A Weakend Weekend

, , , , | Working | August 10, 2018

(I start at a new company and instantly find an issue with one of women that works there. She is difficult and aggressive to everyone; she tries to run my team and makes ridiculous expectations. After working there a while, I am told that she wants my job, but was given another one when it was made clear that she wasn’t capable. Her demands of my team and me get more and more ridiculous, until one day:)

Worker: “Have you done that report?”

Me: “Me? No, have you seen how hectic it has been?!”

Worker: “Well, I need it!”

Me: “Sorry, I’m already late leaving. I can help you out first thing Monday.”

(I start to pack my things away.)

Worker: “Take your laptop home.”

Me: “What?”

Worker: “Take your laptop home; you can do it this weekend.”

(I stare at her for a moment; she is nether my boss nor my superior.)

Me: “No.”

Worker: “What?”

Me: “I said no, I’m not doing it.”

Worker: “I need it.” *pause* “I will have to speak to [My Boss].”

Me: “Fine, please do. I won’t be here when you get back.”

(I have a terrible weekend, fearful of what my boss will say. I keep an eye on my phone expecting the worst. I come back to work on Monday.)

Me: “Hey, [Boss], anything for me?”

Boss: “Oh, hey, [My Name]! Oh, you won’t believe it; [Worker] wanted me to force you to work this weekend!”

Me: “I know… So, what do you think?”

Boss: “I told her to f*** off!”

(It was the first and last time I heard him swear, but after that she never bothered me again!)

Driving A Taxi Is A Joint Enterprise

, , , , , | Right | August 10, 2018

(I’m the cab driver in this exchange. I have just picked up a well-dressed young man, actually only about seven years older than me, at the airport. He asks for a hotel downtown.)

Fare: “I’m a men’s clothing buyer for [Upscale Local Department Store].”

Me: “That must be interesting, with all the travel and such.”

(Small talk continues all the way downtown.)

Fare: “Could you turn the dome light on, please?

(It was a harmless enough request, so I obliged him. I heard him snap open his briefcase and the familiar sound of papers rustling. We arrived at his destination, and he mentioned that he travels on plastic, but he reached over the seat to give me a tip: A PERFECTLY ROLLED JOINT! I got off work at six am, and got off at home one hour later. You made my night and day, nice guy!)

Fad Behavior Is Bad Behavior

, , , , | Right | August 10, 2018

(I work in a toy section in a super center that promotes a fad character I hate more than anything. My store is in a small town with not many local stores. The public has been begging them to get a fabrics section because there is no craft store within a four- or five-town radius. The party section is right across from my toys section, leading to this horrible conversation while I’m cleaning up after some destructive kids. I look at the destructive kids’ mother, who looks upset and lost.)

Me: “Can I help you with anything today?”

Customer: “Yeah, where the h*** is your [Fad Character] party stuff?”

Me: *mishearing her over one of her children, who is now yelling and tugging on me to get my attention* “Oh, the [Fad Character] toys are right there; it’s the rather ugly, yellow section.” *points down the aisle as my joke goes over her head*

Customer: *suddenly way more angry* “NO! Where is your [Fad Character] party stuff!?”

Me: “Oh! They would be over in the celebrations department; it’s just across the main aisle.”

(I point, tugging my hand from one of the children on my arm to do so.)

Customer: *looks at me like I’m an idiot* “I was already over there. Why don’t you have any?!”

Me: “Well, I’m not sure, but I can help you look.”

Customer: “No! There isn’t any over there! WHY DON’T YOU HAVE ANY?!”

(She is now turning red, she is so mad, and she’s starting freak me out.)

Me: “Well, if it’s not on the shelf, I can go over and scan it to see if it’s in the back room.”

Customer: “There’s nothing of it over there! WHY DON’T YOU HAVE ANY?!”

Me: “I can check in the back to see if we have any to come out.”

Customer: “BUT WHY DON’T YOU HAVE ANY?!”

