I’m Putting My Broken Foot Down On This

, , , , , | | Working | August 21, 2019

(Our store manager is not well-liked. She harasses people about mistakes, makes up new rules without notice, “loses” day-off requests, and is a nightmare to work with. I injure my ankle in a work-related accident, and I’m told by the doctor I have to sit while working. I go in to pass on the restriction.)

Manager: “This won’t work. You have to be at the register.”

Me: “There’s no way for me to sit with how high the counter is.”

Manager: “Then you’ll have to stand.”

Me: “My doctor has said I can’t. I can greet or do [Department] work, but I can’t ring.”

Manager: “No, you’re going to be at the register or you’re fired.”

Me: “So, you’re ignoring my doctor’s orders — caused by an accident in your store — because you want an extra cashier, which could delay my ankle healing or even make it worse?”

Manager: “Don’t talk back to me! I’m in charge!”

Me: “You’re actually breaking the law. If you’re going to ignore doctor’s orders, I’m going to make a few phone calls.”

Manager: “Fine! It had better be a phone call for a ride home!”

(I step out and call the district manager. He picks up.)

Me: “Hey, it’s [My Name] from [Store]. You might want to have a chat with [Manager].”

District Manager: “What’s going on?”

(I explain what’s happened. He’s silent the entire time, and only talks when I’ve finished.)

District Manager: “I’m going to take care of this. Stay there; I’ll call you back.”

(A couple of minutes later, someone radios that [Manager] has a phone call. I can hear her talking through the office door.)

Manager: “Hello?” *pause* “Yes, but I don’t care; it could be fake…” *pause* “It’s signed, yes…” *pause* “There’s a phone number for the office on it, yes.” *pause* “No, I’m too busy to call them…” *pause* “I know it’s illegal but she’s probably faking it…” *pause* “What?!” *pause* “Okay… Okay.”

(I hear her set down the phone. I get a call on my cell phone another minute later.)

District Manager: “Hey, [My Name], go ahead and greet up front. Someone should be able to get you a chair up there. I’m sorry about all this.”

(The store manager was fired soon after, for that and many other reasons.)

Smoking Rots The Brain

, , , , | | Right | August 20, 2019

(I am the customer service manager. At our store, our tobacco selection is kept by the manager’s station and behind two “speedy checkouts.” There is a large blue and white sign that says, “EMPLOYEES ONLY,” hanging from a gate that blocks customers from going back there. These two registers are the only place you can buy tobacco. A woman approaches me and taps me on the shoulder.)

Me: “Yes, ma’am?”

Customer: “He wouldn’t sell me cigarettes.”

(She points to a cashier at a regular register.)

Me: “Uh, well, you can’t buy tobacco at that register.”

Customer: “Yes, you can!”

Me: “No, the system won’t allow it. Where did you even get them?”

Customer: “I just walked back and got them. Are you going to reprimand him or not?”

Me: “Uh, no. You’re not allowed to just get your own cigarettes. That’s why they’re behind the register.”

Customer: “I didn’t know it wasn’t allowed!”

(I calmly pointed to the large blue and white sign, which she obviously passed to get to the cigarettes. I sold her the cigarettes anyway, asking for her ID when prompted. I could have bypassed it, but I wanted to see if she was from another state. She lived right down the road from the store and according to her ID, she had lived there for over two years. Why she thought she could go back there was beyond me. And if you’re wondering, I asked the cashier at the speedy register if she saw the lady. She said she didn’t but there was a decent line so she may have slipped past. We had a talk about that, too.)

When There’s An At-Will…

, , , , | | Working | August 19, 2019

(I work in an office building. I have just clocked in when my manager calls me to her office.)

Manager: “You’re fired, [My Name].”

Me: “What? Why?”

Manager: “I’m having a bad day and I needed to take it out on someone. Lucky you.”

Me: “Very funny.”

Manager: “No, I’m serious.”

Me: *pause* “Wait, you’re not actually firing me for that, are you?”

