Needs A Break From Your Illegal Activities

, , , , , , , | Working | November 3, 2017

When working for an employment agency, I was asked to work in a certain bar one evening. When arriving there, all seemed right and, to be honest, the work was okay. However, after a few hours work, I asked how everything worked with breaks. The other workers reacted a bit surprised. Break? Oh, well, in fact they didn’t do those, because there was no time… despite the law making it very clear that the employer is obliged to allow it and the employee is obliged to take it. “We don’t do that. The employment agency should have told you. I’ll talk to them about this, because this is really important.”

A bit later they had the chef de cuisine make me a croquette sandwich. Since I was quite hungry, I was very happy about this and thanked the cook, despite the fact that he shouted at me and bullied a coworker earlier in the night. I ate it quickly and went back to work immediately.

After an evening of hard work in a very busy bar, I had to leave at midnight. One of the floor managers took me to the office to find the form for temporary workers. The office turned out to be a mess and she was unable to find the form, although she was clearly as annoyed by the mess as I was. In the end, the lady improvised and made me write down my name, employment agency, and hours on a blank note. I worked for seven hours, so that’s what I wrote down.

The next day, I commented to my contact at the employment agency about the break problem, stating clearly that I wanted to be fully informed, and that I thought it was weird that the place didn’t do breaks, despite this being illegal. My contact reacted somewhat defensively, although they called the incomplete briefing “a learning point for us.”

Despite this, I was assured that it was very common in hospitality work that you’re supposed to have eaten before 5:00 pm, and I was asked to have “some flexibility.” I didn’t answer, since I was clearly not winning this, although some Internet research and a phone call to the union made it clear to me that I was totally right.

Later, when I downloaded my payslip, it turned out that the place only paid me for six-and-a-half hours, anyway, while eating the sandwich took me about five minutes. I emailed my contact, asking exactly what the bar’s general manager submitted, pointing out that I didn’t take half-an-hour break and, therefore, worked for much longer.

No response ever came. Much later, I asked the financial person of the employment agency what was submitted. According to her, [Bar] indeed claimed I worked six-and-a-half hours with a half-an-hour break. Once again, the employment agency didn’t take any action, but since then, the bar was on my personal blacklist, which I made very clear to my contact.

Should Only Be Half-Surprised

, , , , , | Related | November 2, 2017

(I grew up in a fairly small town. I have an older half-brother through my father. He lives in the same town, but I have never met him. I have heard that he drinks at a local pub owned and managed by my friend and his dad. I have just turned 18, which is the legal drinking age here, when I walk past the pub and see [Brother]’s work van parked out the front. He is standing at the bar talking to the manager.)

Me: “Hi, how are you?”

Brother: *a little taken aback* “Umm, hi. Good, thanks. You?”

Me: “Not bad. Can I ask you something?”

Brother: “Ah, okay, I guess.”

Me: “Are you [Brother]?”

Brother: *looking down at his shirt with his first name on the front* “Umm, yep.”

(My friend, the manager, is off the phone now and, due to previous conversations, knows what I’m doing. He is trying not to laugh.)

Me: “Is your mother [Father’s Wife]?”

Brother: “Umm, yes.”

Me: “Your dad’s name is [Father], but you haven’t seen him since you were about three?”

Brother: “Umm, yes. How do you know this?”

Me: “Hi. I’m [My Name], your half-sister.”

([Brother] looked like he was going to fall over, while the manager was now laughing. The manager brought us both a beer on the house. We chatted for a few minutes before he had to go. I don’t push to keep in contact, but a few weeks later my manager friend passed on his number, and we are now in regular contact, and I have another part of my family, even if neither of us are in contact with our father.)

County The Day Until You’re 21

, , , , , | Working | October 27, 2017

(My friend and I are going to a concert at a bar. I am 22. He is 19, so not of age, and has never learned to drive, nor has he ever left the country, so he has no driver’s license and no passport.)

Bouncer: “Tickets, please.”

(I hand him the tickets.)

Bouncer: “IDs?”

(I hand him my state-issued driver’s license. My friend hands him his county-issued ID.)

Bouncer: *points to me* “You’re good to go.” *points to friend* “I can’t let you in with this.”

Friend: “Why not? It’s a valid ID.”

Bouncer: “This doesn’t even look like a real ID. I’ve never seen one of these. It’s not even from this county.”

(We spend about five minutes arguing back and forth.)

Bouncer: “Okay, fine. I’ll let him in, but he’s not getting one of the ‘over 21’ bracelets.”

Me: “He’s NOT over 21.”

Friend: “Yeah, I’m 19.”

Me: “Just like the ID says.”

(The ticket guy realized he didn’t even read the information on the ID, glared, put the bracelet on me, and pointed at the entrance.)

Rabbiting On About Sizes

, , , , , | Right | October 27, 2017

Customer: “Excuse me, young man, what is the difference between the large and small fish and chips?”

Me: “Erm, they are different sizes.”

Customer: “Yes, but what is the actual difference?”

Me: “Erm, well, there are fewer chips, and the fish is a bit smaller.”

Customer: “Thank you, young man. I will have the rabbit pie, please.”

A Date To Remember

, , , | Right | October 25, 2017

(It is currently July 2014. I am a Canadian visiting the US. My birthday is April 12, 1993, and since I’m from Canada my ID says “12/04/1993”. One day, I go to the bar.)

Bouncer: “Can I see some ID, please?”

Me: “Oh, yes. Here it is.”

(I hand him my ID.)

Bouncer: “Sorry, you can’t enter unless you’re 21 years old.”

Me: “But I am 21!”

Bouncer: “Sorry, your ID says that you’re only turning 21 in December.”

(I understand his mistake and I laugh.)

Me: “No, actually, I’m from Canada. I was born on April 12. The order of the dates go ‘day, month, year’ where I’m from.”

Bouncer: “How stupid do you think I am? Get out of here.”

(I ended up getting kicked out of the bar.)

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