That’s A Lot Of Yoghurt

, , , , | Working | April 19, 2018

(I am on break and enjoying a yoghurt in the break room. A colleague walks in.)

Colleague: “Ooh, that looks nice.”

Me: “It’s my favourite.”

Colleague: “Did you get any for me?”

Me: “No. It’s bring-your-own. If you wanted some, you should have asked before I got it.”

Colleague: “Don’t you think it’s a bit rude to get something only for yourself, and not for others?”

Me: “Um, it’s bring-your-own, and [Colleague], 300 people come in and out of this room each day. If I had to get them yoghurt everyday, I’d go bankrupt. Besides, I’ve never seen you bring anything in for anyone else.”

(She didn’t say anything else and left. I finished up and went back to my desk. An hour later, my floor manager came over and asked why [Colleague] came to her asking, in seriousness, that I get a raise of £29,000 a week. Now, she can barely keep a straight face whenever [Colleague] is talking to her.)

Easy To Counter This Counter Case

, , , , , , | Right | April 18, 2018

(I come into work to find this email from a customer:)

Email: “I left my iPad in a blue case at your store. I WANT IT BACK. I brought it in to see if you could help with it and forgot it on the counter. Why wouldn’t you have called to tell me I left it there? Or texted me. Now I have to wait in agony until 7:30 so I can call you. Call me earlier if you can. It better still be there!”

Doesn’t Even Sound Good On Paper

, , , , , , , | Working | April 18, 2018

I work in a small, open-plan office in a fairly small company. The husband-and-wife owners of the company don’t seem to want to update anything or invest any money in the company; the windows don’t fully close unless someone pushes on them from the outside, the blinds are damaged so you can always see in, and the computer system is over some early version of Windows with limited processing speed, which crashes on a weekly basis.

One day my boss gets an email — they can’t work out group emails — to say the wife has decided we are using too much stationary, she refuses to buy any more, and she wants us to be a paperless office. This is all despite us lacking the resources to be paperless, and the husband’s insistence that we keep a physical paper trail of every order, invoice, or query the customers have.

We make do as best we can, but eventually I bite the bullet and buy a pack of paper, pens, and a few nice post-its, etc. It’s not much, but when you are earning minimum wage and buying resources which work should be providing, it’s more than I want to spend.

I put all my stationary in my desk the next morning. I come back from lunch to find all of it gone, including a monogrammed pen my mum bought for my birthday. I eventually track it down to the female owner’s office, where she is happily using them. When I confront her about it, she repeats, “Paperless office,” like she is a parrot who has learnt a new phrase. I bite my lip and ask how we are meant to be paperless when we are also expected to keep written notes and print records of all our work. She eventually relents that she might, maybe look at a stationary order, “if it’s such a big deal.” I thank her, take my monogrammed pen from her hand, and walk out her office.

The next day, I replace the stationary and replace the lock on the desk, secure it before I go for lunch, and come back to find my coworkers giggling. Apparently, the female owner had heard I had more stationary and spent five minutes trying to pry open my desk before snatching the post-its from my desktop, screaming, “PAPERLESS OFFICE!”, and storming out.

My Mission Is Not Commission

, , , , , | Working | April 18, 2018

(I am unemployed and on a job hunt. I get an unsolicited phone call from a woman representing a company I’ve never heard of.)

Woman: “Hello, is this [My Name]?”

Me: “It is.”

Woman: “I’m from [Unfamiliar Company]. We received your resume and we think you’re a perfect fit for someone who wants to build their business and progress into management.”

Me: “What does your company do, exactly?”

(She gives some vague business blabber about building management skills, establishing connections, and, “building your business,” etc. My background is not in anything entrepreneurial, and my resume is focused on describing my skills within disciplines that aren’t easily confused with “management” or “building a business.”)

Me: “What was it on my resume specifically that demonstrates to you my managerial skills?”

Woman: “We have a vendor partner that sorts through the resumes for us, and I actually don’t have your resume in front of me right now. However, since they selected you, I’m sure it’s because of your background in management and your past successes at building business. Could you make it in tomorrow at 11 o’clock for an interview?”

(Obviously, I don’t think this is going anywhere worthwhile, nor necessarily above-board, but I’m also on unemployment benefits which not only require me to have a certain number of job contacts weekly, but forbid me from declining or skipping interviews, etc.)

Me: “Tomorrow at 11? Fine.”

Woman: “Great! I’ll send an email to [my email on my resume] with the address, directions, and instructions. Bring a copy of your resume with you!”

