Money Makes The World Burn Down

, , , , , , | Legal | April 23, 2019

Years ago, my brother was working as an accountant for a small chain of mini-marts. Since he was considered management, he was not eligible for overtime, but they wanted him weekly to be on call and to come in on his day off to some task that was not part of his job and not a management task. California law indicated he might be eligible to collect overtime for that after all.

So, he requested about $10,000 to cover the unpaid overtime. The company refused, so he took them to the Labor Board.

He lost his suit with the Labor Board, but as part of the investigation, the Labor Board discovered that the company was shorting the overtime for other employees. The company was forced to pay the overtime and close to $100,000 in fines.

In addition, the investigator discovered that the company had official inventory taken, but then fudged the numbers on the tax returns and kept both the correct and the fraudulent inventories. So, the investigator turned them into the IRS. They were audited and ended up paying close to $500,000 in back taxes and fines.

This put a major crimp in the savings and income of the partners. Whether it was because she didn’t have enough spending money or because she did not want to be associated with the cheats, one of the partner’s wives filed for divorce and in the community property state, she ended up with a quarter of the business, which she insisted on taking in cash.

This resulted in the company going bankrupt. And it all could have been avoided for $10,000.

Not Class-y Behavior

, , , , | Working | April 18, 2019

(Lately, my store manager has been trying to get involved with everything within the store. Unfortunately, he seems to be overwhelmed and often forgets having conversations. He then blames the associate and acts as if he had nothing to do with the issue at hand. I am home on a Tuesday morning when he calls.)

Me: “Hello?”

Manager: “Hello, [My Name]? [Store Manager] here. How are you today?

Me: “I’m pretty good. How are you?”

Manager: “Excellent, excellent. Listen. I have an, uh, event here from corporate. They want you to run a puppy orientation next Sunday at 10:00 am.”

Me: “Oh. But I have a class then.”

Manager: “Yeah, I saw. What do you think we should do?”

Me: “Is the event mandatory?”

Manager: “Yeah, looks that way.”

Me: “Can I do it another time the same day?”

Manager: “Oh, that might work. How about… Well, I don’t know your schedule.”

Me: “I should have 2:00 pm free. I can do it then.”

Manager: “Great! I’ll start making flyers.” *hangs up*

(The day of the event comes and my manager pulls me aside.)

Manager: “So, what are you doing today?”

Me: “Well, I have my normal classes, plus the puppy orientation at two.”

Manager: “Ten.”

Me: “Uh, I have a class at ten, so we agreed to move the puppy thing to two.”

Manager: “You can’t rearrange a corporate event.”

Me: “You called me and said—“

Manager: “I never called you.”

Me: *confused* “Yes, you did… You called on Tuesday.” *pulls up my phone call log and shows him*

Manager: “No, [My Name], I didn’t. You’re going to have to call your people and tell them why you’re cancelling their class at the last moment.” *continues talking as he is walking away* “Hopefully this won’t reflect poorly on the company. You really should have thought this through…”

(I didn’t call my students and it all turned out fine. The puppy orientation people showed up at 2:00 with the manager’s flyers in hand. He still denies having any involvement and insists it was all me.)

Only Minutely False

, , , , , | Working | April 17, 2019

I worked in a personnel office, inputting timecards for the working week, which ran from Monday to Sunday. This info would go up to the payroll department for processing.

We got two new employees who worked the night shift, from midnight to 8:00 am, five days a week, but those days varied. We could never get the supervisor to understand that if the employee started work at midnight Sunday, that was actually the start of the next week; i.e. a Monday shift. So, we had these employees getting four days of work one week, then six days the next week, one of which was overtime. The employees were unhappy that their pay wasn’t steady week-to-week, even though they were getting more money overall, and the company was unhappy that they were paying unnecessary overtime.

I started inputting their hours starting at 11:59 pm on Sunday evening and ending 7:59 am Monday, which solved the problem. Everyone happy, right?

No. I got written up for falsifying timecards.

