The Retail Equivalent Of Breaking Up Via Text

, , , , , , | Working | February 19, 2019

(I am the electronics manager at a big-box retailer. One of the new hires in my department is the practical epitome of a poor worker; he frequently shows up late, is rude to other employees, and often sits around doing nothing instead of fulfilling his duties. He has had multiple write-ups and is fresh off a suspension for making a rude remark to his immediate supervisor. Lo and behold, he shows up an hour late on his first shift back from suspension, and I spot him loafing around in the in-store cafe. I decide enough is enough and he has to be let go, but I’m very busy and cannot talk to him in person. So, I decide to be a little creative…)

Me: *over the PA* “[New Hire], if you can hear me… YOU’RE FIRED!” *pause* “Please head to the store manager’s office to pick up your termination papers.”

(Soon after, the new hire storms towards the office, cursing loudly. Several customers are looking at me in disbelief.)

Electronics Supervisor: “I gotta say, that was one h*** of a way to let that guy go!”

(Thirty minutes later, I was called into the store manager’s office and written up for not following termination protocol properly. Totally worth it, given how much of a jerk that new hire was to begin with.)

In A Spot Of Bother

, , , , , | Healthy | February 19, 2019

(For a month or so, I’ve had a very small lump right at the base of my hairline on my neck. I don’t worry too much about it, as it doesn’t seem to be growing and isn’t painful at all, until one day it very suddenly floods with blood, like a blood blister. I have a very strong family history of melanoma, so anything on my skin that changes color rapidly is cause for alarm, so the next morning I go to the emergency clinic for an opinion as they are the ones that will see me the soonest.)

Doctor #1: “Okay, let’s have a look

Me: *tipping my head to show him the lump* “It was the same color as my skin before last night when it turned red like that.”

Doctor #1: “Hmm… Well, it sort of just looks like you may have broken a capillary, but because of that, it’s a bit hard to see what might be under it… Oh, and what’s all that?”

(He points to my shoulder, which is healing up after a nasty acne breakout)

Me: “Oh, I went and visited my home state a week ago; I always break out something awful while I’m there, and it’s just healing up. And besides, the lump was there before then.”

Doctor #1: “Hmm… Well, I think we should still get you on something for that. That lump could still be acne-related.”

(This seems reasonable enough, so he prescribes me an oral medication for acne and a cream for topical use. He tells me to use both for three days and then come back to check the progress. I do so, and when I return we have the following conversation)

Doctor #1: “Oh, your shoulder looks much better!”

Me: “Er… Yeah, well, it’s had a few more days to heal.”

Doctor #1: “So, we should definitely keep you on the acne medication.”

Me: *pause* “Sure.” *with no intention of actually keeping up the entirely pointless medication* “But that lump hasn’t reacted at all.”

(He checks to see that I’m correct)

Doctor #1: “Huh! Well, then, do you want it off?”

Me: “Well… I mean, I don’t know what it is.”

Doctor: “Oh, well, that’s called a nevi. It’s just a harmless skin growth for the most part, but given your family history of skin cancer, I very strongly suggest you get it removed.”

Me: “Well… All right…”

Doctor #1: “Great! I’ll be right back!”

(He does the procedure right then — which is not fun, by the way — burning off the “nevi” with an electrical current. I’m honestly a bit hesitant, but I don’t want to be that patient that insists I know more than a medical professional. After he’s done, he starts poking me in the shoulder.)

Doctor #1: “Oh, what’s this here? You should really get this looked at, too.”

(I think about the spot he’s poking. It’s what I know for a fact is a completely benign mole. It’s perfectly healthy and I’ve had it for ages, and I’m beginning to suspect that this doctor is just of the opinion that I shouldn’t have any sort of blemish anywhere on me.)

Me: “Er… Thanks, but I think we’ll leave that one alone.”

Doctor #1: “Are you sure? I really think you should have it looked at.”

Me: *now feeling even more uneasy about the whole thing* “I’ll keep that in mind, but I think we’re done for today.”

Doctor #1: “All right, suit yourself!”

(I go home and let the burn start to heal, but I also look up the word, “nevi.” It means, “mole.” I cannot express how much my complaint was NOT a mole. I kick myself for letting this guy burn whatever it was off, but it quickly becomes apparent that what he ACTUALLY did was burn off the layer of skin covering whatever was causing my complaint. There’s still a bump there, and now it’s much more obvious as it’s turned into a bright red nodule. I do the thing you’re not supposed to do and start Googling, as I figure I can’t cause more harm by looking things up. The theory I land on is that the bump is actually an inflamed lymph node — which I did not previously know could be that near the surface — reacting to some previously unnoticed infection. This is further backed up when, after about another week, I start noticing some more lumps further under the skin, as well as developing a headache localized to that side of my head. Finally, I make an actual appointment at my regular doctor’s office and explain the whole story to him. He actually stares at me for a moment after I tell the story.)

