Thinking Outside ALL The Boxes

, , , , , , , , | Working | February 24, 2020

My first job out of school was at a local bakery. One of the tasks I was expected to do during the day was to take the flat pack cake boxes and assemble them, making it easier to pack cakes for customers during the busy periods. My manager was horribly nitpicky about things and one of her pet peeves was that there weren’t enough boxes.

One day, I came into work and she had me fill out and sign a “formal warning notice” to say I hadn’t assembled enough boxes — I was literally one box short of what she wanted. Likewise, my colleague got the same “warning.” Being the 17-year-old I was, and feeling like a smarta***, I spent my whole Saturday assembling every single box we had.

The manager liked to have around 30 and I assembled around 3,000. They were literally stacked everywhere — on the counters, filling the shelves, and on the floor. I even built an archway leading into the back of the store. The next day, the store owner demanded to see me because of the ridiculous state of his store; he actually called me in on my day off.

And that was how I got my second formal warning. After I explained the situation to the owner, he did agree to speak to the manager about how a warning over a single missing box was excessive.

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What A Weird Form Of Sabotage

, , | Working | February 24, 2020

I’m a merchandiser, which means I go from store to store making sure everything looks good for our product and doing updates. However, a lot of stores think that I’m a crazy person off the street sabotaging their merchandise.

Me:
“Hello, can I speak with the manager?”

Manager:
“Hello.”

Me:
“I’m from [Company] and we’re doing updates on [Product] today?”

Manager:
“Oh, yes… We got an email saying that you’d be here.”

He looks at me like I’m crazy.

Me:
“Well, can you show me where [Product] is? I have to put these new stickers on them.”

Manager:
*Doubtfully* “Okayyyyyy…”

We go to the back and find the product and I start putting the stickers on. I’m in my uniform, groomed neatly, and do not look like a crazy person at all.

Manager:
“Which company did you say you were from?”

Me:
“[Company]. I can call them if you like and you can talk? Didn’t you say that you got an email?”

Manager:
“Oh, that’s right. No, I believe you…”

He continued to eye me doubtfully as if waiting for me to say, “Just kidding! I pranked you!” I really don’t get why he’d think someone would come in and start putting stickers on things, just for kicks! I guess they’ve had weirder people, though? Later, my company told me that the product wasn’t done and accused me of being lazy. It turned out that the manager took off the stickers!

I ended up quitting soon after.

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Adam Sandler: Uncut (Gems)

, , , , , | Working | February 21, 2020

(At our local arthouse theater, the manager gives a little spiel before the film starts.)

Manager: “And on our other screen, we’re showing [Film], a rare drama starring Adam Sandler. Sandler says if this film isn’t nominated for best picture, he’s going to go out and produce the worst film he can possibly make.”

(Pause.)

Manager: “Of course, he’ll probably do that no matter what’s nominated.”

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File This One As A Big Fat No  

, , , , , , , | Working | February 20, 2020

I was placed by a temporary agency at a cell phone provider. I was told, “They really need someone who is up on mail-merge for a very important project!” This agency normally placed at law firms, but hey, work is work, and I know that software, so I got the position.

I got there on Monday with no problem. The building was new, and the office was rather oppressively warm — “The AC is down! So sorry!” 

“Oh, the mail-merge project isn’t ready yet. Do you mind doing some filing while you wait?” Uh, sure. So, I spent Monday filing customer contracts.

Tuesday, same thing. Hot office and more filing. I was so sleepy from the heat, but that mail-merge was not ready yet.

Then, Wednesday. Then, Thursday. Thursday there was a fire alarm, we were ordered to stand in the open sun — this was July and it was 90-something outside — and I was about to just walk. So, when I got back into the office, I pointedly asked, “When is this project ready? I’m not into filing and it’s awfully hot in here. How about you call me when you’re ready, rather than spending so much money having me file?”

The project manager gulped and said, “Well, the first few people we got from your agency couldn’t spell, and filing is all we wanted them to do. We figured if we got someone who could do more technical projects, they’d do a better job filing!”

So, they were willing to spend twice the money for an educated individual who could spell? And they couldn’t even be honest with me about it? Yes, that’s right. 

I walked at that point. The oppressive heat in the building and the lying just got to me. They were stunned; they didn’t understand my problem with this.

I never worked for that agency again, although they called me for two weeks after.

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A Bad Spell Of Upsell

, , , , , | Working | February 19, 2020

(I work for a store that demands we try to upsell, like asking about pillowcases if the customer has bought pillows. I have been asked by a customer for silver spray paint.)

Me: “I’m sorry, but we don’t carry spray paint.”

Customer: “Can you get it in for me?”

Me: “No, it’s not legal for us to sell it; we don’t have a license.”

Customer: “All I want is silver spray paint. You have paints; you have to have it.”

Me: “I’m sorry, but perhaps you can try [Hardware Store]. All we have is this silver paint in our non-toxic kid’s range. Would you be able to use this, instead?” *picks up a bottle off the shelf we are standing next to*

(A few days later, our area manager comes into the store and calls me to the office.)

Manager: “I’ve been sent to give you a written warning because you have a customer complaint.”

Me: “What for?”

Manager: “A customer complained that you tried making her buy non-toxic silver paint when she wanted silver spray paint. And she didn’t appreciate that you tried making her feel guilty for not caring about the environment.”

Me: “What? She was demanding spray paint; all I did was show her that we only had the silver in the non-toxic kid’s range and asked if she might be able to use it, instead.”

Manager: “Well, make sure you don’t do this again.” *pulls out warning pad*

Me: “I’m not going to accept a written warning.” 

(She looks at me and realises I am serious and am about to walk out.)

Manager: “Uh, how about I skip the written warning and just class this as a verbal warning?”

(I am not impressed with a verbal warning.)

Me: “So, if a customer asks for a product that we don’t have, but we have one that they might be able to use, what are we supposed to do?”

Manager: “Just don’t make the offer.”

(For the record, customers complain all the time if we don’t offer them a substitute and I spent the rest of my employment wondering when I was going to get written up for not offering substitutes. I quit a couple of months later.)

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