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Declining Their Good Service

, , , | Right | August 28, 2017

(This happens while I am working at a gas station/truck stop over breaks in college. It is summer, 2004.)

Customer: “The pump out there won’t take my card. Fix it.”

(All pumps have cars at the moment.)

Me: “Which pump?”

(Customer points vaguely to the front window.)

Customer: “That one.”

Me: “Okay, which pump number?”

Customer: “It’s the one with the silver Chevy SUV. Get it fixed; I’m in a hurry.”

(I go to the pump console, which has a flashing notification on his pump.)

Me: “Okay, I’m pulling up the pump info right now. It takes a bit of time to load right now.”

Customer: “Hurry up, will ya?”

Me: “It’s loading.”

Coworker: *to me* “Hey, I need to cut the label off something. Do we still have those scissors?”

Me: “Let me check.”

(I start looking around the accumulated stuff around the pump console, which looks like a junk drawer.)

Customer: “Oh, you have time to help that b**** find her scissors but you can’t help a paying f****** customer? I told you I was in a hurry, but I’m f****** leaving.”

(Pump information finally loads; I hit the button to activate the speakers on all eight pumps.)

Me: “Pump seven, your card has been declined. Again, pump seven, the silver Chevy SUV, your card has been declined.”

I Don’t Have To (Baby)Sit Through This

, , | Working | August 28, 2017

(I am babysitting a young boy for the first time. His mother has given me specific instructions about what he can and cannot eat, and at what times. He has been asking for a chocolate bar for the past half-hour, but as it is after eight, I say he isn’t allowed. It is close to nine when I hear the front door open.)

Me: “Oh, hello. I thought you were going to be back at one?”

(The mother storms up to me and screams in my face.)


Me: “What? What have I done?”


Me: “But you told me specifically to not give him any after eight!”

(She looks at me, confused, before snarling and moving to smack me, and I brace for contact, but her husband interjects and tells her to go upstairs.)


(I’m really shaken, but I quickly gather my things and head for the door. Her husband stops me before I make it out.)

Husband: “I knew this was a bad idea. Every time we go out, [Son] phones us crying, and she thinks she has been too harsh and blames it all on the babysitter. Our parents won’t even look after him now. Look, here you go. I’m sorry for putting you through this.”

(He gave me an envelope and saw me out. It had double what was agreed I be paid. A few days later I told some of my friends who also babysat in the area. They all knew who I was talking about, and each had their own stories. They all called her the Weeping Angel after an alien in Doctor Who.)

Treat Others They Way You’re Mistreated

, , , | Right | August 27, 2017

(Our new manager has changed the format of our day rotas, adding space for a ‘thought for the day.’ However, he accidentally printed off about a hundred with the thought ‘treat others as you would like to be treated’ instead of with different thoughts. A supervisor has suggested we cross that out and add another one.)

Coworker #1: “Because we should do that one anyway.”

Coworker #2: “So it can’t be ‘do your job, get paid’?”

Me: “We should be doing that, too.”

Coworker #3: “It’s not a bad thought, though.”

Me: “It’s a terrible thought. If I acted the way some of these customers act towards us in a shop I would feel totally fine if the retail people smacked me across the face. I’d deserve it.”

Coworker #1: “So [My Name] should treat people the way they would like to be treated, not the way she expects to be treated?”

(We stop talking immediately as a customer passes our desk, as we’re supposed to do, and I ask if they need any help with anything today. The customer outright blanks me until they are almost at the door when I say, as I always do.)

Me: “All right then, guys, enjoy the rest of your day.”

(The customer heel-turns and looks like I did just slap them across the face, though I said it with a well-practiced genuine tone.)

Customer: “What did you just say?”

Me: “I said enjoy the rest of you day. Safe journey home, now.”

(As soon as the customer leaves, I add.)

Me: “Hell is a terrible commute.”

One Door Closes… And That’s It

, , , | Working | August 26, 2017

(I work as a housekeeper at a hospital. On one floor, our janitor closet is located in an area of high traffic, so various other workers tend to congregate in front of the door. I need to pop into the closet for a box of gloves, but there’s several techs leaning against the door chatting.)

Me: “Excuse me.”

Tech: “Oh, sorry!”

(She steps aside and I dash into the closet. It’s a small room, but the door closes fast so it closes behind me before I can grab the gloves and whirl around to leave. Still, this takes just a few seconds. Imagine my shock when I go to carefully open the door (I tend not to open that door with force due to the high traffic of the area), and get resistance. The door snaps back shut, so I try again. And once again, something — and I fear I know what — is blocking my exit. Just when I’m about to contemplate shouting or knocking from the inside to be let out, the door opens and I see the surprised face of the same tech that just let me in a second ago. She’d been leaning against the door again, blocking my escape.)

Tech: “Oh!” *opens the door wider to let me out* “I wondered what was wrong with this door!”

Me: “…”

(We housekeepers are used to being ignored and unappreciated, but that was pretty extreme.)

Doing A Real Job On Your Boss  

, , , | Working | August 25, 2017

(The department I work for has a set Monday through Friday routine but the hours are decided at the last minute. I absolutely love the company and am a temp when the following occurs. Mind you, it is exceptionally difficult to get hired into this company and they go through at least a dozen temps a week.)