Doctor #2: “He… he tried to burn it off?

Me: “Yes. So, you know, that particular lump is going to look especially bad, so you might want to look at the others for better reference.”

Doctor #2: “Yeah, I’d better.”

(He comes to the exact same conclusion I did, and further traces the issue to a tooth I was preparing to have a crown put on. I hadn’t connected the two because, while the tooth definitely needs work, it wasn’t really painful so I wouldn’t have thought it was infected)

Doctor #2: “Okay, so… we’re not going to be, you know, giving you any freaking creams for this because, you know, they’re your lymph nodes… I just… God!”

Me: “Yeah, I figured not. Antibiotics, then?”

Doctor #2: “Yes. And we’ll do some blood work too… I just…. He tried to burn off your lymph node!

(I left feeling rather vindicated, and as of writing this up, my lymph nodes have finally started settling down, and my headache is gone. Would have been nice not to have a chunk of my neck burnt off first, though.)

No Amount Of Chlorine Can Wash Away That Kind Of Hate

, , , | Right | February 18, 2019

(I work at a beautiful, open-air pool and spa complex, often frequented by a visiting international A-Grade sports team. We currently have one unwinding in one of our public, open-air spas. Another customer approaches me.)

Me: “Good afternoon, and welcome to [Pool]. How many children and adults will you be paying for today?”

Customer: “Just me, my child, and my friend here.” *motions to her friend*

Me: “All right, then. That’ll be [price]. The changing rooms are immediately left for women and right for men.”

(She pays, changes, stores her things in one of the lockers, and walks out, towel in hand. I should have called for help as I saw her on her way back. I stupidly didn’t.)

Customer: “Excuse me, but there’s a problem with your pools! They’re filthy and filled with s***!”

(Panicked, I look at the team leader, who hears this. She shakes her head no and continues on her path watching the rest of the pools.)

Me: “I’m sorry, but our lifeguards would have immediately noticed if there was that issue and closed the pool down. There isn’t any way this could have been missed.”

Customer: *immediately starts screaming at the top of her lungs* “NO! I MEAN THEY’RE FULL OF FILTH! YOU NEED TO GET THEM OUT OF THE POOLS AND CLEAN THEM IMMEDIATELY.”

Me: “I beg your pardon?”

Customer: *with her friend in the back with a s***-eating smirk on her face* “THOSE FILTHY F****** [RACIAL SLURS] IN THE SPAS UP THERE!” *referring to international sports team* “I REFUSE TO HAVE A SPA IN THOSE POOLS; THEY’RE FILTHY AND THEY NEED TO LEAVE SO I CAN HAVE MY SPA! THEY’RE DISGUSTING. FILTH. SCUM. THEY SHOULDN’T BE ALLOWED IN PUBLIC SPACES! THEY’RE MAKING THE WATER FILTHY! GET THEM OUT! I WANT MY MONEY BACK!”

(I am completely stunned, but wary of her getting physical, I call up to the personal trainers in the attached gym for security and manpower:)

Me: “I’m sorry, we don’t do refunds, and we are not making anyone leave. This is a public pool for the public and they have just as much right to be here as you do, and if you don’t accept that, then you can leave.”

(Two fairly bulky PTs have turned up by now, along with the complex manager.)

Customer: “I WANT MY MONEY BACK! CAN’T YOU MAKE THOSE FILTHY [SLURS] LEAVE?”

Me: “I’m sorry, no. We don’t do refunds, and I’m going to have to ask you to leave. Now. Your behaviour is not acceptable for this establishment, and you will be trespassing if you try to come back in.” *looks at the complex manager for approval, she nods and motions to the PTs to remove her*

(The customer screamed and bellowed horrific abuse and racist insults all the way out the door. We wound up giving the sports team free access to all parts of the complex and a voucher for dinner at the attached restaurant. They seemed to think it was hilarious and were incredibly kind and good-natured about it all, much to my relief.)

So Many Optometrists But They Can’t See What’s Happening

, , , , | Healthy | February 17, 2019

(My family and I have been going to the same optometrist, a family friend who grew up with my father, for as long as I can remember. He finally retires after around 50 years and sells his business to a local chain optometry company. I get one final exam in with my regular optometrist, about five months before he retires, and I run out of contact lenses around two months after he retires. I call up his old office, now owned and operated by the chain and of whom I am now a patient, to order more.)