Me: “I don’t control that section. I can take you to the person that controls and stocks that section to see if we have some I’m not aware of.”

Customer: “BUT WHY DON’T YOU HAVE ANY?!”

Me: “We recently got fabrics; it made celebrations smaller. I can check in the back or with the manager to see if that product was put on clearance somewhere to make space.”

Customer: “BUT WHY DON’T YOU HAVE ANY?!”

Me: “We don’t actually control our stock; our home office does, in another state.”

Customer: “WHY DON’T YOU HAVE ANY?!”

Me: “I can get a manager, but they will probably give you all the same options.”

Customer: “I DON’T WANT A F****** MANAGER, I WANT YOU TO TELL ME, WHY DON’T YOU HAVE ANY?!”

(I go through this process of telling her how our system works and repeating my options a few times, with her kids still hanging on me, which she has said nothing about.)

Me: *tired of going in circles but trying to hold a smile* “Well, you could see if our site has it; we offer free shipping on most items.”

Customer: “HIS BIRTHDAY IS ON SUNDAY!”

(It was Friday night. Then, we both noticed that her husband had been trying to get her attention and hand her a call on his phone. She proceeded to cuss loudly about me in the toy section around other children. I had to ask her children to let me go so I could work, and to follow their parents because both adults started to walk away without them.)

All Bark, No Bite

, , , , | Friendly | August 10, 2018

(I’ve just taken my geriatric golden retriever to a groomer within a larger store and, like most dogs, she is not happy about it. Before we reach the register, a small girl — maybe four or five — and her mother come out of an aisle.)

Girl: “PUPPY!”

Dog: *growls and turns away*

Girl: “Pet the puppy!”

Me: *I put my arm out to stop the girl from approaching* “I’m sorry, but I’d rather you didn’t pet her.”

Girl: “Why?”

Me: “Well, she just got a bath and she didn’t like it.”

Mother: “Why?”

Me: “Because she doesn’t like baths. So she’s grumpy and I don’t want your daughter to get hurt.”

Mother: “Does she bite?”

Me: “No, but she’s not in a good mood, and I’d rather she wasn’t provoked.”

Mother: “Are you threatening my daughter?”

Me: “No, I’m trying to protect her. [Dog] is old and just got a bath, so she’s not in a very good mood.”

Mother: “She’s fine. She’s good with dogs.” *to her daughter* “Go pet the puppy, sweetheart.”

Me: “Do not pet the puppy.”

Mother: “You have no right to tell my daughter what to do!”

Me: “And what happens if [Dog] does decide to lash out?”

Mother: “Why would you bring an a**hole dog to a public place?”

Me: “She’s not an a**hole; she’s old. F*** off.”

(I move to pass the two, keeping myself between my dog and the child. Just as we pass them, I turn to look back and see the girl reaching out to pet my dog.)

Me: “STOP!”

(My dog, as predicted, turns and growls at the girl, who recoils and starts crying.)

Mother: “Do not yell at my daughter!”

Me: “How many times do I have to say, ‘Do not pet my dog,’ before it sinks in?”

Mother: “She’s just trying to say hello!”

Me: “And I’m saying it’s not a good idea.”

Mother: “Well, [Store Manager] is a good friend of mine. I’m going to have you and your g**d*** dog banned!”

Me: “Okay, you do that.”

(I paid for my dog’s grooming and left the store. We’ve been back multiple times since, so I guess the woman wasn’t as high and mighty as she thought she was.)

Attack Of The Entitled Mummy

, , , , , | Right | August 10, 2018

(I work for myself as a children’s entertainer, advertising mostly by word of mouth. I receive an email asking for a quote.)

Customer: “Hi! [Parent I have worked with] gave me your info. I’m looking for a quote for my little princess’s fourth birthday. How much are you?”