Me: *walking up to the boss* “Um, so I finished [Job One] and it’s all ready to be sent out. What did you want me to do next? I know [Job Two] really needs to be done so you want me to get on that or…?”

Boss: *picking up his personal belongings* “You do whatever the f*** you feel like. I’m done with this s*** today.”

Me: *shocked* “Um… what? Really?”

Boss: “Yep! I’m f***in’ done! Bye!”

(And with that he walks off leaving me standing there with my mouth agape. Unsure of what to do or if he’s kidding or not, I grab Job Two, pull it to a secluded station, put my headphones in, and set to work. No one bothers me the entire day and at the end I feel as if I accomplished a lot. I go home and return the following morning to find the boss in a foul mood and muttering fiercely to himself. At one point I hear him mutter something about “and gotta get all the s*** for Job Two done,” at which point I interrupt him.)

Me: *cheerfully* “Oh, hey, there isn’t much left to do with [Job Two]. I got most of it done yesterday! Didn’t put any in cartons because I wasn’t sure where they were kept but—”

Boss: *interrupting me* “Bull-s***! Do you know how much needs to be done on that job?!” *viciously* “There is no way you got that much done in one f***in’ day!”

(He starts yanking apart the carts where the work was being kept only to become incensed when he discovers ALL of it has been moved.)

Boss: *rounding on me with a look of pure fury* “WHERE IS IT?! WHAT DID YOU DO WITH IT?!”

(I am rather terrified at this point but start backing up towards the secluded station.)

Me: *nervously* “I, uh… wasn’t sure what to do yesterday and, uh, I know this job was a pretty big priority so I–” *reaching the carts I’d used the day before I start pulling them apart so he has a direct view of their contents* “–just wrapped almost all of them yesterday. It wasn’t that hard and I only have about fifty or so left.”

Boss: *still furious* “You did this? You?!”

Me: *even more nervously* “Um, yeah. I… didn’t, um, know what else to do so… yeah.”

Boss: *suddenly looking directly at me* “You came in at seven yesterday. I know you did! What time did you leave?”

Me: *feeling like I’m about to be fired* “Um, well, the schedule has been a little crazy lately… I came in at seven and we’ve been leaving at five all week, so I thought that would be a safe time to get off. And, uh, lunch has been a bit erratic too but… the day before yesterday I got to have an hour which was kinda nice so… I took an hour yesterday. And breaks have been pretty much the same, so I took both of them. And, um, yeah. Wasn’t too sure what else I was supposed to do.”

(The boss looks at me for a long moment then suddenly whirls around and practically sprints up to his desk where my coworker has collected all of our times for the previous day. The boss demands to see mine then quickly demands to know who else worked on the job with me to which my coworkers responds that no one else has recorded time for that job. My boss stares intently at my times then takes off for another part of the building. It is unclear whether or not I am supposed to follow him so I simply stand there and wait. A few moments later he returns pulling a pallet full of Job Three. He gives me a look that clearly means I am to follow him so I do. He wordlessly drags the product to the secluded station, throws the instructions onto the pallet, then storms off. At this point I don’t think I’m being fired so I’ve calmed down quite a bit. I pick up the instructions and quickly realize that Job Two and Job Three are nearly identical in their instructions. I take my time to ensure I have all my materials before starting. I can also tell the boss is intently watching me at first but I pointedly ignore him, return to my station, and quickly find my rhythm for the job. Half an hour into our shift, Coworker #1 shows up late, as usual. Two hours into my shift my boss comes storming back into my area, furious again.)

Boss: *yelling* “Just f***ing forget it! I need you to do–”

(He stops short and looks in open astonishment between the pallet of unfinished work and the pallet of finished work.)

Boss: *pointing at the unfinished pallet in shock* “Is that all you have left?!”

Me: *calmy* “Unless there’s more I don’t know about, yes. I have three more cartons to go out of the twenty needed and it is due today. Should take me about half an hour or so to finish it all up. Why? Did you need something?”

Boss: *looking flabbergasted* “You’re almost done! How?!”

(I really don’t know how to respond to this because I am not working at break-neck speed. I am working at a comfortable pace for me while still occasionally taking time to go to the bathroom and, on one occasion, walking to the break-room to grab a treat which is, from what I’ve observed, actions that others do without being punished or reprimanded. So I just look at him with my best clueless expression and shrug. In response he quickly grabs several of the completed cartons and starts cutting them open. Inside are the carefully wrapped packages and he rifles through several boxes looking more and more amazed. I am not too perturbed at his actions because he is not damaging or mixing up the product and it will only take a second to tape the carton up again. After several cartons of this he turns and looks at me with a shocked expression.)

Boss: “You did it! But how?! It takes [Coworker #1] three days to do this exact same work!” *looks again at the open boxes then back at me* “I can’t believe you did it! Uh, just finish up here and… come see me when you’re done so I can show you how to do [Job Four].”

(From then on my boss pretty much left me alone. He’d give me work then just let me complete it at my own speed and I was the only temp allowed to work overtime all by myself which was a little exciting. Of course, it didn’t take long for me to get hired!)