Doing A Disservice To Customer Service, Part 5

, , , , , , | Working | April 15, 2019

(My husband retired from the military with twenty years of service in the military version of customer service for various functions last year. He currently is an operations manager for the contractor that provides housekeeping and food service for the local hospital. All told, he has over forty direct reports. He is shopping at a major general store type retailer before work one day. The store manager is the only one on duty and she refuses to check him out before she does anything else. My husband walks up to the counter and no one is there for several minutes.)

Husband: “Can I get some help here?”

Store Manager: “Just a minute!”

([Husband] patiently waits. Five minutes pass by and no one has come to the counter. He asks again, a little more forcefully.)

Store Manager: “Can’t you wait?!”

Husband: “No! I am going to be late for work!”

(The store manager then proceeds to come to the front of the store and goes into an office to count tills instead of servicing my husband.)

Husband: “This is poor customer service! What could be more important than servicing a paying customer?”

Store Manager: “What is wrong with you? Don’t you know how customer service works?!”

Husband: “Uh… yeah, I do! I spent twenty years in the military doing customer service for shipping and receiving, and I would never treat a customer the way you did to me!”

Store Manager: “But you didn’t supervise anyone!”

Husband: “I was a Master Sergeant in the Air Force. I sure as heck supervised people! At one time I had over sixty people under me. I am now the manager of over forty people who provide services at [Local Hospital]! If any of my employees treated someone the way you have done to me, I would fire them as soon as possible!”

Store Manager: *checks my husband out* “Why don’t you call corporate, then?”

Husband: “I’m not dealing with your attitude! Don’t expect any more business from my wife and me. I am also telling [Local Veterans Group] not to shop here because you are so disrespectful.”

Doing A Disservice To Customer Service, Part 4
Doing A Disservice To Customer Service, Part 3
Doing A Disservice To Customer Service, Part 2

Getting Mixed Up With The Wrong Kind Of People

, , , , | Working | April 15, 2019

(My dad works late, and on his way home from work he decides to pull into a fast food drive-thru and order a meal. He orders a fish sandwich, a small coffee, fries, and an apple pie. After paying, he pulls up to the second window, the server gives him his food, and then he realizes that he hasn’t gotten his pie or his sandwich. He explains this to the employee, and they go to get him a new one. The manager, a tall, shaggy-looking man who looks like he’d rather be anywhere else, sticks his head out the window.)

Manager:Why have you not driven off yet?

Dad: “Well, they forgot my pie and my sandwich, and they were just going to go get them for me.”

Manager: “SO? You should drive off because you’re holding up the line!”

(My dad looks over his shoulder to see no line, no cars in the parking lot, no one in the restaurant, and no one on the road. He doesn’t want to start anything, so he just parks in the lot. Eventually, the server comes out with a bag and then goes back into the store. My dad finds out that they’ve given him the wrong sandwich, and it’s probably two dollars more, so he walks into the store to pay the rest of the cost. As soon as he walks in, he notices napkins everywhere, cups strewn on the floor, and only half the lights on, despite the fact that this is a 24-hour establishment and customers could come in at any time. He walks up to the counter and waits quietly until another server starts working with him. The manager comes back.)

Manager: “You again?! What do you want?

Dad: “I’ve got the wrong food, but I was just going to pay for it.”

Manager: “You can’t do that.”

Dad: “Well, what am I going to do?”

Manager: “Just give us back the food and leave!”

Server: “Sir, we aren’t allowed to take back messed up food; that’s company policy!”

(The manager is fuming and yelling at my dad and the server, until another man comes in, also holding a bag of food. He turns to them.)

Manager: “What do you need?”

Man: “I just went the drive-thru, and I got a fish sandwich; I ordered a [sandwich that my dad had gotten].”

Dad: “Hey! I got one, and I ordered a fish sandwich; how about we trade?”

Manager: “No! You’re not allowed to do that!”

Server: “Why not? They paid for them, and the food is theirs now. We can’t take it back.”

(Before the manager can respond, one of the few workers — many of them have stopped to watch — blurts out:)

Worker: “Hey, [Manager], aren’t those the meals that you put together that we told you that’d you mixed up?”

(The man and my dad started laughing and leaving. The workers began to laugh, too, as the manager stormed into the bathroom.)

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