Me: “Hello, [Name from email address], thanks for reaching out! I need a few more details to give you an accurate quote:

1) What day and time is your daughter’s party?
2) How many little guests do you expect to be there?
3) Where will the party take place?
4) What services are you interested in? I do balloon twisting, glitter tattoos, face painting, and a limited number of character interactions.

Talk to you soon!”

Customer: “Wow! I didn’t know you’d be so invasive! How did you know my name? I’m not telling you where I live! Just give me a quote!”

(After blinking at my screen for a few minutes I shake my head and try again.)

Me: “I’m sorry; I assumed your email was your name. My apologies for startling you. I need to know generally where the party is to see if mileage charges apply, and when it is to see if I’m already booked. I don’t need your exact address if you’re having the party at your residence; nearby major cross streets would work to get you an accurate quote. Thanks again for the opportunity to make your child’s birthday a little more special!”

Customer: “Main and 1st.”

(My eye is now sporadically twitching, but business slows down in summer due to the crushing heat and I could use the money. After a deep breath, I reply:)

Me: “Fantastic news! You’re well within my standard radius, so no mileage fees will apply. I just need to know the day and time you’re looking to book me, how many kids I’ll be working with, and which of my services you’re most interested in. Just a heads up: if you’ve hired a bounce house, I likely will not be able to face paint, as it’s against the bounce house company’s policy.”

Customer: “Don’t worry about who or what else I’ve hired. You are very unprofessional! I just want a f****** quote and you’re taking forever! I’ve wasted an hour of my life with you now! For f***’s sake! This Saturday at three pm, for an hour. And, you had better give me a discount for this horrid service!”

(I glance at my weather app and see that it’s going to be nearly 115° at that time. My balloons require indoor space under 95°, and most private-at-home birthday parties are backyard events. My suited characters don’t perform in that heat, either.)

Me: “I am available to face paint and/or do glitter tattoos on Saturday! Yay! It’s unfortunately projected to be too hot to offer balloon animals or character meet-and-greets. My minimum booking for just face painting is for two hours at $100 an hour. Usually glitter tattoos are an additional charge, but to make the day extra special I’ll throw in a dozen free glitter tattoos for the birthday girl and eleven of her closest friends. I will need a ten by ten flat space to set up my canopy unless you have shade, table, and chairs provided. If you would like to book me, please fill out and return the attached contract. Once I have received the deposit and signed contract, we’re all set!”

Customer: “I only want an hour. I’m only paying for one hour! And $100 is outrageous! It’s only thirty kids; it shouldn’t take you two hours!”

(I’m now full-on headdesking. Industry average for face painting is twelve to fifteen kids an hour. My rates aren’t the cheapest in the city, but I’m far from the top earners, and my work is solid, I’m insured, and I only use top-quality supplies. This is exactly why I always ask how many kids there are, not how long the parents think I’ll need to get to everyone. Two minutes per kid to pick what they want, sit down, get painted, and admire themselves in the mirror just isn’t reasonable. At this point, I pretty much want to just write her off but, again, I could really use the money. Without much hope, I try again.)

Me: “I’m sorry you feel that way, but my rates and timeframe are both very fair. I average ten to fourteen faces an hour, so getting to all thirty kids in only two hours will be very challenging. I do want to help make your little one’s birthday as special as possible and work with your budget, so I’ll make you a deal. For my usual two-hour rate I’ll guarantee all thirty kids get painted, even if it takes another hour. I’ll bring a sign-in sheet to make sure everyone gets painted while still enjoying the party. I hope this works for you; if not I hope it’s a fun filled day, anyway!”

Customer: “So, if my nieces and nephews show up, too, you won’t paint them?! I can’t believe [Parent I have worked with] recommended such a shady, rude person! I’m going to tell everyone I know that you’re a selfish, horrible person!”

(The next day, the parent who originally referred me reached out and apologized for their friend. The customer showed the complete email chain as evidence of how “rude” I was in a Facebook group, and is apparently now the laughing stock of her mommies group.)

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