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An Ugly Side Of Society Has Been Unmasked, Part 24

, , , , , | Right | May 16, 2022

I was going through the store, picking up the items customers had left behind in the wrong location so that when we closed we could sort them and put them back in the right location. My store has stopped mandating the wearing of masks, but I continue to wear one because I think it’s kinda nifty not to douse people in germs and micro spit particles when you talk to them.

A customer approaches, so I get ready to ask if she’s finding everything okay.

Mask-less Customer: “Why are you covering your face?”

Me: “I’m trying to be conscientious and take precautions against spreading disease to others.”

Mask-less Customer: *Leans in conspiratorially.* “I seen you before all this happened though, and you didn’t show your face then, either. Maybe you just ain’t got a face worth showin’.”

Related:
An Ugly Side Of Society Has Been Unmasked, Part 23
An Ugly Side Of Society Has Been Unmasked, Part 22
An Ugly Side Of Society Has Been Unmasked, Part 21
An Ugly Side Of Society Has Been Unmasked, Part 20
An Ugly Side Of Society Has Been Unmasked, Part 19

He Didn’t Weigh His Comments Carefully

, , , , , | Right | May 16, 2022

I work in a bookstore. Usual day at work at first, some busy times, some slow. It’s during a slow time that a customer walks in, looks at me for an uncomfortably long time and comes over:

Customer: “You’re too fat, you should do something about that. I hate seeing fat people. Some of us actually take care of ourselves.”

I am fat, but it’s largely due to being physically disabled and on a load of meds that cause weight gain.

Me: “Did you want a book or just to say that to a complete stranger?”

Customer: “I did want a book, but I refuse to give money to fat slobs. It’s a bad company image for lazy people to be visible. Some of us work hard to be healthy.”

Me: “Okay, if you’re just here to insult me I’m going to ask you to leave”

Customer: “Not till you promise to take better care of your health. Come on, just a quick jog!”

Me: “Get. Out. Now”

Customer: “Oh, what you gonna do? Finally get off your chair and throw me out? Most movement you’ve ever done.”

Me: “No, gonna radio the security for the shopping centre.”

I pick up the radio and this guy flees immediately. I still called them and they promised to find him and ban him. Haven’t seen him since so guess it worked.

A Bad Client In So Many Ways You Could Write A Book

, , , , , , , | Right | May 16, 2022

I am contacted by a potential new client looking to rebrand their book series. It sounds like a great project, plus the client is actually a small publisher rather than the indie author and that’s always nice to add to a resumé, so I take the job.

The actual design process goes well. I get the proofs done quickly, get them approved easily, and start polishing up the final design.

This is where the trouble starts. First, the breaks between responses get longer and longer. I can’t get answers to questions or approval for drafts for up to two weeks at a time.

Then, I suddenly get a response from a new person who says they’re taking over for my original contact. Okay, cool. I don’t need to know the inner workings of their company.

The new person is even worse about responding in time but puts it off on the author, saying that they’re waiting to hear back from the author about some details about color and image choices. At this point, I’ve filed this client away as “not the best, but I’m loving the project, so whatever.”

At one point, I don’t hear from them for eight weeks. My follow-up email goes unanswered. My second follow-up email also goes unanswered.

Finally, they reply with a one-sentence approval. I finish the project and send the final proof and an invoice. This is at the end of September. October passes. November passes. December arrives. I send a final follow-up and then decide to heck with it. They have my information, and they don’t have the files, so I’m going to enjoy my holidays in peace.

Come January, I decide to do a little investigating (just making sure they haven’t tried to use one of the watermarked proofs as an actual cover) and find that the domain for the company is no longer active. Their email addresses are linked to that domain, so now I’m concerned that no one has even been receiving my emails.

The company is an imprint of a larger publishing house, which lists my first contact as one of their staff members, so I reach out to her through an alternate email.

Two days later, I get an email from the marketing department coordinator of the imprint, very condescendingly informing me that she’s the person I should be speaking with and sending my invoices to.

Cool. Fine. I’ve never heard of you before in my life and you are neither of the people I’ve interacted with but… fine. Here’s your invoice and the final proof again. Approve it, pay me, and I’ll send you your files.

I finally get paid and I send the files.

Two weeks later, I get another email from my original contact… asking for the files. Insert banging head on wall here. Apparently, no one at this company talks to anyone else.

They need an e-book and paperback. We’ve discussed this, and I sent a JPG of the front cover for the e-book and a PDF of the full cover for the paperback. But there are different print-on-demand (POD) services, and I now learn that they need files for two different ones. This was not previously agreed on, but it’s a pretty simple matter of just inserting the design into a different print template, so I just do it and don’t argue.

Then, they tell me, “Oh, sorry, when we said we wanted [POD company #2], we actually meant its subsidiary company, [POD company #3].”

They use exactly the same templates because they use the same physical machines but okay, here is the same file; it just now has [POD company #3]’s logo on it, instead.

The client complains that they don’t want a version that has all the “extra” bleed room and markings that the template uses, and I explain that this is how [POD #2 and #3] require their files to be submitted. At this point, they have four different files, three of which are full paperback covers; one of them should work.

I hear nothing for almost two months.

At 2:00 am one night, I get an email that says, “I don’t want to be a pain, but you’ve given us PDF versions in the past. Can we please get that for this project? This is how we’ve always submitted our files and we want to keep doing it this way.”

…the files you have are PDFs! The original file without the large template I sent was a PDF!

This is the first time I’ve ever worked with your company. I don’t think anyone cares how you’ve “always” done it. If you don’t submit the files correctly, they won’t accept them. Period. But you have all the potentially workable files you might need. This is no longer my problem.

I send an email saying, “Dear Client: On [date], I sent you a PDF of the cover without any excess bleed or margins. If [POD #3] is going to accept the files that way, they should accept that one, as it’s the exact same thing as what’s on the proper templates, just without the appropriate layout.”

That was three weeks ago. I have not heard back from them. They wanted me to do this author’s entire series, but after this escapade, I am firing them as a client and will not be working with them again. Even if I charged twice my rates, it’s not worth it.

That Sounds Super Illegal

, , , , , | Working | May 15, 2022

I worked at a pet store chain. We were often expected to work off the clock, including helping customers on unpaid breaks and clocking out before helping close.

I always told them that I wasn’t going to work without being paid. In return, they called me greedy and “not a team player.”

Apparently, this multibillion-dollar company can’t afford an extra few bucks to pay a minimum-wage employee if they stay late to close or work on their “break”.

How Hard Is It To SHUT UP In The Theater?!

, , , | Right | May 14, 2022

I worked for a theater that sold beer and wine. A customer came down all upset.

Customer: “A few folks in the theater were being loud, and when I asked them to shut up, they yelled that they had a gun!”

We asked the two guys and the girl that were being loud to come down to the lobby so as not to disturb others. At first, I offered them a refund, just to get them to leave. The girl seemed drunk, and we have no tolerance for threats or bad behavior. They refused to leave, and it escalated.

Me: “If you don’t leave, I will call the police.”

Not until I actually called did the one guy drag his two friends away. But a colleague overheard them threatening me and my life. It took so long for the cops to come, but that worked out as, by then, the girl had come back to start s***.

She was arrested. I ended up banning them. They begged the owner to remove the ban, and he almost did until I threatened to quit if he did. They did try to come back a few times, but since I worked five days a week, I was there every time they tried. I’m just glad the gun threat was a bluff.