Me: “Hi. This is [My Name]; I was a patient of [Optometrist]. I’d like to order more contacts.”

Receptionist: “Of course. But before we can order more contacts for you, we’ll need you to come in for an exam.”

Me: “Uh… I’m sorry, why?”

Receptionist: “Your prescription is out of date.”

Me: “I just had my last exam seven or eight months ago. Why do I need another one?”

Receptionist: “Because you are a new patient; the optometrist has to see you before he can order your contacts.”

Me: “Okay… How much is an exam?”

Receptionist: “It will be [amount].”

(My old optometrist charged a little more than half the price that was quoted to me. My vision insurance only covers one exam every twelve months, regardless of who gives the exam, and at the price they quoted me I cannot afford a second exam in less than a year. I explain as much to the receptionist.)

Me: “There’s really no way for the optometrist to order me enough contacts to get me through the last four months before my insurance covers another exam?”

Receptionist: “Let me speak with the optometrist; we might be able to work something out. I’ll have to put you on hold.”

Me: “That’s fine.”

(I am on hold for about 20 minutes, and finally, the line cuts to ringing. A completely different person answers.)

Receptionist #2: “Thank you for calling [Chain Optometrist].”

Me: “Oh… I was on hold, waiting for a different receptionist to ask the optometrist a question.”

Receptionist #2: “Oh! What was the question, do you know? I might be able to answer it.”

Me: “Whether the optometrist could order me more contacts before I have another exam. I just had one about eight months ago.”

Receptionist #2: “That shouldn’t be a problem. I don’t know why the other receptionist needed to ask the optometrist that. May I have your name, please?”

Me: “Sure, I’m [My Name].”

Receptionist #2: *typing audibly* “Okay… Hm, that’s weird.”

Me: “What’s wrong?”

Receptionist #2: “I don’t have you in my system.”

Me: “That is weird; I thought all my information transferred over fine.”

Receptionist #2: “Transferred? Which doctor did you see?”

Me: “[Optometrist].”

Receptionist #2: “I’m sorry, I’m not familiar with that doctor.”

Me: “But you guys just bought his company?”

Receptionist #2: “Oh… Oh! Oh, you mean in [Town]?”

Me: “Yeah, that’s the one.”

Receptionist #2: “You called the [City] location; we can’t order you contacts, but the [Town] location where you’re registered as a patient can.”

([City] is a large city about 60 miles away; [Town] is a small town that is about a five-minute drive from my apartment.)

Me: “That’s what I did; I called [Town], then I was put on hold when I asked to order contacts..”

Receptionist #2: “Ah, I understand. Our home office is in [City], so all hold calls eventually transfer back to us after a certain amount of time.”

Me: “That’s… strange. Could you please transfer me back?”

Receptionist #2: “Of course. Hold on just a minute, please.”

(I am placed on hold again, again for around twenty minutes. Finally, a third receptionist picks up.)

Receptionist #3: “Thank you for calling [Chain Optometrist].”

Me: “Hi. this is [My Name]. I was a patient of [Optometrist]. I called earlier to order more contacts.”

Receptionist #3: “Of course. Let me look up your prescription. Oh… You haven’t seen the optometrist yet.”

Me: *sighs* “No, but I just saw my old optometrist about eight months ago.”

Receptionist #3: “Well, we can’t order you more contacts until you see the optometrist.”

Me: “Yes, I was told this by the first person I spoke to. She put me on hold to ask the optometrist.”

Receptionist #3: *snorts* “Don’t know why she would do that. She should know we won’t give you any without an exam by our doctor.”

(I have worked customer service for almost ten years, and as such, I don’t want to cause a scene but I am frustrated and this particular receptionist, being so curt with me after the other two were trying to be helpful, irritates me. At this point, including the hold time, I have been on the phone for almost an hour now for what should have been a three-minute call.)

Me: *forcing my voice to be as even as I can* “I’m sorry, let me stop you there. I apologize if I come off as frustrated, but it’s because I am. I have been transferred three times and been on the phone for nearly an hour, and you are the third person I have spoken to. I literally need maybe one full box of contact lenses to get me through four months, as my insurance won’t cover another exam so soon and I can’t afford your exam rate without insurance. Is there really no way for me to get just one box of contacts without seeing your optometrist?”

(There is silence on the line, and I think at first that she hung up. Then, she speaks, very icily and sharply.)

Receptionist #3: “That is how we do things here. You know, there are four other optometrists within ten miles of us.”

Me: “I see. I’ll take my prescription information now, thank you. I’ll order my contacts from [Mail Order Contacts Service].”