(I get the email and start digging online a little. I find that it’s a real company but that the nature of their business is odd; you work on 100% commission by going business-to-business selling third-party manufactured office supplies — cold sales. I find lots of very bad reviews online about their conduct to employees, and lots of cult-like rants from a few other people defending the company and the owner. I notice that the email specifies that I “must dress formally” for the interview. I read that their “interview” is actually a sales pitch about “building a business,” I assume through commission sales, and involves no questions or discussion. But the most important thing that I notice is the address of their office: it’s a building I used to work in years prior. My company at the time had to change locations because the place caught on fire, and I’ve not been back since heading home the day it happened. I am interested in seeing my old workplace again. Suddenly, I’m excited about my upcoming morning. I arrive at the office building the next day at 10:55 am, wearing jeans and a punk rock t-shirt, quite on purpose. I head into the building at the same time as a guy who looks like he’s 19 years old, wearing a suit three sizes too large, carrying a manila folder. The company’s office turns out to be part of my old CEO and his assistant’s offices. I walk in and see the guy I saw outside and two other similarly-aged and similarly-dressed young men sitting awkwardly in chairs filling out paperwork on clip boards. Directly ahead of me is a woman who’s probably in her late 20s — a few years younger than me. Behind her, I can see through the glass door into a room where there are about six to eight more young men in too-large business suits taking notes and listening to a guy in his late 20s lecture about something I can’t quite make out. I recognize the voice of the woman at the desk as the woman I spoke with the day before.)

Woman: “Can I help you, sir?”

Me: *big, happy smile* “Yes! I’m [My Name]. I’m here for an interview?”

(YET ANOTHER awkwardly-dressed young man walks in behind me as I’m talking.)

Woman: *to other guy* “Can I help you, sir?”

Guy: “Yeah, I’m [Guy]. I’m here for an interview?”

Woman: “Certainly. Go ahead and fill out this paperwork and return it to me when you’re done, and we’ll have you in the next group.” *turning back to me* “[My Name], would you come with me?”

(I follow her through a short but winding hallway. The whole time I’m looking in every direction, trying to put together where what the parts of my old office were. She leads me into a small office and is suddenly very stern with me.)

Woman: “[My Name], did you not read the email I sent you yesterday with the information for the interview about formal dress?”

Me: *playing dumb* “Oh, really? I’m sorry. I missed that. Well… I’m here, though?”

Woman: “We are interested in helping people build their business and advance to management, and we expect people to dress the part. We have another interview scheduled this afternoon, so you can go home and put on something more appropriate and be back for that.”

Me: “Hmm, yeah… I have other things arranged for this afternoon.”

Woman: “Well, check your schedule to see when you have more openings this week or next week, and I’ll see if we can line up. Drive safe.”

(She escorted me out of the suite and closed the door behind me. Of course, I didn’t call them back, and they never contacted me again. A year or so later I remembered all this and looked that company up again. They’d changed their name, moved locations, and had several former employees complaining about unpaid commissions.)

Customers Are A Pain(giver)

, , , , , , | Right | April 16, 2018

(After being in the office all morning, sorting out a problem with the tills, I finally make my way onto the shop floor. This is my first customer of the day.)

Me: *moving to the side as we pass on the stairs* “Good morning.”

Customer: “No. It’s not a good morning. I’ve got a headache and it’s raining. Can I have some painkillers?”

Me: “I’m afraid we don’t have any, and we aren’t allowed to give medication to customers.”

Customer: “But I’m in pain. Why don’t you care? Today is my first time without taking drugs and you don’t even care. You’re a monster!

(The customer then ran up the stairs, and I went down to check on my colleagues. After I have been serving for a while, the customer comes downstairs with a large book in her hands and is served by one of the new girls who works weekends. The transaction goes smoothly, with the customer shooting me dirty looks the whole time.)

Customer: “I want a bag. The real ones, not the ones you give anyone. I have money, you know.”

Colleague: “They are real bags; we don’t have any others to give you, I’m afraid.”

Customer: “Why are you afraid? You should be afraid of being young and a girl.”

Colleague: *staying very professional* “Is there anything else for you today?”

Customer: “You’re trying to cheat me! I want to see your manager. Right now!”

(I take over the transaction, much to her disgust.)

Me: “Is there a problem?”

Customer: “I want a real bag, not those plastic ones.”

Me: “As my colleague told you, these are the only ones we provide. I can double them up for you, though, if you’re worried about them breaking.”

Customer: “You know, you’re horrible. My grandfather was the most wonderful, kind, loving person in the world, and he was tortured and murdered in Germany. You are a monster, and you deserve to be tortured in Nazi Germany, you b****.”

(She storms out of the store without the book.)

Me: “I’m going back into the office for a bit.”

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