Nurses Should Rule The World, Part 5  


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