(The receptionist proceeded to read off my prescription to me rapidly and, again, rather sharply. I managed to write it down, and as soon as she finished speaking she hung up on me. I got some recommendations from family and friends, and four months later I very happily saw a different optometrist, whose employees were sympathetic but not surprised when I told them about my experience with the chain. They told me they already had sixteen former patients of [Optometrist] switch over to them after the chain took over! Not a good look for the chain.)

They Are First-Class Jerks

, , , , | Right | February 15, 2019

(I am required to travel from the US to one of my company’s offices in London the week before Christmas, in order to train people on a new system we were going to implement after New Years. I am annoyed with having to leave my wife alone with our two young children and that I am having to travel so close to the holidays. At least my managers understand that someone in my position would be frustrated, so they arrange for me to fly first class on both the flight to London and the returning one. I am one of the last people to board my flight to London, and I am greeted by a man sitting in my seat, kissing the female passenger next to him. They realize I am standing there and start talking.)

Guy: “Is this your seat? We have been waiting for you.”

Me: *with a confused look* “Excuse me?”

Guy: “Well, me and my wife here are going on our honeymoon, and we got an upgrade to first class, but we are not sitting together. We were wondering if you would be willing to switch seats with me so I can sit next to her?”

Me: “Where is your seat?”

Guy: “It’s [seat that is not only in economy, but is also a middle seat]. Thanks so much for this buddy. Really appreciate it.” *immediately goes back to talking to his wife*

Me: *as I start putting my bags in the overhead bin* “Sir, I’m sorry, but I did not say I would switch with you; I was asking where your seat was to see if I would switch. Can you please move from my seat?”

Guy: “You just said you would switch with me, and now you’re taking it back. Are you really going to be like this?”

Me: “As I said, I was asking where your seat was before I agreed to change seats. No offense, but while it is your honeymoon, I am not comfortable trading my first class seat for one in economy.”

Guy: “Come on, man. I really want to sit with my wife. We could only get one upgrade from the lady at the desk because first class is full. I really would like to sit with her.”

Me: *trying to be nice, but not caving in to his idea to switch* “Again, I understand that, but I would like to sit in my seat. Maybe someone else here is willing to switch, but it is not me. Or maybe you could ask one of the people sitting next to you in economy if they will switch so you and your wife can sit together back there.”

Guy: *with a look like I just pissed in his coffee* “Listen to me. I want to sit with my wife, here in first class. Just stop making this difficult. It is our honeymoon. Maybe have some kindness.”

Me: “Sir, you are asking a complete stranger to take a downgraded seat and give you their better seat for free. I am kind of shocked that you thought anyone would take that agreement. I did not pay for you to sit in my seat, so please move.”

(I notice the wife has pressed her button for the flight attendant and she shows up soon.)

Attendant: “Is everything okay here?”

(I try to talk but the wife immediately starts speaking.)

Woman: “This man has been harassing my husband and me since he boarded. He keeps claiming I am sitting in his seat, but this seat is mine.” *shows her ticket* “Can you please move him away from us?”

(The attendant is about to speak with me when the passenger sitting behind the man and woman speaks up.)

Passenger: “This woman is lying through her teeth. The husband is sitting in that man’s seat and he refused to move, and pretty much threatened him to switch seats and go to economy.”

(The flight attendant asks to see my ticket and then the husband’s. She then asks me to come with her to the front of the plane and have me wait while she talks to the captain. I can see how she is getting frustrated, since the plane is about ready to take off and this whole mishap is causing a delay. After she is done talking, she goes back with me to my seat and talks to the couple.)

Attendant: “So, I have spoken with the pilot about this issue. We have called the desk agents and determined this man has paid for his ticket while you—“ *pointing at the wife* “—were given a free upgrade. Now that the two of you treated a passenger terribly and then lied, we have two options for you. A: both of you get up and sit in economy, since there are still plenty of seats back there, or B: you two leave this plane, either by your free will or by security.”

Woman: *suddenly looking a bit panicked* “Oh, don’t worry. My husband will move back to his seat, and I promise I will be on my best behavior up here.”

Attendant: “Sorry, miss, but that is no longer an option, because you used an opportunity to sit in first class to harass another passenger. I have told you what your two options are, and I will need your decision immediately. In all honesty, I wouldn’t have even given you two the option to go back to economy if the pilot didn’t feel bad it was your honeymoon.”

(The husband and wife then got up, while glaring at me, and moved back to economy. I was feeling good after that, because I not only had room in first class, but an empty seat next to me, as well. The flight attendant also talked to me and said that she was sorry for how that couple had treated me, and that the pilot requested a flag be put on the couple’s names so that they would not receive any other upgrades when flying with the airline.)

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