Manager: “Maryland’s an at-will state. I can fire you for whatever reason I want.”

(She handed me a termination slip and, no joke, she actually specified,”I needed to fire someone to take out my frustration; lucky you,” as the reason for my termination. Although the manager was technically right in that her decision to arbitrarily fire me didn’t violate any employment laws, the firing, unsurprisingly, did not go over very well with the union. Upon hearing what happened, they demanded my reinstatement, and the business owner later backed up their demands. Defeated, my manager gave in and gave me my job back, along with back pay. She was fired sometime later when she got caught using the company credit card to make an unauthorized reservation at a popular amusement resort in Florida.)

This Guy Really Burns My Cookies 

, , , , | | Right | August 19, 2019

(I’ve been working as lead baker for a small restaurant in the hospital for about a year now. I know all the tricks and shortcuts to make all my delicious pastries taste and look just right by my employers’ standards. I arrive for my shift at midnight and am escorted into the hospital by security like always. Somewhere in the background, I hear a man calling, “Hey! You b****!” I calmly continue walking and get into the building and start my shift at 12:30. By five, all my baking is done, but my top oven has been glitching lately and we’re waiting on a new part; sometimes it cooks the cookies too crispy and sometimes they never look done. Later in the morning, I take the cart upstairs only to be accosted by that same man. Security comes walking over while he’s screaming at me.)

Man: “You b****! How f****** dare you?! You w****!”

(I am very calm because security has his hand on the gun.)

Me: *in my nicest voice* “Sir, what can I help you with?”

Man: “Your f****** store isn’t open.”

Me: “Yes, sir, we open at seven, and it is now five-thirty, so I can set up so we’re ready at seven.”

(I bid him a nice goodbye and go into the store with security blocking the door until my coworkers come in. After everything is set up, I get ready to eat my lunch: a salad with a water and bag of small carrots. I sit down to eat and this customer comes up again while I’m on break and clocked out.)

Man: “Your cookies are burnt! What the f*** are you going to do about it?! How stupid do you have to be to burn cookies?!”

(Very slowly I stand up, and calmly say:)

Me: “I am on break so I don’t have to talk to you, and not only did you attempt to harass me before I even got into the hospital to start work, you also harassed me when I was setting up the store and now, when I’m on my break, to complain about cookies? Cookie done-ness is in the eye of the beholder; I think those cookies are too soft while my brother likes his like thawed dough. So, if you have a problem with my cookies, I’ll sell you the dough, and you can make them yourself. Now. My boss is coming over with three security guards to deal with you; may I continue to eat my lunch unmolested?”

(He turned beet red and stormed off. A few days later, he came back with a note apologizing for his rude behavior and his wife had made “Sorry my husband is an idiot” cookies. Chocolate chip. My favorite. Yay, learning lessons!)

Refusing Service To Elmer Fudd

, , , , | | Right | August 19, 2019

(My sister works in a pet shop in our small village in the countryside. I’m standing in the store with her, watching the big glass cages where the store keeps its rabbits. A customer, an older man, approaches.)

Customer: “Wow, those little beasts sure are overpriced. Can you get me your boss?”

Sister: “Oh, sure, though I’m not sure he’ll be able to do anything about it.”

(Her boss arrives.)

Customer: “I wanted to ask about the rabbits. They are way too expensive. Can’t you make them cheaper?”

Boss: “Not really, no. These are very normal prices for animals that need a lot of care.”

Customer: “Oh, but I only need one rabbit, and it won’t need a lot of care with me.”

Boss: “Why not?”

Customer: “Because it will die soon, anyway.”

Boss: *taken aback* “What do you mean?”

Customer: “I’m a hunter. I need a rabbit so I can teach my new dog how to bite an animal to death.”

(My sister and I stare at each other in disbelief.)

Boss: “Sir… I need you to get the h*** out of my store.”

Customer: “But—”

Boss: “Now.”

(I thought that since the boss used to be a farmer, he’d think of animals as possessions, anyway. Guess I was proven wrong!)