Should Be “Pretty” Obvious

, , , | Right | November 24, 2017

(I work at a wholesale club. I am an 18-year-old guy with curly long hair down past my shoulders. I am pushing carts and an elderly woman approaches me.)

Customer: “Here you go.” *gives me her cart but stops*

Me: “Is something wrong?”

Customer: *looks back and forth between her husband and me and then smiles* “Are you a boy and a girl?”

Me: “Umm…” *as I stand there with my mouth open for about ten seconds* “I am a guy.”

Customer: “Oh, okay!” *then she walks away and gets in her car*

Me: *going to my friend afterwards, telling the story* “Do I at least look like a pretty girl?”

Food Inedible, Policy Untenable

, , , , , , , | Working | November 24, 2017

(Some friends and I go out to dinner. All of us have worked in the service or customer service industry at some point, so we tend to be pretty understanding and forgiving of most things. However, the service on this night is bad enough that we have no choice but to ask for a manager. The hostess and wait staff have been rude, and our food shows up inedible; six people order at the table — one steak, two burgers, and three chicken dishes — and every dish is burnt or overcooked. The burgers are so bad they are basically hockey pucks, the steak was ordered medium and comes out blackened and hard, and the baked chicken is hard and stringy. We point this out to our waitress.)

Waitress: *huffs and rolls her eyes* “Well, what do you want me to do about it?”

Friend #1: “The burgers are really overcooked, and anyone who got chicken can’t even eat theirs, it’s so bad.”

Friend #3: “And my steak is really overdone. I asked for medium and this is… Well, it’s a tire.”

Waitress: “If you want new dishes, you have to pay for those meals, too.”

Friend #2: “No, we don’t. Since when is that a rule? It’s the fault of the kitchen.”

Waitress: “If you don’t like what you get, and you order something new, that’s not our fault. That’s on you. We had to keep everyone’s food under the heat lamps because that one ordered a steak and that takes longer to cook. Blame her.” *storms off*

(At this point, we are all shocked. We flag down another waitress and ask her to send over a manager — this waitress at least is nice. We explain to the manager what has happened and find that the manager has the same attitude. She insists that if we are getting new food, we have to pay for those plates along with the first. She refuses to even acknowledge how burnt our food is.)

Manager: “I won’t explain this again. If you want another dish, you have to pay for it. I can’t just give free food to every customer who is picky. Don’t order things that you don’t like.”

Friend #3: “Look, lady, we aren’t looking for a freebie here; we just want food we can actually eat. You can’t expect us to pay for food that we can’t even eat. Your kitchen made the error, not us. I sure didn’t go back there and burn my dinner.”

Manager: “If you aren’t going to pay, I’m going to call the cops.”

(We all share a glance because we’ve never experienced something quite like this. We have, to our best ability, made it clear that we intend to pay for dinner. We just want to eat that dinner first, and we can’t eat the dishes we have been served. I finally sigh and shake my head.)

Me: “You know what? Forget it. Just bring us the check. We’ll find somewhere else to eat.”

(I throw down my credit card, pay, and get us out of there. I’m irritated and starving by this point, as are my friends. Instead of waiting at a new restaurant we just go to [Friend #1]’s house and make a few frozen pizzas. We all have a good laugh after we eat and calm down but are all still pretty irritated by the situation. I grab the website for comments and questions off of our receipt and send the story of what happened. Two days later I get an email from a customer service rep. The email starts with a very scripted line thanking me for my patronage of their restaurant and that they “always strive to give the best customer service possible.” Then it takes an interesting turn.)

Customer Service: “It’s always hard to hear that someone is not happy with our service. We reached out to our [Town] location for their version of the story, as well. The particular event you described can be especially confusing for those not familiar with our policies; however, rest assured that the wait-staff and manager were both acting upon a policy that is the same for all our of stores. We are always so pleased to hear our team members upholding the values we have built our company around. In the event that a customer is not happy with their meal, they always have the option of ordering another item off of our generous menu. However, in the event that someone does order something new, they are responsible for both dishes ordered. It is only in a rare occasion that [Restaurant] will waive the fee of an ordered dish. I hope this clears things up, and we hope that you will give us a chance to serve you again in the future!”

(I am shocked at this point. I wasn’t expecting much to come of reaching out to the company, but I certainly wasn’t expecting that! About ten minutes go by; then, I see another email appear in my inbox. It is from a name that I don’t recognize, but upon inspection, I see that it is someone who had been CC’d in the response from the customer service rep. He obviously hit Reply All instead of replying directly to the original sender.)

Email: “Nicely handled! Gotta let these scammers know whose boss!”

(The email is signed by someone with a position stamp of some sort of District Manager. I take a moment to quell my rage before sending my final email. Just as this DM did, I make sure to hit “Reply All.”)

Me: “*Who’s. ;-)”

(Immature? Maybe. But it sure made me feel better.)

Talking Turkey About Gluten

, , , , , | Right | November 23, 2017

(A man approaches me, holding out his shopping list.)

Customer: “Can you read what this one is? J-U-S…”

Me: “Oh, fusilli. It’s a type of pasta, the corkscrew shape. We have some organic here, whole-wheat over here, and gluten-free right there.”

Customer: “Oh, no, I don’t have anything to do with gluten! Let me tell you: I bought a turkey breast that was gluten-free, and it was the worst mistake I ever made! It was cut up into pieces! Just terrible!”

Me: “Well, any turkey breast should be gluten-free, since—”

Customer: “This turkey breast, it was gluten-free, and it was just terrible! All cut up into pieces! Terrible! I don’t have anything to do with gluten; it’s just terrible!”

(He bought the gluten-filled organic pasta.)

Corn Has You Torn

, , , , , | Right | November 23, 2017

(A customer is looking lost near our refrigerated section, so I approach her for help.)

Customer: “Yes, I was looking for the vegetarian tamales you advertised.”

Me: “Oh, you’re in the right place; they’re right here! They’re really quite tasty.”

(I hand her a package, and she proceeds to study it.)

Customer: “They do look good, but I wish they didn’t have corn in them. It’s so bad for you, you know! You can’t digest it, and it makes you fat. It’s really just so bad for you, so I’m trying to not eat it. But I guess I can pick the kernels out when I eat these.”

(The outer portion of tamales is, of course, corn masa. She added the tamales to her basket, which contained only one other item: corn tortillas.)

Marrying Together Different Interview Styles

, , , , | Working | November 23, 2017

(My boss gets a new manager who makes an effort to get to know everyone under him. Over his first few weeks he takes us all out, one at a time, for a casual half-hour meet-and-greet. I am excited about this because it is the first time I’ve been in an environment where I have senior leadership who seems to actually care about their subordinates.)

Boss: “So, tell me a bit about yourself. None of that work stuff; we’ll get to that. I see you’re married?”

Me: “Yup!”

Boss: “How long?”

Me: “It’ll be two years this September.”

Boss: “Ah. Two years. Yeah, wait until five years; that’s when you’ll find out if it’s going to be worth saving or not.”

Me: *awkwardly* “Haha, yeah. Well, I’ve heard of the seven-year mark being hard.”

Boss: “It’s five.”

(The conversation never really recovered, and I rarely interacted with him after that, though when I did it always felt tense. Naturally, I assumed that he’d been burned once or twice, but after moving to a new role a couple years later, I found out from a manager that worked more closely with him that he was actually a lifelong homosexual bachelor, easily in his late 40s, probably older. So, I guess he was just being mean?)

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